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10 Name results for Kurseong

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Burns, Stephen, 1907-1991, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/975
  • Person
  • 02 April 1907-22 March 1991

Born: 02 April 1907, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 01 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 21 November 1937, Kurseong, West Bengal, India
Professed: 02 February 1941
Died: 22 March 1991, Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, India - Madurensis Province (MDU)

Transcribed HIB to TOLO : 1926; TOLO to MDU

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Mungret student; Went to Madurai Mission 1926

Daly, Charles, 1904-1991, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/652
  • Person
  • 19 September 1904-06 August 1991

Born: 19 September 1904, Brogeen Mills, Coolacoosane, Kanturk, County Cork
Entered: 31 August 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1940, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 06 August 1991, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Father was a merchant. Mother died during his first year Novitiate in 1924.

Second eldest of three boys with one sister.

Early education at the National School Kanturk, and then to PBC Cork. At age 15 he went to Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1930 third wave Hong Kong Missioners - Regency
by 1937 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1938 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
by 1944 at Xavier, Park St, Calcutta, West Bengal, India (BEL M)

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Charles Daly S.J.

Father Charles Daly, SJ, died suddenly on the evening of Monday, 6 August 1991, at Wah Yan College, Wanchai.

He was born in Kanturk, Ireland, in 1904.

Father Daly, who was 87 at the time of his death, was best known as a teacher and an instructor of those preparing for Baptism. He taught for 51 years, almost all of the time in one school, Wah Yan College Hong Kong.

Having first arrived in Hong Kong in October 1929, he belonged to the pioneer group of Jesuits who first arrived here. When he arrived no Jesuit institutions had yet been set up.

While still a scholastic, he set about learning Cantonese, first in Canton and then in Shiuhing, which was part of the Portuguese Jesuit mission and a city associated with Father Matteo Ricci.

He returned to his native Ireland for theology and ordination and on his return to Hong Kong as a priest in 1937 he was assigned to teach Church history and philosophy at the South China Regional Seminary in Aberdeen.

During the following two years, 1939-1941, while in charge of the Jesuit language school at Tailamchung in the New Territories, Father Daly found time to compile and publish a Cantonese Missionary Handbook. It later went into a second edition.

After the Japanese attack on Hong Kong in December 1941, Father Daly first worked at the Precious Blood Convent in Shamshuipo, Kowloon. A shell struck the hospital, killing many people and doing great damage.

In March 1942, Father Daly crossed over to the mainland and worked with Maryknoll missionaries in Guangxi (Kuangsai) Province, walking 300 miles to get there. Later he moved on to India and taught for a time at the Jesuit Theologate at Kurseong, in northeast India.

When the Pacific War ended in 1945, he was recalled to Hong Kong and in 1946 began his long association with Wah Yan College. There, with the exception of one year at the Sacred Heart School in Canton, he continued to teach until almost the end of his long life.

In addition, up to only a few years ago, he crossed the harbour every Sunday for a full morning of pastoral work in a parish.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 16 August 1991

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Charles first arrived as a Regent in Hong Kong in October 1929. he belonged to the pioneer group of Irish Jesuits who arrived there in the late 1920s. he learned Cantonese first in Canton and then in Shiuhing.

After his Regency he returned to Ireland for Theology and was Ordained there.
He returned to Hong Kong in 1937 and was sent to teach Church History and Philosophy at the regional Seminary in Aberdeen.
1939-1941 He was in charge oft the Jesuit Language School at Tai Lam Chung in the Northern territories, ad he compiled and published a Cantonese Missionary Handbook.
After the Japanese attack on Hong Kong in December 1941, he first worked at the Precious Blood Convent in Sham Shui Po. In March 1942 he crossed over to mainland China and worked with the Maryknoll Missionaries in Guangxi Province. He later moved to India, where he taught at the Jesuit Theologate at Kurseong. In 1946 he returned to Hong Kong and began his long association with Wah Yan Colleg Hong Kong.
He was noted for not only getting the weaker students through their examinations, but also for the large number he instructed for baptism. In later years he also taught at St Luke’s College nearby, where he prepared even more students for baptism. Interestingly he never performed the baptism ceremonies himself.

He taught English and Religious Knowledge for 51 years at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.

Note from Mattie Corbally Entry
By 1939 he was sent to Hong Kong for Regency and studied Cantonese under Fr Charles Daly (who authored a Dictionary of Cantonese Chinese).

◆ The Clongownian, 1992


Father Charles Daly SJ

Charlie Daly, as he was always known by, came to Clongowes from Kanturk and on finishing his schooling entered the Jesuit noviceship in Tullabeg on 31 August 1922. The Civil War was then raging, so few trains were running and Charlie had to make part of his journey there by side-car. For his first year in Tullabeg he had as his Master of Novices Fr Michael Browne (OC 1872-74) who gave him a deep love of prayer and probably intensified his native bent towards austerity. After University degree and philosophy he sailed for Hong Kong in 1929. By the time he was due to return to Ireland for his theology he had attained a firm grasp of Cantonese. On his return to Hong Kong after his ordination he was appointed - Minister in the Regional Seminary for South China, Aberdeen. Here he showed the strong apostolic bent that marked his whole life by caring for the corporal and spiritual needs of the fisher folk living on or near the shore of his seminary peninsula. Next he took over as director of Chinese Studies in the language school.

His adventures and apostolic work during the Japanese attack on Hong Kong are told in Fr Tom Ryan's “Jesuits under Fire in the Siege of Hong Kong: 1941 (London 1945). In March 1942 he went “up country” into China and worked with Maryknoll missionaries in the Kwangin Province, walking three hundred miles to get there. Later he moved on to India where he taught for some time in the Jesuit theologate at Kerseong. When the Pacific War ended he was recalled to Hong Kong where he began his long association with Wah Yan, teaching there with intense vigour until failing strength deprived him of his classes. His first love was teaching religious knowledge. By temperament and conviction he would have preferred direct apostolic work and it was in that spirit that he taught his religious knowledge classes with impressive results: over the years he prepared hundreds for baptism, winning for himself the nickname “The Hound of Heaven”.

Sunday brought him to no respite: at an early hour he would set off to a distant Kwun Tong parish in that industrial suburb, spending the whole morning celebrating Mass, preaching and hearing confessions, Even when he had to give up teaching after fifty-one years in the classroom, he kept up his heavy Sunday morning apostolate until he was too feeble to continue it when well on in his eighties.

He was able to attend community meals to the end though he lived largely on bread. On the morning of August 6 he was in cheerful form; at dinner he was silent, but there was nothing to suggest a crisis. Half an hour later the nurse who visited him twice a day found him in a state of complete collapse and by the time the ambulance team arrived they could find no sign of life.

He was just short of his 87th birthday.

(Abridged from account by Fr Alan Birmingham.)

Donnelly, Leo, 1903-1999, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/595
  • Person
  • 09 August 1903-31 January 1999

Born: 09 August 1903, Rutland Square, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1920, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1934, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1938, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 31 January 1999, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Sacred Heart, Limerick community at the time of death.

Younger brother of Don Donnelly - RIP 1975

Father was a doctor in Dublin and parents nbow live at Kilbarrack House, Raheny, Dublin

Younger of two boys (brother in the Society) and two girls.

Educated at Belvedere College SJ from age 5 and remained there for twelve years.

1942-1946 Second World War Chaplain.

by 1923 at Lyon, France (LUGD) studying
by 1936 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1952 in Australia
by 1956 at St Albert’s Seminary, Ranchi India (RAN) teaching

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926

Mr Leo Donnelly has already commenced his career as an author by the publication of a small but very readable and interesting book entitled “The Wonderful; Story of the Atom”. It is meant to cater for the popular taste, and does so admirably. Possibly, in a few places, it may be a little too technical and learned for those not initiated into the mysteries of modern science.

