County Mayo



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County Mayo

  • UF Mayo
  • UF Co. Mayo
  • UF Maigh Eo

Associated terms

County Mayo

42 Name results for County Mayo

3 results directly related Exclude narrower terms

Birmingham, Alan, 1911-1991, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/642
  • Person
  • 02 January 1911-03 October 1991

Born: 02 January 1911, Ballinrobe, County Mayo
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1976, Hong Kong
Died: 03 October 1991, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1937 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

Second World War Chaplain

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Alan Birmingham, S.J.
Former editor of “Sunday Examiner” dies in Hong Kong

Father Alan Birmingham, a long-time editor of the “Sunday Examiner” died here after a brief illness on 3 October 1991.

Father Birmingham, a Jesuit, had lived in Hong Kong for almost 50 years, having first arrived here in November 1936.

Born in Co. Mayo, Ireland, in 1911, he joined the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1928 after secondary school and went on to take an honours degree in mathematics in the National University of Ireland.

After his arrival in Hong Kong in 1936 he studied Cantonese and then taught for a year in Wah Yan College, then in Robinson Road, before returning to Ireland a few months before the outbreak of the Second World War to complete his Jesuit training.

Ordained a priest in Dublin on 13 May 1942, he became a Catholic chaplain, with the rank of Captain, in the wartime British Army, thus delaying his return to Hong Kong.

Having served in England and Northern Ireland, he was assigned to land with the Allied forces sea and air assault on the north coast of France on “D-Day”, 6 June 1944.

He afterwards said that his main task on those fateful first days ashore was burying the dead on the beaches where they had landed.

He stayed with his soldiers in France, Belgium and finally Germany until mid-August 1945.

He was then re-assigned to India from where he was “demobbed” (returned to civilian life) in October 1946.

After returning to Hong Kong in February 1948, he was sent for some months to Canton (Guangzhou) where a Jesuit colleague, Father John Turner, was lecturing at Chung Shan University.

That summer he moved back to Hong Kong, becoming a professor of Dogmatic Theology and later of Sacred Scripture at the then Regional Seminary in Aberdeen where Chinese priests from many dioceses in South China received their professional training. He held these posts for nine years.

During those years he also lectured briefly on philosophy and English literature at the University of Hong Kong.

In 1957, he was appointed editor of the “Sunday Examiner.” He was by far the longest-serving editor of the paper, remaining in the position for 33 years until his 80th birthday on 2 January this year.

On the death of Father Fergus Cronin SJ, Father Alan took over as rector of the busy Catholic Centre Chapel.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 9 November 1990

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Having graduated from UCD with an Honours degree in Mathematics he was sent to Hong Kong in 1936.
He studied Cantonese in Hong Kong and then did some years of teaching in Wah Yan Hong Kong.

After Ordination in 1942 he was appointed Catholic Chaplain with the rank of Captain in the wartime British Army. He was assigned to land with the Allied force on “D-Day”, June 6th 1944. He remained with his soldiers in France, Belgium and finally Germany until mid August 1945. He was then reassigned to India until October 1946, when he returned to civilian life.

He returned to Hong Kong in February 1948and took up a post as Professor of Dogmatic Theology, and later Scripture at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. He also lectured in Philosophy and English Literature at the University of Hong Kong.

He was the Editor of the “Sunday Examiner” for almost 33 years (1957-1991). For more than twenty years he edited the English writings of László Ladányi in the “China News Analysis”. He also celebrated Mass regularly at St Joseph’s Church on Garden Road for over thirty years.

Brady, Joseph, 1802-1875, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/944
  • Person
  • 14 April 1802-16 March 1875

Born: 14 April 1802, Castlebar, County Mayo
Entered: 27 December 1826, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Final Vows: 15 August 1839
Died 16 March 1875: Nagapattinam Tamil Nadu, India - Franciae Province (FRA)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1843 Sailed with others for the new College and Mission at Calcutta 24/08/1843. When it closed, he got permission to join the French Fathers at Madurai, where, by his own exertions he had acquired a knowledge of Mathematics, he for some years taught at the College of Nagapattinamm. He died there 16/03/1875 aged 73

Broderick, Anthony, 1877-1949, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/956
  • Person
  • 12 May 1877-22 January 1949

Born: 12 May 1877, Eskeragh, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1900, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final vows: 02 February 1911
Died: 22 January 1949, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA, USA - Oregonensis Province (ORE)

Transcribed HIB to TAUR : 1902; TAUR to CAL : 1909; CAL to ORE

Colman, Michael P, 1858-1920, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/98
  • Person
  • 25 September 1858-04 October 1920

Born: 25 September 1858, Foxford, County Mayo
Entered: 06 September 1890, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: Paris, France - pre Entry
Final vows: 15 August 1905
Died: 04 October 1920, St Ignatius College, Manresa, Norwood, Adelaide, Australia

Part of the St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Australia community at the time of death

by 1903 in Rhodesia (ANG) - Military Chaplain
by 1904 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1906 at Chinese Mission (FRA)
Came to Australia 1908

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was in his native locality and then he went to the Irish College, Paris, where he was Ordained for the Achonry Diocese before Ent.
He had a varied career. he taught at Belvedere, Clongowes and Galway. He was on the Mission Staff. He went as Chaplain to the British Troops in South Africa. He then spent some time in Shanghai as a Missioner, where he did great work, but found it difficult to work with the French.
He was then sent to Australia, where he did various jobs, including being a Chaplain to Australian troops.
He was a man of great talent but unusual temperament and difficult to manage. He died at Norwood 04 October 1920.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He enetered at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg as a secular Priest.

1892-1894 After First Vows he studied Theology for two years at Milltown Park.
1894-1895 He was sent teaching at Belvedere College.
1895-1896 He was sent teaching at Clongowes Wood College
1896-1898 He was involved in the “Mission” staff
1898-1900 He was sent teaching at Coláiste Iognáid Galway.
1900-1902 He was sent to work in the Church at Tullabeg
1902-1903 He was assigned as a Military Chaplain to British Troops in South Africa
1903-1904 He made Tertianship at Drongen.
1905-1907 He went on the French Chinese Mission at Shanghai
1907-1908 He returned to Parish work at Coláiste Iognáid.
1908-1911 He was sent to Australia and first to St Ignatius Norwood
1911-1913 He was sent to the Immaculate Conception Parish at Hawthorn
1913-1914 He was at Loyola Greenwich
1914-1919 He returned to St Ignatius Norwood. During this time he was appointed as a Military Chaplain to Australian troops and went to Egypt in 1915. However by September of that year his service was terminated due to ill health. He only completed the voyage and did not see any action. When he returned to Australia he gave missions and retreats in various parts of the country.
1919 He was sent to Sevenhill.

He was a man with intemperate zeal, but dogged with ill health. He had considerable talent which could be hard to harness, which may help understand why he moved around so frequently.

Connolly, Patrick, 1830-1853, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1092
  • Person
  • 08 September 1830-31 October 1853

Born: 08 September 1830, County Mayo
Entered: 28 September 1851, Palermo, Sicily - Sicilian Province (SIC for ANG))
Died: 31 October 1853, St Julian’s, Malta - Angliae Province (ANG)

Conran, Joseph, 1913-1990, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 24 February 1913, 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.

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

Curran, Patrick, 1864-1916, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1150
  • Person
  • 26 December 1864-12 November 1916

Born: 26 December 1864, Crossboyne, County Mayo
Entered: 24 March 1890, Roehampton, London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Professed: 15 August 1900
Died: 12 November 1916, Milltown Park, Dublin - Angliae Province (ANG)

Member of the Manresa, Roehampton, London community at the time of death

Died in HIB but member of ANG

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
A member of the ANG Province. He had been in poor health and was sent to Ireland for a change of air in his native surroundings.
On his return journey he stayed at Milltown and died there after a short illness 12 November 1916.

