County Kilkenny



Scope note(s)

Source note(s)

Display note(s)

Equivalent terms

County Kilkenny

  • UF Kilkenny
  • UF Co. Kilkenny
  • UF Cill Chainnigh

Associated terms

County Kilkenny

97 Name results for County Kilkenny

32 results directly related Exclude narrower terms

Archdekin, Richard, 1619-1693, Jesuit priest and scholar

  • IE IJA J/875
  • Person
  • 16 March 1619-31 August 1693

Born: 16 March 1619, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 20 September 1642, Mechelen, Belgium - Flanders Province (FLAN)
Ordained: 28 March 1648, Louvain, Belgium
Final Vows: 09 December 1657
Died: 31 August 1693, College of Antwerp, Belgium - Flanders Province (FLAN)

Alias MacGiolla Cuddy

Son of Nicholas Archdekin and Anne Sherlog. Read Humanities in Ireland and Philosophy at Louvain
1649 in Tertianship at Mechelen
1650 Returned in Roman Cat age 34 having read 4 years of scholastic Theology
1671 Professor of Scripture at Antwerp (Louvain?) and was published - also taught Scripture, Humanities, Theology and Philosophy
Abbé Henegan says RIP 1690; Another account in suggests Ent 1649
Monument at Thomastown Kilkenny

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Nicholas and Ann née Sherlock
Studied Humanities at Antwerp and Lille under the Jesuits before Ent, and four years Theology in the Society. He knew Latin, Irish, English and Flemish.
1650 Teaching Humanities (HIB Catalogue 1650 - ARSI)
1653 Arrived at Professed House Antwerp, 26/03/1653, and Taught Humanities for six years and was a Professor of Philosophy, Moral Theology and Sacred Scripture, chiefly at Louvain and Antwerp, where he died. (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS; and for his writings de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”)
Writer; Professor of Theology and Sacred Scripture. (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Nicholas and Anne neé Sherlock
He studied humanities in Ireland and Antwerp and on the completion of his philosophy studies at Louvain, entered the Society at Mechelen.
Having studied theology at Louvain he was Ordained priest there 28 March 1648.
Recalled to Ireland, he taught Humanities at Kilkenny until the fall of that city to the Cromwellian forces.
On his return to Belgium he continued to teach Humanities.
1657-1690 Professor of the ecclesiastical sciences :
1657-1665 Philosophy Antwerp, Sacred Scripture and Hebrew at Antwerp
1665-1674 Sacred Scripture, Hebrew and Moral Theology at Louvain
1674-1690 Prefect of ecclesiastical studies, Scripture and Moral Theology at Antwerp
1690-1693 On his retirement he continued to live at the College of Antwerp where he died 31 August, 1693.
The writings of Richard Archdekin were read in probably every theologate of Europe.
His most famous work was the “Praecipuae Controversiae Fidei” which went into many editions in his lifetime. The 1686 edition contains biographical notices of Blessed Oliver Plunket and Archbishop Peter Talbot.
Notable too amongst his works is his treatise on miracles composed with special reference to favours received through the veneration of relics of St. Francis Xavier which were kept at Mechelen. This book is said to be the first known to be printed in Irish and English conjunctively.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online
Archdekin (Ardsdekin, MacGiolla Cuddy), Richard
by Terry Clavin

Archdekin (Ardsdekin, MacGiolla Cuddy), Richard (1619–93), Jesuit priest and scholar, was born 16 March 1619 in Kilkenny city, son of Nicholas Archdekin and his wife Ann (née Sherlock). After being educated at the classical school in Kilkenny, he travelled to Antwerp (1637) to study theology at the Jesuit college there before moving to Louvain (1640), where he studied philosophy. Already proficient in Irish, English, and Latin, he became fluent in Flemish. On 20 September 1642 he entered the Society of Jesus at Malines (Mechelen) before returning to Louvain (1644) to resume his study of philosophy. He was ordained a priest on 28 March 1648 and, after completing his tertianship, returned to Ireland in summer 1649 to join the Jesuit mission there. Presumably he would have been a member of the teaching staff of a college that the Jesuits intended to establish in Kilkenny, but these plans were dashed by the invasion of Ireland by a militantly anti-catholic English protestant army under the generalship of Oliver Cromwell (qv). Archdekin was soon obliged to flee to Galway, which held out until 1652, after which he managed to slip away and (after a period in hiding) eventually found a ship bound for the Continent. He landed in the Spanish Netherlands on 26 March 1653.

Thereafter he pursued a successful academic career on the Continent, being first appointed to teach humanities at Malines and Alost (Aalst). In 1657 he became professor of philosophy at the Jesuit college in Antwerp and continued as such until 1662, when he began teaching scripture and Hebrew. He moved (1665) to the Jesuit college at Louvain, where he taught scripture, Hebrew, and moral theology before serving as professor of scripture and moral theology at Antwerp from 1664 until his retirement in 1690.

He also wrote a number of works, and his first publication, A treatise of miracles (1667), was printed in both Irish and English. When writing in Irish he used the pseudonym MacGiolla Cuddy. In 1671 he published Vita et miraculorum sancti Patritii Hiberniae, which included a life of St Patrick (qv) and also elaborated on prophecies attributed to St Malachy (qv). The same year he published Praecipuae controversiae fidei, a practical guide for missionary priests in Ireland. It included material on theology, philosophy, the catholic rite, secular and ecclesiastical history, sermons, and religious instruction. In particular it incorporated many references to Irish affairs. The first edition of 1,000 copies was sold out within months and it went through eleven editions in his lifetime. The 1686 edition was retitled Theologia tripartite universa and expanded on the preexisting material to include lives of the martyred archbishop of Armagh, Oliver Plunkett (qv) and of Peter Talbot (qv), archbishop of Dublin. In 1700 an error was uncovered in his teaching on philosophical sin, and as a result the book was placed on the prohibited index. This error was corrected in subsequent editions. He died at Antwerp 31 August 1693 and was buried in the Jesuit graveyard there.

Webb; Crone; T. Wall, ‘Richard Archdekin's catechetical hour’, IER, no. 70 (Jan.–June 1948), 305–15; Boylan (1988 ed.); Dictionary of catholic biography (1962); ODNB

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Richard Archdekin 1618-1693
Richard Archdekin came of a distinguished Kilkenny family, being born in that city in 1618. He made his early studies at Antwerp and Lille, and finally entered the Society in 1642.

Form most of his life he lectured at Louvain and Antwerp in Philosophy, Moral Theology and Sacred Scripture. He was a voluminous writer. From his pen we have : “A Treatise on Miracles”, written in English and irish, the famous “Theologica Tripartita”, “The Life and Miracles of St Patrick”, “The Mirac les of St Francis Xavier”, and the most useful and influential of all his works, a translation of the Catechism of St Peter Canisius.

Hed died full of works and ripe in merit and age at Antwerp on August 31st 1693.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
ARCHDEACON, RICHARD, was born in Kilkenny in 1619. He was admitted into the Society of Jesus at Mechlin, at the age of 23, and in due time was enrolled among the professed Fathers of the Order. After teaching Humanities for six years, and Philosophy, Moral Divinity, and Scripture for a very long period, chiefly at Louvain and Antwerp, he died in the last mentioned city, about the year, 1690, according to Harris (p. 203, Writers of Ireland) We have from the pen of this Rev. Father:

  1. “A Treatise on Miracles”, written in English and Irish, 8vo. Louvain, 1667. In the Annual Letters of Ireland of 1673, mention is made of a book, quem de S. Xaverii miraculis edidit Anglice P. Richardus Archdekin .
  2. “Theologia Tripartita Universa”. 8vo. Louvain, 1671. During the Author s life this useful work was frequently reprinted.
  3. “Vitae et Miraculorum S. Patricii Epitome”. 8vo. Louvain, 1671. I am un able to describe the book : but a copy at the sale of Mr. Bradish s Library, in the summer of 1829, was deposed of by Jones, Trinity Street, Dublin, for eight Guineas.

Archer, Edward, 1606-1649, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/876
  • Person
  • 1606-15 August 1649

Born: 1606, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 January 1630, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: c. 1639, Roman College, Rome, Italy
Died: 15 August 1649, New Ross Residence, County Wexford

Entered at Rome, owned a pair of gloves, read Philosophy for 3 years, taught Grammar for 2 years. Early Irish College student.
1636 at College of Città di Castello (ROM)
1640 came from Rome to Ireland
1648-1649 Superior at New Ross

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1640 Came to Ireland from Rome
1648 Superior at New Ross
A learned man, he passed in London for an Italian Priest.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
After First Vows at St Andrea, he completed his Philosophy course at the Roman College, and then spent a year of Regency at Città di Castello. He made his Theology studies at the Roman College and was Ordained priest c.1639.
1641 Returned to Ireland and was appointed to teach humanities and be Superior of the New Ross residence where he died, 15 August 1649.
(On Entry he may well be the “Edwardus Archerus Lagen”, the eighth on a list of twenty-two students of the Irish College, Rome, while it was under the super- vision of the Franciscans).

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
ARCHER, EDWARD. I find by his letter, dated London, 27th of November, 1640, that by favour of the Venetian Embassador, he had safely arrived in England. In the report of Pere Verdier, (the Visitor of the Irish Mission, S. J.) dated 24th June, 1649, I find F. Edward Archer was then Superior of his brethren at Ross Co. Wexford, and commendable for his religious merits. When, or where he died I have searched for in vain.

Archer, James, 1550-1620, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/877
  • Person
  • 1550-19 February 1620

Born: 1550, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 25 May 1581, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: c. 1577 Louvain, Belgium, - before Entry
Died: 19 February 1620, Irish College, Santiago de Compostela, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Uncle of James Butler - RIP 1639

2 yrs Theology in Rome, concentrating on Moral;
In the Roman College 1584; at Pont-à-Mousson as Minister and student confessor, Campaniae Province (CAMP) 1586-7- moved to Nancy 1587 due to danger of war;
First Rector of Salamanca;
famous Missioner in Ireland during “Tyrone war”;
Bruxelles et Castrensis Mission in 1590;
at Salamanca in 1603;
At Bilbao - Castellanae Province (CAST) - in 1614 - Prefect of Irish Mission;
Irish College Salamanca in 1619 and then died in Santiago 15 February 1620.

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
First Rector of Salamanca ad great promoter of education; A Most celebrated man whose name was very dear to Irishmen, and with whom he possessed unbounded influence.
He was a famous Missioner in Ireland during the War of Tyrone
In 1617 he was in Castellanae Province (CAST).
Succeeded Fr Thomas White as rector of Salamanca 1592-1605
His name also appears incidentally in the State Papers, Public Record Office, London, 1592, 1594.
He is highly eulogised in a report of Irish Affairs addressed by Capt Hugh Mostian to Louis Mansoni, the Papal Nuncio for Ireland, towards the latter end of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. (Oliver’s “Collectanea” from Stonyhurst MSS. Oliver also refers to several of Archer’s letters as still extant)
1606 Archer was constituted the first Prefect of the Irish Mission in the National College, Rome (Irish Ecclesiastical Record April 1872, July 1874 and a biography September 1874)

Note from Bl Dominic Collins Entry
After First Vows he was sent to Ireland as a companion to James Archer, who was a Chaplain to the Spanish invading force sent by Philip III of Spain. He was taken prisoner and rejected the overtures to reject his faith he was hanged (at Cork or Youghal).

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
He had studied at Louvain and was Ordained some time before March 1577. Before he entered the Society he was already a Master of Arts. When he returned to Ireland in 1577, he remained for at least he next eighteen months. He was at Kilmallock, 21 August 1578, when he assisted the Franciscan, Father Conrad Rourke, the eve of his death “in odium fidei”
After First Vows, Archer was deputed to revise his studies at the Roman College and Pont-à-Mousson. At the latter place he served also as Minister of the community and the student-boarders. It would seem that his Superiors were grooming him for professorial duties - However...
1590 By May he was serving as a military chaplain at Brussels
1592 He was sent to Spain to take charge of the newly founded Irish College, Salamanaca.
1596 He returned to Ireland to raise funds there for Salamanca College but his contacts with the Irish chieftains won for him the repute of a political intriguer and the hatred of the administration at Dublin. There can be no doubt that his sympathies lay with the Old Irish whose cause he saw was bound up with the survival of the Catholic Church in the country. He seems to have met Hugh O'Neill about the time of the battle of the Yellow Ford and was later at the camp of the Earl of Desmond. The MacCarthy Mor stated that Archer, by letter, solicited him to rise in rebellion.
1600-1602 He left Ireland for Rome, 20 July, but returned with the fleet of Juan Del Aguila, 23 September 1601 and remained until July 1602. Before his return to Spain he reported to the General on the state of Ireland.
1602-1612 Returned to Spain he held various posts in the Irish College, Salamanca, but seems also to have spent much time questing for the support of the Irish students. For a time he was stationed at Bilbao to win the support of new benefactors of the Irish colleges of the Peninsula.
His later years were spent at Santiago where he died, 19 February 1620

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Archer, James
by C. J. Woods

Archer, James (1550–1620), Jesuit priest and administrator, was born at Kilkenny and belonged, it can be deduced, to a patrician family prominent in that city. To prepare for an ecclesiastical career he went (c.1564) to the Spanish Netherlands, to Louvain, a hotbed of the new militant catholic theology and a strong influence on attempts at extending the counter-reformation to England. On his return to Ireland (1577) he was considered by the English authorities there to be a danger to the Elizabethan church settlement. Undoubtedly he had some sympathy with principals of the Desmond rebellion.

In 1581 Archer entered the Society of Jesus in Rome, continuing his studies there before moving (1585) to Pont-à-Mousson in the duchy of Lorraine, where there was a small seminary for Irish and Scottish students. Showing talent mainly as a confessor and administrator, he was sent (1587) to minister to the 1,200 Irish, English, and Scottish soldiers in the so-called Irish regiment, whom their commander, Sir William Stanley (qv), had persuaded to forsake the English service for the Spanish. The activities of Stanley and his entourage were an aggravating circumstance in the Spanish threat to Elizabeth I's England. Archer was said to have been involved in an alleged plot to murder the queen.

At the close of 1592 he went to Spain. After visiting the royal court at Madrid, he settled in Salamanca, the seat of Spain's foremost university, and took over the administration of the Irish college being founded there. In 1596 he returned to Ireland to seek money for the college and to explore the possibility of re-establishing a Jesuit mission. He was obliged to lie low in the countryside and eventually to join Hugh O'Neill (qv), whose rebellion had been raging since 1593. On all sides he acquired a legendary reputation. Summoned to Rome (1600) to give an account of his mission, he acted also as an envoy of O'Neill. In 1601 he was back in Spain, involved in planning the Spanish military expedition to Ireland as well as settling differences among the Irish at Salamanca. Archer was a member of the force numbering 4,432 men that headed for Kinsale in September. For the defeat of the expedition he blamed the commander, Juan del Águila (qv). Archer left Ireland for Spain in July 1602; his views about the failure of the enterprise were heeded at first, but when Águila was exonerated and peace was made with England (1603) his career as a negotiator for Spanish aid for Irish rebels was over. Although his Jesuit superior would not allow him to return to Ireland, rumours abounded there of his presence.

The rest of his life was given, as ‘prefect of the mission’, to the Irish seminaries in the Iberian peninsula. Once again Archer had to deal with differences among the Irish catholics: the Old English were accused by the Old Irish of unfairness towards them, and the Jesuits were accused by other clerics of self-preferment. Archer's work in Spain bore fruit in 1610 when the Spanish authorities built a new college for the Irish in Salamanca, the Colegio de los Nobles Irlandeses, to which the king gave his support. Archer spent his last years at Santiago de Compostela. It was at the Irish college there that he died on 15 February 1620.

Although he was a man of no more than moderate ability and an indifferent scholar, Archer had qualities that served to make him an important figure in the Irish counter-reformation: he was phlegmatic and a good administrator; he had some influence at the Spanish court and, thanks to his experience in Ireland in the 1590s, the confidence of both of the rival groups of Irish Catholics – Old English and Old Irish. Only a few letters of James Archer survive, and there is no known portrait or even a verbal description.

Thomas J. Morrissey, James Archer of Kilkenny, an Elizabethan Jesuit (1979)

Note from Bl Dominic Collins Entry
In February 1601 he made his first religious profession and seven months later was appointed by his superiors to join the Irish mission, as Fr James Archer (qv) had specifically asked for him, perhaps due to his previous military experience and also his Spanish contacts. Archer had been described by Sir George Carew (qv), president of Munster, as ‘a chief stirrer of the coals of war’ (Morrissey, Studies, 318) and was being constantly sought out by government agents. Collins's association with him was to prove dangerous. He sailed with the Spanish expedition to Ireland on 3 September 1601, one of the commanders being Don Juan del Aguila, to whom Collins had surrendered Lapena in 1598. The flotilla with which he travelled arrived late at Castlehaven due to bad weather. After the defeat of the Irish and Spanish forces at Kinsale, Collins finally met Archer in February 1602 at the castle of Gortnacloghy, near Castlehaven

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

JESUITICA: Jumping Jesuits

Travellers in the Beara Peninsula will remember the Priest’s Leap, a mountain cliff in the townland of Cummeenshrule, where (around 1600 AD) a priest on horseback escaped from pursuing soldiers by a miraculous leap, which landed him on a rock near Bantry. Was the lepper a Jesuit? One tradition claims him as James Archer SJ; another as Blessed (Brother) Dominic Collins. In view of some dating difficulties, one can only say: pie creditur – a common phrase in Latin hagiographies, meaning “It is piously believed…”!

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1I 1962

Few men played a greater part than Father James Archer in the tremendous effort to smash the growing power of England in Ireland that marked the closing years. of the sixteenth century. Arriving in Ireland in 1596, he found the country already in the throes of war. The Tudors. had by this time realised that England could not be safe unless Ireland were subjugated. By the end of the sixteenth century, England had shaken off the last shackles of medieval restraints and had emerged as one or the strongest powers in Europe, The threats of Spain and the Pope had been warded off, and England was looked upon as the leader and head of Protestant Europe. It was at this time that she turned her face in real earnest towards Ireland.

The history of the Reformation in Ireland during the sixteenth century can be told briefly. The reform movements of Henry VIII and Edward, his son, were a complete failure. Neither of these kings had sufficient political control outside the Pale to enforce their authority, and even within the boundaries of the Pale the movement made little progress. During the reign of Mary the Catholic Church again flourished, though the confiscated monasteries were not restored. In 1558 Elizabeth succeeded to the throne of England,. Prior to her succession, she had never shown any remarkable zeal for religion. As queen, what she desired pre-eminently was peace and harmony. For the first years of her reign, her position in England was too insecure to permit her to embark on any intensive persecution of the Catholics, The clergy, however, were subject to a persecution that varied all through her reign; it was intensified or slackened according to the political circumstances of the moment. Up to 1578 religion did not play a vital part in opposing the anglicisation of Ireland. Gradually from that time on, it became more and more important, until finally in the reign of James I the Catholics, both Irish and Anglo-Irish, clung to their faith as the only part of the heritage that had been left. So too it was religion that at the beginning of the next century was to unite the two races, by inciting them both to oppose the alien creed. Later it was on the rock of her Faith, preserved and enlivened at this time, that the nationality of Ireland was founded.

Perhaps before we examine the work of Fr Archer, a word on the state of religion in Ireland during the sixteenth century may not be out of place. It is certain that it was not a very vital force in the lives of many of the people. They were Catholics More by custom than by conviction. Here is one account left by Dr Tanner, who had to leave the Society of Jesus owing to ill-health and who was later appointed Bishop of Cork: “He (Dr Tanner) is assured by grave men that during all this time not a hundred Irishmen in all Ireland have been infected with heresy, though not a few ... attend the profane rites of the heretics, and the demoralisation of the people is such that a pious Catholic is hardly to be found; and no wonder since the clergy are the most depraved or all. Moreover, there is so little instruction to be had in the Christian Faith that few can so much as repeat the Lord's Prayer, the Articles of the Faith, or the commandments, and still fewer understand them. Sermons are so uncommon that there are many that have never so much as heard one. The Sacraments are rarely administered. In fine so gross is the ignorance of the people that there are many who, passing all their lives in the grossest sin, have grown accustomed thereto”.

In general we may conclude that religion was dormant in Ireland at the end of the sixteenth century. The people indeed had the Faith and seemed eager for instructions and there is no evidence of anti clericalism as in England. On the contrary, the priests were generally loved and would always find a safe shelter among the people, who had seen so many of them give up their lives for the Faith. But unfortunately, many of the priests were not active. The morals of the people were often depraved. There was little scope for Catholic education. The monasteries for the most part had been dissolved. The external organisation of the Church was shattered, and the wars had increased the laxity and poverty of the people. But the light of Faith had been kept glowing by the zealous labours of the Friars and the heroic priests and bishops who had endured persecution and death to shield, their flocks. This then was the state of the country, political and religious, when in 1597 Fr James Archer landed in Waterford to inaugurate what was to become the first permanent mission of the Society of Jesus in Ireland.

James Archer was born in Kilkenny in 1550. He attended the school of the famous Dr Peter White or that town, where the young Archer seems to have been a distinguished scholar. Very little is known of his career for the next fifteen years. In 1577 he was at Louvain, but in the following year he was back again in Ireland. On the 25 May 1581 he entered the Society of Jesus in Rome, and the next we hear of him is that in 1592 he was at Pont-à-Mousson with Fathers Richard Fleming, Richard de la Field and Christopher Hollywood, all Irish Jesuits. In the same year he was sent to Spain to collaborate with other Irish Jesuits in the foundation of the famous Irish college at Salamanca, which was instituted for the training of secular priests for the home mission. He remained there until 1596, when he was sent back to Ireland with Fr Henry Fitzsimon to re-open the Jesuit mission there which had lapsed for ten years.

Almost immediately after his arrival in Ireland, Fr Archer went northward to meet Hugh O'Neill, who was already in rebellion against Elizabeth. Archer looked upon the '”Nine Years War” as a crusade against the heretic queen. Therefore, during the few years that he was in Ireland, he strove to the utmost of his powers to unite the Irish under the leadership of Tyrone and to induce the Spaniards to send aid, His influence with the Irish chief's during these years was of paramount importance. He was looked upon by the English as one of their most dangerous enemies, and they laid several traps to ensnare him. If we were to rely on official contemporary documents alone, we should imagine that Archer was a traitorous intriguer and an enemy to all stability and good government. From other sources we can see that he was, first and foremost, a zealous missionary for the Faith.

In his first letter to his General in Rome, written on 10 August 1598, he gives an account of the precarious life he was leading even at this early stage. “The Government”, he says “hates me very much, hunts me very often in frequent raids, and has set a price on my head. This forces me to live in the woods and in hiding-places. I cannot even return to Spain, as merchants are afraid to receive me into their vessels, for they know well that there are spies in every port on the look-out for me”. Then he goes on to describe his missionary work: “I have already heard many thousand confessions, and have instructed an uncultivated and rude people. I brought back some to the Church and reconciled a noble person and his wife, and thus put a stop to dangerous dissentions which existed among members of both families who were leading men in the land, I administered the Sacraments in the camp, and it is marvellous to see the crowds that cone from the surrounding districts to hear Mass and go to Confession”.

In the beginning of the year 1598, the informer William Paule notified Lord Justice Loftus of the activities of Archer. He said that Jesuit lurked sometimes in Munster with Lord Roche and sometimes in Tipperary with Lord Mountgarrett. Paule urged Loftus to induce these Lords to betray Archer. Alternatively he suggested that the Protestant Bishop of Kilkenny should be ordered to capture him when he visited his friends in that town. Warning Loftus that Archer was wary, Paule informed him that the priest knew that his enemies were searching for him. Paule further suggested that he should have no scruple in killing Archer if he resisted arrest. Even at this early date, Fr Archer had attained to a position of outstanding influence with the Irish chieftains. He had already been universally accepted by them and an able adviser and true friend and had won the esteem and affection of the Irish people. He was equally hated and feared by their enemies.

In October 1598, Archer was mentioned in a despatch as “the chief stirrer of these coals (i.e., conspiracies) and promises to many the coming of forces from Spain”. He certainly did not spare himself in his effort to unite the Irish chiefs in their struggle against England, the common foe. In November 1598, he succeeded in inducing the Baron of Cahir to join the rebellion against Elizabeth. He hoped that by Easter 1599 “we, and such as be of our Catholic confederacy, shall be masters of all the cities, towns and forts in Ireland”. His reasons for the war throw a flood of light on his attitude to politics, and afford a convincing refutation of those who doubted his motives. They were first to restore the Catholic Church to its former position in Ireland; second, to repair the injuries done by the English to the Catholic nobility and gentry of Ireland; and finally to place a Catholic Prince on the throne of Ireland. Did Archer hope to set up Hugh O'Neill as High King of all Ireland or did he intend to make Ireland a vassal state of Spain? We do not know. The concepts of nationality, and a national state were only being moulded in the minds of men at this very time. It is even doubtful whether men like James Fitzmaurice or even Hugh O'Neill himself conceived it. Nationality in Ireland takes its origin from the religious persecutions of the seventeenth century; yet undoubtedly there existed in the sixteenth century some tendency towards local patriotism, especially as opposed to English tyranny. It is difficult to state definitely the motives and desires that agitated the mind of Archer during these years. One thing is certain that he considered freedom from English rule as essential to the spiritual welfare of Ireland.

In December 1598, Archer and his constant companion Bishop Creagh were accused of inciting the whole province of Munster to rebel. So great was his influence that his name had already come to the notice of Elizabeth, who charged him with “raising her subjects to rebellion”. Soon afterwards Elizabeth was again informed that the Irish priests, especially Archer “the Pope's Legate”, had assured the lords and chieftains who supported the queen or who remained neutral that after the war they would receive no better treatment from the English than the rebels. In this way they hoped to alienate her subjects from their allegiance. Rewards were offered for the capture of Archer, dead or alive. O'Neill's crushing victory at the Yellow Ford on the 15 August 1598 had shaken the loyalty of many supporters of the English. Archer's influence was more pernicious than ever. He was constantly on the move, visiting now one chieftain, now another. Several attempts were made to capture him, but all miscarried. Soon after his arrival in Ireland he had been arrested. He had managed to escape however and had determined never again to fall into the hands of his enemies. He can easily imagine the precarious position in which he was placed by the constant watch of spies, especially in areas where the Irish chieftains were not openly hostile to the Crown. But, through the goodwill and ever-watchful care of the Irish people, he escaped unscathed - though often at the last moment. His capture was looked upon by the Government as vitally important, his life being deemed of greater value to the Irish than those of the chieftains themselves. In 1600, in a report of Captain Hugh Mostian who had been won over by Archer from the English side, we read that “Archer by his sole authority as a private religious brought more comfort to the Irish than a great force of soldiers could do, and that the voice of the people gave him the title of Legate, At his nod the hearts of men are united and held together not only in the territory of Berehaven and all Munster, but in the greater part of the Kingdom ...”

In 1600 occurred a famous incident - the capture of the Earl of Ormonde by Owny O'More. The circumstances connected with the plot are fully described in the Calendar of Carew MSS. and elsewhere. Fr Archer happened to be staying with O'More when the latter captured Ormonde. There is no evidence to prove the charge that he was the instigator of the act. Naturally enough he was blamed by the English for having contrived the treachery and for refusing to liberate the Earl; although, according to them, some other Jesuits desired his release. He was also described as Ormande's “bed-fellow” and was said to have tried to convert him, which seems to be true. Several years later Ormonde was converted by two Irish Jesuits, Frs O'Kearney and Wale.

Early in 1600 Archer was summoned to Rome to give an account of the Irish Jesuit mission. It is strange that he should have been called away at such a critical juncture in the history of Ireland. Possibly the General in Rome did not fully realise what was at stake at the moment, or perhaps he night have thought that the final victory had already been won by the Irish. In a letter to the General, written by the Superior of the Mission, Fr Richard de la Field, an extremely cautious and conservative man, we read of Archer: “He has been a source of light and help in our work here. He has always lived with these Irish lords who are endeavouring to promote the interests of religion, and in consequence he is the object of an intense hatred of the Queen's officials and of the army. His presence here at the same time is very necessary for the advancement of the Catholic Faith in these calamitous times. It is important for us that he should be sent back as soon as possible. This letter is very valuable as coming from one who, at this time, was himself hesitating as to what side he should support in the conflict. It rightly stresses the spiritual nature of Archer's work, for it was that which predominated in all his other activity.

Of Archer's visit to Rome we know nothing. He was back again in Ireland in a few months, as his spies obligingly informed us. It was falsely reported to Cecil that Archer was returning from Rome armed with a Bull of Excommunication against all those who supported Elizabeth in the war. A few months later Cecil was again informed that Archer had landed in Ireland and was inciting the people to revolt. On his return he was again almost captured; but, as often before, he managed to escape his pursuers, Sir George Carew reported that Archer's arrival foreshadowed the advent of a Spanish fleet and the renewal of the war in Ireland. From an account given by his confrère, Brother Dominic Collins SJ, we learn that Archer actually did return to Ireland with Spanish help. His influence with the Irish soldiers was again evinced when, on the 29 May 1602, Carew informed Cecil that but for Archer many of them would have returned to their homes after the defeat at Kinsale or would have gone over to the side of the English. “Every day”', says Carew, “he devises letters and intelligences out of Spain, assuring them of succour, and once a week confirms new leagues and seals them with the Sacrament”. In another letter written by Carew we find the following amusing passage: “If Archer have the art of conjuring, I think he hath not been idle; but ere long I hope to conjure him. The country of Beare is full of witches; between them and Archer I do believe the devil hath been raised to serve their turn”. Even in defeat the English feared him. They seemed to have believed that he possessed superhuman powers, that he could walk on the sea and fly through the air. His name should have been not Archer but “Archdevil!” One can readily imagine the fate that awaited Archer, had he been captured. Shortly before this time he “was very near taken by a draught laid by the Lord Lieutenant, but happily escaped”.

In a report of Robert Atkinson, an informer and pervert, we got another account of Archer's activities. He says that he met Archer in Ireland when the latter was “chief commander of the Irish troops, horse and foot”. He also states that Archer commanded for his own guard as many men as he pleased, especially for “any bloody actions to be done upon the English Nation”. There is no evidence to show that Archer ever took part with the Irish soldiers in the actual fighting. Atkinson further states that Archer was commonly called the Pope's Legate and was Archprelate over all the clergy of the provinces of Munster, Leinster and the territory of the O'Neills. By others, he says, he was called Tyrone's Confessor, just as formerly he had been Confessor to the Archduke of Austria. For the rest we shall let Atkinson speak for himself: “Of all the priests that ever were, he is held for the most bloody and treacherous traitor, sure unto none in friendship that will not put his decrees in action by warrant of his Apostolic authority, as he calleth it, from time to time renewed by Bulls from Rome. He is grown to be so absolute that he holds the greatest Lords in such awe that none dare gainsay him”.

Even at the eleventh hour Archer's hopes did not give way. On the 14 June 1602 he was again supplicating for Spanish aid. For the next few weeks he remained with the Irish soldiers at Dunboy. Finally, on July 6th he left Ireland to induce the Spanish King to send another fleet to help a broken cause. He was more fortunate than his companion, Br Dominic Collins SJ, who was captured by the English and hanged in Cork on the 31 October 1602, being the third Jesuit to die for the faith in Ireland.

Fr Archer never again returned to Ireland. His life on the Continent we shall only review briefly. On the 6 May 1504 the General of the Jesuits appointed him Prefect of the Irish Mission in Spain. This appointment is clear proof that his Superiors held him in the highest esteem. They paid little attention to the lying reports that had been spread over England and Ireland in an effort, to blacken the reputation of one who was both a zealous priest and a great Irishman. In 1608, six years after his departure from Ireland, his name was still feared by the English. At this time he was accused of making preparations for another rebellion in Ireland. Chichester issued an order that spies be placed in various parts of the country to inform him of the arrival of Archer.

During all this time, Fr Archer was actively engaged in Spain as Prefect of the Irish Colleges. These Colleges were founded by Irish Jesuits. at Salamanca, Lisbon, Santiago and Seville for the training of Irish secular priests. In 1617 he was the oldest Irish Jesuit alive, being seventy-two years of age. He was still Superior of the Mission in Spain. The date of his death is uncertain, but it occurred before 1626. Thus ended the career of one of the most remarkable Jesuits who laboured on the Irish Mission during these years.

If we are to assess the value of Archer's work in Ireland or the magnitude of the task he set before himself, we must not leave out of account the circumstances in which he lived. Although Archer's aim was first and foremost spiritual, he saw clearly that political independence of England was utterly essential to the religious welfare of Ireland. The idea of toleration was not yet born in Europe.
Neither Catholic nor Protestant was ready to brook the existence of the other. Even in Ireland the word “Counter-Reformation” connoted not only a spiritual movement within and without the Catholic Church, but also an effort to compel the return of erring souls by force of arms. Moreover the political and religious state of Ireland itself must also be taken into account. For almost a century the country has been a prey to disunion and internal strife. Religion too was not a vital force in the lives of the people, Had the persecution been as severe as it had been in England, or in other words, had political circumstances been favourable, Ireland might have succumbed to the new doctrines, All these facts were well known to Fr Archer when he arrived in Ireland in 1596. Thus we can understand why he strove to unite the country under O'Neill and to procure aid from Spain and the Pope.

Before concluding this article, it might not be out of place to discuss briefly how far Fr Archer influenced the wars of O'Neill, and, especially, the extent to which he influenced the Great Earl himself. One thing is certain, that Fr Archer was regarded by the English authorities as O'Neill's ambassador and representative not only at all the courts of the local Irish chieftains but in Spain and Rome. It is equally certain that he acted as intermediary between the Irish and Spanish several times, and even for years after the Irish collapse at Kinsale the English feared that he would again organise another Spanish expedition. Several years after that fatal day, the authorities had spies placed in all the Irish ports on the watch for Archer's return. Indeed many false alarms were given, and at one time the English actually believed that he had landed in Ireland. These precautions would not have been taken if the Government had not already experienced the powerful, stay that Fr Archer had over the people. How far were their fears justified? It is very probable that Hugh O'Neill did not realise what was at stake when he first launched his rebellion. In fact it seems that he would never have revolted and there been any alternative, What was he fighting for? An Irish Ireland, or a Catholic Ireland, or local independence? The problem has not yet been solved. But I think it is true to say that, whatever may have been his motive in starting the war, he never fully realised all that that war involved. Probably even he did not foresee that the struggle would take on a national aspect before its close; and it is far less likely that he realised that it would become part of a European campaign and would be looked upon by many nations on the Continent as just another element of the Catholic Counter Reformation. Moreover, if Hugh O'Neill did not realize all this, he would not have been able to combine all these forces in a vast movement against the common enemy. The problem could almost be stated thus: Was O'Neill the unconscious leader of a movement that was indeed begun by him, but whose consequences and ramifications he had not foreseen and perhaps did not even realise up to the last?

This question is difficult to answer. But I think some light is thrown on it by glancing at the part played by Fr Archer in these crucial years. Immediately after his arrival in Ireland, Fr Archer went direct to O'Neill, as we have seen. Coming from Spain, where he was well-known, he was suspected, probably rightly, of bringing a message from the Spanish Court. Soon after this he visited all the Irish chieftains, including O'Donnell, O'Sullivan Beare, Owny O'More, the Earl of Desmond, Florence MacCarthy, James Fitzthomas (who claimed to be the Earl of Desmond), Lords Barry, Roche and Mountgarrett, as well as the Mayors of the southern towns - including Cork, Waterford and Kinsale. The mention of these three towns is significant. They are on the coast nearest Spain. Why did Archer visit these chieftains? The answer is obvious. From the outset, he regarded the struggle as a Catholic crusade against England. Therefore his policy was to unite all the Irish under O’Neill and, if possible, secure help from Spain and Rome. His aim and purpose, as well as the means to achieve the end, were clear and decisive - unlike those of Hugh O'Neill. And it is well to remember here that O'Neill's environment, even if we allow for a period spent in England, was mainly the local life and tradition of a petty chieftain of Ireland with all the narrowness that it entailed. While Archer's background was not only Irish tradition modified by Anglo-Norman ancestry, but also an international education the best that Europe could offer, an almost first-hand realisation of what the Reformation meant to Europe, a partiality for things Spanish with a natural bias against England, and finally a full comprehension of the danger to the Catholic religion in Ireland in an English domination there. Unfortunately we have little reliable evidence to guide us. But from the information we have I think we can safely affirm that Fr Archer was responsible, at least partially, for the change of outlook that is so marked a feature in the development of O'Neill's character as the years went by. It is interesting to note that, in a report sent by the Bishops of Dublin and Meath to the King in June 1603, much of what I have said is corroborated. Having stated that O'Neill had revolted to defend his rights and privileges, they go on to assert that the Jesuits and other priests afterwards induced him to fight for the sake of the Catholic religion and to secure the aid of the Pope and King of Spain. In many other places in the official documents the Jesuits are blamed for spreading the revolt. We know now that, of the Jesuits of the time, only Fr Archer exerted any direct political influence on a wide scale. To him, therefore, we largely attribute the change that took place. Thus, as the English realised only too well, “to have Archer taken were a great service to both the realms (England and Ireland), he being a capital instrument for Spain and the poison of Ireland”.

Hated by the English, Fr Archer won the hearts of the Irish, both rich and poor. In all the references to him there is not one which in any way tarnishes his memory, except those that come from the hands of his political enemies. Had the Irish been victorious at Kinsale, James Archer would probably have been one of the most influential men in the country. But after the defeat of 1601, his position in Ireland was even more invidious than that of O'Neill's himself. The Great Earl could adapt himself to the new conditions and try to begin life all over again, but for Archer there were no alternatives but death or exile. He had been looked upon by the English as the symbol of the rebellion in Ireland, and in his person he crystallised the hopes and aspirations of the majority of the Irish people. He stands forth as one of the foremost champions of his time of the Catholic religion in Ireland. By the English he was believed to be the source of all the discontent in the country. He was the emissary of the King of Spain, the Pope's ambassador and a member of the Society of Jesus. For him there could be no forgiveness.

James Corboy SJ

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James Archer SJ 1550-1626
Fr James Archer was known to the English as the Archdevil. So active was he o behalf of the Irish, and so adept at evading capture, that magical powers were attributed to him. He is the only Jesuit of those days of whom we have a personal description, due to the interest of his enemies in him. We read in the report of the spy that “Archer, the traitor, was small of stature and black of complexion, that his hair was spotted grey, that he had a white doublet, and that the rest of his apparels was of some colour suitable for disguise”. Indeed, we may say that we have a photograph of him for an engraving of him may be found in “The History of British Costume” : “He had black mantle, and the high-crowned hat of the times. He appeard in straight trouse”.

Born of one of the leading families of Kilkenny in 1550, Fr Archer was one of the most remarkable Jesuits who laboured on the Irish Mission. What Henry Fitzsimon was to the Pale, James Archer was to the native Irish. By his clear grasp of the political and religious situation, his tireless efforts to unite the country against the sworn enemy of her faith and culture and to enlist in her cause the support of Spain, Fr Archer deserves to be ranked with Hugh O’Neill and Red Hugh o’Donnell as one if the leading champions of national independence and of the Catholic religion in the Ireland of his day.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
ARCHER, JAMES. In p. 301, History of British Costume (Library of Entertaining knowledge), is a delineation of O’More, an Irish Chieftain, and Archer, a Jesuit retained by him, both copied from a map of the taking of the Earl of Ormond in 1600. The Rev. Father is dressed in a black mantle, and wears the high crowned hat of the time. I read in a Report or Memorial of Irish Aflairs, addressed by Captain Hugh Mostian to Lewis Mansoni, the Papal Nuncio for Ireland, towards the latter end of Q Elizabeth s reign, “Unus Pater Archerus major fuit illis (Hibernis) consolatio, quam potuit esse magnet militum copia. Testis sum illius praesentiam tantum profuisse, ut vix aliud tantum : ad ipsius enim Nutum uniuntur et tenentur, corda hominum non solum in teritorio Beerhaven et Provincifc Australis : sed et in majori parte totius Regni.” “Father Archer alone was a greater comfort to his Irish countrymen than even a considerable reinforcement of troops. I am a witness, that his presence was almost more serviceable to the cause than anything else : for at his nod the hearts of men were united and bound together, not only in the district of Beerhaven and Munster, but in the greater part of the whole kingdom”
A few of F. Archer s letters have been fortunately preserved. The first is dated from the Camp, 10th of August, 1598. He states the difficulty of all Epistolary communication the intense anxiety and diligence of the Government to apprehend him; insomuch, that he was obliged to live generally in the woods and secret places, “ita ut in sylvis et latebris ut plurimum degam”. Still he never ceased from exercising the functions of his ministry - he had received two thousand general Confessions - he had instructed and confirmed many in the Faith, and reconciled several to the Catholic Church - that there was every prospect of an abundant harvest of souls, if he had some fellow-labourers; and that the gentry in the North and South parts of the island were most desirous of a supply. It seems that he had been ordered to Ireland to procure assistance for the Irish Seminary at Salamanca, “in subsidium Seminarii Hybernorum”, and that he had succeeded in sending over several youths with funds for their education. In conclusion he says that he was intending to proceed by the first opportunity to Spain from the North of Ireland. Iter in Hispaniam cogito prima occasione ex Septentrionali parte. NB : I find by a letter of F. Richard Field, dated Dublin, 20th of July, 1600, that he as Superior of the Irish Mission, had made F. J. Archer the actual bearer of that very letter to Rome. He recommends to him Mr. Robert Lalour, qui se socium itineris adjunxit Patri Jacobo (Archer.)
The second letter is dated, Compostella, 26th of February, 1606. It proves his active industry in procuring donations for the purpose of educating his countrymen, as also his zeal for the conversion of souls. He had just reconciled to God and his Church three English merchants.
The third letter to F. George Duras, the Assistant for Germany, is dated Madrid, 4th of August, 1607. He was then living at Court, “Ego in aula versor”, and had been successful in collecting Subscriptions.
The fourth letter is to F. Duras, from Madrid, 29th September, 1607. and is only subscribed by F. Archer, who, from illness, “prae dolore pectoris”, was obliged to employ a Secretary. He recommends the erection of an Irish Novitiate in Belgium. After treating of the business of the Irish Mission, he mentions “the conversion of three Scotchmen at Madrid : one was so desperate a Puritan, as often to declare that not all the Doctors of the World should ever withdraw him from his sect and opinion. Truth, however, had conquered : from a lion he became a lamb, and has chosen the life of a Capuchin Friars. I have others in hand in the suit of the English Ambassador, whom I will endeavour to reform”. Further particulars of this Rev. Father I have not been able to collect.

Banckes , John, 1682-1706, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/889
  • Person
  • 23 January 1682-31 October 1706

Born: 23 January 1682, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 12 September 1701, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Died: 31 October 1706, Arévalo, Castile y León, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Alias Rivers

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Raphael and Helena née Bryan
He was engaged in his theology studies at the Royal College, Salamanca, when he contracted consumption. He died at Arevolo, 31 October 1706. (Carta necrologica extant)

Barrett, Charles Harold, 1903-1944, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/59
  • Person
  • 13 December 1903-07 March 1944

Born: 13 December 1903, Altamount, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 31 August 1921, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1938
Died: 07 March 1944, Dublin

Part of Clongowes Wood College SJ community at time of his death.

Father was manager of a Bank of Ireland, South Mall, Cork City.

Only child.

Early education at Christian Brothers School, Tralee and then at Clongowes Wood College SJ (1916-1921)

by 1937 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 19th Year No 2 1944

Obituary :

Father Charles H Barrett SJ (1903-1944)

Fr. Charles H. Barrett (1903-1944). Fr. Barrett was born in Kilkenny, but spent most of his early life in Tralee where his father was Manager of the Provincial Bank. He came to Clongowes in 1916 and left in 1921. During that time be gave promise of a distinguished future; he was a prize-winner in the College Debating Society, he won the Palles Gold Medal for Mathematics, and he secured an exhibition in the Senior Grade Intermediate examination.
He entered the Society on August 31st, 1921, at Tullabeg, and after his noviceship he studied for the B.Sc. Degree at Rathfarnham, obtaining Honours at the Degree examination in 1926. He completed his Philosophy course with distinction at Milltown Park, and in 1928 returned to Clongowes as a Scholastic, teaching Mathematics in the honour's classes with conspicuous success. It was while he was at Clongowes that he revealed his great organising abilities which he was to devote so generously to God's service later on during the relatively short years of his priesthood. He went to Milltown for Theology in 1932 and was ordained in 1935. After the Tertianship in St. Beuno's, he was appointed Prefect of Studies in Mungret in 1937, and remained there until 1941 when he came to Clongowes again to hold the same position there.
In both Colleges he brought his systematic mind to bear on the special problems that confront every school, and the splendid examination results obtained in each under his direction are a proof of the success of his method. Masters and boys who worked under him will long remember his unflagging interest, his wise counsel, his industry and bis complete lack of consideration for himself. Those who knew him best will recall his solid piety and the edifying regularity of his religious life. Nor will they forget his readiness to help others in their difficulties and, one of his most characteristic traits, his continual good humour and cheerfulness.
For many years Fr. Barrett had not known a day's illness, and so the shock for those who knew him was all the greater when death, with tragic suddenness overtook him. On Tuesday, March 7th, he cycled quietly to Dublin to see the Senior Schools' Cup match against Blackrock College. Although the match was being closely contested, Fr. Charlie showed no signs of great excitement but was talking calmly to a friend who stood beside him. Suddenly he collapsed, unconscious, and was attended to immediately by two doctors, one of them a former pupil of his own. They quickly saw that he was dying, and Fr. Rector at once gave absolution. Fr. Barrett was carried into the pavilion and there anointed. He never regained consciousness, and died within five minutes of his falling down. His body was removed to St. Vincent's Hospital and on the next day brought to Clongowes. A very large number, including the Blackrock College team, were present at the removal of the remains.
The funeral at Clongowes was most impressive, and, in spite of transport difficulties, was attended by a representative gathering of the clergy, religious and secular. Fr. Provincial presided at the Office and officiated at the grave, while Fr. Rector sang the Requiem Mass. Several of the Theologians from Milltown Park were present in the choir. The boys, by their own wish, carried the coffin to the grave while the rosary was recited. The College L.D.F., in which Fr. Barrett had taken great interest, provided a Guard of Honour. Very many letters and telegrams of sympathy, and a large number of Mass Cards, testified to the widespread sorrow that was felt at the sad news of Fr. Barrett's death. R.I.P.

◆ The Clongownian, 1944


Father Charles Barrett SJ

Fr Charlie Batrrett was a Clongownian of the Clongownians. Yet not in any irritating or bigoted sense; for Mungret boys will long remember his love and service of their school; and he had a most genuine interest in the welfare of Irish Education, extending beyond the classrooms of Clongowes and showing itself in the careful, thorough work on draft-reports and schedules which he so often prepared for our educational authorities. But it remains that the old school had a very special place in his heart, and nothing that touched its interests escaped his attention or failed for lack of his assistance.

As a boy at school he had been an out standing figure in a very gifted group and gave promise of a distinguished future. He was a prize-winner in the Debating Society, he won the Palles Gold Medal for Mathematics, and he secured an exhibition in the Senior Grade examination. He was already universally respected, not only as a member of the Sodality, but as one whose avowed intention of becoming a Jesuit was something which boys felt did honour to him and to the Order.

On his return to Clongowes as a Scholastic, he at once undertook the teaching of the Senior Honours Mathematical classes, then, as now, a very difficult task as the high standards demanded by the programme were within the reach of only a comparatively small minority. He combined always an excellent judgment of the talent required and a clear, methodical exposition which enabled the maximum number to profit by the special training which advanced Mathematics affords. To this task, as to all other tasks, he brought a most conscientious industry that was an example to pupil and colleague alike. During this time the enforced absences of the Prefect of Studies because of ill-health gave Mr Barrett an opportunity to show, as an unofficial understudy, a marked capacity for organization and for loyal co-operation.

On the completion of his theological studies, Fr Charlie went to Mungret, and there for four years was a most successful Prefect of Studies, bringing his systematic mind to bear on the special problems which confront every school and exploiting to the full the special advantages Mungret offered. It was far more than a splendid examination record that the College owed to him, though that record was certainly a proof of the success of his method.

It was therefore not until the war-years were upon us, with their many trials and few advantages, that he came to Clongowes to take over the office previously held by Fr Rector. Though Fr Barrett himself was one who would have passionately repudiated the notion that any individual is necessary to God's plans for Clongowes, yet it must be owned that his early loss was and is a real blow to the school. For in a brief time he had made it quite clear that he possessed many, indeed, almost all the qualities needed for a great Prefect of Studies, and possessed them in remarkable abundance. Not a few foresaw for him a long life of ever-growing efficiency, authority and honour. God took the beginnings in token of the finished work.

The first and most obvious virtues which he brought to the position were the mathe matician's qualities of a clear head, a mind patient to drudgery, ordered thought and a capacity for long planning. No detail was too small for him, nothing was forgotten or mis placed. His tidy desk was the symbol of his orderly school. But he was much more than a routine administrator, If he possessed in a : remarkable degree the official mind, with its affection for the written memorandum, the schedule, the procedure, he had also an exceptional willingness to innovate after all the pros and cons of innovation had been con sidered. To take only a few examples, and those deliberately chosen outside his own proper sphere, it is right that Clongownians should know how enthusiastically he supported the inauguration of the LDF in the College; with what care and patience he arranged the method by which our boys might take a practical part in the country's agricultural revival. Indeed it is remarkable to look back and see how vivid was his interest in and support of every activity in the school life : his unfailing attendance at debates, his assistance in play productions, his now only too clearly tragically realized interest in the school games. To this was added a very strong will, so that he was unalterably fair, very rarely, if ever, over severe, while he had no temptation at all to gain an easy popularity by spoiling boys or by extravagant concessions or remis sions. Of a most happy and equable temper, he was entirely free from any form of personal dislike, appreciated “straight talk” and encouraged it from boys and masters, and was accessible to all and at all times.

A picture, therefore, emerges of a man giving himself wholly and entirely, without other interest or preoccupation, to the boys whom God had entrusted to his case. This they realized, if not always at once, at any rate in time, when his constant preoccupation had followed each one with an amazing and generous solicitude into the affairs of their after-lives. For no trouble was too great for him to take if he could help one of his old boys whether of Clongowes or Mungret. He was no orator and is better remembered, perhaps, reading those balanced and faintly ironical reports that he delivered on prize-giving occasions.

But many of us will remember the sincere and simple words in which he called us to a duty not romantic but noble, the example he gave us to that end in his too short but laborious life, and the promise of a better reward than prizes or medals--that reward which he was never slow to hold up equally before the schoolroom plodder and the schoolroom genius whose lives were motived by supernatural ideals. It is his glory to have been something of both, and his own life so inotived will surely have a great reward.

We tender our deepest sympathies to his mother in her tragic loss.


◆ Mungret Annual, 1944


Father Charles H Barrett SJ

With sorrow we pay our tribute to the memory of Father Barrett. He was with us so recently and he was so very much a part of our lives here that his loss was in the deepest sense personal. He spent four years here and in that time, apart from his routine work which was unremitting and exact, he identified himself with Mungret. Every thing which concerned the boys and the school was of interest to him and became an object of his zeal. Every boy was a personal problem for him and his help followed them out of class into the world. The whole school felt the impact of his energy and all responded to that nice combination of drive and good humour which was his peculiar gift. It is scarcely necessary to say that the boys recognised his ability and his interest in them. They knew that he was working to make them not only successful men, if that were possible, but better still, good Christian men. His name is a household word in Mungret yet, and Mungret will not forget him in their prayers, Holy Mass was celebrated for the repose of his soul, the whole school attending. RIP

Bathe, Robert, 1582-1649, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/911
  • Person
  • 1582-15 June 1649

Born: 1582, Drogheda, County Louth
Entered: 23 October 1604, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: c1610, Rome, Italy
Final Vows: 05 September 1622
Died: 15 June 1649, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny

Of the “Villa de Drochedat” Meath
Educated at Irish College Douay
1610-1611 Sent from Rome as Professor of Spirituality and Scholastic to Irish College Lisbon
1617 in Ireland
1622 in Meath or Dublin
1626 in Ireland
1637 described as fit to be a Superior, but has choleric temperament
1649 in Kilkenny aged 70

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He was a learned and most edifying priest and had rendered great service “by sea and by land”.
He was Rector of the Drogheda Residence.
He went thrice to Rome on behalf of the Irish Mission
Socius to the Mission Superior.
He was forty-five years on the Mission, and from Drogheda worked throughout Ulster in the midst of many perils. (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had started his studies at Douai before Ent at 26 October 1604 Rome
After First Vows he was sent to complete his studies at Roman College and was Ordained c 1610
1610 Sent to Lisbon to be Prefect of Studies and Spiritual Father at the Irish College
1612 Returned to Ireland and assigned to Dublin Residence - possibly stationed at Drogheda
1621 Working in Drogheda, during which time he became entangled in the dispute between the Vicar General and the Franciscans.
He retired from Drogheda in the early 1640's and spent his last years at Kilkenny where he died, 15 June, 1649. He was named amongst the six Jesuits who resisted the censures of Rinuccini.
Regularly asked to conduct Irish Mission business in Rome
For many years Robert was Socius to the Superior of the Mission.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Robert Bath 1581-1649
Robert Bath was one of the most distinguished Jesuits who worked in Ireland during the period 1610-1649.

Born in Drogheda in 1581 of a family which gave a martyr to the Society, he entered the Jesuits in 1604. His work was mainly centred around Ulster, and for a long period he was Superior of the Drogheda Residence.

Three times he went to Rome to report on the state of the Mission.

Worn out after a ministry of 45 years, he died in Kilkenny on June 15th 1649.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BATH, ROBERT. In 1624, he had been settled for about two years at Drogheda, where he instituted the Sodality of the B. Virgin Mary. He was thrice sent to Rome for the good of the Irish Mission. Worn out with age and infirmity, he died at Kilkenny, on the 15th of June, 1649.

Brenan, Richard Henry, 1918-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/495
  • Person
  • 07 April 1918-31 December 1995

Born: 07 April 1918, Eden Hall, Ballyragget, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, John Austin House, Dublin
Died: 31 December 1995, Gonzaga College, Dublin

Parents live on private means and business.

Youngest of three boys with two sisters.

Early education at Christian Brothers School in Kilkenny and then at Clongowes Wood College SJ for seven years.

by 1951 at Paray-le-Monial France (LUGD) making Tertianship
by 1975 at Franklin Paris (GAL) teaching

◆ The Clongownian, 1996

Father Richard Brenan SJ

Fr Richard Brenan SJ was born at Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny and came to Clongowes from CBC, Kilkenny. His course of Jesuit studies followed what was then the standard pattern: novitiate at St Mary's, Emo; an Arts degree at UCD, while residing in Rathfarnham Castle; philosophy at Tullabeg and theology at Milltown Park, after three years' teaching, in his case at Crescent College, Limerick, Dick was ordained on 31 July 1949. When he finished his theological studies the year after, he went to Paray-le-Monial in France to do his tertianship, the year of spiritual renewal which is the last stage of formal Jesuit training.

On his return from France he went to Mungret as prefect, teacher and gamesmaster for four years (1951-55) and then spent a further two years in Gonzaga fulfilling similar functions. After that he moved to the work of giving missions and retreats which occupied much of the rest of his life. He spent a decade in Tullabeg on the staff there and then two years at Milltown Park as assistant director of the retreat house. From 1969-74 he was assistant to the Novice Master at Manresa (for two years), vocations promotor and assistant director of the retreat house.

He spent 1974-75 on sabbatical in Paris and then resumed his work as a retreat-giver, first at John Austin House on North Circular Road in Dublin and finally at Rathfarnham Castle, where he was superior and director of the retreat house in the last three years of its existence as a Jesuit house (1982-85). When Rathfarnham closed he went to Leeson St as minister and assistant to the editor of The Messenger. Finally, in 1991, he went back to Gonzaga, where he continued to do some work for The Messenger and gave some pastoral assistance in the school.

Since the move to Gonzaga, there were periodic spells in the nearby Jesuit infirmary, Cherryfield Lodge, although he always managed to return to Gonzaga. It was there that he died on the last day of 1995, having managed to say Mass daily to the very end.

As the career outlined above suggests, Dick Brenan was a good and loyal servant of the Jesuit province, using his gifts in a variety of functions. He was a friendly, approachable man, with a gift for working with young people, despite a capacity to take himself some what seriously (”Brenan with one ‘n’” was a refrain familiar to his fellow-Jesuits!) While actively involved in the ministry, he found time to write a book on the Jesuit scholastic St John Berchmans, which sought with some success to make the image of the young Belgian more vivid and accessible. He also pursued his interest in photography.

He bore his infirmity at the end of his life with good humour and little fuss and died peacefully, although unexpectedly. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1996


Richard Brenan SJ
by Alex Brennan (5a)

I regret that I only came to know Fr Dick Brenan in the later years of his life at Gonzaga. At the time he was suffering from Friedrich's Ataxia, which caused a slow deterioration of his muscles. It was very distressing to see a man with such clarity of vision and dexterity of mind, crippled by such a de bilitating physical ailment. For the final two years of his life, Fr Brenan had become almost completely immobile. I know that he was greatly distressed when he became unable to enjoy fully the grounds of his beloved Gonzaga.

Richard Brenan was born in 1918 in Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny. Educated at Clongowes Wood College, he joined the Jesu its at the age of 18 and was ordained in Milltown Park in 1949. His first encounter with Gonzaga College was as a teacher in 1955. He remained for two years, before postings to Tullabeg, Milltown and Manresa. In 1974 he spent a year in Paris at L'Ecole St. Louis de Gonzaga.

In 1985 he was made Assistant Editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger, and was based at the Jesuit House in Leeson Street, before returning to Gonzaga in 1991, where he re mained until his death.

In the company of his other great Jesuit colleague Fr. Frank Browne, Fr. Brenan had an abiding passion for photography, which remained with him well into his later years.
As a person, Richard Brenan was blunt and to the point. In contrast, his spirit and compassion commanded the respect of all who met him. I first encountered him as my religion teacher in Prep. 4. I was somewhat awe struck at the time by his control in class; while he had some difficulty in walking, his strength of personality shone through.

A class in First year cemented our friend ship of six years, disproving his modest suggestion that classes would "outgrow his company. Our friendship proved something of an enigma to many staff members who heard him joke that we were somehow related. It was not the case.

As our friendship developed I found in Fr. Brenan a confidant, someone to ask for advice, or simply an interesting companion with whom to pass an hour or two. He was always interested in anything I was involved in and his extensive learning made talking with him an enjoyable and educational experience.

I will always remember Fr. Brenan in a very special way. I know he will be remembered for his generosity of spirit and kindness to all. He had always promised to help me with my French as I approached the Leaving Cert.; I hope I can do justice to his faith in me.

Alex Brennan (5A)

Briones, Thomas, 1582-1645, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/955
  • Person
  • 1582-12 February 1645

Born: 1582, Jenkinstown, County Kilkenny
Entered: 21 January 1605, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Final vows: 22 May 1622
Died: 12 February 1645, Irish College, Seville, Spain - Baeticae Province (BAE)

Alias Bryan

“Thomas O’Brien - see Briones”
Studied 2 years Philosophy and 2 years Theology
1609 was at Ingolstadt (Bavaria) further studies after 4th year Theology; subsequently Superior of Seminary for 4 years (dates unclear)
1609-1610 sent to Ireland with Daton and R Comeford
1617 was in CAST Province
1619 Master of Irish students at College of Salamanca
1625 College of Montforte (CAST)
1628 Rector of Irish College at Compostella
1633 Rector of Irish College at Seville
1639 at Malaga College
Was Master of Novices at some stage

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1613-1645 Rector of Salamanca and Seville; Writer
1609 Appears in Ireland
Because of the confusion over his aliases (above) he appears as two persons in Foley’s Collectanea : Thomas Brian (O’Bryan) and Thomas Brion (Briones)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Thomas and Joanna née Hoyne
He began his studies at Salamanca in 1600 before Ent 21 January 1605 Rome
After First Vows he resumed studies at the Roman College, and then a final year at Ingolstadt.
1609-1613 Sent to Ireland and worked in the Kilkenny region
1614-1622 Recalled to Spain as Rector of Salamanca
1622-1626 Rector at Santiago
1626-1627 Rector of Salamanca again
1627 Went to Madrid as Procurator of the Irish Mission and Irish Colleges on the Iberian Peninsula
1631-1637 He changed Province from CAST to BAE and immediately appointed Rector at the Irish College Seville
1637-1641 Operarius at the Marchena Residence
1641 Reappointed as Rector of Seville in response to the reiterated demands of the students who resented the government of the College of Spaniards.
1644 Forced by illness and blindness to retire from Rectorship, but remained there as Spiritual Father to Seminarians until his death 12 February 1645.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Note from Richard Lynch (1611-1647) Entry
Lynch was appointed Rector of the Irish College Seville on 1 February 1644, replacing Father Thomas Briones

Browne, Ignatius, 1661-1707, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/961
  • Person
  • 01 February 1661-13 September 1707

Born: 01 February 1661, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 13 December 1676, Lisbon, Portugal - Lusitaniae Province (LUS)
Ordained: 01 May 1690, Coimbra, Portugal
Final Vows: 02 May 1697
Died: 13 September 1707, Irish College, Salamanca, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Alias Bruno

Nephew of Ignatius Browne - RIP 1679

1681 At St Anthony’s College, Lisbon studying - also studied at Irish College
1685 in 3rd Year Philosophy at Coimbra, Portugal
1690 4th Year Theology at Coimbra

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Father Knoles, Mission Superior gives Ent date as 1677
Most likely a nephew of Ignatius Brown 1st.
1698 Deported with Bernard Kiernan and went to Poitiers, and then on to Spain. (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS, citing a letter from Anthony Knoles New Ross 06/04/1714)

May be identical with Ignatius Brown who is said to have Ent at Milan in 1679, and studied in Genoa 1682-1683 (cf Foley’s Collectanea) - this man was said to have LEFT or been DISMISSED 26/09/1684

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
After First Vows he was sent to complete all his studies at Coimbra and was Ordained there in 1690
1690/1691 Sent to Ireland and worked as a schoolmaster at Kilkenny. In a letter of John Higgins 1694 to Thomas Eustace, he is described as an able and zealous preacher.
1697 Exiled to Spain where he was appointed to teach Humanities at Villagarcía CAST.
1699 Appointed to teach Theology at Salamanca
1705 Appointed Rector of Salamanca. He died in office at the Irish College, 13 September, 1707

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BROWN, IGNATIUS, There were two Fathers of this name.
The junior entered the Society in 1677, and left Poitiers for the Castile Province on the 10th of September, 1698. I read in a letter of F. Ant. Knowles, dated Ross, 6th of April, 1714, “Tempore bellorum et persecutionis missi in exilium in eoque mortui, sunt P. P. Bernardus Kiernan et Ignatius Brown, duo pii et inculpabiles viri”.

Burden, John, 1907-1974, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/76
  • Person
  • 16 July 1907-01 June 1974

Born: 16 July 1907, Bellevue, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 07 February 1942, Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, England
Died: 01 June 1974, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare

Father was a Civil Engineer, County Surveyor of Kilkenny and died in 1924. Mother then supported by private means.

Youngest of three sons and has one sister.

Early education at was with a tutor until age twelve when he went to Clongowes Wood College SJ.

Chaplain in the Second World War.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr Hayes reports from Redcar Yorks, that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Chaplains :
Our twelve chaplains are widely scattered, as appears from the following (incomplete) addresses : Frs. Burden, Catterick Camp, Yorks; Donnelly, Gt. Yarmouth, Norfolk; Dowling, Peebles Scotland; Guinane, Aylesbury, Bucks; Hayes, Newark, Notts; Lennon, Clackmannanshire, Scotland; Morrison, Weymouth, Dorset; Murphy, Aldershot, Hants; Naughton, Chichester, Sussex; Perrott, Palmer's Green, London; Shields, Larkhill, Hants.
Fr. Maurice Dowling left Dublin for-Lisburn and active service on 29 December fully recovered from the effects of his accident 18 August.

Irish Province News 49th Year No 3 1974

On June 1st Father John Burden quietly slipped away, dying peacefully in his sleep. One hardly needs to add to the account which has already appeared in “Rosc”, an account which captured accurately the spirit of the day of his funeral Enough to say that while we miss him we are glad that his sufferings, borne so patiently and for so long, are over and that we were made very happy by seeing so many fellow Jesuits come to join us in honour ng his memory. May he rest in peace - and pray for us until the day when we can enjoy his companionship again.

Obituary :

Fr John Burden (1907-1974)

Fr John Burden died at Clongowes on April 24th. He had been a member of the Community since 1953 (mid-Summer) and a survey of the province catalogues during the intervening years, listing the offices entrusted to him - from Line prefect to Consultor of House and Confessor to community and boys, gives a measure of the work performed faithfully and unassumingly fulfilling the daily round. He was born in the neighbourhood of Kilkenny, July 16th, 1907 and entered the Society on September 1st, 1926; Vows, 1928; Juniorate at Rathfarnham and Philosophy at Tullabeg; Clongowes for Colleges and Milltown Park for Theology; Ordination, 1939; Tertianship at Rathfarnham, 1941-2; Military Chaplain with Allied forces until his return home in 1946. Shortly after his return he was called on to take over University Hall from Fr John M O'Connor whose failing health made an immediate change necessary. At the time electricity, fuel and such foods as butter and sugar continued to be rationed and John found it extremely difficult to satisfy the students. It was an unfortunate initiation and during his period in the Hall - and it continued six years, the easy relations which were characteristic of him almost invariably elsewhere were, in his own opinion, not established it provided his Purgatory!