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 21st Year No 4 1946

Fr. Leo Donnelly, St. Mary's College, Kurscong, D. H. Ry, India, 24-8-46 :
“Fr. Rector here and the Community received me very kindly and are doing their best to make me feel at home. I left Southampton on July 25th and reached Bombay on August 10th after an uneventful voyage. There were two other Jesuits on board : Fr. Humbert of the Aragon Province for the Bombay Mission, and Fr. Shields, a Scotsman. for the Madura Mission. Fr. Shields was an Army officer in the first war and an R.A.F. chaplain in the second. In addition there were seven Redemptorists : the Provincial and another priest and five students en route for Bangalore. Don met me at Bombay and brought me to Bandra, where I spent a week. He introduced me to his ten Chinese candidates. They are certainly splendid boys, industrious, serious-minded, but withal very cheery. At Calcutta I met the eleventh candidate, a medical student who is returning to Hong Kong where he will either complete his course or apply for admission to the Society, immediately, as the Superior decides. He has been held up since May, but hopes to leave on August 31st. The riots in Calcutta delayed me for two days, as Sealdha Station (from which the Darjeeling Mail leaves) was a centre of disturbance and was unapproachable. In the end I got a military lorry to take me. It will take some time adequately to prepare myself for my job here, but I suppose allowances will be made for my lack of ‘Wissenschaft’.”

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Fr. Leo Donnelly who has been offered to the Vice province of Australia, completed his course at Kurseong recently (he was professor of Church History) and sailed on the SANGOLA for Hong Kong on 10th September. “As it proves impossible”, he writes, “to secure a passage direct to Australia within reasonable time, Fr. Austin Kelly has given me permission to travel via Hong Kong. It was quite easy to book a passage to that port, and Fr. Howatson has booked a berth for me from there to Melbourne. Needless to say, I am delighted at the chance of seeing the Mission, even if I am not to stay there. The ship for Australia will not sail till near the end of October, so that I shall not be at Fr. Kelly's disposal till sometime in November. This, however, is quicker than waiting for a direct passage”.

Fr. Donnelly's name was published in the London Gazette on 8th November, 1945, as mentioned in a Despatch for distinguished service as Army Chaplain. The document from the Secretary of State for War recording His Majesty's high appreciation was not received till early in September, 1948.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

On 6th November Fr. Daniel O'Connell, of the Vice province, who during his stay in Ireland gave evidence in Fr. Sullivan's cause, left Southampton for U.S.A. on 6th November. Fr. Leo Donnelly reached Sydney by air from Hong Kong (on his way from India to Australia) on 16th November ; after a week's stay he resumed his journey to Melbourne where he was welcomed by Fr. Provincial; he is doing temporary work at St. Ignatius Richmond until the status when he will be assigned to one of the Colleges.

Irish Province News 52nd Year No 2 1977

Calcutta Province

Extract from a letter from a Jesuit of Calcutta Province, Darjeeling Region (Fr. Edward Hayden, St. Joseph's College, North Point, Darjeeling, Western Bengal)

I was one of the old “Intermediate” boys of the Christian Brothers, Carlow. I left off in 1910, 67 years ago, at the end of June. Yes, we learnt the Gaeilge. The Brothers - or some I met, one in particular, a Brother Doyle, was very keen on it. The others didn't teach it as it was only in the “Academy” that they began with languages: French, Gaeilge, Algebra, Euclid and of course English. (5th Book - Senior Elementary Class - was followed by the “Academy”). The Brothers had dropped Latin just before I joined the “Academy”. We were living at a distance of 5 Irish miles from Carlow, and I was delicate, so I often fell a victim of 'flu, which didn't help me to make progress in studies - made it very hard: but at that time the rule was “do or die”. There was only one excuse for not having home work done – you were dead! That was the training we had: it stood me in good stead through life; it is the one thing I am grateful for.
We had a number of Irishmen here, a handful: Fr Jos Shiel, Mayo, died in Patna. Fr James Comerford, Queen's County, died in Bihar. I met the Donnelly brothers, they were Dubliners. The one who died (Don) was Editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger. Many of his stories were about horse-racing - he must have read plenty of Nat Gould when he was a boy! (Nat wrote a number of horse-racing stories supposed to have been in Australia). There are three Irishmen in Ranchi: Frs Donnelly, Phelan and Lawlor. Fr Phelan has spent nearly his whole life in India. As a boy he was in North Point, and after his Senior Cambridge he joined the Society. At that time there was only the Missio Maior Bengalensis of the Belgian Province. The Mission took in half or more of north-east India - Patna, Ranchi and south of it, Assam, Bhutan and Sikkim - an area four or five times that of Ireland! Needless to say, there were parts of it which had no SJ within a hundred miles ...Down here in the Terai where I am “hibernating” out of the cold of Darjeeling, some forty-five years ago there was no priest. One or two of the professors of theology from Kurseong, some 40 miles away, used to visit this district at Christmas and Easter. It was very malarious. Catholics from Ranchi came here to work on the tea plantations. Then a Jesuit was sent to reside in it. Now the district has schools and Jesuits galore, also non-Jesuits. Great progress has been made. The Salesians took up Assam, the American SJs took over Patna. The Northern Belgians took over Ranchi and the Southern Belgians took Calcutta. (The Belgian Province grew till its numbers reached 1400. Then, about 1935, Belgian separated into Flemings - North - and Walloons - South). Ranchi was given to the North and Calcutta to the South. On the 15th August last year (1976) Calcutta was raised from being a Vice Province to be a full-blown Province. 100% of those joining the SJ now are sons of India. Madura in the south has been a Province for years. Nearly all the Europeans are dead: no more are allowed to come permanently unless for a very, very special reason, India has begun to send her sons to East Africa in recent years.
Fr Lawlor is Irish-born but somehow joined the Australian Province about the time it started a half-century or so ago.
Brother Carl Kruil is at present in charge of an ashram: a place for destitutes, in Siliguri. Silguri is a city which grew up in the last forty years around the terminus of the broad gauge railway and the narrow (two-foot) toy railway joining the plains with Darjeeling - one of the most wonderful lines in the world, rising from 300 feet above sea-level, 7,200 feet in about 50 miles and then dropping down to about 5,500 feet in another ten. Three times it loops the loop and three times climbs up by zig-zags. I seem to remember having met Fr Conor Naughton during the war. Quite a number of wartime chaplains came to Darjeeling. The mention of Siliguri set me off rambling. Br Krull remembers his visit to Limerick. (He stayed at the Crescent, 11th 13th June, 1969). He is a born mechanic. Anything in the line of machinery captivates him. He has to repair all the motors and oil engines – some places like this have small diesel generators which have to be seen to from time to time and all other kinds of machinery: cameras, typewriters etc. At present he comes here to do spot welding (electric welding of iron instead of bolts and nuts.
The PP, here is replacing an old simple shed with a corrugated iron roof by a very fine one with brick walls and asbestos-cement roof. Two years ago or so, the roof was lifted by a sudden whirlwind clean off the wooden pillars on which it rested. Since then he has been saying the Sunday Masses on the veranda of a primary school. In this school 235 children receive daily lessons and a small mid-day meal. The Sisters are those of St. Joseph of Cluny – all from South India. They are really heroines: no work is too difficult for them. They do all their own work and cook for us. Their Vice-Provincial is from somewhere in the centre of the “Emerald Gem”. They are growing in numbers and do great work, running a dispensary amongst other things. The church is very broad, approximately 90 by 60 feet. As no benches are used - people sit on the floor - it will hold nearly 450 people at a time. The altar is in one corner. :
Fr Robert Phelan (Ranchi Province) had a visit one night from dacoits (armed robbers), but with help managed to beat them off.
Ranchi had several of these raids last year. In nearly every case the dacoits managed to get some cash.
One night about two weeks ago a rogue elephant (one that is wild and roaming away from the herd) came to a small group of houses close by. A man heard the noise and came out. The elephant caught him by the leg and threw him on to a corn stack - fortunately. The corn stack of rice waiting to be thrashed was quite broad and flat on top! He was very little the worse for the experience. And that is the end of the news.
One more item: please ask the new Editor of the Irish Province News to let me have copies as (?) and send them by overland (surface mail). Even if they are three months coming, they will be news. God bless you and reward you handsomely.
Yours in our Lord,
Edward Hayden, SJ (born 15th October 1893, entered S.J. 1st February 1925, ordained 21st November 1933, took final vows on 2nd February 1936. Now conf. dom. et alumn. and script. hist. dom. at the above address).