Erraught, Joseph, 1909-1974, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/736
  • Person
  • 29 October 1909-24 April 1974

Born: 29 October 1909, Foxford, County Mayo
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1946, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 24 April 1974, Crescent College, Limerick

Older brother of Michael Erraught - RIP 1972

Early education at St Mary’s CBS Tralee, County Kerry

Tertianship at Rathfarnham

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 49th Year No 2 1974

Obituary :

Fr Joseph Erraught (1909-1974)

Although Fr Erraught had had a seizure in 1972 it was not generally known, apart from his own Community, that he had a heart complaint and the sad news of his sudden death was thus an accentuated grief. His brother, Fr Michael, though younger, predeceased him, again suddenly, in 1971, from a similar ailment and within a week of Fr Joe’s death the sole surviving member of that generation of the family, Mrs Bernard MacSweeney of Tralee, succumbed in the same way,
Fr Joe was born in Foxford, Co. Mayo, on 29th October 1909, but the family in his childhood moved to Tralee where Joe attended the Christian Brothers' schools, primary and secondary. He entered the novitiate at Tullabeg on 1st September 1928, one of twenty, among whom were Patrick Ó Brolcháin, Alphonsus O’Connell and Walter O’Connor, between the latter of whom and Joe there was knit a friendship that continued all through their studies and later years until, necessarily, Fr Walter's status to Zambia partly severed the companionship. They both entered into the humorous quizzing to which they were occasionally subjected as a comment on their partnership. Joe had a keen sense of humour and the baiting, eg about the confidential position he held in Fr Paddy Kenny's esteem in Milltown during his years in theology, generally evoked a hearty laugh enhanced by the merriment of his eyes. He lived strenuous days; his intelligence was keen and he was arduously industrious. He secured a distinguished degree at Rathfarnham and was retained a fourth year in the Juniorate during which he gained an MA in Irish.
1934-36: Tullabeg, now changed to a philosophate, and he completed the course in two years when he was assigned to Belvedere for Colleges. He was a very competent teacher with classes well in control; his alert, energetic manner marked him out as one to be respected, though kindly, and he won the esteem of pupils when life-long friendships were initiated.
1939: Milltown, theology; it might appear that dogmatic theology was his metier did he now show a like competence in other branches of the curriculum: if an opinion was sought among his contemporaries at Milltown there would probably be a consensus opting for him a specialisation in Canon Law but in fact it was not so decided when after ordination, 1942, and tertianship at Rathfarnham, 1943-44, the status appointed him to a post-graduate course at Maynooth. In 1947-48 he lectured on some of the subsidiary subjects at Milltown but work more congenial was allotted to him in the latter year when he joined the Rathfarnham community as assistant director of retreats.
This work which was, it may be said, to engross his interest and attention led to his appreciating the importance of pastoral psychology and, thorough - as was his character, he made himself familiar with the extensive literature concerned with that and kindred subjects. In a relatively short time he was regarded as an authority and was consulted frequently in contexts apart from his more routine commitments.
He was a ready speaker - a distinction and authority, as it were, emanated from him; he had amassed a store of knowledge always at command, During this period at Rathfarnham the direction of the Cinema Workers at Gardiner Street was under his care and possibly it was then that he conducted the Novena of Grace which was repeatedly alluded to in later years by a seasoned critic at Gardiner Street as the best he ever heard.
1953: Promoted to Mission and Retreat Staff with base at Emo Park; his activity was incessant.
1956: Rathfarnham again as Director of Retreats; during this time he was invited to co-operate with Dr J N Moore in the treatment of psychiatric patients at St Patrick’s Hospital. He had regular hours of attendance; among the patients and with the staff he won golden opinions to which the hospital authorities readily testified.
If it was with the desire to give him a more sedentary outlet that Fr. Joe was appointed to the Retreat House at Tullabeg in 1962 the desire was amply fulfilled; his assiduity in the confessional, his readiness to converse with and guide those who came, frequently from far distances, to consult him, his preparedness and variety in arranging retreat lectures, made Rahan well-nigh a place of pilgrimage,
The years from 1969 on at the Crescent Church, Limerick, were largely a repetition of the same apostolic work, save possibly with even wider horizons leading ultimately to the establishment of the Limerick Mental Welfare Association eighteen months ago, to which he was by universal choice elected Chairman.
When he expressed the desire - as noted among the Crescent items in this issue, that he be relieved of the office of Chairman, he must have realised that his energies were declining; the heart attack in 1972 attracted little notice but the strain thereafter must have been cumulative. He carried on, nevertheless.
What was Fr Joe’s attitude in his approach to God? He was loyal to the traditional pieties of the Society; he loved the “beauty of the Lord's house” and had a meticulous regard for the rubrics the result or more probably the cause of his being Master of Ceremonies in whatever house to which he was assigned through out his scholasticate.
On April 24th while transacting some bit of business down town in Limerick he collapsed; he was assisted immediately and conveyed to Barrington’s Hospital where on admission he was pronounced dead, At the obsequies at the Crescent Church, April 26th, concelebrated Mass was participated in by almost forty priests and there was a thronged assistance of the laity. The funeral later proceeded to Mungret for interment. RIP. Among the mourners was his sister, Mrs MacSweeney, and her family; she and they little calculating that she was to follow him so closely. We offer sincerest sympathy to Mr MacSweeney and family, the sole ncar relations. RIP

Irish Province News 55th Year No 4 1980

A tribute in memory of Fr. Joseph Erraught ( † 24th April 1974)

And now there is a question I must ask:
Is it with saddened cowardice that we mask
Acceptance of God's will in calling one
From us who needed him?... That dear, dear one
Whom we shall miss, whose listening ear was there
With kind advice--that Man of God, so rare , .,
Alone and lost we felt. No hand to hold
In friendship's clasp of understanding grip;
Unanchored in a sea, each one a ship
Tossed in the storms of life when he had gone .
Can we be blamed for that? And yet, no one
Was strong enough to say : 'It is God's will
That he no longer works on earth': but still,
We felt that final peace in work well done,
And pride in having shared with him the stone
He rolled away from inner tombs of thought
And so released us from ourselves, and sought
For us to find our peace again and know
That sunshine of God's ways melts deepest snow
Of troubles for us all.... My heart and head
Now tell me that he lives, no longer dead
And lost to us, for now he is with God.
That man who walked with Him on earth for good
And understanding of our minds, he lives
Again for us in every day and gives
The courage that we need to keep in sight
The aims of God as seen through gentle light
Of all he was and is, with every call
For help, when we reach out and touch a wall
Or have our backs to it in sorrow's tide
For now he lives forever by our side,
Frances Condell (ex-Mayor of Limerick)

Fahey, Michael, 1899-1919, Jesuit novice

  • IE IJA J/1269
  • Person
  • 07 February 1899-01 February 1919

Born: 07 February 1899, Castlebar, County Mayo
Entered: 04 January 1919, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 01 February 1919, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He had his early education at Mungret and was a very promising student.
His death was sudden and unexpected and due to an attack of meningitis.
His remains were buried at his family burial place in Castlebar.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Died 01 February 1919 as a result of complications due to influenza.

Flatley, Thomas, 1841-1903, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1310
  • Person
  • 01 January 1841-21 June 1903

Born: 01 January 1841, County Mayo
Entered: 20 June 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 15 August 1876
Died: 21 June 1903, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Aloysius Sturzo was Novice Master to Thomas at Milltown.
After his First Vows he remained at Milltown as Cook.
He was then sent to Gardiner St as Refectorian. He was known there as a man who always had a god word for you, especially for externs he came in contact with,
1886-1888 He spent a year each in Clongowes and Milltown.
1888 He returned to Gardiner St.
Eighteen months before his death he had a serious operation for cancer, which prolonged his life a little. He was a most edifying patient during his final illness, and died on the Feast of St Aloysius at Gardiner St 21 June 1903

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Thomas Flatley 1842-1903
Br Thomas Flatley, who was born on January 7th 1842, entered the Society 24 years later. He did his noviceship at Milltown Park under Fr Sturzo.

The greater part of his life he worked at Gardiner Street. While there, he ever lost the opportunity of saying a good word in due season, to the many externs with whom he came in contact.

Eighteen months before his death he underwent a sever operation, which only prolonged his life for a short while. His conduct during his last illness was most patient and edifying, and he died calmly on the Feast of St Aloysius, June 21st 1903.

Gavan, Thomas, 1822-1895, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1353
  • Person
  • 20 December 1822-30 December 1895

Born: 20 December 1822, Ballyheane, County Mayo
Entered: 25 July 1854, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Professed: 15 August 1864
Died: 30 December 1895, Georgetown College, Washington DC, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Gibbons, Myles, 1812-1850, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1364
  • Person
  • 15 May 1812-07 August 1850

Born: 15 May 1812, Westport, County Mayo
Entered: 03 February 1837, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Ordained: 1845
Died: 07 August 1850, Upper Marlboro, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)

Part of the White Marsh MD, USA community at the time of death

Gill, Joseph Mary, 1915-2006, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/623
  • Person
  • 03 February 1915-22 June 2006

Born: 03 February 1915, Westport, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 22 June 2006, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1949 at Lusaka, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - joined Patrick Walsh and Patrick JT O’Brien in Second group of Zambian Missioners
by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
The sad and peaceful death of Fr Joe Gill, SJ, took place in the afternoon of 22 June, 2006, in the Jesuit Nursing Home, Cherryfield, Dublin. His passing marked the end of an era, for he served 72 years in the Society of Jesus. May his noble soul be at the right hand of God.