And now we allow contemporaries to take over:

“John Burden and I went to Clongowes the same year, 1919 and after seven years we had passed through the hands of A B Fell in Elements to Fr Meaney in Rhetoric. John commanded respect from the beginning; he had two older brothers, one in the Lower Line and the other in the Higher Line. Mr Hal King was our Third Line prefect, Mr Tom Kelly, the Gallery prefect - two figures with whom we were in constant contact. The Prefect of Studies was Fr Larry Kieran who also assumed the role of Spiritual Adviser when administering rebukes or punishment or friendly spiffs. Finally there was Fr Joey Canavan and Mr Mickey Kelly whose prowess on the cricket field was some thing to be remembered by us all.
The years at school brought John and me close together in class, on the playing fields where he won top honours at cricket and tennis, and in the Refectory when we sat opposite each other in our last year. By this time I had come to regard him as one to rely on, to respect and to follow, and I was really pleased when he told me he had decided to join the Jays. So after seven happy years at Clongowes we went to Tullabeg the following September, in company with five other Clongownians. Of the seven who began the Noviceship, one left at the end of the second year and the other six, by the grace of God, remained in the Society.
I remained very close to John all through the years of formation. When we had finished Philosophy, Summer 1933, we were posted back to Clongowes where he became Gallery Prefect for one year and Lower Line Prefect for two years. From there we went to Milltown and Ordination (1939). During the Tertianship he told me he had been asked to join the army as a Chaplain and, in his droll way, said war couldn't be any worse than the Tertianship! That was in 1942 and, as in so many other instances in the Society, I didn't come across him again more than half-a-dozen times. He was Prefect of University Hall from 1947-53. In 1953 he returned to Clongowes to which he remained attached until his lamented death.
Two remarks about John: Fr Jack Brennan, the Rector of Clongowes, said in his funeral homily that John had died as he lived, peacefully and with the least amount of trouble to anyone and that his work as Confessor to the boys was gentle and tireless; Secondly, Rosc published an obituary which conveys - multum in parvo,
John Burden died peacefully in his sleep on Whit Saturday. At the funeral we saw, in addition to the Chapel full of boys and many of his relatives, over sixty priests concelebrating and an other 15 or so in attendance. It was a slow easy funeral cortege of a sort many of us had never before experienced. There was time for a chat and look backwards and forwards as we walked the length of the avenue ahead of the hearse and between lines of boys who joined the procession behind the hearse.
Many of John's contemporaries will bear witness to the value of his easy companionship. He was always entertaining and amusing even when he was grumbling. His contemporaries will always remember him in friendship”.
Another of the Clongownian contemporaries who entered with him endorsed the judgment of John's companionability, adding a comment on the shrewdness of his judgment - his practically uncanny insight in his dealings with boys and young men, citing instances which we regret omitting.
Possibly the experiences of University Hall, alluded to above, was the one occasion where morale seemed to flag through his career. His military life was spent in the Middle East mostly and his complaint was that it became largely routine. During his latter years in Clongowes he aged alarmingly; arthritis, in a severely pervasive form, crippled him, but withal, his gentle, kindly, quaintly humorous ways possessed you. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1974


Father John Burden SJ

As a boy in Clongowes John was an outstanding athlete, being captain of the cricket eleven and an outstanding tennis player. He had the unique distinction of being prefect of the Sodality for two successive years. He entered the Jesuit Noviceship in 1926 and after his studies he returned to Clongowes in 1933 and acted as prefect for three years. He was ordained as a priest in Milltown Park in July 1939. He acted as chaplain in the war from 1941-46 being stationed in the Near East, On returning he acted as Superior of University Hall, Hatch St. and then returned to Clongowes in 1953. He first looked after the Lower Line and the Higher Line for three years. In 1956 he became house Procurator, an office that he held until his death on 1st June this year. Fr Michael O'Meara, a contemporary of his as a boy, sends us this appreciation:

John was one of seven members of Rhetoric who entered the Noviceship in September 1926. He is the first of them to go to his reward which he so richly deserved. To his relatives we offer our deep sympathy, for he had for them a deep but hidden affection. If it is true that we who were his brothers in religion will sadly miss him, what their feelings must be, we can only guess. As a boy, scholastic, and priest, John was singularly reticent, quiet and if I may be pardoned the word, unobtrusive. You never knew where and when he would turn up, a fact all those who had him as a prefect would, I am sure, sincerely endorse.

Some injury kept him from robust games but at cricket, tennis and later at golf he really excelled. A fundamental reason for this was his attention to detail. This quality was basic to his standing as a tennis and cricket coach. His quiet, clear and simple directions were slowly given, making sure that every point was thoroughly understood.

John was quietly popular all through his Jesuit studies and this, I believe, persevered through his career as a military chaplain. My own belief is that he found these years rewarding as a priest but very lonely. Not expansive, he never had a chance to put down roots but I think he never regretted being sent to such an arduous following of the Master. God rest his soul. He was one of Christ's most lovable gentlemen provided you were admitted into the inner citadel, as such I shall always remember him.

Butler, Thomas Bernard, 1640-1705, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/982
  • Person
  • 09 July 1640-06 March 1705

Born: 09 July 1640, Baramount, County Kilkenny
Entered: 12 May 1656, Villarejo & Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: c 1665, Alcalá de Henares, Spain
Final Vows: 15 August 1673
Died: 06 March 1705, Professed House, Madrid, Spain - Baeticae Province (BAE)

Brother of the Lord of Galway
Writer and a man of great energy.
Got a procurator General established for Irish College at Madrid

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1673-1687 Rector Irish College Seville succeeding Ignatius Lombard
Writer; A man of great energy; Got a procurator for Irish Colleges established at Madrid

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Educated at College of Luis Gonzaga at Ocaña before Ent 12 May 1656 Villarejo
After First Vows (had made Noviceship at Villarejo and Madrid) he studied at Huete, Cuenca and Alcalá completing a “Grand Act” and being Ordained c 1665
1665-1673 On completing studies and formation he was sent to the Imperial College at Madrid
1673-1687 Transcribed from TOLE to BAE and appointed Rector of Irish College Seville. His was the last Irish Rectorship, but proved to be the longest and most successful. His popularity with the students was unbounded and the College prospered spiritually and materially under his rule.
He had always hoped to go to Ireland, initially after Ordination. In 1675, Father Stephen Rice, Superior of the Mission, asked the General to send him to Ireland, and in particular to Kilkenny, but at the time it was impossible to replace him at Seville. Two years after he retired from Seville, the General promised he should be sent back to Ireland to meet the wishes of many people, however the uncertain state of the country prevented his return.
1687 until his death he was Prefect of the church at the Professed House, Madrid, where he conducted a Sodality for Noblemen. He died at Madrid 6 March, 1705

Cahill, Joseph Bernard, 1857-1928, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/996
  • Person
  • 13 January 1857-30 November 1928

Born: 13 January 1857, Ballyragget, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1876, Milltowen Park, Dublin
Ordained: 27 July 1890, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1896
Died: 30 November 1928, St Aloysius College, Milson’s Point, Sydney, Australia

by 1895 at Roehampton London (ANG) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1895

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at Stonyhurst.

After his Noviceship he spent a further two years at Milltown in the Juniorate, and then he was sent to Clongowes for Regency. At that time the Intermediate Cert was only two years in existence and he was given the task of preparing the boys for the senior grade. He also acted as a Sub-Prefect of Studies.
1891 He was back in Milltown for Philosophy, and then he returned for more Regency at Clongowes.
1888 He was sent to Louvain for Theology, and returned the following year when the Theologate at Milltown was opened, and he was Ordained there in 1890.
After Ordination he spent three years at Belvedere and was then sent to Roehampton for Tertianship.
1895 After Tertainship he was sent to Australia and started his life there at Xavier College Kew.
During his 33 years in Australia he worked at various Colleges : 19 at St Aloysius Sydney; 7 at St Patrick’s Melbourne - one as Prefect of Studies, two as Minister and Spiritual Father; 3 years at Riverview was Minister. He was also in charge of Sodalities, Moderator of the Apostleship of Prayer, Confessor to Communities and boys, Examiner of young Priests and so on. Whatever he did, these were always part of his work.
He died at St Aloysius Sydney 30 November 1928

Earnestness and hard work were the keynotes of Joseph’s life. Whether praying, teaching, exercising, he was always the same, deadly in earnest. Imagination was for others! Time and reality were his benchmarks. At the same time he was immensely kind, very genuine if not so demonstrative. He was an excellent community man, a good companion and he enjoyed a joke as well as any other man.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at Stonyhurst College and St Stanislaus Tullabeg before he entered the Society in Dublin.

1879-1880 After First Vows he continued at Milltown Park for a year of Juniorate
1880-1881 He was sent for a year of Regency at Clongowes Wood College, teaching Rhetoric, and as Hall Prefect and Assistant Prefect of Studies.
1881-1884 He returned to Milltown Park for Philosophy
1884-1888 He was back at Clongowes doing Regency, teaching Grammar, French and Arithmetic. He also prepared students for public exams.
1888-1889 He was sent to Leuven for Theology
1889-1891 He continued his Theology back a Milltown Park
1891-1894 He was sent to Belvedere College to teach Rhetoric and Humanities.
1894-1895 He made Tertianship at Roehampton, England
1895-1896 He was sent to Australia and firstly to Xavier College Kew
18996-1901 He moved to St Patrick’s Melbourne, where he was also Minister and Prefect of Studies at various times.
1901-1903 He returned to Xavier College
1903 He was sent as one of the founding members of the new community at St Aloysius College, Milsons Point.
1904-1908 He was sent to St Ignatius Riverview
1909 He returned to St Aloysius, Sydney, and remained there for the rest of his life.

Those who knew him say he was a most exact man in all he said and did. He was meticulous with dates and had a good memory for names and facts. He was also a fine raconteur and enjoyed conversation. He took an interest in the doings of those around him and longed for communication of ideas. He maintained a steady interest and curiosity in everything he approached. He appeared to have enjoyed his life.
He was also a man able to adjust to circumstances. He certainly had many changes of status in his earlier years. However, he was happy in the Society, wherever he lives, relishing every moment and enjoying the recollection of memories.
He was a teacher for 42 years, a man who prepared his classes most carefully and was regular and exact in correcting. He was absorbed in his work and completely dedicated to duty, absolutely punctual to class, a model of exactitude to others, and happy in the hidden daily routine of classroom teaching.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 4th Year No 2 1929

Obituary :
Fr Joseph Cahill
Fr. J. Cahill was born in Dublin on the 13th January 1857, educated at Stonyhurst, and entered the Society at Milltown Park 7th September 1876.The noviceship over, he spent two more years at Milltown in the juniorate, and was than sent to Clongowes. The “Intermediate” was just two years old, and Mr Cahill was entrusted with the important work of preparing the boys of the Senior Grade. He also acted as Sub-Prefcct of Studies. in 1881 he began philosophy at Milltown, and when it was over returned to Clongowes as Master. 1888 found him at Louvain for Theology. Next year the new Theologate of the Irish Province was established at Milltown, and Mr Cahill was one of the first students. He was ordained in 1890. Three years at Belvedere followed, and then came the Tertianship at Roehampton. At its conclusion he bade farewell to Ireland, for in 1895 we find him a master at
Xavier College, Kew.
During the 33 years that Fr. Cahill lived in Australia, he worked in the Colleges - 19 years at St. Aloysius, 7 at St. Patrick's, 4 at Riverview and 3 at Xavier. At St Patrick’s he was one year Prefect of Studies and two years Minister and two Spiritual Father. Riverview had him as Minister for three years. He had charge of Sodalities, was Moderator of the Apostleship of Prayer, Confessor to communities and boys, Examiner of young priests etc. But whatever else he did the inevitable “Doc” or “Par. alum. ad exam.public” always found a place in the list of his activities. According to the Catalogue of 1929 he was Master for 43 years. He crowned a very hard working, holy life by a happy death at St. Aloysius on Friday, November 30th 1928.
Earnestness, steady hard work were the key-notes of Fr. Cahill's life. Whether saying his prayers, teaching a class, making a forced march across the Dublin hills, or playing a game of hand-ball he was always the same - deadly in earnest. If imagination ever sought an entrance into his life - and it is doubtful if it ever did - the door was slammed in its face. The realities of time and eternity were the things with which Fr Joe Cahill had to deal, and he dealt with them to the exclusion of all others. Still there was not a touch of aloofness about him, of a surly disregard for others. Quite the contrary, there was a plentiful supply of “the milk of human kindness” in his character. That kindness was very genuine, but not demonstrative. Fr. Joe was an excellent community man, a very agreeable companion, and he could enjoy a joke as well as the gayest Of his comrades.
Some one has said that it is easier to run fast for a minute than to grind along the dusty road for a day. Fr Joe did grind along the road, dusty or otherwise, not for a day only but for the 52 years he lived in the Society. RIP

Irish Province News 4th Year No 3 1929

Obituary :
Fr Joseph Cahill continued
The following appreciation of Fr. Cahill has come from Australia where he spent 33 years of his Jesuit life :
As a religious he was a great observer of regularity. He was punctuality itself. His preparation for class, his correction of home work etc. were the joy of the heart of the Pref. Stud. Amongst his papers were found the notes of his lessons up to the very last class he taught. He went every day to say Mass at the Mercy Convent, and for 18 years he was on the altar
with unvarying punctuality at 6.55. He always walked, having a profound contempt for cars. For a number of years his chief break was to go in holiday time to hear confessions in some remote convents which but for him would have no extraordinary. He rarely preached as he lacked fluency and was rather unimaginative, but he was splendid at giving a short and practical address.This was shown during his time as director of the Sodality for Professional men attached to St. Patrick's Melbourne. Here he won the esteem of the best educated Catholics in the city and held it to the end.
He was a great community man, the life and soul of recreation. He was one of the working community to the end. When his doctor assured him that a successful operation was possible but unlikely, he decided to face it. He was suffering far more than was generally known, yet he worked to the end. He delayed the operation till he had taught his last class for the Public Exams in History, and then, packing a tiny bag and refusing to take a motor car to the hospital, he went cheerfully, like the brave soul he was, to face the danger. In a week he was dead, but it was typical of him that he lasted long after the doctors had given him but a few hours to live. He was a man who never gave up, and we are greatly poorer for his loss. May he rest in peace.

An old pupil of his at St. Patrick's writes as follows :
He was a man of most engaging personality and a great favourite with the boys. He took part in our games of football and cricket. Sometimes his vigour was not altogether appreciated, although we admired his tremendous energy. He was a simple, homely, engaging man, keen in everything he undertook. A fine servant of God with all the attributes of one of Nature's Gentlemen.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Joseph Cahill 1857-1928
Born in Dublin on January 13th 1857, Fr Joseph Cahill spent twenty-three years of his life as a teacher in Australia. As a religious, he was a great observer of reality. He was punctuality itself. His preparation for classes, his corrections of class work, were the joy of the heart of the Prefect of Studies. Among his papers found after his death were ther notes for the last class he taught. He went every day to say Mass at the Mercy convent, and for 18 years he was on the altar with unvarying punctuality at 6.55am. He always walked, having a profound contempt for cars.

For a number of years, his chief break during vacations was to go to some remote convent, which but for him would have no extraordinary confessor.

When his doctor assured him that a successful operation for his complaint was possible but unlikely, he decided to take the risk. But, he delayed operation until he had taught his last class due for public examinations in History. Then packing a little bag and refusing to take a car to the hospital, he went cheerfully to his ordeal. He died within a week on November 20th 1928.

A fine servant of God, with all the attributes of one of nature’s gentlemen.

◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1928


Father J B Cahill SJ

Father Joseplı Bernard Cahill died at Sydney on Friday, 30th November, 1928, after a brief illness. He was born in Ireland in 1857 and, after being educated at Tullabeg and Stonyhurst, entered the Society of Jesus in 1876. Coming to Australia in 1895 on the completion of his studies, he was first sent to St Patrick's, and afterwards came to Xavier. After a couple of years at Xavier he went to Riverview and finally to St Aloysius, where he has been stationed for the last 18 years.

Father Cahill preserved a very live interest in everything Xaverian, and more especially in the doings of the Sydney Branch of the OXA, whose Patron he was. In spite of his seventy odd years Fr Cahill remained active to the end of his life. At the time of the Eucharistic Congress he was able to take part in all the functions of that crowded week. He had the joy of living a full life and dying in harness. May his soul rest in peace.

◆ The Aloysian, Sydney, 1929


Father Joseph Cahill SJ

Three years ago we recorded in “The Aloysian” and celebrated at the College the Jubilee of Father Cahill-fifty years in the Society. And this year we cele brate the Jubilee of the foundation of the College. We should have wished to have Father Cahill, who had given twenty years consecutive good service to the College with us, but God wished otherwise. Last year he went to his reward, at the age of seventy-one, being born in 1857. He has, we hope, already entered on the great jubilee the eternal rest sung of in the Church's liturgy. And if our departed friends can know of and appreciate our wordly activities, and I think they can, Father Cahill is with us in spirit at our celebrations, keenly sympathetic.

Searching in one's memory for a word. to suggest the most characteristic fea. ture of Father Cahill, one finds one word continually recurring to mind - exactness.

For Father Cahill was exact in all he did and said. Like all historians he relished the dates of history, those num bers which give down to an exact point the deeds of man. And again he was exact in his memory of names and facts. If one hears a story often from the same person, one oftens notes slight discrep ancies in the telling, but with Father Cahill no, I have often heard him give his memories for example, of the famous case Saurin v. Starr, which had a peculiar interest to Catholics in the old world. ..... it was always the same as to fact in detail. He seemed to relate the details with a satisfaction which increased until the whole story finished, as it were, with a click of a complete adjustment and a smile in Father Cahill's face, as if one who would say “There you are, complete, exact the real and whole truth of this interesting little human comedy”. It was this obvious relish of telling that made his account. attractive to the listener. Father Cahill believed in and practised conversation, almost a lost art nowadays. “Tell me, now ...” he would question and at once you got going. He took an interest in all the doings of his fellow-men, and so longed for communication of ideas. Of all men and things with which he had contact at any time, he always retained an inter est. His days of schooling at Tullabeg and Stonyhurst, his studies in Ireland and on the Continent, his years of teaching in Australia. His life was full and his life was interesting to himself, And again here we react back to the same idea - exactness.

The obvious interest of Father Cahill at all points of his life showed an ad justment to circumstance. We are interested in what is, from a mental.view point, both new and yet old ... linked up with the old and introducing something new. Father Cahill relished his life as a Jesuit, because he fitted exactly into the cadre. He was at home and happy in the Society where all essentials were old and familiar, and looked out on the world outside with the interest almost of a child watching a procession from a window, every detail recorded and its beauty and novelty a delight for that moment, and for years after too, : in memory. . It was this exact adjustment to his milieu which made Father Cahill essen tially a good religious and Jesuit, an exact and devoted teacher. Of the seventy one years of his life - he was born in 1857, and died in 1928 - forty-two years were spent in teaching, and until the very end he showed by his careful preparation for class and his careful cor rection of work done by his class, his absorption in the work at hand. It often has been said that a life of each ing is a life of obscurity - I suppose in one sense this is so. The world hears little of the teacher, but he leaves his mark of good or ill, and the example of Father Cahill with his exact devotion to duty, his absolute punctuality - of course, true to type he had a watch that was always right, though the house clock might sometime be wrong - was an object lesson to all. But the abiding memory which is uppermost, and does most to help one, still in the struggle of life, is the memory of one, exactly adjusted to his vocation and surroundings, doing exactly the work assigned, and obviously relishing that work. It is a lesson of the joys that follow the exact performance of what God wants done, a consolation to us all in a world seething with dis content. In brief Father Cahill was the “faithful and prudent servant” rendered manifest in the flesh - a model to us all, “faithful over few things”, and now, we trust, placed over many, as a reward for exact dutiful service.


◆ The Clongownian, 1929


Father Joseph Cahill SJ

Father Cahill’s first experience of Clongowes was from the master's desk. (As a boy he had been in Stonyhurst.) He came here just two years after the “Intermediate” was started, and was given the important work of preparing the boys of the Senior Grade, as well as acting as Sub-Prefect of Studies. Two years teaching then, and another spell of three years, from 1885 to 1888, and his work at Clongowes was done. Those who were taught by him know how well it was done. Some years later he left Ireland forever to do his work in Australia. No less than thirty-three years did he work in the Australian Colleges, and when death came it found him still active. Eamestness, steady, hard work were the key-notes of his life. Whether saying his prayers, teach ing a class, or playing a game, he was always the same-deadly in earnest. The realities of time and eternity were the things with which Father Joe Cahill had to deal, and he dealt with them to the exclusion of all others. Still there was not a touch of aloofness about him of a surly disregard for others, Quite the contrary, there was a plentiful supply of the milk of human kindness in his character, and that kindness was very genuine, if not demonstrative. He crowned a very hard-working holy life by a happy death in the College of St Aloysius, Sydney, on November 30th, 1928. RIP

Carberie, Ignatius, 1628-1697, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1008
  • Person
  • 01 February 1629-29 April 1697

Born: 01 February 1629, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1648, Kilkenny
Ordained: 27 March 1655, Lille, France
Died: 29 April 1697, Bridge Street, Dublin

Studied 2 years Philosophy before entering
1655 On the Mission
1666 Living near Drogheda teaching, catechising and administering sacraments
1698 “Fr Carberry and Michael Fitzgerald lived at Bridge St Dublin”. In 1678 he lived in Baldoyle (Hogan reporting Fr Nicholas Netterville in a report”

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Three Entries Ignatius and Edward
Son of James - who, before he Ent, took him to see the celebrated Dr Arthur, or Limerick (cf Arthur’s “Diary” in “Kilkenny Archaeological Journal”, and Foley’s Collectanea
Had studied Humanities and two years Philosophy before Ent. Knew Latin, Spanish, Irish and English. (HIB Catalogue 1650 - ARSI)
1666 Living near New Ross engaged in Teaching, Catechising and administering the Sacraments. A Missioner for ten years (HIB Catalogue 1666 - ARSI)
1697 Reported to the Government as living at Bridge St, Dublin
Edward Carberie
Ent c 1648; RIP post 1660
His name appears written in Tursellini’s “Epitome Historiarum” printed in 1660
Note from Entry on Michael FitzGerald (Ent 1679) :
Ignatius Carbery, Priest, and Michael GitzGerald, Priest, lived in Bridge Street in 1697 (Report by a spy). Both were Jesuits probably.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
After First Vows he completed his studies at Lille and was Ordained there 27 March 1655
1655 Sent to Ireland and Dublin, and in spite of the “commonwealth” was still living in Dublin in 1658
The large part of his missionary work was outside Dublin and lived at Drogheda 1664-1666
For many years after this he lived at Baldoyle as a Catechist, Schoolmaster and Assistant Priest. After the Williamite occupation of the country he returned to Dublin where he worked until his death 29 April 1697. he is buried in St Catherine’s churchyard.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CARBERRY, IGNATIUS, was, a Novice at Kilkenny in 1648

Clarke, John, 1662-1723, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1048
  • Person
  • 17 March 1662-01 May 1723

Born: 17 March 1662, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1681, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1689
Final Vows: 02 February 1699
Died: 01 May 1723, Ghent, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)

Of same family as Duke de Feltre
Talented and remarkably good memory
Was Master of Novices
Was on Mission at Liège - Missionary to the soldiers at Ghent??; Was in Spain as a Camp Missionet; Prefect of Church at Watten
1693 Preaching and engaged in Church work
1705 Spiritual Father at Ghent
Mentioned in ANG Catalogue 1690, 1693, 1700-5; 1711-14

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Relative of John Philip Mulcaile

“The Apostle of Belgium”
Studied Humanities at St Omer’s
1690 A Tertian at Ghent
1693 A Missioner and Preacher
1696 Camp Missioner in Ghent
1699 For several years a Missioner at Watten
His apostolic career is very similar to that of John Francis Regis, both in labour and fruit. The Colleges of Liège, Watten and Ghent, with their respective neighbourhoods. were the principal scenes of his missionary work, and he was frequently engaged as a camp missioner to the English, Irish and Scotch forces in the Low Countries. he was almost always engaged with his countrymen and in missions in Belgium. We do not trace him in England.
The Annual Letters abound in reports of his labours, and the marvellous results, in which constant and striking miracles are not wanting extending over a period of nearly twenty-nine years. (cf “Records SJ” Vol v, and Annual Letters for Liège, Ghent and Watten)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father John Clarke SJ 1662-1723
Fr John Clarke was born in Kilkenny in 1662. Educated at St Omer, he entered the Society at Watten Belgium in 1681. All his life he was occupied as a misioner in the Netherlands, mainly as chaplain to the Irish, Scots and English soldiers campaigning there.

In the course of his work he rescued between 2,000 and 3,000 souls from heresy or evil living, mainly among the officers. His chief object in his preaching was to counteract Jansenism, and to recommend the frequent use of the sacraments.

So great was his success as a preacher that whenever he appeared on the streets, crowds pressed round to see and hear him. He laid is down as a necessary condition of success for a missioner “that he throw his whole heart and energy into the work, be unsparing of self in every useful work, and yet place his whole dependence on God”.

This saintly and zealous preacher died at Ghent on May 1st 1723, aged 61.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CLARKE, JOHN The second of this name, whose life was a model of the Apostolic career of St. John Francis Regis, died at Ghent, 1st May, 1723, aet. 61, Soc. 42.

Comerford, George, 1608-1636, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2303
  • Person
  • 1608-06 June 1636

Born: 1608, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 24 November 1627, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Died: 06 June 1636, Ireland - Romanae Province (ROM)

◆Fr Francis Finegan SJ
DOB Kilkenny; Ent 24 November 1627 Rome;
After First Vows he was sent to study Philosophy at the Roman College
Nothing further is known of his career except that he was Ordained. He returned to Ireland and died shortly afterwards - a letter of Fr General dated 07 June 1636 made reference to news received of Father Comerford's holy death

◆In Old/17 and CATSJ A-H

Comerford, James, 1626-1712, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1073
  • Person
  • 1626-06 December 1712

Born: 1626, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 1651, Madrid Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: 1658, Murcia, Spain
Final Vows: 15 August 1666
Died: 06 December 1712, Irish College, Poitiers, France

1699-1712 at Irish College, Poitiers (1708 taught Grammar and of delicate health)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Three Entries : Some confused dated between James Comerford 2 and James Comerford 3
1698 In exile at Poitiers
Of remarkable piety and zeal; His loss was deplored in Waterford, even many years after his exile. (cf Letter of father Knoles 1714)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had already studied Philosophy for two years before Ent 1650 TOLE (Madrid)
After First Vows he was sent to Murcia for studies and was Ordained there 1658
He was later engaged in the following roles : Teaching Humanities; Minister; Teaching Moral Theology and Operarius at various locations : Huesca; Imperial College Madrid; the Residence of Navalcarnero and the Residence of Alcalá all in TOLE
1676 Sent to Ireland and Kilkenny
1694 Consultor of Irish Mission
1698 Arrested and deported to France and sent to Irish College Poitiers, where he was a Consultor up to the time of his death there 06/12/1712
The General of the time highly valued his judgement on maters touching the Irish College Poitiers and the Irish Mission itself.
Such was his contemporaries esteem for him that even in his advanced years he was proposed as Rector at Poitiers
The Superior of the Mission at the time, writing to the General 06 April 1714, recalled his memory : “James Comerford was a man remarkable for holiness whose loss is deplored this day”.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
COMERFORD, JAMES, died in exile, as I find in a letter of the 6th of April, 1714, “insignis pietate”.

Conran, Joseph, 1913-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/490
  • Person
  • 24 February 1913-23 August 1990

Born: 24 February 1913, Mile Hill House, Ballinrobe, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 23 August 1990, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny

Part of the Milltown Park community, Dublin at the time of death.

Father was a District Inspector for the RIC. Family moved when Joseph was two to their permanent residence at Victoria Terrace, Armagh, County Armagh.

Youngest of five sons with four sisters.

Early education was at a Convent school in Armagh, and then for five years to St Patrick’s College, Armagh

by 1967 at Holy Family Birmingham (ANG) working
by 1969 at Aston, Birmingham (ANG) working
by 1970 at Monterey CA, USA (CAL) working
by 1971 at Carmel CA, USA (CAL) working

Corcoran, Martin, 1832-1901, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1107
  • Person
  • 11 November 1832-17 October 1901

Born: 11 November 1832, Ballycallan, County Kilkenny
Entered: 25 June 1858, Florissant MO, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)
Final vows: 08 December 1870
Died: 17 October 1901, Florissant MO, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)

Cross, Bernard, 1715-1785, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1132
  • Person
  • 08 April 1715-22 April 1785

Born: 08 April 1715, County Kilkenny/Tenerife Canary Islands
Entered: 08 May 1737, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained” 1744
Final Vows: 15 August 1755
Died: 22 April 1785, Worcester, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Was on the Mission of Vera Cruz
1764 Rector of St Ignatius College (London) 13 November 1764 for many years
Subsequently he served the Worcester Mission, where he died 22 April 1785 aged 70

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CROSS, BERNARD, born in Tenerife, 8th April, 1715, and on his 22nd birth-day consecrated himself to God in the Society. He was admitted to the profession of the Four Vows on the Feast of the Assumption, 1755. For some time he exercised his missionary functions at Vera Cruz : for several years, I am informed, he was stationed in London, but died at Worcester, 22nd April, 1785; another account say 22nd October, and another 3d February that year. 1 think the first date is the correct one

Cullen, Richard, 1852-1874, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1138
  • Person
  • 22 October 1852-26 December 1874

Born: 22 October 1852, Danesfort, County Kilkenny
Entered: 21 December 1872, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 26 December 1874, Santa Clara College, Santa Clara, CA USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)

Transcribed HIB to TAUR : 1873

Early education at St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Went to Novitiate at (Santa) Monica and died there shortly afterwards

Daly, Patrick, 1876-1945, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1161
  • Person
  • 02 April 1876-20 October 1945

Born : 02 April 1876, County Kilkenny
Entered : 23 October 1897, Roehampton London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 26 July 1910, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1912
Died: 20 October 1945, Mount St Mary’s, Spinkhill, Derbyshire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

by 1908 came to Milltown (HIB) studying 1907-1909

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1922

Our Past

Father Patrick Daly SJ

To the kindness of Fr J O'Connell SJ ('95-'98), of the Zambesi Mission, we owe a cutting from the “Rhodesia Herald”, giving an account of the welcome extended to Fr Patrick Daly SJ ('91-'97); in Salisbury, on his becoming parish priest of that town. Fr. Daly was greeted by the representative of the Catholic community as a true type of Irish gentleman, and of happy and fortunate temperament. After a reference to his education at Mungret and elsewhere “so that it was given him to get the best of five great nations it was also mentioned that he taught for five years at St Aidan's College, Grahamstown, and for another five at Bulawayo, at both of which places he was held in high regard by all”. In a reply which was interspersed with laughter and applause, Fr Daly concluded by the assurance that he would like to share in the life of the community as a citizen of Salisbury, because he held that the better the Catholic the better the citizen.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1946


Father Patrick Daly SJ

Father Patrick Daly died at Mount St. Mary's College after a prolonged and painful illness. Father Daly came to Mungret in 1891 and passed up the various classes obtaining his BA degree. He joined the Jesuit Novitiate at Roehampton in 1897 and did his philosophy at Jersey, where he was a zealous helper in teaching catechismn and visiting the sick at St Mary's and St Peter's Church. He was ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin, on July 26th, 1910, and then a year after went out to South Africa. He taught at St Aidan's College, Grahamstown, from 1911-17, and then served the missions of Bulawayo and Salisbury, SA. Owing to ill-health he was compelled to return to England for a short time in 1924, but was soon back again in South Africa where he laboured on the native mission of Empandeni for two years. There his health broke down badly, and he had to return to England, where he ministered in the Jesuit parishes of Wakefield, Liverpool, Leigh, St. Helen's and Preston. He was noted for his gentleness and kindness as a pastor.

D'Arcy, Ambrose L, 1850-1875, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1244
  • Person
  • 27 March 1850-19 August 1875

Born: 27 March 1850, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 03 September 1870, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 9 August 1875, St Louis, MO, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)

Part of the Woodstock College, Maryland, USA community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to MIS : 1872

Brother of William D’Arcy RIP 1884, a scholastic, and also of John D’Arcy a priest RIP 1884 - within four months of each other

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Involved with Father De Smet from 1872

D'Arcy, John, 1848-1884, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1245
  • Person
  • 23 September 1848-04 June 1884

Born: 23 September 1848, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 28 September 1867, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1883
Died: 04 June 1884, Cannes, Alpes-Maritime, France

Brother of Ambrose D’Arcy (MIS) RIP 1875, (a scholastic), and six months after another brother William who died a Scholastic 1884.

Early education at Christian Brothers, Youghal and St Stanislaus College SJ, Tullabeg

by 1870 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1871 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) Studying
by 1873 at Antwerp Institute Belgium (BELG) Regency
by 1882 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Brother of William D’Arcy RIP 1884, a scholastic, six months after him. Brother also of Ambrose D’Arcy who Entered at Milltown and then joined MIS, and he died at St Louis MO 1875 also a scholastic.
He was sent to be a Teacher at Tullabeg and a Prefect at Clongowes for Regency.
He studied Rhetoric at Amiens, and then Philosophy and Theology both at Louvain.
He died of rapid consumption at Nice, France.

Daton, Richard, 1579-1617, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1166
  • Person
  • 1579-10 July 1617

Born: 1579, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 05 November 1602, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1609, Ingolstadt, Germany
Died: 10 July 1617, Slíabh Luachra, County Cork - Acquitaniae Province (AQUIT)

Alias : Downes; Walsh

Had studied 2 years Philosophy before entry
1606 At Ingolstadt (GER) 1st year Theology with now 3 years Philosophy
1607 Came from Venice (VEM) to Germany. Was “repetitor domesticus physicoru”
1609 He and Fr Richard Comerfortius came to Ireland from Germany. Future Superior of Mission
1609-1610 Is at Professed House Bordeaux from Irish Mission
1610-1612 Teaching Philosophy at “Petrichorae” (Périgueux); or He, Richard Comerfort and Thomas Briones sent to Ireland; or in 1611 in Périgueux College teaching Philosophy
1612-1615 Teaching Philosophy at Bordeaux. Destined for Ireland
A Fr Richard Daton is mentioned as having studied at Douai in 1613

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Dayton or Daton alias Downes
1615 At Bordeaux (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
A Writer; A most popular Preacher; In the highest favour and esteem of the people of Limerick for his virtue and learning.
He edited Fr O’Carney’s sermons
(cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had studied Philosophy at Douai before Ent 05 November 1602 Rome
After First Vows he resumed his studies at Rome, but he was sent to Ingolstadt for health reasons, and there Ordained in 1609
1609-1616 He was on his way to Ireland with Richard Comerford but both were held, Daton at Périgueux and Bordeaux by the AQUIT Provincial to teach Philosophy at Périgueux (1610-1612) and Bordeaux (1612-1616)
1616 Returned to Ireland for a very brief time as he was struck down by brain fever. He was very hospitably received by a Catholic noblewomen and and carefully nursed to his death at Slíabh Luachra Co Cork 11 July 1617

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Richard Daton 1579-1617
Richard Daton was born in Kilkenny in 1579. His name is sometime taken as equivalent to Downes, by some authors.

He entered the Society in 1602. He is mentioned as being in Bordeaux in 1607. As a priest he laboured in the Munster area, was a most popular preacher and held in the highest esteem by the people of Limerick for his virtue and learning.

He had some claim to be considered a writer, inasmuch as he edited the sermons of Fr Barnaby O’Kearney SJ.

He died near Slieveclocher County Cork on July 10th 1617.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
DATON, (alias Downes) RICHARD. I meet with him in August, 1607. He was at Bordeaux eight years later.

Dillon, Robert, 1626-1659, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1187
  • Person
  • 1626-05 November 1659

Born: 1626, Athlone, County Westmeath
Entered: 11 November 1647, Kilkenny
Ordained: c 1658, Salamanca, Spain
Died: 05 November 1659, College of Segovia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Alias de Leon

Studied 2 years Philosophy before entry?
1655 Catalogue In 1st year Theology at Salamanca
1658 Catalogue Studied 3 years Philosophy and 4 years Theology at Salamanca

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Had done two years Humanities and Philosophy before Entry
Knew Irish, English and Latin
(cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
He had already studied Philosophy for two years, probably at Kilkenny with the Jesuits before Ent 11 November 1647 Kilkenny
1648 During His Novitiate fell to Cromwell, so the Novices were moved to Galway
1650 After First Vows he continued his studies in Galway until it too fell in April 1651 After which it seems that the Mission Superior was sending him to Belgium for studies, but his career there has not been traced, and it is said that at that time the Mission Superior was experiencing some difficulties having his young men received abroad.
He was accepted at Royal College Salamanca for Theology and Ordained there 1658.
He was assigned to teach at the College of Segovia, but a fortnight after arrival there was taken by a fatal illness and died there 05 November 1659

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
DILLON, ROBERT, was a Novice at Kilkenny in 1649.

Dillon, William, 1609-1652, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1189
  • Person
  • 1609-07 February 1652

Born: 1609, County Meath
Entered: 09 November 1628, Back Lane, Dublin
Ordained: 1636/7, Douai, France
Died: 07 February 1652, Athlone, County Westmeath

1630 at Tournai
1633 At Douai in 2nd year Philosophy
1636 In 3rd year Theology at Douai
1639 Teaching Humanities at Douai
1639 On the Mission
1650 Catalogue Taught Humanities and Philosophy. Procurator for 2 years. Confessor and Preacher

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Had studied Humanities and two years Philosophy before Ent - Knew Irish, English, Latin and French
He taught Humanities for four years and Philosophy for two; Confessor, Preacher, Procurator of Residence for two years.
1639 Came to Ireland (HIB CAT 1650 - ARSI)
1649 Living at Kilkenny (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
he had a great many cousins in the Supreme Council and was an active supporter of Dr Rothe

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ:
After First Vows he was sent to Douai for further studies - though his name cannot be traced until 1632 - and he was Ordained there 1636/7
1639 He was sent to Ireland, where his career cannot be traced until at least from 1643 where he was teaching at Kilkenny, and was there for the next six years teaching Humanities and Philosophy.
He was one of the six Jesuit signatories to the declaration that the reply of the Supreme Council to Rinuccini contained nothing against faith and morals. This action resulted in the sending of Mercure Verdier to the on a Visitation of the Irish Mission by the General. In Verdier’s 1649 Report, he stated that William Dillon and John Ussher were the foremost in circulating this reply to the Nuncio.
1650 During or after the siege of Kilkenny he escaped to Athlone with some others from the Kilkenny Community. He died there 07 February 1652.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
DILLON, WILLIAM. This Father was born in 1609, and at the age of twenty united himself to the Society. He was living at Kilkenny in 1649

Donovan, William, 1822-1896, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1199
  • Person
  • 10 January 1822-16 December 1896

Born: 10 January 1822, Paulstown, County Kilkenny
Entered: 17 August 1850, St John’s, Fordham, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Final vows: 15 August 1860
Died: 16 December 1896, Fordham College, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Dowling, John, 1817-1868, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1207
  • Person
  • 26 December 1817-16 May 1891

Born: 26 December 1817, Ballyragget, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1857, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Final Vows: 02 February 1868
Died: 16 May 1891, St Joseph's College, Philadelphia, PA, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Doyle, William, 1811-1874, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1218
  • Person
  • 31 December 1811-05 April 1874

Born: 31 December 1811, County Kilkenny
Entered: 17 November 1851, St John’s, Fordham, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Final Vows: 02 February 1862
Died: 05 April 1874 Xavier College, New York, NY, USA - Neo-Eboracensis-Canadensis Province (NEBCAN)

Drennan, Mike, 1942-2023, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J718
  • Person
  • 21 April 1942-19 April 2023

Born: 21 April 1942, Piltown, Co Kilkenny
Entered: 27 September 1977, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Ordained: 06 June 1965, St Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny (pre Entry)
Final vows: 22 April 1990, St Francis Xavier’s, Gardiner St, Dublin
Died: 19 April 2023, Cherryfield Lodge, Milltown Park, Dublin

Part of the Manresa Community at the time of death

Older brother of Bishop Martin Drennan


    Born :  21st April 1942     Piltown, Co Kilkenny
Raised : Piltown, Co Kilkenny
Early Education at Kilkenny NS; CBS Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary; St Kieran’s, Kilkenny; San Diego Diocese; Gregorian University, Rome, Italy

6th June 1965 Ordained at St Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny
27th September 1977 Entered Society at Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
27th September 1979 First Vows at Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
1978-1979 John Austin House - Second Year Noviciate; Vocational Counselling at John’s Lane; Assistant Retreat Director in Rathfarnham
1979-1988 Campion House - Vocational Counselling
1988-1989 Tertianship at St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg and Campion House, Osterley, London
1989-1993 Gardiner St - Superior; Vocational Counselling; Director of Works
22nd April 1990 Final Vows at St Francis Xavier’s, Gardiner St, Dublin
1993-2000 Manresa House - Director of Ignatian Centre and Retreat House; Directs Spiritual Exercises
1994 Rector; Bursar
1999 Spiritual Direction at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co Kildare
2000-2003 Clongowes Wood College SJ- Spiritual Director at St Patrick’s College National Seminary & Pontifical University
2003-2010 Milltown Park - General Secretary CORI (to 2007)
2005 Vice-Rector
2007 Child Protection Delegate; Spirituality Delegate
2010-2012 Loyola House - Child Protection Delegate; Spirituality Delegate
2012-2023 Manresa House - Rector; Child Protection Delegate; Spirituality Delegate; Directs Spiritual Exercises
2021 Directs Spiritual Exercises; Building Programme; Healthcare

Mike Drennan SJ: His legacy lives on

Fr Mike Drennan SJ died peacefully, surrounded by his family, at Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Milltown Park, Dublin on 19 April 2023.

Archbishop Dermot Farrell of Dublin, four other bishops, and many priests joined the Jesuits and people from all over Ireland for Fr Mike’s funeral Mass in St Francis Xavier’s Church, Gardiner Street, Dublin on 24 April, followed by burial at Glasnevin Cemetery. Fr Mike is predeceased by his brother Martin, former Bishop of Galway, who died only five months ago.

Fr Mike was born in 1942 and raised in Piltown, County Kilkenny. He was educated at Kilkenny NS, CBS Carrick-on-Suir in County Tipperary, and St Kieran’s secondary school in Kilkenny. He trained for the diocesan priesthood in St Kieran’s diocesan college, Kilkenny, and was ordained at St Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny in 1965. He ministered in San Diego Diocese, USA, and studied psychology at Gregorian University, Rome.

Fr Mike entered the Jesuits at Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin in 1977, and worked in the field of vocational counselling for many years while living at John Austin House, Campion House, and Gardiner Street in Dublin.

After taking Final Vows he served in numerous roles, including as Director of Manresa Jesuit Centre of Spirituality, Dublin; Spiritual Director at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth; Secretary General of CORI (Conference of Religious in Ireland), and Child Protection Delegate for the Irish Jesuit Province. He was a skilled spiritual director and gave retreats all over Ireland for many years.

He recently published a book on the ministry of spiritual direction entitled See God Act (Messenger Publications) ». He also completed a full liturgical year of gospel inspiration points for the Sacred Space book (2024) and online prayer website – a job normally done by at least 12 people, according to John McDermott, Director of Sacred Space, who greatly appreciated the work he did and the insights he shared. “His work will help the prayer of many thousands of people down the years to come,” says John; “His inspiration still goes on.” As Fr Tim Healy SJ said in his homily at the funeral Mass, “What Mike did he did with energy and creativity. During the pandemic, for example, with the help of Piaras Jackson at Manresa, he recorded hours of video and presided over hours of Zoom meetings in online retreats for diocesan priests.”

Regarding this new online presence, Piaras Jackson noted that “The pandemic seemed likely to narrow his scope and limit his ability to minister, but he mastered Zoom and was chuffed to find himself featuring on videos where he offered material for hope and meaning at a confused time. Casual YouTube surfers looking for snappy upbeat content may have quickly slid past his presentations, but those who knew and trusted him appreciated their thoughtful and rich content and welcomed how Mike was reaching out and relating rather than waiting it out or staying silent; for him, this was “keeping in contact as best we can” – communicating, not about himself, but opening new perspectives and meaning for others. And it’s important to say that all of Mike’s activity sprung from his own prayer; having invited us Jesuits in Manresa to commit to a time of daily prayer together during the lockdowns, I value the memory of how Mike was faithfully present day after day in our community chapel.”

As he lay in repose in Cherryfield on Sunday 23 April, a steady stream of people from all over the country came to say a final farewell and offer their condolences to his family, including brothers John, Paddy, and Jim. Many shared stories of how much Fr Mike had meant to them. It was clear that all through his lifetime he had encountered many people from a variety of backgrounds and all of them held one thing in common, namely the esteem and genuine affection they felt for him.

Mary Rickard, Health Delegate for the Jesuits, noted that it was fitting that he spent his last weeks in Cherryfield when in earlier times as a board member for over fifteen years he was centrally involved in setting up both the Milltown community building and Cherryfield Lodge nursing home as a centre of excellence for older or convalescing Jesuits from home and abroad.

At a meeting of the board just after his burial Mary Rickard, as Chair, read out the prayer attributed to St Ignatius which she felt summed up Fr Mike’s life of dedicated service to God: “Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve; to give, and not to count the cost, to fight, and not to heed the wounds, to toil, and not to seek for rest, to labor, and not to ask for reward, except that of knowing that we are doing your will.”

At the end of the Mass, Fr Mike’s nephew Karol spoke warmly of the man who was his uncle and summed up well the effect Mike’s short illness and premature death had on his fellow Jesuits. “It was like an earthquake,” he said. He will be sorely missed. But his videos are available on Manresa’s YouTube » and ‘Retreats @home’ ». They will surely remain valued by the many who were blessed by Mike’s generous life; the conclusion of his first video appearance is poignant as Mike offers an Easter blessing » before walking away.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Duncan, Patrick, 1813-1890, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1234
  • Person
  • 17 March 1813-25 October 1890

Born: 17 March 1813, Kells, County Kilkenny
Entered: 29 August 1841, Florissant MO, USA - Missouri Province (MIS)
Final Vows:15 August 1858
Died: 25 October 1890, Florissant MO, USA - Missouri Province (MIS)

Fanning, James, 1602-1646, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1272
  • Person
  • 1602-04 May 1646

Born: 1602, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1623, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 1635, Salamanca, Spain
Final Vows: 1643
Died: 04 May 1646, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny

First Vows 03 April 1625
1627-1628 Teaching Grammar at Soria or Numancia (CAST)
1637 On Mission (?)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1635-1637 Professor of Humanities in Ireland

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
1625 After First Vows was sent to Soria for Regency. He then completed his studies at Royal College Salamanca and was Ordained there 1635
1635 Sent to Ireland and probably to Kilkenny, though no account of his ministry in Ireland has survived
1637 Was in poor health by made Final Vows 1643 and died in Kilkenny 04 May 1646.

Finglas, Robert, 1595-1663, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1289
  • Person
  • 02 February 1595-03 May 1663

Born: 02 February 1595, Toberton, CountyDublin
Entered: 1647, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Ordained: 1623
Died: 03 May 1663, St Aloysius College, Lancashire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Alias Fitzwilliam

1651-1658 Procurator for Ireland in England.
1655 Operarius in Londion

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He was of a noble family and a cousin of General Preston, and was at one stage Chaplain to his wife, who was sister of the FLA Provincial at the time, and accompanied her to the Netherlands in the Autumn of 1650. Descended from Baron Patrick Finglas of Westpalston (Viscount Fitzwilliam), MP for Dublin 1650 (and appointed Chief Baron of the Exchequer by Henry VIII in 1520, and later 05 May 1534 Lord Chief Justice of the King’s Bench for Ireland, replacing Bartholomew Dillon).
1650 Sent to Netherlands
1651-1663 Sent to England as procurator for the Irish Mission under the name Robert Fitzwilliams (cf Foley’s Collectanea) Joined ANG that year at St Ignatius College London.
1658 Sent to Lancashire at St Aloysius College, where he died, aged 57. (actually aged 68!)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Received a Special Dispensation for Ent at Kilkenny due to his advanced age. He was already Ordained in 1623 before Ent 1647 Kilkenny
1650 Allowed to accompany the wife of General Preston to Belgium, August 1650. She was the sister of Fr de Namur, Provincial of the GALL-BEL Province.
1652 Transcribed to ANG after two years in Belgium. he remained in England and died at St Aloysius College, Lancashire 03 May 1663

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
FINGLASS, ROBERT, was of a good family. This Rev. Priest, at the age of 51 joined the Society. He had been Chaplain to the Lady of General Preston, (sister to the F. Provincial Namur, S. J.) and accompanied her to the Netherlands in the Autumn of 1650.

FitzGerald, George, 1583-1646, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1292
  • Person
  • 1583-11 August 1646

Born: 1583, County Meath
Entered: 23 October 1604, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1613, Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Final Vows: 05 March 1624
Died: 11 August 1646, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny

Alias Geraldine

Superior Irish Mission 11 August 1646

1613 Catalogue Educated at Douai
1617 In Ireland; 1622 in Leinster; 1626 in Ireland
1637 ROM Catalogue Talent, judgement and experience good, a Preacher

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Educated in Sicily and Rome
1615 In Sicily
1617 In Ireland (IER August 1874) - Preacher; Master of Novices; Consultor of Mission; Praised by Bishop Rothe
From a letter of Mission Superior Robert Nugent 01/10/1640 we learn that he has succeeded Barnaby Kearney as a Consultor of the Mission in Munster.
He is believed to be identical with the George Geraldine of Foley’s Collectanea and Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS

◆ Fr Francis Finegan :
Had previously studied at Douai before Ent 1604 Rome
After First Vows he completed his studies and Rome and Palermo, and was Ordained there 1613
1613 Sent to Ireland but had to wait at Bordeaux for a ship, so did not arrive until 1615
He worked as Missioner in Leinster and then appointed Novice Master at Back Lane, Dublin (1628). In 1630 the Noviceship was dispersed due to a fresh bout of persecution.
1640 Although there is little known of the next ten years, except that he suffered from poor health, he was appointed a Consultor of the Mission
1646 Fr General sent the letter appointing him as Superior of the Irish Mission 11 August 1646, but he died in Dublin the same day.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
George FitzGerald (1646)

George FitzGerald, or Geraldine, was born in the diocese of Meath in 1583. When he had finished his year of logic at Douay, he went to Rome, and entered the Novitiate of Sant' Andrea there on 22nd October, 1604, He studied philosophy at the Roman College, and theology at Palermo, and then went to Bordeaux to await an opportunity of getting to Ireland. He reached Ireland in 1615, and for the next thirteen years worked as a missioner in Leinster. He made his solemn profession of four vows on 5th March, 1621, and when a Novitiate was opened in Dublin in 1628 he was chosen to be Master of Novices. He held that position until two years later a fresh outburst of persecution dispersed the novices. On 29th November he was made Consultor of the Mission and on 11th August, 1646, he was appointed Superior of the Mission, on the exclusion of Fr George Dillon. But this appointment had no effect either, for before it could reach Ireland, Fr George Fitzgerald was dead. He died on 11/21st August, 1646. During his life he had a high reputation as a theologian and a mathematician, and had always been noted for his piety and religious observance.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father George Fitzgerald 1583-1646
Fr George Fitzgerald, or Geraldine as he was sometimes called, was born in Meath in 1583. He entered the Society at Rome in 1604.

Fr thirteen years after his return to Ireland in 1615 he worked as a missioner in Leinster. For many years now, Father Holywood had been requesting the General for leave to open a noviceship in Ireland. There was no lack of candidates. It was only after his death in 1628 that a noviceship was started in Dublin, and Fr Fitzgerald was appointed our first Master of Novices. He held the post for two years, until persecution dispersed the novices.

He was appointed Superior of the Mission in succession to Robert Nugent, but died in 1646 before the letter of appointment reached Ireland.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
GERALDINE, GEORGE, was in Sicily, in August, 1615, when his services were required for the Irish Mission. It appears that he was stationed in Munster; for F. Robert Nugent, in his letter of the 1st of October, 1640, after announcing the death of the venerable F. Barnaby Kearney, requests F. George Geraldine to succeed the deceased as a Consultor, on account of his long experience, prudence, “et loci vicinitatem”. I think he had been gathered to his Fathers before the year 1649

FitzPatrick, James, 1613-1651, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1296
  • Person
  • 1613-16 May 1651

Born: 1613, Abbotstown, County Dublin
Entered: 01 July 1639, Mechelen, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: January 1643, Louvain, Belgium
Died: 16 May 1651, Galway Residence

Alias Patrick

Parents John and Janetta (Janella) Cosgroe of Malahide or Mulhuddart
Studied Humanities and Philosophy in Ireland
Admitted to Society by Fr Robert Nugent November 1638
1650 Catalogue DOB 1614 - has taught , was Procurator and now Minister. Is a Catchiest and Preacher
1650 ROM Catalogue Age 36. Admitted Mechelen 01 July 1639, did 4 years Theology and now Minister at Galway Residence

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Patrick or Fitzpatrick (also called Patricii)
DOB 1614 Dublin; Ent 01/07/1639 Mechelen; RIP post 1650
Studied Humanities and two years Philosophy before Ent. He knew Irish, English, Flemish, French and Latin.
Studied four years Theology in Society
Taught in the lower schools for four years, was procurator for five years, Confessor, Catechist, and in 1650 Minister (HIB Catalogue 1650 - ARSI)
1642 Procurator of Irish Mission in Galway (Mercure Verdier Visitor’s Report on Irish Mission)
His death is mentioned in a letter dated 25/11/1694 (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS and Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of John (a farmer of Abbotstown) and Jenetta née Cosgrove
Early education was at Mulhuddart and then Humanities at Kilkenny and Dublin. he had also finished Philosophy, probably under the Jesuits before Ent 01 July 1639 Mechelen. He was accepted for the Society by Robert Nugent the November before he arrived at Mechelen.
After First Vows he was sent to Louvain for Theology and Ordained there c January 1643
1645 Sent to Ireland having completed all studies and assigned to Galway to teach.
1646 Showing no real aptitude for teaching he was appointed procurator of the house, and was also involved in Catechising and Preaching until his death there 16 May 1651.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
PATRICK, JAMES. In Pere Verdier s Report of the 20th of June, 1649 I find that F. Patrick was then about thirty years old, of which he had spent nearly ten in the Society, and was then filling the office of Procurator to his Brethren in Galway. He is mentioned as being dead in a letter dated the 25th of November 1694.

FitzSimon, Henry, 1566-1643, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1297
  • Person
  • 31 May 1566-29 November 1643

Born: 31 May 1566, Swords, County Dublin
Entered: 13 April 1592, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 1596, Louvain, Belgium
Final Vows: 04 October 1610
Died: 29 November 1643, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny

Parents Nicholas FitzSimon and Anne Sedgrave
Cornelius Lapide was a fellow Novice
Studied Humanities at Manchester - being an MA before Ent
Studied 3 years Philosophy 1 year Theology at Pont-á-Mousson
Studied 3 years Theology at Louvain
1596-1597 Taught Philosophy at Douai - gave the Bollandists the Life of St Feichín and other MS
1603 Tertianship at Tournai
Then 4 (or 20?) years as Military Chaplain at Castris
1608-1611 Called to Rome regarding Irish Mission and remained there till 1611. Then sent back to Douai for 5 years writing and confessing
1619 at Liège and 1625-1628 at Dinant
1625 published at Frankfurt a 12 mo on Philosophy of 704pp. It appears that he was an SJ from “Palface” and that such was not a real name - was it a Holy word? Or was it “Fitzsimon” or “White” or “Kearney”? P396 shows he professed at Douai. Hogan thinks it is “Fitzsimon” (Foley "Collectanea" p 524)
1630 To Ireland (7 years, 2 free, 5 captive)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
Son of Sir Nicholas, Kt and Senator of Dublin, and Ann née Sidgreaves
Early education was at Manchester School, and then matriculated at Hart’s Hall Oxford, 26 April 1583. He then studied for four years at at Pont-à-Mousson, graduating MA, followed by some months at Douai in Theology and Casuistry, and received Minor Orders.
He was received into the Society by the BELG Provincial Manaereus and then went to Tournai.
After First Vows he was sent to Louvain for Theology and was a pupil of Father Lessius there. He also taught Philosophy for a while.
1597 At his own request he was sent to the Irish Mission. His zeal soon led to his arrest in 1598.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Sir Nicholas and Anna née Sedgrave
Early education was in England and he matriculated to Oxford - though unclear if he graduated there.
He drifted into or was enticed into Protestantism, becoming a convinced one. In 1587 he went to Paris where he met the English Jesuit, Darbyshire, who reconciled him to the Church. He then went to study at Pont-à-Mousson where he graduated MA, before Ent 13 April 1592 at Tournai
After First Vows he studied Theology at Louvain where he was Ordained 1596
1597 Initially he was sent to teach Philosophy at Douai. However, as an Irish Mission was under consideration Henry was chosen to be part of this venture, and duly arrived at the end of 1597. He was based roughly in the Pale, and established a reputation for zeal and success in arresting the growth of Protestantism, and in encouraging the Catholics of the Pale to stand firm in their allegiance to the Catholic Church. His most powerful weapon in this ministry was the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin.
1599-1603 Arrested in December, 1599 he was imprisoned in Dublin Castle at the end of May 1603. Even from his prison cell his influence was felt and he debated theology with bitter opponents of the Church such as Ryder and Hanmer who visited him in prison.He was released and then deported back to the GALL-BEL Province.
1603-1608 He was based at Douai and for five years was an Operarius, a Military Chaplain and a Writer, as well as making his Tertianship.
1608-1611 Sent to Rome to advise on Irish Mission affairs.
1611-1618 He was sent back to Douai and continued his earlier ministries of Writing, Military Chaplaincy and Operarius
1618-1620 He was sent to follow the same ministries at Liège
1620-1623 At the outbreak of the Thirty Years War he left Belgium to minister to Irish soldiers in the Imperial Army (Hapsburgs), and was with them until 1623
1623-1631 Was at Dinant, and by 1628 had served twenty years as a Military Chaplain
1631 He sent to Ireland after a thirty one year exile. Over the preceding decades he repeatedly sought permission to return, but the Mission Superior (Holywood) decided that Fitzsimon's return if discovered by the Government could only jeopardise if not ruin the works of the Irish mission. On return he lived at Dublin as Confessor and Preacher until the surrender of Dublin and expulsion of priests. After a difficult time he eventually arrived in Kilkenny, where he died 29 November 1643

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Fitzsimon, Henry
by David Murphy

Fitzsimon, Henry (1566–1643), Jesuit priest and controversialist, was born on 31 May 1566 at Swords, Co. Dublin, son of Nicholas Fitzsimon, merchant, and alderman of the city of Dublin, and Anna Fitzsimon (née Sedgrave), one of the Sedgrave family of Killeglan and Cabra, Co. Dublin. She was related to Henry Ussher (qv) and James Ussher (qv), both of whom were later Church of Ireland primates. Henry Fitzsimon's paternal grandfather was Sir Knight Fitzsimon.

In 1576 Henry went to England for his education, where he converted to protestantism. He studied grammar, rhetoric, and humanities in Manchester for four years, and on 26 April 1583 he matriculated for Hart Hall, Oxford. By 1587 he had moved to Paris, where he carried out further studies. He also encountered an English Jesuit, Fr Thomas Darbyshire, and after instruction from him, reconverted to the catholic faith. Entering the university at Pont-à-Mousson, he studied rhetoric and philosophy, graduating MA (1591). Further theological studies followed, both there and at Douai, and, taking minor orders, he was admitted to the Society of Jesus at Tournai (April 1592). He completed his noviciate in Tournai and in June 1593 he went to Louvain to complete his theological studies, where he associated with prominent counter-reformation theologians such as Dr Peter Lombard (qv) and Fr Heribert Rosweyde. Appointed as professor of philosophy at Douai, he also began to collect manuscripts with the intention of writing a history of Ireland.

In 1597 he was sent to Ireland at his own request as a member of the first Jesuit permanent mission to the country. He travelled in the company of Fr James Archer (qv), who was being sought by the English authorities, and this made life extremely dangerous for him. Nevertheless, he concentrated his work in the Dublin area, where the greatest efforts were being made to convert the local population to the protestant faith. He began preaching in public, often to large crowds, and was successful in reconverting many catholics who had converted to protestantism. Touring the county of Dublin, he called on prominent catholics, exhorting them to remain loyal to their faith. A catholic nobleman also gave him the use of a house, which he converted into a chapel where he celebrated high mass. The atmosphere in Dublin was so tense at the time that many men came armed to mass, determined to resist any attempts to arrest them.

Fitzsimon was a flamboyant character by nature and rode around the city and county with three or four retainers. Openly hostile to the government's religious policy, he was arrested in 1599, and in many ways his imprisonment served to enhance his public status. Many protestant divines came to his cell to debate points of religion and it soon became known that he was more than a match for them. Among those who debated with him were Dr Luke Challoner (qv), Dean Meredith Hanmer (qv), Dean John Rider (qv), later bishop of Killaloe, and an extremely young James Ussher (qv). These debates resulted in further written exchanges. In January 1601 he sent a manuscript to Dean Rider entitled ‘Brief collections from the Scriptures, the Fathers, and principal protestants, in proof of six catholic articles’. Rider published an answer to this manuscript in 1602 entitled A caveat to Irish catholics. Fitzsimon in turn replied to Rider's Caveat in a manuscript, which he sent him in 1603, Rider publishing his pamphlet Rescript in response to this in 1604. These exchanges only served to create a friendship between the two men, and Rider not only later acknowledged Fitzsimon's superior debating skills, but also began to send him food, drink, and other comforts. Among those who petitioned for Fitzsimon's release was Hugh O'Neill (qv), and in March 1604 James I signed an order that he be freed. In June 1604 he left Dublin and travelled into exile on the Continent.

He spent periods in Spain and Flanders, and in 1608 travelled to Rome. Most of his publications date from this time and he established himself as one of the most erudite minds of the counter-reformation. In 1608 he published A catholick confutation of Mr John Rider's claim to antiquitie and a calming comfort against his Caveat etc., which was printed in Rouen as a last exchange in his debate with Rider. Attached to this publication was another pamphlet, An answer to sundrie complaintive letters of afflicted catholics. By 1611 he was also writing an ecclesiastical history of Ireland, ‘Narratio rerum Ibernicarum’, which, if ever completed, was not published. Later publications included The justification and exposition of the divine sacrifice of the masse (Douai, 1611) and Britannomachia ministrorum in plerisque et fidei fundamentis, et fidei articulis dissidentium (Douai, 1614), a defence of catholic doctrines and a refutation of theories of reform. In 1619 he edited Catalogus sanctorum Hiberniae, published in Liège.

In 1620 he travelled to Bohemia as a chaplain to the forces of Emperor Ferdinand II, later publishing a history of the campaign using the pseudonym ‘Constantius Peregrinus’. He volunteered to return to the Irish mission and travelled in 1630 to Ireland, where he resumed his work among the poor of Dublin. After the outbreak of the 1641 rebellion, he was condemned to be hanged on suspicion of being involved with the rebels. He spent his last years on the run from government forces, finally reaching the relative safety of the confederate camp in Kilkenny. Worn out by work and hardships, his health finally broke and he died in Kilkenny on 29 November 1643.

His papers and writings have remained a focus of interest for historians of the period. Edmund Hogan (qv), SJ, included many excerpts from his papers in his publications on Henry Fitzsimon, and in 1881 edited a collection of Fitzsimon's papers, publishing them under the title Diary of the Bohemian war. This included Fitzsimon's An answer to sundrie complaintive letters of afflicted catholics under the new title Words of comfort to persecuted catholics. There is a large collection of Fitzsimon's papers in the Jesuit archives in Dublin.

Webb; Allibone; Edmund Hogan, SJ, Life, letters and diary of Father H. Fitzsimon (1881); id., Distinguished Irishmen of the sixteenth century (1894), 196–311; Dictionary of catholic biography; James Corboy, SJ, ‘Father Henry Fitzsimon, SJ’, Studies, xxxii (1943), 260–66; Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory: a history of the Irish Jesuits (1991); information from Fergus O'Donoghue, SJ, of the Jesuit archives, Dublin

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1I 1962

Henry Fitzsimon was born at Swords on the 31 May 1566. His father Nicholas, a Dublin alderman and an eminent merchant of his day, was the son of Sir Knight Fitzsimon. His mother was Anna Sedgrave or Edgrave, and he was related to Henry and James Ussher, both of whom where afterwards Protestant Primates of Armagh, At the age of ten Henry Fitzsimon went to England, where he lost the (faith) and became a zealous Protestant. On the 26 April 1583, he matriculated as a member of Hart's Hall, Oxford. It is not known how long he remained here; but after a few years we find him in Paris, where according to himself he was “so farre overweening of my profession, that I surmised to be able to convert to Protestancie any incounter whosoever ..... At length by my happiness I was overcome by F.Thomas Darbishire ane owld English Jesuit long tyme experienced in the reduction of many thowsands to the Catholic religion”.

After his conversion in 1587 he went to the University of Pont-à-Mousson, where he studied rhetoric and philosophy, becoming. a Master of Arts in 1591. On the 15 April 1592, he entered the Society of Jesus, Having spent only fifteen months in the novitiate of Tournai, he was sent to Louvain in 1593 to finish this theological studies, where he had already begun before his entry into the Society of Jesus. Here he made such great progress, under the able supervision of the famous Fr Lessius, that in a short time he was appointed professor of philosophy at Douai. Here also he made the acquaintance of Fr Rosweyde, the pioneer of the future Bollandist Fathers, and Dr Peter Lombard. In his writings he frequently recalls these two scholars as having been intimate friends. At this time, already interested in Irish history, he says that he “ransacked all the libraries in his way for our country's antiquities, and found a hand-written life of St Patrick in the library of our college at Douai”. He remained at Douai until his return to Ireland towards the end of 1597.

To appreciate the value of Fitsimon's work in Ireland, we must review briefly the political and religious state of the country at the end of the sixteenth century. The Reformation in Ireland during the sixteenth century - i.e., under the Tudor dynasty from Henry VIII to Elizabeth - was primarily a political movement. Not until the advent of James I, was any real attempt made to establish a Protestant mission all over the country. Ireland had been saved from undue religious persecution because the English could not exert political control except in or about Dublin and in some of the other towns. But the results of the Nine Years' War changed the whole aspect of the situation. In 1603 Ireland lay at the feet of her conqueror. Never before was there such an opportunity for propagating the reformed doctrines. It was in these years, so crucial for the Catholic religion, that the Jesuits of the first permanent Mission in Ireland arrived. Among them few had wider influence than Father Henry Fitzsimon.