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999

Fr Leo Donnelly (1903-1999)

9th Aug. 1903: Born in Dublin.
Early education at Belvedere College.
1st Sept. 1920: Entered the society at Tullabeg.
2nd Sept. 1922: First vows at Tullabeg.
1922 - 1923: Fourvière, start of Juniorate
1923 - 1926: Rathfarnham, study science at UCD
1926 - 1927: Milltown Park, study philosophy
1927 - 1928: Pullach / München
1928 - 1931: Belvedere, teaching
1931 - 1935: Milltown Park, study theology
31st July 1934: Ordained at Milltown Park
1935 - 1936: Tertianship at St. Beuno's
1936 - 1941: Belvedere, teacher, games master
1941 - 1946: British Army chaplain (England, France, Germany) Crescent College, teacher
1946 - 1948; St. Mary's, Kurseong, teacher of church history
1949 - 1950: Newman College, Melbourne & St. Patrick's College, teacher
1950 - 1954: Holy Name Seminary, N.Z., teacher of philosophy
1954 - 1981: St. Albert's College, Ranchi, teacher of philosophy and church history
1981 - 1999: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick, church work

Fr. Donnelly was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in September 1998. He had recently become frail and needed treatment for leg ulcers. He remained reasonably well and mobile up to mid-January. He was admitted to St. Vincent's Private Hospital on 24th January 1999 for investigation and was due to return to Cherryfield Lodge on the 31st, but died peacefully early on the morning of the 31st January 1999 at the hospital.

Father Leo Donnelly was born in Dublin on August 9, 1903 and died there in a private hospital on January 31, 1999. He had his early education at Belvedere College in Dublin too. He was, therefore, a truly Dublin Irish-bred Jesuit for the whole of his life. He entered the Society on September 1, 1920, and pronounced his First Vows there on September 2, 1922. His studies brought him in contact with much of Western Europe's culture: juniorate at Fourviere, philosophy at Pullach, Munchen and back to Ireland for Theology. He displayed his talents for sports during his six years teaching at Belvedere. Enlisted in the army in 1941, he took part in the Normandy landing on the second day of the offensive. Six years of roving with army units developed in him a liking for adventure. After the war he looked for wider horizons: Ireland was too small for his dreams. We find him successively as professor of Church History at St. Mary's, Kurseong; teaching at Newman College, and St. Patrick's College, Melbourne; professor of philosophy at Holy Name seminary in New Zealand; till he finally landed at St. Albert's College, Ranchi for a long spell of 27 years (1954-1981). There he had been teaching philosophy, Church History and Science. In 1981 he returned to Ireland and resided at Limerick where for some years he exercised priestly ministry. He fell sick towards the end of 1998 and died peacefully at St. Vincent's Private Hospital on January 31, 1999.


I have known Father Leo only when I joined the staff of St. Albert's in 1962. Father L. Donnelly belongs to that large group of Jesuits who are steady workers, fulfilling their tasks quietly and conscientiously, who make no noise and are not in the limelight, yet have a great impact because they are fine religious men.

Not withstanding his keen intelligence and vast knowledge, he was a truly humble man, aware of his limitations. He never spoke about his past achievements, but acknowledged and appreciated the success of others. He had a deep faith, firmly rooted in his Irish past; sober, not too ostentatious, but ardent and apostolic. Being a fiery Irish nationalist, he would never fail to celebrate the Mass of St. Patrick, Sunday or no Sunday, Lent or no Lent. That day he would appear at breakfast proudly displaying the three-leafed clover freshly received from Ireland. He was a regular visitor of the Irish Sisters at Loreto Convent, Doranda. He led a life of poverty and his room was rather bare. He often gave to the poor the little he had. He showed a keen interest in the life of the church. His liturgical and biblical education, however, did not keep pace with Vatican II, and he would often censure persons in Rome who dared to tamper with the liturgy, abandoned cherished prayers and novenas. He could really get excited when the conversation turned to those new-fangled” ideas of some biblical scholars, who then got rough treatment from him. He found it difficult to adapt himself to the changes in the Society during Father Arrupe's generalate. Yet he remained totally loyal to the Church. In the sixties and seventies, he used to give regular monthly instructions in Manresa House, Ranchi to all the Jesuits of the neighbourhood, an ungrateful task to such a critical audience.

He was a very prayerful person. One of his chief preoccupations was to instill in the Seminarians, especially in those who went to him for spiritual direction, a taste of prayer, and helped them to lead a life of solid virtue. He would often give meditation points, especially on the mystery of the rosary in the month of October. He often meditated with them in the philosophate chapel. With his students he was kindness itself, very understanding and encouraging. He kept a regular correspondence with so many of his old students. After his return to Ireland he often inquired from me how his former students were faring, and also about the seminary and the Church in India.

He was a great lover of sports, and he could get excited when the philosophers did not play football as well. He was impatient with a referee who whistled too many off-sides. In a hushed voice he would give the team a tip on how to win the match. “You know what you have to do to win?” he would ask. The magic reply to their question then came. “You have to score!” Like his elder brother he was a lover of horses. On the day of the great derby in Ireland, he would be glued to the radio so as not to miss any word of the commentary. One of his distractions was a game of bridge with some colleagues.

As a teacher he was rather dry and monotonous. The students found it difficult to understand his Irish accent. He was not gifted for languages and his Hindi was restricted to a few words.
This is only a glimpse of Fr. Leo Donnelly's personality, a very likable, intelligent, kind and generous person. “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.”

Flor Jonkheere


When I came back to the Crescent in 1990, I met Fr. Leo Donnelly for the first time. He was then well into his 80's. He had returned to Ireland after over 25 years as a lecturer in Church History in a Jesuit Seminary in Ranchi, India. He was posted to the Church here as operarius. After a while I noticed that he never read the Limerick Leader or the Limerick Chronical. His vision was wider. Every day he spent much time after breakfast reading the national papers. He often wrote to the Prime Minister of England or to government ministers at home. He pointed out mistakes that they were making and told them how things should be done. I discovered that he was born in Rutland (now Parnell) Square in Dublin, around the corner from Belvedere. Belvedere was in his blood, you might say. He was a very independent character and this showed itself early in life. As a young boy he was brought out early one evening by his nurse-maid. In Parnell Street she met a friend of hers and stopped for a chat. Leo quietly slipped his hand loose and ran home. He stood up on the mud scraper and rang the bell. His mother answered the door.

“What brought you home Leo?” she said, “Oh”" said Leo, “the nurse met a friend and stopped for a chat. I had no interest in their conversation so I thought I would come home and not waste my time”.

Because Leo had a brother Don in Belvedere his mother managed to persuade the Rector to take Leo also, although he was not yet the required age. He did well at school but always in the shadow of his brother Don whom he idolised. After school he entered the Jesuits. He followed the normal course of studies but went on the continent for two periods. He picked up a good knowledge of spoken French and some German. He did his regency in Belvedere where he trained a junior rugby team which won the Leinster Junior Schools cup. From time to time we were to learn of this in the Crescent. "Bertie" was the nick-name given to him by the boys. This name in brackets was given in the announcements of his death in the newspapers, at his own request. After ordination he was again sent to Belvedere. Then he was appointed Chaplain to the British Forces and landed on the Normandy beaches on “D” Day. While stationed in a small town in Normandy, he was invited to lunch by a local countess who had a very pretty daughter. On walking down the street with them he noticed the young officers eyeing him with envy as he chatted away in French with the two ladies. He had a twinkle in his eye as he told us of this incident. He later spent a year in Australia, then in New Zealand, before being appointed to India, as I have already mentioned.