Joseph Mary Gill was born to the late Dr Anthony and Mary (nee Mulloy) Gill of Westport on 3 February 1915. He got his early education in the Mercy Convent and the Christian Brothers' Schools in Westport and in Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare.

At the age of 19, Joe entered the Jesuit noviceship at Emo Park in 1934 and took his first vows in 1936. During the following ten years (1936-1946) he completed his third-level studies in arts (at UCD, 1936-1939), in philosophy at Tullabeg (1939-1942) and in theology at Milltown Park, Dublin (1942-1946). He was ordained a priest at Milltown Park on 31 July, 1945.

After his tertianship (1946-1947) he taught for a year in the Crescent Secondary School for boys in Limerick. He took his final vows as a Jesuit on 2 February 1948.
In 1948, Fr Gill was chosen to become one of the 'founding fathers' of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Zambia in Africa (then known as Northern Rhodesia). During his eight years in Zambia he worked tirelessly as pastor, builder, teacher and administrator in St Ignatius Church, Lusaka, in St Peter Canisius College, Chikuni, and in the mission outstations of Kasiya, Chivuna and Fumbo.

On his return to Ireland in 1956 Fr Joe was made minister of the recently founded Catholic Workers' College in Ranelagh, later to be known as the National College of Industrial Relations and today renamed as the National College of Ireland.

It was in 1958 however, that Father Gill was given his major appointment for the pastoral, spiritual and administrative care of souls in St Francis Xavier's Church, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin. This was to be his spiritual vineyard for the next 48 years. For the first 44 years of his time in Gardiner Street, Fr Joe achieved an extraordinary grace as pastor and spiritual counsellor. He spent hours upon hours hearing confessions and trying to bring peace of mind to a wide variety of penitents from the ranks of clergy, religious and laity. He was always available as long as his health enabled him. In addition to the onerous tasks of the confessional and the parlour, Fr Joe encouraged an extraordinary gathering of devout souls in the Sodality of Our Lady and Saint Patrick and the Association of Perpetual Adoration. He became spiritual director of both groups in 1989. Every year his dedicated friends would make a wonderfully colourful variety of vestments for Churches in Ireland and in the Mission fields. Fr Joe was extremely proud of the creative work of his team.

Following an accidental fall in 2002 which resulted in a hip replacement (in Merlin Park Hospital. Galway), Fr Joe's health began to fail somewhat. This extraordinary pastor kept up his role as spiritual counsellor in the Jesuit Nursing Home until all his energy had faded away. His passing marked the completion of a very full life as a priest and as a kind friend.

Fr Joe will be sadly missed by his Jesuit brothers and members of his family. Although living and working away from Westport, he kept constant contact with the parish of his birth and early rearing. He is survived by his sister.

Note from Maurice Dowling Entry
After the war, when the Jesuits in Northern Rhodesia were looking for men, two Irish Jesuits volunteered in 1946 (Fr Paddy Walsh and Fr Paddy O'Brien) to be followed by two more in 1947, Maurice and Fr Joe Gill. They came to Chikuni.

Note from Bill Lee Entry
In 1951, two of these places (Kasiya and Chivuna) became new mission stations. Kasiya was set up by Fr. Bill Lee in 1951, the year after he arrived in the country. Later in December, he was joined by Fr J Gill.. When Fr Gill arrived and a 250cc motorbike was available, Fr Gill looked after the station and set out to visit the centers of Christianity within a radius of up to 30 miles.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948
Frs. Dowling and Gill will be leaving soon for the Lusaka Mission, N. Rhodesia.
Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949
Frs. Dowling and Gill who left Dublin for the Lusaka Mission, N. Rhodesia, on 7th October reached their destination on 4th November; for the present they are stationed at Chikuni and Lusaka respectively.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007


Fr Joesph (Joe) Gill (1915-2006)

3rd February 1915: Born in Westport, Co. Mayo
Early education in Mercy Convent & CBS Westport and Clongowes Wood College
7th September 1934: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1936: First Vows at Emo
1936 - 1939: Rathfarnham -Studied Arts at UCD
1939 - 1942: Tullabeg -Studied Philosophy
1942 - 1946: Milltown Park -Studied Theology
31st July 1945: Ordained at Milltown Park
1946 - 1947: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1947 - 1948: Crescent -Spiritual Father (boys) & Teacher
2nd February 1948: Final Vows at Sacred Heart College
1948 - 1949: St. Ignatius Church, Lusaka
1949 - 1951: Canisius College, Chikuni - Minister and Teacher
1951 - 1952: Kasiya - Building Outstations
1952 - 1954: Civuna and Fumbo -Building Outstations
1954 - 1956: Canisius College, Chikuni - Minister and Teacher
1956 - 1958: Catholic Workers College, Dublin - Minister
1958 - 2006: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street -
1958 - 1977: Pastoral Ministry; Director SFX Social Services;
1977 - 1985: Ministered in the Church
1985 - 1989: Sub-minister
1989 - 2002: Assisted in Church; Director of the Sodality of Our Lady and St. Patrick and the Association of Perpetual Adoration and work for poor parishes.
2002 - 2006: Cherryfield - praying for the Church and the Society.
22nd June 2006: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Micheál MacGréil wrote in the Mayo News July 12th 2006:
Joseph Mary Gill was born to the late Dr Anthony and Mary (nee Mulloy) Gill of Westport on February 30, 1915. He got his early education in the Mercy Convent and the Christian Brothers' Schools in Westport and in Clongowes Wood College.

At the age of 19 years, Joe entered the Jesuit Noviceship at Emo Park (near Portarlington) in 1934, and took his first vows as a Jesuit in 1936. During the following ten years (1936-1946) he completed his third-level studies in Arts (at UCD, 1936-1939), in Philosophy (at Tullabeg, County Offaly 1939-1942) and in Theology (at Milltown Park, Dublin 1942-1946). He was ordained a priest at Milltown Park on July 31, 1945. Following a third spiritual year (Tertianship, 1946-1947), he taught for a year in the Crescent Secondary School for boys in Limerick. Fr Joe took his final vows as a Jesuit on February 2, 1948.

In 1948, Fr Gill was chosen to become one of the founding fathers' of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Zambia in Africa (then known as Northern Rhodesia). During his eight years he worked tirelessly as pastor, builder, teacher and administrator in St Ignatius Church, Lusaka, in St Peter Canisius College, Chikuni, and in mission outstations in Kasiya, Civuna and Fumbo.

On his return to Ireland in 1956, Fr Joe was made Minister (administrator) of the recently-founded Catholic Workers' College in Ranelagh (later to be known as the National College of Industrial Relations and today renamed as the National College of Ireland).

It was in 1958, however, that Father Gill was given his major appointment for the pastoral, spiritual and administrative care of souls in St Francis Xavier's Church, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin. This was to be his spiritual vineyard for the next 48 years. For the first-44 years of his time in Gardiner Street, Father Joe achieved an extraordinary grace as pastor and spiritual counselor. He spent hours upon hours hearing confessions and trying to bring peace of mind to a wider range of penitents - from the ranks of clergy, religious and laity.

He was always available as long as his health enabled him. In addition to the onerous tasks of the confessional and the parlour, Father Joe encouraged an extraordinary collectivity of devout souls in the Sodality of Our Lady and Saint Patrick and the Association of Perpetual Adoration. He became spiritual director of both groups in 1989. Every year his dedicated friends would make a wonderfully colourful variety of vestments for Churches in Ireland and in the Mission fields. Father Joe was extremely proud of the creative work of his team.

Following an accidental fall in 2002, which resulted in a hip replacement (in Merlin Park Hospital, Galway), Father Joe's health began to fail somewhat. This extraordinary pastor kept up his role as spiritual counsellor in the Jesuit Nursing Home until all his energy had faded away. His passing marked the completion of a very full life as a priest and as a kind friend.