Although Fitzsimon was imprisoned after the first two years, the result of his work was lasting. During that short period he had visited most of the influential families of the Pale. He has been particularly active in the City of Dublin, where he knew the brunt of the battle was borne. Every Sunday and feast-day he said Mass in the city and preached at least one sermon. On week-days he travelled into the country and visited the houses or the gentlemen of the Pale. His exhortations to remain steadfast in the Faith were generally successful and he converted to a more fervent life several who had grown remiss in the practice of their religion.

One instance typical of his work will suffice to give some notion of the nature of his activities. Describing the actions of the Dublin Council prior to the death of Elizabeth, he says: “A sudden and violent persecution burst upon the Catholics. By order of my Superior (Fr Holywood), I confirmed the chief men of the city by letters of consolation, by messages and by many other ways. The other fathers also performed their duty with increasing care and with ardent zeal and devotion”. But unfortunately the Catholics had not been well instructed in the doctrines of Faith and therefore might easily be duped by the reformers. In several parishes in Dublin the people were ordered to attend the Protestant Services, but all refused. Finally, a number of the inhabitants were summoned to appear before the magistrates. Fr Fitzsimon visited them all personally and instructed them before the meeting. In his own words “all stood firm, rejoicing that they were deemed worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus”. This victory strengthened the Catholics in the other cities of Ireland.

Of his work in Dublin we have an interesting account from the pen of Fr Hamill, a secular priest. Writing on the 25 December 1598 he says: “As the Catholics increased daily, Fr Fitzsimon thought it well to erect a chapel in the house of a nobleman, at which the faithful night assemble. He got the hall lined with tapestry and covered with carpets, and had an altar made, which was as handsome and as elegantly furnished and decorated as any altar in Ireland. In this chapel Fr Fitzsimon celebrated High Mass, an event which was phenomenal in the Dublin of the time”. Fr Hamill, referring to his apostolate, says: “He converts hundreds to the faith. Not to speak of others who have returned to the Catholic Church in Dublin, one hundred persons, who last communicated according to the Protestant fashion, this year received instruction, reconciliation, confession and communion for the good father”. For two years he worked incessantly and indeed most successfully to stem the tide of reform, but his good fortune did not last long. In November 1599, he was captured by the authorities and imprisoned in Dublin Castle.

Had Fitzsimon devoted himself solely to the active ministry of preaching and administering the sacraments, his main work would have ended here and his period of imprisonment would interest us both little. But his apostolate was more varied, and his most notable achievements lay in another field. As a controversialist he scarcely had an equal during his time in Ireland. On his arrival in 1597 We find him issuing challenges to all comers. Like St Paul, he excalimed that he himself had been defiled with almost the very same errors which he now sought out and refuted. “Why do I spend”, he says “so precious time and so much pains? Only to confound my errors and to do satisfaction to truth and religion which I impugnated. This also was the cause that, for two years after my return to Dublin, I was burning to dispute with the ring-leaders of the Reform - I wished it even, for this reason alone, that where my error had given disedification, my condemnation of error might wipe away the stain”.

His imprisonment did not put an end to his controversial activities. On the contrary it seems that it increased his opportunities for disputing with the reformed leaders. Prison life in Ireland at this time was not always a pleasant experience, as anyone will understand who peruses the accounts left of the suffering of Father David Wolfe or Archbishop Creagh. Fitzsimon himself gives us a description of his life during these days and of the hardships he had to endure. “From the time the Spaniards landed (September 1601) care was taken that I should be kept in the closest confinement, and be deprived of books and of every comfort that might alleviate the monotonous misery of prison life. By employing the most savage keepers he (the Governor of the prison) can find, by flogging some for being over-indulgent to me, by dismissing eight of them on that ground alone, and by suborning false witnesses against me, he shows the excess of his hatred against the name we bear (Jesuits) and the end we have in view”. It is a remarkable fact that, before he left the prison-cell, Fitzsimon had made a fast friend of the governor, Yet in spite of these hardships Fr Fitzsimon never ceased to carry on the work of the apostolate. The Protestant historian Wood, speaking of him at this time, says that he was the most able defender of the Catholic religion in Ireland. In prison he was always eager for the fray, and he compared himself to a bear tied to a stake waiting for someone to bait him.

It is interesting to note that Hugh O'Neill, on hearing of Fr Fitzsimon's imprisonment, demanded his instant release. He threatened even to renew hostilities with the government if his request was not granted, saying: “Wherefore as ever you think, that I shall enter to conclude tieher peace or cessation with the State, let him be presently enlarged”. But he added that he was “no more ‘beholden’ to him than to an Irish Catholic that is restrained in Turkey for his religion”. The precise reason for O'Neill's antagonism to him is not clear. Some authors infer that Pitzsimon had no sympathy for the Irish in their effort to withstand by force of arms the efforts of the English to conquer the country. But there is no evidence for these assertions, and all we can say is that Fitzsimon's primary interests lay not in matters of state or politics, but as far as possible in purely spiritual affairs, his love for Ireland rests not merely on such meagre proofs as his desire to write her history and, as an exile, to forward her religion, but above all, as we shall see later, it is shown by his longing to return to a country wherein he knew that death would surely be his destiny if only he were once more captured by the authorities.

During his imprisonment Fr Fitzsimon had controversies with many of the Protestant ministers, including the most outstanding men in the Dublin of the time. Among these were Dr Challenor, Dean Meredith Hanmer, James Ussher and Dean Rider. To assess the moral value of this work, we need only recall the great advantage secured by the reformers in Germany - and by Luther in particular - on account of the lack of outstanding supporters of the Catholic cause. The history of the Catholic Church in France in the eighteenth century evinces the same defect. And we need only glance back over the history of the sixteenth century in Ireland to understand the vital necessity to the Catholic Church of able defenders of the Faith. Fr Fitzsimon fully realised the inestimable advantage that would accrue to Catholics by the overthrow of the most prominent of their opponents. He saw that what the Catholics most needed was leadership. He would seek out their enemies, therefore, and refute their false doctrines, thus strengthening his own people in their Faith.

The language Fitzsimon used in the disputations might be considered unbecoming or even vulgar in our age, but such was the in language of controversy of the time. That he has no personal enmity for his opponents is shown by the extraordinary number of them whom he converted. Even the gaoler, who had been so antagonistic to him, became a Catholic before Fitzsimon was released. Hanmer too, as we shall see, became his friend and never molested him again. Fitzsimon was too good-humoured to be easily upset by criticism and too disinterested in his work to take personal offence at every slight indictment.

Of his encounter with Challenor, Fitzsimon gives us a short account. “As I knew the Protestants considered Challenor as one of their champions, I challenged him. He refused to have any dealings with the Jesuits, because they were disliked by his sovereign. This was an excuse created by his cowardice ...” When Challenor failed, Hanmer, nothing daunted, accepted the challenge. He had already written against Edmund Campion and was esteemed very highly by the reformers. Fitzsimon, with his usual candour, gives us an account of their meeting. “Dean Meredith Hanmer.... came with many high people to my prison. As he remained silent, I, trusting in the goodness of my cause undertook to defend what was weakest on our side and to attack what seemed strongest on theirs”. But Hanmer, unable to uphold his side, yielded and, from that time forward, refused to debate on controversial subjects with Fitzsimon. It is typical of the latter that after their dispute he should make friends with his discomfited rival. Hanmer, on his part, was not ungrateful, as we learn from Fitzsimon, who in a time or great need received from his former adversary a barrel of beer, a sack of flour, and the use of his library.

His next opponent was James Ussher, who was appointed Archbishop of Armagh later. Even at the age of fourteen Ussher had shown signs of genius. At that time he had already made a careful study of Ancient History, the Scriptures and the Meditations of St Augustine. Soon afterwards he made an extensive study of Latin and Greek authors, became interested in polemics, and was eager to read all the Fathers of the Church from the earliest tines up to the Council of Trent. Whether Ussher really understood what he had read is extremely doubtful. But at least the vast learning that he had attained - superficially or otherwise we cannot discuss here - incited him to undertake the defence of the reformed doctrines against anyone who would dispute with him. He visited Fitzsimon in prison and had several discussions with him. Finally Ussher sought a public disputation, which Fitzsimon refused. Many writers, following Elrington, hold that the Jesuit shirked a trial of strength with this brilliant young man of eighteen. But even the Protestant historical Wood is of opinion that Fitzsimon grew weary of disputing with Ussher, as he probably saw that further argument was futile. Even though we admit the talent of Ussher, yet when we compare the age, experience, and theological training of the two, we prefer to accept the statement of Wood, which in fact is corroborated by a letter or Fitzsimon himself. In it he says: “Once indeed a youth of eighteen came forward with the greatest trepidation of face and voice. He was a precocious boy, but not of a bad disposition and talent as it seemed. Perhaps he was greedy of applause, Anyhow he was desirous of disputing about most abstruse points of divinity, although he had not yet finished the study of philosophy. I bid the youth bring me some proof that he was considered a fit champion by the Protestants, and I said that I would then enter into a discussion with him. But as they did not think him a fit and proper person to defend them, he never again honoured me with his presence”. Even a cursory glance through Fitzsimon's writings is enough to convince one of his vast erudition, his prodigious knowledge of Scripture and the Classics, and his innate ability to turn an argument against an opponent.

Fitzsimon's final encounter was with Dean Rider, who later was appointed Bishop of Killaloe. Rider himself provoked the disputation but once Fitzsimon had accepted the challenge, he lost heart and kept postponing the ordeal. Finally Rider was forced to admit of his adversary “that in words he is too hard for a thousand”. Fitzsimon remained in prison for five years, but during that time he defended the Catholic cause with such success that, at the end of the period, he could sincerely declare that the reformers in Ireland were “clouds” without water, wafted by the winds: they are autumn trees, barren and doubly dead”. On the 5 April 1604, Fitzsimon gave an account of his five years' imprisonment. “I have been five years in prison, and I have been brought eight times before the Supreme Court... The Governor of the prison has been my deadly enemy.... At present they deliberate about driving me into exile... this is dearer to me than anything else in this world except death for the Faith”. Soon after this he was released and banished from the country.

For the next twenty-six years Fitzsimon worked on the Continent. Many of his written works belong to this period, and he attempted even a History of Ireland, which unfortunately is not extant. He was chaplain to the Emperor in the Bohemian Campaigns of 1620 and was an intimate friend of the greatest generals on the Austrian side. Little is known of his activities during these years, but in 1630 he was sent back to the Irish Mission. He was then about sixty-four years old. From casual references here and there we can gather that age had not damped his zeal or enthusiasm. In 1637 it was reported that he was in good health for his years (he was then seventy-one) and that he still preached and heard confessions. In 1660 his contemporary Fr Young wrote a sketch of his life where we find a description of his last years.

In the winter of 1641, Fitzsimon then about seventy-five years old was condemned to be hanged. In company with many other Catholics he fled to the Dublin mountains, where he sought shelter in a shepherd's hut, Even at this time he did not remain inactive, but went from house to house instructing the children of the poor and administering the sacraments. At last, worn out by fatigue, and hardship, he was taken to the quarters occupied by the Irish army - probably at Kilkenny. There he was entrusted to the care of his religious brethren, but in a few months he was dead. The date of his death is uncertain, but it was probably the 29 November 1643. Writing of Fr Fitzsimon, Fr Young says that heresy feared his pen, and that Ireland admired and loved him for his piety and for the great gifts of nature and grace with which God had endowed him.

Fr. Fitzsimon's end was marked with a note of tragedy and even of apparent failure. An outlaw on the hills, he died far from the scene of his constant toils. Probably no priest had done more for the Catholics in the Pale than he had. No opponent had ever encountered him and gone away victorious. Yet, despite all his controversies, he had very few personal enemies. “By his death” says Wood “the Catholics lost a pillar of the Church, being esteemed a great ornament among them, and the greatest defender of religion, and the most noted Jesuit of his time”. From these facts it is clear that Fitzsimon played a large part in the Catholic counter-reformation in Ireland.

Perhaps, before concluding this brief sketch of the life of Fr Fitzsimon, it might be well to refer to his literary activities. He was one of the most voluminous writers of the time. Two of his books were written in refutation of the theories put forward by Dean Rider, whom we have already mentioned. These are “A Catholic Confutation of it, M John Riders clayne of Antiquitie” and “A Reply to M Riders Postscript!” These and another book, “An Answer to certain complaintive letters of afflicted Catholics for Religion”, were printed at Rouen in 1608. The latter has been edited by Fr Edmund Hogan, SJ, under the title of “Words of Comfort to Persecuted Catholics”. It gives a description of the persecutions which Catholics had to endure at the beginning of the seventeenth century in Ireland.

His next book was a treatise on the Mass. Printed at Douay in the year 1611, it is entitled “The Justification and Exposition of the Divine Sacrifice of the Masse, and of al rites and Ceremonies thereto belonging divided into two bookes”. In the words of Fitzsimon, his first book treats of “controversies and difficulties, and devotion belonging to the Masse”, while in the second book “the first masso in the missal is justified, and expounded for all and everie parcel thereof”. This treatise, which contains almost 450 pages, displays remarkable intimacy with Sacred Scripture and with the writings of the Fathers of the Church.

The next work we know of is entitled “Britannomachia ministrorum in Plerisque et Fidei Fundamentis, et Fidei articulis Dissidentiunt”. Divided into three books it contains a defence of Catholic doctrines and a refutation of the theories propounded by the reformers. In 1619 Fitzsimon edited at Liège the “Catalogus Sanctorum Hiberniae”, which has been annotated by Fr Paul Grosjean, SJ, in "Feil Sgribhinn Eoin Mhic Neill”. The “Bohemian Campaign” he published in 1620 under the pseudonym of “Constantius Peregrinus”. This work is really a diary written during the wars in Bohemia. He also published another work, in connection with this campaign, under the title of “The Battle of Prague”. After his return to Ireland in 1630, Fitzsimon was so harassed by persecution that no opportunity was given him for further literary work.

James Corboy SJ

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Henry FitzSimon 1566-1643
Our ablest and unsurpassed controversialist was Fr Henry FitzSimon. He was born at Swords County Dublin on May 31st 1566 of wealthy and prominent parents. These latter, dying when Henry was young, he was brought up a Protestant.

He got his early education at Manchester, and studied later at Christ Church College, Oxford. He was converted to the Catholic faith in his infancy by Fr Thomas Derbyshire in Paris. He retained one relic of his Protestantism, an aversion to holy water. One morning however, on his way to Mass, having a violent pain in his thumb, he plunged it into the Holy Water font, and was instantly cured.

In 1592, at Tournai, he entered the Society, and he came to Ireland with Fr James Archer in 1597. Most of his work was carried on in the Pale. He displayed a fearlessness in the face of Protestants in Dublin, which in the opinion of his Superior, almost amounted to recklessness. For example, he set up a chapel in the house of a nobleman, and had High Mass celebrated with a full orchestra, composed of harps, lutes and all kinds of instruments, except the organ. The like had never been seen in Dublin for years, and hundreds flocked to the ceremony. Most important of all he founded the Sodality of Our Lady, the first in Ireland.

Arrest followed in 1599 and he was lodged in Dublin Castle. But “stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage” was certainly true of him. He held conferences in prison with the leading Protestant divines, Challenor, Ussher and Dean Rider. On the naccession of James I, he was released and banished to Spain.

In Spain he did trojan work for the Irish Colleges from 1604-1630. In that year he returned to Ireland. In the Confederate War, he was forced to take to the Dublin hills, where he ministered to the people for a year. Finally, overcome by old age, exposure and hunger, he collapsed, and being conveyed to Kilkenny, in spite of tender care, he died on November 29th 1643.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
FITZSIMON, HENRY, was born in Dublin, in 1567,his Father was an eminent merchant. He was matriculated at Hart’s-hall, Oxford, 26th April, 1583. Nine years later, at the age of 25, he associated himself to the Society of Jesus at Douay. Under the instructions of the great Lessius, he soon was qualified for the chair of Philosophy, which he filled for several years. An ardent zeal for Religion urged him to solicit his return to his native Country; and I find that he reached Dublin late in the year 1597. Here he gave abundant evidence of commanding talents as a Preacher, of a fearless spirit and unbounded charity. Strange to say, he ventured to have a solemn High Mass, performed with great variety of musical instruments a sight that Dublin had not witnessed for Forty years before : and he also instituted a Sodality or Confraternity in honour of the B. Virgin Mary. But he was at length apprehended and detained in prison for five years, during which period, at eight different times, he was brought into Court; but was always remanded. Soon after the Accession of K. James, great interest was made for his discharge, and alter much negotiation, he was hurried as an exile on board a ship bound to Bilboa, without being allowed to take leave of his friends. Before he left the jail, he had reconciled many to the Catholic Church, and during the voyage his zeal produced the happiest effects among the crew and passengers. On the 14th of June, 1604, he landed at Bilboa. Rome, Liege, and the Low Countries admired his devotion to the labours of his Ministry : it was his pleasure and delight to visit the sick, to attend the infected, to assist prisoners and persons condemned to death; but his heart panted to re-enter the field of hardship and danger in his beloved and afflicted Country; and at last Superiors allowed him to follow his own inclinations. Like the giant he exulted to run his course : and the fruits of his industrious activity everywhere appeared in the numerous conversion of heretics, and in the strengthening of Catholics in practical religion. The Civil and Military Authorities marked him out for vengeance. In the winter of 1612, in the darkness of the night, he effected his escape from Dublin. Winding his way through sequestered woods and dells, he took up his quarters in a wretched cabin that he found in a Morass, where he was safe from those who hunted after his blood. Though exposed to the pitiless storm, and suffering every privation, this blessed Father never lost his serenity and elastic gaiety, and was always ready to administer consolation to others. But this Winter campaign broke down his constitution. Removed to a place of comparative comfort, he was treated by his brethren with the most affectionate care and charity; nature however was exhausted, and after a short illness, full of days and fuller of merits, he passed to never- ending rest, with the name of Jesus on his lips, on the 29th of November, 1643, or as another account has it, on the 1st of February, 1844. “By his death the Roman Catholics lost a pillar of their Church, being esteemed a great ornament among them, and the greatest Defender of their religion, in his time”. Wood’s Athenae. Oxon, vol. II. p. 46. This eminent writer left to posterity,
1 “A Calholic Refutation of Mr. John Rider’s claim of Antiquity”. N.B. This Rider was Dean of St. Patrick, and subsequently appointed to the See of Killala.

  1. “Reply to Mr. Rider s Postscript”.
  2. “An Answer to certain Complaintive Letters of afflicted Catholics for Religion”.
    All these were printed in a 4to. Vol. Rouen, 1608.
  3. “The Justification and Exposition of the Divine Sacrifice of the Masse, and of all Rites and Ceremonies thereto belonging”. 4to. 1611, pp. 356. I think printed at Douay.
  4. “Britannomachia Ministorum in plerisque et fidei fundamentu a Fidei Articulis dissidentium”. 4to. Douay, pp. 355.
  5. “Catalogus Sanctorum Hiberniae” Svo Liege, 1619, pp. 117.
    This was appended to the Hibernice sive Antiquioris Scotiae vindicia adversus Thomam Dempsterum, an 8vo. printed at Antwerp, 1621. Its author adopted the initials G. F.

Forristal, James, 1857-1930, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1326
  • Person
  • 02 June 1857-19 February 1930

Born: 02 June 1857, Kilkenny City. County Kilkenny
Entered: 14 August 1887, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final Vows: 15 August 1898, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 19 February 1930, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

2nd year Novitiate at Drongen Belgium (BELG);

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 5th Year No 3 1930
Obituary :
Fr James Forristal

On the 2nd June, 1857 Fr. Forristal was born, and 30 years later entered the Society at Dromore, as a priest. The 2nd year's novitiate was made at Tronchiennes, after which he went to Milltown and repeated his theology with success. A year at Belvedere and two at the Crescent brings him to 1893 when he became Professor of the short course at Milltown. At the end of two years, Mungret had him as Director of the Apostolic School. Five years were spent at this important work. A year at the Crescent followed, and then back to profess the short course at Milltown. In 1903, he became Professor of Scripture. From 1907 to 1924 his time was divided between Crescent, Galway, Milltown and Mungret, discharging varied duties. In 1924, there was a very bad heart failure, and he passed the rest of his life in Tullabeg, “Cur, Val”. He died on Monday, Jan. 27th 1930. Death was very sudden. He had been at recreation, which ended at 5,30, in the best of spirits. An hour later, the Br. Infirmarian knocked at his door, and receiving no answer, thought it well to enter. He found Fr. Forristal dead. His head and shoulders were resting on the pillow of the bed, his feet stretched out on the floor. One boot was off, lying beside his foot. Presumably he sat down on the side of the bed to take off his boots. The effort of stooping was too much for his weak heart, and without struggle or pain, he passed to his reward. The Rector and Minister were at once on the scene. He was absolved, and received Extreme Unction. The body was still warm. It is a great consolation to know that he was able to say Mass every day up to the very end.
Fr. Forristal occupied nearly every position that a Jesuit could occupy, from Master of elements up to Professor of theology, and to all he brought the same steady, quiet energy that ensures solid success. He was a very observant, excellent religious. If one would single out any one of the qualities that adorned his life it would certainly he the unfailing good humour that accompanied him wherever he went, and endeared him to all who had the good fortune to know him and live in the same house with him.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James Forristal 1857-1930
Fr James Forristal was in Kilkenny on June 2nd 1857 when he was already a priest. Thirty years later he entered the Society as a novice at Dromore.

For two separate periods he was a professor at Milltown Park, first as Professor of the Shorts 1893-1895, and then from 1900-1907 as Professor of Scripture. He also spent five years as Director of the Apostolic School Mungret. Having spent some years in various capacities at the Crescent, Galway and Milltown, in 1924, he had a stroke which invalided him, and he spent the remaining 6 years of his life in Tullabeg.

Death came very suddenly on Monday January 27th as he left recreation at 5.30 in the best of spirits and apparently in good health. An hour later, the Brother Infirmarian found him dead, head and shoulders resting on the bed, with one leg off, as is the effort of bending down was too much for his weak heart.The Rector and Minister were soon on the scene. He was absolved and anointed, the body being still warm. He had been able to say Mass every day up to the end.

He had led a busy and industrious life in the Society, carrying out his various duties with a quiet energy, which ensures solid success. An observant religious, he was endowed with unfailing good humour which assisted him greatly in his work, and endeared him to the different communities in which he had lived.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1930


Father James Forristal SJ

It is many years since Fr Forristal came to Mungret. He was here about thirty years ago. He is well remembered by the boys who were here then. He was for a time Moderator of the Apostolic School and Director of the BVM Sodality. Having left Mungret, he taught Theology for some time at Milltown Park, and was for a long time attached to the Sacred Heart Church, Limerick. He was for a time in charge of the week-end Retreats at Milltown. For many years he was in weak health, but he always kept his cheerfulness. He was known widely throughout Ireland, and loved for his genial kindly character and unfailing courtesy.

His death occurred rather suddenly at Tullabeg, in March. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father James Forristal (1857-1930)

Was born in Kilkenny and was a secular priest when he entered the Society in 1877. He was a member of the Crescent community, 1891-1893, 1900-1901 and 1907-1915. Father Forristal was sometime professor of theology at Milltown Park and for five years superior of the Apostolic School of Mungret College.

Gaffney, David G, 1941-2020, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/864
  • Person
  • 23 April 1941-06 May 2020

Born: 23 April 1941, Dangan, Thomastown, County Kilkenny
Entered: 06 September 1958, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 20 June 1971, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1977, St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia
Died: 06 May 2020, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park, community, Dublin at the time of death.

by 1963 at Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1974 at Guelph ONT, Canada (CAN S) making tertianship
by 1975 at Lusaka, Zambia (ZAM) working
by 1978 at Pleasanton, CA USA (CAL) studying
by 1981 at Chicago IL, USA (CHG) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

David Ga(ney SJ: a gentle and dedicated Jesuit
Irish Jesuit David Gaffney, a native of Thomastown, Kilkenny, passed away in St Vincent’s Hospital on 6 May. He was 79. Due to current government guidelines regarding public gatherings, the funeral is private. A memorial Mass to celebrate David’s life will take place at a later date.

The condolences posted on the website display the high regard and warm affection which people had for him wherever he lived and worked. The same adjectives are used repeatedly: kind, wise, gentle, pleasant, peaceful, caring.

“We joined the Jesuits on the same day, September 6, 1958,” writes Barney McGuckian SJ; “He always edified me with his gentleness but also his tenacity in following the highest ideals of a Jesuit vocation. Gifted intellectually, he placed his God-given talents at the service of ordinary people, both as a writer and as a “hands-on” visitor to their homes.”

In the decades after he joined the Jesuits, David gained a great deal of intellectual and pastoral experience in many parts of the world. After an Arts degree in UCD, he went to Germany to study philosophy, returned to Ireland to study theology, then did further Jesuit formation in Canada before working for three years in a parish in Lusaka, Zambia.

He then worked in the United States in marriage counselling for four years before his definitive return to Ireland in 1982.

In the years since then he worked in marriage and family apostolates and as an editor of various publications. He was a regular columnist at the Kilkenny People and later with The Avondhu for a number of years, writing reflective opinion pieces regularly.

Regarding this work, Conall O’Cuinn, former Jesuit and Rector of Milltown Park, notes that in his articles David wanted to promote truly human values and “worked ceaselessly to ‘vamp up’ in his own mind his writing so that it would be more eye-catching, even if that aspiration was contrary to his retiring personality...”

In all of David’s activities he worked with great grace and devotion.

Read below the appreciation by Conall. He had not known of David’s illness and so says, ” I write this piece as my way of mourning David’s passing, for a passing it is, into the permanent presence of Jesus who leads him into the Joy of the Father.” :

A Gentle Giant
I ‘met’ David first in 1989 when I sent him a letter from Zambia on hearing he had taken over the editorship of Interfuse, an internal Irish Jesuit Province magazine. I had had an article rejected by a previous editor, and, once David took over, I immediately resubmitted it for consideration. By return post, he accepted the article. Since then on he has remained in my good books!

David took his editing and writing seriously, and later, during the years I lived with him in Milltown Park, I witnessed him faithfully send out his articles to provincial newspapers which were still accepting spiritual reflections. He worked ceaselessly to ‘vamp up’ in his own mind his writing so that it would be more eye- catching, even if that aspiration was contrary to his retiring personality, full of a depth that promoted true human values.

His other ‘apostolate’ at that time was Parish Visitation. Day after day he left the comfort of Milltown Park in his legendary anorak, in good, bad, or indifferent weather – “you’d never know, it might rain, or turn cold “- to travel by car across to Cherry Orchard Parish to visit the parishioners in their homes. He went with such dedication that I am sure he had many fans over there who appreciated his sincerity and his unassuming and unimposing manner.

David did not like fuss. He came quietly into a room and left quietly. Ideal for him would be a chat with one or two people in a quiet corner, where his sense of comedy and humour would show. A gathering was enhanced and deepened by his presence, even if he never took centre stage.

Many will remember that driving was not his forte. Smooth transitions from gear to gear eluded him, and he kept the local garage busy in clutch replacement. Eventually, we got an automatic in the community, and he liked that.

David was a member of the Milltown Park Consult. I valued his quite, gently proffered, wisdom. He always looked for the kind step to take, never encouraging harshness, always advising to proceed with gentleness and prudence.

I will always remember him as a gentle giant. He was personable and encouraging, always able to meet you in a way you knew afterwards you had been seen, had been regarded, esteemed, and valued. You felt bigger, never smaller. He did not crush the bruised reed, not extinguish the flickering flame. May he rest gently in the bosom of his Lord.

Conall O’Cuinn 12 May 2020

Early Education at Thomastown NS, Kilkenny; Mungret College SJ

1960-1963 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1963-1966 Pullach, Isartel, Germany - Studying Philosophy at Berchmanskolleg
1966-1968 Belvedere College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying H Dip in Education at UCD
1968-1972 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1972-1973 Manresa House - Socius to Novice Master; Directs Spiritual Exercises
1973-1975 Belvedere College SJ - Teacher
1974 Guelph, ON, Canada - Tertianship at Ignatius Jesuit Centre
1975-1978 Lusaka, Zambia - Assists in Matero Parish
1978-1980 Pleasanton, CA, USA - MA in Counselling at Santa Clara University & Parish work at St Augustine’s Church
1980-1982 Chicago, IL, USA - Marriage Counselling at Our Lady Mount Carmel Church
1982-1987 John Austin House - Marriage & Family Apostolate; Community Co-ordinator; Minister; Bursar
1987-2020 Milltown Park - Parish Assistant, Most Holy Sacrament, Cherry Orchard; Marriage & Family Apostolate
1989 Editor “Interfuse”
1992 Parish Assistant, St Vincent de Paul Parish, Marino
1994 Assistant Editor of “Messenger Booklets”; Family Apostolate
1998 Assistant Editor “Pioneer”
1999 Family Apostolate; Working in “Studies”; Writer
2017 Family Apostolate, Writer

Gellous, Stephen, 1613-1678, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1358
  • Person
  • 01 February 1613-22 July 1678

Born: 01 February 1613, Gellowstown, Dublin, County Dublin
Entered: 17 May 1639, Mechelen, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 04 April 1643, Antwerp, Belgium
Died: 22 July 1678, New Ross, County Wexford

Son of John and Maud O’Dunn.
Studied Humanities in Dublin under a priest Mr Edmund Doyle, Philosophy in a house of the Society under Fr Henry Cavell. They taught Grammar in Dublin.
Received into Soc in Belgium by Fr Robert Nugent
1644 At Antwerp (Arch Irish College Rome IV)
1647 Came to Mission (1650 CAT)
1649 Catalogue is at Kilkenny
1666 Is near New Ross where he conducts a boarding school with Fr Rice, administers the sacraments and other parochial duties. Was captured three times but set free each time. Now on the mission 23 years
A book in Waterford Library has “Steph Gellous Soc Jesu Resid Waterf”

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of John Gellows, a carpenter, and Maud née Dunn (Mechelen Album) Family originally from Gellowstown, Co Meath (now Bellewstown)
Early education was in Dublin under Edmund Doyle, a Priest, and then two years Philosophy under Henry Cavell at the Dublin Residence. He then taught Grammar at Douai until he was admitted to the Society by Robert Nugent, Mission Superior, 07 March 1637, and then sent to Mechelen for his Noviceship in 1639.
Studied three years Moral Theology. Knew Irish, English, Flemish and Latin.
1647 Sent to Irish Mission and had been a Professor of Poetry. Taught in the lower schools for three years and was a Confessor (HIB CAT 1650 - ARSI)
1649 Teaching Humanities at Kilkenny (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
1650-1660 He was a Missioner in New Ross, and in spite of all the efforts of the rebel Cromwellian forces, he continued by a constant miracle to escape arrest and say his daily Mass, which he did for twenty years. He went sometimes disguised as a faggot-dealer, a servant, a thatcher, porter, beggar, gardener, miller, carpenter, tailor, milkman, peddlar, dealer in rabbit-skins etc. he was nevertheless arrested four times, but always contrived to escape.
1666 Living near New Ross, where he kept a boarding school with Father Rice, taught Humanities and was a Missioner, Preacher, and occasionally with Father Rice, performing the duties of PP to the satisfaction of the Vicar General. The school took the lead of all the others in the country, but it was broken up in the persecution of 1670.
1673 He then taught about forty scholars near Dublin, and then tried to return to New Ross to unsuccessfully re-open his school there.
He was captured four times, and as often released, including riding a race with Cromwellian soldiers. He worked in the Irish Mission for twenty-three years.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of John, a carpenter, and Mouda née O’Dunn
Had studied Humanities for seven years under Edmund Doyle, a secular priest in Dublin, and then studied Philosophy for two years at the Dublin Residence with Henry McCavell (McCaughwell) as his teacher. With these studies, he then started teaching Grammar in Dublin, until he was received for the Society by Robert Nugent.
1641 After his First Vows he studied Theology at Antwerp, and with special dispensation from Fr General before he had begun his fifth year in the Society, he was Ordained there 04 April 1643. This dispensation was granted thanks to the Flemish Provincial’s report on Stephen's mature virtue.
1643-1644 Theology was not his forte and so he was sent immediately to Lierre for Tertianship
1644 Sent to Ireland and was to teaching at Kilkenny. Mercure Verdier in his Report of 24 June 1649 for the General on on the Irish Mission described Gellous as “an excellent religious man, who takes no part in worldly business”.
After the Cromwellian conquest he left Kilkenny to exercise his mission in Co Wexford. He became something of a legend for resourcefulness during the “commonwealth” regime. he was captured four times but managed to get free. On one occasion, a protestant judge, disgusted by the perjury of Gellous’ betrayer let him go free. On another occasion he was deported to France, but due to a storm the Captain had to return to port, and once there let Gellous go free. On yet another occasion, he was out on a mission when he rode straight into a troop of Cromwell’s, and he challenged them to a horse race. They accepted, and at the end of the race let him go.
His HQ during these years was New Ross, and it was there, probably at the Restoration, that he opened a famous school, and with Stephen Rice conducted it with great success. Protestants, no less than Catholics were anxious to have their sons educated at this school whom was seen as a genius teacher. One feature of this school was the production of plays he had seen acted in Belgium.
1670 He was visited by the Protestant bishop and told to close the school and leave New Ross. The decision angered Catholic and Protestant locals alike. He staged his farewell by putting on for free, four plays acted by his pupils for the town, and then withdrew to Dublin.
1671-1673 Outside Dublin he conducted a small school by himself for two years
1673 Back in New Ross by popular acclaim and was there until 1678 - the year of his death
Most probably notifications of his death to the General would have gone astray due to the confusion caused during the Titus Oates's Plot.
By the Society’s standards, Stephen was not a clever man in book-learning, but his judgement on weighty matters affecting the Irish Mission was both sought for and respected by the General.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Stephen Gelouse SJ 1614-1675
In Ireland exact date and circumstances unknown died Fr Stephen Gelouse, a man of versatile talents and great zeal. He was born in Meath in 1614, was admitted to the Society in 1639 by Fr Robert Nugent in Dublin, did his noviceship in Mechelen and two and a half years of Philosophy under Fr Henry Cavell in the Dublin Residence.

He will always be remembered for his long and arduous ministry in New Ross, where for nineteen years he laboured as a priest and teacher. His school was famous. Fr Stephen Rice, the Superior writes this to the General : “Stephen Gelouse SJ has been working in and near New Ross this year 1669, and ever since 1650. When the plague and Cromwell’s tyranny ceased, Fr Gelouse taught a small school in a wretched hovel, beside a deep ditch, and there taught a few children privately. When the king was restored, his companion thought they might make a venture, the hut was levelled and a large house built, where they opened a school. It became famous and drew scholars from various parts of Ireland. There were 120 boys, of whom 35 (18 Catholics and 17 Protestants) were boarders. The Jesuits were forced to take the Protestants by their parents. The school flourished for 6 years. Fr Stephen produced a play which was enacted in the main square in new Ross. The play lasted three hours and was witnessed by a very large throng of Protestants and Catholics, many of whom came from distant towns to witness the novel spectacle. For the first time in Ireland, scenery was used on the stage. After the play there was a distribution of prizes”.

When the school was forced to close in 1670, in spite of Protestant parents who fought the authorities for its continued existence Fr Gelouse went to Dublin, where he taught a school of 40 pupils. In spite of persecution, he never missed a day saying Mass for 20 years. He was arrested 4 times, but managed to escape. He used adopt many forms of disguise : a dealer in faggots; a servant; a thatcher; a porter; a beggar; a gardener; a miller; a tailor; a milkman; a peddler, a carpenter and seller of rabbit skins. It was no wonder that he was so expert at training the youth to act.

In 1673 he tried to reopen the school at New Ross, but Protestant fanaticism defeated him. He was still alive in 1675.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
GELOSSE, STEPHEN, born in 1617, was teaching Poetry in Kilkenny College in 1649, and was then reported by the visitor Pere Verdier, as a truly good and religious man. I believe he made his debut as a Missioner at Waterford, whence he was sent to Ross to attend F. Gregory Dowdall in his last illness, and who died in his arms, on the 9th of August, 1659. For the next 19 years he continued to exercise his pastoral functions in that town and neighbourhood. No dangers that threatened him from the Cromwellian party who filled every place with blood and terror, could deter this genuine hero from doing his duty : no weather, no pestilential fevers, no difficulties could hold him back from visiting the sick and the dying in their meanest hovels!. His purse, his time, his services, were always at the command of the distressed Catholic : it was his food and delight to exercise the works of mercy corporal and spiritual. Though the tyrant Cromwell had issued a proclamation to his troops, (and they were in the habit of searching the houses of respectable Catholics), that should they apprehend a Priest in any house, the owner of such house should be hung up before his own door, and all his property be confiscated; and that the captors of the Priest should be rewarded at the rate the Wolf destroyers formerly received (so little value was attached to a Priest s life); nevertheless F. Gelosse managed every day to offer up the unbloody sacrifice of the altar : his extraordinary escapes from the clutches of his pursuers border on the miraculous. He adopted every kind of disguise; he assumed every shape and character ; he personated a dealer of fagots, a servant, a thatcher, a porter, a beggar, a gardener, a miller, a carpenter, a tailor with his sleeve stuck with needles, a milkman, a pedlar, a seller of rabbit skins, &c. thus becoming all to all, in order to gain all to Christ. However, he was four times apprehended, as he told F. Stephen Rice; but his presence of mind never forsook him and he ingeniously contrived to extricate himself without much difficulty. After the restoration of Charles II. he set up a school at Ross, which took precedence of all others in the country, whether rank, numbers, proficiency, discipline, or piety, be taken into consideration, but this was broken up by the persecution in 1670. He then removed to the vicinity of Dublin, where he taught about forty scholars; and in August, 1673, he returned to Ross to reopen his school, but at the end of three months was obliged by the fanatical spirit abroad to abandon this favourite pursuit. He was still living in the summer of 1675, when I regret to part company with him.

Grene, Christopher, 1629-1697, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1387
  • Person
  • 29 August 1629-13 November 1697

Born: 29 August 1629, Co Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1658, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 07 September 1653, Rome, Italy - pre Entry
Final Vows: 02 February 1669
Died: 13 November 1697, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)

1665 In English College in Rome, Minister and Procurator
1675 ANG Catalogue Was in Rome
There was a “Chris Grene” Penitentiary of the Holy House, Loreto 1674-1686 and 01 November 1686 to July 1692

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of George and Jane née Tempest - who had retired to Kilkenny from their native land (England?) due to persecution. Younger brother of Martin
Early education was in Ireland, then Humanities at St Omer. Went to English College Rome for higher studies 20 October 1647, and Ordained there 07 September 1653 , and sent to England to work 08 April 1654
After First Vows he was English Penitentiary at Loreto and St Peter’s, Rome, living mostly in Rome.
1692 Appointed Confessor at English College Rome, where he died 11 November 1697
He rendered great service in the cause of the English Martyrs by collecting and handing down the scattered record of their sufferings, as the Stonyhurst MSS testifies.
He also carefully investigated and confirmed the truth of the tradition regarding the tender love entertained by Philip Neri towards the students of the English College Rome (cf his biography “Records SJ” Vol iii pp 499 seq, and Vol vi p 369)

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
GRENE, CHRISTOPHER, a very intelligent Father, and brother to F. Martin Grene, of whom more hereafter. For some time Christopher was Penitentiary at Loretto; where I think he was admitted to the Profession of the Four Vows, on the 2nd of February, 1669; but he chiefly resided at Rome, where he was Penitentiary at St. Peter’s. There he died in 1697.

Grene, Martin, 1617-1667, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1388
  • Person
  • 1617-02 October 1667

Born: 1617, County Kilkenny
Entered: 1638, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: c 1646, Pont á Mousson, France
Final Vows: 23 November 1654, London
Died: 02 October 1667, Watten, Belgiumm - Angliae Province (ANG)

Novice Master Angliae Province (ANG)

1645-1646 In 4th year Theology at Pont á Mousson, not yet a priest
1646-1647 A Priest. Prefect of Philosophers at Rheims
1648-1649 Not in CAMP Catalogue
Is Called “Hibernus” in ANG Catalogue 1639

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of George and Jane née Tempest - who had retired to Kilkenny from their native land (England?) due to persecution. Older brother of Christopher.
1655 Serving on the English Mission at St Mary’s, Oxford district
Appointed Novice Master and Rector at Watten and he died there 02 October 1667
He rendered good service in collecting materials to assist Fr Bartoli in history of the English Province
(cf his biography and literary works in “Records SJ” Vol iii pp 493 seq, where two letters from him to his brother are printed.; de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ” for his literary works)
(cf note by Fr Morris inserted in Foley’s Collectanea and Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS regarding a relic of the “Crown of Thorns” and it’s connection with Martin Grene)

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
GRENE, MARTIN (for so he spells his surname). How he should have been passed over by Dodd is surprising. According to F. N. Southwell, p. 586. Bibliotheca, &c., and Harris, p. 158. writers of Ireland, this learned Father was born of English parents in the Kingdom of Ireland : but we prefer the authority of the Provincial’s returns of 1642 and 1655 expressly vouching for his being a native of Kent. He was, however, born in 1616 : after studying Humanities in St. Omer’s College, he was aggregated to the Society in 1638, and whilst serving the English Mission, was promoted very deservedly to the rank of a Professed Father, 3rd of December, 1654. During the twelve years that he cultivated this vineyard, he endeared himself to his spiritual children and acquaintance by his discreet zeal, unaffected piety, and varied talent and erudition. Recalled to Watten to take charge of the Novices, he shone like a pillar of light before them by his experience in a spiritual life, intimate practical knowledge of the Institute of their Holy Founder, extraordinary sweetness and affability of temper, and his superior literary attainments. His lamented death took place at Watten, on 2nd of October, (not 30th of September, as Harris translates the Postridie Cal Octobris of p. 586. of F. Nath. Southwell’s Biblioth.) 1667. aet. 51, leaving behind him the reputation of an eminent Classic, Historian, Philosopher, and Divine. We have from his pen,

  1. “An account of the Jesuites Life and Doctrine”," a small 8vo. of 149 pp. Printed in London, 1661. This admirable book was a great favorite with James II. In a letter of F. James Forbes, Superior of his brethren in Scotland, addressed on the 10th of April, 1680, to the General, John Paul Oliva, I read as follows, “Cum obtulisscm Serenissimo Duci Eboracensi libellum ad obiter tantum legendum, qui jam a multis annis a quodam Patre Green, Anglico idiomatc fuerat scriptus, in quo egregie Instituti nostri, Vitae et Doctrinae rationem reddit, ejus lectione adeo Princeps ejusque Conjux tenebantur, ut voluerint mihi, unicum quod habcbam, exemplar reddere, asserentes, se velle curare, ut tam praeclarum opusculum, et hisce praesertim temporibus adeo necessarium, typis iterant mandctur”. We hope to see a new edition of this valuable work.
  2. “An Answer to the Provincial Letters” A translation from the French, but with considerable improvements of his own, and with a brief history of Jansenism prefixed.
  3. “Vox veritatis, seu Via Regia ducens ad veram Pacem”. His brother I think, Francis Green, translated this Latin Treatise into English, and printed it at Ghent in 24mo., A.D. 1676. He had also a volume of his Church History of England ready for the Press, when death arrested the progress of his labours.
    To his well stored mind F. Dan. Bartolis in his “Inghilterra”. (Folio, Rome, 1667) was indebted for information on English Catholic affairs.

Two or three Letters of the Rev. Father to his brother Christopher are now before me.
The 1st is dated 18th of September, 1664. He expresses great anxiety for F. Bartoli’s prosecuting his intended English Ecclesiastical History, and his own readiness to assist “in so pious a design”. In answer to certain Queries, he says “I have the book De non adeundis Haereticorum Ecclcsiis”. It is certainly F. Persons work, and so it is esteemed by all here. It was printed in 1607, and though it have not F Persons name in the front, yet in p. 35, after having delivered his opinion that it is not lawful, he subscribes thus; Ita Sentio, R.P. : and then, in the following page, gives the opinion of Baronius, Bellarmine, and eight other principal Divines, then at Rome, signed by every one.
In the next place, he urges the expediency of consulting and reading the Protestant historians of this country, in order to elicit from the conflicting parties, the precise truth, and to expose error, adding “but that which I conceive most necessary for one who will write our Ecclesiastical History, is the Acts of Parliament, which make the Protestant Creed. They must be exactly looked into by one who will know the state of our Church affairs. For the later Parliaments do change the former. The main point of the Act of 1st of Elizabeth, by which the Queen had power given her to punish all that she should think fit, by any free born subject, to whom she should delegate her power; upon which clause the High Commission Court, and the oath ex- officio were founded : this main clause was repealed by Charles I. and the repeal confirmed lately by Charles II. As also the form of creating Bishops was lately changed by this king : and some other things in the Liturgy have been changed. So that without seeing the last Acts of Parliament, no man can tell what the religion of England is. -And since your departing hence, the Supremacy hath been strangely handled in the Lords House, and power denied the king to dispense in the Ecclesiastical Penal Laws, which, notwithstanding, all his predecessors since Henry the Eighth, practised”.
In the second letter dated Sherborne, 9th of October, 1661, he repeats his willingness to afford his utmost assistance to F. Bartoli : and he says, “There be many very fine things that might be said in that History; but I fear it will be hard to get them together. For it hath formerly been so dangerous in England to keep any writings of that kind, that the greater part is lost, and no memory remains of many gallant actions, save only in the verbal relations of some of our old men”.
In the 3d letter dated 1st of January, 1665, he tells his brother, that he had now returned home about eight days since, from London that to save him trouble, had written in Latin what had occurred to him on the question of going to the Protestant Church, “that if you think it worth seeing, you may shew it to F. Bartoli. For the relation concerning F. Garnet s trial, I have it; but it being very long, I cannot send it in a letter, and yet know not how otherwise to send it. So that I am thinking to compare it with what is in F. More’s book (which now I have) and to write only that which the manuscript doth add, if it add anything considerable. I had once occasion to inform myself of that history, and I found none better than the two books of Eudaemon Johannes, the one “Ad actionem Edonardi Coqui Apologia pro P. Henrico Garnctto”, the other, “Parallelus Torti ac Tortoris”. Though the things be there spread and scattered, yet they are (if collected) very pertinent to clear F. Garnet and ours. For example, among other things this is one; that the Traitors had, amongst themselves, made an oath, that they would never speak of their design to any Priests, because they knew they would not allow of it ; also, that they were specially offended with the Jesuits, for their preaching patience and submission. There are divers other circumstances which manifestly excuse ours. I had a relation made me by one of ours, who had it in Seville, which clearly shows that the whole Plot was of Cecil’s making; but it being only told by an old man, who forgot both times and persons, I believe I shall never make use of it. Yet I have heard strange things, which if ever I can make out, will be very pertinent. For certain, the late Bishop of Armagh (Usher) was divers times heard to say, that if Papists knew what he knew, the blame of the Gunpowder Treason would not lie on them”, and other things I have heard, which if I can find grounded, I hope to make good use of. It may be, if you write to Seville to my brother Frank, he will, or somebody else there, give you some light in this business.

Hackett, William Philip, 1878-1954, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/172
  • Person
  • 02 May 1878-09 July 1954

Born: 02 May 1878, William Street, Kilkenny, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1895, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1915, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 09 July 1954, Belloc House, Kew, Melbourne, Australia

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

Early education at Christian Brothers School Kilkenny and Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1900 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1902 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University onlne
Hackett, William Philip (1878–1954)
by James Griffin
James Griffin, 'Hackett, William Philip (1878–1954)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1983

Catholic priest; radio religious broadcaster; schoolteacher

Died : 9 July 1954, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

William Philip Hackett (1878-1954), priest, teacher and propagandist, was born on 2 May 1878 at Kilkenny, Ireland, son of John Byrene Hackett, medical practitioner, and his wife Bridget, née Doheny. The Hacketts, a family of writers and bibliophiles, could trace their Irish patriotism to the battle of the Boyne (1690). Educated at St Stanislaus, Tullamore and Clongowes Wood colleges, William entered the Society of Jesus in 1896 and studied in France and Holland where he found his 'nerves' intolerable and theology intractable. He taught at Clongowes for six years and, after ordination in 1912, at Crescent College, Limerick, for nine. His friendship with participants such as Eamon de Valera in the 1916 rebellion, his republicanism and ardent loquacity influenced his removal in 1922 to Australia.

After teaching in Sydney at St Aloysius College and then in Melbourne at Xavier College, he was appointed parish priest of St Ignatius, Richmond, in 1925. Meanwhile his reputation for Irish patriotism, scholarship and energy had endeared him to Archbishop Daniel Mannix, who encouraged him to found the Central Catholic Library. It opened in May 1924 and by 1937 more than 2000 borrowers had access to about 60,000 books. Hackett's axiom was: 'a country that does not read does not develop; a community without spiritual ideas cannot survive'. Though he lacked business or administrative sense, he triumphed over financial problems owing to his humorous and courtly personality, and a showmanship backed by a wide-ranging acquaintance with literature. The library became a centre for discussion groups of graduates of Catholic secondary schools and at Newman College, University of Melbourne. Hackett fostered the emergence of an intelligentsia in the Campion Society, founded in 1931. As chaplain he took a heuristic line; laymen, he felt obliged to say, were not the clergy's inferiors.

Appalled by the Depression and the growth of communism, he helped to launch the influential Sunday Catholic Hour broadcast (3AW) in 1932 and was a frequent commentator; he watched over the foundation of the monthly Catholic Worker in 1936 and the national secretariat of Catholic Action in 1937 of which he became ecclesiastical assistant from 1943. While condemning both Nazis and Spanish socialists and extolling constitutional freedoms, he praised the pro-family and anti-communist policies of Fascist regimes. He helped to foster the Catholic Women's Social Guild, addressed the inaugural meeting of the Australian section of St Joan's International Alliance and supported the innovation of the Grail lay female institute.

Hackett's zeal did not make him generally popular during his rectorship of Xavier College in 1935-40. He ridiculed the emphasis on competitive sport (though he enjoyed vigorous bush-walking), joked about social committees, caused resignations from the Old Xaverians' Association by putting liturgical study groups before conviviality and, forming an elite student Catholic Action group, invited Campions to inspire students to reform capitalism as well as fight communism. In spite of a huge school debt he responded to Mannix's urging to found a second preparatory school, Kostka Hall, in Brighton and was held responsible for a later cheap sale of choice Xavier land to clear liabilities. His concern was less with curriculum and instruction than with activities such as the revival of the cadet corps. He farewelled the class in 1939: 'Keep fit. Don't grumble. Shoot straight. Pray hard'.

This militancy, and a vein of conspiracy, flowed through his later years. His health had been precarious: in the early 1940s he was confined to light parish work and from 1943 counselling at Xavier, then from 1948 at Kostka Hall. In 1952, however, he was appointed first superior of the pro-'Movement' Institute of Social Order. He wrote a pamphlet Why Catholic Action? in 1949, itemising its official bodies but failing to mention 'the Movement'. He voted for the Communist Party dissolution bill of 1951, admired John Wren's simple faith and marvelled at his ill-repute. He was a founder of the Aisling Society which propagated Irish culture, and he had a special knowledge of illuminated manuscripts. In 1942 he became a trustee of the Public Library, Museums, and National Gallery of Victoria.

Obliged as a confidant to consult with and entertain Mannix on Monday evenings and to accompany him on his annual vacations at Portsea, Hackett appeared to relish both these privileges and the role of court jester but his letters show he disliked being 'a quasi-episcopal hanger-on'. A man of 'gasps, grunts and angular gestures', he was a facile butt for Mannix's friendly if sharp jibes, but he was revered by Catholic intellectuals for his kindliness, enthusiastic piety, scrupulous poverty and scattered erudition. He boasted of his schooldays acquaintance with James Joyce and then castigated himself in private for such vanity. On retreat he complained of spiritual emptiness, occasionally scourged himself lightly but wondered if this were not self-indulgence. A feckless jay-walker, he died on 9 July 1954, a week after being hit by a car on a rainy Melbourne night. He was wearing a penitential hair shirt. In his panegyric Mannix called Hackett the founder of Catholic Action in Australia, praised his vibrant humour and said he was the humblest man he had ever known. He was buried in Boroondara cemetery.

Select Bibliography
G. Dening, Xavier (Melb, 1978)
U. M. L. Bygott, With Pen and Tongue (Melb, 1980)
Catholic Worker, Aug 1954
Irish Province News (Dublin), Oct 1954
Xavier College, Xaverian, 1954
Herald (Melbourne), 28 Jan, 4 Feb 1935
Argus (Melbourne), 10 July 1954
Advocate (Melbourne), 15 July 1954
C. H. Jory, The Campion Era: The Development of Catholic Social Idealism in Australia (M.A. thesis, Australian National University, 1974)
Hackett papers (Society of Jesus Provincial Archives, Hawthorn, Melbourne)
private information.

Note from Jeremiah M Murphy Entry
With another Kilkenny Jesuit, W. P. Hackett, he became confidant and adviser to Archbishop Mannix; this influence may explain what was, for his Order, an unusually long rectorship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
William Hackett came from a large family in Kilkenny. His father, a doctor, was a friend of Charles Stewart Parnell who had been in trouble with the Irish clergy for his radical politics. Together with his five brothers, William was given a free education at Clongowes Wood College. He entered the Jesuits at Tullabeg, 7 September 1895, studied philosophy at Vals, France, and taught at Clongowes, 1902-09. After theology studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, 1909-13, he taught at Belvedere College, Dublin, until 1922, when he was sent to Australia.
He performed parish duties at Richmond, Melbourne, 1924-34. From 1934-40 he was rector of Xavier College, Kew, founding Kostka Hall, Brighton, in 1936. Work in the Hawthorn parish followed, 1940-42.
From 1943-52 he lived at Xavier College and Kostka Hall, but his main work was as founding Director of the Central Catholic Library, which began it 1925. This locale became the meeting place for those associated with the “Catholic Worker”, a newspaper founded in 1936 influenced by the social teaching of the Church, especially “Rerum Novarum” of Leo XIII, and campaigned for the rights of workers. Hackett became the ecclesiastical assistant to the Secretariat for “Catholic Action” and the “Movement” in those years, roles that meant attendance at meetings, and advice given to those who sought it, but an appointment that never implied clerical control. Later, Hackett was elected a trustee of the Melbourne Public Library and National Gallery in 1942, and also became a foundation member of the “Aisling Society”, an Irish Australian cultural society whose main interests were the study of the history, life and culture of Ireland, and of the effect of Irish heritage on Australian life.
A lecturer and writer on a wide variety of subjects, Hackett contributed to “Studies”, “The Irish Ecclesiastical Record”, “Twentieth Century”, the “Advocate”, and other periodicals. He became Director of the Institute of Social Order at Belloc House, 1952-54, which was established by Archbishop Mannix as a centre for the education of trade unionists. Not only was it a place for training Bob Santamaria's Movement personnel, but also for anyone interested in exploring Catholic teaching on social justice. Hackett living at Belloc House meant that he became an important observer of Movement activities for the archbishop. Unfortunately, he had a sad end, dying ten days after being hit by a taxi crossing Cotham Road on a dark rainy night. At his funeral Mannix spoke fondly of his friend of 30 years. It was a sad loss to Mannix.
Oral history has perpetuated the myth that Hackett was deeply involved with the Republican faction in Ireland that led to the civil war in 1922. He was a friend of Erskine Childers who was later executed, and Michael Collins who was later murdered. Irish Jesuits claimed he would have been imprisoned for activities that included being a courier for an illegal news sheet edited by the rebels, as well as hearing confessions of “irregulars”. It was said that these were some reasons for his move to Australia. All through his life he kept correspondence with former Irish colleagues, usually writing in Gaelic. It was these activities in Ireland that drew him towards the archbishop of Melbourne, who also kept a close watch on political activities in Ireland.
A close personal friendship wide Dr Mannix developed, with Hackett becoming his companion every Monday evening at Rahel, the archbishop's residence, during which he reported to the Archbishop any news, local or from Ireland, from the previous week. Hackett's companionship at Raheen with the archbishop became particularly important when Mannix entertained some important dignitary. Mannix did not like to be alone with such people, and relied upon Hackett’s charm and wit to help entertain his guest. This companionship also extended to accompanying the Archbishop during his four week annual summer vacation at Portsea that in later years stretched to seven weeks, a task that did not bring cheer to Hackett. Brenda Niall in her biography wrote of Hackett that he “was the diplomat, mediator, envoy, entertainer and candid friend to the archbishop”, as “an essential link between Mannix and a new generation of intellectuals” that met at the Central Catholic Library This resulted in Hackett becoming the principal adviser to Frank Maher in founding the Campion Society the real beginning of lay Catholic Action in Australia.
Hackett was delighted when appointed rector of Xavier College, but others were not so pleased either at the beginning or at the end of the appointment. He was assigned probably because of his high degree of personal charisma and apostolic zeal.
During the course of his five years as rector, Hackett presided over the the disenchantment of teachers, parents and Old Boys, as well as the entrenchment of the school in the position of financial insolvency which he had inherited in the wake of the Great Depression. In fact, the school probably needed a man of less vision: a man focused on problem solving. His vision for Xavier was the personal formation of a Catholic intelligentsia for the purpose of rescuing the nation from the encroaching forces of evil, of which he was acutely conscious. He wanted the boys to assimilate Catholic social principles.
The intellectual and physical formation of his Volunteer Cadet Corps formed the essence of his initiative as rector of Xavier College. He was disappointed that Xavier College was not
producing more political and cultural leaders. He was aware that most Xavier boys preferred a career in medicine. law or business. Xavier's ends, Hackett insisted, were not his own but those of society in general, and the Church in particular. He singled out the Old Xaverian Association for criticism, suggesting that they should involve themselves in Catholic Action, and not just in sport and social activities.
His general lack of reverence for the traditions they valued manifested itself in particular actions such as his interference with the membership qualifications of their sporting teams, and his uncritical application of a directive of Mannix banning the serving of liquor at Catholic social functions. This last action was instrumental in dividing the organisation, rendering it virtually inoperative for several.
Hackett had a vision of intellectual Christianity for the school, and his spirituality demanded strength not of performance, but of mind. He established the Bellarmine Society, a junior Campion Society in which the students were given an intellectual introduction to modern sociological trends and to Catholic culture. The subordination of free logical thought to ideology or rules was unacceptable to him He scorned unthinking observance of positive laws, and did his best to ensure that responsibility was the keynote when it came to the observance of rules and regulations at Xavier. He even allowed senior boys to smoke on certain occasions.
His interest in debating was strong, and he introduced the Oxford Union or Parliamentary form. His primary concern was in fostering the art of public speaking rather than the
dialectic itself.
Preferring a spirit of truth to a spirit of competition, Hackett ridiculed emphasis on competitive sport and disputed the identification of good education with good examination results. He believed education had little to do with passing exams, and occurred, more often than not, outside the classroom. It was a luxury that involved financial cost and sacrifice, and was available only to the privileged, even if it was intended to benefit the whole of society. He frequently annoyed prefects of studies when he displayed a lack of deference for formal studies. He thought little of abandoning his own classes or taking students out of other classes, for purposes which he - but clearly not many of his colleagues - thought were more important.
His emphasis on responsibility was a manifestation of Hackett's adventurous bent of character, an attribute that did not lend itself to skill in administration. He had an enquiring mind, exotic taste, and often curious judgment. He managed to endear himself to many people in the school, even some of those with whom he clashed. And he was also a favorite of the
other heads of the Public Schools, who could appreciate his personal qualities, including his sense of humour and breadth of interest, without having to work under his less than efficient administration.
His adventures with his senior boys were not exclusively intellectual. Fond of bushwalking himself, he would take them on expeditions into the country, and occasionally camping, on the South Coast of New South Wales. He enjoyed the company of the boys, and they appreciated his humour, his lively mind, and unexpected comments. They respected him, but did not hold him in awe. He sent boys to Somers Camp to know those from other schools and to learn from different walks of life.
His financial administration was not successful and it was apparent that by the end of his term as rector he was out of place at Xavier College. He was certainly visionary, hut this was not needed at the time.
As a man and priest, he was always most courteous and showed genuine charity to all people. He was a man of deep and wide learning, but also had intelligence and sensibility, an artist as well as a scholar. He was a man of action. Besides founding the Catholic Library, he established in connection with it the “Catholic Evidence Lectures”, which later grew into the radio “Catholic Hour”. He also helped with the National Catholic Girls' Movement. With all these activities, he was most unassuming and kind, and he was noted for his exemplary example of personal poverty. He was certainly one of the more influential Jesuits who worked in Australia.

Note from John Phillips Entry
In 1954 Phillips was asked to take over the Catholic Central Library after the death of William Hackett.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 4 1927

Australia :
The Central Catholic Library, started by Fr. Hackett, is going strong. The new catalogue shows that it already contains 5,000 volumes with a yearly circulation of about 10,000. The Third series of lectures “The Renaissance” organised in connection with the Library, are proving a great success. Count O'Loghlen gave Fr. Hackett more than £500 for the Library. Both Count and Father are connected with Kilkenny.

Irish Province News 6th Year No 2 1931

Australia :

The following is an extract from a letter from the brother of the Australian Attorney-General, the Hon, Frank Brenman M. P. The writer is a leading solicitor in Melbourne :
“As I have just returned from a visit to Fr. Hackett at St. Evin's hospital I may say something about his recovery which will rank with anything you may have heard or seen at Lourdes.
Fr. Hackett had been consuming for several weeks certain tablets prescribed for rheumatism, when suddenly he broke down.These tablets were meant to be taken only for a time and then discontinued. It was now discovered that the tablets had been absorbed into his system, and were actually destroying the organs, especially the liver. Towards the end of August, I think it was, he was hovering at death's door, and the doctors pronounced the case to be absoluted beyond hope. On the last Friday of the month, at Benediction, Fr. Boylan S. J., who was taking Fr. Hackett's place, turned round and asked us to offer prayers for Fr. Hackett, as word had just come from the hospital that he was sinking rapidly and could not live through the night.
Next morning, Fr. Hackett, who was to have died during the night, called for that days' newspapers, presumably to read his own obituary notice. What had happened?
During the previous week Heaven's Gates had been stormed, and Prayers were offered up in every Church and in every convent for Fr, Hackett’a recovery. For that intention the Fathers of the Blessed Sacrament offered up a special novena, and on the last day their church was packed to the doors. Their founder is on the way to canonization, and the Fathers were anxious to have as many genuine miracles as possible. They took up a relic to the hospital, started their novena, and from the first were full of confidence. This confidence was not shared by everyone. A very shrewd, level headed Jesuit put his view of the matter in this form : “Miracle or no miracle Fr. Hackett cannot live.” 1 the other hand, it was said that a certain nun received sufficient assurance to declare that he would live. During it all (as Fr. Boylan put. it) in Fr Hackett preserved an even keel. He desired neither to live nor to die, but to accept with resignation whatever was his lot,
For a week he continued to make excellent progress, but then one night the said to his medical attendant : “Doctor when this thing was attacking every organ did it attack my throat at all?” The doctor said “no, but why do you ask the question?” “Because I have a nasty feeling in my throat” was the answer. The doctor examined and drew back in horror. The throat
was gangrenous, highly infectious, and must have a fatal result.
Hopes were dashed, a miracle was denied them, and the faith of the people was to be tried more than ever.
The nun-sister in charge was told that the end was in sight, that death would now come quickly and naturally. She listened and at once made up her mind to take a course not usual in hospitals. She took a small paper medal of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, dissolved it in a glass of water and gave it to the patient to drink. Next morning all signs of infection had disappeared, nor have they been felt or heard of since”
Shortly afterwards Fr. Hackett took a trip to Queensland to give the liver which, it was said, had been dissolved out of the system, a chance to grow again.