As a man he was very fixed in his ideas. He did not take kindly to many of the changes made after the second Vatican Council. He had a bias against anything American. He was a very pleasant person to live and had many worthy stories. Belvedere always remained a big part of his life. He did not interest himself in the local scene in Limerick. In India he was not, it seemed to me, that interested in the way of life of the people and never learned any Indian dialect. To use an old fashioned word, he was very edifying in his life style. Mass at 6.30a.m. every morning. Altar prepared the previous night. A simple room and a regular prayer life. He was a “fear ann féin”!!

Seán Ó Duibhir

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1986
The Travelling Donnellys

Don Donnelly SJ (1915) died in 1975 after a varied life in a different world. His brother Leo (1920), now in Sacred Heart Church Limerick, sends this report which he calls “The Travelling Donnellys”:

The older, Donal or Don (later Latinised into Daniel or Dan), Belvedere 1903-1915, was always first in his class. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1919 after taking his MSc in UCD After two years in Tullabeg, Rahan, he went for Philosphy to Valkenburg, Holland, with the German Jesuits expelled from Germany by Bismarck. After three years teaching in Clongowes, he studied Theology in Innsbruck, Austria. Ordained in Dublin in 1929, he spent a year in Rome attached to the Jesuit Mission Secretariat. Then, after Tertianship in North Wales, he sailed for Hong Kong in July 1932.

Having learnt the Cantonese version of Chinese mainly with the Portuguese Jesuits in Shiu Hing, he worked as Headmaster of Wah Yan College in Hong Kong until the second World War broke out. No more Scholastics would come from Ireland, so the house intended for their Language School was vacant, and was utilised as a Minor Seminary for boys intending to become Jesuits. Don was put in charge. Then, on 8th December 1941 the Japanese invaded and occupied Hong Kong. The Irish Jesuits, as neutrals, were not interned. So, after things had quietned down, Don made his way into Free China with a dozen of the “Little Lads”. He settled down with the American Maryknoll Fathers at Tanchuk. Alas, a year orso later, the Americans began to construct an airfield nearby. Whereupon the Japanese Army made a drive to occupy that part of China as well, so the Maryknoll Minor Seminary had to be abandoned.

With his charges Don made an adventurous journey westwards by antiquated train, up turbulent rivers in over-crowded boats, and finally up steep mountain roads in delapidated trucks, ending in Kunming, the Capital of Yunnan Province, the nearest to India. To Kunming the Allies were bringing supplies by air over the “Hump” for the Chinese Army of Chiang Kai Chek. The planes were returning empty to India, so Don succeded in getting passage for himself and the twelve boys. Eventually they settled in St Stanislaus School, Bandra, Bombay. When the war was over and the older boys had completed their matriculation, the party returned to Hong Kong by sea.

Don went on to Canton, now liberated, to act as Headmaster in the Archbishop's school. But all too soon the Communists took over the whole of China, and Don was on his travels again. He asked to return to India and worked in Bombay for twenty five years as Headmaster in various schools until his death of a stroke in 1975.

The younger brother, Diarmuid Leo (the second name was always used) Belvedere 1908 - 1920 was never first in his class. He entered the Jesuits straight from school. After two years in Tullabeg, he was sent for a year to study Humanities in France. Then after three years Science in UCD, he began Philosophy in Milltown Park. However, owing to illness, a colleague returned to Ireland and, to replace him, Leo was transferred to Pullach-bei-München in Germany.

There followed three years teaching and coaching Rugby in Belvedere. Then, after Theology and Tertianship he returned to Belvedere to teach Mathematics as a side-line to coaching Rugby.
In September 1941 he was appointed Chaplain in the British Army. He spent nearly three years in various posts in Great Britain, then transferred to Normandy on D-day. Always remaining safely behind the lines, he ended the war in Ostend, Belgium. Shortly after he was appointed to the Irish Guards in Germany, and was demobbed early in 1946.

On suggestion oF his brother he was appointed Professor of Church History in Kurseong, the Theologate of the Jesuits in India, situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, After a little over two years, he was transferred to Australia, visiting Hong Kong on the way. There followed one year in Newman College, Melbourne, and then five years in the Holy Name Minor Seminary, Christchurch, New Zealand

The Belgian Jesuits in India were having difficulty in securing Visas for new blood from Belgium, so a “swop” was arranged. Leo went to Ranchi, Bihar, India, while a Belgian went to the Irish Jesuit Mission in Zambia. Leo remained as Professor of Philosophy in the Regional Seminary, Ranchi for twenty six years, and finally returned to Ireland in 1981.

(Editor: Fr. Leo forgets to mention something about his 1938 SCT...)

Indekeu, Jean B, 1905-1984, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/733
  • Person
  • 21 March 1905-21 December 1984

Born: 21 March 1905, Neeroeteren, Limburg, Belgium
Entered: 23 September 1923, St Francis Xavier, Arlon, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 21 November 1936, Kurseong, Darjeeling, India
Final Vows: 02 February 1941
Died: 21 December 1984, Pastorij Dormall, Halle-Booienhoven, Belgium - Flanders Province (BEL S)

by 1956 came to Chikuni N Rhodesia (HIB) working 1956-1970

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Jean (or John as we called him) Indekeu was born in the northern part of Belgium on 21 March 1905 of Jacques and Francine (nee Janssen). He went to the Jesuit College in Turnhout and, at the age of 18, he entered the Society in the novitiate at Arlon for the North Belgian Province. His first year of juniorate was at Drongen (1925/26) and the second year was his military service (1926/27). Early on his was destined for the missions and so at 23 years of age he began his philosophy in the south of India (1928-30) at Shembaganur (Madurai).

Afterwards he did his regency in Ranchi (1931-33) and his theology at Kurseong in Darjeeling Province (1934-38) where he was ordained in 1936. His tertianship was in Ranchi (1938). He taught for a while in the college there. After a number of years in ministry it seems that he clashed with the authorities in some development work he was involved in and was obliged to leave the country. Although an extrovert and an affable person, his natural reserve did not lead him to talk about it.

In 1955 he came to Northern Rhodesia with Fr. Tom O’Brien and scholastics Michael Kelly and Michael Tyrrell. They were among the first batch of missionaries to come by air and the journey from London took almost five days via Marseilles – Malta – Wadi Halfa (now under the Aswan Dam) – Mersa Matruh (north Egypt) – Nairobi – Ndola – and finally to Lusaka.

John went immediately with the others to learn Tonga under Fr Paddy Cummins in Chivuna. Although he found the language difficult, he used to take great care with his homilies and often sought local assistance. After a brief stay in Chikuni he headed to Kasiya where he opened up new Mass centres almost as far away as Namwala. He also made welcome additions to the facilities of the house. In 1958 he was sent to Choma where initially he used a camp bed in the sacristy until he got the house up. He furnished the Church and also went to build the neat little Church in Kalomo. He always excelled at putting up well designed Churches and took care with the décor and vestments which you could see even in his own personal appearance with his well trimmed beard and immaculate but not expensive clothes.

He was pulled back to Charles Lwanga TTC as minister and bursar where he looked after the brethren well. Later the first provincial, Fr John Counihan used to tell the story of how, as he was being transferred to Monze, went into to John and asked him where the week-end refreshments appeared in the books, which he had carefully scrutinized but failed to locate. Fr Indekeu replied laconically ‘Look under jam’. He took good care of the community and was an amiable support to some of the younger men who found the missionary life difficult at times. During this time his real solace, as he says himself, was the weekend supplies in Mazabuka where he was duly missioned together with Frs Tom O’Meara and Vinnie Murphy. He was largely responsible for the well designed town Church, as well as for the Churches at Nega Nega and Magoye. He was involved also in helping in the construction of the community houses of both the Sisters’ and Brothers’ schools.