Fr Joe will be sadly missed by his Jesuit brothers and members of his family. Although living and working away from Westport, Father Joe Gill kept constant contact with the parish of his birth and early rearing. He is survived by his sister, Moya Gill, Westport; his nieces Marlene Lavelle (Achill), Brenda Furnace (Dublin), Janice Gill (England) and by his nephews, Joe, James, Peter and Vincent McGovern (Newport, Westport, Galway and Naas), John and Paul Gill (Dublin), Anthony, James, John and Joseph Gill (England).

Fr. Joe was predeceased by his twin sister, Ella McGovern, and his brothers, Dr Anthony, Lt. Col. Gerrard (Engineer Corps) and Xavier (Xavie) Gill. His removal and funeral Mass were celebrated in St Francis Xavier Church, where he ministered for so long. The final tribute to Father Joe was given by the Jesuit Superior of St Francis Xavier's Community, Father Derek Cassidy, SJ, during his sermon at the funeral Mass. There was a very large and representative attendance at Fr Joe's funeral Mass, including members of his extended family from Ireland and abroad.

The Irish Jesuit Provincial, Father John Dardis, SJ, and the former Jesuit Provincial of Zambia, Father Paul Brassil, SJ, concelebrated the Mass with scores of other priest colleagues of Father Joe's. A substantial representation of Jesuit Brothers, and Sisters and Brothers of other congregations also took part.

It was very fitting that so many friends travelled from west Mayo to make their prayer of farewell to 'one of their own', whose great love was boating on Clew Bay, Sagart dilis, muinteartha, carthanach a bhí ann. Rinne sé a dhícheall ar son an tsoiscéil bheo. I bhfochair Dé go raibh sé.

Hearn, Joseph, 1854-1941, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1429
  • Person
  • 05 August 1854-22 November 1941

Born: 05 August 1854, Ballinrobe, County Mayo
Entered: 31 October 1878, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1890
Final Vows: 02 February 1896, St Ignatius, Riverview, Sydney, Australia
Died: 22 November 1941, Loyola College, Watsonia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

First World War chaplain

by 1888 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
Came to Australia 1892
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 7th Infantry Battalion

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :

Note from John Gately Entry :
Father Gately worked up to the end. He heard Confessions up to 10pm and was dead by 2am. Four hours, and perhaps most of that sleeping! Father Charles Morrough heard groaning and went down, and Father Joseph Hearn, Superior, gave him the Last Sacraments.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

On Saturday 25 April, the annual dawn Anzac commemoration will take place. It is the centenary of the failed Anzac engagement at Gallipoli. Six Jesuits, five of them Irish-born, served with the Australian Imperial Forces in the First World War. Frs Joseph Hearn and Michael Bergin both served at Gallipoli.

Commemorating the sesquicentenary of the arrival of Irish Jesuits in Australia
This year the Australian Province of the Jesuits are commemorating the sesquicentenary of the arrival of Irish Jesuits in Australia. Australia became the first overseas mission of the Irish Jesuit Province. To mark the occasion the Archdiocese of Melbourne are organising a special thanksgiving Mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne 27 September. On 20 June Damien Burke, Assistant Archivist, Irish Jesuit Archives gave a talk at the 21st Australasian Irish Studies conference, Maynooth University, titled “The archives of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia, 1865-1931”. In his address Damien described the work of this mission with reference to a number of documents and photographs concerning it that are held at the Irish Jesuit Archives.
Irish Jesuits worked mainly as missionaries, and educators in the urban communities of eastern Australia. The mission began when two Irish Jesuits Frs. William Lentaigne and William Kelly, arrived in Melbourne in 1865 at the invitation of Bishop James Alipius Goold, the first Catholic bishop of Melbourne. They were invited by the Bishop to re-open St. Patrick’s College, Melbourne, a secondary school, and to undertake the Richmond mission. From 1865 onwards, the Irish Jesuits formed parishes and established schools while working as missionaries, writers, chaplains, theologians, scientists and directors of retreats, mainly in the urban communities of eastern Australia. By 1890, 30% of the Irish Province resided in Australia.
By 1931, this resulted in five schools, eight residences, a regional seminary in Melbourne and a novitiate in Sydney. Dr Daniel Mannix, archbishop of Melbourne, showed a special predication for the Jesuits and requested that they be involved with Newman College, University of Melbourne in 1918. Six Jesuits (five were Irish-born) served as chaplains with the Australian Forces in the First World War and two died, Frs Michael Bergin and Edwards Sydes. Both Michael Bergin and 62 year-old Joe Hearn, earned the Military Cross. Bergin was the only Catholic chaplain serving with the Australian Imperial Force to have died as a result of enemy action in the First World War.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Joseph Hearn was an Old Boy of St Stanislaus College, Tullamore, before its amalgamation with Clongowes. He entered the Society at Milltown Park, 31 October 1878, at the age of 24. He taught at Tullabeg College after juniorate studies, 1881-84, studied philosophy at Milltown Park, 1884-89, and theology at Louvain and Milltown Park, 1887-91. He
was then appointed socius to the master of novices while he completed his tertianship at Tullabeg College.
Hearn came to Australia and taught at St Patrick's College, 1892-96, and Riverview for a short time in 1896. He was appointed superior and parish priest of Richmond, 1896-1914, and was a mission consulter at the same time. Then he became a military chaplain and served with the Australian Expeditionary Force in its campaign in the Dardanelles. He served with the 7th in Belgium and then with the 2nd infantry Battalion. He was with the Australian Imperial Force (AIP), headquarters in the UK, returning to Australia early in 1917. He
was awarded the Military Cross for his service.
Upon his return, he resumed parish work at Lavender Bay, 1917-18; North Sydney, 1918-22, where he was parish priest, superior and Sydney Mission consulter, and Hawthorn, 1922-31, at one time minister then superior and parish priest. Despite old age, he was appointed rector of Loyola College, Greenwich, 1931-33, and when the house of formation moved to Watsonia, Vic., became its first rector, 1934-40. His final appointment was parish work at Richmond, Vic.
Hearn was called 'blood and iron Joe', and lived up to this by the severity of his manner, both with himself and others. He did not relate well to women, but men liked him. He had a vein of sardonic humor that suited well with the temper of the First AIF He joined the army at the age of 60. Though his service in the army tended to overshadow his other work, the real high point of his career was his long period as parish priest of Richmond; the parish schools especially are a monument to him.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Entered as Brother Novice. After 6 months postulancy was admitted as a Scholastic Novice

Hennelly, Francis G, 1913-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/507
  • Person
  • 05 April 1913-13 February 1989

Born: 05 April 1913, Ballindine, County Mayo
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1947, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 13 February 1989, Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin

Part of the Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin community at the time of death

Early education at Str Jarlath’s College, Tuam, County Galway; Tertianship at Rarthfarnham

Hyde, John, 1909-1985, Jesuit priest, theologian and Irish language scholar

  • IE IJA J/37
  • Person
  • 19 November 1909-31 May 1985

Born: 19 November 1909, Ballycotton, County Cork
Entered: 01 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1945, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 31 May 1985, Our Lady's Hospice Harold's Cross, Dublin

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

Early education at St Colman’s College, Fermoy, County Cork

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 60th Year No 4 1985


Fr John Hyde (1909-1927-1985)
(† 11th May 1985)