Irish Province News 29th Year No 4 1954

Obituary :

The news of the tragic death of Fr. Hackett, as a result of injuries suffered in a car accident in Kew, Melbourne, on the First Friday of July, caused a profound shock to his many friends in both the Irish and the Australian Provinces.
Fr. Hackett was a native of Kilkenny, where he was born in 1878, son of the late Mr. John Byrne Hackett, M.D. Educated at Clongowes Wood College, he entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, in 1895. He went to Vals, France, for his philosophical studies and was a master in Clongowes from 1902 to 1909. He studied his theology at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained in 1912.
Fr. Hackett completed his religious training at St. Stanislaus' College in 1914, and was then appointed to the Sacred Heart College, Limerick, until 1922, when he went to Melbourne. He was master first at Xavier College, then Assistant Superior of the Richmond Parish of St. Ignatius. He was appointed Rector of Xavier College in 1934, a post he held till 1940. It was during that period that he founded the college preparatory school at Brighton in 1937. He founded and directed for many years the Central Catholic Library, which was modelled on the Dublin library of the same name. Fr. Hackett was a brother of Mr. Francis Hackett, author and historian, and of Miss Florence Hackett, playwright; he was also an intimate friend of the Archbishop of Melbourne, Most Rev. Dr. Mannix, and usually spent holidays with him at Queenscliff.
From the above brief record of the life and work of Fr. Hackett it is difficult, after the lapse of more than thirty years since he left his native land never to return, to give an adequate account of the great work he accomplished for God, the Society and Ireland during the early active years of his apostolate at home.
But we, his near contemporaries, have no difficulty in giving at least an estimate of his personality as it stands out in all its freshness in our minds today after the lapse of a generation. To us he was the living embodiment of the young man in the Gospel as he asked Christ : “What is yet wanting to me? What else shall I do?” The dominant note in his character was an unceasing, an almost restless desire and striving to do “something extra” for God, to be engaged in some work of super-erogation, especially if it was a matter of “overtime charity” for one of his own community. If there was a sick member of the community who needed special attention, it was invariably Fr. Hackett who supplied the need. If there was an extra class to be taken at a moment's notice, it was always Fr. Hackett who filled the gap.
With externs also it was the same story : if there was an accident down the street in Limerick, the odds were that the priest rendering first aid was Father Hackett. If an unruly group of schoolboys were threatening to disturb the peace of Clongowes, you could take it for granted that order would be restored as soon as Fr. Hackett appeared on the scene.
His room (like that of other restless workers for God) was more like a general stores than a human habitation : lantern-slides, photo plates, weather-charts, directories and catalogues, &c., &c., but always near the door the prie-dieu “cleared for action”, proclaimed a man who, in spite of all his activities, lived a deep interior life, hidden with Christ in God.
In 1922, Father Hackett was sent to Australia. It was the transition period in Ireland, the epoch that followed the “Four Glorious Years” and culminated in the establishment of the “Free State”. Son of a Parnellite father, Fr. Hackett, like his great friend Archbishop Mannix, was a patriot in the best sense of the word. To leave his native land forever entailed for him a pang, the keenness of which was known only to his most intimate friends; yet at the command of Obedience he was as ready to go to Alaska or the Fiji Islands, had he been ordered to do so, as he was to go to Australia.
His career in the land of his adoption, of which we have given a brief summary above, followed the same pattern as in Ireland. Always with him it was a case of : “What else is wanting to me ? What more shall I do?” In addition to his already well-filled round of duties, his laborious days and often laborious nights as well in the work of the Ministry and the schoolroom, he undertook further tasks in the form of super-erogation. We have only space to enumerate the principal ones among them :
Thirty years ago, a few years after his arrival in Australia, he founded the Central Catholic Library in Collins St. It now contains 81,000 books, a notable monument to the untiring zeal of its zealous founder. His intellectual interests covered an even wider field and in 1942 he was made trustee of the Public Library and National Gallery.
Fr. Hackett spent about twelve years as Spiritual Director of Catholic Action in Australia. For the past few years he taught Social Science at Belloc House, Sackville St., Kew. His diamond jubilee in the Society was due to take place next year. We can well imagine how he would have replied to any eulogies pronounced on him : “Si adhuc sum pecessarius, non recusabo laborem”.
Perhaps we cannot conclude this brief obituary notice of Fr. Hackett more suitably than by citing a few of the tributes that have been paid to him and that have reached us from Australia since his recent lamented death :
Miss C. Misell, head librarian of the Central Catholic Library, said : “I worked with Father Hackett for twelve years. He was a wonderful man with a great sense of humour. He was a real mine of information on literature”.
Mr. C. A. McCallum, Chief Librarian, said: “We shall miss his charming personality, his great friendliness and his delightful. puckish sense of humour. He was an authority on the most famous of the Irish manuscripts, the Book of Kells, dating back to the year 800”.
Father J. R. Boylen, Rector of Xavier College, Kew, said : “Father Hackett had a great variety of friends, both rich and poor. He was beloved by students at Xavier and the University and helped many in their careers. His death is a very great loss. He stimulated many Catholic activities with his infectious zeal”.
Father Austin Kelly, Provincial of Australia, said: “We shall miss Father Hackett in a hundred ways; he was as full of life and fun and zest as ever. We buried him yesterday (12 July) with great ceremony, two Archbishops and two Bishops being present at the Requiem, and a very large and representative concourse of people. Archbishop Mannix preached a beautiful panegyric over his dearest friend”.
An extract from the panegyric will show how highly the Archbishop estimated his friend :
“But the greatest achievement of Father Hackett - and his achievements were many - was, in my opinion, that he laid the foundations of the Lay Apostolate of Catholic Action in Australia. That may seem a startling statement, but it is well founded. A quarter of a century ago, Father Hackett, with wisdom and foresight, establisbed the Central Catholic Library, and the young people who availed themselves of that Library were those who made it possible to start the Lay Apostolate in Melbourne and afterwards throughout the whole of Australia. That Library, I hope, will remain as a monument to Father Hackett. At the moment, the Central Catholic Library is, I think, without an equal of its kind in Australia or probably elsewhere. It was Father Hackett's foresight and his courage that established the Library and kept it going. He was always in debt, but he never faltered and the Library now has probably 40,000 or 50,000 volumes that stand to the credit of Father Hackett.
With all his work he was before all things a man of God, a man of deep faith and deep spirituality, who attracted many to seek his advice and direction. They were never disappointed. In spite of all his achievements, Father Hackett was the humblest man that I have known. I can speak from knowledge, because I knew him well. He was so humble that he never seemed to realise his own power or his achievements. He had a most attractive side of his character wish we all had it - he was able to laugh at himself. That is a great thing for any man to be able to do. He was probably too honest to be always supremely tactful, but his humour and his humility covered over any lapses from convention that he may have had. Father Hackett has gone. His place will be supplied, but I doubt if it can be filled. He was a man of God, truly unselfish, all things to all men. We shall miss him sorely, but he has gone to his Master with a splendid record of work in Ireland and in Australia. He traded with the ten talents that his Master gave him, and I am confident that he has entered into his rest. In the name of this great congregation and of all those who grieve with us for Father Hackett, I bid a fond and sad but proud farewell to this great Irish Jesuit priest”.
Ar dheis Dé, i measg fíor-laoch na h-Éireann, go raibh a anam, agus go dtugaidh Dia suaimhneas agus síothcháin do ar feadh na síorruidheachta.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father William Hackett 1878-1954
When people enquire after you twenty years after you have left a place, that’s a sure sign of a remarkable personality. So it was with Fr William Hackett. Many, many years after he left Limerick, people used still ask for him.

He came originally from Kilkenny, being born there in 1878, of a family distinguished in letters. His brother, Francis Hackett, was an author and historian, and his sister Florence a playwright.

In 1922 Fr Hackett was sent to Australia. It was a bitter wrench for him because he loved Ireland and everything Irish with an intensity, only excelled by his love of God and the Catholic faith. However he took the land of his adoption to his heart.

He was six years Rector of Xavier College during which time he founded the preparatory school at Brighton in 1937. He founded the Central Catholic Library in Melbourne, and also laid the foundation of the Lay Apostolate of Catholic Action in Australia. No mean achievements, and yet the give quite an inadequate view of the man.

He was a human dynamo of spiritual energy, ever on the go working for God and souls. Perhaps the greatest tribute to his character is the fact that he was the long and intimate friend of one of the greatest men of his time in Australia, Archbishop Mannix of Melbourne.

He died as a result of an accident on July 5th 1954.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 36 : February 1985


Francis J Dennett

The archivist of the Australian Province gives a fascinating account of the involvement of an Irish Jesuit in the Anglo-Irish War and in the Irish Civil War. Michael Collins is reputed to have said that “Father William Hackett was worth five hundred men to the Irish cause”.

For the title of this article I have stolen the sub-title which Walter Scott gave to Waverley, his novel about the Jacobite rebellion of 1745. It is now rather more than sixty years since the start of that complicated struggle, which the Irish very aptly term “The Troubles”, and in which Fr William Hackett became so deeply entangled that he had to be forcibly cut loose by being sent to the antipodes.

Scott felt compelled to write Waverley before all living memory of the Forty-Five had vanished, and I feel something of the same compulsion, for Fr. Hackett's part in the events of 1914-22 is becoming vague and distorted. Mr. B.A. Santamaria, for instance, writes in Against the Tide that Fr. Hackett “had left Ireland ‘for his country's good’, his close association with supporters of Michael Collins during the Civil War making continued residence in Ireland impossible”.

When I read this (which is very nearly the opposite of the truth), I thought that I must do something to set the record straight. Ill-qualified as I am to write on the matter, there are materials in our Australian archives which make possible an (at any rate) not-misleading reconstruction of Fr. Hackett's career as an Irish revolutionary, and this is what I have attempted. It has its importance; for no one can understand Fr. Hackett without understanding what was, after the Society of Jesus, the deepest influence in his life.

Annamoe, in County Wicklow, was the seat of the Barton family. The Bartons, Anglo-Irish and Protestant, had been landlords thereabouts for generations; by 1914 most of their land had been acquired under the Lands Acts by the former tenants; only the home farm, of a few hundred acres, remained Barton property. During the Troubles it was being farmed by Robert Barton.

Bob Barton, unmarried, lived there with his sister and his younger cousin, David Robinson; from time to time he was visited by another cousin, Erskine Childers, whose wife and two small sons, Erskine and Bobby, were also living at Annamoe. A quiet Anglo-Irish Protestant household, you would think. But Bob Barton was a Gaelic Leaguer and a Sinn Féiner, and an elected member of Dáil Eireann, the illegal parliament which in 1919 proclaimed itself the parliament of the Republic of Ireland and organized a clandestine provisional government and a national army (the first IRA); Erskine Childers was the co-ordinator of the IRA for southern Ireland; and Annamoe was the centre of a web of communications that ran from Dublin to Waterford and Cork and Kerry and Tipperary and Kilkenny and Limerick. The British eventually got round to arresting Barton when he was in Dublin as a member of the Dáil; I don't think they ever suspected Annamoe.

In 1920-22 Bob Barton's and Erskine Childers' visitors generally chose to come this way. In particular, a black-coated cyclist might have been seen fairly frequently, had there been anyone to see, pushing his way over the Featherbed and through Sally Gap. Dublin Castle would have paid good money for the papers in his saddlebag. But who would have suspected a bespectacled cleric toiling through the hills? At any rate, Fr. William Hackett was never stopped, either going to or coming from Annamoe.

Unfortunately I do not know just when or how Fr. Hackett made friends with the Barton or Childers families - but it must have been well before the Troubles. I imagine it was through the Gaelic League, of which they were all enthusiastic supporters, and possibly when he was a theologian at Milltown in 1909-13 and used to spend the Villa at Greystones on the Wicklow coast. What is quite clear is that a very close friendship sprang up between them, and especially between Hackett and Childers and young Erskine (”Erskine Óg”, as they called him). Perhaps I can best make this clear by quoting from a letter written by Barton to Hackett in 1923, when the tragedy was all over and Hackett was in Australia :

“I was released at Xmas and am nearly well again... Gaol begins to tell on one after you reach the age of 40... David (Robinson) was released 3 weeks ago... He did 42 days hungerstrike and was beaten and kicked about a good deal... The mountains are just as glorious. Sally Gap is still the same great melancholy friend. I drove over it not long ago and sent a few words of affection to you as I passed its crossroads. Do you remember the day you came to see us and lost your hat? Some day we shall do the journey again together... The next generation, seeing everything in perspective, will be able to love all Ireland and all Irishmen as we did. I send you all the beauty and love of the mountains as well as my own great affection. R.B.”

And again in 1931:

“You were always so fresh and enthusiastic after your ride across Sally Gap. When will you return again to talk over many things with Erskine, David and myself? There is no other priest living with whom we can talk absolutely freely and without offence, or Protestant clergyman either if it comes to that. And, re Erskine Óg, I think you would love this boy even more than you did when you used to take him out walking”.

Fr. Hackett's part in the Irish struggle cannot be understood apart from his special relationship with this little group - it was typical of his large-heartedness that it should be an Anglo-Irish and non-Catholic enclave in the Sinn Féin movement. He admired de Valera, but was never specially close to him, still less to Arthur Griffith or Michael Collins or the other IRB men; though of course till the Treaty they all worked and fought together,

Fr. Hackett's revolutionary activity began after he had emerged from tertianship in June, 1914 - six or seven weeks before the outbreak of the First World War.

Ireland 1913 - 14
In 1913, when it began to look as though the Home Rule Bill would be passed, the Unionists, helped by some elements in the British Army, formed the Ulster Volunteers to resist it by force of arms. (It is important to note that the Unionists were the first to appeal to force). In response, Sinn Féin combined with the Home Rulers to form the National Volunteers; early in 1914 Erskine Childers used his yacht to land 1,000 rifles for them; other arms were smuggled in by the efforts of the IRB. This was the Ireland, poised on the brink of civil war, into which Fr. Hackett emerged in June, 1914.

Then, as so often happens in human affairs, the unforeseen upset all plans. On June 28th Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated at Sarajevo, and by August 4th Europe was at war. The Ulster Volunteers were taken into the British Army as the Ulster Division. Redmond pledged the support of the Home Rulers and a large number of the National Volunteers also joined up for service against Germany. In the euphoria of the moment the Home Rule Bill was passed, but its operation was suspended till the end of the war. No one expected the war to last long. In the Jesuit status Fr. Hackett found himself posted to Crescent College, Limerick, and took up his duties there in September.

It seems probable that during that fateful summer he visited Annamoe; it is certain that during his years at Limerick he was in constant communication with it. He later wrote a brief account of those years. As it was written from memory, it is not entirely accurate; but it does give some vivid pictures which I shall quote.

Limerick 1914 - 20
When Fr. Hackett went to Limerick it was still thought that the war would not last long, and it seemed likely that, at its close, the struggle for Home Rule would have to be renewed. His first objective, then, as soon as he had settled in at the Crescent, was to get in touch with the local leaders of the volunteers and with their help to establish a Volunteer cadet-corps among the senior boys of the College. (He evidently had the approval of his Rector, Fr. Charlie Doyle). His motive in doing this was quite unambiguous: “I wanted to train my boys to fight for Ireland when their turn came”. It came sure enough: several of his cadets fought later in the ranks of the IRA. A local Volunteer and Sinn Féiner, Ned McLysaght, had an estate near Lough Derg called “Raheen”; he provided a quiet place for the annual summer camps of the cadets from 1915 to 1920.

These camps were run on strictly military lines, with daily drill and weapons-training (euphemistically described in Commandant Hackett's “Order: of the Day as “musketry exercise”). Where the weapons came from is not stated, but Hackett remarks that in 1920, when the possession of fire-arms was prohibited under pain of death, the boys had to train as well as they could without rifles. In any case, by that time I fancy that all available rifles were being used by the IRA.

Not all Fr. Hackett's patriotic activities were warlike. He writes: “The real need in Limerick was, and is, EDUCATION. To try and remedy this we started a League for the study of Social Questions. We got magnificent premises and had the nucleus of a Library, and had some lectures from Fr. Kelleher, Erskine Childers, etc. The Hackett of the Central Catholic Library was already in existence, though in a green uniform. But the whole Irish situation was radically changed in 1916.

The Easter Rising and its Aftermath
When it became clear that the European war was going to drag on for a long time, the IRB began planning on armed insurrection. They had enough influence in the volunteer movement to make this possible, and they hoped to obtain more arms from Germany through the efforts of Sir Roger Casement. The details of this affair are still far from clear (largely owing to the secrecy in which the IRB men shrouded their activities); what seems clear is that they failed to carry the mass of the volunteers with them, and in the event the insurrection of Easter 1916 was carried out by only 2000 men, and only in Dublin, instead of throughout the country. It was suppressed within a week. But, although so badly bungled, it achieved its object.

For the British High Command committed the appalling blunder of executing its leaders as traitors - only de Valera was spared, because he was technically an American citizen. But no Irishman, not even an Orangeman, could really regard as a “traitor” another Irishman because he had rebelled against the British Government in Ireland. The executions produced a revulsion of feeling throughout the country, of which Arthur Griffith's Sinn Féin party was the chief beneficiary. Fr. Hackett's view was that, lamentable as was the loss of so many Irish leaders, the British had dealt themselves by far the heavier blow. Most historians, I think, would accept this verdict.

In the 1916 affair Hackett played a small and yet rather an important part. When the insurrection broke out, communications between Limerick and Dublin were cut, and the Limerick Volunteers were left wondering what to do. Many of them were ready to rise, but they had received no orders. Their leaders consulted Fr. Hackett. His advice was that if they attempted to act without orders they would only make a mess of things and be destroyed - better keep their organization and arms intact and wait for another opportunity. As it turned out, this was excellent advice: when the Troubles really began in 1919 the Limerick Volunteers could be incorporated without difficulty into the IRA. But what is striking about this is the remarkable influence which Father Hackett had already gained by 1916; it helps one to understand the remark which was later attributed to Michael Collins: that Father Hackett was worth 500 men to the Irish cause.

Well, the European war ended at last in November, 1918, and the British Prime Minister, Lloyd George, at once held a general election. It turned out well for him except in Ireland. In Ireland, except in the north-east, Sinn Féin swept the country; the Irish Parliamentary Party was practically annihilated, and down with it went the whole idea of Home Rule.

Arthur Griffith could now put his own plans into action. The 70 or so Sinn Féin M.P.'s (including Robert Barton and Erskine Childers) did not go to Westminster; they met at the Mansion House, Dublin, in January 1919, proclaimed themselves the Parliament of Ireland (Dáil Eireann), and declared Ireland an independent republic, with Éamon de Valera as President. They proceeded to set up all the regular organs of government, and Michael Collins and Richard Mulcahy (both of the IRB) organised what had been the volunteers into the Irish Republican Army (the first IRA - not to be confused with its bastard offspring of today). The British government then attempted the forcible suppression of the whole movement; Sinn Féin responded by going underground. Shooting began in 1919, and soon became a full-scale guerilla war; the first modern-style guerilla war, with the bombings, shootings, ambushes and reprisals with which the whole world has since become familiar.

Fr. Hackett, still in Limerick, was in the thick of it. He has left an account of a couple of illuminating incidents. In 1919 a general strike was staged at Limerick as part of a campaign of non-cooperation with the British authorities. The military threw a cordon round the city, and no one was allowed in or out without a permit. “I made up my mind”, says Fr. Hackett, “not to get a permit and also to enter the city when I wanted to... on one occasion I had left the city, and in a friend's house I discovered great alarm because they had a lot of cartridges and they were liable to search (sic) and did not know what to do”.

“In a moment I solved the thing by taking the things in my pockets". (He means the deep and capacious pockets of an old-fashioned Irish Clerical greatcoat). I came to the bridge (over the Shannon), was challenged by a sentry who put a bayonet to my chest and said, ‘Your pernit please’. I tried the usual bluff, ‘I have not got one with me’. Again came the demand, more peremptory than before, ‘Your permit, please’. The wind came to my aid by blowing off my hat. I immediately started off in pursuit, The sentry followed in pursuit of me, shouting all the time, ‘Your permit, please’. Then one of those things happened that could only happen in Ireland. A bobby stationed at the far side of the long bridge, seeing me pursuing my hat, ran after it, captured it, politely dusted the edge of it on his sleeve, and handed it back to me and waved his hand to the sentry and said in a very superior tone, ‘Oh, he is all right’.”

A more serious affair was the raid on the Crescent College. Fr. Hackett, anticipating some such move, had blockaded the door of his room so that no one could come in without waking him. “About 1.20 a.m. I was awakened by people scrambling into my room. The leading figure carried an exposed candle in one hand and a revolver in the other. Three coated figures entered my room. To my challenge came the answer of a brandished revolver... They proceeded to go through my papers and presses... I felt fatalistic. My room was seething with sedition and there was a rifle up the chimney and the Shannon File full of Dáil correspondence against the wall. However, nothing happened... I heard afterwards that this raid was unauthorized and was undertaken by officers, one of them being Chief Intelligence Officer... Before leaving our house they wrote in the Visitors' Book \Three Strangers, Nov. 12th’.”

From this it is clear that Father Hackett was in it up to the neck. It is exasperating that he give no details of his work (perhaps the habit of secrecy still held him); but the “Dáil” was, of course, Dáil Eireann, the illegal parliament of the Illegal Irish Republic, and the correspondence dealt with the clandestince operations of the republican government.

What the rifle was doing up the chimney I cannot make out, for Father Hackett was not a fighting man: he regarded himself as the chaplain to the IRA and a non-combatant. Had it been discovered he would have been liable to be shot. Note the curious ineptness which characterise British intelligence work in Ireland, displayed also a couple of months later in the raid on Milltown Park in February 1921. They knew enough to be suspicious, but did not really know what they were looking for. IRA intelligence, on the other hand, was able to tell Fr. Hackett the background of the raid.

Dublin, 1920 - 22
Soon after this incident (because of it?) he was transferred to Belvedere College, Dublin, where his Rector was again Fr. Charlie Doyle. He is listed in the Catalogue as “Assistant to the Editor of the Messenger”. For a man of Fr. Hackett's talents and energies this assignment is laughable; one can only suppose that he was otherwise occupied. It was no doubt at this time that he became a regular visitor to Annamoe.

He has left us no details of his activities. One presumes that he acted as a courier, perhaps especially between IRA headquarters and Erskine Childers; it is clear also from surviving letters of Miss Barton and Mrs. Childers and young Erskine that he was a powerful support to the little family at Glendalough House, especially in early 1921 when the struggle was reaching its climax and when Bob Barton had been seized and imprisoned in Dublin.

But the British government, under pressure from many quarters, was weakening; by mid-1921 Lloyd George had had enough and was willing to negotiate; in July a Truce was proclaimed in Ireland and a peace conference was arranged to take place in London. It seemed that the fighting was over.

In the election of June 16th, 1922, the Irish people returned a considerable majority in favour of the Treaty. Nevertheless, fighting broke out almost immediately. De Valera did not want this, nor did Barton nor Childers, but their hands were forced by more extreme Republicans like Rory O'Connor, Cathal Brugha and Ernie O'Malley. The old pattern of bombings, raids, ambushes, shootings and reprisals was resumed, but now by Irishmen against Irishmen - Republicans against Free Staters.

All this was pure anguish for William Hackett. He was himself a convinced Republican; but he was in any case inextricably involved with the Barton-Childers group and could not have disentangled himself even if he had wanted to. But the Free Staters, unlike the British, knew all about Annamoe and its influence, and were determined to put a stop to it. It was at this point, in September 1922, that Father Hackett was suddenly ordered to Australia.

What lay behind this I do not know. Years ago I was told by Irish Jesuits like the historians Aubrey Gwynn and John Ryan that Hackett must have been arrested if he had stayed in Ireland; the most likely conjecture is that the Free State government, not wanting trouble with the Church, privately asked the Irish Provincial (T.V. Nolan) to remove him. We shall never know the truth about this.

What is certain is that, when Hackett was safely in Australia, the Free State forces staged a raid on Annamoe and seized Childers, Barton and David Robinson. Childers had a revolver in his possession. On this pretext (but really as a reprisal for the repeated killings by Republican gunmen of members of the Dail) he was court-martialed and shot on November 24th, 1922. Rory O'Connor and others were executed likewise. Bob Barton lived for weeks in daily expectation of the same fate, but for some reason was spared to return to Annamoe.

The Society and the Troubles
To understand the Provincial's action in “deporting” Fr. Hackett, one must try to realize how very difficult these years were for the Irish Province. Its members were as deeply divided in their sympathies as were Irishmen generally.

Perhaps I can best make this clear by giving two examples. Fr. Seán Mallin's father was one of the leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916; he was shot by the British after the surrender. On the same occasion. Fr John Fahy, the Rector of Belvedere College, received this letter from Dublin Castle :
Reverend Sir
It is a pleasant duty to record my thanks for your good service during the late rebellion in Dublin. I am informed that your personal influence persuaded many rioters to remain at home, and was a powerful factor exercised towards the restoration of order.
Believe me,
Yours very truly,
J.M. Maxwell

The signatory of this letter was “Bloody Maxwell”, the British C-in-C in Ireland who had Mallin shot, along with Pearse, Connolly and the rest. Fr, Fahy kept this letter all his life - one of the very few documents he did keep - one can only suppose that he remained satisfied with the part that he had played.

What brought the Irish Province through this crisis was the f'undamental loyalty of all its members to the Society. When William Hackett was ordered to Australia he went without a murmur; nor is there, in the later correspondence which survives with his friends in Ireland, a single hint of criticism of the Provincial's decision. Almost the first news that came to him in Australia was of the killing of Erskine Childers. It broke his heart. But it did not break his spirit, as we in Australia have good reason to know.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2019

Belvedere’s Revolutionary Priest

Father William Hackett SJ

Dr Barry Kennerk

This inaugural history paper was delivered by Dr Barry Kennerk at Xavier College, Melbourne in June 2018; it emphasises the time-honoured link between Belvedere College and its sister schools in Australia

On 25 September 1922, The Orient steariship, SS Ormonde, left Colombo, Sri Lanka, bound for Australia. The passage had already been a challenging one. The boat departed from London at the beginning of the month, sailed around Spain into the Straits of Gibraltar, and on to Naples where it picked up two hundred Italians, bound for the Northern cane districts. From there, it entered the Suez Canal and into the Red Sea. An Irish priest, Fr William Hackett, was one of the 1300 or so passengers on board but he did not have to share his passage with the farm Workers in steerage. He had a private berth in first class with his travelling companions, Fathers Edmond Frost and Daniel O'Connell. Given Hackett's friendly and outgoing personality, he might well have made the acquaintance of many of his fellow first-class passengers during e six-week voyage. They included Coadjutor Archbishop, Dr Sheehan, a friend of Archbishop Daniel Mannix, who felt that Ireland's political future depended on the revival of the Irish language, Liberal parliamentary MP, Mr A Wams and Mr Arnott, works manager of a Sydney biscuit factory, who would later profess to be glad to be back among the smell of the gum trees.

When the Ormonde reached the Red Sea, the heat was unbearable. There were two deaths on board - that of a Mrs Rickards and a Mr Groome, who was due to meet his son in Tasmania. Groome was presumably buried at sea but the body of Mrs Rickards remained on board all the way to Australia. “There would have been more deaths”, a ship's officer later told the Queensland Times, “but for the fresh breeze that commenced”. Every vessel that the Ormonde passed in the Red Sea reported similar distress among the crew and passengers. One cargo boat even signalled that there had been nine deaths? Today, the trip to Australia from Ireland takes little more than a day; the traveller gets little more than jetlag but very little to impart a proper sense of distance; the feeling that one has travelled thousands of miles. For the 44-year old Fr, Hackett, future rector of Xavier College, the experience must have been very different. During his six-week trip, he must have had time to reflect on the country that he was leaving behind and on the events in his life up to that point.

Fr Hackett was born in Kilkenny in 1878 and he entered the Jesuit order at the age of seventeen. He was ordained a priest in 1912. Prior to that, he taught at Clongowes Wood College where he and his brothers had been students. Hackett's involvement with the republican movement in Ireland almost coincided with the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. At that time, Hackett was a teacher at Crescent College, Limerick, known colloquially as “The Crescent” and in 1915, he set up a Volunteer cadet corps with the aim of preparing senior boys “to fight for Ireland when their turn came”.

Historian, Brian Heffernan, puts Hackett's revolutionary activities into context; he was just one among many priests who took part in revolutionary activities, some were more disposed to radicalism than others and one or two even owned rifles. Heffernan reveals that some seventy or so priests helped the IRA; whether by “sheltering men on the run, storing arms for the IRA, informing on the police or the army and helping with IRA communications”. Although Hackett's efforts at the Crescent were apparently stopped by the rector there in 1917, his name appears frequently in various Bureau of Military History witness statements; a set of oral history documents that outline the entire period of the Irish revolutionary period.

However, Hackett was not partisan in his views and he was a peacemaker at heart. One of the more interesting accounts concerning him an be found in the witness statement of George Berkeley of the Peace with Ireland Council, who came to Ireland during the spring of 1921. The council was active during the Irish War of Independence, prior to the signing of a treaty that divided the island and when Berkeley visited the country, the atmosphere was politically charg. d; stories were rife of republican suspects who were taken from their beds and interrogated or even killed by forces of the Crown; of soldiers and Dublin Castle men being targeted by Michael Collins' squad of assassins.

Having reached Limerick, Berkeley was introduced to Fr Hackett by Lord Monteagle. On the day they arrived, Hackett took them to Cross-question a boy who had been allegedly tortured by a local policeman to obtain evidence but there was a sudden change of plan and they ended up interviewing some local girls instead. Berkeley recalls what happened next:

“It was one of the most curious interviews in my life. I sat at a table with Father Hackett beside me and took down everything they said. They were three farm girls and a young boy. it was the story of a police attack : on them when they had been enjoying themselves at a dance. They told me how their elder brother had been in the IRA and had had a rifle. He was in constant danger, being known to the police, in fact being ‘on the run’... she spoke very rapidly, as though afraid of omitting any point within the given time, and her whole manner often changed in one single whirling sentence, from half impatient explanation to me to affection and reverence for the priest, and then back to the general flow of bitter resentment for the wrongs done them and for the death of her brother”

When the police raided the dance, they searched the house from top to bottom and they hit the men and girls with the butts of their rifles. The police alleged that the dance had been arranged as a fundraising event so that policemen could be shot. The girls were herded into one room and their brother, Martin, tried to make a break for freedom, but was shot and killed. Before Berkeley left Limerick, he was taken by Hackett to visit a woman whose son had been killed. On the way, Hackett told him about several cases; in particular an incident
Lahinch, County Clare, where, according to Hackett, Crown forces had set fire to a house and threatened to shoot anyone who came out. Afterwards, the priest saw the body of a man who had been burnt to death inside. Evidently, Fr. Hackett was extremely well connected in Limerick. He was able to introduce Berkeley to the mayor and clearly, Lord Monteagle considered him to be the 'go to person. A couple of months after Berkeley left, arrangements were made to establish a commission of inquiry and it had been arranged that Hackett would play a role in the Peace with Ireland council under the direction of Sir John O'Connell in Dublin. The aim was to bring atrocities in Ireland to a stop by collecting evidence, under the direction of a lawyer.

Fr Hackett's biographer, Brenda Niall has described how the priest was under observation in Limerick during the Terror of 1920. Eventually, his room in the Crescent was raided in November 1921. He was later transferred to Belvedere College, Dublin, where, according to Niall, he had no teaching duties; being relegated instead to publication of the Messenger of the Sacred Heart whose offices were, at that time, off to one side of the school yard. I think Niall is correct in her assertion that this was something of a sideline activity for Hackett and that it did not make the best use of his talents. Examination of the school archive confirms that he did not participate in any teaching at Belvedere but Hackett's wide sphere of influence and connections outside of the school could never have permitted him to remain in the shadows. For instance, one wonders what the Jesuit authorities might have made of the letter he received from Roger Casement's cousin, Gertrude Parry in November 1921:

“(George Gavan Duffy) tells me now a good deal about your Irish Messenger, & I write to say I will be very glad indeed to help you in any way I can about publishing a life of Roger Casement. I hope to be in Dublin some time in the not too distant future & if I may I will call on you”.

One of the things I have struggled with, however, is the sequencing of events. According to our school archive, Hackett arrived at Belvedere on 5 April 1927 and the school catalogue confirms that he was indeed assistant director of the Messenger. Aside from that, another of his duties was to give “points for meditation to the brothers” and to act as “house confessor”. The journal account for April reads: “Fr. Hackett arrived at 7pm; sleeping for the present at Lr Leeson Street”. The following day, we are told: “Fr Tomkins left for Galway today and Fr Hackett occupies his room”. If Hackett was back in Limerick in November 1921, he must have still had considerable latitude to travel around the country. This is borne out by close examination of papers held at the Jesuit archives in Dublin which confirms that during his time at Belvedere, Hackett continued to interest himself in the plight of political prisoners. On 24 November 1921 for instance, Mr Waller of the Peace for Ireland Council wrote to him there about the treatment of noted academic, Alfred O Rahilly, who had been arrested and imprisoned in Spike Island off the Cork coast for his political writings. Just two months earlier, Berkeley had informed Hackett that no less than eight professors at Dublin's Trinity College were prepared to support O Rahilly's release.

As an independent thinker, Hackett would certainly have found the atmosphere at Belvedere quite stultifying at times. A directive, issued to the Rector of Belvedere on 4 September 1922, urged the Jesuit community to avoid “free conversation” at breakfast as that was “especially objectionable”. Cycling was also discouraged without leave in writing and in particular, long runs or “Record Runs” of the type that Fr Hackett so clearly enjoyed were proscribed. At that time, the rector at Belvedere was Charles Doyle. He had only recently taken up the post after the departure of the previous incumbent, John Fahy, whose views would have been quite different to those of Hackett. Fahy had taken up a new position as Provincial of the Jesuits in Ireland but he returned to Belvedere on at least a couple of occasions while Hackett was working at the school. He was also vice president of the Belvedere College Social Service Club.

Unlike Hackett, Fahy had taken a decidedly apolitical stance towards the revolution in Ireland. Doyle, it would seem, held similar views and close study of the school's annual journal, The Belvederian confirms this. Articles on topics concerning current events did of course appear during the period 1916-1922 but the editorial line was explicitly non-partisan. Alongside stories about the fighting during Easter Week, one finds news of past students who were fighting in the First World War. The following wry comment appeared in the 1916 edition of the magazine:

“Stories of hair-breadth escapes are the order of the day, their name is legion, but their reliability-doubtful. If a prize were offered it should be won by the boy who was near Liberty Hall when a shell passed between his legs. Relic collecting is another natural outcome of the week's fighting. Bullets were the chief trophies. If a bullet could blush many of them must have blushed themselves out of existence at the stories that were told about them”.

When the Rising broke out in Dublin in Easter 1916, the sisters at nearby Temple Street Hospital considered Fahy to be “a true friend” who was “untiring in his efforts” and he took great pains to keep priests and pupils off the streets during the fighting - something for which he was later praised by Ireland's interim military governor, General John Maxwell. He and his

Haggerty, Gerard, 1910-1986, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1401
  • Person
  • 25 August 1910-23 September 1986

Born: 25 August 1910, Brooklyn, NY, USA
Entered: 01 February 1930, St Andrew on Hudson NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)
Ordained: 21 June 1942
Final Vows: 21 November 1977
Died: 23 September 1986, Thomastown, County Kilkenny - Neo-Eboracensis Province (NEB)

This man died in Ireland from NYK Province

Hayes, Denis Joseph, 1893-1964, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/741
  • Person
  • 04 February 1893-30 June 1964

Born: 04 February 1893, Summerstown, Wilton, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1911, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1925, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1928, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 30 June 1964, Mater Hospital, Dubli

Part of the Belvedere College SJ, Dublin community at the time of death

Parents are farmers. Father died in 1908

Youngest of four sons and two daughters.

Early education was at a National School and then he went to CBC Cork and then PBC Cork.

Tertianship at Tullabeg

by 1917 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1918 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1923 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 39th Year No 4 1964

Obituary :

Fr Denis Hayes SJ (1893-1964)

Fr. Denis Hayes died unexpectedly in the Mater Hospital in the early. hours of the morning on the 30th June. He was in his 71st year and his 53rd in the Society.
About a fortnight before his death he had been ill with a form of gastro-enteritis and had responded well to hospital treatment. The evening before his death he was visited by one of the Belvedere community who found him in excellent spirits, chatty and cheerful, he even expressed his belief that “I'll be back home at the end of the week!” But, the next morning the nurse on night duty heard groans coming from his room, and on entering found him in pain and seemingly unconscious. She summoned the chaplain, who in due time anointed him. His death was thought to have been caused by a heart attack or a cerebral haemorrhage.
During the last two years Fr. Hayes often referred to his general weakness, especially in walking; his eyes gave him trouble in reading, and his handwriting had become shaky and difficult to cypher, and often it was obvious that he was suffering great pain. Yet, he was very much alive and keenly interested in the college and "the doings of Ours". His death came as a great shock to the community, as most of them were away on villa or giving retreats, etc.
Fr. Hayes was born in the city of Cork and educated by the Presentation Brothers. He entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1911 and came to Rathfarnham Castle, the newly established Juniorate in 1913. After two years spent in the university he left for philosophy with the French Province in the Isle of Jersey. Here his health gave him trouble and it was thought advisable to send him to St. Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst, for his second year. In the year 1918, with First World War raging, all the members of the Province doing philosophy abroad were recalled to Milltown Park, where a portion of the building had been set up as a philosophate. After philosophy in Milltown Park Fr. Hayes taught at Mungret College and was “Third Prefect” (1919-1923). He began his theology in Louvain but his health again caused anxiety and he was recalled to Milltown Park where on the 31st of July 1925 he was ordained. He did his tertianship in Tullabeg and was next appointed to Clongowes Wood College. During his six years there, he had been Prefect of the “Big Study” and two years Prefect of Studies (1931-1933). Then, he became Minister of Milltown Park and Assistant Procurator for three years (the word Economist had not come into vogue at this time). The years 1937 to 1939 he was Minister at Belvedere College and took charge of the finances of the Hong Kong Mission, this last office he held for nine years. In 1939 he became Procurator at Milltown Park and Assistant-Procurator of the Province and after six years at Milltown he returned to Belvedere College, where he was to spend the remaining nineteen years of his life. Eighteen years of these he was Procurator and for two years of these he taught Religious Knowledge in the School of Technology at Bolton Street.
As a teacher Fr. Hayes was esteemed for his clearness and conciseness. As a disciplinarian he carried universal respect. Off duty, the boys found him playful and to them he manifested a deep humanity. To his con temporaries in the Society he was generally very much at his ease. With those he did not know well he could be disconcertingly silent and gave the false impression of indifference. By nature he was extremely shy and sensitive. His keen powers of observation were proverbial. From the various important offices he filled one can judge that his interests were of a practical nature. He was popular with children and with people in banks and business houses. This was even more noticeable with the medical and nursing staffs in hospitals where he had been a patient, many of whom were represented at his Obsequies. As a community man, he was most punctual at all duties, in fact no one ever saw him late for any duty. His room in Belvedere College was in the old part of the house and to every offer made by Superiors to ease his efforts he declined to come to a lower room in the new wing of the school. He wished for no exemption nor did he wish to cause any unnecessary trouble by changing rooms. He once admitted to a friend: “I've been in the same room for nineteen years, I'll stay there until the end!” Requiescat in pace.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1965


Rev Denis Hayes SJ

In the 1963 “Belvederian” we numbered Father Hayes among the Jubilarians celebrating their fifty years as a Jesuit. The fol lowing was written :

Father Denis Hayes SJ. Though not a past boy of the College, Father Hayes has good reason to be remembered by the College on the occasion of his Golden Jubilee, celebrated a few months after last year's “Belvederian” had been published. He came to the College as our “Father Minister” in the years 1937 and 1938. He returned in the year 1945 and for eighteen years he has shouldered the tedious and complicated task of keeping the account books of the College. We are in his debt in many ways for he has guided our steps and with his watchful eye has seen to our financial health or reported our attending sickness, We extend to him our thanks, best wishes and congratulations on being fifty years a Jesuit.

Father Denis did not survive very long after his Jubilee. During the last two years his health had deteriorated very much. For many years he had very much to suffer, but now a marked weakness appeared. On the 30th June he died suddenly in the Mater Hospital from a heart attack or cerebral haemorrhage, but with sufficient time to get a final anointing. He was in his 71st year and his 53rd in the Society. He was remark able for the simplicity and regularity of his life. He was most punctual in all his duties; punctuality is a very practical aspect of charity. He was most conscientious in keeping his books as Bursar; no doubt he has his spiritual accounts similarly in good order and ready for the Divine Auditor. Death for him must have been no unexpected visitor; likely enough his visit was welcome to one who suffered so much. May God reward him in that superabundant measure promised to those who leave all things and follow Him.

Hogan, William, 1912-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/186
  • Person
  • 12 January 1912-16 August 1978

Born: 12 January 1912, Sion Villa, Sion Road, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 13 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Died: 16 August 1978, Camberwell, Surrey, England

Part of Sacred Heart community, The Crescent, Limerick at the time of death. Buried Mungret cemetery, Mungret, Limerick.

Father was Clerk of Kilkenny District Mental Hospital and with his mother runs a grocery.

Only child.

Early Education at Dela Salle School, St John’s Road, Kilkenny for five years and then at Clongowes Wood College SJ. He spent a year in business after leaving school.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 53rd Year No 4 1978
Obituary :

Fr William Hogan (1912-1978)

The sudden death of Father Willie Hogan came as a great shock to all who knew him, and especially to his contemporaries and near contemporaries. To them he was more than a long experienced and successful missionary and retreat giver. There was always, for most of us, the remembrance of the joined and moving hands, the pleasant smile, the readiness for a laugh - and the awareness that Willie knew what his work was.
Father Willie Hogan was born in Ossory on January 12th 1912. He entered the noviceship in Emo on September 13th 1930. After taking his First Vows he went to Rathfarnham Castle to begin the normal course of studies. His Degree was in Classics. After finishing his Philosophy in Tullabeg he spent two years teaching: one in Clongowes and one in the Crescent, Limerick. During his Theology in Milltown Park he was ordained priest on July 31st 1944. His Tertianship was at Rathfarnham, 1945-1946.
On leaving the Tertianship in 1946 he began at once what was to be his life-work: he spent a year based at Emo on Mission and Retreat work. Tullabeg, however, was to be his permanent base. He was on the staff there for Mission and Retreat work from 1947 to 1971. This great work came to a quiet, apostolic conclusion when, in 1971 he went to the Crescent, where his work had many of the characteristics of the many past years: the pulpit, the confessional, the sermon at Mass, the visiting of parishioners. He remained at this work until his unexpected death while on supply work in England. He died on August 16th 1978.

Father Matthew Meade, his strict contemporary, had also the more intimate knowledge of Father Willie which came from working with him and directing his mission assignments for about twenty-four years. Father Meade has sent us an appraisal of Father Willie's work: the appraisal is all the more significant because it is free from all customary phrases, and is clearly the remembrance of the personal qualities of a long and faithful missionary.
Father Meade's tribute is followed by some words of appreciation of Father Willie’s work in the Crescent, 1971-1978 :
“Quite a representative body of the Province attended the burial obsequies of Father Hogan in the Sacred Heart Church, Limerick on Wednesday, August 23rd. In my opinion (and I knew him from the time he entered the Society until the time of his unexpected death) the few words spoken by Father Stephen Bates, principal celebrant of the Mass on that occasion, summed up very accurately the Bill Hogan whom I had known and studied with and worked with and whose mission assignments I had directed until he joined the Crescent Community: meticulous attention to detail, thoroughness in the carrying out of everything entrusted to him, absolute giving of himself completely to everything he did were the ‘Hall Mark’ of his whole life in the Society. These are excellent qualities and Father Hogan was blessed in being assigned to the apostolate of the Retreats and Missions staff straight after his Tertianship where he could use all these qualities to the best advantage and which he did for some twenty five years. There was no area of this apostolate which he did not take in his stride in Ireland, England and in USA. Bill was ‘Paratus ad omnia’ as our Novice Master, the late Father John Coyne, used say every Jesuit should be.
I do not think one would remember Father Hogan for his sense of humour. He took everything too seriously. But on this account he could at times be a source of hilarious humour. Few of his contemporaries can ever forget the laughs he gave us in Tullabeg when he acted in our Christmas plays. He was utterly uninhibited and our Rector Father Hugh Kelly, complimenting him on his performance on one of these occasions used a phrase which was a very accurate summing up of an act which brought down the house by saying to him: ‘Well, Mr. Hogan, you really outstripped yourself’. On the stage, as in all other things he put himself into his part with complete earnestness. This was sometimes dangerous for his opposite number as in ‘The Private Secretary’ when his part called for a show of anger with his Secretary. Bill worked himself up to such a state of anger that his secretary, Lol Kearns, had to jump out through a window to save himself from serious injury having been hunted and hammered all over the stage.
Many will also remember how his whole personality changed when he was assigned the position of ‘Father Instructor’ of the Tertian Brothers. So seriously did he take this appointment that at times in his exhortations, he was moved to tears.
All these incidents were typical of one who was scrupulously meticulous in everything to the last detail all through his life. Even during the last years of his life which he gave to so many activities in the Sacred Heart Church, Limerick, when his health was failing and his energies were ebbing, he could never adapt himself to his condition and to his years. He died as he had lived in harness and pulling his weight to the full, right up to the end. Very fitting was the tribute paid to him by the words so nicely spoken by Father Bates and by the large numbers of the faithful of Limerick and representatives from the Province as well as Limerick priests and the priest for whom Bill had been supplying when his sudden illness and unexpected death occurred. May he enjoy eternal rest and the rich reward of his total giving of himself to God's service in the Society of Jesus”.
Matthew Meade.

Fr Cassidy writes from the Crescent :
Fr W Hogan came to the Crescent in 1971 where he had served many years before as a scholastic. As a priest he took a most active and conscientious part in all the activities of the house and church. His work in the confessional and on the altar was of the highest order. His generously practical courtesy towards the members of the public will be remembered for a long time. Constantly he visited them in hospitals, and was forever thoughtful of those occasions that were important to them personally. Few could have managed The Sodality of Our Lady with greater thoroughness or understanding of the needs of the members. He even had time to look after the social side of things, organising from time to time little parties, and bringing people on trips, even abroad. As one Sodalist said “We usually wait till people are dead to appreciate them. This one we appreciated while he was alive”. Every Autumn found Fr Hogan engaged in the quite heavy task of organising and running Mission Week. Since this is an enterprise involving a remarkably varied schedule, great numbers of people and a very large money flow, it is quite a daunting job. Fr Bill, in spite of not too robust health waded through the work at great cost to himself, but always with the ultimate in courtesy to those with whom he worked. More even than his great efficiency, his friendly and gracious attitude to the people, marked his contribution to the annual event. After all, Mission Week is something of An Autumn Festival for a number of generous people in Limerick. Indeed in these days of monotonous canned entertainment it provides lots of variety, of the peoples own making. In addition it establishes links between the Church here and great numbers of people. Fr Bill, in being so totally acceptable to the people in what was so genuinely a community work, in the modern sense, showed an adaptability that was admirable.
From the point of view of the Jesuit community we can add that we have lost a truly great member. In addition to his work which was universally held in the highest esteem, there was his personal contribution to the community. He was for ever concerned with the welfare of the house, and was a most sociable, genial and sincere companion. Quietly forthright, he had an understanding of people which was a peace making faculty. We will remember him for his firm and gentle goodness.

◆ The Clongownian, 1979


Father William Hogan SJ

William Hogan was born in Kilkenny on the 12th January 1912. He came to school in Clongowes in September 1925, and remained here for four years. When he left he entered the Jesuit Noviceship in Tullabeg, where he took his first vows as a Jesuit in September 1932. He then took a degree in Classics in UCD, and then studied Philosophy for three years in Tullabeg College. This was followed by two years teaching in the Colleges, one in Clongowes and the other in the Crescent College, Limerick. His Theological studies followed in Milltown Park, where he was ordained a priest in 1944. He then entered on his life work as a missioner and retreat giver.

Fr G O'Beirne SJ who worked with him on many missions has kindly written the following appreciation for the “Clongownian” :

Fr William Hogan died last August at a time when many on holidays could easily escape noticing his obituary in the papers. But it would be a pity should his contemporaries in Clongowes, both those who knew of his death and those who didn't, not learn of his subsequent career on leaving the college and entering the Society. For Fr William or Bill, as we called him, had a most fruitful truly apostolic career. The present writer met him first when he was a scholastic in the college here and I was immediately struck by his deep piety and great kindness, or charity, if you like. I was also slightly amused by his great, too great I would say, earnestness in carrying out all he was assigned to do.

But it was during our time on the mission staff that I really got to know William. We gave many missions together in England and Ireland. Many of them were hard, and exacting, and took place during dreadful weather. We had on the English missions to visit every family or individual on the list of Catholics, practising or lapsed in the parish. This took several hours every day, and was much of it very trying, and apparently unrewarding. I felt at times very depressed and disheartened; but I was always sustained by my companion's good humour and encouragement, the latter mainly by example. He was utterly meticulous in carrying out all the various tasks falling to our lot, and seldom complained of any of the really difficult circumstances connected with many missions anywhere.

What really impressed me in all the many missions we gave together was his great Faith, and truly apostolic zeal. The work was not something to be done, to be got through, even with exactitude. It was for him, as it was in reality, truly God's work, the literal continuation of the apostles task “go teach all Nations”, and I might sum up his holy and devoted life by saying that these words of our Lord were the motto of his life, but a motto not written over his mantelpiece, as I'm sure it is written over so many priests' mantelpieces, but very much inscribed by constant prayer and meditation on mind and heart.

Holywood, Christopher, 1562-1626, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1459
  • Person
  • 1562-04 September 1626

Born: 1562, Artane, Dublin, County Dublin
Entered: 1584, Verdun, France - Campaniae province (CAMP)
Ordained: 1593, Pont-á-Mousson, France
Final Vows: 04/10/1598, Padua, Italy
Died: 04 September 1626, Dublin City, County Dublin

Alias Bushlock
Superior Irish Mission 16 March 1604-04 September 1626

Studied Humanities at Paris and Ent June or January 1584
1584-1590 At Pont-á-Mousson (CAMP) Studying Metaphysics, Philosophy
1590 Studying Theology at Pont-á-Mousson
1593 Not in Campaniae Catalogue but at Dôle College
1596 Teaching Moral Theology at Venice College (Paul Valle and Anthony Maria Venù were teaching Scholastic Theology)
1597 At Padua College teaching Theology
1617 CAT Superior of Irish Mission, with 37 members in Ireland, 28 in Spain, 9 in Portugal, 7 in Belgium, 2 in Bavaria, 2 in Austria, 2 in Italy, 1 each in France, Mexico and Paraguay. 25 October 1617 proclamation against anyone harbouring Jesuits (1622 Catalogue)
He knew Bellarmine at Ferrara and Padua

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
Professor of Philosophy at Theology at Padua; Prisoner in Tower of London, Wisbech Castle and Framlingham Castle; Superior of Irish Mission for 23 years; Writer on Controversy and Physical Science; Especially denounced by James I;
Alias : Sacrobosco; Jo. Bus; Thomas Laundry (not the only one who took the alias “Bosco” - John Halifax of Yorkshire author of De Sphoera Mundi” in 13th century was also called “de Sacro Bosco)
He was heir to Artane Castle
He was appointed Superior of the Irish Mission, he travelled from Dieppe, January 1599, disguised as a merchant, was seized at Dover, carried to London and strictly examined by Lord Cobham and Secretary Cecil. First at Gatehouse Prison, Westminster then on the accession of James I moved to Framlingham Castle, and then deported 1603. He eventually reached Ireland from St Malo 1604.
(For his literary productions cf Southwell’s “Biblio Script SJ”, and De Backer’s “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ:
Son of Nicholas, Lord of Artane
After First Vows he was sent for studies to Pont-à-Mousson where he was Ordained 1692/3
1593-1958 Taught Theology successively at Dôle and Padua
1598 Appointed Superior of Irish Mission 26/09/1598 which had been undertaken by the Society at the request of Pope Clement VIII
1599 Set out for Ireland but was arrested on his journey at Dover, England, and imprisoned for refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy
1603 He was released from prison May 1603, but only to be deported
1604-1626 Arrived in Ireland 16/03/1604. For the next twenty-two years he organised the mission with such success that the number of Jesuits in Ireland increased from seven to forty-four while Residences were established in ten cities and towns. His influence with Catholics was so great that the Protestants called “Teacher of the Papists of Ireland”. He died in Office 04 September 1626, leaving behind a great reputation for holiness, prudence and love of the poor
He published two controversial works and a treatise on meteorology.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Holywood, Christopher
by Judy Barry

Holywood, Christopher (1559–1626), Jesuit priest, was son of Nicholas Holywood of Artane castle, Dublin, lord of manors in Co. Dublin, Co. Meath, and Co. Wexford. His mother was a niece of Christopher Nugent, Baron Delvin. He was educated at the University of Padua and entered the Society of Jesus at Verdun (1584). He was subsequently professor of divinity and philosophy at Dole and Pont-à-Mousson, and of scripture at Padua. He was ordained a priest in 1593 and took his final vows in 1597.

In 1598, when a third Jesuit mission was sent to Ireland at the request of Pope Clement VIII, Holywood was appointed superior. He sailed for England disguised as a merchant, but was arrested at Dover. On refusing to swear the oath of supremacy, he was taken to London and examined by the secretary of state, Sir Robert Cecil, who told him that he would not suffer for his religion so long as he did not meddle in political matters. However, when Holywood persisted in defending his order, Cecil had him imprisoned at Wisbech castle and later at Framlingham castle, Suffolk, where he devoted his time to scholarly work. He was released in May 1603 and banished to the Continent, where he completed two books for publication in the following year: Defensio decreti Tridentini et sententiae Roberti Bellarmini, S.R.E. cardinalis, de authoritate Vulgatae editionis Latinae (‘Defence of the decree of the council of Trent and of the opinion of Cardinal Bellarmine concerning the authority of the Latin Vulgate’) and De investiganda vera ac visibili Christi ecclesia libellus (‘A treatise on the true and visible church of Christ’).

He arrived in Dublin (16 March 1604) to take up his original appointment and was sheltered by Sir Christopher Plunkett (qv). The mission under his direction numbered six Jesuits and was at first centred on Dublin and the Pale. This was partly because he and his companions came mainly from gentry families in the city and county of Dublin and did not speak Irish, and partly because of a new government policy insisting on the declared loyalty of the patrician leaders of the city. Up to this point the evidence of open catholic practice had not been regarded as sufficient reason to doubt the political loyalty of the municipality, and indeed the Dublin merchants had been active in raising money in support of the war against O'Neill. In 1600 Patrick Plunkett, Baron Dunsany, had written to Robert Cecil advising that Holywood be released, since the priests in the English Pale were ‘firm in dutiful allegiance’ and quite different from ‘Tyrone's priests’.

Under Sir Arthur Chichester (qv), however, anxiety about security led the government to demand that leaders of the civic community take the oath of supremacy and attend protestant service on Sundays and holydays. Those aldermen who refused were imprisoned and proceedings were taken against them in the court of castle chamber. Holywood and his fellow Jesuits were active in encouraging a defiant attitude among the catholic patriciate, and assisted in preparing the defence of those who were brought to court. Their affirmation that they could give political allegiance to James I, but could not acknowledge that he had jurisdiction over spiritual matters, formed the basis of the campaign for legal redress led by Patrick Barnewall (qv).

Although the Jesuits were few at first, their familiarity with Dublin city and county, and the tightly knit network of blood and matrimonial ties to which they had access, ensured them protection and hospitality, and their letters indicate the range of pastoral services to which they attended. As the mission expanded, it extended its operations. In 1610 Holywood organised a system of separate ‘residences’, each responsible for a particular area and each with a spiritual father. By 1619 he had established these in Dublin, east Munster, west Munster, and Connacht. Expansion prompted greater discretion and Holywood successfully opposed the return of James Archer (qv) and Henry Fitzsimon (qv) to the Irish mission. In 1617 and 1619 he received papal permission to set up sodalities, including those with female members, in Carrick, Cashel, Clonmel, Cork, Kilkenny, Limerick, and Waterford. A sodality introduced to Drogheda without papal authorisation (1619) led to a protracted conflict with the Franciscans and Dominicans, in the course of which Holywood disregarded instructions from the Jesuit general in Rome that were designed to bring the dispute to an end.

Although he often expressed a desire to retire, he died in office on 4 September 1626. By that time there were 43 Jesuits in Ireland and many more Irish Jesuits abroad. In 1619 Holywood had published a new edition of De investiganda and written an unpublished treatise ‘Opusculum de virtutibus’ (‘Little work on the virtues’). Shortly before his death he wrote another book, which the Jesuit censors rejected. Until 1618 he used the pseudonym ‘John Bus’ (or ‘Bushlocks’): later, he called himself ‘Thomas Lawndrie’. Occasionally, he used the Latin equivalent of his name, ‘a sacro bosco’.

CSPI, 1599–25; DNB; Edmund Hogan, SJ, Distinguished Irishmen of the sixteenth century (1894), 393–499; James Corboy, SJ, ‘Father Christopher Holywood, S.J., 1559–1626’, Studies, xxxiii (1944), 541–9; Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin, SJ, The Jesuit missions to Ireland in the sixteenth century (c.1970; privately published), 76; John Kingston, ‘The Holywoods of Artane’, Reportorium Novum, i (1956), 342–3; Fergus O'Donoghue, SJ, ‘The Jesuit mission in Ireland’ (Ph.D. thesis, The Catholic University of America, 1982); Colm Lennon, The lords of Dublin in the age of reformation (1989), 174–85, 209–12

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926
On the 4th September the Irish Province will celebrate the tercentenary of the death of one of its most distinguished members.
Fr Christopher Holywood entered the Society in 1582, and in course of time became Professor of Philosophy and Theology at Padua,
On his arrival in England he was arrested and kept in prison until I 603, when he was exiled, and ordered not to return, However, the following year he succeeded in reaching Ireland.
Two other Missions of Jesuits had been sent to Ireland by the Popes: the first comprised Frs. Salmeron and Brouet, 1541 ; the second under Fr David Wolfe, 1560.
The first lasted a very brief time; the second held on until 1986. Some of the members were exiled ; others were martyred or died in prison. When Fr. Holywood arrived he found just five Jesuits in the country. His first care was to provide for the future by having candidates for the Irish Mission accepted in Spain, Italy, and other Provinces. The effects of his work ih this respect are traceable for more than half a century, The Irish Catalogue, 1910, gives the state of our Province in I609: (Holywood became Superior in 1604), 18 priests in Ireland, 20 priests, 82 scholastics, and I brother scattered through Europe, I priest *in Paraguay. He remained Superior to the end of his life. When he died the Irish Mission had been thoroughly organized. There were 42 Jesuits in the country, with reserves in various places in Europe. There were residences in Dublin, Kilkenny, Waterford, Clonmel, Cashel, Cork, Limerick, Galway, and in Ulster. Fr. Holywood had permanently established the Society in Ireland. To him, too, must be given the credit of keeping the faith alive amongst the Anglo-Irish Catholics.
All this great work was carried on in the midst of constant danger. He tells the story himself in a letter written in 1617. “Our brethren” he writes, “are so hotly pursued that, in order to keep at large and perform the functions or their ministry, they have to travel by out of-the-way paths, and pass over walls and hedges, and through woods, and even to sleep on straw, in cornfields and old ruins at which times they always sleep in their clothes in order to be ready to escape”
However, God abundantly blessed their strenuous work. Fr. Holywood again writes in 1622 : “Your Paternity has every reason to thank God for the great success of the Irish Mission SJ, the fragrance of which is the fragrance of a full field which the Lord hath blessed. People never cease admiring and extolling the charity and humility of our Fathers, who shrink from no labour or trouble in working for the salvation of Souls.”
Fr. Holywood is the author of two theological works, and a Latin treatise, De Metearis. The man, whom we may fairly call the founder of the Irish Province, died in Dublin, his native city, the 4th September 1626.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
Christopher Holywood (1598-1626)

Christopher Holywood, son of Nicholas Holywood, lord of Artane, was born in 1562, and entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Verdun, in France, in the month of June, 1584. Having completed his studies at the University of Pont-à-Mousson, he lectured on theology at Dôle in France, and at Padua and Milan in Italy, On 26th September, 1598, he was appointed Superior of the Mission to Ireland undertaken by the Society at the request of Pope Clement VIII. Having made his solemn profession of four vows at Padua on 4th October, 1598, he set out on his journey, but was arrested on landing at Dover in January, 1599, and imprisoned for refusing to take the oath of supremacy. Released and banished in May, 1603, he made his way back to Ireland, arriving there on 16th March, 1604. During the next twenty-two years he organised the Mission with such success that the number of Irish Jesuits increased from seven to forty-four, and Residences were established in ten towns : Dublin, Drogheda, Kilkenny, Waterford, Carrick-on-Suir, Clonmel, Cashel, Cork, Limerick, and Galway. His influence with Catholics was so great that the heretics called him the Teacher of the Papists of Ireland. He published two controversial works and a treatise on meteorology, He died on 4th September, 1626, leaving behind him a great reputation for holiness, prudence, and love of the poor

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1I 1962

Fr Christopher Holywood was the first Superior of the first permanent mission of the Society of Jesus in Ireland. In previous articles I have sketched the lives of Fr Henry Fitzsimon and Fr James Archer. These two pioneer Jesuit missionaries were eminent men of their day in Ireland, It was they who established the mission which was ruled and organised for twenty-three years by Fr Holywood, the subject of the present biography. The task of preparing the way for an organised mission had been a long one. It was not set up, finally, until the last years of the sixteenth century. Before giving an account of Fr Holywood's life, it is opportune to review briefly the activities of the Irish Jesuits from their arrival in Ireland until that time.

The first mission to arrive in Ireland and actually the first Jesuit mission outside the continent of Europe was that of Frs Alphonsus Salmeron and Paschase Brouet. They were the Pope's nuncios apostolic. Three Irish princes - Conn O'Neill, of Tryone, Manus O'Donnell of Tyrconnell, Morogh O'Brien of Thomond - had begged Paul III to send envoys to Ireland. They arrived in this country on the 23 February 1542. Their work was carried out under the greatest difficulties. The Irish Chieftains who had already surrendered, in word at least, to Henry VIII were afraid that the presence of Papal Legates might compronise their position in the eyes of the king, During their short stay of thirty-four days the two Jesuits succeeded in visiting many of these chieftains. Thus on their return to Rome they were able to give a first-hand account of the state of affairs in Ireland. Possibly, too, they helped to bind the people in greater union with Rome, a union which later became so outstanding a characteristic of the Irish Catholics.

The next Jesuit mission was not inaugurated until 1561, some sixteen years later. Laynez, General of the Society of Jesus, was requested by the Pope to send a holy and prudent man to Ireland to confirm the people, both cleric and lay, in obedience to the Holy See, Fr David Wolfe, a Limerick man, was chosen; for not only did he possess the stipulated qualifications of prudence and sanctity of life, but he was also an experienced missionary. On the 20 January 1561 Wolfe landed at Cork, Having declined the episcopal honour offered by the Pope, he was appointed Apostolic Commissary and was given the fullest faculties, including power to open schools, reform monasteries and report on the dispositions of the Irish Bishops.

Fr Wolfe seems to have made a very favourable impression on the Irish. Barefoot, the people travelled miles to meet him and made their confessions, and it is recorded that they returned to their homes filled with a great esteem for the Church of Christ and the Holy See. In a few months he rectified over a thousand marriages which had not been validly contracted. With the help of two other Jesuits, Fr William Good, an Englishman, and Edmond O'Donnell, an Irishman, he opened a small school at Limerick, which owing to the persecution then rife had shortly to be transferred to Kilmallock, later to Clonmel and finally to Youghal, where it continued to exist for about fifteen years. After its suppression, the Jesuits could not dare to make any other foundation until the reign of James I. David Wolfe was one of the most remarkable Irishmen of the century and possibly had more influence in ecclesiastical affairs in Ireland than anyone else of his time. He was arrested at least twice, but managed to escape. He died in Lisbon in 1579. His companion, Edmond O'Donnell, was captured by the English, given a mock-trial and, having been tortured several times, was condemned to death for the faith. On the 25 October 1572 he was hanged, drawn and quartered at Cork - the first of a long line of Jesuits to die for the Faith in Europe.

Dr Tanner, Bishop of Cork, writes of two other Jesuits, Frs Charles Lea and Robert Rochford, who arrived in Ireland about this time: “They are spreading the best of their institute in Youghal, where they teach school and, with great industry, train their scholars in the knowledge of the Christian doctrine, in the frequentation of the sacraments, and in the practice of solid virtue, In spite of the hardships they endure, their efforts are attended with the greatest success”. Lea was arrested soon after his arrival in Ireland, but was later released and laboured in the country until his death in 1586. Rochford, more famous than his companion, is frequently mentioned in contemporary official documents. For many years he was well known as a zealous missioner, rousing the suspicions of the English who offered a reward for his capture, dead or alive, In 1501 he had to leave Ireland and, after his escape, at least four persons were hanged for affording him shelter, Seven years later in 1588, another Irishman, a novice of the Society of Jesus named Maurice Eustace, was hanged, drawn and quartered in Dublin.

Thus almost all the Jesuit missionaries who came to Ireland in the sixteenth century was either executed or banished from the country, From 1586 to 1596 there was no Jesuit in Ireland; but several attempts were made by Irish bishops and Princes to induce the Pope or the General of the Society of Jesus to send Irish Jesuit Fathers to Ireland. This would not have happened had not the names of their predecessors been held in high veneration among the Irish. Perhaps one might wonder why the Irish Jesuit mission was not opened again until so late at 1596? Why did Fr Aquaviva, General of the Jesuits, hesitate so long before sending his men to Ireland?

Possibly he was influenced by the sad state of affairs in England. There he would have heard in 1595 of the martyrdom of Frs Walpole and Southwell, the imprisonment of Frs Jones and Baldwin, and the banishment of Fr Jasper Haywood. Already Frs Campion, Cottam and McMahon, an Irishman, had died on the gallows at Tyburn, and Fr Persons was in exile on the continent. The fate of the Jesuits who had come to Ireland was little better, as we have seen. No wonder then that Aquaviva hesitated. But finally, yielded to numerous appeals, he agreed to reopen the mission to Ireland.

The history of the first five Jesuits to be sent to Ireland at that time can be told briefly. Fr Henry Fitzsimon was imprisoned in Dublin Castle two years after his arrival. · A few years later, his companion Fr James Archer was forced to go into exile, barely escaping with his life, while Fr Christopher Holywood did not even reach Ireland, being captured in England and lodged in the Tower of London. In 1602 Dominic Collins, a lay-brother, was captured in Cork and hanged. Only one of these men, Fr Richard de la Field, temporary Superior in the place of Fr Holywood, was able to work in comparative peace and elude the hands of the English. It was in these circumstances that Fr Holywood undertook to establish a permanent Jesuit mission in Ireland. With what success we shall see later.

Christopher Holywood was born at Artane, near Dublin, in the year 1559, one year after Elizabeth's coronation in England, Belonging to a very old Anglo-Irish family, his father, Nicholas Holywood, was Lord of the manors of Artane, Great Holywood in Santry, and of several other estates in the counties of Dublin, Meath, and Wexford. His mother was the niece of Baron Devlin and heiress-general of the fifth Earon Dunsany.. Holywood could count as relations such prominent families as those of Dunsany, Fingal, Westmeath, Inchiquin and Netterville. This factor was of the utmost importance later, when these houses came under the influence of the reform movement.

Holywood was sent to the University of Padua when he was twenty years of age. Here he came into contact with the Jesuit Fathers of the city, and in 1584 he entered the Society of Jesus. Having made his noviceship at Dôle in France, he afterwards distinguished himself in his philosophical and theological studies. In 1593 we find him at the University of Pont-à-Mousson. The Chancellor of the University at the time was another Irishman, the renowned Fr Richard Fleming, who had succeeded the even more famous Fr Maldonatus in the chair of theology. For a short period Holywood was engaged in teaching philosophy in the University, after which he professed theology at Dôle and later at Pont-à-Mousson again. Finally he was sent to Pauda to teach Sacred Scripture. Here he took his final vows in 1597, at the same time making the acquaintance of Robert Bellarmine. In 1598 he was in Milan. On the 10 June of the same year he wrote to the General of the Jesuits asking for special faculties for the fathers who had gone to the Irish mission. Unfortunately we do not know the circumstances of Holywood's own mission to Ireland, and when we next hear of him he is a prisoner in the Tower of London.