While next on leave he became anxious about his aging mother who was then 97 years old. On his return he lived in St Ignatius in Lusaka and worked in the small township that sprang up with the building of the Kafue Gorge Dam. He was able to get suitable plots for Church and parish house as a result of his good relations with the international construction team, especially with the French engineers. He also worked with Fr Prokoph on the Luwisha House project and when he returned back to Belgium in 1972, at 67 years of age, he sourced substantial funds to cover the cost of its chapel.

He was in pastoral ministry for a number of years in Dormaal but he never forgot his time in Zambia. A couple of years before his death on 21 December 1984 a donation of a thousand pounds came for the Province library.

McLoughlin, Thomas J, 1886-1963, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1729
  • Person
  • 25 October 1886-12 June 1963

Born: 25 October 1886, Clifden, County Galway/ New Ross, County Wexford
Entered: 07 September 1904, Tullabeg
Ordained: 15 August 1919, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1922
Died: 12 June 1963, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Father was manager of the National Bank in Clifden and theb in 1891 was transferred to New Ross, County Wexford, where he died in 1896.. His mother who is now provided for by private means now lives in London.

One of two sisters and three brothers.

Early education Convent of Mercy New Ross, and then went to the Christian Brothers there, followed by a time at the Augustinian College there. In January 1901 he went to Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1909 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1911
by 1918 at The Seminary, Kandy, Sri Lanka Mission (BELG) teaching at Seminary
by 1921 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Tom McLoughlin was educated at CBC Wexford until he went to Clongowes Wood, Dublin, 1901-04. He entered the Irish noviciate at Tullabeg, 7 September 1904, and continued with his juniorate studies at the same place, 1904-06. His philosophy was at Louvain, 1908-11, before regency at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, 1911-16, where he taught and was third prefect. He directed the junior debating and was master-in-charge of the library Theology followed at Kurseorag, Kandy, and Milltown Park, 1916-20. Tertianship was at Tronchiennes .
McLoughlin returned to Australia to teach and was first prefect and rowing master at Riverview, 1921-25. He was not suited to the office of first prefect because he was not the man to insist on discipline with the tact and authority of one more suited to that work. His only interest in games was that Riverview was playing, and he wanted them to win.
He was sent to St Patrick’s College, 1925-35, where he taught French. During this time he also edited the “Patrician”. He was considered a good teacher, making French easy and entertaining for students. His classes were delivered with an almost flippant spontaneity that concealed the careful preparation he put into them. There was always the atmosphere of friendliness and warmth to his classes. He could be strict, but liked incidents to be finished immediately He was a keen handball player and enjoyed a game with the boys. His contact with the Old Boys was much appreciated, and his memory of their activities was most impressive. He received many visits from them. He vigorously promoted the Old Collegians' Association.
From 1936 until his death he returned to teach at Riverview and to edit “Our Alma Mater”. He was also prefect of studies, 1937-50, and chaplain to the Old Boys from 1950.
He was one of the great institutions at Riverview, a much respected friend and patron of the Old Boys. He taught French with some success for many years. He was most thorough and painstaking in everything he undertook, yet he was not at all fussy, a good disciplinarian, very kind and understanding. He was a good influence on every boy he taught.
He showed concern for those in special need, teaching the lower classes by choice. Every night he corrected many French exercises and prepared live classes for the next day. His work on “Our Alma Mater” was also a nocturnal task. One edition had 2,000 names of Old Boys. He had no secretary. He was a great letter writer.
In his declining years he continued to look after the alumni, supervise a few study periods, hear confessions, and edit “Our Alma Mater”. Towards the end he sustained a heart attack from which he died. Over 1,000 attended his funeral Mass at St Mary's Church, North Sydney, some travelling hundreds of miles to he present. The 300 senior boys of Riverview lined the roadway at the cemetery.

Murphy, Leo, 1888-1957, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1801
  • Person
  • 05 November 1888-03 April 1957

Born: 05 November 1888, St John’s Terrace, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1905, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 18 May 1920, St Mary's College, Hastings, England
Final Vows: 02 February 1924, St Aloysius College, Milsons Point, Sydney, Australia
Died: 03 April 1957, Manresa, Toowong, Brisbane, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Father was a fruit merchant and his parents now live at Ethelville, Western Road, Cork

Second youngest of a family of five girls and seven boys (1 girl and 2 boys deceased)

Early education at PBC Cork

(Brother of Father Columbus Murphy OFM Cap, born 17/06/1881?? to James and Sarah [Flynn] of Ethelville, Western Road, very involved from the Church St Dublin parish, in the Easter 1916 Irish Rising)

by 1876 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1877 at Laval France (FRA) studying
by 1910 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1911
by 1919 at St Mary’s, Kurseong, West Bengal, India (BELG) studying
by 1920 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying
by 1923 at La Colombière, 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
Leo Murphy entered the Jesuits at Tullabeg, 7 September 1905. After his juniorate studies in Ireland, he went to Stonyhurst for philosophy. From 1912-18 he taught at St Aloysius' College, Milsons Point, NSW, being the first OC of cadets and sports master from 1915-18. He departed Australia for theology in Kurseong, India, and Hastings, England, before tertianship at Paray-Le-Monial in France, 1922-23.
He returned to St Aloysius' College, 1923-27, being prefect of studies from 1925-27. Then he became prefect of studies at Riverview, 1928-32, before returning to St Aloysius', 1933-34. He also edited the “Aloysian”.
From 1935 he performed parish duties, first, at North Sydney until 1942, and then at Toowong until 1954. He was meticulous about parish visitation, especially to the poorer families. It was said that he often suffered on behalf of others. Jesuits considered Murphy a good prefect of studies, but better at parish work. He was loved and respected by the people of the parishes he served.

Nerney, Denis S, 1886-1958, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/46
  • Person
  • 26 December 1886-15 August 1958

Born: 26 December 1886, Dennehy’s Cross, Lower Glasheen, Cork City, County Cork/Greenmount Villas, Greenmount, Cork
Entered: 07 September 1906, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 August 1920, St Mary's College, Hastings, England
Final Vows: 02 February 1925, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome Italy
Died: 15 August 1958, Cork City, County Cork

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

Younger Brother of John - RIP 1962

Born at uncles residence in Dennehy’s Cross, Lower Glasheen, Cork City, County Cork, His parents then resided at Greenmount Villas, Greenmount, Cork.

One of five brothers and five sisters.

Early education was at a Mercy Convent in Cork and then at Bantry NS. In 1894 he went to PBC Cork and remained there until 1906.

by 1910 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1912
by 1919 at St Mary’s, Kurseong, West Bengal, India (BELG) studying
by 1920 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying
by 1925 at Rome, Italy (ROM) studying
by 1930 at Rome, Italy (ROM) teaching

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Denis Nerney entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1906, and after philosophy at Louvain, 1909-12, arrived in Australia for regency at Xavier College as a teacher and director of debating, 1913- 14. He was moved to Riverview in 1915, teaching, debating, organising the junior boats and was assistant prefect of discipline. After tertianship, Nerney spent the rest of his life teaching theology, firstly at the Gregorian University in Rome, and then at Milltown Park, Dublin.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 34th Year No 1 1959
Obituary :
Fr Denis Nerney (1886-1958)
Fr. Denis Nerney entered the Society in 1906, did his noviceship in Tullabeg and then remained there for one year's juniorate. At this period he already gave evidence of that intellectual interest and scientific precision which characterised his work of later years. He began investigating the history and archaeology of the district around Rahan in order to increase the interest of the weekly walks of the novices and juniors. This work he continued during his tertianship and it resulted in an unpretentious typescript volume which bears the title Notes on the History of the Tullabeg District. This interest in precise and accurate information later led him to compose a masterly account of the sequence of events on the morning of the Milltown Park fire.
In 1909 Fr. Nerney was sent to Louvain for Philosophy. There he came in contact with the early stages of the Thomistic revival which was to lead quite soon to the abandonment by a large part of the Society of many of the traditionally held Suarezian positions. In due course, Fr. Nerney himself was very influential in introducing this type of philosophy into the Irish Province when, with Fr. Canavan, he taught Philosophy at Milltown Park. As a theologian too Fr. Nerney was a convinced Thomist with traces of the influence of Cardinal Billot.
In 1912 Fr. Nerney was sent to Australia, where he taught for six years; two years at Xavier College and four at Riverview. During his period at Riverview he was in charge of the rowing club and the debating society; and for one year was editor of the college annual Alma Mater. He brought back from Australia a keen interest in all kinds of sports and athletics, including Rugby football, This last was in later years eclipsed by his interest in Gaelic games, but it was never completely ousted. He was even known to inform some over-enthusiastic followers of Rugby that he had expert knowledge of both the amateur and professional game and that he was, as far as he was aware, the only Jesuit of the Irish Province who was an officially-recognised referee for championship matches. He always maintained a lively interest in Australia and was particularly kind to Australian scholastics who came to Ireland for their studies.
In September 1915 the following sonnet appeared in Studies over the name D. S. Nerney, S.J.; possibly a juniorate composition, although we have now no way of ascertaining the precise date at which it was written:

And seeing them labouring . . . about the fourth watch of the night He cometh to them walking on the sea. ...

Our life were surely but an idle thing
If there were naught beneath the arch of years
But life and death - a little space of tears
And foolish laughter-a poor winnowing
Snatched from the idle promise of the spring;
If all our hope a cry that no god hears,
And we of the dead past the last compeers
That time from out the blackest night shall bring.
While thus I thought and sorrowed for a space
Where darkness lay like death upon the sea,
A vision came: I knew Him by his face
Of glory: “Stretch thou forth thy hands to Me”,
He said; and Christ was in the place,
The final hope of immortality.

In 1918 Fr. Nerney left Australia in order to begin his theology, the very year in which his brother, Fr. John Nerney, was assigned to the Australian mission. However, he did not reach Europe that year but did his first year's theology in Kurseong, the missionary theologate of the Belgian Province. It was in this period that he formed an opinion which he afterwards expressed in his tract De Deo Uno concerning the extent to which man unaided by revelation does in fact attain to some degree of knowledge of the true God. His observations of what occurred in the pagan shrines of India convinced him that, at least, the ordinary people were not worshipping some vaguely apprehended attribute of God symbolised by their idol but that they were practising pure fetishism, by which they adored the idol itself as though possessed of divine powers.
In 1919 he went to continue his theology in the theologate of the Lyons Province which was then at Hastings. He was ordained there in 1920 and remained there for his third and fourth years' theology. After tertianship in Tullabeg under Fr. T. V. Nolan he was sent to Rome to do a biennium in Theology and in 1926 returned to Milltown as Minister of Philosophers and Professor of Logic and Psychology. The philosophers of those days all retain the most pleasant memories of the kindness and consideration which he always showed in his dealings with them.
In 1930 he was summoned to Rome to teach Dogmatic Theology in the Gregorian University; and he remained there for three years. He made many friends there and also among the staff and students of the Irish College, where he was a frequent visitor. He had been assigned the tract De Sacramentis and did much personal study on the difficult question of the history of the administration of the Sacrament of Penance. He noted with regret that there was no account available of the Penitentiaries of the Irish Church and he always felt that an important contribution would be made by anyone who would undertake research in that neglected field.
In 1933 he returned to Ireland on account of ill health. At this time a decision had been made to bring the Dogma course in Milltown into line with the practice of other Provinces by introducing a separate Apologetics course for the first year and consequently reducing the old four-year cycle of Dogma to a three-year cycle. So Fr. Nerney was assigned to teach De Ecclesia and Fr. Gannon, taken from the short course, to teach De Vera Religione; and Fr. Canavan was brought back from Tullabeg to teach the short course. In 1936 Fr. Nerney was changed to long course Dogma and he remained at that post until his sudden death in 1968. He also acted as Prefect of Studies from 1953 to 1956.
An estimate of Fr. Nerney must be based primarily on his achievements as a Professor of Theology, because this was the principal work which was assigned to him by the Society. Of the value of this work. there can be very little doubt. It is generally accepted that he rendered incalculable service to the faculty in Milltown and so to many hundreds of Jesuits of many Provinces. He was an excellent lecturer; precise and methodical with a masterly command of Latin. He is not known ever to have pronounced a single sentence in English and yet his class invariably followed him with ease and pleasure. His lectures were based on one of his four codices which he followed closely but not slavishly, with the result that, reading a page or so of typescript, one found an accurate summary of his entire lecture. He kept strictly to the scholastic method of presentation and always indicated the difficult points of his position by a series of penetrating objections.
He was much liked as an examiner. He indicated clearly the precise point of a thesis he wished the candidate to treat, listened patiently to his exposition, brought him back over his exposition in order to secure expansion or correction of points which were unsatisfactory and then urged fair but telling objections in strict scholastic form. He always received the candidate's answers without violent reaction, no matter how bad they were; he seemed to be unwilling to influence the other examiners against him, preferring to leave them to form their own judgment on the basis of the evidence he had elicited concerning the state of the candidate's knowledge.
His treatment of scripture texts was a model of method. He always indicated clearly the precise argument he was drawing from the text he had quoted. He may not have had a very great interest in the results of modern scripture scholarship but the positions he adopted were always clearly defined and capable of strong defence. In general, he did not show much interest in patristic theology, although on many points he was extremely well informed, e.g., the early history of the Sacrament of Penance. His favourite amongst the Fathers was St. Ambrose, possibly on account of the connection existing between him and the Celtic church. He was sometimes criticised for over-simplifying theology. This is a permanent difficulty facing a Professor of Theology, viz., how to present a complex problem to a class without plunging into a mass of detail out of all proportion to the importance of the topic in question. If he erred on the side of over-simplification, his error was inspired by consideration for his class and was by no means a confession of ignorance nor a proof of lack of diligence. But it would be a rash conclusion that he did so err. His estimate of what constituted an adequate treatment of a particular subject was based on long years of teaching experience and cannot easily be challenged.
He could perhaps be more justly criticised for giving too much attention to purely scholastic discussions of such topics as the mode of the Real Presence in the Blessed Eucharist or the question of Natura and Persona in the Hypostatic Union. But he held that there was no better way of judging the quality of a theologian than by testing his ability to handle such problems with accuracy and confidence. Fr. Nerney was sometimes accused of marking time, or rather wasting time, in class; and it is true that when he was a little ahead of his timetable he reduced his rate of progress but many of his class found the respite very welcome. Towards the end of his life there were periods in which, due to poor health, his physical and mental vigour were below normal. This happened more frequently than was generally realised. One final point cannot be omitted, viz., his fairness and charity towards those whose opinions he felt he could not share. This was certainly the result of a conscious effort on his part, because it was widely felt that in some matters outside the realm of theology he could be very vehement and not always completely free from prejudice.
Fr. Nerney had many interests outside theology. These included motor engineering and wireless telegraphy; but undoubtedly the greatest of these was things Irish, games, history and language. He took up the serious study of Irish during his period as Professor of Philosophy in Milltown Park. He was a gifted linguist, speaking French and Italian with fluency and accuracy, so it is little wonder that he attained a proficiency in Irish, which was very remarkable in a man who began rather late in life. He spoke Irish with a slightly exaggerated precision of pronunciation and idiom but with genuine fluency and a great wealth of vocabulary. He was particularly interested in turns of phrase which were current in his native County of Cork but he was very observant of variations of pronunciation and idiom occurring in Connacht and Donegal. He prided himself on being able to define the precise locality of the origin of the Irish, spoken by the various announcers on Radio Eireann. For many years he spent part of the summer vacation in one or other of the Gaeltachts. Although he spoke Irish on all possible occasions, he was always most willing to speak English with those who were unable to fall in with his known desire to speak Irish.
The esteem in which Fr. Nerney was held by the Irish Province can be gauged by the number of occasions on which he was elected by provincial congregations to represent the Province in Rome. Hence it was with the most sincere regret that we heard the news of his sad and completely unexpected death. The whole Province owes him a very deep debt of gratitude and extends its sympathy to the surviving members of his family, and particularly to his brother, Fr. John Nerney from whom he had been separated for nearly forty years.