Five minutes alone with John Hyde was more than sufficient to convince anyone that here was a very remarkable man.
No matter what the occasion or topic of conversation, vibrations of peace and depth accompanied his economy in words, his concentration on what was said qualified a head-down self- effacement that had become second nature to him, and a curious sense of his having a firm hold on spiritual priorities was unconsciously communicated in a simple way. It is not easy to write with confidence about a man like that, difficult to avoid the tendency to confuse first impressions with fact and difficult to steer clear of conclusions based on oft-repeated anecdotes that lent them- selves to good-humoured inflation. John seldom spoke about himself and left no trace in his room of anything directly autobiographical although inferences can indeed be drawn from many folders of notes on spirituality, local history and theology. Yet, granted the right atmosphere and the appropriate question that he could see did not stem from mere curiosity, John would be self revealing where he felt his own experiences would be the source of encouragement to another. What follows is coloured by a few self-revelations of that kind. It is based on the memories of many who gained much from living with him in community over the years; it is also dependent on the recollections of very many non-Jesuit friends particularly in the Midlands who knew him in a way that was not possible for his confrères.
John Hyde was born in the bilingual community of Ballycotton, attended the local National School (in bare feet some of the time) and in his teens was privately tutored in French by two retired ladies in the district who recognised his promise and his eagerness to learn. This promise was confirmed during his years “on scholarship” in St Colman's College, Fermoy, where his early interest in the priesthood led him, by way of a College retreat by Fr Timothy Halpin, towards the Society, The move to the noviciate in Tullabeg in 1927 was in fact a reasoned preference for a disciplined community way of life over the fairly predictable career that would have begun had he accepted the free place in the Irish College in Rome offered him by the Bishop of Ross. While Tullabeg represented a cultural shift for John, Rathfarnham and UCD was a greater one which he found socially difficult but spiritually and academically agreeable. At this time he read widely in the history of the Society and continued a noviciate habit of close contact with the lives of Jesuit saints. Philosophy, Tullabeg 1933-1936: he was glad to be back in the country but felt sad at being separated by Province custom from the local people whose difficult lot at that time he appreciated through his own Ballycotton roots. The scholastic codices he used at this period bear witness to his meticulous efforts to understand and also to his predilection for Irish since many of his own notes in whatever language are written in gaelic script.
Regency in Belvedere and in Galway was traumatic. I remember him just shaking his head and waving his hands without comment in typical fashion when I asked him about the experience of standing before a class of irrepressibles who, as we can readily imagine, would often take advantage of his natural shyness and imitability. He admitted to being particularly lonely in the Society at that time and this loneliness remained during the Milltown theology years when, in moments of depression, and disturbed by the effects of his lack of interest in current affairs, he wondered whether his Jesuit option had been wise. He met the challenge by strengthening his belief in two principles that later would occur frequently in his lectures and conferences – that God is always faithful and that no one is asked to undertake unbearable burdens. Ordination in 1941 was followed by a fourth year during which he recalled efforts to translate abstract doctrine into homely metaphors in order to assist one or other of his contemporaries in the pre-Ad Grad repetitions; thus were laid the foundations of that metaphor-laden pedagogy of later years which benefitted his so many as he would, for example, expressively compare original sin with a puncture in a tyre and describe the Lutheran position on human nature after Eden in terms of the irremediable effect of a fall into a bottomless pit instead of the reparable injury resulting from a fall from a tree to the ground that characterised orthodox doctrine. Soon after the Tertianship Long Retreat in Rathfarnham, the Milltown years of of preferred study and inactivity exacted their toll as John contracted pleurisy and tuberculosis and spent some months in two Dublin nursing homes. The earlier depression increased during long hours gazing at walls and ceilings, as he felt his life to have been a failure and his studies useless. Providentially, and at least initially at his sister's request, he was moved to Tullabeg to recuperate. The depression gradually lifted over two years during which the philosophers recognise how helpful he could be and to confirm for themselves the reputation for asceticism and insight that had in fact preceded his arrival among them. As his strength returned, he entered at depth into the study of Aquinas which he would develop through his life. Also through the confessional and parlour apostolates, he took his first steps in the contacts with the sick and elderly which were to become such a prominent feature of his life. Both activities restored his self-confidence and confirmed his trust in the 'the divine plan that governs all by governing each'; he never looked back.
Appointed to the academic staff in 1946, John's talents for pedagogy at this particular level and his reputation for consistency developed enormously over sixteen years of quiet, unassuming application. To the uninitiated, his codex pages could be enigmatic, their elliptical, staccato format and expressly Aristotelian-Thomist inspiration difficult to follow without long reflection on the sources, but to those attending lectures with patience, these pages were prized, stimulating understanding for all and inspiring the more speculative minds to further originality of expression. In the countryside, his reputation grew as he became a familiar sight in Tullamore, Clara, Pullough and Ballycumber, cycling in all weathers to respond to some call for his presence and blessing. His familiar figure represented for the Midland people an ideal charismatic holiness which his interest in their individual difficulties abundantly confirmed. Others might say what he did, other priests might come to anoint or absolve, but none could measure up in their rural eyes to what they found in John at a time when lasting consolations were rare enough and Bord na Móna not yet fully established as a secure source of income. He was very much at ease with them in their humble circumstances, frequently brought cakes or sweets for the children began to that we, the philosophers, gathered up for him as he cycled away after our villa day alfresco meal, and relished the tea and home-made bread they laid before him, following, in some cases, his guided tour of the farmyard and his . solemn blessing of the household.
The move to Milltown in 1962 saddened him even though he could clearly see the hand of God in the decision. He found it extremely difficult at that time to sympathise with the scholastics' preference for urban life and the cultural possibilities it would afford; for him, philosophical reflection and a fully committed religious life demanded, at least in formation years, something like the quasi-monastic enclosure of a place like Tullabeg. While respecting the judgement of “those who know about these things”, he felt that both studies and prayer would suffer. Later in Milltown, the establishment of the present Institute and the increasing extra-mural concerns of all the students were also great puzzles to him and on many guarded occasions he lamented what he considered to be an inevitable drop in academic standards. Environment and concentration were of paramount importance to him; prevailing ephemeral interests were distractions best avoided until such time as religious and academic foundations were well and truly laid. Certainly, too, he was saddened by his own enforced separation from the rural scene and from the people who meant so much to him. On one occasion he admitted that God also wished then to remove him also from the Jesuit community dimension that he found supportive in the Bog-years: from now on he would find common interests at community recreation so much rarer and so his lapses into silence became habitual.
Yet he applied himself to theology with enthusiasm even though he sincerely felt himself unequipped to teach it. This last admission would surprise anyone present in his classes but the 'I'd like to run away' comment, made several times to me at least, was sufficient indication that his awareness of his own inability to communicate effectively with modern trends and sophisticated minds ran deep. He worked at a steady pace, relying on critically chosen authors and reviews, checking the accuracy of references with a keen suspicion of generalisations, and was always unmoved by trends that for lesser minds would prompt radical revision. While he was always uneasy about his own ability for accurate communication of what he himself knew to be true, and very much aware of many fields for related investigation, the gates to which he never had time or energy to open, his contribution to our understanding of scripture-based meaning and development cannot be overestimated. It is hoped that a fairly comprehensive assessment of that contribution may be made elsewhere, but at least here it is worth noting that the major concern in his teaching was to bridge the gap between an over-speculative systematic theology and our own religious experience, in line with the early Lonergan stress on self-appropriation which had delighted him in his later years in Tullabeg. That particular con cern is clear on almost every codex-page he produced.
While in Milltown, concern for the sick and elderly continued undiminished through an enormous correspondence, visits to hospitals and to Mountjoy jail, parlour contacts and his return visits to the Bog in summer, at Christmas and at Easter. Up to a year before his death he was out on the bicycle if weather permitted, or, whatever the weather, if an urgent request came to him to visit some direct or indirect acquaintance who had been transferred from the Midlands to a Dublin hospital. He was particularly sensitive to the loneliness felt by country people suddenly removed from their own environment to Dublin; visiting them became a primary concern and I have heard first-hand accounts of after noon trips to the hospitals at Cappagh, Peamount, Blanchardstowni, Loughlinstown and Rathcoole. On a few occasions “the machine let me down” and once, in a winter storm, he walked back from Tallaght satisfying himself when he got home with tea and bread in an empty refectory after supper. This last incident could be paralleled by many other occasions both in the Bog and in Milltown when his own well-being took second place to the demands of his preferred apostolate; it was quite common for him to put the thought of supper out of his mind because of a parlour call or an urgent visit by sudden request. Superiors had to be watchful but so often John, even during his last months, indeliberately escaped their vigilance.
Invalid contacts in Tullabeg brought him to Knock in the mid-sixties and he established a relationship with invalids at the shrine that lasted until he died, Instrumental in the development of a Pious Union of Handmaids (which includes a special status for invalids) as the first stage towards the establishment of a Secular Institute, John worked steadily on their Constitutions, regularly wrote to the member-invalids in various parts of the country, visited some of them in their homes (taking advantage the free travel pass) and directed their annual retreat in Knock each August.