On the 1 May 1599, writing in the third person under the pseudonym of John Bushlock, he gave an account of his journey to England and his capture. From Rome he travelled to Switzerland, then into Spires, finally to Brussels, where the Superior of the house warned him that it was dangerous for a Jesuit to travel through Holland. Leaving Brussels, he went to Arras and then to Abbeyville, where, although disguised as a merchant, he was recognised as a Jesuit. Whereupon he left hastily for Dieppe and, “finding an obscure inn, told its owner that he was an Irishman and a subject of the Queen of England. He was returning home, but feared that English on account of the war which some of the Irish were waging against the Queen”. The inn-keeper stood the test valiantly and at once gave Holywood a secret room. Unable to procure a ship for Ireland, he was compelled to board an English vessel. Very soon he was suspected of being a traitor, but the inn-keeper informed the hesitant captain that “he was a merchant and no traitor”. Taking no risks, Holywood abandoned the ship and travelled on another, whose captain was a French Huguenot. Having arrived at Dover, he was tendered the oath of supremacy and, of course, refused to take it. Instantly he was cast into prison and later placed in the Tower of London. As yet the English did not know that their captive was a priest, much less a Jesuit. After several futile attempts to secure his liberation, he was brought before Lord Cobham, to whom he made known his identity. He declared that he was returning to Ireland solely for the salvation of souls, To Cecil he gave the same information, but only succeeded in rousing his anger - for, according to Holywood, Cecil feared and hated the Jesuits. He issued an order that the priest be placed in close custody.

After some time Holywood was offered his release, if he would take an oath to persuade the Irish that it was unlawful to resist the royal power in Ireland, He refused the offer and was transferred from the Gatehouse prison to Wisbeck Castle. The Superior of the English mission, Fr Henry Garnet, who in a few years was to die a martyr for the faith, reported in May 1600 that Holywood helped to comfort the other Jesuits at Wisbeck and edified all while he was in the Gatehouse. Like his comrade, Fr Fitzsimon, who at this time was closely confined in Dublin, he must occasionally have endured the greatest privations, for we know that the prisoners were not even provided with beds to sleep on. Like Fitzsimon, too, while a prisoner, he held many disputations with the Protestant ministers.

On the death of Elizabeth in April, 1603, Holywood was removed from Wisbeck to Framlington prison in Suffolk. Very soon after this time - the date is uncertain - he was sent into perpetual banishment. He proceeded to Belgium, whence he wrote to his General begging either to be permitted to return to Ireland or to be sent back to his own province at Dôle. The General granted the former request, and on the 16 March 1604. Holywood landed in Ireland. He was again appointed Superior of the mission, and for the next twenty-three years filled that office with remarkable success. The uncertainty of the times did not favour the fostering of a new mission; but, thanks to the prudence and courage of Fr Holywood, rapid strides were made and successful reports poured in from every side. Holywood himself was in constant danger of capture and had to change his abode frequently. Writing to the General of the Jesuits, he says: “I have not been able to write since Easter, as I was obliged to go to remote parts, in order to keep clear of the more than usually troublesome presence of our adversaries. In this retreat I devoted myself to help a very extensive diocese, and I did so at the invitation of its ruler. With our assistance he has set his province in very good order and has given regulations adapted to the tines”. In a letter written about the same time, Fr Wise, a Jesuit living in Waterford, says: “Our pilor, Sacrobosco (Holywood), was fiercely pursued, but escaped; he is accustomed to these storms ...”

All through the first half of the reign of James I. the Irish priests and especially the Jesuits were continually harassed by the government. Thus it was almost impossible for Holywood to set up an organised mission of even the most flexible nature. He had not yet founded a single fixed abode for his men. For almost twenty years after the arrival of Fr Archer in 1596, the Jesuits lived in private houses, or stayed with a bishop or priest in the remote part of the country, and were of course, always disguised as laymen. In spite of these hardships I think it is not untrue to say that their success in Ireland was hardly excelled by that of even the most famous Jesuit missions of the day. For all that they are scarcely mentioned in the ordinary school text-books, and in the histories of the counter-reformation they find no place.

The story of the Irish Jesuit mission between 1604 and 1626, that is during Holywood's period of leadership, is one of intermittent persecution and of constant insecurity. Externally the mission had no organisation. It is true that the letters of the times frequently make reference to residences; but the name if residence was loosely applied to a large district in which a number of Jesuits worked under one superior, but did not necessarily live in the same or in any fixed abode. Thus the residence of Galway comprised all the Jesuits who were working in Connaught, living from hand to mouth in private houses, but under the supervision of the same superior who usually resided in Galway. The Irish Jesuits did not establish their first college in the modern sense until 1619 at Kilkenny - and they had no noviceship for almost another thirty years.

Internally, however, the mission was remarkably well organised, and to this factor more than anything else its success can be attributed. All the year round, the Jesuits travelled through the country ministering and preaching to the people, hurrying from place to place as their identity and place of residence became known to the authorities - at one time preaching in the open air to a group. of. poverty-stricken people, at another uniting chieftains and their ladies: who were at daggers drawn, encouraging all alike to remain steadfast in the practice of their Faith. Everywhere they went the people received them with a never failing welcome. Often they made their confessions on the roadside as the Jesuits passed through the district. Not once do we hear of a betrayal or an act or disloyalty, at a time when treachery meant money and fidelity meant hardship and penury.

In 1619, Fr Holywood wrote a long letter to his General describing the missionary activities of his men. By this time he had established residences in Dublin, Kilkenny, Waterford, Cashel, Clonmel, Cork, Limerick, and one house in Connaught. The first school of the mission was founded in Kilkenny in 1619, After speaking of the work of the Jesuits in the country, he goes on to say: “There are so few priests in the Kingdom that one priest has often charge of four or five parishes. To help them, our fathers go from village to village by day and by night, according to the necessities of the faithful, hearing confessions, giving communion, baptizing, attending the dying, preaching, teaching the catechism, and promoting the interests of peace”. Down in Cork and Kerry we hear of a “successful mission, which they reached by difficult ways, through robbers and Protestant foes, over bogs and mountains, often being without food or drink or a bed. They approached in disguise, converted, and prepared for death nearly all the forty seven pirates captured on the southern coast ...” Fr Galway, a Cork Jesuit, visited the islands. north of Scotland and ministered to the faithful there, many of whom had not seen a preist for years. In the north of Ireland, Fr Robert Nugent gave a running mission over a sixty-mile area. These few examples are typical of the work that was being done all over the country. At this time there were about forty Jesuits in Ireland and all were engaged in active missionary work.

Before I conclude this short sketch of the life of Fr Holywood, I shall refer briefly to his literary work; for besides being an outstanding organiser, he was also an author of no small merit. After his release fron prison in 1603 he went to the continent and in the following year published at Brussels two works entitled “Defenso Concilii Tridentini et sententiae Bellarmini de actoritate Vulgatae Editionis” (a book of four hundred and sixteen pages), and “Libellus de investiganda vera et visibili Christi Ecclesia”, a much smaller treatise. It is interesting to note that James Ussher, in theological lectures which he delivered in Dublin in 1609, quoted Holywood's “Defensio Concilii Tridentini” thirty times. His second work he wrote while in prison in England to help the Protestant ministers and learned men who came to him for advice. In 1604 also he wrote another work entitled “Magna supplicia a persecutionibus aliquot Catholicorum in Hibernia sumpta”, which remained unpublished until Fr Edmund Hogan edited it in the “Irish Ecclesiastical Record” of 1873. In it he gives an account of the fate that befell many of the religious persecutors in Ireland between the years 1577 and 1604, and ends with a eulogy of the Irish Catholics who, despite every persecution, could not be induced to give up the Faith. After his return to Ireland in 1601, Holywood had no further opportunity for literary work.

In February 1622, Holywood was reported to be in bad health and unable to write. Two years later he founded the first Jesuit residence in the north of Ireland. When next we hear of him in 1626, he is still Superior of the mission; but, worn out by the labours and hardships of twenty-three years of missionary activity, he died at the end of the year. It was to his prudence and zeal, in a time fraught with the greatest difficulties, that the General Fr Vitelleschi attributed the success of the mission. On his arrival in Ireland there were only five Jesuits in the country; at his death they numbered forty-two and had nine residences. Until late in the second decade of the seventeenth century, the Jesuits were usually attached to the houses of the gentry, whence they made frequent incursions into the country to give missions and administer the sacraments, After that, through the enterprise of Fr Holywood, they obtained residences of their own, some of which had a community
to eight members, while none had less than three. Thus during his period of office as Superior, the Irish Jesuit mission was stabilised and, became a province of the Order in every respect save in name.

James Corboy SJ

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Christopher Holywood 1562-1626
Christopher Holywood was born in 1562 at Artane Castle, which may still be seen in the grounds of Artane Industrial School. He entered the Society at Verdun in France in 1584.

He is the founder of the Irish Province of the Society as we know it today. He was a brilliant Professor, occupying chairs at Pont-á-Mousson, Dôle and Padua. He was personally acquainted with St Robert Bellarmine, whom he defended against his enemies in a book he published entitled “Defensio Decreti Tridentini”.

In 1596 he was chosen to head the Mission to Ireland, but was captured en route and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Ultimately he was released on the accession of James I of England. He took up duty in Ireland in 1604.

For 22 years he organised the Mission with such success, that on his death on 4th September 1626, he left 42 Jesuits where he found seven, and established Residences in ten towns, one of these in the North.

In his voluminous correspondence, he was force to use many soubriquets, Thomas Lawndrie, Jophn Bushlock, John Bus Jobus, but his favourite one was John de Sacro Bosco, the name of an ancestor, who was a famous mathematician and lectured in Oxford and Paris in the 13th century.

He published two controversial works and a treatise on Meteorology.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
HOLIWOOD, CHRISTOPHER, (often called a Sacro Bosco) was born in Dublin, in the year 1562. At the age of 22, as it appears by one of his letters, he embraced the Institute of St. Ignatius, at Dol, in France, and in the sequel distinguished himself as a Professor of Philosophy and Divinity at Padua. Ordered to Ireland to preside over his brethren, he took shipping as a merchant in January, 1599, at Dieppe, but was apprehended on reaching Dover, and committed to prison for refusing the Oath of Supremacy. Escorted to London he underwent an examination by Lord Cobham, Governor of the Cinque Ports, and was then forwarded to Secretary Sir Robert Cecyll. The Father told Sir Robert at once, that he was a Priest and a Member of the Society of Jesus. (He was induced to do so, as he was aware many persons then in the kingdom were well acquainted with him at Padua.) The Secretary inquired the motives of his coming hither. He answered for the Salvation of souls. But what need have we of your assistance? said the Secretary. Are not we Christians? That is not at all sufficient, said the Father, unless you be Catholics. Well, replied the Secretary, as no one can help your believing what you think right, until God enlightens your mind, you shall not suffer anything for your Faith; but if you are found guilty of meddling with changes and state affairs, 1 promise you, you shall not escape with impunity. The Father rejoined. Long since I have renounced the world : I no longer mix myself up with secular concerns, and I am unable to do so : for they are foreign to my Institute. The Secretary then began to inveigh against the Society of Jesus, on which the Father boldly undertook its defence, and plainly told him, that the Society proposed nothing to its members which was not praiseworthy; on which the Secretary ordered him to be removed, and kept in close custody in which state he continued for three months, until his relation, Lord Dunsany obtained for him the liberty of the prison, which consists in this, that he is not denied the liberty of receiving his friends. The above particulars I collect from a letter, dated Dublin, 11th of May, 1599.
F. Henry Garnett, in a letter of the 19th of April, 1599, announces the apprehension of F. Holiwood as a recent event : and in his letter of the 22nd of May, 1600, says of him, “he doth much comfort our friends at Wisbich, and was of exceeding edification in the Gatehouse. There is hope of getting him at liberty, and sending him into his Country”. Change of prison, however, was the only relief that this Irish Father could procure, while the tyrannical Elizabeth swayed the sceptre : his friends at length obtained his removal to Framlingham Castle, which he quitted for perpetual banishment, in virtue of the Proclamation of James I. at his accession to the throne of England. I find the Father writing from Lisle, 30th of June, 1603, and from Douay, 16th, of July, 1603. In the last dated letter, he states, that a short time before the queen’s death, the Catholics in Dublin had experienced the storm of persecution. The instigators were Terrell, the Mayor of the City, and Rider, the dean of St. Patrick s, and polemical antagonist of F. Henry Fitzsimon. Many Catholics quitted the town, and the leading citizens were committed to gaol. Baron Mountjoy was then absent in Connaught; at his return the citizens presented a memorial of their grievances. Turning to the Mayor, his Excellency said, “I am putting an end to warfare abroad, and you, Sir, are sowing the seeds of wars at Home”. It was thought that his Excellency had received information of the Queen’s dangerous illness, with instruction to pacify and conciliate the public mind. The letter adds, that on the news of Queen Elizabeth’s death reaching Ireland, in the cities of Waterford, Kilkenny, and Cork, and in various ether places the churches were seized on and restored to Catholic worship. Lord Mountjoy began to apprehend lest the greater part of the island would join in the insurrection. He had come to a composition fortunately with O’Neil, and having collected all his forces from the North he hurried down to the South to arrest the progress of discontent : and having succeeded in his object, sailed from Dublin to England. F. Holiwood embarked from St. Malo, and reached Ireland the 16th March, 1604, the Eve of St. Patrick, “Omen uti spero felix”, as he expresses it. Towards the end of Lent he met FF. Nicholas Lynch, Richard Field, Walter Wale, and Barnaby Kearney, brother to the Archbishop of Cashell, and Andrew Morony. At this time the Catholics of Ireland enjoyed a certain negative freedom of their religion. But this was of short duration. As soon as James thought himself sufficiently secure on his throne, he basely recalled all his promises of toleration.
His subsequent conduct shewed how dangerous it is for the civil and religious rights of subjects to depend on the will of any man, and especially on the caprice of a drunken and voluptuous sovereign, as James unquestionably was. His Proclamamation, dated Westminster, 4th July, 1605, was published with great solemnity in Dublin, on the 28th September, in which his Majesty desires that no one should hope for his tolerating the exericse of any other worship, but that of the church established by law; he commanded all his subjects to attend the Protestant Churches on Sundays and festivals - requires all Priests to withdraw from the realm before the 10th of December; forbids any of his subjects to harbour any Priest; and renews the penal statutes of the late Queen against Popish Recusants and Popish Priests and Jesuits.
From an interesting letter of F. Holiwood, dated 10th of December, 1605, I discover, that to strike terror amongst the Catholic population of Dublin, who nobly refused to sacrifice their religion to Mammon the Lord Lieutenant and Privy Council, had sent to prison on the 22nd and 27th of November, several members of the Corporation, and some of the principal citizens. A deputation of gentlemen from the Counties of Kildare, Meath, and Louth, upon this, waited on his Excellency, and petitioned for a suspension of the system of coercion, until they could be allowed to visit his Majesty s Court, and represent their case. After a delay of fifteen days, his Excellency, in the exercise of despotic power, threw some of the deputation into gaol, and ordered others to confine themselves to their houses, and neither to write to any one, nor speak to any person who was not part of the family, under the penalty of a thousand pounds English money. A large body of troops was assembled at Dublin, and detachments were drafted off for the apprehension of Priests all over the kingdom. F. Holiwood incloses the lists of some of the Prisoners :
The following are citizens of Dublin : “Mr. Walter Seagrove, John Shelton, James Beelowe, Thomas Penket, Kennedy, Stephens, Tornor, Kearroll, &c.
These and others were first commanded to go to church by proclamation; again by special commandment; last by commandment upon the duty of allegiance, under the broad seal, and therefore indicted after, in the Star Chamber, fined, and committed for contempt. Noblemen and gentlemen committed for putting in of a petition.
‘My Lord Viscount of Gormanston, My Lord of Lowth (as I heare), Sir Patrick Barnwall, close Prisoner, Sir James Dillon. John Finglass, Richard Netirvil and Henry Burnell, committed to their howses only by reason of their adge’.
But the heart is sickened with these abominable reprisals on conscience with these impious attempts of a government to force its novel opinions on a nation, and rob a people of its religious freedom. The history of the Irish Reformation is indeed a compound of absurdity and barbarity, unprecedented in the Annals of mankind.
To return to F. Holiwood. He continued in very difficult times to render essential services to his county and to religion, by his zeal, wisdom, charity and fortitude, until his pious death on the 4th of September, 1616. His pedantic and blgotted sovereign had expressly denounced him in his speech to the Parliament, 1st of May, 1614, and the Royal Commissioners reported in 1615, that “Hollywood, a Jesuit, was kept and harboured by Sir Christopher Plunkett”.

From the pen of this Father we have :

  1. “Defensio Concilii Tridentini et Sententice Bellarmini de auctoritate VuLgatae Editionis”, with an appendix.
  2. “Libellus de investiganda vera et visibili Christi Ecclesiae”. This is a 4to. volume printed at Antwerp, 1604. It was re-printed with additions at Antwerp, in an 8vo form, 1619, under the name of John Geraldini.
  3. A Latin Treatise “De Meteoris”.
  • He sometimes signs himself Johannes Bushlock
  • This hollow and rotten hearted prince had been a pensioner of the Pope, and the king of Spain. F. William Creitton, in a letter to F. Thomas Owen, dated Billom, 4th of June, 1605, says also. “Our Kyng had so great fear of ye nombre of Catholikes, ye pui-saunce of Pope and Spaine, yet he offered Libertie of Conscience and send me to Rome to deal for the Pope’s favor and making of an Scottish Cardinal, as I did shaw the Kyng s letter to F. Parsons”. In the sequel this contemptible tyrant considered a petition presented for Liberty of Conscience as an indignity, and committed the petitioners to gaol for their presumption!

LAWNDY, THOMAS, was the acting Superior of the Irish Mission in 1623,4,5, as his letters demonstrate, and appears to have had habits of business.

Kearney, Barnaby, 1567-1640, Jesuit priest and writer

  • IE IJA J/1497
  • Person
  • 29 September 1567-19 August 1640

Born: 29 September 1567, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 17 October 1589, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 14 February 1598, Louvain, Belgium
Final Vows: 02 August 1605
Died: 19 August 1640, Cashel, County Tipperary

Alias Bryan O'Carney

Son of Pat Kearney and Elizabeth Connor
Master of Arts and studied Philosophy for 6 years - studying at Douai (1588) - D Phil (1589)
1593 at Antwerp teaching Humanities and Poetry
1597 2 years Theology at Louvain
Taught Rhetoric at Lille for 2 years
1599 At Bourges teaching Greek?
1617 In Ireland
1621 Superior of Jesuits in East Munster.
“chiolericus, has judgements and prudence and a good preacher”.
Uncle of Walter Wale - RIP 1646; James O’Kearney - RIP 1648

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
Son of Patrick O’Carney and Elizabeth née Coney. Brother of the Archbishop. Uncle of Walter Wale.
Ent 17 October 1589 Tournai; RIP 20 August 1640 Cashel
Studied in Ireland and then four years Philosophy, graduating MA and D Phil at Douai
Admitted by FLA Provincial Oliver Manraeus 17 October 1589, and Noviceship at Tournai
1591 October 2 Sent to St Omer for studies in Humanities
Regency teaching Greek and Rhetoric at Antwerp and Lille;
1603 Arrived with nephew Walter Wale in Ireland
Both he and his nephew were tried and condemned to death
Writer; a fervid Preacher; gave Missions throughout Ireland
He went in disguise for many years and had many hairbreadth escapes (Foley’s Collectanea)
He is also mentioned in the Report of the Irish Mission SJ made to Fr General Nickell (1641-1650) which are preserved in the English College Rome, and a copy at RHC London.
(cf Hibernia Ignatiana" for letters of Fr Kearney recounting his work in Ireland; Oliver’s “Collectanea”, from Stonyhurst MSS; de Backer’s “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ” for published sermons)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Patrick and Elizabeth née Convey
Studied in Ireland and under the Jesuits at Douai and graduated MA before, and Later DD Ent 05 October 1589 Tournai
1591-1595 After First Vows he taught Humanities successively at St. Omer, Antwerp and Lille.
1595-1598 He then studied Theology at Louvain and was Ordained there in 1598.
1698-1601 He had requested to be allowed go to the Irish Mission, and while waiting for permission taught at Bruges and Douai
1601-1602 Made Tertianship at Tournai
1603 Late Spring accompanied by his nephew Walter Wale (both sent an account of their journey to the General once arrived) he set out for Ireland where he was sent to Cashel and Kilkenny but his last years were passed in Cashel, where he died 20/08/1640. In the early days of his ministry he was seen in many parts of Munster and also was able with his nephew Walter to reconcile the Earl of Ormonde with the Catholic Church. He died at Cashel 20 August 1640.
He was for many years a Consultor of the Mission.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Kearney, Barnabas (Ó Cearnaigh, Brian)
by David Murphy

Kearney, Barnabas (Ó Cearnaigh, Brian) (1567–1640), Jesuit priest and writer, was born 29 September 1567 at Cashel, Co. Tipperary, son of Patrick Kearney and Elizabeth Kearney (née Convey). His elder brother was David Kearney (qv), a secular priest who served as archbishop of Cashel (1603–24). Educated locally, Barnabas left Ireland for the Spanish Netherlands and studied philosophy at the Jesuit college in Douai, where he graduated MA (1588), later obtaining a doctorate in philosophy. He entered the Society of Jesus at Tournai on 5 October 1589 and, after his noviciate, taught humanities at Saint-Omer, Antwerp, and Lille (1591–5). Completing his studies at Louvain, he was ordained priest (1596) and then taught at Bruges and Douai. He completed his tertianship at Tournai in 1601–2.

In 1603 he travelled to Ireland with his nephew, Walter Wale, SJ, and for the next thirty years he played a prominent part in the work of the Irish Jesuit mission. Based in Cashel, he enjoyed the assistance of his brother David and, with Walter Wale, worked as one of the pioneers of the counter-reformation in Ireland. Discouraging locals from attending protestant services, in 1605 he avoided being captured by English soldiers when a party of men from the town assisted his escape. A powerful preacher and fluent in Irish, he worked mostly in Munster but also travelled to areas of Leinster, where he worked giving basic religious instruction and also trying to raise the level of the diocesan clergy. In 1610 he was appointed as consultor of the mission and, with Wale, was reputed to have brought Thomas Butler (qv), 10th earl of Ormond, into the catholic faith.

He published collections of his sermons, having manuscripts smuggled abroad to printers on the Continent. His first collection of sermons, Heliotropium, sive conciones tum des festis quam de Dominicis quae in solani totius anni circulo occurrunt, was published in Lyons (1622). In 1623 he sent over a second collection of sermons, ‘Tragici discourses de Passione Domini’, but the Jesuit censors refused to approve it for publication. The manuscript no longer exists and the reason for the censors’ decision remains unclear. Another collection of his sermons was, however, later approved by the censors and published as Heliotropium, sive conciones de mysteris redemptionis humanae quae in Dominica Passione continentur (Paris, 1633). This was dedicated to Archbishop Thomas Walsh (qv), who succeeded Kearney's brother at Cashel. Among the earliest collections of counter-reformation sermons, both of Kearney's publications are now extremely rare, only two copies of his 1622 Heliotropium surviving in Irish libraries (one in TCD, another in the Milltown Institute Library).

In 1629 he was appointed superior of the Cashel ‘residence’ (the territory of the local Jesuit community). His brother had left a small house to the Society and he later supervised the establishment of a small Jesuit community in Cashel. He died 20 August 1640 in Cashel. A collection of his letters is held in the Irish Jesuit Archives, Dublin.

‘Irish ecclesiastical colleges since the reformation: Salamanca, III’, IER, x (Aug. 1874), 527; E. Hogan, SJ, Ibernia Ignatiana (1880); B. Millett, ‘Irish literature in Latin’, NHI, iii, 579; Francis Finnegan, SJ, ‘A biographical dictionary of the Irish Jesuits in the time of the Society's third Irish mission, 1598–1773’, 142–3 (MS volume in Jesuit archives, Dublin); Charles E. O'Neill, SJ, and Joaquín M. Domínguez, SJ (ed.), Diccionario histórico de la Compañía de Jesús: biográfico-temático (Madrid, 2001), iii, 2182; information from Fr Fergus O'Donoghue, SJ, Jesuit archives, Dublin

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Barnaby O’Kearney 1565-1640
One of our greatest Missioners during the Penal Days was Fr Barnaby O’Kearney. Born in Cashel in 1565, where his brother David was afterwards Archbishop, Barnaby entered the novitiate in 1589, and was a brilliant classical scholar, teaching in Antwerp and Lille.

He came back to Ireland with his nephew Walter Wale SJ in 1603, and there he laboured for 37 years. He worked most of hism time in Munster, based in Cashel. On one mission he terrified 5 men who were leading wicked lives, by his description of hell, so that they mended their ways. In another sermon he converted a Viscount and his three brothers. The restitution he caused to be made for sins of injustices in Munster amounted to thousands.

Naturally he incurred the fierce hatred of the priest-hunters. The story of his escape from almost certain capture read like episodes of life in the Wild West. So great was the improvement in public morality as a result of his work, that the judges of the Assizes declared in open court, that Barnaby O’Kearney and Walter Wale did more to prevent robbery than all the enactments and terrors of the law.

It is truly remarkable that this man, in spite of the hazards and perils of his life, lived to celebrate his jubilee in the Society, and also had time in thew midst of his labours to publish his sermons, one volume of Homilies for Sundays and Feasts and another volume on the Passion of the Lord.

He died an old man of 75 years on August 20th 1640.

◆ The English Jesuits 1550-1650 Thomas M McCoog SJ : Catholic Record Society 1994
With his Jesuit companion Walter Wale, Kearney stayed in London with Henry Garnet during the Winter and Spring of 1602/1603 (AASI 46/23/8 pp 399-400

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
KEARNEY, BARNABY, was born at Cashell in 1565, and was brother to David, Archbishop of Cashell. He was admitted into the Society at Douay in the 24th year of his age. After teaching Rhetoric and the Greek Language at Antwerp and Lisle, he was ordered to the Irish Mission, where he arrived with his nephew, F. Walter Wale, in the summer of 1603. Both vied with each other in giving themselves up to the ministry of the Word : and both were marked out for the vengeance of the government. A troop of horse was sent by the Viceroy to Cork to apprehend them at the dawn of the 5th of September, 1606 : but God delivered his servants from their malice. F. Kearney in a letter dated the 4th of October, that year, after mentioning this escape, writes that he followed his Excellency’s footsteps to Waterford, and entered that City unsuspected with the immense concourse of the spectators, and was an ear and eye witness to his triumphant reception. His Excellency on arriving at the Court House, summoned before him eleven of the most respectable inhabitants of Waterford, viz. Paul Sherlock, who had been elected Mayor for the ensuing year, Nicholas Marian, Michael Brown, Nicholas White, James Fagan,* Nicholas Strong, James Sherlock, Richard Wadding, James Walsh, Patrick White, Richard Boucher; six neglected to make their appearance, and were heavily fined, and ordered to present themselves at Cork. The five who attended, with great spirit professed that they would never swerve an iota from the Roman Catholic Religion which they had inherited from their Fathers; but should ever manifest loyal allegiance to their Sovereign, and obedience to his representatives in all civil and political matters. His Excellency marked his indignation at this bold expression of sentiment imposed a heavy fine, and gave them in charge to his Secretary, until they should alter their opinions. Finding them immovably firm in their faith, he caused them to appear before the Lord Chief Justice, who endeavoured to gain them over by promises of place and emolument, and assured them that the Government would be satisfied, if they would but once attend the Protestant service. But these heroes well knowing that dissimulation in Religion was inadmissible, refused their consent, telling him, that they had given, and ever would give undeniable proofs of their civil allegiance; that it could never benefit the king’s interests for them to act against the dictates of conscience; and that they could not believe that the King wished them to make such a sacrifice of principle. The Sheriffs JAMES WAISH and JAMES BREWER “vere duae olivae in Domo Dei”, were then attacked; but with no better success. One hundred and sixty citizens were then selected as likely persons to be prevailed on to surrender conscience to the motives of fear and interest; but God who chooses the weak things of the world to confound the strong, supplied them with courage to resist every assault, and not one, God be praised, of the whole number, nor even in the whole population of Waterford, comprising many thousands of inhabitants, would degrade himself by an act of hypocrisy and apostasy. In revenge, tyrannical iniquity, calling itself justice, and the gospel of the Redeemer, inflicted pecuniary penalties. The base attempt of the Chief Justice to rob the inhabitants of Ross of their conscientious integrity proved equally abortive. “The Viceroy in his progress towards Carrick was informed that Nicholas Madan harboured in his castle of Whitfeld, three miles from Waterford, a learned English Priest, Thomas Hill, an Alumnus of the English College at Rome. Under some specious pretext, his Excellency proceeded in that direction with a troop of horse, and sent a detachment to search every corner of the Castle; but they found nothing, and Mr. Hill, thanks be to God, is still safe in Ireland”. The letter is dated from his hiding place, where his brother, the Archbishop of Cashell lay also concealed “e nostro latibulo, ubi frater modo est”, 4 Octobri, 1606.
F. Kearney continued during the long period of 37 years and in very difficult times the diligent and faithful Steward of the mysteries of God. The friend of peace, the promoter of habits of honest industry and sobriety, this true patriot, deserved to hear that his efforts to advance the public good, and prevent the disturbance of the public tranquillity, were duly appreciated by the constituted authorities. Even judges of assizes were known to declare in open court, that the two Jesuits, Barnaby Kearney and Walter Wale, did more to prevent robbery, than all the terrors of the law, than all the framers of coercive restrictions. I find by a letter of F. Robert Nugent, dated (ex Hybernia 1 Octobris, 1640) the following account of his death :
“F. Barnaby Kearney, an old man of 75 well spent years, quitted on the 20th day of August the labors of this life, as we hope, for everlasting rest, fortified with all the Sacraments of the Church. He had spent 51 years in the Society, and 37 in the Mission, was professed of the Four Vows, and was always zealous in preaching, (some of his sermons are in print) : in various places he taught the people with Evangelic fervour and abundant fruit!”
The sermons alluded to in this paragraph are in Latin for the Sundays and feasts in the whole year. The Title of the book is “Heliotropion”, in 8vo. printed at Lyons in 1622. A second volume of his sermons, on the Passion of Christ, was published in an octavo form at Paris, in 1633. He left in MS. an account of the death of the Earl of Ormond. This nobleman, I take it, was Thomas Butler, called “The Black Earl”, in whose conversion before his death, in 1614, F. Kearney was greatly instrumental.

  • The Fagans were generous supporters of religion. F. Fitzsimon, in a letter dated 25th of November, 1599, mentions, “Dominus Thomas Fagan, insignis Benefactor noster”. as entitled to the special prayers and gratitude of the Society.

Kirwan, Francis, 1589-1661, Roman Catholic Bishop of Killala and deathbed Jesuit

  • IE IJA J/1544
  • Person
  • 1589-27 August 1661

Born: 1589, Galway City, County Galway
Entered: 27/08/1661, Rennes, France (”in articulo mortis”)
Ordained: 1614, Cashel, Co Tipperary
Died: 27 August 1661, Rennes, France

Parents Matthew and Juliana Lynch both from distinguished families.
Received early education from his uncle Fr Arthur Lynch. Higher education at Lisbon
1614 Ordained by AB Kearney of Cashel
1618 At Dieppe College teaching Philosophy
1620 Appointed VG by DR Conry AB of Tuam and later by AB Malachy O’Queely
1645 Consecrated Bishop of Killala at Paris 07 May 1645. Member of Supreme Council of Kilkenny. Opposed to Nuncio on Censures, but later publicly renounced opposition.
1649-1652 Worked zealously and had to evade capture,, by hiding in cellars of friends home in Galway 14 months.
1655 Exiled with AB of Tuam and others till death. Lived mostly at Nantes in poverty and prayer, Wrote that the Society had always been loved by him. His funeral was described as more like a canonisation than a funeral. A Jesuit delivered the homily and he is buried in Society grave at Rennes. Reputed to be a “saint”, and miracles attributed to him (Fr General.
Left monies in Ireland for the purchase of a Residence/School for the Society

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Bishop of Killala
His life was written by Dr Lynch “Pii Antistitis Icon”
1660 Father Quin writes to Father General “Dr Kirwan is reputed a saint here”. Miracles were performed by him.
The saintly Father Yong says his obsequies were more like a canonisation than a funeral.
Received into the Society by General Vitelleschi pro articulo mortis 15 January 1640, since he could not be received otherwise at that time.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Matthew and Julia née Lynch
Early studies under an uncle Arthur Lynch and later priestly studies at the Irish College Lisbon.
Ordained in Ireland by Archbishop Kearney of Cashel 1614
1614-1620 Teaching Philosophy in France and spent some time in Louvain, before being appointed Vicar General of Tuam by the exiled Bishop. e exercised this ministry assiduously, visiting many priests and regularly accompanied by various Jesuits, as he was very attached to the Society.
1645 Became Bishop of Killala 06 February 1645.
Exiled under the “Commonwealth” he found refuge with the Jesuits at Rennes. Before or on his death (”in articulo mortis”) he was received into the Society. He died at Rennes and was buried in the Jesuit church of that city

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Kirwan, Francis
by Terry Clavin

Kirwan, Francis (1589–1661), catholic bishop of Killala, was the son of Matthew Kirwan and his wife, Juliana Lynch, both of Galway city. He was taught at Galway by his maternal uncle, Arthur Lynch, who was a priest, and subsequently studied at Lisbon. In 1614 he was ordained a priest by David Kearney (qv), archbishop of Cashel, before travelling to France where he was teaching philosophy at Rouen by 1618. Subsequently, his uncle William Lynch removed Kirwan (against his wishes) to Louvain in the Spanish Netherlands. There he impressed Florence Conry (qv), archbishop of Tuam, who sent Kirwan back to Ireland in 1620 to act as vicar general of the archdiocese of Tuam.

Kirwan was indefatigable in attending to his duties as vicar general and effective head of the catholic church in Connacht, travelling to the most remote areas of the archdiocese. His ascetic lifestyle and modest demeanour earned him the respect and awe of the catholic laity, although he was criticised for his tendency to favour the hospitality of wealthy catholics. He worked particularly hard to ensure that his clergy met strict counter-reformation standards, stipulating that each priest could have only one parish, and supervising those training to become priests. Generally the local authorities turned a blind eye to his activities and Kirwan seems to have been on friendly terms with William Daniel (qv), the protestant archbishop of Tuam. Indeed, his main opposition came from his own clergy, many of whom preferred a more lax brand of catholicism.

Conry died in 1629, but his successor as archbishop of Tuam, Malachy O'Queely (qv), retained Kirwan as vicar general. About 1637 he decided to depart for France to preside over the education of a group of Irish youths there. They settled at Caen and were maintained for several years by funds sent from Ireland. However, the beginning of a long period of warfare in Ireland in 1641 meant that this revenue source was cut off. Kirwan's scholars dispersed and he travelled again to France, where he attempted unsuccessfully to gather together the Irish students under his leadership and tried to organise the sending of arms to the catholics in Ireland. During this period he also befriended Vincent de Paul.

As early as 1625 Kirwan had been recommended for a bishopric, and on 7 May 1645 he was consecrated bishop of Killala at the church of St Lazarus in Paris. He travelled to Ireland and, after being warmly received by the supreme council of the Catholic Confederation at Kilkenny, took possession of his see in October 1646. The most powerful local lord was Ulick Burke (qv), marquess of Clanricard, a strong royalist with whom Kirwan became close. As well as attending to his pastoral duties, he frequently travelled to Kilkenny and Waterford to participate in the confederate assemblies.

In June 1646, along with the rest of the catholic hierarchy, Kirwan supported the decision of the papal nuncio GianBattista Rinuccini (qv) to excommunicate those who adhered to the alliance between the Catholic Confederation and the protestant royalists. However, his association with Clanricard put him on the moderate wing of the church and increasingly at odds with the nuncio. In May 1648 he was among the minority of bishops who opposed Rinuccini's excommunication of those who supported the truce between the confederates and Murrough O'Brien (qv), Lord Inchiquin, the commander of the protestant forces in Munster. Later that year he helped Archbishop John Bourke (qv) of Tuam celebrate mass at the collegiate church in Galway, in defiance of the nuncio's interdict. His stance was vociferously opposed by his own diocesan clergy, who complained against him to Rinuccini.

From 1649 to 1652 he was active in the last struggles of the confederates and strongly supported Clanricard, who became royalist lord deputy of Ireland in 1650, against the more hard-line members of the hierarchy. He was also involved in efforts to persuade the duke of Lorraine to intervene in Ireland on behalf of the catholics. After the Cromwellian forces had completed their conquest of Connacht in the summer of 1652, he spent nearly two years in hiding, constantly pursued by the authorities. Weary and in poor health, he gave himself up in Galway in 1654, before being freed in December that year on condition that he left Ireland within two months. In the event, he sailed into Nantes with other exiled catholic clergy in August 1655. He spent two years there before settling in Brittany. Virtually destitute on his arrival in Nantes, he was maintained by grants from the French clergy and by the patronage of noblewomen. He also repented of his past opposition to Rinuccini, and in 1655 appealed to Rome for absolution, which he received two years later. He died 27 August 1661 at Rennes and was buried in the Jesuit church there. Long an admirer of the Jesuits, he was admitted as a member of their order on his deathbed.

Laurence Renehan, Collections on Irish church history (1861), i, 397–8; G. Aiazzi, The embassy in Ireland of Monsignor G. B. Rinuccini, trans. A. Hutton (1873), 468; J. T. Gilbert, A contemporary history of affairs in Ireland. . . (3 vols, 1879), i, 653; ii, 141, 191; iii, 124, 178; John Lynch, The portrait of a pious bishop; or the life and death of Francis Kirwan (1884), passim; J. T. Gilbert, History of the Irish confederation. . . (7 vols, 1882–91), iii, 183; vi, 211–12, 226; vii, 58, 213; Comment. Rinucc., vi, 126, 191–2; Patrick Corish, ‘Rinuccini's censure of 27 May 1648’, Ir. Theol. Quart., xviii, no. 4 (Oct. 1951), 322–37; Peter Beresford-Ellis, Hell or Connaught (1988), 106–8; T. Ó hAnnracháin, Catholic reformation in Ireland (2002), 238

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
Francis Kirwan, Bishop of Killala (his Lordship had obtained to be admitted into the Society “pro bona mortis”, and was buried in the Jesuits Church at Rennes)

Lea, Patrick, 1619-1650, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1563
  • Person
  • 1619-27 March 1650

Born: 1619, County Meath
Entered: 25 March 1644, Kilkenny
Ordained: - pre Entry
Died: 27 March 1650, County Kilkenny - described as a Martyr of Charity

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He was the first Novice to enter at Kilkenny. The foundress of this house was Lady Elizabeth Nugent, sister of the Earl of Westmeath. She died 26 October 1645 “A true mother of the Society in Ireland”, quoted from a letter of Robert Nugent 31 October 1645 (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS).
He died a victim of charity in attending the plague stricken in Kilkenny with four companions.
He is highly eulogised in Drew’s “Fasti SJ”. S great was the opinion of his sanctity, that people would run in crowds from the houses to kiss the hem of his garment as he passed, being attracted by the sweet odour of virtue beaming from his face and entire person.
Besides being distinguished for his learning, he was skilled in the medical science, of which he made full use in his missionary career. He was described as a “doctor by nature, and he seems to have the gift of healing. Taught in Kilkenny 1648, he was a Martyr of Charity. He qualified to profess with éclat Theology, Philosophy and Medicine. A man of extraordinary learning and holiness.
He is also named in Mercure Verdier’s long Report on the Irish Mission 1641-1650 made to the General, a copy of which from the English College in Rome is at the Library of the Public Record Office, London.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Already Ordained before Ent 1646 Kilkenny
His skill as a 'natural doctor' was widely known and commented on by the visitator, Mercure Verdier. But while ministering to the plague-stricken he fell a victim to the disease himself and died at Kilkenny 27/03/1650. Described as being a “Martyr” (of charity?)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Patrick Lee SJ 1619-1650
Patrick Lee was the first novice admitted to the new Novitiate in Kilkenny in 1644. He died a martyr of charity during a plague which broke out in Kilkenny in 1650. “It is incredible” says Dr Oliver, “how this angel of comfort assisted, relieved and restored so many of his fellow creatures, by his heroic courage and active zeal and medical services; for he was a skilful physician of the body as well as of the soul”. It is interesting to note that he was a physician like his namesake and fellow Jesuit Lea, who attended Archbishop Hurley in his torture and death. It seems to prove that they came from the same old Gaelic stock who were devoted to medicine.

So great was the opinion of the sanctity of Fr Lee amongst the people that they used to run in crowds from their houses to kiss the hem of his garments as he passed. It happened that poor man he was attending died. The body was spreading contagion all around. Ft Lee took up the body in his arms and carried it to a nearby cemetery, and digging a grave he buried it. Owing to the heated conditions he was in and the contact with the corpse, he was stricken down with the fatal disease. As soon as it was known that he was dying, the people hurried to get his blessing and it was said that many were cured by touching his gown.

He had been received into the Society on the eve of the Annunciation and before he went to attend the dying he declared to others that he himself would die on the anniversary of his reception. And so it came to pass.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
LEE, PATRICK, was the first Novice admitted into the house of Probation at Kilkenny. In this Novitiate,* erected under the auspices of the Blessed Virgin Mary, F. Lee imbibed the genuine spirit of the Society, which is essentially the spirit of zeal and charity. Whilst in the prime of life, this fervent and highly gifted Father devoted himself to the care of the infected, when Kilkenny was ravaged with the pestilence. It is incredible how this angel of comfort assisted, relieved and restored so many of his fellow creatures by his heroic courage, active zeal, and medical services : for he was the Physician of body as well as of soul. At length he fell a victim of charity on the 27th of March, 1650, (the day before the town surrendered to the besiegers,) in the most edifying sentiments of piety and joy. His death was justly regarded as a public calamity.

  • The founders of the Novitiate was the Lady Elizabeth Nugent, (Countess of Kildare, and sister to the Earl of Westmeath.) who died, after an illness of eight months, most piously, on the 26th of October, 1645. “Haec vere erat Mater Societatis nostrae in hoc Regno”, says F. Robert Nugent in his letter of the 31st of October, 1645. This Novitiate flourished at Kilkenny for four years, under that able master of spirituality, F. John Young. It was then removed to Gal way in 1649, and in the autumn of the year following, the young men were transferred to the Continent, and drafted among the various provinces of the Society.

Lynch, James, 1920-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/781
  • Person
  • 02 July 1920-29 September 2012

Born: 02 July 1920, John Street, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 29 September 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Coláiste Iognáid, Galway community at the time of death.

Father was a Civil Servant and family moved to reside at Lansdowne Terrace, Ballsbridge, Dublin.

Second of six boys.

Early education was at St John’s NS and the Christian Brothers in Kilkenny. When the family moved to Dublin in 1929 he went to Belvedere College SJ (1929-1938).

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 150 : Winter 2012


Fr James (Jim) Lynch (1920-2012)

2 July 1920: Bom in Kilkenny.
Early education at The Lake National School, CBS Kilkenny and Belvedere College
7 September 1938: Entered Society at Emo
8 September 1940: First Vows at Emo
1940-1943: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1943-1946: Studied philosophy in Tullabeg
1946-1949: Clongowes - 3rd Line Prefect; Teacher, Certificate in Education
1949-1953: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31 July 1952: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1953-1954: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1954-1963: Clongowes
1954-1959: Clongowes – LowerLine Prefect; Teacher
2 February 1955: Final Vows
1959-1962: Clongowes - Higher Line Prefect; Teacher
1962-1963: Clongowes - Minister; Prefect
1963-1985: Belvedere – Teacher; Assistant Gamesmaster; Chaplain to Youth Club (63-64)
1985-2012: Galway - Assisted in the church
2008-2012: Cherryfield Lodge - Prayed for the sick and the Society

Fr Jim Lynch SJ was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge from St. Ignatius, Galway in November 2008. He was very happy in the Jesuit Nursing home and he recently celebrated his 60th years in the Priesthood. He died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge on 29th September 2012
May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Jim never hid the fact that he was born in Kilkenny on July 2nd, 1920. His first nine years were spent in Kilkenny. However, he was also very proud to be a Belvederian having received most of his education there when his family moved to Dublin in 1929 and to their new house near Landsdowne Road, or the Aviva Stadium as it is now. In fact this was the beginning of a long association of the Lynch family with Belvedere and Old Belvedere Rugby Club, especially for his brother Frank who became President of the Rugby Club. Jim was quite an athlete when young. He played rugby for Belvedere and gained a Leinster schools' Cup medal in 1938. He was also a member of the Belvedere team that lost a cup match due to a controversial decision by the referee. Having awarded a try to Belvedere, the referee cancelled the try when he noticed that the touch judge had kept his flag up to signal an earlier 'foot in touch'. It was the story of the try that wasn't a try and Jim kept the paper cuttings of the incident. Jim also represented Belvedere in rowing and swimming.

Two words come to mind when mention is made of Jim's name, namely, faithfulness and reliability. Jim was totally faithful to the Jesuit way of life. He retired to bed early and rose early to attend to his religious duties. His faithfulness to Ted Booth both in Clongowes and Belvedere was remarkable. He showed similar care for the elderly during his years in Galway, acting as “infirmarian”, checking on his brother Jesuits that they were alive and well and that they had taken their tablets,

Jim was totally reliable in whatever he was asked to do as a Jesuit. He taught in Clongowes for a total of twelve years, both as a scholastic and as a priest. He was also 3rd Line Prefect for three years and Lower Line Prefect for eight years. He was Minister for one year, the hardest year in his life, he always said. He left Clongowes for Belvedere in 1963 and taught there for the next twenty-two years until his retirement, aged sixty-five. The next twenty-three years of his life were spent in Galway ministering in the Church. For many years he travelled to Wales to spend the summer supplying in a parish.

I don't think Jim found any of the ministries he was asked to undertake easy. Teaching did not come easy to him nor did preaching, Yet, Jim did what he was asked to do and no complaining. His attachment to Belvedere was deep having been there as a boy and man. It wasn't easy for him to cross the Shannon and leave Belvedere for Galway where he served for twenty-three years. But he did it and came to like Galway and its people. And the people hold fond memories of him.

Jim spent the last four years of his life in Cherryfield, praying for the Church and the Society. That must not have been easy either, yet perhaps Jim had now become an even more pliable instrument in the Lord's hands. The Staff in Cherryfield bore this out in his last years. When Rachel, the nurse Manager, asked Jim about having to do this or that he would reply, “Whatever you say: you are in charge”. He was a delight to visit in Cherryfield. When you asked how he was he would always reply, “Not too bad for an old fellow”. There was no self-pity or drawing attention to himself, just to the nurses and their kindness to him.

Jim's life was like that of most of us, it was ordinary and he sought to serve God in the ordinary. He did the ordinary course of studies' as in was in those days, three years in Rathfarnham at UCD, three years philosophy in Tullabeg, three years regency in Clongowes, four years theology in Milltown Park and a return to Rathfarnham for a year of Tertianship. Then it was on to the Colleges and finally, in retirement from teaching, to serve in one of our Churches. However, what is not ordinary is the faithfulness with which Jim did the ordinary and that for seventy-four years as a Jesuit. In death it will be Jim's tum to experience the utter reliability and faithfulness of the God on whom he modelled his life.

When I think of Jim now, some lines of the 17th century poet George Herbert come to mind:

Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lacked anything

“A guest”, I answered, “worthy to be here”.
Love said, “You shall be he”.
“I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on thee”.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
“Who made the eyes but I?”

“Truth, Lord, but I have marred them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve”.
“And know you not”, says Love, “who bore the blame?”
“My dear, then I will serve”,
“You must sit down”, says Love and taste my meat”.
So I did sit and eat.

John Humphreys

MacEgan, John, 1599/1600-1666, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1627
  • Person
  • 1599/1600-27 July 1666

Born: 1599/1600, Streamstown, County Meath
Entered: 05 April 1620, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: c 1627, Salamanca, Spain
Final Vows: 21 September 1636
Died: 27 July 1666, Irish College, Santiago de Compostella, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

First Vows 05 April 1620??
1625 At Salamanca College teaching Grammar and studying Theology and Philosophy for 5 years - good for Missions
1633 At Monreal College CAST has been Minister and Procurator
1646 in Kilkenny (1650 Catalogue CAST says on Mission from 1638)
1655 Professor of Moral Theology at Oviedo
1665-1667 At Compostella Teaching Theology, Philosophy, Grammar.
No dates given for Teaching Theology at Segovia, Ávila and considered as Superior of Irish Seminaries

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Two Entries
1625 At Salamanca (in pen)
1634 Procurator as Castile
1649 In Kilkenny teaching Philosophy
He was a distinguished Preacher, and is styled “truly learned and good, modest and humble” Knew English, Irish, Spanish and Latin. Taught Philosophy for four years, also Professor of Theology at Ávila and elsewhere, and a Preacher and Confessor for ten years.
“A model religious; most learned in human and divine science, distinguished Preacher, truly learned, modest and humble” (Mercure Verdier, Visitor to Irish Mission 1649)
Names in a list of Irish Jesuits 1650 (ARSI)Called “MacEgan” in Peter Walsh’s “Remonstrance”
Suggestion that his name was “MacGeoghegan” of Westmeath
(cf a Sketch of him in “Irish Colleges Abroad”; Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ ;
Son of Robert and Marcella née Coffey
Had studied Philosophy probably at Santiago before Ent 05 April 1620 Villagarcía
After First Vows he was sent on Regency for two years teaching in CAST Colleges, and then resumed his studies at Royal College Salamanca (1623-1627) and he was Ordained there in 1627.
1627-1637 Sent teaching Humanities, first to Segovia, then to Monforte de Lemos, and finally to Monterey where he was both Minister and Operarius in the Church. During these years he was keen to be sent to Ireland, but permission to go did not arrive until 1637.
1637 Sent to Ireland and Kilkenny, where he devoted himself once more to teaching and on the establishment of a school of Philosophy and where he taught.
In the controversy between the Supreme Council and Rinuccini, MacEgan took the part of the latter but kept as far as possible out of the disputes. The author of the “Aphorismical Discovery” states that he was “the only Jesuit not to swerve from his fourth vow” (This was perhaps untrue, as only a very small minority of Jesuits, but a vocal one, opposed the Nuncio).
1653 He returned to Spain - probably deported. He was appointed to a Chair of Moral Theology at the College of Oviedo
1660 He was appointed to a Chair of Moral Theology at the Irish College Compostela
1662 Fr General gave his permission for him to return to Ireland, but the permission was not acted on probably because of poor health, and he died at Compostela 27 July 1667

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
EGAN, JOHN, was living at Kilkenny in 1649, and then 55 years of age. He was teaching Philosophy,and was a superior Preacher; but what is more, he deserved the character of being “truly learned and good, modest and humble."

Maher, Martin, 1861-1942, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/237
  • Person
  • 11 November 1861-12 March 1942

Born: 11 November 1861, Whitehall, Paulstown, County Kilkenny
Entered: 13 September 1879, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 29 July 1894, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1900
Died: 12 March 1942, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Younger brother of Thomas Maher - RIP 1917

Early education at Carlow College and St Stanislaus College SJ, Tullabeg

by 1898 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1899

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Came from a very respected family and two sons were in the Jesuits. An older brother Thomas was in the Society - RIP 1917.

Note from John Naughton Entry :
1896 He finally returned to Gardiner St again, and was President of the BVM Sodality for girls, being succeeded by William Butler and Martin Maher in this role.

Note from Martin Maher Sr Entry :
He went from there to Willesden in London, and he died there 27 March 1917. His brother, Martin said the requiem Mass.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Martin Maher was educated at St Stanislaus' College, Tullabeg, and entered the Society from there in 1879. He came to Australia as a priest, working at Riverview from 1899 as prefect of studies. He held the same office at St Aloysius' College in 1901, and left in early 1902 to return to Ireland to become rector of The Crescent. He was one of the most respected administrators of the Irish province. After The Crescent, he was rector of Milltown Park, and served two terms as master of novices, as well as being socius to the provincial and a lecturer in theology.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 5th Year No 1 1929

Tullabeg :
Fr Martin Maher, Master of Novices, celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his entrance into the Society, 16th September. Fr Martin was ordained in 1894. He spent three years in Australia, returning to Ireland in 1902 as Rector of the Crescent. From that date he put in 16 years as Rector (Crescent, Tullabeg, Milltovlm). In 1905 he was appointed Socius to Fr Provincial, and held that office for 6 years. He has commenced his 13th year as Master of Novices. No wonder Fr. Martin received such a huge spiritual bouquet on the occasion of the Jubilee. Fr. Provincial, accompanied by his Socius, carried it down to Tullabeg and presented it in the course of the day. During the evening festivities, Fr. Provincial, and Fr, S. Bartley (Rector of Tullabeg) paid some very well earned compliments to the Jubilarian who made a most kindly reply.

Irish Province News 17th Year No 3 1942

Obituary :
Rev Martin Maher SJ

The death of Father Martin Maher took place at the Residence, Upper Gardiner Street, on 12th March. He was, born at Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny, in 1861, and on the completion of his secondary education at Knockbeg, Carlow, and at St. Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, entered the Society of Jesus in 1879 at Milltown Park. There also, in company
with his brother, the late Fr. Thomas Maher, SJ., he completed his philosophical studies, after which he attended University College, Dublin, whose professorial staff included many well-known Jesuit teachers like Fr. John O'Carroll, the famous linguist, Fr. Gerard Manly Hopkins, poet and literary critic, who was Greek professor, Fr. Denis Murphy and others.
In 1885 he began at Belvedere College with the late Fr. Thomas A. Finlay as Rector, his career as an educationalist to which he was to devote many fruitful years of his life both in Ireland and Australia. He was ordained priest in St. Francis Xavier's Church Gardiner Street, by Dr. William Walsh, Archbishop of Dublin on 29th July, 1894, and, on the completion of his theological studies which he pursued with remarkable distinction, was appointed professor of dogmatic theology, a subject he taught for 10 years. For long periods of his life he held posts of importance and responsibility, being Rector of the Sacred Heart College, Limerick, of the Novitiate, St. Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, and of the House of Higher Studies, Milltown Park, for some 20 years. He was Socius to the Provincial for 6 years and Master of novices for fourteen. He was attached to St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, from 1933 to his death, being in charge of the large sodality for young women, whom he addressed with unfailing regularity each week.
A man of great intellectual gifts and personal charm, he was of a quiet and self-effacing disposition. As a. priest of the Catholic Church he served her with rare oneness of purpose and with a profound love of her liturgy and ceremonies, and did much during his life to advance the study and appreciation of sacred music. A talented preacher and giver of retreats he was in much demand during his long life especially among religious communities.
As he would have wished, Fr. Maher died in harness. Up to Christmas he continued to direct his sodality, Then increasing weakness forced him to confine himself to the confessional, where he worked up to the week-end before his death.
He became aware some months before his death that the best medical skill could do nothing for him, and often spoke of his approaching end. On March 10th, two days before his death, he was able to celebrate Mass, but, at his own urgent request, was anointed that day. The following clay he remained in bed, but was so bright and cheerful that it was hard to realise the end was so near. That night it was arranged that he should be visited at short intervals. The Father who visited him at 4 a,m. found him sleeping peacefully, but two hours later he was found to have passed away. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Martin Maher1861 SJ 1712-1942
Fr Martin Maher will best be known in the Province as a Master of Novices, though he filled with success, many administrative and academical posts from Rector to Provincial Socius, from teacher of Humanities to Theology professor, He was Rector of Crescent, Tullabeg and Milltown Park over a space of twenty years, Socius to the Provincial for 6 years, and Master of Novices for fourteen.

Born at Paulstown in 1861, he entered the Society at Milltown in 1879. He was a gifted man who developed every talent the Lord gave him, a good preacher, a much sought after giver of retreats. He was very keenly interested in sacred music and the liturgy, and di much during his various periods of office to promote both.

A man of deep and simple piety, he was rather shy in manner and reserved. He was a model of the rules of modesty, most meticulous in his observance of the rules and completely dedicated to his duty of the moment, whatever it was, big or little. He told his novices that every day at the visit to the Blessed Sacrament, he used to pray for the grace of a happy death. His prayer was answered in a signal manner.

Although suffering from an incurable disease, he remained working up to two days before his death, dying as he wished, in harness and fortified by the last anointing on March 12th 1942.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1942


Father Martin Maher SJ

“The passing of Father Martin Maher means to me the loss of a dear friend. This must be true too in the case of a great number he met in his long, devoted ministry. When last we met he reminded me that it was 51 years since he taught me Mathematics at Belvedere. I am glad his labours are over - I think he suffered a good deal in recent years. Pray accept my sympathy for yourself and his colleagues at Gardiner Street for the loss of this holy priest”.

These words of Richard Cruise are we think the most fitting tribute that we can pay to Fr Martin Maher in the short space at our disposal. Fr Maher taught in Belvedere in the five years preceding 1890 and again in 1899. Subsequently he held almost every possible position of trust and responsibility in the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, and, despite several severe illnesses, he worked for souls with the utmost devotion to duty right up to the week of his death on 15th March, 1942. Requiescat in pace.

◆ The Clongownian, 1942


Father Martin Maher SJ

The death has occurred at St. Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner St., of Rev. Martin Maher, S.J., one of the best known members of the Jesuit community.

A brilliant educationist, he was an authority on liturgy and sacred music, and did much work in this direction in the training of youth.

Born in Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny, Father Maher was educated at Knockbeg College, Carlow, and St. Stanislaus College, Tullamore.

In 1879 he entered the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park. He completed his philosophical studies with his brother, the late Rev Thomas Maher SJ, and later entered University College, St Stephen's Green, where the members of the staff included such well known figures as Rev John O'Carroll, the famous linguist, and Rev Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ, the poet and
literary critic.

In 1885 Fr. Maher became a teacher in Belvedere College under Fr Tom Finlay SJ, and he devoted many years in Ireland and Australia to this type of work.

On the completion of his theological studies he was ordained in Gardiner Street in 1894 by the late Archbishop Walsh. He read a brilliant theological course and was appointed Professor of Theology at Milltown, where he remained for ten years. He spent some years in Australia, where he did much valuable work.

He was formerly Rector of the Sacred Heart College, Limerick; the Novitiate, St Stanislaus College, Tullamore; and the House of Higher Studies, Milltown Park, altogether a period of over twenty years. He was Assistant Provincial for six years at Gardiner Street.

Since 1933 Father Maher was attached to Gardiner Street Church and was Director of the Young Women's Sodality, whom he addressed every Monday with unfailing regularity.

“Irish Independent”

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Martin Maher (1961-1942)

Of Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny, received his education at Knockbeg College and entered the Society in 1879. He was ordained in Dublin in 1894. Ever since his ordination, Father Maher was marked out for positions of high responsibility in the Irish Province. For some few years he was assistant lecturer in theology at Milltown Park when he was sent out to Australia where he spent three years, 1899-1902. His short stay in Australia was long remembered for his brilliant work as prefect of studies at Sydney. On his recall to Ireland, he was at once appointed to the rectorship of Sacred Heart College but three years later was summoned to other fields of responsibility. Until 1930 he held such positions of trust as rector and master of novices at Tullabeg, secretary to the Provincial and rector and professor of theology at Milltown Park. His later years were spent at Gardiner St Church, Dublin.

Maher, Thomas, 1859-1917, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1659
  • Person
  • 29 September 1859-27 March 1917

Born: 29 September 1859, Whitehall, Paulstown, County Kilkenny
Entered: 09 September 1876, Milltown Par, Dublin
Ordained: 31 July 1892, St Francis Xavier Gardiner Street, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1897, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 27 March 1917, Willesden, England

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death.
Older Brother of Martin Maher - RIP 1942
Early education at Carlow College and St Stanislaus College SJ, Tullabeg

by 1896 at Vienna Austria (ASR-HUN) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Came from a very respected family and two sons were in the Jesuits. A younger brother Martin was in the Society - RIP 1942.

Early education was at Carlow College and later at Tullabeg under William Delany.

he did his Philosophy and Theology at Milltown, and also did Regency at Clongowes, Belvedere.
After Tertianship under Father Bulow at Vienna, he was at Crescent, and became Vice-Rector.
1897 He was appointed Rector at Crescent 01 November 1897, and continued in that role until March 1902. During his rectorship he erected a new facade on the Church, purchased the magnificent bell and tried to improve the schools in Limerick.
He was on the Mission Staff for a while and then joined the Gardiner St community. He spent many years there and was particularly successful in his Catechism classes.
1914 Towards the middle of this year he began to show signs of failing health. He went for a short time to London as a Military Chaplain.
He returned to Ireland and took charge of the Public retreats.
Continuing to suffer poor health it was recommended that he go to Petworth in Sussex. He went from there to Willesden in London, and he died there 27 March 1917. His brother, Martin said the requiem Mass.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commonality

Father Thomas Maher (1859-1917)

Brother of the preceding (Martin), entered the Society in 1876. He spent three years of his regency here, 1876-89 and returned later as prefect of studies in 1894. He was appointed vice-rector of the college in 1897 and later, rector, which office he held until 1902. From that year until his death, Father Maher was a member of the Gardiner St community.

Malone, William, 1586-1656, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1667
  • Person
  • 06 February 1586-18 August 1656

Born: 06 February 1586, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 24 September 1606, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1615, Coimbra, Portugal
Final Vows: 21 April 1624
Died: 18 August 1656, Irish College, Seville, Spain

Superior Irish Mission 20 April 1647-1650 and 27 June 1654

Educated at Portugal, Rome and Irish College Douai
1614 At Évora LUS in 3rd years Theology
1617 In Ireland Age 31 Soc 11
1621 Catalogue Talent prudence and judgment good. Gentle, a good preacher.
1622-1626 In Ireland
1638-1647 Rector Irish College Rome (Arch I C Rome Lib V 199) - 10 May 1647 (in 1642 Fr Richard Shelton is Prefect)
1650 Catalogue 65 years old on Mission 35 - Superior Irish College Rome and Sup Irish Mission 3 years
1655 Catalogue In Professed House Seville “Hospes HIB and operarius”

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
The family had the title “Baron Sunderlin”
Very placid and gentle; A Good Preacher; Provincial; Writer; A good religious; Rector in Rome and Seville;
Irish Catalogues of 1609, 1621 and 1636 call him “Dublinensis”. In Foley’s Collectanea evidence is produced in favour of his being a native of Manchester. The author is of the view that Simon Malone was married in Manchester and returned home, or, that he took William to be educated in Manchester as “Harry Fitzsimon, and had him baptised there and that William was then sent to Rome.
William Malone Esq of Lismullen is on the Roll of Attainders of 1642
After First Vows did two years Philosophy and four Theology; He was proficient in English, French, Italian, Spanish and Latin.
Sent to Ireland 1615; Preacher and Confessor many years; Rector of Irish College Rome; Superior Irish Mission for three years (HIB Catalogue 1650)
Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS says DOB 1586. After studies in Rome and Portugal was sent to Ireland 1617, his name is on a list in 1617 (Irish Ecclesiastical Record August 1874);
Sent to Rome in 1635 as Rector of Irish College; Made Superior of Irish Mission 23 December 1647, succeeding Robert Nugent.
Taken prisoner at the siege of Waterford and deported. He went to Seville, and there he was appointed Rector of St Gregory’s 1651-1655 and he died there 15/08/1655 age 70.
His famous work dedicated to King Charles I : “A Reply to Mr James Ussher, his answere”, 1627, was published at Douai (cf de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”; Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS.
Hollingsworth - of “Christ College” - states he was born in Manchester 1592. This is supported by the paper by Rev Laurence Canon Toole SS, of St Wilfred’s Manchester, regarding his birthplace (Chronicle of Manchester at Chetham Library, also published as “Mancunis” in 1839). “Anno 1592, was borne in Manchester, William son of Simon Malone, a young man with pregnant wife, he was tempted by some Irish merchants till the rebellion broke out 1649... Seduced from the Reformed to the Romish religion, of which he became one of the most earnest and able assertors; he made a reply to Archbishop Usher’s answer to the “Jesuite’s Challenge”, but he was overmatched, his adversary being more eminently learned, and having truth on his syde
“Thomas de Warre, subsequently by inheritance, Lord de Warre, a priest and rector, or parson of the Parish Church of Manchester in the reign of Henry V, founded a college to be attached to that Church for the daily celebration of the Divine Office. This College was dissolved in the first of Edward VI; it was refounded by Queen Mary; suppressed again in the first of Elizabeth, and refounded again under the name :”Christ College” in 1578.
Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS gives date of RIP as 15 August 1655 age 70, making his birth 1586, six years earlier than Hollingsworth, who may have assumed date of Baptism to be DOB. There continues to be dispute about his place of birth in that his father’s name is in the marriage register in Manchester, and there is an entry in the burial register which suggests continual living in Manchester “1597, April 29, an infant douter of Symon Mallon”.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Early education was at Douai
After First Vows he studied Philosophy at the Roman College and Theology at Évora and Coimbra (LUS) where he was Ordained 1615
1615 Sent to Ireland and Dublin. He immediately became involved in a controversy with James Ussher (afterwards Protestant Archbishop of Dublin). Ussher’s book “An answer to a challenge made by a Jesuit in Ireland” (1625) was triumphantly refuted by Malone in a work entitled “A Reply to Mr . James Ussher, his Answer”, published in Douai which reduced Ussher to silence and encouraged the Catholics.
1626-1637 Sent as Procurator to Rome
1637-1642 Rector of Irish College at Rome 10 December 1637. While in office he secured for the College the house in the Via Baccina, where it remained until the suppression
1642-1647 Prefect of Studies at Irish College Rome until 20 April 1647
1647-1650 Superior Irish Mission 20 April 1647. In more normal times he would have been eminently equipped for the duties of Superior in view of his past successes as a missionary priest in Ireland and an administrator at Rome. But taking into account the complicated politico-religious state of Ireland in 1647 and his long absence abroad he proved quite somewhat challenged by the tasks awaiting him. He identified himself with the Ormondist faction, quarreled with Rinuccini and caused a rift between his subjects of Old Irish and Anglo-Irish origin. In the first months following the “Censures” he was away temporarily and had entrusted the Office to John Young, and he had neglected to inform the General of the evolving crisis. It has been suggested that his actions later demonstrated that he sides with the small Ormondist faction on the Mission who had publicly sided with the “Confederation” against the Nuncio. In his 1649 Report to the General on the Irish Mission, Mercure Verdier recommended that he be replaced in office as soon as he had finished three years, but not before tat so as to avoid trouble with the Confederation. In the event, the General died 08/06/1949 and the election of his successor 21 January 1650, it became possible to replace Malone without incurring the displeasure of the Confederation.,
1650 He was replaced in office in January 1650, and was a very zealous missioner, but he was asked to act as Vice-Superior, 1653, on the arrest of William St. Leger. Despite the advice of the Visitor Mercure Verdier, he was again appointed Mission Superior 27 June 1654, but as he was then in prison he could not assume office. He was then deported to Spain and appointed Rector of the Irish College, Seville, 27 October 1655. By this stage he was in somewhat broken health, and much of the administration involved on the rectorship was devolved to his companion John Ussher. He died at Seville 18 August 1656
(Addendum. William Malone published in 1611 the first English translation of the works of - the then Blessed - Teresa of Avilá)

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Malone, William
by Terry Clavin

Malone, William (1586–1656), Jesuit, was born 6 December 1586 in Dublin, the son of Simon Malone, a local merchant, and his wife, Margaret Bexwick from Manchester. He studied humanities at Douai before entering the Society of Jesus on 24 September 1606 at Sant’ Andrea, Rome. After completing his theology course at the Roman college, he went to Portugal, where he studied theology at Evora and Coimbra and was ordained in 1615. He was sent to Ireland in 1615 on the Jesuit mission and was based in Dublin for the next eleven years.