Owens, William, 1888-1963, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1964
  • Person
  • 01 November 1888-07 August 1963

Born: 01 November 1888, Ardeevin, Drumcondra, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1905, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1921, St George's Cathedral, London, England
Final Vows: 01 February 1924, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia
Died: 07 August 1963, St Vincent's Hospital, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Brother of Gerald - Left 1926

Came to Australia for Regency 1910
by 1913 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1919 at St Mary’s, Kurseong, West Bengal, India (BELG) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
William Owens, affectionately known as “Gerry” was educated at Belvedere College, Dublin, and entered the Society at Tullabeg, 7 September 1905. He remained there for his juniorate 1907-10, and prepared for his university exams at Milltown Park, 1910-11. He taught at Galway, 1911-12, before philosophy studies at Stonyhurst, 1912-14. He taught students for the public examinations at Xavier College, Melbourne, 1914-18, before theology studies at Kurseong, India, Milltown Park and St Beuno's, Wales, 1918-22. Tertianship followed at Tullabeg, 1922-23.
Owens returned to Xavier College in 1923, and remained there teaching until his death in 1963. During these years he was also consultor, 1931-62, prefect of studies, 1934-41, in charge of senior debating, 1926-42, and worked with Old Xaverians. He was spiritual father and still teaching at the time of his death.
He was an institution at Xavier College, independent minded and a real individual. He was much appreciated as an eloquent teacher of modern history Latin and Greek. He taught with great ease and distinction, treating his students as adults, and helping many to gain high honours and distinctions each year. He was a teacher whose great command of English, Greek and Latin inspired many boys to a love of learning, wide reading, and quiet discipline. He gave students the sense that secular interests could coexist happily with faith. His style of life, prayer and scholarship was inspiring.
He was a man of mature judgment, where he himself was not involved, and could be charming. He had a nervous disposition that caused ill health, and he was painfully reserved. He read widely and was an authority on the classics, English and French literature, and all modern political movements. He had many friends and was very loyal and generous to them. He always seemed to be on hand for direction and consultation.
In his early days at Xavier he was a keen tennis player and a good left-hand bowler. For over 50 years he was a first class golfer and played regularly at Kew, even taking a day off school every week to play. He was a good example of a healthy mind and a healthy body.
Though he looked very frail he really had a strong physique. He survived a serious heart attack some years before his death but recovered very quickly He had a second heart attack two years before he died. Again he recovered quickly and was back at work, but this time he had to relinquish golf.
He was a popular retreat-giver, and much in demand. For years he gave retreats in convents throughout Victoria.
He suffered a severe blow in 1926 when his younger brother Gerald left the Society. Gerald had just completed a biennium in moral theology and had been appointed to Werribee, but does not seem to have arrived. He went to the USA and married.

◆ Irish Province News 39th Year No 1 1964 & ◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1964

Obituary :

Fr William Owens SJ

Fr. William Owens was one of a large group of Belvederians who entered the Society at Tullabeg in the early 1900s.
Taking his vows in 1907 he studied up to Second Arts under the old Royal University - and when that institution was replaced by U.C.D. he went to Dublin to attend lectures for his degree in Classics.
He taught for one year at St. Ignatius College, Galway, and then went to Stonyhurst for philosophy. He was then sent to the Australian mission and taught at Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne. Owing to shipping difficulties this was 1914-during World War I he was unable to return to Dublin for his theology but made his first year at Kurseong, India. At the end of the year, however, it was possible for him to return to Dublin and Milltown Park for the remainder of his theology.
Fr. Owens was ordained at St. George's Cathedral, Southwark, in 1920, and did his tertianship at Tullabeg under Fr. Joseph Wellesby.
Having completed his tertianship Fr. Owens returned to Australia where he was to spend the remainder of his life teaching at Xavier College - except for a term spent at Riverview College, Sydney.
He excelled as a teacher of Modern History and the Ancient Classics - and was well versed in English and French Literature. Year after year his pupils took high honours and distinctions and left school well prepared for their courses in the universities. With a rare capacity for friendship, he commanded great influence among the many generations of boys who passed through his hands; loyal and generous he was always ready with counsel and directions and kept in close contact with them in after life.
Though frail and delicate looking, Fr. Owens was really a very strong man. In his early years he was a keen tennis-player, a good left-hand bowler, and he played golf regularly on the Kew links where for many years he was a well-known figure. He survived two heart attacks in later life—but they did not prevent him continuing to teach.
Fr. Owens was an excellent religious - rose early and said Mass with great devotion. He was a very popular retreat giver and was in great demand among religious throughout Victoria in that capacity.
He was faithful to the class-room to the last - on the 7th August, 1963 he took his morning classes as usual though he had a very heavy cold. At 7p.m. he went to St. Vincent's Hospital where he received the Sacrament of the Sick and died an hour later, May he rest in peace.

Sloan, John G, 1893-1947, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/408
  • Person
  • 06 July 1893-28 December 1947

Born: 06 July 1893, Benagh, Kilkeel, County Down
Entered: 01 October 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: by 1937, Kurseong, India
Final Vows: 15 August 1937
Died: 28 December 1947, Korangi Creek, Karachi, Pakistan - Chigagensis Province (CHG) - Madurensis Mission (MDU) (in a plane crash)

Transcribed : HIB to TOLO 1926 to CHG 1928 (MDU)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

Frs. G. Casey and C. O'Conor represented the Province at the Solem Requiem Mass celebrated at Kilkeel Church, Co. Down on 22nd January for the late Fr. John Sloan, S.J., of Patna Mission (Chicago Province) who perished in the Dakota crash outside Karachi on the night of 27th December. Fr. O'Conor was the Celebrant. A brief account of his career appears below.