This year I was privileged to follow in his footsteps and could sense the depth of the invalids' grief at the fact that he was no longer with them as before. Yet his spirit remains as they prize memories of his quiet concern, his reading-visits to those who were blind and the customary blessing with a relic of John Sullivan which he constantly carried in his hatband. As with Midland recollections, the accounts of cures effected through his prayers, of extraordinary foresight with regard to eventual recovery, of flourishing families and farms due to his spiritual advice, and of problems solved merely by his presence and concern, are manifold.
Not until his death could we realise his life-long hobby-interest in the local histories of Ballycotton and Offaly. He has left copybooks, odd pages and letters, sheets of statistics and meticulously traced maps which bear witness to hours spent in the National Library, the Public Records Office, the Royal Irish Academy and similar places.
Lists of local populations with names, dates, land valuations and property mingled in his room with genealogies, land-charts and press-cuttings sent him by like-minded enthusiasts. His correspondence on the subject, frequently in reply to requests from people descended, as I understand it, from Ballycotton emigrants, extended to America and Australia; he was in regular contact with local archaeological societies, in 1982 he gave a lecture to the Cloyne Literary and Historical Society that was much appreciated, and pursued right up to the end. This work will not be lost to sight; photo copies will be sent to the appropriate societies.
From his notes and copybooks, it is also clear that his love for the Old Testament Canticles was not a transient one: the publication of his own translation in Irish of The Song of
Songs (Laoi na of Laoithe; it has been incorporated in An Bíobla Naofa) and a typical staccato style commentary, is but the outward evidence of an interest in a readily understandable
conception of divine love that informed his unique approach to the theological tracts on grace and charity - a prime example of his efforts to bridge that aforementioned gap between
systematics and experience.
His scattered preparatory notes on various retreats for religious, his simple but forceful articles in An Timire, his conferences on prayer (it disturbed him to find these typed and distributed), some domestic exhortations and his circular letters to invalids are a mine of practical spirituality, simply expressed, that many feel would repay editing and composite publication. The very idea the extent of would have appalled him for he was genuinely convinced that he had little to offer to a modern, outwardly sophisticated readership, and was self persuaded that his own lack of style and polish in English composition would be the an obstacle. In spiritual matters, could not but keep things simple and frequently professed incompetence in the field of the discernment of spirits; he would never have envisaged himself engaged in directed retreats - 'I wouldn't know what to say' - the admission was sincere. With individuals who came to him for spiritual advice, he consistently turned to scriptural principles leaving inferences to be drawn by his confidant; for those with little practice in spiritual thought, he provided one or two provocative parables from everyday life, but even then would never presume to make the directly personal application himself. His relationship with sisters is not easy to interpret. Undoubtedly he was a favourite retreat-giver in the old style, certainly he helped many individually in their convents and in parlours, but it was clear to us that he felt very uneasy with the post-Vatican aggiornamento that closer relationships with male communities understandably brought sisters into. His attitude was by no means anti-feminist - quite the opposite, as I could see from the Knock situation. I can only ascribe it to a combination of natural shyness and lack of common ground for conversation on the one hand and on the other, a personal desire to be at ease in the refectory (this applied particularly to his later Tullabeg visits) with those whom he knew well, an attitude that will be readily appreciated by those who have themselves spent the morning or afternoon hours in concentrated study.
Self-effacement was characteristic of the man, so clear in each of his apostolates and accentuated over the years in the Society where he eventually became content with his position outside the cultural mainstream. He could never have more than a passing interest in current events, in radio or newspapers, never watched television, and was in touch with developments only through side-references in review articles and very occasional press headlines noticed during his usual dinner-hour peek at the obituaries in the recreation room. Consequently he was happy to be unobtrusive and remain silent in small-talk recreations and sophisticated company. He suspected his unconcern and social awkwardness, as he saw it, would be disconcerting and, unless directly addressed by one of the company, he preferred to withdraw without fuss to the peace and that meant so much to him. His oft-noted absence at Province funerals and functions was quite typical - “these things are not for me” became a principle of ever-increasing application. Some found him a difficult person to live with because of his self-depreciating manner which, however, was certainly not feigned. It was not just shyness. He seemed to think that his own simplicity of outlook and sincere lack of interest in ephemera automatically placed him on a very low rung of the social ladder and he never had any incentive to climb. He willingly stepped back to give way to anyone - this was what God had decreed for him, and he accepted it. In the refectory he was seldom able to join three others already seated even though he would genuinely welcome them if they joined him, and the familiar sight of John standing back until all others were served just underlined his consistency. Yet in conversation, particularly with one or two, he could sparkle if the topic were congenial - local history or some curiosity of the Irish language or news from the Midlands, but anything polemical was avoided: if pressed to take sides on any issue, he would invariably appeal to some general principle and leave it at that. On administrative issues, he would express no opinion. Many post-Vatican moves, inspired by authority whose judgement he always respected, were a puzzle to him, and many were distinctly at variance with his own religious ideals, but he was con tent to accept in silence so much of which he knew he could never be a part. At the same time he was never on the side of the prophets of gloom: here his theological perspectives came to his aid as he insisted daily on an eventual realisation of the divine plan and on the reality of Providence at work in the world.
In theology or spirituality, John seemed to have a built-in radar for that 'phoniness' that sometimes made people uneasy. Many times in his room I have sensed its beeps either in relation to something I said or in his expressed views on some books or articles that had quiet caught the popular theological eye. He very much lamented the general trend towards concentration on man rather than on God as a theological starting point and felt much in tune with Hans Urs von Balthasar who, from a position of greater learning, confirmed his attitude and underlined the soundness of the general approach of Thomas Aquinas, whose work and personality were so dear to John. Simplicity of faith, whatever the later reasoning, was a factor that John could sense so well and his lectures or conferences implicitly emphasised its importance in pastoral or academic activity. Another point of absorbing interest was his quiet insistence that in general we do not have sufficient faith in what God wants to do for each of us - John 15:5 was one of his favourite texts; and his nose for the pelagianism subtly interwoven in the pages of popularising theologians was quite remarkable. His own faith in the prayer of petition (“like a shop with well-filled shelves: it's all there but we must ask”) surely accounts for some of the unusual events that so many Midlanders have attributed to his concern and prayers.
With so few of his personal notes available, it is not possible to do more than draw inferences regarding his own spiritual life. Certainly reverence was a key feature. Memories of John kneeling rigidly in the chapel, head down and oblivious to all around him, come easily to mind as does the recollection of him offering Mass in a subdued emotionless voice (he never concelebrated, through rather than from principle) and the studied concentration that would accompany the simple blessing of a rosary. His pre-lecture retreat prayer that all our actions be directed solely (with a deliberate emphasis on the word) to the praise and service of God seems to have been a reflection of his life. In his last month he did mention that his priestly intention had always been that he might be able to imitate “the Master” as closely as possible within the limitations imposed by his retiring dispositions and by the academic calling which he fully accepted but would all too willingly have passed to others better able to do it than himself. He gave himself credit for nothing: the Isaian potter moulding his clay to suit his plans was an image of God that was dear to him - probably John mentioned it in every retreat he gave. At every stage of his life, “I did the best that I could do” - the divine plan daily worked out in this unusually faithful and selfless way of service for others. His own interests were secondary. Many recall how he would gladly interrupt any work to answer a call to the parlour, giving as much time to that as his visitor needed. If we went to him in his room,we knew indeed that we and not he would have to terminate the interview, and this was particularly difficult to do in his last year, since, with his powers of solitary study for long periods on the wane, he seemed more and more to welcome individual company..
A final pointer to another characteristic known only to those who knew him fairly well whether in community or on his pastoral rounds - his sense of humour. Many stories have been told of cryptically witty remarks he made, sum ming up a situation or a character in a way that would have occurred to no one else and displaying his own satisfying cleverness in a broad tight-lipped smile. He thoroughly enjoyed the bantering conversation of a refectory foursome even though his own contributions would be infrequent - and these would invariably raise a laugh. Some years ago, Fred Crowe, visiting Milltown, looked forward to chatting with John because of all he had heard about him. Asked after two days during which they had not met if he would recognise John, Fred replied that he thought he would, “He's the man in the refectory who sits with his head down seemingly uninvolved with all that was being said by the other three ... until after a while he looks up, says something very briefly, and the three burst into loud laughter ... the memory is typical. It confirms what we all knew - that his reclusiveness was not the whole story but had to be qualified by a subtle mischievousness which, perhaps, is a key to an understanding of the loneliness that he sometimes keenly felt. It is well worth noting that in Midland homes and with the Knock invalids he is remembered so well for his general cheerfulness and contagious happiness.
So much more could be and will be said about Fr John. He mystified some people, was much admired by others. He cannot be stereotyped in anything he ever did. All of us were affected by him in some way or other and we know that we will never meet anyone quite like hiin again. After a very fruitful life he slipped away as quickly and unobtrusively as he would have wished. The memories and his influence remain.
B. McNamara