Shortly after arriving in Ireland and at the request of his protestant friend Sir Piers Crosby (qv), he drew up a brief outline of the fundamentals of the catholic faith. Crosby brought this statement to James Ussher (qv), at that time professor of divinity at TCD and rector of Finglas. Malone then wrote a challenge for Ussher, asking of the protestant clergy when it was that the catholic church had fallen into error and how was it that the protestant faith could be true if it rejected a number of tenets held by the early church. Crosby brought this statement to Ussher and a relatively amicable private correspondence ensued between the two clerics as they debated the tenets of the early fathers of the church. Eventually, in 1624 Ussher published an expanded response to Malone's initial challenge. As the publication of catholic literature was prohibited in Ireland, Malone left for the Spanish Netherlands in 1626 and then arranged for the publication at Douai of his A Reply to Mr. James Ussher his answer (1627). In the Reply Malone details disagreements among protestant theologians and argues that the contrasting unity of the catholic church was the surest sign of the rightness of its claim to be the one true church. He notes that whereas previously protestant divines had based their arguments solely on scripture, they have more recently come to agree with the catholic position that the church fathers constitute an important religious authority. Controversially he dedicated the Reply to Charles I and declared that not even the pope could draw the catholics of Ireland from their obedience to their rightful king. Such fulsome expressions of loyalty met with the disapproval of many of Malone's fellow clergy and compatriots. The Reply eventually found its way into circulation in Dublin c.1629–30, after which, at Ussher's behest, three protestant writers published between 1632 and 1641 rejoinders to Malone's work, each dealing with a different topic in the debate.

After the publication of the Reply, Malone was sent to Rome to act as procurator of the Irish Jesuits there. From 1637 to 1647 he was rector of the Irish college in Rome and seems to have performed this task with great distinction. On hearing that Malone intended resigning as rector, the Jesuit superior in Ireland, Thomas Nugent, wrote to Rome in March 1641 begging that Malone remain at his post. Nonetheless he did resign in 1642, but remained in the college as prefect of studies until 1647.

He returned to Ireland that year to become superior of the Jesuit mission in Nugent's stead and soon found himself caught up in the political turmoil of those times. In May 1648 the papal nuncio to Ireland, GianBattista Rinuccini (qv), excommunicated all those who adhered to the truce between the supreme council of the Catholic Confederation and the protestant forces in Munster. He also prohibited church services and the normal administration of the sacraments throughout Ireland. This act divided the catholic laity and clergy and put Malone in a very difficult position. On one hand, the Irish Jesuits were predominantly the sons of wealthy Old English landowners, a group who broadly sympathised with the supreme council. Malone himself was Old English and supported the truce with Inchiquin. Indeed, he appears to have opposed the admission of Gaelic Irish clergy into the Jesuits and, unusually for a catholic clergyman, spoke no Irish. Given these views, it is not surprising that his relations with Rinuccini, whose most reliable supporters tended to be Gaelic Irish, had been tense. However, on the other hand, the Jesuit order stood for obedience to the pope above all else, and could hardly defy his representative in Ireland.

Malone finessed the situation with some skill, but little success, by ordering the Irish Jesuits to follow the example of their diocesan bishop regarding the nuncio's interdict. As most of the Jesuit houses were located in the dioceses of bishops who supported the supreme council this meant that, in effect, the Jesuit order did not observe the interdict. Only in Limerick did the Jesuit house defy the local bishop, and by implication Malone, by observing the interdict. Moreover, many Jesuits actively encouraged the supreme council's defiance of the nuncio and in August 1648 six leading Jesuits signed a declaration supporting the supreme council. At some point in late 1648, Malone visited Rinuccini in Galway city in an effort to convince him of his good intentions. However, the nuncio regarded Malone's behaviour as treachery and believed that the Jesuits played a major role in the failure of his excommunication to defeat the supreme council.

Meanwhile, the Jesuit general in Rome, Vincenzo Carafa, ordered Malone to travel to Bordeaux to explain his behaviour (which he declined to do) and sent Mercure Verdier to Ireland as Jesuit visitor, to ascertain the situation in Ireland. After meeting Rinuccini in Galway, Verdier travelled to Kilkenny to hear Malone and his supporters state their case. Recognising the depth of opposition to Rinuccini within the order, Verdier did not remove Malone from his position, and absolved the Irish Jesuits from Rinuccini's censures. The latter act angered the Jesuits who held that Rinuccini's interdict was invalid.

By the spring of 1650 Malone was in Waterford city, which was being besieged by Cromwellian forces. A plague broke out and Malone and other Jesuits were active tending to the sick and dying. The same year, he was replaced by Thomas Nugent as head of the Jesuit mission in Ireland. Following the fall of Waterford in 1651, Malone went into hiding and was eventually captured in Dublin in 1654. Initially sentenced to death, this was commuted to transportation to Barbados, before he was simply put on a ship for Cadiz in 1655. On 27 October 1655 he was appointed rector of the Irish college at Seville. However, his health was failing and most of the work was carried out by his colleague John Ussher, who succeeded Malone as rector following his death in Seville on 13 August 1656.

C. R. Elrington and J. H. Todd, The whole works of James Ussher, 17 vols (1847–64), iii, 3–5; W. J. Battersby, The Jesuits in Ireland (1854), 70–72; Annie Hutton, The embassy in Ireland (1873), 399, 413, 468–9, 473–5; Michael J. Hynes, The mission of Rinuccini (1932), 264–5, 297; Comment. Rinucc., vi, 139–40; D.Cath.B., ix, 573; Francis Finegan, ‘Irish rectors at Seville, 1619–1687’, IER, ser. 5., no. 106 (July–Dec. 1966), 45–63; D. Gaffney, ‘The practice of religious controversy in Dublin, 1600–41’, W. J. Sheils and D. Wood (ed.), The churches, Ireland and the Irish (1989), 145–58; Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory (1991), 49, 70–73, 78–9, 82–4; Tadhg Ó hAnnracháin, Catholic reformation in Ireland (2002), 241–3; Alan Ford, James Ussher (2005), 62, 67–8

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
William Malone (1647-1650)
William Malone was born at Dublin on 6th February, 1586. After studying humanities and rhetoric at Douay, he entered the Novitiate of Sant' Andrea in Rome on 24th September, 1606. He studied philosophy at the Roman College, and theology at Evora and Coimbra in Portugal. Returning to Ireland in 1615, he was stationed in the district of Dublin. Soon after he became engaged in a controversy with James Usher, afterwards Protestant Primate. Usher's book, “An Answer to a Challenge made by a Jesuite in Ireland”, 1625, was triumphantly refuted by Fr Malone in a work entitled “A Reply to Fr James Usher, his Answer”, published at Douay in 1627, which reduced Usher to silence and encouraged Catholics greatly. In 1620 Fr Malone was made a Consultor of the Mission. On 11th April, 1624, he made his solemn profession of four vows. In 1626 he was sent as Procurator to Rome. When the administration of the Irish College, Rome, was given to the Society of Jesus by the will of the founder, Cardinal Ludovisi (1635), Fr Malone was selected to become Rector, but various obstacles arose which prevented him taking up that duty until 10th December, 1637. During his term of office he secured for the College the house in the Via Baccina, where it remained till the suppression of the Society. He ceased to be Rector on 1st February, 1642, but remained on as Prefect of Studies and Confessor till 20th April, 1647, when he was appointed Superior of the Irish Mission. During the dissensions that arose among Catholics on the occasion of the Nuncio Rinuccini's censures, he was a strong partisan of the Ormondist faction, and was in consequence denounced to Rome by the Nuncio. The General on 5th September, 16148, appointed a Visitor of the Irish Mission, and ordered Fr Malone to withdraw quietly to France. The Visitor, Fr Maurice Verdier, who arrived at Galway on 28th December, 1648, reported that it would be inadvisable to remove him just at that time. By the death of the General, on 8th June, 1649, all changes of Superiors were, with the approbation of the Holy See, suspended till a new General should be elected. Fr. Francis Piccolomini was elected on 21st December, 1649, and a few weeks later Fr Malone's Socius, Fr George Dillon, was appointed Superior of the Mission.

William Malone (1654)
Fr William Malone, who acted as Vice-Superior of the Irish Mission when Fr. William St Leger was exiled, was appointed Superior of the Mission for the second time on 27th June, 1654, but the General's letter to that effect can hardly have reached him before he, too, was tracked down by spies. To save his host he delivered himself up, and was sentenced to death. This sentence was afterwards changed to one of transportation to the Barbadoes; but just before he was put on board a ship sailing thither, another order arrived that he should be handed over to the captain of a ship bound for Cadiz. After many adventures he arrived there, and was appointed Rector of the Irish College at Seville on 27th October, 1655. But worn out by hardships he died there on 18th August, 1656, regretting the crown of martyrdom had escaped him.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father William Malone 1586-1656
William Malone was born in Dublin on February 6th 1586. After pursuing his studies at Douai, he entered the Socirty in Rome in 1606.
Returning to Ireland as a priest, he was stationed in Dublin where, like Fr Fitzsimon before him, he engaged in controversy with the Protestants, and became the great champion of the Catholics. He made his name in a clash with James Usher, afterwards Protestant Primate. The latter published a book entitled “An Answer to a Challenge made by a Jesuit in Ireland”. Fr Malone replied with his famous work “A Reply to Mr James Usher, his Answer”, published at Douai in 1627, which reduced Usher to silence and greatly encouraged the Catholics.

Fr Malone was the first Rector if the Irish College in Rome, when that institution was willed to the Jesuits by its founder, Cardinal Ludovisi in 1637. Ten years later Fr Malone was appointed Superior of the Irish Mission.

During the dissensions which arose among Catholics during Rinuccini’s mission, Fr Malone sided quite definitely with the Ormondist faction. As a result, he was denounced to Rome by the Nuncio, and the General appointed a Visiitor, Fr Verdier, to inquire into the state of affairs in Ireland. The General had in fact ordered Fr Malone to withdraw to the continent. It is interesting to note that the Visitor, after his investigations, advised against this course.

On the death of the General, his successor Fr Piccolini appointed Fr George Dillon as Superior in 1649. When Fr William St Leger, the next Superior after Fr Dillon was banished from Ireland, Fr Malone acted as Vice Superior, and was himself again appointed Superior in 1654. However, he was tracked down by spies, and to save his host he gave himself up.

He was banished to the Barbadoes, but the order was changed, and instead he was sent to Cadiz. On his arrival at Cadiz he was appointed Rector of the Irish College in Seville, but worn out by the hardships, he died there on August 18th 1656, regretting the crown of martyrdom which had escaped him.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
MALONE, WILLIAM, a native of Dublin : enrolled himself at Rome, in 1606, amongst the Children of St. Ignatius. After pursuing his studies in that city, and finishing them in Portugal, he was ordered to the Irish Mission, to which during nearly a quarter of a century he rendered good service by his splendid talents, apostolic zeal, and extraordinary prudence. Recalled from Dublin, where he was Superior of his brethren, in the early part of the year 1635, to preside over the Irish College of St. Patrick at Rome, founded by Cardinal Ludovisi, he continued its Rector during the space of several years. Of his talents for government his brethren had formed the highest opinions. In a letter now before me addressed by F. Robert Nugent, the Superior of the Irish Mission, to the General Vitelleschi, of the 14th of March, 1641, he earnestly conjures him “not to yield to his petition of being released from the Rectorship of the College, however painful such pre-eminence may be that he knows no one at present qualified to succeed him in that office that there is not one of his brethren so conversant with the state of this Kingdom and Mission none so thoroughly acquainted with the character of the Irish youth as F. Malone”. On the 23rd of December, 1647, F. Malone was appointed Superior of the Irish Mission in the place of the said F. Nugent. His superiority fell in most difficult times.
In a letter dated Waterford, the l5th of March, 1649, he says, how thankful he should be to be relieved from it that the burthen was heavier on his shoulders than Mount Etna, insomuch that he could say with the Apostle (2 Cor. i. 8 ), he “was even weary of life”. Naturally of a most placid disposition, he found it impossible, during the period of the Interdict, to give satisfaction to the Party supporting the Nuncio, John Baptist Rinuccini * (a prelate ignorant of the country, and of very high pretensions ), and the conflicting interests of the supreme Council at Kilkenny. During the siege of Waterford, he was in the town : on its capture by the enemies of the Catholic Faith, he was apprehended and sent into banishment. On reaching Seville his talents for government were put in requisition, as Rector of F. Gregory’s College in that city. There he consummated his course of usefulness by the death of the righteous, in August, 1656, act. 70.
F. Malone will always rank among the ablest Champions of Orthodoxy in that immortal work entitled “A Reply to Mr James Ushers His Answere”, 4to. 1627, pp. 717. It was printed at Douay; but F. Southwell incorrectly fixes the date of publication to the year 1608. The admirable dedication of the work to King Charles I is abundant evidence of the Author’s loyalty and undivided Allegiance, as well as of his Patriotism. Harris’s notice of this truly learned work satisfies me, that he had never ventured to read it. See p. 130, Book I. Writers of Ireland. Doctor Synge, Archbishop of Tuam, and Dr. Joshua Hoyle, would have consulted their literary fame, had they not attempted to grapple with F. Malone.

  • The Latin Report of his Nunciature in Ireland is in the Holkam Library, and as translated by Archdeacon Glover, may be read in the Catholic Miscellany of October, November, and December, 1829. See also “Hiberaia Dominicana”, also Third Section of the “Political Catechism”, by T. Wyse, Esq. London, 1829. Lord Castleniaine, p. 277, of the “Catholic Apology”, 3rd edition, says that “The Pope on being informed of the Nuncio’s conduct, recalled him, and sent him to his Bishoprick, where he lived to his dying day in disgrace, and never had the least preferment afterwards”. He died on the 13th of December, 1653, aet. 61.

Morris, James, 1674-1715, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1774
  • Person
  • 1674-02 August 1715

Born: 1674, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1699, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1708
Died: 02 August 1715, London, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Very talented and great progress in Brehon Laws
His name is in CATS or 1700 and 1714

Alias Cross

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Named in the Annual Letters for the College of St Ignatius, London, as a zealous Minister there.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
MORRIS, JAMES, admitted in 1699. In the Annual Letters of 1710, he is described as a free Missionary in London, and labouring like an Apostle. He died on the 2nd of August, 1715, at. 41.

Mulcaile, James Philip, 1727-1801, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1780
  • Person
  • 06 May 1726-08 December 1801

Born: 06 May 1726, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 23 January 1748, Paris, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 07 March 1761, Paris, France
Final Vows: 02 February 1765
Died: 08 December 1801, Smithfield, Dublin

Son of Michael and Ellinor Shee
First Vows 21 January 1750 (Arrêt de la Cour)
Taught Humanities and Rhetoric
1757 In College of Paris
1761 At Paris in 4th year Theology
1766 Book “Peregrinatio Laputensis” begun or finished 28 November 1766. Now in George’s Hill Convent in Dublin [No reference to it in George’s Hill Convent, 2023]. Founder of this house or helped establish it.
1788 Bishop Carroll writes to him
1791 SJD Rector St Michan’s, Dublin, he condemned the Oath of Allegiance
1795 Living at Mary’s Lane, called Dr Mulcail

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Mulcaile is pronounced Mulhall
Went to France aged 9. Son of Michael and Ellinor née Shee. Was related to the O’Shee’s and Clarke (Duke of Feltre) and the famous Father Clarke SJ, of Kilkenny, of whom Foley’s Collectanea and “Records SJ tell such marvellous things.
1750 First Vows 24 January 1750
1763 At Collège de Paris (Arrêt de la Cour de Paarlement de Paris) and then sent to Ireland, and assisted the PPs in Dublin for many years, and helped establish Miss Mullaly’s Presentation Convent, George’s Hill, where he died and is buried in the vault of that Convent. (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
1773 Vicar General after the Suppression. (cf Dublin Evening Post 10 December 1801)
He helped found the Convent on George’s Hill. There is a portrait of him at the Convent and a cast of his fine features at Milltown Park.
Writer and profoundly versed in Greek literature. Translated Fellers “Catéchisme Philosophique”

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Michael and Elinor née Shee
Early education was in France from the age of eight. He studied Philosophy at Paris and received Minor Orders before Ent 23 January 1748 Paris
After First Vows he spent seven years Regency at Caen and then resumed studies at Paris where he was Ordained 07 March 1761
1761 Society dissolved in France as he finished his studies, so he stayed with relatives in Paris
1763 Returned to Ireland. Appointed to the Dublin Residence, and served as a Curate at St Mary’s Lane until the Suppression in 1774. he was incardinated into the Dublin Diocese working ay St Michan’s until his death, and he became later Vicar General and Archdeacon of Dublin. He actively promoted the introduction of the Presentation Order into his parish and in 1787 purchased the site of the future convent of George's Hill. His last place of residence was a house adjoining the convent and when he died 08 December 1801 he was buried in the vault of the Convent Chapel.
During the sequestration the Jesuit houses in Paris, he succeeded in rescuing one of its recently acquired treasure - a Crucifix used by St Francis Xavier during his early years as a missioner in India. He presented this famous crucifix to George's Hill convent where it is still preserved.
He is also known for a translation of Abbé Feller’s “Philosophical Catechism”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father James Philip Mulcaile SJ 1726-1801
In Dublin, during the month of December 1801 died Fr James Philip Mulcaile at the age of 75.

He was born in Kilkenny on May 1st 1726. At the early age on nine he was sent to France where in 1748 he joined the Society.

Returning to Ireland in 1763 he worked zealously until the Suppression of the Society. Afterwards he assisted the Dublin priests, mainly in St Michan’s parish. He had a great deal to do with the foundation of the Presentation Convent, George’s Hill, where a fine portrait of him in oils may be seen to this day, and where his mortal remains are buried in the vaults.

He was an excellent scholar and published an English Translation of Feller’s “Catechisms Philosophicus” in three volumes. He is also said to have translated “Gulliver’s Travels” into Greek, which was used as a textbook in Fr Betagh’s school.

◆ MacErlean Cat Miss HIB SJ 1670-1770
Loose Note : John Philip Mulcaile
Those marked with
were working in Dublin when on 07 February 1774 they subscribed their submission to the Brief of Suppression
John Ward was unavoidably absent and subscribed later
Michael Fitzgerald, John St Leger and Paul Power were stationed at Waterford
Nicholas Barron and Joseph Morony were stationed at Cork
Edward Keating was then PP in Wexford

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
MULCAILLE, JAMES, PHILIP, was born in Kilkenny, 1st of May, 1726, or 1727; in the 19th year of his age went to France : where he joined the Society ; returned to Ireland in 1763, with his pupil and kinsman Mr. Bray : for very many years assisted the Parish Priests in Dublin. In the establishment of the convent of the Presentation of George’s hill, he lent his best support to Miss Mullaly he died in their convent on the 8th of December, 1801. That he was an excellent scholar and profoundly versed in Greek Literature, appears to be generally admitted. We have from his pen an English Translation of Abbe Feller’s “Catechisme Philosophique”, in 3 Vols. Dublin, 1800. It is pleasing to observe in the beginning of the 1st Volume, the subscription list for nearly 600 copies.

◆ Fr Joseph McDonnell SJ Past and Present Notes :
16th February 1811 At the advance ages of 73, Father Betagh, PP of the St Michael Rosemary Lane Parish Dublin, Vicar General of the Dublin Archdiocese died. His death was looked upon as almost a national calamity. Shops and businesses were closed on the day of his funeral. His name and qualities were on the lips of everyone. He was an ex-Jesuit, the link between the Old and New Society in Ireland.

Among his many works was the foundation of two schools for boys : one a Classical school in Sall’s Court, the other a Night School in Skinner’s Row. One pupil received particular care - Peter Kenney - as he believed there might be great things to come from him in the future. “I have not long to be with you, but never fear, I’m rearing up a cock that will crow louder and sweeter for you than I ever did” he told his parishioners. Peter Kenney was to be “founder” of the restored Society in Ireland.

There were seventeen Jesuits in Ireland at the Suppression : John Ward, Clement Kelly, Edward Keating, John St Leger, Nicholas Barron, John Austin, Peter Berrill, James Moroney, Michael Cawood, Michael Fitzgerald, John Fullam, Paul Power, John Barron, Joseph O’Halloran, James Mulcaile, Richard O’Callaghan and Thomas Betagh. These men believed in the future restoration, and they husbanded their resources and succeeded in handing down to their successors a considerable sum of money, which had been saved by them.

Murphy, Jeremiah M, 1883-1955, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/266
  • Person
  • 13 July 1883-17 May 1955

Born: 13 July 1883, Model School, Castlecomer Road, Kilkenny County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1901, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1916, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 27 February 1920, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 17 May 1955, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05 April 1931

Father was Headmaster of Model School Kilkenny until his death in 1893. Mother died in February 1899.

Has three sisters - two older step sidters and the other much younger than Jerry. Two brothers, one who died very young and the other a step brother.

Educated at St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny

by 1909 at Oxford, England (ANG) studying
by 1911 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1902 at St Mary’s Canterbury, England (FRA) making Tertianship

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online :
Murphy, Jeremiah Matthias (1883–1955)
by D. J. Mulvaney
D. J. Mulvaney, 'Murphy, Jeremiah Matthias (1883–1955)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1986

Catholic priest; college warden; educationist; schoolteacher

Died : 17 May 1955, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Jeremiah Matthias Murphy (1883-1955), priest and university educationist, was born on 13 July 1883 at Kilkenny, Ireland, son of James Murphy, headmaster, and his wife Mary Kate, née McGrath. His parents died while he was young and he boarded at St Kieran's College, Kilkenny, where, although a moderate scholar, he excelled in classics. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1901, studying at St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore. In 1904-07 he attended University College, Dublin, graduating M.A. with first-class honours in classics. In 1908 he undertook non-degree postgraduate studies at Oxford under Gilbert Murray and A. E. Zimmern, whose liberal influence is evident in his rather florid essay, 'Athenian Imperialism', in Studies (1912).

In 1910 and 1913 Murphy taught classics at Clongowes Wood and Belvedere colleges, interspersed with theological studies at Milltown Park, Dublin. After his ordination in 1916 his health failed, although he taught for some time and spent 1919 studying theology at Canterbury, England. Next year he sailed for Melbourne where he was senior classics master at Xavier College in 1920-22, and rector of Newman College in 1923-53. With another Kilkenny Jesuit, W. P. Hackett, he became confidant and adviser to Archbishop Mannix; this influence may explain what was, for his Order, an unusually long rectorship.

Murphy's Newman years were significant for his contribution to better understanding between Catholics and the rest of the community. He was outward looking, insisting that college students participate fully in university life and not adopt utilitarian attitudes to study. He set a personal example, serving long terms on numerous university bodies, including the council, the boards of management of the union and the university press; for years he was a member of the Schools Board and the Council of Public Education. He encouraged graduates to further research, including overseas study, believing that they should become community leaders. Mannix's opposition to the foundation of a Catholic university, a Sydney proposal of the 1940s, must have owed much to Murphy's Melbourne success. He certainly played a major role, in 1950, in establishing the Archbishop Mannix travelling scholarship.

Always prominent in diocesan intellectual life, Murphy was a frequent public preacher and speaker. He served as chaplain to various bodies, including the Newman Society and the National Catholic Girls' Movement; he assisted the establishment of the Catholic Teachers' Association. Although he never adopted an aggressive or ostentatious Catholicism, he was a successful exponent of ideas to the general public. He proved his abilities as a Catholic Evidence lecturer and, from 1932, in Catholic broadcasting. He gave evidence on behalf of the archbishop to the 1941 parliamentary committee on broadcasting.

Murphy raised the academic quality of Newman by developing a tutorial system across many disciplines, tutoring in classics himself and employing others who later became prominent in professional and academic life. Out of this intellectual ferment grew, in the early 1930s, the Campion Society.

Murphy possessed an irrepressible sense of fun, and, despite a misleading manner of appearing impatient and superficial, was a good listener. When needed, his tolerance and wisdom prevailed. His genial smile and his old-world sense of courtesy were surely taxed, however, by the pressures of increased student numbers and changed post-war expectations. Unfortunately he failed to grasp the architectural importance of Walter Burley Griffin's college design, and under his custodianship the fabric deteriorated and disastrous alterations were made to the dome.

Senior university administrators sought his advice, appreciating his shrewd, penetrating and moderate judgements. He also could be consulted regularly in the front row of the Carlton Football Club members' stand. His educational contribution was recognized in 1954, when the university conferred upon him a doctorate of laws and he was appointed C.M.G.

Transferred rather abruptly from the rectorship to semi-retirement at Xavier at the end of 1953, Murphy died on 17 May 1955 and was buried in Kew cemetery. His portrait by William Dargie hangs in Newman College.

Select Bibliography
U. M. L. Bygott, With Pen and Tongue (Melb, 1980)
H. Dow (ed), Memories of Melbourne University (Melb, 1983)
University of Melbourne Gazette, Mar 1954, June 1955
Xavier College, Xaverian, Dec 1955
Murphy papers (Society of Jesus Provincial Archives, Hawthorn, Melbourne)
Irish Provincial Archives, Dublin
private information.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Jeremiah Murphy joined the Jesuits, 7 September 1901, and studied in Ireland and Oxford gaining an MA in classics. He later read a postgraduate course at the University of Oxford. After teaching as a scholastic at Clongowes Wood, he studied philosophy at Stonyhurst, and theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. He was ordained in 1916, taught in Ireland until 1920, and then was sent to Australia.
He taught at Xavier College for a short time, and was then appointed rector of Newman College 1923-53. He was responsible for the building of the chapel. During those years he also lectured in apologetics, tutored in the classics, was a consulter of the vice-province, and member of three university committees, the University Council, Union and Press Boards of Management and the Conservatorium Finance Committee. He was a confidant of Archbishop Mannix.
In recognition of his work for the university he received an honorary MA degree in his earlier days, and, upon his retirement, an honorary LLD, the highest degree within the
university's powers to confer for outstanding public service. The Queen bestowed on him the honour of Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George
(CMG) in 1953. Two years later he died suddenly at Xavier College.
The fact that Murphy was left as rector of the College for 31 years, in spite of the custom of the Society and the prescriptions of Canon Law, is enough to show the extraordinary position he won and held for himself in the university and general educational circles in Melbourne. He played a leading part in the organisation of the National Eucharistic Congress in 1934, and was secretary to the Papal Legate, Cardinal MacRory. He was one of the pioneers and first speakers of the “Catholic Hour” on radio, and also promoted the National Catholic Girls' Movement.
He was removed from Newman College in the end - not before it was time for his own sake - with a brusqueness that perhaps betrayed a feeling of temerity on the part of superiors. He obeyed but with much sadness. He was a man who was on better terms with those outside the Society than with his fellow Jesuits. He had a remarkable presence that in any company could not be ignored. He gave Newman College a corporate identity in the wider life of the university. He worked with the Loreto Sisters in establishing St Mary's Hall.
He was particularly concerned with the place of the Catholic graduate in a non-Catholic world. He encouraged his students to mix with others and to integrate their spiritual life with the academic. He keenly encouraged the students to develop the natural virtues, and to apply their faith to business and professional ethics.
His personality was an enigma. He often masked under the facade of a forced wit what some felt was a deep desire for friendship. Certain artificiality occasionally caused misunderstanding. In his own field he was the most assured of men and among friends of long standing was intimate and unstrained. His judgment was sound. and he was very tolerant. In many inter collegiate affairs he was outspoken and firm in matters of importance. Like Newman, he man who combined intellectual gifts with great human endeavour.

Note from Wilfred Ryan Entry
He, with Jeremiah Murphy and Dominic Kelly, set the tone for Newman College of the future.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 30th Year No 3 1955

Obituary :

Jeremiah Murphy came to Tullabeg from St. Kieran's College, Kilkenny, with a reputation for classics - he had won a medal in the Intermediate. After the noviceship he was sent to University College, then under the control of. Fr. Delaney. In the days of the “old Royal” = the Royal University of Ireland, which was the predecessor of the National University - the Juniors studied in Tullabeg and went to Dublin only for examinations, but a few of the more promising men were sent to University College to attend lectures. Mr. Murphy was one of that select band, and he soon justified the choice. His career was brilliant; he got first-class honours, if not first place, in every grade up to MA, and crowned his course by winning the coveted prize of the Studentship in classics, as a result of which he was sent to Oxford for a post-graduate course in classics. Here he came to know well such men as Gilbert Murray, Percy Gardner, A. Zimmern.
In our own professional studies of philosophy and theology he showed no special aptitude; the classics had claimed and always held the chief place in his interest.
After his tertianship he fell into bad health, suffering from a tedious and depressing complaint; and for a time it looked as if the bright hopes which his university career had excited would fade out. But shortly after he went to Australia his opportunity came. Dr. Mannix had built Newman College, a Resident College for Catholic students attending the University of Melbourne, of which Fr. Albert Power was the first Rector. A few years afterwards Fr. Power was made Rector of the new Diocesan Seminary of the Werribee, and Fr. Murphy succeeded him as Rector of Newman.
At once he found himself in the position and atmosphere for which his career fitted him. He became an important figure in university life. He was a brilliant classical tutor; as priest and superior he came to have a deep influence on the stream of students who passed through Newman. With the officials and professors of the university he soon became a person to be esteemed for his scholarship and to be liked for his character. He was a man of great charm of manner; of an infectious gaiety and an unfailing flow of good spirits. He was a welcome visitor in every gathering; and he gave Newman a high place among the colleges of the university in scholastic results and in games.
The solid proof of his success is the fact that he held the position of Rector of Newman for over thirty years, and that he relinquished it only because of failing health.
Fr. Murphy's career was fruitful of much good for the Church and the Society; and we are all proud of it. But his many friends both in Ireland and Australia will remember the man rather than the scholar or Rector his sense of humour, his irrepressible sense of gaiety, which communicated itself to all who were in his company. To all who knew him he will remain an undimmed memory, RIP

Nash, Michael, 1825-1895, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1816
  • Person
  • 29 September 1825-06 September 1895

Born: 29 September 1825, Whitechurch, County Kilkenny
Entered: 13 April 1844, St Mary’s, KS, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 18 August 1859, Paderborn, Germany
Professed: 15 August 1865
Died: 06 September 1895, St Joseph's Troy, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Netterville, Robert, 1583-1684, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1825
  • Person
  • 23 October 1583-17 July 1644

Born: 23 October 1583. County Meath
Entered: 23 October 1604, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM) & Naples, Italy - Neapolitan Province (NAP)
Ordained: 1610, Naples, Italy
Final vows: 1624
Died: 17 July 1644, Drogheda, County Louth - Described as "Martyr"

Uncle of Nicholas Nettweville, RIP 1697 and Christopher Netterville, RIP 1651

Originally received into Society by Fr Bernard Olivier on 30 August 1604. Then received 23 October 1604 at Novitiate in Rome , and after 1st Probation 22 November 1604 went to Naples to continue Aged 22
1606-1611 In Naples College studying Logic, 3 years Philosophy and 3 Theology
1617 In Meath Age 35 Soc 13
1621 CAT In Meath Age 38 Soc 17 Mission 7. Strength middling. Good talent and judgement. Not very circumspect. Sanguineus and rather lazy. A Preacher
1625 At Irish College Lisbon
1622-1637 In Dublin district
Master of Arts, Minister 3 years, Irish Mission 12

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He was Minister in Naples
1615 Came to Ireland from Sicily
1621 In Kildare
Dragged from his bed by the rebel Parliamentary soldiers at Drogheda 15 June 1649, cruelly beaten with clubs, causing his death four days layer aged 67. (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS, IER. Tanner’s “Martyr SJ” and Drew’s “Fasti SJ”)
A most meritorious Missioner (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
1606-1612 After First Vows he studied at Naples where he was Ordained 1610, ad then he did for two further years of study at Naples.
1613-1614 Made Tertianship at the College of Massa.
1614-1615 He was sent to Ireland with John Shee, but illness kept him at Bordeaux until 1615
1615-1623 Arrived in Ireland and the Dublin Residence, exercising Ministry in the surrounding Counties of Kildare and Meath.
1623-1625 He set out for Spain bringing a group of Irish Seminarians for the Irish Colleges. On arrival he secured interviews with the Ambassador of England and the secretary of the Prince of Wales for whom negotiations were in progress to conclude a marriage agreement with one of the Spanish Infantas. In these interviews he received reassurances that religious persecution would cease in Ireland as soon as the royal match was made. In August of that same year he went to the Irish College, Lisbon, and during his stay there was accused by the Archbishop of Cashel/Dublin of failing in impartiality with regard to the admission of students from the four provinces of Ireland to the Irish Colleges of the Peninsula. One outcome was that he was called back to Ireland in the Spring of 1625
1625-1641 Returned to Ireland and Dublin until the City was controlled by the Puritans
1641 He was based in North Leinster. He was captured and put to death by Scots Covenanters under Munroe who made an incursion as far as North Westmeath in June and July 1644.
The correct Date of Death is 17 July 1644. Some Jesuit writers gave his year of death at 1649 to coincide with the massacre at Drogheda. It is probable that the Roman necrologist mistook Netterville for Robert Bathe, who died in Kilkenny 1649

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Robert Netterville SJ 1583-1649
Robert Netterville was born in Meath in 1583, brother of Viscount Netterville and uncle of Frs Nicholas and Christopher Netterville. He became a Jesuit in 1604 in Italy.

For the rest of his life he was stationed at our Residence in Drogheda. When that city was besieged by Cromwell, Fr Robert was now an old man and confined to bed with his infirmities. But old age and infirmity did not save him from the fury of the Cromwellians. He was dragged from his bed and trailed along the ground, being violently knocked against each obstacle that presented itself on the way. Then he was beaten with clubs, and when many of his bones were broken he was cast on the highway. Catholics came during the night, bore him away and hid him somewhere. Four days after, having fought the good fight, he departed as we would expect to receive the martyr’s crown.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
NETTERVILLE, ROBERT. This venerable old man, rich in labors and merits, was dragged from his bed by the Parliamentary soldiers at Drogheda, on the 15th of June, 1619, and so unmercifully beaten with clubs, that he died four days later “Per domum raptatus, tum fustibus contusus, effractisque ad collum et humcros ossibus (15 Junii, 1649) relictus est semivivus, et quarto post die abiit è vita”.
Ex libro Collectancorum signato F. olim in Archiv, Coll. Angl. Romae. - See Tanner , Drews.

Nugent, Nicholas, 1629-1671, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1845
  • Person
  • 22 February 1629-28 September 1671

Born: 22 February 1629, County Kildare
Entered: 30 September 1648, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Ordained: c 1656, Bourges, France
Died: 28 September 1671, Dublin City, County Dublin - Franciae Province (FRA)

1651 At La Flèche College FRA
1655 At Bruges College FRA
1658 Not in main body of FRA Catalogue, but at the end as teaching in France
1661 At Vannes College teaching Grammar
1665 Not in FRA Catalogue
1666 is 25 miles from Dublin teaching, catechising and administering the Sacrament. 1st year on Mission

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Studied Humanities and two years Philosophy before Ent, and then a further half year of Humanities afterwards. he knew Irish, English and Latin.
Ent 30/09/1648 (HIB Catalogue 1650 - ARSI)
1665 Sent to Ireland and New Ross
1666 He was a Missioner twenty-five miles from Dublin, teaching catechism to the country people and administering the Sacraments (HIB CAT 1666 - ARSI).
??In 1640 removed with the community to Galway and then to Europe.
1670 Living in Ireland
(Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
He had already studied Philosophy for two years before Ent 30 September 1648 Kilkenny
1650-1656 After First Vows he was sent for Philosophy studies to La Flèche and Theology at Bourges where he was Ordained c 1656
1656-1662 Sent to teach at Vannes
1662-1663 Made Tertianship at Rouen
1663-1664 Sent to teach at Tours
1664/65-1667 Sent to Ireland and in the Dublin region for two years and then to New Ross
1671 At New Ross he got into trouble, July 1671, for having challenged the local Protestant Priest to a public dispute in which he would show that the Pope was to be obeyed in spiritual matters but the King in temporal matters only, and also that the Protestant Bible could not be called “Word of God” as it was full of errors. The Protestant cited Nugent before the Assizes when he was sentenced to a year's imprisonment, and his goods were confiscated. The incident was the Holy See and the General and latter wrote at once to the Superior of the mission advising him that none of his subjects should engage in public controversy except with the advice of Hierarchy and the Superior himself.
On his release from prison Nicholas was recalled to the Dublin district and was working at Beggstown at the time of the Titus Oates's Plot. He died shortly after that, but the date was not recorded.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
NUGENT, NICHOLAS. I meet with two Members of this name.
The other member was finishing his Noviceship at Kilkenny in 1649. The next year he was removed with his Brethren to Galway, and thence to the Continent, where all traces of him disappear.

Nugent, Robert, 1580-1652, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1846
  • Person
  • 20 July 1580-06 May 1652

Born: 20 July 1580, Ballina, County Meath
Entered: 02 October 1601, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 22 September 1601, Tournai - pre Entry
Final Vows: 04 September 1618
Died: 06 May 1652, Inishbofin, County Galway

Mission Superior 06 April 1627-1646

1603 At Tournai in Novitiate Age 27
1616 Age 39 Soc 15 Mission 9. Studied Theology at Louvain. Good theologian and Preacher. Choleric, but fit to be Superior
1621 Somewhat phlegmatic.
1626 Socius to Fr Holiwood
1636 Was Mission Superior in Ireland - In Dublin 1638
1649 At Kilkenny. By 1650 Vice Superior of Mission and previously Superior of Novitiate and Athlone Residence
1650 Catalogue Came on the Mission 1611. Studied Humanities in Ireland and 2 years at Douai, Philosophy and Theology at Douai. An MA and Priest on Entry
Letter of 27/08/1651 announced Fr Netterville’s death is at ARSI. Bishop Fleming writes of Robert Vester “hard worker” (Ossory Arch)
“Inisboffin surrendered 14 February 1652. Fr Nugent was not imprisoned there till then”. “Fr Hugent and his Harp - Coimbra I 319”
“Glamorgan in his letter signs himself “affectionate cousin” a reference to his relations to Inchiquin family

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Oliver Nugent and Catherine née Plunkett. Brother of Nicholas (RIP 1656) Nephew of Lord Westmeath (Baron Delvin). Uncle of Lord Inchiquin
Had studied Humanities and two years Philosophy at Douai, graduating MA, before Ent and four years Theology after at Douai. He knew Irish, English, Latin and a little French. Admitted by Fr Olivereo FLA Provincial, he went to Tournai 02/10/1601 (Tournay Diary MS, n 1016, f 414, Archives de l’État, Brussels).
He was a distinguished and divine Preacher, a mathematician and musician (improving the Irish Harp, very much augmenting its power and capacity).
1611 Came to Ireland and was Superior of the Mission for about twenty-three years, Sent to Ireland and became Superior of the Irish Mission for up to twenty-six years (inc 1634 as per Irish Ecclesiastical Record), and then in 1650 for a second time as Vice-Superior;
Had been Superior at the Novitiate and of a Residence; A Preacher and Confressor for many years (HIB Catalogue 1650 - ARSI)
“Vir plane illustris” (Mercure Verdier in his Report to the General of the Irish Mission, 20/06/1649)
His enemy Peter Walsh calls him the “great mathematician”; Lynch in “Cambrensis Eversus” p 317, and “Alithinologia” p 113, praises his virtues and learning : “He had a singular knowledge of theology and mathematics, and a wonderful industry in relcaiming sinners, and extraordinary humility and self-contempt. In my own memory he made considerable improvement in the Irish Harp. He enclosed little pieces of wood in the open space between the trunk and the upper part, , making it a little box, and leaving on the right side of the box a sound-hole, which he covered with a lattice-work of wood, as in the clavicord. He then placed on both sides a double row of chords, and this increased very much the power and capacity of the instrument. The Fitzgerald Harp is probably his handiwork, or it is made according to his plan. According to Bunting, it has “in the row forty-five strings, and seven in the centre. It exceeds the ordinary harp by twenty-two strings, and the Brian-Boroimhe Harp by twenty-four; while in workmanship it is beyond comparison superior to it, both for the elegance of its crowded ornaments, and for the execution of those parts on which the correctness and perfection, it claims to be the ‘Queen of Harps’ - Ego sum Regina Cithararum - Buntings dissertation on the Irish Harp p27 (cf Foley’s Collectanea)
He is named in a letter from James Archer, Madrid 28/09/1607, and keenly sought after by Christopher Holiwood (alias Thomas Lawndry), the Irish Mission Superior. He was indeed sent, first as Socius to the Mission Superior, and then as Mission Superior. (Several of his letters are extant and Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS gives copious extracts, and he also notes Nugent’s resignation as Mission Superior 23/12/1646).
He is also mentioned in the Christopher Holiwood letter of 04 November 1611 (Irish Ecclesiastical Record April 1874), as having a district with Father Galwey under their care, both being assiduous in their labour.
He endured continuous persecution over seven years. As a result he generally only went out at night, and though the roads were always full of soldiers, with the aid of Providence, he managed to travel unharmed, and impelled by zeal.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Oliver and Catherine née Plunket. Brother of Nicholas
Studied at Douai and was Ordained there the same year as Ent 02 October 1601 Tournai
After First Vows he was sent to Louvain for further studies
1608 Sent to Ireland working mostly in Meath and South Ulster, earning himself a reputation of an able Preacher in both Irish and English. He became secretary to Christopher Holywood and succeeded him as Vice-Superior or the Mission.
1627-1646 Superior of Mission 06 April 1627. For the next twenty years he carried on the policy of his predecessor with equal success so that the Mission became in all but name a Province of the Society. His first term of office came to an end in 1646 when the General acceded that he should be granted repose after so many years of government. In the later years in office he had resided in Kilkenny and Kilkea Castle which had been bequeathed to the Society by the Dowager Countess of Kildare. At the time of the Nuncio's “Censures”, he was at Waterford and with the community there observed the interdict. Yet he was accused (falsely) by Massari, auditor to Rinuccini, of having promoted the Ormondist faction and Rinuccini in turn reported the calumny to Rome. The Jesuit Visitor Mercure Verdier was able later to get Rinuccini to withdraw the charge but he, unfortunately, failed to correct the slanderous report even though he was himself heavily in debt financially to Nugent.
1651 After the death of George Dillon he was appointed Vice-Superior of the Mission until a new Superior could be chosen. He was now living in Galway, and his first care was to have shipped overseas for their studies the young scholastics, who had been evacuated from Kilkenny, and who were the future hope of the Mission.
On the approach of the Putians to Galway, because of the special hatred for him entertained by the Cromwellians, he withdrew to Inishboffin but was persuaded to set out for France, so that he could look after the interests of the Mission there . In spite of advanced years, he set sail on 11 April 1652, but his boat when within sight of France was blown back to Inishboffin. He was now ill from the hardships of such a voyage for one of his advanced years and six weeks later he died at Inishboffin 06 May 1652
He was beloved not only by his fellow Jesuits, but also by all who came in contact with him. He was regarded both within and outside the Jesuit Mission as one of the most prudent and inspiring Spiritual Directors.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
Robert Nugent (1627-1646)
Robert Nugent, son of Oliver Nugent, of Balena, in the diocese of Heath, and Catherine Plunkett, was born on 20th July, 1597. He completed the whole course of his studies at Douay, and having been ordained priest at Tournay on 22nd September, 1601, he entered the Novitiate of Tournay on 2nd October following. At the end of four years' theology he distinguished himself by a public defence of all philosophy and theology at Louvain. A year later (1608) he was sent on the Irish Mission, where he laboured in Meath and Ulster for many years, and obtained a high reputation
as a preacher both in Irish and in English. He acted as Secretary and Assistant to Fr Holywood, succeeded him as Vice-Superior on his death, and on 6th April, 1627, was formally appointed Superior. For the next twenty years he carried on the policy of his predecessor, with equal success, so that the Mission became in numbers, colleges, residences, and foundations a Province in everything but name, His first term of office came to an end in 1646, when the General acceded to his request that he should be given some repose for so many years of government.

Robert Nugent (1651-1652)

Fr Robert Nugent was ordered on 28th January, 1651, to act as Vice-Superior, until a new Superior should be appointed. He resided at Galway, one of the few places still held by the Catholics; but soon the approach of the Cromwellian armies forced him to retire to Inishbofin. While there he was requested to betake himself to the Continent, as the interests of the Society demanded his presence there. It was also known that the heretics bore him a peculiar hatred. In spite of his advanced years he obeyed promptly, and set sail about the 11th of April. The ship was driven back by contrary winds, when within sight of the French coast, and had to return to the port it had left. The tempestuous voyage was too much for the old man. He was put ashore, and carried to a poor hut, where he lingered on for six weeks. He died in Inishbofin on 6th May, 1652, and was buried on that island. His gentleness, gravity, prudence, learning, and skill as a director of souls endeared him to all. He was beloved not only by his fellow Jesuits, but by all who came in contact with him, especially by the nobility, the prelates, and the members of other religious Orders.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Robert Nugent SJ 1597[1574]-1652
Fr Robert Nugent was the greatest and longest in office of the Superiors of the Irish Mission, with the exception of Fr Christopher Holywood.

He was born on the 20th July 1597 [1574], son of Robert Nugent of Balena in the diocese of Meath, and his mother being Catherine Plunkett. He was the uncle of Baron Inchiquin and cousin of Elizabeth, Countess of Kildare. He was already a priest when he entered the Society at Tournai in 1601.

He was sent on the Irish Mission in 1608, and he laboured in Meath and Ulster for many years, where he acquied a high reputation as a preacher in both English and irish. He acted as Socius to the ageing Superior Fr Holywood and succeeded him in office in 1627.

For the next twenty years he carried on the policy of his predecessor, so that the Mission became in numbers, Colleges and residences, a Province in everything but name.

In 1643 his cousin the Countess of Kildare donated Kilkea Castle, two miles NW of Athy, to the Jesuits for a noviceship. Here Fr Nugent entertained the Nuncio Fr Rinuccini for twenty days on his way to besiege Dublin. At the orders of the Supreme Council, he accepted charge of the Press at Kilkenny and also opened a noviceship there with six novices under Fr John Young.

On the collapse of the Confederate Cause Fr Nugent retired to Galway where he directed the Mission as Vice-Superior in 1651. He was ordered to the continent and set sail, but his ship was forced back and he died in Inisboffin on May 6th 1652, in a poor hut where he had lingered for six weeks.

It is interesting to recall that Fr Nugent, like Fr William Bath before him, was very interested in Irish Music. He actually improved the Harp in use in his time, by adding a double row of strings.

He suffered imprisonment in Dublin Castle for four years from 1616-1620, and during this period he composed Irish hymns set to old tunes which were popular in Ireland for years after his death.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
NUGENT, ROBERT, brother of F. Nicholas, and uncle to Baron Inchinquin, was a man of the highest merit, “Vir plane illustris, omnique exceptione major”, as Pere Verdier describes him in his Report of the 20th of June, 1649. The first time that I meet with him is in a letter of F. James Archer, dated from Madrid, 28th of September, 1607. to F. George Duras, the Assistant of Germany, at Rome. After signifying the departure of FF. James Everard and Thomas Shine for the Irish Mission, he adds the anxious wish of their Superior, F. Holiwood, that FF. William Bath and Robert Nugent may follow them, as he has a station ready for them in the North of Ireland. F. Robert was sent to the aged Superior, who entertained the greatest esteem for him and made him his Socius during the latter years of his government. In the sequel F. Nugent was appointed Superior of his Brethren, and held that office for at least twenty years. Several of his letters are fortunately extant, which bear ample testimony to his sound discretion, unaffected zeal and piety, and conciliatory conduct. In one letter, the 31st of October, 1615, he prays to be released from the duties of Superiority, alleging that he is now in his 70th year a fitter age to prepare himself for eternity, than to be continued in his painful responsibility, and during such critical and eventful times.
In another letter of the 20th of January, 1646-7, after stating the difficulty of conveying letters to Rome, acquaints the Vicar F. Charles Sangri, that in virtue of the injunction of the late General Mutius Vitelleschi, and with the advice of his consultors, he had some time since directed one of his Rev. Brethren to compile a General history of the Irish Mission of the Society - that this work had been brought down to nearly the present most troublesome period that it was admirably and faithfully executed from authentic documents; but before the finishing hand could be put to his labours, the author died. F. Nugent could not ascertain what had become of the Manuscripts : it was well known that for some time they were buried underground; but whether any one had removed them from the secret place, and had transferred them elsewhere, he had not been able to discover. He adds, that he carefully kept by him the points of information which he received annually from each Residence of his Brethren; but that it would be a service of extreme danger, if not of ruin to them, to attempt to forward the papers to Rome, should the Puritans intercept them. In this letter he mentions, that at the express desire and command of the Supreme Council, he had accepted the charge of the press at Kilkenny : and also that he had hired a house in that town for the Novitiate; and early in February, F. John Young, who was a man of approved learning, and prudence, and distinguished for sanctity of manners, would begin to train the six Novices already admitted in the spirit of the Institute of the Society, and that there were many postulants for admission. He concludes with regretting that all hopes of peace had now vanished, in consequence of the imprisonment of Edward Somerset the Earl of Glamorgan a most staunch Catholic, who had been sent to Ireland by King Charles I, with full powers (with private authority independent of the Viceroy) to grant favourable terms to the Catholics. After he had concluded his treaty with the confederated Chiefs of Kilkenny, and had obtained from them a vote of ten thousand troops to be transferred forthwith to England, of which he had been chosen and appointed General; he no sooner had returned to Dublin, than the Viceroy committed him to close custody on the 26th of December last, and thus the whole negotiation and expedition had evaporated, and that now nothing was thought of but war. Before he resigned office into the hands of F. Malone, 23rd of December, 1646, he had been required by the Nuncio Rinnccini, to lend him the greater part of the funds of the Mission : (quatuor aureorum millia). This was vainly reclaimed by subsequent Superiors, and the Missionaries experienced great inconvenience and injury in consequence, as F. Wm. St. Leger’s letter, bearing date 16th of January, 1663, too well demonstrates. The last time that F. Robert Nugent comes across me, is in a letter of the 31st of August, 1650, where he is described as “antiquissimus inter nos”, but still not incapable of labor.

  • I have reason to suspect that the compiler was F Stephen White, of whom more in the sequel.
    *This Edward Somerset, was the eldest son of Henry, first Marquess of Worcester, the staunch Catholic Loyalist, who had suffered the loss of not less than three hundred thousand pounds in supporting the cause of Charles I!! In a letter now before me addressed by Earl Glamorgan to the General of the Jesuits, Vincent Caraffa, and dated from Limerick, 22nd of October, 1646, he expresses “impensissimum studium et amorem ergo, Societatem Jesu” and recommends his dearest Brother to the favourable attentions of his Reverend Paternity (Who was this Brother? John, Thomas, or Charles?) He ends thus : “Nihil magis invotis est, quam ut palam mortalibus omnibus testari mihi liceat quam vere et unice sim, &c. addictus planeque devotus GLAMORGAN”. He died in London on the 3rd of April, 1667.

O'Callaghan, Sylvester, 1827-1883, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1868
  • Person
  • 10 May 1827-27 March 1883

Born: 10 May 1827, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 25 October 1848, Avignon, France - Lugdunensis Province (LUGD)
Ordained: 23 September 1859, Roman College, Rome, Italy
Final Vows: 15 August 1862
Died: 27 March 1883, Milltown Park, Dublin

Younger Brother of William O’Callaghan LEFT 3 October 1866 as Priest

by 1851 at Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1859 in Roman College, Italy (ROM) studying Theology
by 1861 at Sankt Andrä Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Brother of William O'Callaghan LEFT 1866 as Priest

1850-1857 Must have studied Rhetoric and Philosophy before Ent, as he was sent on Regency to Clongowes at the end of his Novitiate, and he remained there until 1857.
1857-1859 He began the “Long Theology” course at Nth Frederick St, and finished it at the Roman College, where he was Ordained there 23 September 1859 by Cardinal Patrizzi.
1860 He was sent to Austria for Tertianship.
1861-1866 He was sent to Clongowes and Tullabeg teaching.
1866-1874 He was sent to Milltown as Minister
1874-1880 He was appointed Socius to the Master of Novices
1880 He was appointed Spiritual Father at Milltown, and he died peacefully there 27 March 1883.
A most charitable man, never known to say an unkind word. He was very exact about little things and a perfect model for Novices. He suffered a lot from rheumatism, but he never complained.

O'Driscoll, Cornelius, 1933-2015, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/844
  • Person
  • 31 July 1933-27 January 2015

Born: 31 July 1933, Wexford / Ballyhale, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1965, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Mukasa Seminary, Zambia
Died: 27 January 2015, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Grew up in Ballyhale, County Kilkenny.

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 15 August 1971

by 1960 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

Early Education at St Kieran's College, Kilkenny and Defence Forces (Cadetship and Commission)

31 July 1933: Born in Wexford.
Early School years in Ballyhale National School, Kilkenny
1945 - 1951: St Kieran's College, Kilkenny
1951 - 1954: Defence Forces - Cadetship and Commission
7th September 1954: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1956: First Vows at Emo
1956-1959 Tullabeg – Studied Philosophy
1959-1960 Zambia – Studied the language
1960-1962 Chikuni College – teaching, prefecting, games, helping in Parish
1962-1966 Milltown Park – Studied Theology
1966-1968 Zambia – Chikuni College, teaching
1968-1969 Mukasa Minor Seminary – Teaching; Prefecting; Games; Helping in Parish
1969-1971 Chikuni College – Teaching; Prefecting; Games; Helping in Parish
1971-1972 Tertianship: Liverpool/St. Bueno’s
1972-1976 Chisekesi, Zambia – Teacher; Prefecting; Games at Canisius College, Chikuni
1976-1978 Mukasa – Teaching; Prefecting; Games; Helping in Parish
1978-1981 Namwala; Chikuni; Chivuna, Assistant Parish Priest
1981-1985 SFX, Gardiner Street – Vocations and Church/Parish Work
1985-1988 Chikuni; Namwala – Teaching; Parish Work; Marriage Encounter
1988-1991 Namwala-Superior, Assistant P.P.
1991-1992 3M Course at St. Beuno’s, Wales
1992-1994 Namwala/Mukasa – Teaching; Parish Work; Marriage Encounter
1994-1995 Milltown Park – Directing Spiritual Exercises; Pastoral Work;
1995-2005 Galway – Church/Parish/Retreats
1997 Parish Priest; Librarian
2003 Prefect of the Church
2005-2006 Sabbatical (USA); Rome C.I.S. Course on Spiritual Exercises
2006-2010 John Austin House – Assistant Director Jesuit Mission Office; Assisted in Aughrim Street Parish
2008 Superior
2010-2015 St. Francis Xavier’s Church, Gardiner St. – Assisted in Mission Office; Spiritual Director, Legion of Mary
2015 Residing in Cherryfield Lodge, praying for the Church and the Society

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Joseph B (Joe) Conway Entry
Two days before his death, Joe became semi-comatose and was moved to a nearby hospital run by the Sisters of St. John of God. While in this state, he spoke Tonga and also answered Fr O’Driscoll in Tonga who was with him the day before he died.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

RIP: Fr Neil O’Driscoll SJ
Fr Neil O’Driscoll died peacefully in St. Vincent’s Hospital on Tuesday 27th January, aged 81. The eldest of five children, he was born in Wexford but moved as a child to Kilkenny, the county that commanded his loyalty from then on. He was a fine figure of a man who never lost the military bearing that reflected his three years in the army, moving from cadetship to commission. Was it the example of the soldierly Ignatius Loyola that moved him to the next stage, entering the Jesuit noviciate at Emo? Or the fact that Neil, like his father, was born on St Ignatius’ feast, 31 July? As with Ignatius, what met the eye was impressive, but less important than the depth and gentleness that lit up his face when he smiled. He was a dear and delightful companion.
Of his fifty years of priesthood, he spent half in Zambia, first learning the language, then schoolmastering and parish work in Chikuni and Namwala. When Bishop James Corboy founded Mukasa Minor Seminary in Choma, Neil went there as Prefect and teacher, and had a great influence on the boys there. His ability to encourage vocations and his good-tempered approach to teaching and to discipline made him a valued member of staff. I don’t think it is just coincidence that among his pupils there were two who later became Bishops and many others who were priests in various dioceses.
Neil was 61 when he returned to Ireland for a new ministry of giving retreats and running St Ignatius’ parish in Galway – he was the last Jesuit Parish priest. It was a good time for him. He always spoke of Galway with special affection; he found a warm welcome there and made many close friends. Meeting Neil you sensed a man who was happy in his priestly vocation, right up to his last years in Cherryfield. And he was a man of strong loyalties: to his family, his county of Kilkenny, his Alma Mater St Kieran’s College, and to the Jesuits, his comrades and spiritual home for sixty years of his life. May the Lord reward him.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 159 : Spring 2015


Fr Cornelius (Neil) O’Driscoll (1933-2015)

Neil O'Driscoll died peacefully in St. Vincent's Hospital in Dublin on 27th January 2015, aged 81. Like his father, he was born on the feast of St. Ignatius, something that may have had a bearing on his decision to enter the Society. He was baptised as Cornelius, though his Jesuit colleagues will ever remember him as Neil. But there are more significant things they will surely remember about him; his bright reassuring smile; the twinkle in his eye; his personal concern for his fellow-Jesuits and their work; the warmth, kindness and sincerity of his friendship; his gentle manner; the patient resignation with which he bore adverse health conditions; the uncomplaining way in which time and again he readjusted the course of his life in answer to the demands of his deteriorating health; his deep spiritual life, never paraded openly, but obvious in his great devotion to the Mass, the Blessed Sacrament and the Rosary.

The human context for all of this was the characteristic that first met the eye: Neil's impressive, almost military, bearing and the measured way in which he would deal with an issue. The years he spent in the Irish Army Officer Cadet Corps before entering the Jesuit novitiate made a deep impression on him and in God's surprising ways equipped him for some of the roles he would fill in the Society. A very early one, while still a novice, was to take some of his fellow-novices for drill, marching them round in efforts to improve their carriage and bearing. This was at a time when Ireland was experiencing renascent Irish Republican Army (IRA) activity; so it is no surprise that when light aircraft were seen flying over Emo, the rumour went round that the Irish authorities were checking in case the Jesuit novitiate had become a hot-bed for training IRA recruits! Neither is it any surprise that Neil was affectionately known to so many fellow-Jesuits as “the Captain” - almost instinctively you wanted to salute him when you first met him!

Neil spent 27 years, or almost exactly one-third of his life in Zambia. He would certainly have remained longer if the problems with his health had not made it necessary for him to return permanently to Ireland in 1994. In 1959, he arrived in what was then Northern Rhodesia for his three years of regency, spent most of his first year learning Chitonga and the following two years teaching in Canisius College, the Jesuit secondary school at Chikuni, He returned to Ireland for theology and was ordained on 27th July 1965, along with two other stalwarts of the Zambia-Malawi Province, Frank Wafer and Frank Woda. Following his fourth year of Theology and then Tertianship, Neil returned to Zambia in 1967. There he found both national and church scenes greatly changed compared with the way they had been when he left in 1962: what had been Northern Rhodesia had become Zambia; the Diocese of Monze had been established, with James Corboy as its first bishop; and Mukasa, a Jesuit run minor seminary for Monze Diocese, had been opened in Choma.

Neil was always happy to be sent where there was a need. At the time of his return to Zambia the need was for dynamic teachers and exemplary role-models in the schools for which the Society was responsible. And so it was that he spent the next eleven years of his life teaching either in Canisius or Mukasa. His colleagues remember with great admiration the way he always gave himself totally to the job. Very cheerfully he would take on extra classes or deal creatively with double sized classes of 75 or more (necessitated by a shortage of teachers). And as might have been expected from such a fine figure of a man, he knew how to use his impressive presence to bring control out of what otherwise might have been bedlam.

In some ways these were Neil's best and most fulfilling years. He was totally engrossed in his work, never seemed to have a moment for himself, and clearly enjoyed almost every minute of the diverse demands of his teaching apostolate. Around this time he began to show the attractive personality trait that was to become his hallmark in later life - pausing in a reflective and somewhat ponderous manner when asked a question and then giving a characteristic "hmmm” before answering. But for Neil one great thing about these teaching years was that he was just too busy to be able to pay attention to the dark and nameless anxieties that were lurking under the surface of his personal life and that became such a heavy cross for him in later years.

As was not unusual at that time in schools in Zambia, Neil also had to provide back-up and support for his teaching colleagues and the school administration if there were any disturbances among the students. This was a challenge for him, often involving a situation where he did not feel comfortable or at ease. But invariably he provided courageous support and showed unswerving loyalty. The experience of such situations burned deeply into him, unsettling him in some ways, though in later life he could recall them with sardonic humour. Thus, in mid-March 1974, he was with Jerry O'Connell one Sunday evening in the Canisius Headmaster's office when they heard sounds of shouting and rioting that were getting ominously louder. Quickly, Jerry and Neil switched off the lights and remained low, letting the disorderly students pass by outside. All settled down that night, but ever after when he would meet Jerry, Neil would say in characteristic fashion, “Jerry, beware the ides, beware the ides of March”

The legacy that Neil brought with him into the Society as a cadet officer in the Irish Army stood him in good stead during the years of his assignment to Canisius. Under Tom McGivern, a cadet contingent, attached to the 2nd Battalion of the Zambian Army, had been established at the school in 1964 and flourished over the years. On his return to the school in 1967, Neil enthusiastically became involved with these Cadets - the records show him as “Lieutenant the Rev. N. O'Driscoll” for five years and then for a year as Contingent Commander until he withdrew gracefully from this position so that a Zambian could take charge.

In 1979 Neil moved from school to parish work, becoming assistant parish priest in Chivuna. He served in this position for two years before returning to Dublin to spend three years in Gardiner Street on vocations promotion and parish work. From there he moved back to Zambia, first to a teaching post for three years in Canisius, then to Namwala for five years as superior and assistant parish priest, and then once again back to teaching, this time in Mukasa for a year.

The background to these many adjustments and changes was Neil's uncertain health status. For a considerable period he suffered from the undetected condition of excess iron in the blood, something that necessitated regular replacement of his blood supply. It was this that eventually made it necessary for him to leave Zambia in 1994 and return permanently to Ireland, At the same time he had to withstand the almost unremitting onslaughts of what St. Ignatius called the "evil spirit”. This plagued the second half of his life with a great burden of nameless anxieties, apprehensions and uneasiness. Notwithstanding his fine presence, he disliked being in a position of responsibility as he felt it difficult to make important decisions. But for as long as he was able, he continued with his apostolic work despite the physical and psychological burdens that he was carrying. Unfailingly he also continued to show himself a warm-hearted and delightful companion.

That he never deviated from the steady paths of apostolic engagement and very agreeable companionship shows that spiritually as well as physically Neil was truly a man of God and a man of stature. This made a strong impression on his Jesuit colleagues as well as on the Zambian people. It is gratifying to be able to record that late in 2014, just some months before he died, former parishioners of his recalled with great appreciation the work that he and Frank O'Neill had done when they were running Namwala parish. Even today, more than twenty years after his departure from the country, the people of Zambia remember with affection and appreciation Neil's pastoral presence among them.

Neil was 61 when he returned to Ireland in 1994 to a new ministry of giving retreats and running the parish in Galway, This was a good time for him. He always spoke of Galway with special affection. Meeting him, you sensed a man who was happy in his priestly vocation, right up to his last years in Cherryfield. And he was a man of strong loyalties: to his family, his county of Kilkenny, his Alma Mater St Kieran's College, the people of Zambia, his fellow-Jesuits, and the Society that was spiritual home for sixty years of his life.

In his wonderful book Where To From Here? Brian Grogan envisages a person who has just died moving with Christ in a small boat into the unbelievably wonderful life that lies ahead and being welcomed on the other side at a crowded quay. Undoubtedly it was that way with Neil when, towards the end of January, he got into that boat and left us. And surely among those offering him a thunderous welcome when he arrived at the other side were the Jesuit colleagues with whom he had worked in Zambia and who had pre-deceased him in Cherryfield - John Fitzgerald, Dick Cremins, Paddy Kelly, Charlie O'Connor, John McCauley, Jim Dunne, Denis Flannery and, of course, Frank O'Neill – and the countless Zambian people to whom he was such an inspiration, guide and genuinely good person. Can't you see him characteristically raising his bushy eyebrows, smiling radiantly with his whole being, joy shining through his eyes, completely overwhelmed, unable to find a word, and a small sound coming from his lips -- "hmmm”? Neil, you were a great and wonderful companion and priest. We greatly took forward to the welcome you will have for us when the time comes for us also to get into the boat and cross with the Lord to where you are now.

Michael J Kelly

O'Keefe, Edmund, 1927-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/790
  • Person
  • 25 April 1927-13 October 2011

Born: 25 April 1927, Dublin, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1945, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1959, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, John Austin House, Dublin
Died: 13 October 2011, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park, Dublin community at the time of death.

