File 2 - Letters from Fr Patrick Duffy SJ to Sr Mary Gabriel, Carmelite Convent, Firhouse, Tallaght, Dublin

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IE IJA J/130/2


Letters from Fr Patrick Duffy SJ to Sr Mary Gabriel, Carmelite Convent, Firhouse, Tallaght, Dublin


  • 3 May 1879 - 15 August 1897 (Creation)

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71 items

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(22 May 1814-27 July 1901)

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A file of letters from Fr Patrick Duffy SJ to his sister Sr Mary Gabriel, Carmelite Convent, Firhouse, Tallaght, Dublin concerning his life and work as a priest in Australia and elsewhere. The vast majority of the letters (over 50) are written from Australia describing in detail his work and life in this mission. Includes letters discussing his health, his sister's health, family matters, retreats and missions he gave in Australia and masses and prayers offered for the convent and community at Firhouse. Includes a letter from Fr Duffy, Ursuline Convent, St Joseph's, Sligo to Sr Mary Gabriel. Remarks 'Now that you and I are alone left of all we must, from this on, take on more than ever special interest in each other.' (6 August 1888, 4pp). Includes a letter informing his sister of his departure for Australia. Remarks 'Say God's will be done for it is the will of God. Don't fret about me, for before very long you and I will meet in a happy eternity.' (15 August 1888, 4pp). Includes a letter concerning his sister's health and the loss of sight in one of her eyes. Encourages her not to read if she finds it a strain. Refers to the noviceship in her convent. Remarks 'Put away those gloomy thoughts about the noviceship. There is nothing wrong in your convent. Just let us keep on praying and trusting and leave the future to God.' (22 August 1891, 4pp). Includes a letter concerning his move from North Shore to Hawthorn. Remarks that he has more work to do in Hawthorn and that it is 'more pressing'. Remarks 'As I write the weather is harsh and we have much sickness - the influenza - and many deaths.' (7 October 1891, 4pp). Includes a letter referring to the death of Fr General (Fr Anderledy SJ) at Fiesole. Remarks 'He and I were fellow students in the Roman College of the Society, some 44 years ago! He was about my age. A warning to look out!' Refers to his change of address and remarks that he will be working at Kew, Melbourne. (letter dated 4 December 1891, 4pp, section dated 20 January 1892). Includes a letter written from New Zealand where he was conducting retreats. Remarks 'I am in my element.' Continues 'I like New Zealand very much a fine country and climate - greatly superior to Australia. Every one is kind to me and I get on well. Wellington is a nice clean city with a fine harbour and a brisk trade.' Describes a journey to Reefton to give a retreat to the Mercy nuns. Remarks that he made the journey on top of a stage coach 'Pretty smart going! Through the bush and over the mountains! Five horses to the coach and galloping all the time for nearly 4 days! What say you to that? But young men like me don't mind these things.' (this section dated 8 January 1893) (29 December 1892, 4pp). Includes a letter referring to his duties at St. Francis Xavier's College in Kew. Remarks that he is in charge of the Sodality of the B V Mary 'Tis from the sodalities in our colleges that the noviceship is recruited.' (7 February 1892, 4pp). Includes a letter describing a visit he made to one of the Melbourne hospitals to see an old friend, Edward Grennan, '…Irish and Catholic a native of Mountrath, Queen's county. He had been in the army - a cavalry regiment - Lord Cardigan's Light Brigade - had ridden in the famous charge - 25 October 1854. He is now the remnant of a well looking man - was then a youth of 20. Well we fraternized of course - he and I old Crimean-and fellow-soldiers. We chatted of the war, and of the Charge of the Light Brigade, his brigade in particular. Step by step we got along until I stood with him and his companions 600 strong - in thought and imagination - at the end of the valley - at the other end of which was the Russian Battery of some 10 or 12 pairs of canon.' Describes how the order was given to seize the guns. Continues 'Without a moments hesitation, the 600 are in their saddles and away they go…Oh! My poor fellows, my poor brave fellows! Over 600 they commence their ride to return later on all that was left of them about 200 men! Half an hour did the whole business.' (21 November 1896, 4pp).

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