As the end approached, the attractiveness of goodness warmed me to Fr John Hyde. Although he suffered a great deal, he never complained. He often ended a description of his day with the phrase, “I've no complaints”, and one was left with the impression that he spoke from a deep sense of acceptance.
While he would have preferred to die at home, he accepted the decision that he would die in Our Lady's Hospice. When the time came to go, twenty-four hours before he died, he took only what he could carry in his small leather case and neither hat nor coat. The journey in the house car was clearly, in his mind, his last. He didn't speak of the future but rather of the present and the present was grand.
Those who attended him at the Hospice, doctors, nurses and sisters, felt cheated that he died so quickly after his arrival. "We would have liked to have nursed him for a little longer", one of them said to me. They too had been touched. In life John taught that the christian life is but a preparation for death. In death John demonstrated that he practised what he preached. May he rest in peace.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 40 : September 1985

A Personal Appreciation : John Hyde

Paddy Gallagher

Fr. John Hyde died on 31st May, 1985. Writing from Canada, a former student of his and a former confrère of ours sent INTERFUSE these pages appreciation of a devoted friend.

Shortly before his death, John wrote to me in Canada saying that he was not in pain and that he was really looking forward to seeing God. God has since fulfilled that desire and, like Zacchaeus up in the tree, John must have a great view. One is left with a deep feeling of peace and fulfillment; the words, consummatum est, seem to express the meaning of it all.

For ten steady years and then, in much more sporadio fashion, for another fifteen, I had the privilege of close conversation with a friend who shared all he had so generously. My fondest memory of John is being with him in his room thinking out some difficulty. There was no need to pretend to be learned when you were with him because closeness to God coupled with a naturally gifted intelligence enabled him to discard these attitudes. John accepted you as you were with all your stupid questions and awkward formulations. I could not count the hours I spent asking questions while he patiently listened. During my years as a scholastic in Clongowes, I spent three Summers in the Bog and many an evening after supper he would come into the library and talk. His eyes would light up and he would haul out book after book selflessly putting the of his insight and learning at my disposal in an utterly selfless way. I felt deeply honoured and very humbled in the presence of a highly intelligent and very kind saint in a remote place in the Irish midlands.

John was deeply aware of his limitations and often spoke to me about them. By temperament he was a solitary and it was a measure of the power of God in the Society of Jesus coupled with John's own unwearying efforts that he was enabled to communicate intellectual light and much goodness and kindness.

Conversation with him could be very difficult because those long silences could easily unsettle someone not used to them. He was no good on Church politics or the news and his small talk was nearly always about some person he knew or some locality he was familiar with. He hated writing and found it very painful. Often he said to me that, when writing and stuck for a word, the Irish equivalent or some line from our Irish literature would come more easily to him. He was incredibly shy and felt quite lost in company other than that of close friends and simple people. With sophisticated people he was not at ease and to the best of my knowledge John did not seek out the modern unbeliever or the alienated Catholic in any great number.

The combination of certain aspects of John's temperament and the course of events from his early fifties onward could easily have led to bitterness and negativity. His sharp mind, which could be devastating, and his solitary bent, which was most at home in the older world of Irish life, could have resulted in a minefield detonating whatever came in its path. The closing of Tullabeg, certain changes in the Society's and the Church's way of life, the breakdown of Irish culture, the demise of philosophy as a serious formative factor in modern life, all these things could have conspired to corrode and embitter this small, quiet man because for John these were serious matters and he felt them deeply. John's finer qualities, however, kept these influences at bay and he chose to live out of his more positive talents, I found in him a profound docility to the truth of things; the deepest respect and care for the mind which God gave him to respond to this truth; and a limpidly pure heart. He drew deeply from his love of Christ, his love of the Society, the riches of Irish culture, his thorough knowledge of the wisdom of western Christianity and from his untiring work among the disadvantaged, to respond to the challenges in his life.

It was this man, then, with all his limitations and talents, that was thrust into the maelstrom of modern theology and, out of obedience, went to live in the city. How would he react? The temptation was to stick to the older textbooks but John's concern for the truth ruled that out. He found serious inconsistencies within then so he patiently set out to rework the whole system and made what I think was his finest achievement: a coherent wh philosophy and revelation are thoroughly and consistently integrated into a theology. It is a body of work which to some extent satisfied his own integrity and which he honestly felt addressed the fundamental problems of the world after the manner of Gaudium et Spes. It is here that we find John's attitude towards modernity and while he had many “No’s” to say to it, nevertheless much more significant are the clear signposts which he thinks will keep us on our way to the truth. The following is an effort to identify these signposts and I trust they do justice to his thought. If they are unsatisfactory, then I urge the reader to go to “The Sheets” themselves: Tolle, lege!

John insisted on the importance of asking a penetrating question on a fundamental problem and following it through to the end with intellectual integrity. While this seens obvious in theory, in practice it is extraordinarily difficult. It accounts for the painstaking care which he took over each minute step as he moved on in the truth. Secondly, he insisted on the importance of being keenly aware of the unity of the truth and that we must come to grips with the foundations of that unity. This point accounts for the architectonio quality of his thought. Lastly, he insisted that we must make "God in Christ reconciling the world to himself" the focal point of all our questions. John was ever orientated towards God in Christ and, both in his living and thinking, this ruled him entirely. This last point means that his thought is at once a nourishing spirituality and a sati intellectual project.

Towards the end of his life, John was getting tired and he found it harder to concentrate and remember what he was reading. He had always made God in Christ the centre of his life and now he began to speak much of the greatness of God and His great love. He often spoke to ne saying that he would love to be able to make the beauty and the goodness of God the central explanatory factor in his understanding of Being but that he was too old now and, besides, he didn't think he had the originality and talent to work it out as he would like it to be done. I suppose that is one of the things I will always remember about him, the ability to pick out, in the complexity of modern reflections, an original, energing contribution; the ability to indicate lines of possible development; and the humility to say that it was beyond his capability to do it justice. What more can you ask of anyone?

This insight into God's beauty and goodness was matched by a corresponding warmth and breadth in his kindness. A few instances involving myself made it for me to overlook it. When I came home from Canada and met him for the first time in Milltown as an ex-Jesuit, I simply did not know how he would react. I need not have feared. We talked for hours and then it was time for dinner. John always enjoyed his meals - I think food was the only material thing he used up in large quantities unless we take paper and ink into the reckoning! He stood up and invited me to dinner with the community. I was very embarrassed and did not wish to intrude. He would hear none of it and asked very firmly and clearly did I want to have dinner. No doubt it seems a small gesture; but to me it revealed his very real kindness and sensitivity. The last memory I have of him as I left him in August 84 is seeing him bending down, rooting behind a wee curtain and rummaging in a large, brown paper parcel, “I have something you might like to see”, he said, thrusting a small book at me. “Would you like a copy?” he asked. I was deeply moved. John had never in his life considered anything he wrote worth giving to anyone. Gladly, I took it. It was Lóchrann do no Chosa do Bhriathar, a published collection in Irish of his spiritual articles over the years. As I quietly closed the door of his room behind me for the last time, I said to myself that it was now much easier for me to believe that truly God is wonderful, very kind and absolutely brilliant.

Is aoibhinn dó sin a bhfuil grásta Dé ar a anam. Is é atá sa bhás dó sin oscailt an dorais go dté se isteach san áit is fearr dá    bhfuil.

Happy is he whose heart is full of God's grace. For him, death means the opening of a door so that he may go into the very best place there is.

Interfuse No 54 : September 1988

Poem : Neil O’Driscoll


(Dedicated to Dick and Colin)

A countryman he was in speech and style,
His manner mild, hands clasped waist-high,
He looked out on the world with pensive glance.

Mostly 'twas listening that he did, forever probing
Mysteries as others talked -
And talk they did for many an hour,
He all the while pondering with modest smile.

The odd word from his lips were weighted
And awaited by the one for comfort come,
A crumb of wisdom shared with others
Yet oft by them repeated to their friends.

He had a human side and liked the cup of tea
With folk who lived nearby, on bike he'd come,
In wind and rain to visit and console, and bless the cow.

Well-read he was, sure wisdom was his line,
Could argue with the best and smile the while!
Questioning and searching lest his students slip away
With half learning, feeling 'twas quite simple after all.

A man of God with habits rare,
Pursuits more normal did not figure there.
No idle talk, no papers or T.v. could drag him
From the mystery there for all to see -
if only they would look
Beyond the veil of God-made "tings" to One Who fashions all.