Older brother of Fergus

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

Fr Edmund O'Keefe RIP
Fr Edmund (Ned) O’Keefe died peacefully in St Vincent’s Hospital on 13th October, at the age of 84. We offer sincere condolences to his younger brothers Fergus SJ and Niall, and to his wider family. Though born in Castlereagh, Ned lived and worked mainly in the Dublin area, teaching for many years in the colleges of technology. He spent himself especially on two causes, devotion to the Sacred Heart, and the canonisation of Fr John Sullivan. He worked on the staff of the Sacred Heart Messenger, and produced a Novena to the Sacred Heart for radio. He gave similar energy to the Cause of Fr Sullivan, and produced a CD on John’s life. He spent the last year of his life in fragile health in Cherryfield, but remained to the end an active and engaged member of the Milltown Park community.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 147 : Spring 2012


Fr T Edmund (Ned) O’Keefe (1927-2011)

25 April 1927: Born in Dublin.
Early education at Templerainey National School, CBS Secondary, Callan and Clongowes
7 September 1945: Entered the Society at Emo
8 September 1947: First Vows at Emo
1947 - 1950: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1950 - 1953: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1953 - 1956: Clongowes - "Gallery Prefect"; Teacher (History and Geography)
1956 - 1960: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1959: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1960 - 1961: Tertianship at St. Beuno's
1961 - 1962: Clongowes -- Third Line Prefect; Teacher (History, Geography and RK)
5 November 1977: Final Vows
1962 - 1963: College of Industrial Relations - Teaching in Rathmines College of Commerce (and and 3rd level)
1963 - 1966: Emo - Minister; Socius to Novice Director
1966 - 1974: SFX, Gardiner Street - Assisted in the Church; Chaplain to Kevin Street College of Technology
1974 - 1979: Austin House - Head Chaplain at Kevin Street DIT and Lecturer in Bioethics
1979 - 1980: Leeson Street - Head Chaplain at Kevin Street DIT
1980 - 1982: SFX Gardiner Street - Assistant Director of Pioneers; Assisted in Church
1982 - 1984: Campion House - Promoter of the Apostleship of Prayer and the Messenger
1984 - 1996: Austin House - Promoter of the Apostleship of Prayer and the Messenger
1992 - 1996: Sabbatical (to January 1993); John Sullivan Cross Apostolate
1996 - 2003: Belvedere College - Assistant Vice-Postulator of John Sullivan SJ Cause
2003 - 2011: Milltown Park - Assisted in Community; Assistant Vice-Postulator of John Sullivan SJ Cause
2010: Milltown Park - Residing at Cherryfield Lodge - praying for the Church and the Society
13th October 2011: Died Cherryfield

Fr. O'Keefe was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in September 2009 following surgery. He improved fairly rapidly and was happy to stay on in our Nursing Home. He deteriorated over the last six months and was transferred to St. Vincent's Hospital after suffering a stroke three weeks ago. In the last week, it was clear that he was not going to recover. Family members and Jesuits kept an eye on him and prayed at his bedside up to the end. He died peacefully in hospital on the morning of 13th October 2011. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Obituary : Paul Andrews
Ned was what he liked to be called, although he had lived through many changes: Edmund from birth, then Brother O'Keefe in the noviciate, and Mr O'Keefe in Rathfarnham, and Nedser in Tullabeg. He had grown accustomed to changes as he moved with his parents from one bank house to another: Castlerea, Sligo, Arklow, Callan. For six years, until the arrival of Fergus, and later Mary and Niall, Ned was an only child, but he showed an older brother's sense of responsibility.

Of his various homes, he would look back on the seven years in Arklow, from the age of 6 to 13, as the idyllic years: a little town where there were friends and fishermen, a reasonable school, a beach, a harbour for messing about in boats, Jack Tyrrell's boatyard, and the chance to ride a pony and join the hunt. The move to Callan and the CBS was hard. Ned found himself among Kilkenny farmers' sons, but was clueless about hurling, and living in the Bank House was seen as a wealthy outsider. It was a relief to move to Clongowes at fifteen, and to make new friends. He became a Pioneer and remained one all his life. He joined the Sodality and the FCA, and absorbed some memories of Fr John Sullivan, who was to be very important in his priestly life. He received his first Communion on the Feast of Saint Aloysius, 1934, and that was the name he took at Confirmation. His godmother gave him a statue of Aloysius, which graced the mantelpiece of his bedroom. So Ned moved like Aloysius into the Company of Jesus, and went to Emo in 1945. In giving his life to God he had a powerful model in his mother's cousin, Edel Quinn.

There was one special feature in his years of Jesuit formation. He did his tertianship in St Beuno's under Fr Paul Kennedy, an experience he always treasured. After it he was delighted to be appointed to Clongowes as Third Line Prefect, a job he loved. But only a year later Visitor McMahon scattered a large part of the Clongowes community, and Ned found himself a chaplain and teacher in the Colleges of Technology, first in Rathmines, later as Head Chaplain in Kevin Street. Not the easiest of assignments, but Ned brought a special strength to it. Unusually for a priest, he joined the Teachers' Union of Ireland, so that he could speak for those who needed a spokesman. He contributed much to the chaplain's role, lectured well on Bioethics, and created a Social Action group among the students. One summer he brought a group of building apprentices to work on a building project of the Kiltegan Fathers in the desert of Turkhana, Kenya, to show them a poverty more profound than anything in Dublin.

In his early fifties Ned moved to a new ministry: he spent eight years promoting the Sacred Heart Messenger and the Apostleship of Prayer, mostly in the West of Ireland. He claimed to have brought them into every school in County Clare, and reached a still wider audience when he collaborated with Stephen Redmond to produce a Novena to the Sacred Heart for local radio.

In 1992 Ned took up the apostolate of Fr John Sullivan's Cross, and was Assistant Vice-Postulator of Fr John's cause. He produced two videos, with great help from the Kairos group of SVD priests in Maynooth; they are still in use today. These interests stayed with him to the end of his days, when he lived in Milltown Park and finally in Cherryfield.

How will we remember Ned? As a devoted Jesuit, hard on himself, but with a kind and compassionate spirit - he would always speak up for those he felt were hard done by. A contemporary called him “one of the kindest Jesuits I have ever known”. He was a gentleman, with impeccable manners and easy social graces, a stickler for propriety, with total integrity; the soul of discretion, never gossiping about community life, telling no tales out of school; a man who worried, and tried to anticipate problems – the boot of his car held equipment to face almost any emergency from the Arctic to the Tropics. His nephews and nieces remember his sense of fun, the twinkle in his eye, and the educational tours he would give them as children. He was devoted to, and immensely proud of his extended family, and grieved over the loss of his only sister Mary, who herself had buried both her husband. Hugh and one of her children. Her son John McGeogh was to die in a rafting accident in Austria in 1999.

Ned faced the diminutions of age with courage: the loss of his car - a hard blow – and reduction to a walking frame, then a wheelchair, and finally a mandatory escort whenever he went outside the house. But to the end he was a real presence, felt both at community meetings in Milltown, and at the prayers of the faithful at Cherryfield Mass. May the Lord be good to his gentle soul.

O'Keefe, Fergus, 1933-2022, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/542
  • Person
  • 27 May 1933-17 December 2022

Born: 27 May 1933, Arklow, County Wicklow
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 24 May 1964, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Naas, County Kildare
Final Vows: 02 February 1977, Loyola House, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 17 December 2022, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street Community at the time of death

Born : 27th May 1933, Dublin City
Raised : Arklow, Co Wicklow
Early Education at CBS Callan, Co Kilkenny; Clongowes Wood College SJ
7th September 1950 Entered Society at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
8th September 1952 First Vows at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
1952-1955 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1955-1958 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1958-1960 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying for CWC Cert in Education
1960-1961 Crescent College SJ - Regency : Teacher
1961-1965 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
24th May 1964 Ordained at Clongowes Wood College SJ, Naas, Co Kildare
1965-1966 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1966-1968 St Mary’s, Emo - Socius to Novice Master; Minister; Teacher
1968-1972 Coláiste Iognáid, Galway - Rector; Teacher; BVM & S Ignatius Sodalities
1972-1974 Loyola House - Socius to Provincial; Province Consultor
1974-1986 Gonzaga College SJ - Minister; Bursar (House & College)
2nd February 1977 Final Vows at Loyola House, Eglinton Road, Dublin
1980 Assistant Provincial Treasurer; Curator Rocky Valley - Villa house
1981 Revisor Irish Province; Treasurer Gonzaga
1986 Sabbatical - half year (from 01/02/86)
1986-1995 Arrupe - Parish Curate in Church of the Virgin Mary, Ballymun
1989 Superior
1992 Socius to Novice Master
1995-2003 Iona, Portadown - Community Development; Reconciliation Ministry; Librarian
1996 Superior
2003-2005 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Minister; Treasurer; Guestmaster; Ministers in People’s Church
2004 Vice-Rector
2005-2013 John Sullivan, Mulvey - Superior; Directs Spiritual Exercises
2006 Director of Lay Retreat Association; Socius to Formation Director
2007 Formation Commission
2011 Minister
2013-20 Gardiner St - Assists in Church; Director of Lay Retreat Association
2014 + Superior’s Admonitor
2016 + Prefect of Health; off Director of Lay Retyreat Association
2018 Assists in Church; Superior’s Admonitor
2021 Superior’s Admonitor
2021 October - Prays for the Church and Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Fergus O’Keefe SJ – A ‘gentle and humble presence’

Fr Fergus O’Keefe SJ died peacefully, aged 89, in Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Ranelagh, Dublin on 17 December 2022. His Funeral Mass took place in St Francis Xavier’s Church, Gardiner Street, Dublin on 21 December 2022, followed by burial in Glasnevin Cemetery. At the end of this article you can read the homily at the Funeral Mass by Fr Gerry Clarke SJ.

Fergus was born on 27 May 1933 in Dublin City. Raised in Arklow, Co Wicklow, his early education was at CBS Callan, Co Kilkenny, followed by Clongowes Wood College SJ, Co Kildare.

He entered the Jesuit novitiate at St Mary’s, Emo, Co Laois in 1950 and took his First Vows there on 8 September 1952. His Jesuit formation included studying arts at UCD; philosophy at Tullabeg; regency in Clongowes Wood College SJ and Crescent College SJ; and theology at Milltown Park, Dublin.

Upon ordination at Clongowes Wood College SJ on 24 May 1964, Fergus served in a number of roles including Socius to the Novice Master; Rector and teacher at Coláiste Iognáid SJ in Galway; Socius to the Provincial; and minister and bursar at Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin. He took his Final Vows in the Society of Jesus on 2 February 1977.

He continued to experience variety in his Jesuit life from 1977 to 2003 including acting as assistant provincial treasurer; revisor of the Irish Province; Parish curate in Church of the Virgin Mary, Ballymun, Dublin; and working in community development and reconciliation ministry in Portadown, Northern Ireland.

From 2003 onwards, Fergus lived in three other Jesuit communities at Clongowes Wood College SJ; Mulvey Park in Dundrum, Dublin; and Gardiner Street Parish in Dublin. He assisted in church and ministered the sacraments, guided people in the Spiritual Exercises, and was Director of the Lay Retreat Association.

Fergus moved to Cherryfield Lodge nursing home in 2021 where he prayed for the Church and the Society of Jesus. He accepted the situation with his usual serenity and calm, never complaining as his health declined. He died peacefully surrounded by his family on 17 December 2022.

Homily at Funeral Mass by Gerry Clarke SJ

There are, I know, many Jesuits who stand in the queue to make the homily at Fr Fergus’s Funeral Mass. And speaking to them over the last few days has brought back to mind the many and various ministries and communities where Fergus has lived and where he has graced people with his gentle and humble presence.

I had the privilege of sharing community life with Fergus in three locations:

Iona Community in Portadown
John Sullivan House in Mulvey Park, Dundrum
St Francis Xavier’s Gardiner Street

I am consoled by the fact that no words can ever capture the richness of a person or of a person’s whole life. So this is my attempt to capture something of Fergus’s grace and gift as we gather to lay his mortal remains to rest.

Remembering Fergus brings us closer to the mystery of the Incarnation

Fergus has given us a gift as we approach Christmas because, remembering Fergus and his personality, brings us closer to the mystery of how God comes into the world: Christ’s Nativity

Always speak well of others

I never, ever heard Fr Fergus utter a bad word about another person. I’ll repeat that: “I never, ever heard Fergus utter a bad word about another person.” It was part of his character never to indulge his anger or frustration by spreading gossip about others. It was just not part of his DNA. And in not gossiping about others, he forced those who might have a tendency to gossip to refrain. Being around Fergus meant only ever speaking well of others. And if you can’t speak well of others, then don’t speak at all.

Pope Francis is a past master at this too. He simply goes silent. And this is what Jesus does before the authorities who, sitting on the throne of judgment would condemn him and sentence him to death.

Pope Francis, Fergus, Jesus refuse to condemn others.

Always place others before you

We all knew Fergus as a shy person. He shunned the limelight and stuck to the shadows, doing his duty with the utmost dedication. And duty has to be the hallmark of his life as a priest. Placing himself after others and always placing others before himself.

And this is another feature of Fergus that leads us into the mystery of the Incarnation. As we read from an early Christian hymn in St Paul’s Letter to the Philippians:

“he humbled himself and became obedient” (Philippians 2)

It was a feature of his life that Fergus took on what he was asked to take on, one thing after another. Sometimes when it involved quite a challenge to his own personality and character:

In his breviary I find on the inside page, written in Fergus’s unmistakable hand … each with a line drawn neatly through it:

Mulvey Park
Gardiner Street (where there is no line yet drawn)

And then in his later years, Fergus was free and willing to proof-read texts for the Messenger and other Jesuit publications – dutifully, tirelessly and with great attention to detail. Sometimes he would present you with a really prickly problem in grammar, which you couldn’t solve and which he would have to slope off and solve in his own way!

One of the gifts of old age has to be a slowing down and a reflectiveness. Fergus embraced that generously. I remember him moving out of Mulvey Park, where, like the younger Jesuits in formation, he cooked and cleaned and kept house. But there was a moment when he realised that he wanted to and needed to move somewhere where there was a little more support and where he didn’t have to shop or prepare meals for 8! So, he moved to Gardiner Street. And when his sense of duty in the parish could no longer drive him strongly enough to celebrate daily Mass or hear confessions in the parish, Fergus, gracefully asked to be relieved of his responsibilities and step down from the daily rostering for masses and confessions.

This showed a freedom and knowledge of himself and a humility to accept the inevitable weakening of later life.


Fr Fergus, like his elder brother and Jesuit, Fr Ed O’Keefe had a great love for Blessed Fr John Sullivan. And it was Fergus who composed the prayers for the ceremony of beatification of Fr John which took place here at Gardiner Street on 13 May 2017. You’ll find those prayers on the wall display in the shrine at the back of the church. They remind us of Fergus’s own virtues and are, perhaps, his prayers for us today here:

We thank and praise God for every moment of this celebration; for everybody present here, especially those who are sick or unwell. May the Lord open our hearts to the needs of the poor that, like Fr John, we may be witnesses to the love of Christ Jesus, our Saviour and friend.

We pray for the leaders of our churches and for all those who serve the Christian community as pastors. We pray especially for Pope Francis, (for his representative here today, Cardinal Angelo Amato,) and for all the pastors leading us in prayer at this Mass. May they be strengthened in the gifts of leadership and service, humility and courage.

We pray for our young people facing decisions in life: that they may find in Blessed John the inspiration to be men and women for others, thoughtful, generous and kind.

Blessed Father John used to say “Be beginning. Be always beginning. The saints were always beginning.” We pray that the Lord will release us from the things that hold us down, the habits and ways in which our churches stifle growth and unity. May we “be always beginning”.

As we gather to pay tribute to Fergus, to thank God for his life and witness, we draw that line which he never drew through the final place on the list of his Jesuit life:

Gardiner Street

And we pray for him now, in the sure and certain hope that this humble, kind and self-effacing Christian, priest, brother, uncle and companion of Jesus is now beginning his new life with the Lord, meek and humble of heart.

May he rest in peace.

O'Rian, William, 1628-1700, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1951
  • Person
  • 22 April 1628-01 December 1700

Born: 22 April 1628, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 11 November 1647, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Ordained: c. 1658, Bourges, France
Final Vows: 02 February 1663
Died: 01 December 1700, Irish College, Poitiers, France

Superior of Mission 1676-1679

Has studied 2 years Philosophy before Ent
1651 At La Flèche College studying Theology
1655 At Bourges College FRA - Excellent talent, fit to teach or govern
1658 “William Orient” teaching in FRA
1661 At Arras College teaching Grammar and Philosophy
1665 At Bourges College teaching
1669 At La Flèche College teaching Grammar, Humanities and Philosophy
1679-1700 First Rector of Irish College Poitiers (1679-1691). 1691 Prefect of Boarders
“William O’Rian, President of Poitiers Irish College in 1723, b Kilkenny 18 April 1628, E 11 November1647, taught Philosophy and Scholastic Theology. Master of Arts and Doctor of Theology. Prof 4 vows 02/02/1663 has been Superior of whole Irish Mission”

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Had studied Humanities and two years Philosophy before Ent. he knew Latin, Irish and English. (HIB CAT 1650 - ARSI)
1650 Taught Grammar
1678 Superior of Irish Mission and then arrested in October 1678, in the Titus Oates Plot, a prisoner, but soon after honourably liberated by the Viceroy and Privy Council.
1679-1683 Rector at Irish College Poitiers (cf letters for ANG Provincial John Warner in letters dated 09 April and 06 August 1683, - Father Warner’s Note and Letter-book. He had arrived at Poitiers 29 May 1679, and in a letter sated the following day, he mentions that Archbishop Peter Talbot and his brother Richard, with Viscount Mountgarrett’s son Edmund Butler, still remained close prisoners. He tells also of a proclamation by the Viceroy in October requiring the departure of all Catholic Bishops and Regular Clergy from Ireland, and of a reward recently offered for the apprehension of every Bishop and Jesuit, being £5 for every Abbot or other Regular.
Professor of Theology in France

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Early education was at Kilkenny with the Jesuits
After First Vows and following the dispersal of the Irish Scholastics in the face of the Puritan forces, he was sent to La Flèche for studies where he graduated MA. He then spent three years Regency in FRA Colleges. After Regency he was then sent to Bourges for Theology, graduating DD and where he was Ordained 1658
1659-1672 Taught Philosophy at Amiens, Bourges and La Flèche, and then Theology at Bourges
1672 Sent to Ireland
1676-1679 Superior of Irish Mission. In 1677 he made a Visitation of the newly founded Irish College Poitiers, and on his return was arrested in connection with the Titus Oates's Plot. Nothing incriminating was found amongst his papers but he was ordered to be deported to France on 26 February 1679
1679 He arrived in France and went to Irish College Poitiers
1680-1689 Rector of Irish College Poitiers
1691-1698 He was Prefect of Boarders at Irish College Poitiers, and forced to retire due to poor health. He died there 01 December 1700

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962

William O’Rian (1676-1680)
William O Rian was born at Kilkenny on 22nd April, 1628. After studying in the Jesuit College there as far as the end of his second year of philosophy, he entered the Kilkenny Novitiate on 11th November, 1647. When the Kilkenny schools were broken up, he went to France, and took out his degree of Master of Arts at the College of La Flèche. He taught grammar then for three years, studied theology for four, and obtained the degree. of Doctor of Theology at Bourges in 1658. We next find him teaching philosophy at Amiens (1658-60) and grammar at Arras (1660-61). After making his tertianship at Rouen (1661-62), he resumed his professional career at Caen, where he made his solemn profession of four vows on 2nd February, 1663. He lectured next on philosophy at Bourges for two years, was Prefect of Repetitions at La Flèche for one, and finally became Professor of Scholastic Theology at Bourges in 1669. In 1671 he went to Paris on business of the Irish Mission, and returned to Ireland in 1672. He was appointed Superior of the Mission on 14th March, 1676. In 1677 he made a Visitation of the Irish College at Poitiers, and in the following year he was arrested at Carlow in connexion with Oates's Plot. Nothing incriminating was found among his papers, and he was ordered for transportation on 26th February, 1679. He was landed in France, where he became Rector of the Irish College of Poitiers in 1680, an office he held till 1691. In his later years he had charge of the boarding students (1691-98), until his health gave way, and he died, after two years of infirmity, on 1st December, 1700.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father William Ryan 1628-1700
William Ryan attended our College in Kilkenny as far as second year Philosophy. He then entered the noviceship in 1647.

For the rest of his studies he went to the continent, La Flèche, Bourges, Amiens, Rouen, Caen. He lectured on Philosophy at Bourges and La Flèche.

He returned to Ireland in 1672, and became Superior of the Mission in 1676. Two years later he was arrested in Carlow in connection with the Titus Oates’ Plot, and as a result was banished from Ireland.

He went to Poitiers, where he became Rector. He died at Poitiers on December 1st 1700.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
RYAN, WILLIAM, was fellow Novice with Father Stephen Rice, and I think succeeded him in the government of the Irish Mission. Whilst Superior he was arrested towards the end of October, 1678, and kept in close custody, on suspicion of being concerned in Oates’s Conspiracy : but his innocence appeared so manifest to the Viceroy and Privy Council, that he was most honourably acquitted and set at liberty. A letter written by him, and dated the 30th of May, 1679, announces his safe arrival at Poitiers the day before. He adds that his Grace the Archbishop of Dublin, and his brother, Richard Talbot, with the son of Viscount Mountgaret, still remained close prisoners. He mentions the Proclamation of the Viceroy, issued last October, for the departure of all the Catholic Bishops and Regular Clergy from the realm of Ireland, as also the recent Reward offered of 10l. English for the apprehension of every Bishop and Jesuit, and of 5l for every Abbot or other Regular so apprehended. On the 5th of July, 1679, Father Ignatius Brown recommended Father William Ryan for the Rectorship of the new College at Poitiers; but further I cannot trace him.

O'Sullivan, Donal, 1904-1977, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/347
  • Person
  • 26 July 1904-19 November 1977

Born: 26 July 1904, Bantry, County Cork
Entered 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Innsbruck, Austria
Final Vows: 02 February 1940, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 19 November 1977, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

Father was a Ntional School Teacher.

Only boy with one sister.

Early education was at a National School until age 14, when he went to St Colman’s College, Fermoy gaining a Rice scholarship. In 1921 he went to the North Monastery, Cork City. He then went to UCC for one year studying engineering.

by 1929 at Eegenhoven, Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1935 at Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria (ASR) studying
by 1939 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
O'Sullivan, Donal
by Lawrence William White and Aideen Foley

O'Sullivan, Donal (1904–77), priest and arts administrator, was born Daniel Joseph Sullivan on 27 July 1904 in Donemark, Bantry, Co. Cork, the only son among two children of John Sullivan, a national school teacher, and Mary Anne Sullivan (née Keohane). After receiving primary and secondary education locally, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg (Rahan), near Tullamore, Co. Offaly (1923). He pursued undergraduate studies at UCD till 1928, then studied philosophy in Eegenhoven, Belgium. He taught at Clongowes Wood college, Co. Kildare (1931–4), before studying theology for three years in Innsbruck, Austria, where he was ordained a catholic priest (24 June 1937). He completed his theology studies at Milltown Park, Dublin (1937–8). After a brief period spent giving missions and retreats, he became rector of the philosophate at Tullabeg (1940–47); during these years he ministered to republican prisoners in Portlaoise prison, with whom he enjoyed some credibility owing to his family having supported the anti-treaty side during the civil war. He was rector and novice master at Emo Court, Portarlington, Co. Laois (1947–59). Thereafter he belonged to the Jesuit community at St Ignatius Residence (House of Writers), 35 Lower Leeson St., Dublin.

Anticipating the reforms of the second Vatican council, O'Sullivan promoted among fellow clergy a more sensitive and artistic presentation of the liturgy, especially the mass. Through encouragement and facilitation of patronage, he contributed to the mid-twentieth-century revival in standards of catholic ecclesiastical art in Ireland. Enjoying a long friendship with stained-glass artist Evie Hone (qv), he arranged the placement of her work in churches and religious houses throughout the country, and commissioned one of her most notable achievements, the five windows for the new community chapel at Tullabeg (1946). After Hone's death, he helped organise the major memorial exhibition at UCD, Earlsfort Tce (1958). Appointed to the Arts Council in 1956, he served for thirteen years as the body's director (1960–73). Overseeing a redefinition of the council's responsibilities based on an appraisal of needs and resources, he directed activities and expenditure away from support for music, drama, and dance, to a concentration on the fine visual arts, his own area of primary interest and expertise. At the suggestion of council member C. S. ‘Todd’ Andrews (qv), he initiated a scheme whereby the Arts Council purchased paintings and sculptures by Irish artists for resale at half-price to public institutions and state-sponsored bodies, including schools, CIÉ hotels, and local authorities. Securing the appointment of an Arts Council exhibitions officer, he attracted important travelling exhibitions to Ireland, including the influential ‘Art: USA: Now’ exhibition (1964). His encouragement of the preparation of carefully researched catalogues to accompany such exhibitions helped stimulate the emergence of art history as a discipline in Irish universities. He brought to Dublin an exhibition of works by the controversial Irish-born artist Francis Bacon (qv) (1965), and encouraged the highly successful Rosc exhibitions of 1967 and 1971 at the RDS, which introduced Irish audiences to a large selection of contemporary international art. His foremost achievement was the formation (1961) and development of the Arts Council collection of contemporary Irish painting and sculpture, comprising some 800 purchases by 1969; the initiative stimulated the establishment of similar collections by private interests, and thus proved an important catalyst of patronage.

Through such initiatives, O'Sullivan dynamically promoted an understanding and acceptance of modern art in Ireland, thereby helping effect a revolution in public taste. However, in exercising his personal preference for abstract works in the prevalent international hard-edge style, he controversially neglected not only artists practising more conservative styles, but also the emerging school of expressionist figurative artists, leading to accusations of confusing artistic merit with private taste, and failing to represent and support the full range of contemporary painting styles in Ireland. Accused of practising an autocratic style of leadership, early in his tenure he led the council into two highly contentious decisions on planning issues, by advising the relevant local authorities to approve demolition of a row of Georgian buildings in Lower Fitzwilliam St., Dublin, to allow construction of a modern office block for the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), and to approve location of a nitrogen factory on an historic and scenic site near Arklow, Co. Wicklow; both decisions embroiled the Arts Council in febrile public rows. He excluded various popular and traditional forms from the range of art eligible for Arts Council support, favouring the fine and applied arts over genres that he regarded as primarily participatory. Ignoring the important 1960s revival of folk and traditional Irish music, he was also accused of inadequate support for artistic activity outside of Dublin, and for work in the Irish language. His approach implied an elitist concept of art as an activity of professionals producing work of a high standard (as determined by presumed experts) for the aesthetic appreciation of a consuming audience that was largely middle-class and urban, and ran against the demotic spirit of the 1960s and prevailing international trends in arts policy.

O'Sullivan was a founding director of the Kilkenny Design Workshops (1965–77) and of the stamp design committee. He served on the editorial board of the Jesuit periodical Studies, to which he frequently contributed. Intimidating to some associates, inspiring to others, he concealed a fundamentally withdrawn, contemplative nature beneath an opinionated, supercilious persona. Recent biographers of the English writer Graham Greene have alleged that over many years from the late 1940s O'Sullivan was involved in a sexual relationship with Catherine Walston (1916–78), the beautiful, impetuous American-born wife of a millionaire British financier, whose overlapping relationship with Greene inspired the latter's novel The end of the affair (1951). After retiring from the Arts Council, O'Sullivan was superior to the Jesuit residence on Leeson St., where he died on 19 November 1977

Jesuit Year Book (1974), 145–6 (photo.); Ir. Times, 21 Nov. 1977 (obit. and photo.); Irish Province News [Jesuit], xvii, no. 1 (1978), 28–32; Brian P. Kennedy, Dreams and responsibilities: the state and the arts in independent Ireland (c.1990) (photo., 131); Michael Sheldon, Graham Greene: the man within (1994); William Cash, The third woman: the secret passion that inspired The end of the affair (2000), 209–13

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 51st Year No 2 1976

Leeson Street
Since the last issue of the Province News, our Superior, Fr Donal O’Sullivan, was the recipient of a signal honour from the French Government. This, l’Ordre National du Mérite, was conferred on him in recognition of his services in promoting French culture, especially in artistic fields. At the presentation the Ambassador, M Pierre du Menthon, mentioned the keen pleasure it gave him, a past pupil of the Society, to confer this order on Fr O’Sullivan

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 1 1978

Leeson Street
Fr Paul Leonard has been appointed Superior and his immediate predecessor, Fr Donal O’Sullivan died. For quite some time Fr O’Sullivan’s health had been deteriorating steadily. During a visit to Cork in the summer he was taken to hospital with heart trouble and on his return to Dublin he spent a long and tedious period in the Mater Hospital, suffering from several serious complaints. He longed to return home to his room in Leeson street and his doctor finally gave him permission to re-join the community at the end of October. But he became steadily weaker and on 19th November he died unexpectedly but very peacefully. May he rest in peace.

Obituary :

Fr Donal O’Sullivan (1904-1977)
Father Donal O’Sullivan SJ, died unexpectedly, although after a long illness, in Dublin, on Saturday, 19th November.
He was born in Bantry (Cork) on July 26th, 1904 and entered the Noviceship in Tullabeg on August 31st, 1923. Of the normal Jesuit studies he was at Egenhoven, Belgium for Philosophy (1928-1931) and studied three years of Theology at Innsbruck where he was ordained on June 24th 1937: he completed his theology course at Milltown Park 1937-1938.

He was Rector of the Philosophate at Tullabeg from 1940-1947; and went to Emo in 1947 where he was Rector. He was Master of Novices there from 1947-1959. He was in Leeson Street from 1959 until his death on December 19th, 1977. For some of these years he was Spiritual Father to the students at University Hall and was Director of the Arts Council (a State Body) 1960-73. Father Ó Catháin, a contemporary, helps us more fully to understand the great interests and achievements of Father Donal.

Father Ó Catháin writes: Father Donal O’Sullivan is probably best known for his work as Director of the Arts Council from 1960-73. Mervyn Wall, who was Secretary to the Council in those years, has written about that side of his work. He was also a director of the Kilkenny Design Workshops, as Mr. Wall writes, until June of this year. In addition he was a founder member of the Stamp Design Committee and was active on that Committee up to his death.
These were what might be called his external, public, activities. In addition, or even of greater importance, though parallel with them, was what he did in two areas of the spiritual life of this country. Long before the modern post-Vatican stress on the liturgy became fashionable, he did all he could, by example and encouragement, to promote a seemly and beautiful presentation of the liturgy, of the Mass in particular. In this way he influenced not only the young Jesuits whose novice-master he was for twelve years, but also many lay-people whose spiritual life he directed.
In addition he encouraged artists, both young and well-established, to give of their talents to the glorifying of God's house. His friendship with Evie Hone resulted in the appearance of many of her best works in churches throughout Ireland. Probably the most striking collection of them is the windows in the Community Chapel in what is now the Jesuit Retreat House near Tullamore, commissioned by him when he was Rector there in the years 1940-47.
One little-known activity of his was his work among the political prisoners in Portlaoise jail in the early mid-forties. Coming as he did of a family which had chosen the Republican side in the civil War, he had what would now be called “credibility” with many of these men. He would not wish any details of that work to be known; but there must be many still alive of those men he helped who will remember him with gratitude when they see the announcement of his death.

Mervyn Wall writes: many years ago Fr O’Sullivan helped in setting up an Evie Hone exhibition in University College, Dublin. So successful was this exhibition that he was appointed a member of the Arts Council in 1957. On the death of his predecessor, Mgr. Pádraig de Brún in 1960, he was appointed by the President to the post of Director of the Council. He was twice re-appointed and served as Director for thirteen years until the Arts Council Act of 1973 extended the powers and membership of the Council.
During his term of office his particular interest was the promotion of contemporary art. He was interested in Swedish design and cooperated in the visit of some of its experts on a visit to Dublin which resulted in a valuable report on commercial Design in Ireland. This report led to the establishment of the Kilkenny Design Workshops of which he was one of the founding Directors; he remained on the Board until June of this year. He also acted as Chairman of the committee on Stamp Design, set up as an advisory body by the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs.
While he was chairman of the Arts Council many important exhibitions of contemporary Art were brought to Dublin under the auspices of the Council. These included an exhibition of German church architecture and exhibitions from the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, and from the U.S.A. and Britain. More recently, he had the courage to bring to Dublin an exhibition of the work of the controversial English Artist, Francis Bacon. He was active in giving all the help he could to the Rosc exhibitions and in building up the Arts Council's collection of Contemporary Irish Paintings which he accompanied on a tour of the Scandinavian countries. A valuable scheme which he initiated was the purchase of paintings and sculpture by Irish artists for re-sale at half-price to public institutions and hotels.

In an appreciation in the Press by James White we read: “His closest collaborator and friend in the Arts Council was Michael Scott the architect for whom he had unbounded admiration. Together they could sway opposition and dare projects that others might find forbidding. But those who came close to them have been inspired by the conviction that when faith is well anchored, then nothing should deter one.
The Rosc exhibitions are a typical example. The first two mounted in the RDS in an unsuitable setting somehow achieved the impact of a major international success which has put Dublin on the record of every Art institution in the world. More important from a native point of view, was the impact which they had made on our national consciousness. They gave our complacency a jolt from which we will never recover”.

Father Ó Catháin concludes: “He also tried to help, within the limits of the government grant to the Council and in a quiet and private way, struggling young artists in whom he recognised the promise of talent. He did not always receive the thanks he merited, but it can be said of him that, - fortunately, perhaps - he did not work for thanks. He was interested rather in bringing Ireland out of a sterile academicism into the life of European and World Art.”

From 35 Lower Leeson Street, Father Peter Troddyn writes concerning Father Donal O’Sullivan’s Collaboration with editors of “Studies”:
For many years Father O’Sullivan was a valued collaborator with successive editors of STUDIES. His name was signed to many book reviews over a very long period. Those reviews were always readable, well-judged in length according to the worth of the books under review, and giving just the right account for a reader of that worth, For an editor, he was the ideal reviewer: he never accepted a book without delivering his review of it on time, no matter how busy he might be: and the review was always ready for printing just as it came from his typewriter, requiring not even minor editing. He was a member of the STUDIES editorial board. In this capacity he read many articles sent for publication, and would give a shrewd - and again prompt - assessment of them. His advice helped to shape the contents of many issues of the magazine. That advice was always well-balanced and constructive, objective and solidly-based on his own wide reading in many fields. Such collaborators for any magazine are not easily found, nor easily replaced.

One who was a novice under Fr O’Sullivan's period as Master of Novices was Father Michael Sheil, now Deputy Headmaster in Clongowes Wood College. He was a great friend of Father Donal and was at his decoration by the French Embassy with the Légion d'honeur as his special guest.
Father Shiel very kindly found time from among his many duties to send the following tribute: “The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Fr Donal was his breadth of vision and his courage to carry out many of his liturgical 'innovations' at a time when they were not fashionable. He used often to say to us in the Novitiate that the worst enemies of the Liturgical movement were those who were too. enthusiastic' and also "too impulsive and unreflective.
One of his great phrases used to be that ‘grace builds on nature’ and he certainly lived that out in his own life. He is for me an example of a Jesuit ‘Finding God in all things’.
He also gave to us insular and just-our-of-school novices some concept of the world-wide body of the Society - he used always talk of the ‘Company of Jesus’, not the Society!
After the usual ‘anti-Mag. Nov’ feelings which most experienced in the years immediately after the noviceship, it was extraordinary to see the position of respect and affection with which Donal was held by us.
His obvious enthusiasm for the Arts was rubbed off to some extent on us and his attempts to educate us in this field in Emo were not without fruit! I think that he saw the Liturgy as a form of visual art, leading men towards God, and his own reverential attitude at Mass, linked to the majesty of the Liturgy, signified to us the posture of man-in-communion-with-God.
His familiarity with the Constitutions was striking - I remember how much he was opposed to some of the changes proposed in the early 70s. Yet, who can forget his intervention at the first. Province Meeting in Rathfarnham in 1973, when, having done a volte-face after considering further the reasons for such changes, he persuaded the gathering there that it was best to remain in ‘plenary session’ so that ‘the voice of the Province may be heard’. And I will always remember his homily at the closing Eucharist of the '75 meeting in Milltown.
Donal was a ‘Man-before-his-time’. What he sowed others will reap - may we be worthy to follow in his footsteps, as we have walked in his shadow. His death marks the end of an era”

Another former novice under Father O'Sullivan, Father H S Naylor, of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, wrote an appreciation of Father O’Sullivan's work as novice-master. The appreciation included the following warm words: “I have many friends in the Society, and many more whom I have admired and now respect, but Donal O'Sullivan was the greatest of them all. I had the opportunity to say this to him as we walked up and down the garden in Leeson Street this (1977) June. He was tired of being Superior, which he had been since he left the Tertianship, and though hopeful for the future he was perplexed by the modern Society, and personally anxious about his health.
I had said that I owed it to his formation that I could sail through the changes of the Second Vatican Council and the problems that came with it. He was a man well ahead of his time, and prepared us well for the Society in the Sixties. Time and time again, in retreats and preparation of talks, I have used materials he gave us or was inspired by things he had said”.

2021, Damien Burke notes.
Daniel Joseph Sullivan - educated locally until fourteen, then three years at St Colman's College, Fermoy, Cork on a Rice scholarship. One year at the North Monastery, Cork and then, University College Cork in 1921. Studied 1st Engineering, but took no exam.

Will of Evie Hone, 10 November 1954: 'To Fr Donal O'Sullivan SJ the sum of One Hundred Pounds to be expended by him for artistic purposes or the purchase of livestock for the Order'; 'I Give and Bequeath my Roua Acquitant to Fr O'Sullivan SJ'. Will states the 'I I Give and Bequeath unto my said sister Mrs Nancy Connell and my friend Mrs Harrie Clarke all my paintings being my own work'.

Codicil to the will of Anna Frances Connell, 11 March 1957. 'AND as regards Copy Rights of any of the works of my said sister Evie Hone I DIRECT that the control of the same shall be under, in the hands of and in the sole discretion of the said Father D. O'Sullivan and Mr Leo Smith or such person or persons as they or the survivors of them shall select or appoint.

Phelan, Michael, 1854-1932, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/358
  • Person
  • 27 December 1854-28 February 1932

Born: 27 December 1854, Johnstown, County Kilkenny
Entered: 30 December 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 23 May 1880, St Patrick’s College, Carlow
Final Vows: 15 August 1906, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 28 February 1932, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Older Brother of Bishop Patrick Phelan of Sale, Australia (02/01/1856-05/01/1925)

Educated at St Patrick’s College, Thurles and St Patrick’s College, Carlow

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Michael Phelan was ordained in Ireland for the Australian church in 1880, and worked in Goulburn, 1880-93. Phelan joined the Society in December 1893, and later worked in Ireland. He never served in Australia as a Jesuit.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 7th Year No 3 1932
Obituary :

Fr Michael Phelan

Father Phelan's very sudden but not unexpected death took place at Gardiner Street on Sunday, 28th February. For some time previously he had been suffering from a bad form of heart trouble, and there was always grave danger that the final call might come at any moment. On Sunday morning he had just finished Mass and was resting himself. With startling suddenness he fell off the chair on which he sat, and lay motionless on the ground, Extreme Unction was at once administered, but from the moment of the fall he never gave the least sign that he was still in life.
Father Phelan was born at Johnstown, Co, Kilkenny, 7th December, 1854. He studied for the priesthood at the Thurles and Carlow Seminaries, and was ordained for the Australian
Mission in 1880. For thirteen years he worked in Australia where. for a short time, he was President of the Goulbourne Diocesan Seminary, He returned to Ireland in 1893, and on
the both December, in that same year, began his noviceship in Tullabeg.
Noviceship over, some time was spent in Milltown Park repeating theology, and 1896 saw him attached to the missionary staff. Galway was his residence for one year, the Crescent for six years.
In 1903 he began a year's teaching in Belvedere, followed by another in Clongowes, at the end of which the missionary staff again claimed him. Once more he lived for a year in Galway, for nine years at the Crescent, and for four in Gardiner Street. In 1919 he joined the staff in Gardiner Street, and remained there until his death in 1932.
As will be seen from the above, Father Phelan spent nearly all his time as a Jesuit in Ireland at missionary work - 21 years on the mission staff, 13 as operarius at Gardiner Street, and
during that time justly won for himself the reputation of a great preacher. Critics, to be sure, will always abound, and these people found fault with his language as being a little too florid and with his metaphors as not being always correct. These are comparatively small matters, and the outstanding fact remains that wherever Father Phelan went, in the days of his prime, he drew immense congregations, and made a deep and lasting impression. On every one of them by the soundness of his doctrine and his very earnest action in the pulpit.
His sermons, full of excellent theological matter, were prepared with extraordinary care. One famous series “The Marks of the True Church” was a brilliant and accurate summary of the treatise on “The True Church,” by the famous Maynooth Professor, Dr. Patrick Murray. Father Phelan was so often asked to give the Lenten Lectures in Gardiner Street, and that his reputation as a preacher went as far as Canada and New York, whither he was invited to preach and give lectures.
A number of pious booklets, too, as well as many articles, are due to his untiring energy - “Straight Path”, “Dust to Glory”, “The Young Priest's Keepsake”.
In spite of his success as an orator, and the praise showered on him in his best days, Father Phelan remained a simple, and even child-like religious to the day of his death. To say there was a scintilla of that ugly thing called “side” about him would be, to those that knew him, ludicrous and grotesque. He was just as approachable and as easy to get on with, as a good matured and lively school-boy. An excellent religious, there was nothing visible about his holiness of that stern asceticism that sometimes frightens, and may even repel, He was ever simple, natural full of good nature, friendly to all with whom he came in contact whether they were members of the Society or the many friends whom he made outside it.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael Phelan SJ 1854-1932
Fr Michael Phelan was one of our most famous pulpit orators.

Born in Johnstown County Kilkenny on December 7th 1854, he studied for the priesthood at Thurles and Carlow Seminaries. He then laboured as a priest for thirteen years in Australia, where he was for a time, President of Golbourn Diocesan Seminary, and where his brother was Bishop of Sale. Returning to Ireland in 1893, he entered the noviceship at Tullabeg.

His life as a Jesuit was devoted to missionary work, and he was 21 years on the Mission staff, and 13 as Operarius at Gardiner Street. He was often called on to give the Lenten Lectures, a genre he specialised in. His reputation was so widespread that he was invited to lecture in Canada and the United States.

His publications include “Dust to Glory”, “The Straight Path” and “The Young Priest’s Keepsake”.

He died with startling suddenness after celebrating Mass, on Sunday February 28th 1932. With him ended the line of great oratorical preachers and formal elaborate and ornate orators.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father Michael Phelan (1854-1932)

Was born at Johnstown, Co Kilkenny and studied at St Patrick's, Thurles, and St Patrick's, Carlow, where he was ordained in 1880 for the Australian mission. He remained on the mission thirteen years and had been sometime President of the Goulbourne diocesan seminary. He entered the Society in 1893. Most of his life in the Society was devoted to mission work. He first joined the Crescent community in 1897 and remained in Limerick until 1903. He was again stationed at the Crescent from 1906 until 1915. His later years were spent in the Gardiner St community. Father Phelan enjoyed a well deserved reputation as a preacher and lecturer not only in Ireland but in places so far away as Canada and the USA, where he had been invited to conduct missions and courses of lectures. He was also the author of some spiritual books that had a wide popularity in their time.

Phelan, Patrick, 1821-1878, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1983
  • Person
  • 15 March 1821-11 April 1878

Born: 15 March 1821, Tullahought, County Kilkenny
Entered: 23 June 1849, Florissant MO, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)
Final vows: 08 September 1862
Died: 11 April 1878, St Mary’s, KS, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)

Plunket, Henry, 1599-1650, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1987
  • Person
  • 1599-30 May 1650

Born: 1599, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 06 September 1620, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: c 1626, Mons, Belgium
Died: 30 May 1650, Kilkenny Residence, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny

Mother was Margaret Bagnall, clearly brother of John
Studied 5 years at Douai
1626 Catalogue In Ireland
1637 Catalogue Mediocre in all, able to teach Humanities
1649 Catalogue At Kilkenny (50 after name)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1626 or 160 Came to Ireland (HIB CATS 1626, 1637, 1646)
Sent to Belgium by Robert Nugent, Irish Mission Superior, as Agent accompanied by his brother Colonel Plunkett, to represent the persecution of the Catholic religion and the impoverished state of the country.
During the Interdict he was Superior of Kilkenny Residence and living there in 1649. Described as an energetic man and a Writer. (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
He was an exile or already dead on 1650 (Hogan’s List)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Christopher and Margaret née Bagnall and brother of John
Had made early education under the Jesuits at Douai
After First Vows he returned to Douai for Philosophy and then to Mons, Belgium for Theology and where he was Ordained 1626. He was Ordained without having completed his studies and for reasons of health was sent to Ireland
1626 Sent to Ireland and Dublin where he taught Humanities at Back Lane
1629-1630 Sent to Rome with Robert Bathe and was admitted to the Roman College to complete his Theology.
1630-1642 Sent back to Ireland and Dublin until the surrender of Dublin to the Parliamentarians
1642-1647 He was back in Europe, sent by Robert Nugent at the request of the Supreme Council, to treat with Irishmen abroad and the Catholic princes on the matter of help for the Catholic cause in Ireland. For safety's sake he brought with him only the headings of the report on the condition of the country and was entrusted with the task of supplying the details himself. His mission brought him to Paris, Brussels and Rome, where the General awaited his report on the Jesuit Mission in Ireland.
1647 Sent back to Ireland and appointed Rector of Kilkenny Residence. He did not observe the interdict imposed by the Nuncio and identified himself with the small group of Irish Jesuits of Ormondist leanings. The General wrote to him expressing his grief at the divisions among Irish Catholics and that the Jesuits at Kilkenny had failed to observe the interdict, unlike the other religious orders in that city. Mercure Verdier in a letter of 17 May 1649 to the General mentioned Plunket’s imprudence in having invited Peter Walsh to preach the panegyric of St Ignatius at the Jesuit Oratory. He was removed from Office some time after the General received Verdier’s letter, but was certainly at work in the Spring of 1649.
Still alive 24/06/1949, but nothing further on him

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
PLUNKET, HENRY, (or as his letters spell the name Plunquet) was born towards the close of the sixteenth century He was sent by his superior of the Irish Mission, F. Robert Nugent , at the desire of the confederated Chiefs, to Belgium and Rome, to represent the persecution of the Catholic Religion, and the impoverished state of the country. During the Interdict he was Superior of his Brethren at Kilkenny, and was actually living there in the summer of 1649.

Plunkett, Thomas, 1627-1697, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1992
  • Person
  • 1627-26 February 1697

Born: 1627, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 11 November 1647, Kilkenny
Ordained: c 1654, Bordeaux, France
Died: 26 February 1697, Dublin Residence, Dublin City, County Dublin

1650-1653 Studied Theology at Bordeaux (1651 Age 25 Soc 3 - had good talent and proficiency more than mediocre. Fit to teach Grammar and Philosophy, and above mediocre in Theology)
1653-1654 Studied Theology at Poitiers
1654-1655 Taught Grammar ad Philosophy at La Rochelle
1655 At Fontenoy teaching Grammar
1656-1660 At La Rochelle, now a priest, Age 31 teaching Grammar
1660-1661 At Angoulême
1661-1662 At Agen
1663 Teaching 2nd Class at Bordeaux
1665 At Tulles Age 36
1666-1667 At Fontenoy teaching Grammar
1667-1669 At Loudun Operarius
1670 Goes to Ireland or from 1669

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1650 Sent for Theology to AQUIT

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
He had already completed his Philosophy studies before Ent 11 November 1647 Kilkenny
After First Vows was sent to Bordeaux for studies and was Ordained there c 1654
1655-1667 For the next twelve years he taught at various AQUIT Colleges and was an Operarius until he was sent to Ireland
1669 Sent to Ireland and Dublin, where he worked mostly outside the city until after the Oates Plot. He died at the Dublin Residence 27 February 1697 and was buried at the St. Catherine's churchyard

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
PLUNKETT, THOMAS. Began his Noviceship at Kilkenny. After taking the simple Vows he was sent, as I find in F. John Young’s letter, dated Galway, April 20th, 1650, with Daniel Dowgan, or Dugan, to the Province of Aquitaine, to study Theology. From that time until the announcement of his death in Dublin, on 26th February, 1697, I can learn nothing of his Biography.

Potter, Henry, 1866-1932, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1998
  • Person
  • 19 April 1866-18 November 1932

Born: 19 April 1866, Kilkenny, County Kilkenny
Entered: 01 June 1885, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 1901
Final vows: 15 August 1903
Died: 18 November 1932, Dublin

Part of the Clongowes Wood College, Naas, County Kildare community at the time of death.

Older brother of Laurence Potter - RIP 1934

First World War Chaplain.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Medical student before entry

by 1893 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1898 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1902 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 7th Yorkshire Regiment, France
by 1918 Military Chaplain : 37 London Road Chelmsford
by 1919 Military Chaplain : 21 Wellington Esplanade, Lowestoft

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 8th Year No 1 1933
Obituary :
Fr Henry Potter
Father H. Potter died in Dublin, Friday, I8th November, 1932.
He was born in Kilkenny 19th April, 1866, educated at Christian schools, Diocesan College, and Castleknock, and began his noviceship at Dromore, Is June, 1885. Two years juniorate followed, the first in Milltown Park, the second in Tullabeg (the noviceship was changed from Dromore to Tullabeg in 1888).
At the end of the two years Father Potter was sent to Clongowes, where he remained for three years as master or prefect, and then to Enghien for philosophy. His course was
interrupted when he had done two years, and in 1894 we find him in Mungret when he put in three more years as prefect before resuming philosophy at Stonyhurst. Theology at Milltown immediately followed, and then tertianship at Tronchiennes.
When the tertianship was over in 1902 he began his long career as Minister - Clongowes, Belvedere, Gardiner St., Crescent - until in 1911 he was back in Belvedere as master. He spent three years in the classroom, when once more the ministership claimed him, by way of variety, at Leeson St. This brought him to the memorable year 1914, when Father Potter donned the uniform as Military Chaplain. He saw service both in France and England, and in 1919 was back in Gardiner St. as Oper. A year in Milltown, Director of Retreats, stood between him and his special vocation, in 1923 he was minister in Galway. He held the position until 1928, and was thus minister for fifteen years, and in six different homes. For the next three years he had charge of the small study in Clongowes, a year's quiet teaching followed, and then came the end.
On the evening of Monday 14th November he was brought to Dublin in great pain. All the ordinary remedies for lumbago were tried without result, and a growth of some kind, pressing on a nerve centre, was suspected Next day he was very much distressed, and a minor operation was performed to try and give him relief, His heart was in a very bad state, and the doctors advised the Last Sacraments, which were immediately administered. That night he had two very severe haemorrhages, which left him very weak. On Thursday blood transfusion was tried, but did no good, and on Friday morning he collapsed. When asked if there was much pain his only answer was that he was “offering it all up.” He was quite conscious to the very end, and got absolution several times. He joined in the prayers for the dying, and his last act immediately before expiring was to kiss the crucifix, and whisper the Holy Name.
This very happy death was the crown of a holy life. Father Potter did not belong to the class of men whose goodness attracts attention and is freely spoken about, but the goodness was there. And, now that he is gone, stories are being told of his visits to the Blessed Sacrament, especially when few people were about, of his devout prayers, and, especially, of his devotion to the Stations of the Cross, He was charitable, the character of the neighbour was safe in his hands. And he was charitable when charity was difficult, when something was said that invited a sharp retort, that retort was never forthcoming, He was an excellent community man, and will be sadly missed. It can be said of him with truth that he was the life and soul of recreation, was full of fun, and had as keen an eye as most people for what was comical or ludicrous in his surroundings. He was very approachable, and with boys a prime favourite. As soon as he appeared a knot of them quickly gathered round him, and soon fun of some kind or other was in progress. And this was true of all classes of boys, our own College boys or the little lads that come to serve Mass in our Church. May he rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Henry Potter 1866-1932
Henry Potter died in Dublin on November 18th 1932, He was a native of Kilkenny, being born there on April 19th 1866. Having been educated at Castleknock College he entered the Society at Dromore in 1885.

He spent most of his life as Minister in our houses. In 1914 he became a Chaplain in the Great War, and he served all through it until 1919.

He was a man of deep piety practised in secret. After his death, people spoke of his quiet nocturnal visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and his great devotion to0 the Stations of the Cross.

In his last agony, he remained conscious to the end, joining in the prayers for the dying. His last act was to kiss the crucifix and murmur the Holy Name.

◆ The Clongownian, 1933


Father Henry Potter SJ

Though Clongowes cannot lay claim to Father Potter as one of her own Past, some of us can well remember him when he came as far back as to take over the Third Line. He had just finished his Rhetoric as a young Jesuit. So that it was in Clongowes that he began and ended his working life. In the middle of this long span he was Minister here.

He always felt very much at home here, for he was at his best with the boys: one is almost tempted to say: with the little lads. So that there was a strange fittingness in the fact that the Third Line Prefect of 1891 was the Small Study Prefect of 1931. The comic touch of incongruity, apparent only, would often make one smile when one caught sight of him in the centre of a group of Elementarians as they gathered for class at 9.30. He, seemingly grave but thoroughly enjoying the way in which they would solemnly discuss the amazing theories he would propound just to draw them out. In him a cloak of gravity covered a puckish fancy, a fact which explains his general popularity.

Though he was suffering a good deal, it was only on Monday morning, 14th November, that he failed to go down to his small boys. He left that day for a Dublin Nursing Home and died on the following Friday.

We inay be sure that he was sustained in the pains and sufferings of the last year of his life by his devotion to the Stationis of the Cross, a characteristic of his personal life. He is much missed in Clongowes. In the Community recreations his passing away has left a great blank. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Henry Potter (1866-1932)

Was born in Kilkenny and received his early education at St Kieran's and Castleknock College. He entered the Society in 1885 and pursued his higher studies at Enghien and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1901. Father Potter spent two years at the Crescent 1909-11 when he held the position of minister of the house and prefect of the church. At the beginning of the first world war, he volunteered as chaplain and served in England and France. In the years following the war he was sometime director of retreats at Milltown Park and served some seven years as minister at Clongowes. His remaining years were spent in Clongowes.

Potter, Laurence, 1872-1934, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/362
  • Person
  • 24 December 1872-30 November 1934

Born: 24 December 1872, Kilkenny, County Kilkenny
Entered: 12 November 1890, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1910, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 30 November 1934, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Younger brother of Henry Potter - RIP 1932

Early education at Christian Brothers, Kilkenny and Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1894 at Exaeten College Limburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1895 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1909 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 4 1926

College of the Sacred Heart Limerick : On May 16th, Fr McCurtin's appointment as Rector was announced. On the same day, his predecessor, Fr L. Potter, took up his new duties as Superior of the Apostolic School. During his seven years' rectorship the Church was considerably extended, a new organ gallery erected, and a new organ installed. A beautiful new Shrine in honour of the Sacred Heart was added, and a marble flooring to the Sanctuary laid down.

Irish Province News 10th Year No 2 1935

Obituary :

Father Laurence Potter

From Father C. Byrne
Father Laurence Potter was born in Kilkenny, 24th December, 1872. He was educated at Clongowes. In 1890 he entered the Noviceship at Tullabeg, and on taking his first Vows went to Milltown for one year as a Junior. He studied Philosophy at Exaeten for one year and at Valkenburg for two. Returning to Ireland he spent three years at Clongowes, three as Master and two as Lower Line Prefect. He was then changed to Mungret, but at the end of the year was brought back to Clongowes for two more years as Higher Line Prefect. He thus spent eight years in the Colleges, an experience not uncommon in those days. In 1904 he began his four years Theology at Milltown, and then went to Tertianship at Tronchiennes.
Soon after his return from Belgium he underwent two serious operations that made the rest of his life one round of suffering. So well did he conceal it that few knew through what an agony he was passing.
'We next find him at Belvedere for two years, the second one as Minister, then Clongowes as Minister for eight years. During that period the Centenary of the College was celebrated, and his good humour, energy, attention to details during the countless difficulties of that big celebration were simply amazing.
In 1919 he became Rector of the Crescent, and for seven and a half years there was a repetition of his Centenary energy. His first act was to have the playground concreted. The next, to build the beautiful shrine of the Sacred Heart, with its marble walls and brass gates. The faithful were so impressed that they subscribed the entire cost, and it amounted to £2,000. And in addition, they made a number of nary beautiful and costly presents , enough to mention a crucifix, candlesticks, charts,all of solid silver, for the altar.
His next effort was the removal of those dark passages at the end of the church, familiarly known as the “Catacombs” The magnitude of this undertaking may be gathered from the fact that the walls that had to be removed were the main walls that supported the organ gallery and part of the house. The result was that the Nave of the church was as lengthened by about one third. A handsome wooden partition with glass panels now forms the porch.
He also widened the side passages by recessing the confessionals into the walls, had the sanctuary floor laid down at a cost of £800, and made a number of other improvements that space prevents our detailing. The Electric lighting of the house should not be passed over.
All this involved immense expense which Father Potter faced with great courage. He set in action ever so many ways of collecting money, in which he got invaluable help from Father W. P. O'Reilly. The people, on their side, behaved splendidly, so that the big work was done without serious financial trouble. This was all the more remarkable because at the sane time Father R. Dillon-Kelly and his choir were making strenuous efforts collecting funds to put up a new organ. Complete success crowned their efforts, but at a cost of nearly £3,500.
Father Potter went through all this work although he was a decidedly sick man. Yet he never complained. His friends wondered at his fortitude, but could do nothing, for every suggestion of rest would be smilingly brushed aside. That smile was constant. He was always bright and gay, and most easy of approach. One who lived with him in Clongowes for five years and in Limerick for six, and who had much to do with him, testifies that never, even once, did he experience anything from him but the greatest courtesy. Father Potter was certainly built of sterner stuff than most ordinary mortals, otherwise he could not have gone through all these years, doing the work he did so cheerfully, without giving quarter to his ailing body.
His departure from Limerick, in 1926, was universally regretted. He spent one year in Rathfarnham as Minister, and was then sent to Gardiner Street, still as Minister. Here he worked till his death, seven years later. As in Clongowes they had their Centenary Celebrations while he was Minister, so in Gardiner Street they had similar celebrations, and not long after came the Eucharistic Congress. Both these events called forth yet again all his old time energy and attention to details.
His health was gradually getting worse, still he took on, in addition to his ordinary work, the management of the Penny Dinners for the Poor. He built a new hall fitted with all modern improvements for cooking.
At last he grew so ill that he was relieved of his duties as Minister. He did not survive long. He suffered greatly towards the end, and passing away on the 30th November, was buried on the Feast of St. Francis Xavier, Patron of the Church.
Father Potter had great gifts of body and mind. His power of endurance was wonderful, his mind was always active. His practical judgment was sound and shrewd. As already stated, he was always bright and cheerful, and he never seemed to lose his peace of mind. This was very much in evidence in the Black and Tan days, when Limerick was in a ferment. In spite of night patrols, masked raiders, etc., he never lost his equanimity. His cheerful outlook and helpful encouragement gave great support to his community. The example of his constant work was an inspiration. Hard on himself, he was never hard onI others, and towards the sick he was always most attentive, sparing no expense or trouble in their behalf. His tender charity towards the poor was on a par with his energy towards every work to which he put his hand.
The crowds of all classes that attended his funeral gave ample proof, fi such were needed, of the degree to which he had endeared himself to those with whom he had come in contact in the course of his varied and active life.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Laurence Potter 1872-1945
Fr Laurence Potter was born in Kilkenny in 1872, was educated at Clongowes, and entered the Society at 18 years of age. He is a brother of Fr Henry, also a Jesuit.

Fr Larry was the Rector responsible for the beautifying and enlargement of our Church at the Crescent Limerick. He built the beautiful shrine to the Sacred Heart, he removed the catacombs at the end of the Church, thereby lengthening the nave by a third. All these improvements entailed endless worried, both financial and otherwise. Yet he invariably retained his equanimity, in spite of a life of suffering following two serious operations in his early life.

His period of office in Limerick coincided with “the troubled times”, a time which called for great tact and courage in a Rector. Transferred to Gardiner Street, he had charge of the “Penny Dinners” and built a new hall for this purpose in Cumberland Street.

In spite of ill health, he was outstanding in physical and moral courage, which was rooted in a deep and manly spirituality. He died a happy death on November 30th 1935.

◆ The Clongownian, 1935
Father Laurence Potter SJ

I first met the late Father Potter when I went to Clongowes as a very small boy, over twenty years ago. It was my first time away from home, and my father had accompanied me to see me safely installed. We were shown into the Reception Room, while the butler departed to announce our arrival. For me the moment was one of trepidation. I was embarking on a new life - under the care no longer of my father and mother, but of strangers. What would those strangers be like? You can judge with what tremulous interest I awaited my first encounter with one of them. A small, grey-haired man, turning slightly bald, came into the room. He introduced him self as “that much harried man - the Minister”. It was Father Potter. I confess he did not seem to show any signs of the “harrying” of which he complained. Never have I met a merrier, more amusing companion. In a short time my father and he were laughing and yarning like old friends, while I felt all my shyness dis appearing completely.

When evening came and with it the dread moment when I parted from my father, I had one consoling thought - “If they are all like Father Potter, things won't be too bad”. What greater tribute could one of “those old Jesuits of Clongowes” receive from the heart of a very lonely, small, new boy?

Those first impressions that I formed of Father Potter I never had occasion to revise in all the years that have passed since. For two years and a half I remained under his care as Minister. For a Minister it was an eventful period. Into it was crowded the last two years of the Great War. The submarine campaign was at its height, and food, even at Clongowes, with its magnificent resources, was difficult to obtain. We boys thought little of it at the time, but looking back now I can see what an anxious time it must have been for the man who had. charge of the food and the health of the House.

Into that period also came another epoch-making event-epoch-making for the boys at any rate. We came down from the Study Hall one night - I think it was in the Spring of 1918 - to find that the Refectory servants had declared a lightning strike. It was a situation full of unpleasant potentialities. How it might have developed with a less popular Minister it is hard, at this stage, to say. But Father Potter was the friend of the boys to an extent that neither he nor the strikers realised. The Captains of the House went to him and spontaneously offered him the services of the boys in any way he saw fit to make use of them. From that moment out squads of boys washed up, cleared tables, re-set them again and generally aided the Community to “carry on”. The difficulties were tided over and eventually disappeared.

Finally, into those years came the most tremendous event of all as well for the peril of the visitation as for the burden it placed on Father Potter. This was the terrible influenza epidemic of 1918. In Clongowes 170 of the boys - not to mention the Community, the staff, and the nurses - who went down as quickly as they arrived - developed it. The grand total, I believe, was over two hundred. The Infirmary, the Gymnasium, the two Third Line Dormitories, and the Lower Line Dormitory were all full of patients. 170 sick boys had to be nursed, and more troublesome still - to be minded during convalescence. One hundred and seventy “sets” of parents notified of the progress of the only patient that mattered to them and this in a House with a depleted staff, with nurses almost impossible to obtain, and doctors worked off their legs.

One man did not develop influenza because, as he said laughingly, “he had not time”. That was Father Potter. The main brunt of that battle with sickness and death fell on him. Even to our eyes, and the eyes of boys are not very observant of these matters, Father Potter visibly aged during those days. Indeed he seemed to get smaller and much more grey, not merely as to his hair, but even his face. Physically he wilted, but his good spirits never faltered. His cheery presence in the dormitories was the most longed-for sight throughout the day. It is, perhaps, not the least tribute to him that out of all the cases at Clongowes - Over three hundred all told - only one proved fatal. To those who remember the severity of that epidemic this may seem nothing short of a miracle.

At the close of the War many changes took place, and amongst them was the transfer of Father Potter to the Crescent. I can still recall the utter consternation with which we boys heard the news. We were losing an old and valued friend, and what does not always happen with schoolboys, we knew and appreciated the fact. The night before he left, the Captain of the House made a speech in the Refectory. Three cheers were called for him and three more - such cheers! Father Potter ran out very much overcome with emotion and as the Refectory door closed behind him, there ended for ever Father Potter's official connection with Clongowes.

From time to time we saw him again; but only on flying visits. From the Crescent he went to Gardiner Street, where, after leaving Clongowes, I often saw him and talked over old times. He preserved for all the boys he knew at Clongowes the kindliest feelings. He was always delighted to hear of them or receive a visit from them. And, when he was laid to rest in November last, many generations of Clongownians mourned the death of a sincere friend.

Genial, merry, a good raconteur, a keen fisherman, Father Potter's dominant characteristic was his serenity. No matter how grave the situation, he always faced it with a smile. He was a man like Tennyson's Ulysses, of whom it could truly be said that he “ever with a frolic welcome took the thunder and the sunshine”. But his serenity was not the outcome of any pagan philosophy, but of a deep-seated faith and profound trust in that God to Whose service he had dedicated his life. RIP

D Murtagh

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father Laurence Potter (1872-1934)

A brother of Father Henry (supra) was educated in Clongowes and entered the Society in 1890. He pursued his higher studies at Exaeten, Valkenburg and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1907. Until his arrival at the Crescent in 1919 (January), Father Potter had served some nine years as minister between Belvedere and Clongowes. Appointed rector, Father Potter set himself to work on carrying out long needed improvements to the church and school: the erection of the Sacred Heart shrine, the lengthening of the nave of the church; the installation of the new organ to mention but a few of his schemes brought to a successful conclusion. Father Potter left Limerick, universally regretted, in 1926. His tenure of office marked the inception of the “modern” Crescent. With the exception of one year at Rathfarnham, 1926-27, the last years of his life were passed at Gardiner St.

Prendergast, John, 1830-1869, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2009
  • Person
  • 01 April 1830-11 May 1869

Born: 01 April 1830, Ballyduff, County Kilkenny
Entered: 13 August1851, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Ordained: 1863
Died: 11 May 1869, St Mary's Church, Boston, MA, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)

Quirke, Thomas, 1626-1691, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2025
  • Person
  • 15 February 1620-07 June 1691

Born: 15 February 1620, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 02 August 1648, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Ordained: 1655, Douai, France
Final Vows: 07 November 1664
Died: 07 June 1691, Co Kilkenny

Alias Quirck
Superior of Mission 03 August 1680-1683

Had studied 2 years Philosophy before Ent
1650 Catalogue Age 26. 4 years Scholastic Theology at Douai
1655 Sent to Ireland
1666 Living at Kilkenny now teaching “nunc cogitur desistere”. Concinator, Admn Sacraments. Was for some time imprisoned. On Mission 10 years.