Fr. John Sloan (1893-1924-1947) - Patna Mission

Fr. John Sloan (Patna Mission). Many of our Province who knew Fr. John at Tullabeg were shocked to learn of his tragic death in the last days of December, with twenty two others he perished in the Dakota crash just outside Karachi on the night of the 27th. He was at the time Superior of the missionary band (miss. excurr.) and on his way to give a mission.
Born at Benagh in the parish of Kilkeel, Co. Down in 1899, he went straight from the National School to business at John Hughes, Ltd., Liverpool. He appears to have attended night school at St. Francis Xavier's, where he met Fr. Bridge who arranged for his entry to Osterley, from which he came to our Novitiate on 1st October 1924. During the following year he was assigned to the Madura Mission of the Toulouse Province, where he completed his noviceship. He studied philosophy at Shembaganur, and during holidays, when catechising in various mission stations, began to show those talents for preaching which he put to such good use in after years. It was as a philosopher, too, that he started collecting funds for the building of a Church to St. Patrick at Periakulam, South India, a project which was warmly supported by the Bishop of Trichinopoly and was carried through to a successful issue. About 1928 Fr. General granted Mr. Sloan permission to transfer to the Patna Mission of the Chicago Province, where he enjoyed much better health and secured congenial work. On the completion of his philosophy in November 1930, he set out for Patna, where, to his amazement, he found himself Procurator of the Mission and residing at Bishop's House, Banakipore. At the end of the following year he went to Kurseong for theology and was ordained priest on 21st November, 1934.
After his Tertianship he served at various mission stations until 1937, when he became head of a missionary group, engaged in the giving of missions throughout India, a post be held till his untimely death, He travelled extensively by air during the ten years of this fruitful apostolate, and had only returned from the Persian Gulf a few days before the end.
He was the recipient of a personal letter of congratulation from our Holy Father, Pope Pius XII, on the success of his work. Fr, Sloan was never in Ireland after he left it as a novice, in 1925.
He is survived by two sisters : Mrs. Harper, Greencastle, Ballyardle, Co. Down, and Mrs. Cavin, St. Anthony, Idaho, and by a brother, Fr. Francis Sloan, pastor of St. Teresa's Church, Midvale, Utah, R.I.P.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Letter from Fr. J. A. MacSeumais, R. A. F. Staging Post, Mauripur.
“I am still awaiting a plane for Singapore. However, there is a possibility that I may be away tomorrow. This Station is served by Dutch Franciscans from St. Patrick's Church, Karachi. I was in there on Sunday and met the Superior Ecclesiasticus of this Area, Mgr. Alcuin Van Miltenburg, O.F.M. He it was who made all the arrangements for the burial of Fr. John Sloan, S.J. Fr. Sloan was travelling from Karachi Airport to Ceylon, in a TATA Dakota when the plane crashed at Karonji creek about 15 miles from Karachi Airport. The Mother Superior of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary and one of her nuns, Mother Anthony, an Irishwoman, were called to St. Teresa's Nursing Home, Karachi to prepare Fr. Sloan's body for burial. He is buried in the Catholic Plot at Karachi Cemetery where several other Jesuits are buried. I visited Fr. Sloan's grave on Sunday and I hope to obtain a photograph of it.
The German Jesuits had the Mission of Sind and Baluchistan, and after the First World War, it was taken over by the other Provinces. In 1935, it was taken over by the Franciscans. There is a magnificent Memorial in front of St. Patrick's, built in honour of the Kingship of Christ and commemorating the work done by the Society in this Mission. Under the Memorial is a crypt and in a passage behind the altar is the ‘The Creation of Hell’ by Ignacio Vas, a number of figures of the damned being tortured in Hell. Indefinite depth is added by an arrangement of mirrors”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Sloan 1893-1947
John Sloan has been described by his biographer as a Francis Xavier from Ulster. Born in Kilkeel County Down in 1898, he was what we might have called a late vocation. At the age of 23 he entered Osterley College in London, under Fr Lester, to fill in the gaps in his education. In 1924 he entered the Irish noviceship, during the course of which he was selected for the Indian Mission. Eventually in India, he was attached to the American Misison at Patna. Here began his life’s work.

The All-India Mission Band, which travelled the length and breadth of India, preaching Missions, mainly to English speaking residents. His conversions were untold, and the harder the case, the better John Sloan liked it. He was also responsible for numerous late vocations. His energy was boundless, though his frame was frail. Being warned by his doctor to take at least a year’s rest, he replied “I am only looking for eternal rest”.

He had just finished a Mission to oil-workers in the Persian Gulf and was on route to Ceylon to begin another campaign. The plane he boarded at Karachi on December 27th 1947 blew up after being air-borne ten minutes, and his broken body was picked up some ten miles from the city. He had had a premonition of disaster and had made a general confession in the Franciscans before embarking.

A truly apostolic soul, the fruits of his work are still to be seen, and many a priest thanks God daily at his Mass, that he met John Sloan.

Wallace, William, 1863-1922, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/434
  • Person
  • 02 March 1863-14 November 1922

Born: 02 March 1863, Ballybrack, County Dublin
Entered: 15 February 1898, Roehampton, London - Angliae Province (ANG) for Belgicae Province (BELG))
Ordained: 1905, Kurseong, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
Final vows: 02 February 1909
Died: 14 November 1922, Kurseong, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India - Belgicae Province (BELG)


William Wallace (Jesuit)

William Wallace (2 March 1863 in Battibrack, Dublin – 14 November 1922 in Kurseong, West Bengal) was an Anglican priest who later became a Roman Catholic priest, member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and Indologist.

William Wallace was personally tutored by his father, an Evangelical minister. He attended Trinity College Dublin in 1882, received a degree in divinity, and sought ordination in the Anglican tradition at the age of 24. He took up parish work in the Midlands in England, but, after an illness, returned to Ireland to recuperate. Two years later, he decided to become a missionary with the Church Missionary Society, and was appointed to Krishnagar, West Bengal, in 1889. Disillusioned with the Christianity practiced by his fellow Anglicans, he left the Mission quarters and took up residence in a little hut in Krishnagar where he devoted himself to the study of Bengali and Gaudiya Vaisnavism. His life of simplicity and seeking endeared him to his Indian neighbours. His contact with Bengali Hindus led him to the opinion that Protestant spiritualty was inadequate to meet the needs of his deeply spiritual Vaisnava friends.

After serving seven years in Bengal, he returned to Ireland on home leave. There he made a study of Catholic theology and spirituality, and became convinced that only Catholicism could provide him with the means of dialoguing with his Hindu associates, and that only Catholic spirituality was worth preaching to the Bengalis. Having been rejected by the Mill Hill Fathers, he requested admission to the Jesuit Order whose members were active in Bengal. He was accepted by the Belgian provincial and entered the novitiate on the 15 February 1898. Upon finishing the two years spiritual training in England, he arrived in Calcutta on 13 December 1901.

He engaged in further studies in philosophy and theology at Shembaganur and St Mary's, Kurseong before being appointed as a lecturer in English literature at St Xavier's College, Calcutta. He was later sent to Darjeeling as lecturer and parish priest among the Anglo-Indians. It was at this time that he composed his autobiography, From Evangelical to Catholic by Way of the East, and also several works on Hindu philosophy and yoga. He wanted to make use of Indian philosophy to make an acceptable presentation of Christianity to the Hindus. With his health beginning to fail, he was transferred back to St Mary's, Kurseong, in 1921. He died on 14 November 1922.[1]

Wallace's significance rests on the influence he exerted upon his contemporaries and on younger Jesuits about the way mission was done in Bengal. He helped shift the mentality toward Indian spirituality among the Jesuits and influence the spiritual formation of the novices who were preparing for service in India. He entreated his superiors in Belgium to send their most talented scholastics to engage in the deep study of Hindu texts. Pierre Johanns and Georges Dandoy were fruits of this vision of Wallace. These St Xavier's Jesuits “produced a durable synthesis of Catholicism and Hinduism.... The ‘Bengal School,’ which these came to be clubbed under, was the lasting contribution to India of Father William Wallace.”[2] The 'Bengal School' is also known as the 'Calcutta School of Indology'.

Wallace was inspired by the efforts of Brahmabandhab Upadhyay and Animananda. With them he felt that Christianity had to be Indianized if it had to gain a successful hearing in Bengal. He had read Upadhyay’s articles in Sophia and had been impressed by his basic motivations. In his own writings, he reiterated Upadhyay’s approach regarding the suitability of Indian philosophy as a natural foundation for supernatural religion.[3]


Primary bibliography
From Evangelical to Catholic by Way of the East. The Light of the East Series, no. 35. Calcutta: Catholic Orphan Press, 1923.
Introduction to Hindoo Clairvoyance. Kurseong, 1920. Typescript, unpublished. MS at Goethals Library, St Xavier’s College, Calcutta.
A Bengali Commentary on the Yoga Philosophy. 1923. Polycopied, unpublished. MS at Goethals Library, St Xavier’s College, Calcutta.
The Everlasting Religion of the Hindoo Sages in Relation to the Catholic Religion of the Christian Fathers. Typescript, unpublished. Varia of Wallace, Goethals Library, St Xavier’s College, Calcutta.

Secondary bibliography
Doyle, Sean. Synthesizing the Veda: The Theology of Pierre Johanns, S.J. Bern: Peter Lang, 2006. 123-126.
Hosten, Henry. “In Memoriam: William Wallace, 1863-1922.” The Catholic Herald of India 5 (22 November 1922) 803–4.
Namboodiry, Udayan. St Xavier’s: The Making of a Calcutta Institution. New Delhi: Viking/Penguin Books India, 1995.
Francis X. Clooney, SJ, “Alienation, Xenophilia, And Coming Home: William Wallace, SJ’s From Evangelical to Catholic by Way of the East,” Common Knowledge 24.2 (2018), 280-290