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1656 Sent to Irish Mission
1666 Living at Kilkenny, teaching but obliged to desist. He was also a Preacher and administered the Sacraments.
He was for some time in prison and on the Irish Mission 10 years (HIB CAT 1666 - ARSI Rome). His discharge from prison is mentioned in a letter dated Dublin 02/10/1684
Superior of Irish Mission
(cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
He had studied at Lille and Douai where he graduated MA in 1648 before Ent 03 August 1648 Kilkenny
1651-1655 After First Vows he was sent back to Douai to complete his studies and was Ordained there 1655
1655-1676 September he was sent to Ireland and was normally at Kilkenny, where he made every effort to keep a school at work in the face of the efforts of the Protestants to close it.
1676-1680 Appointed Socius to the Mission Superior, William O'Rian 13 June 1676 and Vice-Superior in November 1678 on Fr O’Rian’s arrest.
1680 The General appointed him Superior of the Mission on 03 August 1680. It was hoped that the great influence he was said to have with those in power would protect him in those perilous times but he was arrested and lodged in Kilkenny jail at the end of 1683. After several months he was released in time to hand over office to the new Superior. He then returned to work at Kilkenny where he died 07 June 1691

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
Thomas Quirck (1680-1684)
Thomas Quirck was born near Cashel on 15th February, 1626. He went to Belgium in 1642, and studied at Lille, Tournay, and Douay, where he took out his degree of Master of Arts in 1648. Returning to Ireland, he entered the novitiate of the Society at Kilkenny on 3rd August, 1648, He was sent to Belgium in 1651, where he studied theology at Douay for four years, and was ordained priest in the spring of 1655. In September of that year he returned to Ireland, and was stationed usually at Kilkenny. On 7th November, 1664, he made his solemn profession of four vows at Dublin, He strove to keep the school going at Kilkenny, though the heretics closed it several times. He was appointed Socius to the Superior of the Mission Fr William O Rian, on 13th June, 1676, and became Vice-Superior in November, 1678, on the latter's arrest. The General appointed him Superior of the Mission on 3rd August, 1680. It was hoped the great influence he had with those in power would protect him in those perilous times, but he was arrested and lodged in Kilkenny gaol at the end of 1683. He was released after several months in time to hand over his burden to the new
Superior. He resumed his work at Kilkenny, and died there on 7th June, 1691.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Thomas Quirck 1620-1691
Cashel was the native place of Fr Thomas Quirck. All his studies were carried out on the continent in Lille, Tournai and Douai. He entered the noviceship at Kilkenny in 1648.

His main work as a priest was at Kilkenny, where he strove to keep the school going. He was appointed as Socius to the Superior Fr William O’Rian in 1676, and on the latter’s arrest, Vice-Superior. I 1680 he succeeded Fr O’Rian as Superior.

He was a man of great influence with the authorities, yet in spite of this not enough, for he was arrested and thrown into Kilkenny Gaol in 1683. After some months he was released. He returned to work in Kilkenny, where he died June 7th 1691

Rice, Stephen, 1625-1699, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2047
  • Person
  • 03 April 1625-07 January 1699

Born: 03 April 1625, Dingle County Kerry
Entered: 20 May 1648, Kilkenny, County Kilkenny
Ordained: 13 March 1660, Louvain, Belgium
Final Vows: 03/ November 1664
Died: 07 January 1699, Dublin Residence, Dublin City, County Dublin - Romanae Province (ROM)

Alias James Flent
Superior of Mission 08 October 1672

Had studied 2 years Philosophy before Ent. Taught Humanities 16 years. Was Superior of Irish Mission
1666 Is living near New Ross teaching school at his Boarding School. Preaches Catechetics in the country and does parochial work. Very good. On Mission 5 years. Has good talents with great fitness for catechising and teaching boys.
1679-1682 Minister and Prefect of Boarders at Irish College Poitiers
There is at Clongowes a “Praxis Episcopalis” Ed 1618 in which is written “P Ig. Rice”

1660 or 1662 Sent to Ireland from Professed House at Antwerp
1662 Living in New Ross where he kept a boarding school, and was engaged in Preaching, Catechising etc, and also occasionally acting as PP
1672 Superior of the Mission, and recommended for the same office in 1697 . Father Kelly, Rector at Poitiers, in a letter to the General, recommends Stephen Rice to be the Superior of the Mission again in a letter dated 26 May 1697 (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
He is the author of a long and most interesting history of the Irish Mission SJ 1669-1675 (cf Foley’s Collectanea)
Highly eulogised in letters of the martyred Archbishop Plunkett to the General Oliva, dated Dublin 22 November 1672 and Armagh 31 January 1673
Much praised for learning, zeal, eloquence, holiness etc, by Primate Plunket and Dr Peter Talbot
Note from No Ch Name (actually George) Murphy :
Named in an Italian letter, dated Dublin 22 November 1672, ad written by the Martyr, the Archbishop Oliver Plunket, Primate of Ireland, to Father General Oliva, in which, after expressing his affectionate regard for the Society, and informing him of the meritorious labours of Fathers Rice and Ignatius Brown at Drogheda, he speaks of Father Murphy as a good Theologian, and excellent religious man, a man of great talent, and a distinguished preacher in the Irish language. (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of James and Phyllis née Fanning (daughter of Edmund of Limerick) and brother of Br Nicholas Rice (LEFT?)
Studied Humanities and Philosophy under the Jesuits at Kilkenny before Ent 20 May 1648 Kilkenny
A year after First Vows he was sent to Flanders for Regency before Theology at Louvain where he was Ordained 13 March 1660
1662 Sent to Ireland and initially to Limerick
1663-1670 Sent to join Stephen Gellous at New Ross, where he taught Humanities and Rhetoric for the next seven years
1670-1672 Went to Drogheda to organise the College there which was opened by Blessed Oliver Plunket.
1672-1678 Superior of the Mission 08/10/1672. A fresh wave of persecution meant that the schools had to be closed and missionary work carried on in secret. During his term of office the Irish College, Poitiers was established, not only as a school for boys, but also a refuge for old, inform or exiled Irish Missioners. Before he finished Office he wrote at length to the General regarding the Irish Mission 1669-1675.
1678-1682 At the time of the Oates's Plot, 1678, he was arrested and then deported. He went to Poitiers and was Minister of the Irish College until 1682
1682 Sent back to Ireland and Limerick. After the surrender of Limerick he came to Dublin as Consultor of the Mission, and he died there 07 January 1699, and is buried in St. Catherine’s Churchyard

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
Stephen Rice (1672-1675)

Stephen Rice, son of James Rice, of Dinglicoush, and Phyllis, daughter of Edmund Tanning, of Limerick, was born at Dingle on 3rd April, 1625. He made his early studies up to philosophy at the College of Kilkenny, where he entered the Novitiate of the Society on 20th May, 1648. In 1651 he was sent to Flanders, where, after the usual course of teaching and study, he was ordained priest on 13th March, 1660, during his fourth year of theology at Louvain. On his return to Ireland he was stationed first at Limerick (1662), but next year he was sent to New Ross, where he taught school for seven years. He made his solemn profession of four vows at Dublin on 3rd November, 1664. In 1670 he went to Drogheda to conduct the College opened there by the Blessed Oliver Plunket. On 8th October, 1672, he was appointed Superior of the Mission. A fresh outburst of persecution caused the closing of our schools, and the ordinary ministrations of the Society had to be carried on in secret. During Fr Rice's term of office the Irish College of Poitiers was founded as a house of refuge for old, infirm, or exiled missioners. Before leaving office he wrote a long report on the work of the Society in Ireland from 1669 to 1675. At the time of Oates's pretended Plot (1678) he was arrested and banished. He went to Poitiers, and acted as Minister of the Irish College till 1682, when he returned to Limerick. After the surrender of Limerick he came to Dublin, as Consultor of the Mission, and died there on 7th January, 1699.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Stephen Rice SJ 1625-1699
Stephen Rice was born in Dingle in 625. Educated at our school in Kilkenny, he entered the noviceship there in 1648. Ordained at Louvain in 1660, the year of the Restoration of Charles II, he was stationed first at Limerick, then at New Ross, in which town he taught school for seven years.

At the request of Blessed Oliver Plunkett he opened a school in Drogheda, where he had 150 pupils, besides 40 Protestant gentlemen who attended classes in 1670.

Two years later he was made Superior of the Mission. During the disturbance caused by the Titus Oates Plot, he went to Poitiers, where he acted as Minister.

However, in 1682 he managed to return to Ireland and he worked in Limerick. After the surrender of that city to the Williamites he came to Dublin as Consultor of the Mission, and he died there in January 7th, 1699.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
RICE, STEPHEN, began his Noviceship at Kilkenny, and in the sequel became a leading man amongst his Brethren. The venerable Primate Archbishop Plunkett, of glorious memory,* in a letter addressed from Dublin on the 22nd of November, 1672, to the General S. J. Father John P. Oliva, extols Father Rice then Superior of his brethren, for his learning, disinterested and indefatigable zeal, fervid eloquence, remarkable discretion, and profound religious virtue; he adds, that this good Father has all the modest diffidence of a Novice: that he is a true son of St. Ignatius, and full of the spirit of the Institute. In a second letter to the same, dated Armagh, 30th of January, 1673, the worthy Archbishop repeats his unqualified commendation of this meritorious Father. His Grace of Dublin, Archbishop P. Talbot, held him in no less esteem. We have this Rev. Superior’s well written report of the Irish Mission of the Society, from the year 1669 to the 15th of July, 1675, and which has furnished several details for these biographical Sketches. I find by a letter dated Poitiers, 20th of May, 1097, that he was thus recommended by its Rector, F. Kelly, to the General Gonzales, to resume the Government of his Brethren in Ireland : “Rev. Father Stephen Rice, who, about 20 years since, was Superior of the Mission, appears to me eminently qualified to fill that office again, unless his age and strength may incapacitate him for the labour”. When the good old man descended into the tomb, I have inquired in vain.

  • The head of this illustrious victim of legal murder, is respectfully preserved in the Convent at Drogheda. How true is the remark, that “Calumny spread, no matter how, will frequently prove an Overmatch for candour, truth, and innocence, until time has applied his Touchstone, and proved the temper of the Metal!”

Robson, Christopher, 1619-1685, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2384
  • Person
  • 23 June 1619-03 June 1685,

Born: 23 June 1619, Park Grove, Ballyragget, County Kilkenny
Entered: 21 June 1647 Wilna (Vilnius), Lithuania - (GER SUP)
Ordained: 31 March 1657
Final Vows: 09 February 1959
Died: 03 June 1685, St Thomas of Canterbury, Hampshire, England

◆ The English Jesuits 1650-1829 Geoffrey Holt SJ : Catholic Record Society 1984
Born 23/06/1619 Kilkenny
Son of Thomas and Mary (Fines)
Educated St Omers College 1645-1646; English College Rome 16/10/1646-21/06/1647
Novitiate and Philosophy in another Province
1656 Liège Theology
Ordained 1657
1657 Ghent Tertianship
1658 St Omer
1659 Residence of St Michael
LEFT 20/08/1661 - READMITTED 19/06/1669
1672-1682 College of the Holy Apostles
1682 College of St Thomas of Canterbury

Catalogus Defuncti 1641-1670 has Robson (al Fines) RIP 03/06/1685 (ingr 1647, et reingr 1669) (HS49 43v et Foley, Angl)

◆ Henry Foley - Records of the English province of The Society of Jesus Vol VII
FINE, CHRISTOPHER, Father. See Robson, or Robinson, Christopher, Father.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
Robson, (CHRISTOPHER), Father, alias Robinson, and Fines, CHRISTOPHER, was the only son of Thomas Robson, Esq., a Yorkshire gentleman, and his wife Mary Fines, who was of a Sussex family of position. (1) Born about 1619, at Park Grove, county Kilkenny. Ireland, where his father had probably retired on account of the persecution at home; made his humanity studies in Ireland and at St. Omer's College; and entered the English College, Rome, for his higher course October 16, 1646. He was admitted to the Society in Rome, by the Father General in person, June 21, 1647, was sent to Wilna for his noviceship, and was made a Spiritual Coadjutor, February 9, 1659, being then it missioner in the Residence of St. Michael (Yorkshire District). He was dismissed the Society in Belgium, August 20, 1661. He appears to have then assumed his mother's name, and passed as Christopher Fines, succeeding Father John Penketh, alias Rivers, then a Secular Priest, as Confessor to the English Benedictine Nuns at Brussels, in April, 1672, Father Rivers having retired from that duty for the purpose of entering the Society. Father Christopher continued as Confessor for three years, retiring in 1665, for the purpose of seeking a re-admission to the Society. He was succeeded at the convent by Father Alexander Keynes, then a Secular Priest, who also retired in 1668, to enter the Society, (From the notes of the late Dame Mary English, O.S.B., St. Scholastica's Abbey, Teignmouth.) Father Christopher's re-admittance was delayed until June 19, 1669, when it took place at Watten. After his noviceship he was again sent to the Residence of St. Michael, and renewed his vows of a Spiritual Coadjutor in 1679. About 168, he was sent to the College of St. Thomas of Canterbury, the Hants District, and died in the same mission, June 3, 1685, et. about 66. (Catalogue of Deceased S.J., Louvain University Library; Records S.J. vol. vi. p. 366.)

(1) The family of Rostisan seem to have suffered severely for their faith. The names of William ind Colfrey Rolson appear in a list of upwards of sixty-five gentlemen of Northumberland in prison for refusing to take the condemned all of allegiance and supremacy (Canon Raine's “York Castle Depositions”, &c.. p. 2381)

Routh, Bernard, 1695-1768, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2073
  • Person
  • 12 February 1696-18 January 1768

Born: 12 February 1696, Guttermanstein, Alsace, Germany
Entered: 01 October 1716, Paris, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 04 May 1727, Paris, France
Final Vows: 02 February 1734, La Flèche
Died: 18 January 1768, Mons, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France - Franciae Province (FRA)

1730 At College of Bourges FRA teaching Humanities, Rhetoric and Philosophy. Is a Doctor of Arts
1736-1737 Vice Rector Irish College Poitiers (enters himself as “Hibernus”)
1743 At College of Paris, Scriptor
1757-1761 At Professed House Paris
“A man of distinguished talent, highly proficient in all subjects - fit to write or transact business”

Remark in details of Thomas Ronan :
“Bernard Routh says he was born in France of Irish parents (MS p99 and Exaten Vol V p75) - does this refer to Ronan or Routh himself??, as he was born abroad himself at Speyer Dioc is mentioned first beside Ronan”

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Perhaps a relative of his fellow Irishman Dr Routh (cf “Biographe Universelle” and Webb’s “Irish Biography”)
A Historian; A Critic; Professor of Irish College Poitiers
Converted Montesquieu (principle source of the theory of separation of powers)
One of the writers of the “Journal de Trécoux” from 1734-1743 (cf about 10 of his books in de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ” under Routh and Mareuil)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Capt William Rothe Kilkenny, and Margaret née O’Dogherty
Had studied at Irish College Poitiers before Ent 01 October 1716 Paris
1718-1724 After First Vows he was sent to La Flèche for Philosophy and then for Regency to Compiègne.
1724-1728 He was then sent to Collège Louis le Grand Paris for Theology, and was ordained there c 1727
1728-1732 After Theology he was sent to Bourges for studies and graduated D Phil, continuing on there to teach.
1732-1736 Sent to teach Philosophy at La Flèche
1736-1738 Rector of Irish College Poitiers.
1738 Over the previous decade his tastes had been developing for literature and he had now some half dozen books to his credit. He was now recalled to Paris and until the dissolution of the Society in France devoted himself to Letters. He was a friend of Charles de Montesquieu, whom he reconciled on his death-bed to the Church.
He died at Mons, France 18 January 1768 and his published works are listed in Somervogel
In spite of his birth abroad, he was regarded by his Irish and French contemporaries as Irish. His name was proposed amongst those of Irish Jesuits abroad for nomination to the Irish Mission and it had even been suggested that Routh should be made Superior of the Irish Mission.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Routh, Bernard
by Patrick M. Geoghegan

Routh, Bernard (1695–1768), Jesuit in France and confessor to Montesquieu, was born 11 February 1695 at Godramstein, Alsace, France, son of Capt. William Rothe, soldier, and Margaret Rothe (née O'Dogherty). From an early age he decided on a career in the priesthood and, after being educated at the Collège des Jésuites Irlandais in Poitiers, he entered (1 October 1716) the Society of Jesus. He studied at La Flèche, then at Compiègne, and finally at the Jesuit college in Paris. An excellent scholar and poet, in 1725 he published ‘Ode à la reine’, in a collection of poems to celebrate the marriage of King Louis XV. He taught at Bourges until 1732 and after that at La Flèche. Ordained a priest (1734), he expressed a preference for the Irish mission and was appointed rector of the Irish college at Poitiers (1736). He loved teaching and revelled in his role as a professor; around this time he also began publishing works on philosophy and theology which would help establish him as one of the leading literary figures in France. His Recherches sur la manière d'inhumer des anciens á l'occasion des tombeaux de civaux en Poitou (1738) was hailed as an important dissertation and displayed much insight and erudition. The Jesuits were impressed with his scholarship, and in 1739 he was summoned to Paris to serve on the editorial staff of the Journal de Trévoux (1739–43). In 1748 he was asked by the Jesuits to visit the Austrian court to represent the Irish catholics.

It was in 1755 that Routh achieved notoriety throughout Europe. The philosopher Montesquieu had contracted a terminal fever and asked for a confessor. The Jesuit Castel was chosen and he, in turn, sent for Routh, who already knew the dying man. Montesquieu decided to make his final confession to Routh, who insisted on permission to publish an account of the proceedings afterwards. Before administering the final sacrament, Routh interrogated Montesquieu about his attitude to the catholic church and its beliefs and demanded a pledge of public conformity in the event of his recovery. Routh remained with Montesquieu for five days in order, as he later said, to assist him on the path to devotion. According to Madame d'Aiguillon, Routh also bullied Montesquieu into handing over all his private papers; while this is disputed, it is clear that Routh had been ordered by his superiors to secure a literary repentance. Routh's treatment of Montesquieu in his final days was the subject of much criticism and was seized on by opponents of the Jesuits and the church.

When the Society of Jesus was suppressed in France in 1764, Routh settled at Mons in the Austrian Netherlands (Belgium), where he was asked to become confessor of the Princess Charlotte de Lorraine. This was his final role before his death on 18 January 1768 at Mons.

James Roche, Critical and miscellaneous essays by an octogenarian (1850), i, 28; O. R. Taylor, ‘Bernard Routh et la mort de Montesquieu’, French Studies, iii (1949), 101–21; Robert Shackleton, Montesquieu: a critical biography (1961); Francis Finegan, ‘The Irish college of Poitiers, 1674–1762’, IER, civ (1965), 30; ODNB

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Bernard Routh SJ 1695-1768
Fr Bernard Routh was a relative of David Roth, Bishop of Ossory, and was born in Ireland on February 11th 1695. He was sent to France in his youth and was educated at the Irish College in Poitiers. On the completion of his studies, he became a Jesuit in 1716.

He taught at Poitiers, where he became noted for his learning and critical talents. He was author of numerous works and editor of a paper in Paris. On the Suppression of the Society in 1762, there were about three thousand Jesuits to be provided for. King Stanislaus provided a refuge for twenty Jesuits in his Duchy of Lorraine. He was one of those who attended Montesquieu in his last moments. The statement he unjustly secured for himself some of that great man’s manuscripts is said in the Biographie Generale to be without foundation. The same dictionary enumerates his works, the principal of which appears to have been “Recherches sur a manière d’Inhumer les Anciens en Poitou” (1738), said to be a rare and interesting memoir.

He died at Mons on January 18th 1768 aged 62.

Rowan, Edward, b.1855-, former Jesuit scholastic

  • Person
  • 20 March 1855-

Born: 20 March 1855, County Kilkenny
Entered: 29 January 1878, Milltown Park, Dublin

Left Society of Jesus: 26 October 1884

by 1884 at Oña Spain (ARA) studying

Sarrazina, George, d 1689, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2089
  • Person
  • d 19th July 1689

Entered: 1644 - Flanders Province (FLAN)
Died: 19th July 1689, Mechelen, Belgium - Flanders province (FLAN)

1649 marked at Kilkenny

Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1647 He had charge of the printing press at Kilkenny
1657 He had charge of the printing press at Évora, Portugal
He is perhaps the “Brother George” praised by Primate Plunket in 1672

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
A member of the Flanders Province was loaned to the Irish Mission in 1646 in order to work the printing press at the Jesuit College, Kilkenny. When the press was eventually seized by the Supreme Council, he remained on for some time at the College and was Dispenser there. Mercure Verdier during his Visitation of the Mission in 1649 met George and in his report to Rome paid tribute to his fine qualities of character. George returned to Flanders after the Visitation.
1657-1661 He was once more “on loan” having been sent to help with the printing press at the College of Évora in the Portuguese Province
1661 For some years he was stationed at Antwerp and then was sent to Mechelen where he died 19 September 1689
Although he was a member of the BEL FL Province, he is rightly reckoned amongst those who served in the Irish Mission.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Brother George Sarazen SJ ????-1689
George Sarazin was a printer and manager of the printing press in Kilkenny. He entered the Society and there operated the printing press the Society had acquired in Kilkenny, perhaps from Brother George. All the printing of the Confederation of Kilkenny, decrees, proclamations etc, were done on this press by Br Sarazen. He is mentioned by Père Verdier, the Visitor, as a good religious and a very clever man. He died in 1657?

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
SARAZEN, GEORGE. This Temporal Coadjutor is reported by Pere Verdier to be a good Religious man and a very ingenious person. He had been a Printer, and conducted the press at Kilkenny.

Sedgrave, Christopher, 1603-1632, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2103
  • Person
  • 10 January 1603-23 September 1652

Born: 10 January 1603, Cabra, Dublin, County Dublin
Entered: 04 October 1625, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae province (BELG)
Ordained: 1630/1, Douai, France
Final Vows: c 1641, Kilkenny Residence, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Died: 23 September 1652, Kilkenny Residence, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny

Vice-Superior of the Mission March 1652

Parents were John and Joanna Fagan
Studied Humanities at Antwerp and Philosophy at Douai - was an MA and Doctor
1637 ROM Catalogue Good in all things - fit to teach Humanities. Colericus,
1649 At Kilkenny (45 after his name)
1650 CAT DOB 1604 of Dublin; Ent 1627; Came to Mission 1633. Was Procurator of the Mission for several years, Master of Novices 4 years. Is Confessor and Preacher. Prof of 4 Vows
“I think this is the man referred to in the ‘Aphorismical Discovery’ (Gilberts Pt 5 p75) - observe the author’s words on Augustinians

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Studied two years Philosophy and three Theology. Knew Irish, English, Spanish and Latin
Taught Humanities, was Confessor and Director of the BVM Sodality
1631/1633/1635 Came to Irish Mission; Was Rector of a Residence, Procurator of Mission and Socius to the Master of Novices. Esteemed and good Preacher.
Appointed to report on Stephen White’s works.
At the celebrated meeting of Theologians with Dr Rothe, he said nothing - “nihil dixit” - on the dispute with the Nuncio (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of John, of Cabra, and Jane née Fagan
Early classical education was received at Antwerp, and then he went for Priestly studies to Douai, where he graduated MA and D Phil before Ent 04 October 1625 Tournai
1627-1631After his First Vows he was sent for studies to Douai and was Ordained there 1630/31
1631-1646 He was then sent to Ireland and the Dublin Residence. He was procurator of the Mission there for many years
1646-1650 Socius to the Novice Master and Procurator of the Novitiate in Kilkenny
1652 When the Mission Superior Robert Nugent was summoned to Europe, he was appointed Vice-Superior of the Mission in March 1652. We are indebted to him for the account of Father Nugent's last days which he wrote at Waterford 16 June 1652.
He seems to have died in Kilkenny in 1652 himself, as his name is not in the 1653 lists

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
Christopher Sedgrave (1652)
Christopher Sedgrave, son of John Sedgrave, of Cabra, Co Dublin, and Jane Fagan, was born on or about 10th January, 1603. After studying classics at Antwerp and Douay, and philosophy at Douay, where he gained the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy, he entered the Society in the Novitiate of Tournay on 4th October, 1625. When he had completed his theology at Douay in 1631, he returned to Ireland, where he was first engaged in teaching and preaching. He made his solemn profession of four vows about 1641; was Procurator of the Mission for many years, and then Socius of the Master of Novices and Procurator of the Novitiate of Kilkenny for four years (1646-50). When Fr. Robert Nugent was summoned to Europe in March, 1652, Fr Sedgrave was appointed Vice-Superior in his stead, and it is to him we are indebted for the account of Fr Nugent's last days, which he wrote at Waterford on 16th June, 1652. He does not seem to have survived long, but in the confusion of the times the notice of his death has been lost.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Christoper Sedgrave 1603-1652
Christopher Sedgrave, son of John Sedgrave of Cabra County Dublin and Jane Fagan, was born on or about January 10th 1603. After studying classics at Antwerp and Douai, he entered the Society at Tournai in 1625.

He returned to Ireland in 1631 where he was first engaged in teaching and preaching. He was Procurator of Mission for many years, and then Socius to the Master of Novices and Procurator at Kilkenny from 1646-1650.

When Fr Robert Nugent was summoned to Europe in 1652, Fr Sedgrave was appointed Vice-Superior in his stead, and it is to him that we are indebted to for an account of Fr Nugent’s last days, which he wrote in Waterford on June 16th 1652.

Fr Sedgrave does not seem to have survived long after that, but in the confusion of the times, the notice of his death has been lost.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
SEGRAVE, CHRISTOPHER, was one of the Examiners of the MS work of Father Stephen White, “De Sanctis et Antiquitate Hibcrniae” as I find in Father Robert Nugent’s letter, dated Kilkenny, the l0th of January, 1646-7. Two years later, he was the Procurator of the Novitiate at Kilkenny. There Pere Verdier saw this Professed Father, and states that he was about 45 years of age, and “vir optimi judicii”. What became of him later, I have yet to learn.
N.B. A gentleman of the name of Patrick Segrave, had been a special benefactor to the Irish Mission of the Order, as I find in a letter of F. Holiwood, dated 30th June, 1606.

Shanahan, Thomas, 1818-1906, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2108
  • Person
  • 21 November 1818-26 July 1906

Born: 21 November 1818, Pilltown, County Kilkenny
Entered: 09 June 1840, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Final vows: 15 August 1851
Died: 26 July 1906, Georgetown College, Washington DC, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Shee, John, 1583-1634, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2113
  • Person
  • 1583-22 December 1634

Born: 1583, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 1604, Naples, Italy - Neapolitanae Province(NAP)
Ordained: c 1611, Naples, Italy
Died: 22 December 1634, Cashel, Co Tipperary

Received in Flanders and ended in Naples Novitiate with Neterville and Cusac (Naples Book of Novices)
Educated at Irish College Douai
1611 At Naples College studying Theology and Philosophy
1617 John “Shaeus” in Ireland Age 36 Soc 13
1621 Catalogue Age 38 Soc 17 Mission 7. Talent judgement and prudence good
1622 Catalogue In East Munster
1626 Catalogue In Ireland

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of the famous Sir Richard Shee (Deputy Lord Treasurer of Ireland)
He defended Philosophy and Theology in a “public act” and was a distinguished Theologian
Was Minister in a College in Naples
1614-1626 In Ireland. Was William Boyton’s teacher at Cashel up to 1627
Mentioned in a letter of Christopher Holiwood 30 June 1604, who had left him in Paris studying Theology, and wished much to have him for the Irish Mission.
An esteemed, able and prudent man (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had started his Priestly studies at Douai and continuing them at Paris before Ent 1604 Naples
1606-1611 After First Vows he studied at Naples and was Ordained there by 1611
1613 Sent via Belgium to Ireland and East Munster and was noted as a Preacher
In the 1620s he was sent to Cashel where he taught at school, and the future Jesuit Martyr William Boyton was a pupil. He died at Cashel 1634

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
SHEA, JOHN. Of whom I find mention in Father Holiwood’s letter, of 30th of June, 1604. He had left him at Paris, studying Theology, and wishes much to have him for the Irish Mission.

Shee, Simon, 1706-1773, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2114
  • Person
  • 28 May 1706-16 May 1773

Born: 28 May 1706, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 28 January 1726, Seville, Spain - Baeticae Province (BAE)
Ordained: 09 January 1735, Seville, Spain
Final Vows: 17 March 1742, Clonmel
Died: 16 May 1773, Waterford Residence, Waterford City, County Waterford

Final Vows made at Clonmel to Fr Thos A Hennessy

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Described as a brilliant scholar and sound divine.
1738 Sent to Ireland from Seville and to Waterford
1752 & 1755 In Waterford and was a distinguished Preacher
(Curiously all his dates are the same as those of Michael Cawood in the HIB Catalogues of 1752 and 1755.)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Nephew of Patrick Shee, Bishop of Ossory
1728-1735 After First Vows he was sent for studies to Granada and then San Hermenegildo's Seville where he was Ordained 09 January 1735
1735-1738 After Tertianshipat Baéza he was sent as Operarius to Granada
1738 Sent to Ireland and Kilkenny, but because of the dispute between Bishop O'Shaughnessy and the PP (a brother of Simon’s) he was sent to the Waterford Residence, where he worked until 1759
1759 Sent to Cork, but returned to Waterford a year later and remained there until his death, which occurred suddenly while preaching a Sunday evening sermon at St Patrick’s 16 May 1773

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
SHEA, SIMON, of Leinster, was born on the 18th of May, 1706; joined the Order in the Province of Seville, on the 28th of January, 1726, and commenced his Missionary career in Ireland, twelve years later. He was Professed on the 17th of March, 1742. Waterford was the theatre of his zeal, where he was admired as a Preacher. He was living in 1755.

Shee, Thomas Patrick, 1673-1735, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2115
  • Person
  • 16 September 1673-01 January 1735

Born: 16 September 1673, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 02 october1692, Paris, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 14 April 1705, Collegium Buntruti, Porrentruy, Switzerland
Final Vows: 02 February 1708 Ensisheim
Died: 01 January 1735, Irish College, Poitiers, France - Aquitaniae Province (AQUIT)

Taught Humanities and Rhetoric. Talent and proficiency above mediocrity. Capable of teaching, of Mission work, of being Superior.
1714 Teaching at College of Sées CAMP
1714-1722 At Episcopal University Strasbourg teaching Humanities, Philosophy and Theology and was an MA
1723 CAMP Catalogue “de Schée” at Bar-le-duc College teaching. On Mission 1 year
1724-1732 Rector of Irish College Poitiers
1733-1735 AT Irish College Poitiers in infirm health

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1728 Rector and Procurator at Irish College Poitiers
His name was O’Shee, perhaps he is the Capt Thomas Shee of Butler’s infantry, who imitated the example of Captain Clinch - that Captain was from Kilkenny and was attainted c 1716

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had begun Priestly studies, probably at Paris before Ent 02 October 1692 Paris
1694-1695 After First Vows he did a year of Rhetoric at Paris
1695-1697 He was sent to CAMP for Philosophy to Pont-à-Mousson
1697-1702 He then spent seven years of Regency teaching Rhetoric at Charleville and Chaumont
1702-1705 He was then sent to Rheims for Theology and he was Ordained there 14 April 1705
1706-1714 His ability in Philosophy and Theology was noted, and so he taught Philosophy for eight years in various Colleges ending at Dijon.
1714-1723 Sent From Dijon to take a Chair in Moral Theology at Strasbourg. In the last year he was also Spiritual Father.
1723-1732 He was sent to the Irish College Poitiers, and became Rector in 1724. Because of earlier mismanagement, the finances of the Colleges were in a chaotic state, but Thomas managed to keep the College in existence and was even able to carry out improvements to the buildings. He remained at Poitiers after finishing as Rector and he died there 01 January 1735

Sherlock, Peter, 1820-1910, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2128
  • Person
  • 25 September 1820-07 October 1910

Born: 25 September 1820, County Kilkenny
Entered: 20 May 1839, Hodder, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1850
Final vows: 02 February 1852
Died 07 October 1910, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Shortall, Michael, 1607-1629, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/2133
  • Person
  • 1607-19 December 1629

Born: 1627, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 01 January 1624, Villarejo, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Died: 19 December 1629, Murcia, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had begun his Priestly studies at Irish College Salamanca 01 January 1622, two years before Ent 01 January 1624 Villarejo
After First Vows he was sent to Murcia to continue his studies and showed himself there to be a student of high promise. Although he had been expected to eventually go work on the Irish Mission, he died at Murcia 19 December 1629

St Leger, William, 1599-1665, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2143
  • Person
  • 1599-09 June 1665

Born: 1599, County Kilkenny
Entered: 08 October 1621, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 20 March 1627, Cambrai, France
Final vows: 15 August 1635
Died: 09 June 1665, Irish College, Santiago de Compostella, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Alias Salinger
Superior of Mission 29 June 1652-December 1652 and 16 July 1661-09 June 1665

Mother was Margaret Duingyn (Duigin?)
Studied Humanities at home and at Antwerp, Philosophy at Douai, was MA
1625 in 1st year Theology at Douai
1637 ROM Catalogue Good in all, fit to teach Humanities
1649 In Kilkenny (50 after his name)
1650 Catalogue DOB 1697. A Confessor and Director of Sodality BVM. Prefect of Residence many years and Consultor of Mission. Age 53, Superior of Kilkenny Residence and of Seminary at Compostella for 6 years
1654 Exiled from Clonmel
1655 Rector of Irish Seminary St Iago CAST
1658 At Compostella Age 57 Soc 36. A Superior at various times in Ireland. Rector and Provincial in Ireland. Rector Irish College. Taught Grammar.

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Studied Humanities, two years Philosophy and four years Theology in Sicily before Ent. Knew French, English, Irish and Latin.
Taught Humanities for many years; Was Confessor and Director of BVM Sodality; Superior of Residences and Consultor of Irish Mission for many years.
1650 Superior at Kilkenny College, and then moved to Galway when Kilkenny was captured.
1651 He was obliged to flee Ireland, escaped to Spain and succeeded John Lombard as Rector at Compostella, and he died there 09 June 1665 aged 66
He wrote the life of Archbishop of Cashel, Thomas Walsh. 4to Antwerp 1655 (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
Writer; Prisoner; Exiled with great cruelty; Professor of Humanities; Rector of Compostella Residence; Superior of the Irish Mission; Of great gentleness and prudence; Educated in Sicily and Belgium (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan :
Son of Thomas and Margaret née Duigan
Early education was at Antwerp. He also graduated MA and D Phil at Douai before Ent 08 October 1621 Tournai
1623-1627 After First Vows he was sent a year of Regency at Douai and then stayed there for Theology, and was Ordained at Cambrai 20 March 1627
1628 Sent to Ireland and Kilkenny, and was later Superior at the Kilkenny Residence, and then Rector of the College. He identified himself with the small group of Ormondist partisans in the Kilkenny community whose approval of the Supreme Council's defiance of Rinuccini was reported to Rome and caused the General to send Mercure Verdier on Visitation to the Irish Mission.
1652 Superior of the Mission on 29 June 1652, but six months later was deported to Spain. He arrived in San Sebastián and was then sent to the Irish College Santiago, where he continued as Superior of the Irish Mission until 27 June 1654.
1654-1661 Rector of Irish College Santiago an Office he held for seven years
1661 Reappointed Superior of the Irish Mission 16 July 1661 but ill health prevented him from returning to Ireland. This meant there were two Superiors of the Irish Mission - William in Spain, and Richard Shelton in Ireland. He died at Santiago 09 June 1665

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
St Leger, William
by Terry Clavin

St Leger, William (1599–1665), Jesuit, was born in Co. Kilkenny in September 1599, the son of Thomas St Leger and his wife Margaret Duignan. He left Ireland to study classics at Antwerp and philosophy at Douai and graduated MA and D.Phil. On 8 October 1621 he entered the Society of Jesus at Tournai. Ordained a priest at Cambrai on 20 March 1627, he was professed of the four vows of his order on 15 August 1635. In 1628 he had returned to Ireland, where he taught at Kilkenny city. Following the 1641 rebellion and the establishment in 1642 of the Catholic Confederation of Ireland, St Leger was prominent as a supporter of an alliance with the protestant royalists led by James Butler (qv), earl of Ormond. Nonetheless, in 1646 St Leger supported the decision by GianBattista Rinuccini (qv), papal nuncio to Ireland, to excommunicate those who adhered to the peace between the supreme council of the confederation and Ormond.

However, when Rinuccini excommunicated the supporters of the supreme council's cessation with the protestant forces in Munster in the summer of 1648, St Leger strongly opposed him. Rinuccini was particularly bitter over the refusal of St Leger, and the Jesuit order in general, to back him in 1648. After the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland (1649–52), St Leger was appointed superior of the Irish Jesuits on 29 June 1652, but he was obliged to flee to Spain in January 1653 after the authorities banished all catholic clergy from Ireland upon pain of death. He settled in Spain, where he became rector of the Irish college at Compostela. In 1655 he published a life of Thomas Walsh (qv), archbishop of Cashel during the confederate period. This work was criticised by Rinuccini's supporters for failing to mention the controversies of 1648 and St Leger's own role in them. In 1661 he was re-appointed head of the Jesuit mission in Ireland but ill health prevented him from returning home to assume this position. He died 9 June 1665 at Compostela.

Comment. Rinucc., vi, 188; Edmund Hogan, Chronological catalogue of the Irish members of the Society of Jesus (n.d.), 30; The whole works of Sir James Ware concerning Ireland, ed. and trans. W. Harris (1764), ii, 144; Gilbert, Contemp. hist., i, 277; Gilbert, Ir. confed., vi, 69, 277, 314; Michael J. Hynes, The mission of Rinuccini (1932), 131, 265; ODNB

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
William St Leger (1652-1654)
William St Leger, son of Thomas St Leger, or Salinger, and Margaret Duigin, was born in the county of Kilkenny in September, 1599. He went to Belgium in 1617; studied rhetoric at Antwerp and philosophy at Douay, where he gained the degrees of Licentiate and Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy. He entered the Novitiate of the Society at Tournay on 8th October, 1621. After teaching grammar a year at Douay, he studied theology there for four years, and was ordained on 20th March, 1627, at Cambray. He returned to Ireland in 1628, and was usually stationed at Kilkenny, where he made his solemn profession of four vows on 5th August, 1639. He was Superior of the Kilkenny Residence and Director of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin for many years. Then he became Rector of the College at Kilkenny, Consultor of the Mssion, and, finally, on 29th June, 1652, Superior of the Mission. When on 6th January, 1653, an edict banishing all priests from Ireland within ten days was published, Fr St Leger was lying ill in a friend's house at Kilkenny, but his weakness won him no respite. He had to be carried on a stretcher for twenty Irish miles to a seaport, where he was put on board a ship bound for San Sebastian, where he arrived before 26th April, 1653. After some time he took up his residence at the Irish College of Santiago. He continued Superior of the Mission, though resident in Spain, until 27th June, 1654, when he became Rector of the Irish College of Santiago, a position he held for the next seven years.

William St Leger (1661-1663)
Fr William St Leger (for whom vide supra 1652-54) was appointed Superior of the Irish Mission on 16th July, 1661, but was prevented by ill-health from returning, so that for the next two years there were two Superiors of the Irish Mission, one in Spain, Fr William St Leger, and one in Ireland, Fr Richard Shelton. Fr St Leger died at the Irish College of Santiago on 9th June, 1665. He was an accomplished Latinist, and to his pen we are indebted for many treatises which throw light on the state of the Catholic religion in general, and on the history of the activities of the Society of Jesus in Ireland in particular, from the earliest times down to the year 1662.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father William St Leger 1599-1665
William St Leger was born in Kilkenny in 1599.

Having joined the Society at Tournai he returned to Ireland after his ordination in 1628. He was a fluent speaker of English, Latin and Irish and taught classics for many years. He became Superior of the Kilkenny Residence, Director of the Sodality, Consultor of the Mission, and finally Superior in 1652. His zeal for souls made him a special object of hatred for the Puritans.

When an edict was published in 1653 banishing all priests from Ireland within ten days. Fr William was lying ill at a friends house, He was transported on a stretcher to the nearest seaport and put on a ship bound for San Sebastian. He made port in April, having been at sea since January. He took up residence at the Irish College Santiago, where he became Rector for seven years.

In 1661 he was again appointed Superior of the Irish Mission, but through ill health never returned to Ireland. For two years there were two Superiors, Fr St Leger in Spain and Fr Richard Shelton in Ireland. The difficulty was resolved by Fr St Leger’s death at Santiago on June 9th 1665.

We are indebted to him for many treatises on the State of the Catholic Religion and of the Society of Jesus in Ireland at that period. He is also the author of a life of Thomas Walsh, Archbishop of Cashel who died in Compostella.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
ST. LEGER, WILLIAM. The 1st time that I meet with him is in a letter written by him from his native place, Kilkenny, on the 3rd of January, 1646-7, wherein he speaks in the highest terms of the merits of Peter Francis Scarampi, the Oratorian, and Envoy of the Holy See to the Irish Nation. Pere Verdier found him two years later superior of the College at Kilkenny. When that City was taken, he removed to Galway. In 1651, the success of the Puritan faction compelled him to seek safety in flight. Retiring to Compostella, he ended his days in peace, on the 9th of June, 1665, aet. 66. We have from his pen the Life of Thomas Walsh, Archbishop of Caascll, 4to. Antwerp, 1655, who died at Compostella.

Stephenson, Patrick Joseph, 1896-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/547
  • Person
  • 16 March 1896-05 May 1990

Born: 16 March 1896, Dunkitt House, Kilmacow, County Kilkenny
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 August 1928, Fourvière, Lyon, France
Final Vows: 02 February 1931
Died: 05 May 1990, Caritas Christi Hospice, Kew - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death

Patrick was a relative of William Stephenson - RIP 1980

Father was a doctor and he moved with them to New Street, Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary.

Second eldest of three boys and two girls.

Being delicate he was sent to his grandparents in Kilmacthomas, County Waterford for eight years, where his aunt acted as a governess. In 1907 he went to Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1923 in Australia - Regency
by 1927 at Paray-le-Monial, France (LUGD) studying
by 1929 at Lyon, France (LUGD) studying
by 1930 at Paray-le-Monial, France (LUGD) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick Stephenson was educated at Clongowes College, Dublin, and entered the Society 31 August 1914. After philosophy studies at Milltown Park, 1918-21, he was sent to Xavier College for regency in 1921, returned to England and France for theology in 1925, and was ordained at Lyons in 1928. Tertianship followed immediately at Paray-Ie-Monial.
He returned to Xavier College in 1930, and remained there for the rest of his life, except for a year as headmaster of Kostka Hall. For a few years, 1933-34, he was minister at the senior school.
Stephenson is best known for his teaching of geography or 'topography', as his subject was irreverently called. Students started the rumor that he dropped the exam papers from just outside his room on the top floor above second division, and the first paper to hit the floor was awarded First place. He also taught religion and French at various times.
His sermonettes on the missions on first Fridays were memorable as was his love for St Vincent de Paul. He ran a monthly meeting of this Society for 60 years, encouraging members to visit the sick and the poor. In addition, he edited the college annual, “The Xavierian”, for 47 years, and recorded news of generations of Old Boys. This was particularly important during the Second World War, when he became the “postbox and scribe to the world”. He would write to Old Boys on active service and their families each evening (his daily letter writing average was twelve), bringing much comfort to the men. Many letters that he received from the war were included in “The Xavierian” for all to read.
Stephenson was a great affirmer of people. His memory was prodigious of whole families for many generations, and he kept a card index system with the names of every boy and his family He was particularly caring for families in trouble, and good at obtaining jobs for ex-students through his long list of contacts.
During school vacations he visited major towns, country or interstate, catching up with Old Xaverians. He never stayed long, suggesting that he should go home about 9 pm. He was always very proud of Old Xaverians who did well, especially those who became judges, lawyers and doctors.
He grew old buoyantly. At the age of 80 he moved from his room in the attic to a room on the ground floor near the infirmary. At the age of 92, when he could no longer look after himself or handle the stairs, he moved to Caritas Christi, the hospice for the elderly. The move gave him a new life, exercising his legs as best he could and ringing up Old Boys from Sister Wallbridge's office when she was otherwise engaged.
He was a small man, but had a large heart and was open to change. He accepted Vatican II and began to wear a tie instead of the clerical collar soon after the Council.
Stephenson was never a good teacher, but was a memorable educator. For his services to education he was awarded an Order of the British Empire by the Queen. He had extraordinary influence on generations of Old Xaverians. His gentle humanity and love of people more than compensated for his lack of academic achievements. He was good company and his stories always enlivened community recreation. His funeral, which packed St Patrick's Cathedral, was a moving tribute to his influence.
In 2016 Xavier College removed Stephenson's name from its sports centre. The rector wrote to the Xavier community that there were some complaints against Stephenson, and that “the Province does not believe that the complaints made against Stephenson have been substantiated, but nor has it dismissed the allegations as being wrong. It believed that, on the available evidence there is room for genuine misunderstanding as to his intentions, as is explicitly acknowledged by one complainant ..., and that in the light of the complexity and seriousness of the issue, we accept that it is appropriate to change the name' of the sports centre”.

Note from William Stephenson Entry
William was a relative of Patrick Stephenson of the Australian province, and entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1898.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Extracts from a letter from Fr. P. J. Stephenson, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne :
“... We had brilliant results last year. Xavier boys won 28 1st Class Honours and 68 2nd Class Honours in the December Examinations, 1947. Besides that, they won Exhibitions in Greek, French and Physics ; and four General Exhibitions and 2 Free Places in the University. That was a fine record for a class of about 40 boys. Five Xavierians joined the Noviceship this year : four were boys just left school. An Old Xavierian took his LL.B. Degree and became a Dominican.
Fr. Mansfield has been kept going since his arrival. He will be a great addition to our staff as he can take over the Business Class and the Economic Class. Fr. Lawler came over from W.A. about three weeks ago and has taken up the duties of Socius to Fr. Provincial. Fr. Boylan and his assistant Editor of the Messenger leave for Ireland and Rome soon”.

Taylor, William, 1795-1865, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2178
  • Person
  • 01 November 1795-23 June 1865

Born: 01 November 1795, Gorteen, Co Kilkenny or Gurteen, Co Sligo
Entered: 05 April 1818, Richmond, Virginia - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Final vows: 15 August 1832
Died: 23 June 1865, Worcester, MA, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)

Ussher, John, 1613-1698, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2198
  • Person
  • 14 October 1613-14 December 1698

Born: 14 October 1613, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 23 October 1632, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: c 1638, Bourges, France
Final Vows: 14 October 1652
Died: 14 December 1698, Dublin Residence, Dublin City, County Dublin - Romanae Province

Alias Walterson
Granduncle of Stephen - RIP 1762
Grandnephew of Anglican Bishop Henry Ussher and second cousin of Anglican Primate James Ussher
(Coll HIB ROM XII 36); RIP 14 December 1698 Dublin
Parents William and Mary Kennedy (cf Memoirs of the Usher families” Rev William Wright, Dublin 1689)
Studied Grammar and Humanities in Dublin under Jesuits, and Philosophy at Douai
1636 At Bourges FRA studying Theology
1650 Catalogue Ent 1629 Taught Humanities and Philosophy. Age 37. Came to Mission in 1639 and now teaching Grammar
1655 At Irish College Seville (The Rector is Spanish). Master of Conferences
1666 Consult of Dublin Residence. Preaches often and administers the Sacraments. Imprisoned for 2 months. Exiled to Spain for 4 years. On Mission 27 years.
John Usher writes from Ossuna 09 May 1657 to Fr Young, Rector Irish College Rome and mentions Fr Quin’s imprisonment and desires to be remembered to Br Howyard, Richard Quin etc

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Cousin of Ignatius Gough and of James Ussher’s family
Early education was in Humanities and two years Philosophy before Ent, and then four years Theology in the Society.
Imprisoned and deported for the Catholic faith.
Taught Humanities for four years and Philosophy; Prefect of a Sodality and Prefect of Studies (HIB CATS - ARSI);
1649 At Kilkenny, aged 35 and 18 years in the Society,and was teaching Rhetoric (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
1666 Living at Dublin Residence and a Consultor there, engaged in Preaching and administering the Sacraments.
After two months imprisonment he was deported to Spain for four years (HIB CAT 1666 - ARSI)
Ignorant of Irish language, as were three others of the eleven native Dublin Jesuits of his day

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Walter and Mary née Kenedy. Granduncle of Stephen.
Had received classical education at the Jesuit School Dublin and then Philosophy at Douai before Ent 23 October 1632 Tournai
1634-1638 After First Vows he was sent to Bourges for Theology and was Ordained there c 1638
1638-1654 He was then sent to Ireland and Kilkenny where he taught Humanities. He became a member of a group who defended the “Supreme Council” against the “censures” issued by the Nuncio Rinuccini.
1654-1658 After the fall of Kilkenny he found his way back to Dublin but was arrested and deported, 1654, to Spain. With William Malone he found refuge at the Irish College, Seville where Malone was appointed Rector and Ussher himself, Prefect of Studies. On the death of Malone he was appointed Rector but the local Provincial refused to carry out the orders of the General and intruded a Spaniard in Ussher's place.
1658 Ussher sent back to Ireland and worked in Galway until Restoration, after which he came back to Dublin, and where he held various posts over a long period of time : Socius to the Mission Superior; Consultor of the Mission; Procurator of the Mission. He died in Dublin 07 December 1698 and was buried in St. Catherine's churchyard.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
USHER, JOHN. This Father was living in the early part of 1649, at Kilkenny : he was then 35 years old, of which he had spent 18 years in the Society. He was actually teaching Rhetoric. He was still living in the winter of 1663.

Walsh, James, 1824-1881, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2221
  • Person
  • 10 August 1824-14 October 1881

Born: 10 August 1824, Inistioge, County Kilkenny
Entered: 28 August 1854, Florissant MO, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)
Ordained: 1864
Final vows: 02 February 1872
Died: 14 October 1881, Chicago IL, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)

Part of the St Gall's Church, Sycamore Street, Milwaukee WI, USA community at the time of death

Ward, Maurice, 1619-1663, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2230
  • Person
  • 01 February 1612-02 November 1663

Born: 01 February 1612, County Donegal
Entered: 06 April 1646, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Ordained: Rome, Italy - pre Entry
Died: 02 November 1663, Galway Residence, Galway, City, County Galway

1649 Given at Galway
1650 Catalogue Taught Humanities, a Confessor and Catechist. Age 38

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Studied Humanities, Phiosophy and a little casuistry before Ent. He knew Latin, English, Irish and Italian.
After First Vows he taught Humanities for three years, and was a Confessor and Catechist (HIB CAT 1650 - ARSI)
He was a Writer, an “egregius et facilis Poeta”, and had taught Humanities, Poetry and Rhetoric.
A singularly good man, stationed in Galway.
Was of the Poet Clan of Tyrconnell, the “Mac an Bhaird”

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had studied and was Ordained at Irish College Rome. He returned to Ireland 1644 before Ent 06 April 1646 Kilkenny
1648 After First Vows he taught Poetry and Rhetoric class at the Galway School. he himself was a poet. In the Report of Mercure Verdier to the General he describes him as “egregius et facilis poeta”. In the disputes over the censures proclaimed by the Nuncio, Maurice took the Nuncio' s part but, as Verdier reported: “modestly and peaceably”. On the fall of Galway to the Puritans, Father Ward had to leave the city but managed to continue his missionary work nearby until the Restoration. The clergy of his native diocese availed themselves of his good offices in resolving a feud over the episcopal succession.
He died at Galway 02 November 1663

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Maurice Ward 1616-1663
Maurice Ward was a native of Tyrconnell, born in the early 17th century. He studied humanities, philosophy and casuistry in Rome. He entered the Society in Kilkenny in 1646.

In 1646 we find him living as chaplain to Sir Epharaim Brown in his house in Galway. He was very fluent in Irish, English, Latin and Italian. He was a facile poet and writer, though there is no exact account of his writings available.

He died young at Galway in 1663 at the age of 47, having been 17 years a Jesuit.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
WARD, MAURICE. When Pere Verdier visited Galway early in 1649, he found this young Jesuit living as Chaplain in the house of Sir Zepherin Brown, he describes him as “vir insigniter bonus et sincerus, egregius et facilis Pocta”. He died on the 2nd of November, 1663, aetatis 47. Soc. 17.

Welsh, John J, 1816-1885, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2237
  • Person
  • 31 December 1816-06 June 1885

Born: 31 December 1816, Thomastown, County Kilkenny
Entered: 23 November 1849, St John’s College, Fordham, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Final vows: 11 February 1860
Died: 06 June 1885, St Vincent’s Hospital, New York, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Part of the St Mary’s, Boston MA, USA community at the time of death

Whyte, Richard, 1824-1891, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2261
  • Person
  • 17 November 1824-14 July 1891

Born: 17 November 1824, Dunbell, County Kilkenny
Entered: 25 January 1855, Santa Clara CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)
Ordained: 1862
Final Vows:15 August 1875
Died: 14 July 1891, Xavier College, New York, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Came to HIB in 1869 to 1871 at Milltown Park and Clongowes

Young, John, 1589-1664, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2275
  • Person
  • 15 August 1589-13 July 1664

Born: 15 August 1589, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 13 May 1610, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1621, Louvain, Belgium
Final Vows: 14 July 1633
Died: 13 July 1664, Irish College, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)

Had studied Rhetoric before Entry then at Douai and Louvain
1655 In Irish College Rome (Fr Ferri being Rector)
1656-1660 Rector Irish College Rome (Bellarmino and Philip Roche are Consultors)
1662 John Young and William St Leger ask and obtain a papal indulgence for 100 Irish Jesuits (Arch Ir Col Rom XXVI 6)
Taught Humanities, Greek was Preacher, Superior, Master of Novices and Tertian Instructor
He wrote “Relationem de Civitate Corcagie et de Civicate Kilkennie” and “Libros Tres Militia Evangelicae” and “Vitam St Patrick Apostoli” and many other books.
His portrait was published in 1793 by William Richardson, Castle St, Leinster Sq, London

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Robert Yong and Beatrice née Sall or Sallan (Sallanus)
Studied Humanities in Flanders before Ent, and then in the Society two years Philosophy and four years Theology.
1624 Sent to Ireland. He knew Latin, Greek, Irish, English, French and some Italian.
He taught Humanities and Greek for eight years; Preacher and Confessor for thirty years; Director of BVM Sodality twenty years; Superior of various Residences eighteen years; Master of Novices at Kilkenny and Galway five years; Consultor of Mission five years; Vice-Superior of Mission one year. (HIB CAT 1650 - ARSI) also Master of Tertians
He devoted himself to the Irish Mission for thirty years, chiefly in Cork, Waterford and Galway. During the persecution, he frequently went to people’s houses disguised as a miller.
He laid the foundation for the Novitiate at Waterford (should be Kilkenny?). He had to move this Novitiate to Galway, on account of the advance of the rebel Parliamentary forces, and was soon compelled to go with his novices to Europe.
He was then made Rector of the Irish College in Rome, and he was in office for eight years, and died in Rome 13 July 1664 aged 75 (Tanners “Confessors SJ”)
Several of his letters are extant and interesting. Several to Fr General dated Kilkenny, 30 January 1647, 30 June 1648, 31 December 1648, 08 February 1649, 22 June 1649 describe the situation relating to the history of this period. Later there are two letters from Galway to Fr General, 20 April 1650 and 14 August 1650 (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS).
A Writer; A very holy Priest; He took a Vow to observe the Rules.
Mercure Verdier (Irish Mission Visitor reporting in 1649) described him as “a distinguished Preacher, and remarkable for every species of religious virtue”
Father General ordered his portrait to be taken after death and his panegyric to be preached in the Roman College

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Robert and Beatrice née Sall
Had made his classical education in Flanders before Ent 13 May 1610 Rome
1612-1617 After First Vows, because of ill health, he was sent to Belgium and Courtray (Kortrijk) for Regency where he taught Greek.
1617-1621 He was then sent for Philosophy at Antwerp and Theology at Louvain where he was Ordained 1621.
1621 Sent to Ireland and Cashel, Clonmel and Kilkenny - to the great regret of Lessius who had wanted him appointed as a Chair in Philosophy - where he devoted himself to teaching young people and giving missions.
For many years he was Superior at the Cork Residence
When the Novitiate opened in Kilkenny he was appointed Novice Master
1646-1647 During the inter-regnum that followed the resignation of Robert Nugent as Mission Superior he acted as Vice-Superior of the Irish Mission
1651-1656 When the invasion of Cromwell resulted in the closure of the Novitiate he went back to Rome, initially as Procurator of the Irish Mission (1651) and then sent as Spiritual Father of the Irish College (1652-1656) as well as Tertian Instructor in Romanae Province (ROM)
1656 Rector of Irish College Rome 24 February 1656 where he remained until he died in Office 13 July 1664
He died with the reputation of a Saint. Wonderful stories were told of the favours he received from God in prayer, and information as to his virtues was gathered in Ireland and forwarded to Rome as if it was intended to prepare his cause for beatification.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
John Young (1646-1647)
John Young, son of Robert Young and Beatrice Sall, was born at Cashel on 15th August, 1589. Having finished his classical studies in Flanders, he entered the Novitiate of Sant' Andrea in Rome on 13th May, 1610, but had to return to Belgium two years later on account of ill-health. In Belgium he taught Greek at Courtray, studied philosophy at Antwerp and theology at Louvain and distinguished himself so much that it was with great regret that Fr Leonard Lessius, who hoped to have him appointed to a chair of philosophy, learned that he was ordered to Ireland. Returning home in 1621, he devoted himself to the instruction of youth, and worked as a missioner in Cashel, Clonmel, and Kilkenny, and was for many years Superior of the Cork Residence. He was admitted to the solemn profession of four vows on 14th July, 1633. When the Novitiate was opened at Kilkenny he was appointed Master of Novices, and during the interregnum that followed the resignation of Fr Robert Nugent he acted as Vice-Superior of the Mission (1646-47). When the triumph of the Cromwellian arms dispersed the noviceship he was sent as Procurator of the Mission to Rome (1651). At Rome he was made Consultor and Spiritual Father of the Irish College (1652-56), and Instructor of the Tertians of the Roman Province. He became Rector of the Irish College on 24th February, 1656, and continued in that office till his death on 13th July, 1664. He died with the reputation of a saint. Wonderful stories were told of the favours he received from God in prayer,
and information as to his virtues was gathered in Ireland and forwarded to Rome, as if it was intended to prepare his cause for beatification.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father John Young 1589-1664
Fr John Yonge or Young was born in Cashel in 1589. He was the son of Robert Yonge and Beatrice Sall, being thus on his mother’s side a relative of the two Jesuits Andrew and James Sall. He became a Jesuit in Rome in 1610.

He was an accomplished linguist, numbering Latin, Greek, Irish, English, French and Italian among his languages. He taught Humanities for eight years and was a preacher and confessor for thirty, Director of the Sodality of Our Lady for twenty, Superior in various houses for eighteen, Master of Novices for five, Consultor of the Mission for five and Vice-Superior of the Mission for one year.

He laboured mainly in Cork, Waterford, Kilkenny and Galway. It was he who founded the noviceship in Kilkenny, reporting in 1647 that he had eleven novices, of whom four were priests, six were scholastics and one brother.

He used often penetrate into the houses of Catholics at the height of the persecution disguised as a miller. For him we are indebted for may letters on the state of the Mission. He also wrote a life of St Patrick.

In 1649 he was forced to move the novices to Galway and thence to the continent. He became Rector of the Irish College at Rome for eight years and finally died in 164 with the reputation of a saint and a thaumaturgus.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
YOUNG, JOHN. For thirty years this apostolic man devoted himself to the Irish Mission. The Counties of Cork, Waterford, and Galway, were the principal theatres of his labours. We learn from p.871 of Tanner’s Lives of the Confessors of the Society of Jesus, that this good Father frequently contrived, during the rage of persecution, to penetrate into the houses of the Catholics, in the disguise of a Miller. His spirit of discretion and experience, his eminence as a Preacher, his profound learning, his solid interior virtue, recommended him as the fittest person amongst his Brethren to lay the foundation of the Novitiate at Kilkenny; and no wonder, that under so great a master of Spiritual life, such Ornaments to their Country and Luminaries of Religion as FF. Stephen Rice, William Ryan, &c. &c. should have come forth. Pere Verdier reported him in 1649, to the General of the Order, as “Vir omnium Religiosarum virtutum genere insignis, et concionator egregius”. Obliged by the successful advance of the Parliamentary forces to remove his interesting Establishment from Kilkenny, he conducted it to the Town of Galway; but thence also he was compelled to emigrate with them to the Continent, where he saw himself under the necessity of drafting these dear children in various houses of the Society. Retiring to Rome, he presided over the Irish College there for eight years, and was rewarded with a happy death in that City, on the 13th of July, 1664, aet. 75, as I find it written under his beautifully engraved Portrait. A few original letters of this meritorious and saintly Father are still extant : some Extracts may afford pleasure to the reader.

  1. Dated from Kilkenny, the 30th of January, 1647 OS.
    “Our long expected Superior, P. Malone, by the blessing of God, is at last arrived. His coming was indeed welcomed by all; but, above all, by me, who have been sustaining the double burthen of the Novitiate and the Mission. Now, blessed be God, I am relieved of the care of superintending the Mission. With regard to the Novitiate, we have eleven Novices, of whom four are Priests, six are Scholastics, and one a Temporal Coadjutor. Domestic discipline and regular observance proceed in due course, as I flatter myself. I do trust in the Lord, that they will not degenerate from the primitive spirit of our Fathers. They are trained in the simplicity of obedience, in the despising of themselves and the World, in subduing their passions, renouncing self-will, in the practise of poverty, in the candid and unreserved manifestation of Conscience, in inward conversation and familiarity with God : and of these things, praise be to God, they are very capable and most eager. Nothing is omitted which the Rules prescribe for their formation in the spirit of the Society of Jesus”.

The 2nd is dated from Kilkenny, the 30th of June, 1618.
“The letters of your Rev. Paternity, bearing date the 24th of August, 1647, did not reach me until the 23rd of last month. Never since the memory of man have the affairs of this kingdom been in a more turbulent state than at present, by reason of the discord now prevailing between the Supreme Council and the Nuncio”.
He then states that the Supreme Council, in consequence of severe reverses of fortune during the Campaign, and the great want of ways and means, had concluded a Treaty for six months with Inchinquin, the General of the Enemy’s forces : that some of the Conditions were judged unfavourable to Ecclesiastical rights by the Nuncio, who signified his utter disapprobation, and threatened an interdict, unless the Truce was recalled within the space of nine days; that the Supreme Council appealed to the Holy See; but notwithstanding such appeal, the Nuncio had proceeded to carry his threat into execution; and that confusion and the worst species of civil hostilities were engendered between the parties.

In this and other letters, dated from Kilkenny, the 31st of December, 1648, the 8th of February, 1649, the 22nd of June, 1649, he enters into many details relating to the history of this sad and eventful period, and gives proof of his own quiet and meek spirit, of his tender regard for Charity and the interests of Religion.

From Galway the Rev. Father addressed two letters to the Gen. Piccolimini.

The first is dated the 20th of April, 1650 : he remarks on the bright prospect there was for the Irish Mission of the Society in Ireland but seven years ago; what a wide field was opened for extending the glory of God, and procuring the salvation of souls; that several cities had petitioned for Colleges of the Order, and that competent foundations* had been offered and some accepted; that the small number of labourers for such an abundant harvest of souls (for they hardly amounted to sixty for the whole of Ireland, nam vix sexayinta in toto regno fuimus) induced them to apply for powers to admit Novices at home, who being instructed in virtue and afterwards in learning, might succeed us, most of whom are advanced in years, in the work of the Ministry. The necessary permission was obtained; it was confirmed and increased afterwards, and the Novitiate had prosperously maintained its course during the last four years “et Novitiatus hoc quadriennio prosper suum cursum tenuit”. But as nothing is stable in human affairs, during the last year the Establishment was disturbed by the din of arms and by the assault of the Parliamentary forces, insomuch that a transmigration to Galway had become necessary. Every day the political horizon grew darker, and the panic and despair of the confederated Chiefs portended the worst consequences to the Country. He adds, “For the more advanced of our Brethren we are not so concerned; for they are prepared by age and the long exercise of virtues to meet the brunt and storm of Persecution : but for the Juniors, as for so many unfledged young from the hovering Kite, we are all solicitude”. After earnestly consulting Almighty God, and deliberating with the Fathers of Galway and its neighbourhood, he states, that it was unanimously resolved to send the young men abroad as soon as possible, trusting in God and in the accustomed charity of the Society, that provision would be made for them. He finishes by saying, “My bowels are moved with the danger impending on those whom I have begotten in Christ; for, as their Master of Novices, I have brought them forth with the anxiety of a mother. I now commend and commit them to your Rev. Paternity, that they may be distributed and accepted through the Provinces; hear, I implore you, my good Father, this first petition of their very poor Mother; I do not say, my Petition; but of this declining Mission; because Satan waxes fierce and cruel, intent on extinguishing the spark which is left, and on leaving us no name or remainder upon the earth”. (2 Kings, xiv. 70.)

The second letter is dated the 14th of August, 1650. After briefly adverting to the successes of the Puritan Factions, and the atrocities and sacrileges which marked their triumphant progress, he says, that he will take the first safe opportunity of shipping off his dear Novices to the Continent, and conjures the General to exercise his tender charity towards these interesting Exiles.

  • Amongst these benefactors (we have already noticed the greatest, Elizabeth Nugent, Countess of Kildare, who died on the 26th of October, 1645) we must particularize Dr. Thomas Dease, Bishop of Meath; Mr. Edmund Kirwan and his relation Francis Kirwan, Bishop of Killala (his Lordship had obtained to be admitted into the Society “pro hora mortis”, and was buried in the Jesuits Church at Rennes); and Thomas Walsh, Archbishop of Cashell, who died in exile at Compostella. The Supreme Council had also engaged in 1645. to erect a new University, to be under the charge of the Jesuits, as also to found a College under the name of Jesus.