But now he's gone, his spirit's free,
He's surely with Aquinas. Con Lonergan, Joey,
Tying all the ends unravelled here below,
And beckoning to us lest we should lose our way.

Interfuse No 99 : Winter 1998


Harold Naylor

It is now forty years since that beloved wailing voice said: “Walk seeking the Truth, with one hand in that of Thomas Aquinas”. I also recall the echoes of his prayer before Theodicy class (1958) in Tullabeg: “Send forth your wisdom from Your Holy Throne, that she may labour with me and lead me, so that we may be pleasing to you....”

John Hyde came into my life during the First Vows Retreat in Emo in 1953 and we remained close friends. Unfortunately I did not study Theology in Milltown, but I called on him whenever I could. In 1957 he'd been engrossed in reading Bernard Lonergan's Insight, which he told me was the work of a biennium, but by 1972 in Milltown he had passed on to Urs von Balthasaz, whom he told me was a real theologian!

All people can know the Truth and so know God, and come to their final destiny. This is the basis for human dignity and human rights. Without this people are just production units or tools for those in power. But people are not always intellectuals or intelligent, and most are devoid of resources. But as God loves the poor, so did John Hyde make ordinary people the focus of his life.

We used to call him the Cardinal of Pullagh-where the River Barrow flows. Here he was revered as a saint by farmer and old aged, sick and poor. And this came from his devotion to the Truth, revealed in Jesus Christ, as the ultimate goal of creation and of our personal lives.

The love of wisdom is not only for the brilliant and sophisticated but is mostly for the humble. And I saw it in John Hyde, who spent hours preparing for a lecture to the dozen or so of us philosophers. The afternoons and free days were spent with people on their pilgrimages to eternal joy.

I consider him to have come from south Tipperary, as his strong accent betrayed. In 1976 I called in on his secondary school in Clonmel. He joined the Society from Clongowes but was looked upon by his contemporaries as a joke. Small and insignificant he had bad health as a scholastic. After Tertianship he was in a tuberculosis sanatorium and then sent to Tullabeg to recuperate. By chance, he was asked to take a few classes to fill in for Professors. He prepared so assiduously and explained so simply in his monosyllabic words, summarised succinctly on the blackboard in colour chalk, that he was a great success. He spoke to us, not repeating what he had read or relating past experiences. This helped to deal with ordinary people, training us in pastoral approaches, not in self centred showmanship. His wit was scintallating, but his humour often barbed. I think he had deep wounds from people who looked down on him. Charlie Chaplin had the same hang-up from his early days in the East End of London. But John Hyde was leading us to be close to the sick and suffering, the poor and marginals to bring them the light of the Gospel Truth.

He had a horror of superficiality and verbiage. When people speak of what they did not know, I often saw his verbal stiletto flash with "What do you mean?". His remarks on people we knew found their mark in loud laughter in the class room, but they also encouraged the pursuit of truth. He was like the wise man waiting on the path were wisdom walks, stalking like a hunter, and yet always aware that wisdom lead to truth which is a gift.

His class were unique. What he had to teach was summarised in colour chalk in a few words on the blackboard. His wit was colourful and sharp. Some remarks were full of irony, others of innuendoes referring to people we all knew. He was painstakingly trying to form pastoral priests and to form honest people who sought truth and witnessed it in their lives.

I read The Tablet of London. I am sure John Hyde would have spent his time like this. I always saw him meditating on the Scriptures, and referring to Thomas Aquinas. I knew he spent much time in the library consulting monographs and serious papers on what he was teaching. He never did special studies so he did not have the ways of university folk. I imagine him the type of revered village school master, who knew what he taught and loved those he taught, leading them to truth,

He did no light reading - but he read people's eyes - those of the poor and suffering, the sick and humble. He hardly looked at the daily press or listened to the radio, and of course there was no TV in his days. He was a priest. And people want such people to bring the Truth of revelation to them. They want people who have experienced the things of God and the life of grace and they found it in John Hyde.

In the October 24 issue of The Tablet I read a summary of Pope John Paul II's encyclical on Fides et Ratio. As I carefully read the lines I recalled John Hyde, who entered the truth and made his home under the shade of Wisdom and dwelt there. He sought wisdom like the hunter watching his prey and waited in its path to receive truth.

In the pages of The Tablet are recorded the struggles of many Catholics and other Christians. There are voices of dissent and criticism, John Hyde was one who received the ultimate truth about human life and shared it with others. He had the wonder awakened by the contemplation of creation. But central to his life was the light of revelation, the mystery of the saving plan of God, and the ultimate truth about human life given in the Paschal Mystery

Philosophy today is sometimes relegated to tidying up thinking, or analysis language. It avoids ultimate questions like: "Why is there something instead of nothing?" Philosophy tends to talk of opinions but sheers away from absolutes and certainties. But we say that every truth is but a step towards the fullness of truth which will appear with the final revelation of God. And there
can be no real dialogue unless we have a firm basis of belief and understanding of what we affirm as truth.

Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth. Today humanity is faced with the pressing issues of ecology, peace and the coexistence of different races and cultures. Christians, with the light of Faith, need to collaborate with followers of other religions and other philosophies to work for the renewal of humanity.

We need a firm vision in life and this comes from certainties which truth gives us. And we can know the truths of who I am, where I come from and where I am going, and why there is evil. We proclaim certitudes to help in steps to attain greater truth which leads to the fullness of truth which will appear with the final revelation.

Knowledge is to lead to rigorous modes of thought and produce a logical coherence of affirmations made in the organic unity of content. We are called to direct our steps toward a truth which transcends us. Too many are adrift no longer seeking the as radical questions about the meaning and foundation of human existence.

Jesus is the revealer of God, who gives the ultimate truth of life and the goal of history. Apart from Jesus the mystery of existence remains an insoluble riddle. Only in the light of Christ's passion death and resurrection are we to find answers to our dramatic questions.

Freedom is not realised in decisions against God, as it is He that enables our self-realisation. Christian revelation is the loadstar for all, and it is only when we return deep into ourselves that we will find where truth is. And this truth is gratitutous and not the product of our efforts.

Thomas Aquinas is proposed as a model of a man of faith and reason in the fullness of revelation. There are the pitfalls of eclecticism, scienticism, pragmatism, and even biblicism to mention but a few.

In Hong Kong, there is a background of Chinese thought and culture, but a much stronger current of technological and financial factors. The logic of the market economic often prevails and there is every confidence in technology. But technology is only an instrument and if not guided by ultimate truths can harm humanity.

Philosophical ethics must look to the truth of the good.

In Christ is revealed the mystery of love, truth and meaning. The truth of Christ is the one definitive answer to humanity's problems. Such a philosophy provides a potent underpinning for the true and planetary ethics which the world needs. All people are to find their grandeur in choosing to enter the truth, to make a home under the shade of wisdom. Just as Mary lost nothing of her true humanity and freedom in giving her assent to Gabriel's summons, so philosophy loses nothing of its freedom when it heeds the summons of the Gospel truth.

John Hyde would delight in such words - I remember him as one hidden in the truth.

And I look to this new encyclical guiding my thoughts and leading me deeper into the Truth of God.

Hyland, James, 1899-1930, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1469
  • Person
  • 16 January 1899-18 June 1930

Born: 16 January 1899, Ballyvary, Castlebar, County Mayo
Entered: 21 January 1919, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 18 June 1930, Crescent College, Limerick

1921-1924 Rathfarnham - studying for BSc at UCD
1924-1926 Milltown Park - studying Philosophy
1926-1927 Clongowes - Regency
1927-1928 Crescent - Regency

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 5th Year No 4 1930
Sacred Heart College Limerick :
Sad events :
June 18. This morning, the first of the holidays, our scholastic, Mr J Hyland, was found dead in his bed. Not receiving an answer to repeated knocks at the door, the houseman entered the room, and found the corpse lying on the bed.
June 19. In the evening the remains of Mr Hyland were brought down to the Church. The Community formed the procession, The Church was filled with sympathisers, Solemnity was added by the playing of the Dead March by our Church organist.
June 20. Solemn obsequies for the repose of Mr Hyland’s soul, followed by funeral to Mungret College cemetery. Fr. Provincial presided at Mass, and officiated at the graveside. The old boys of the College insisted on carrying the coffin.
Two deaths - one of the youngest member of the Community, the other of its oldest, well within a month, were a severe trial for the Crescent Fathers. It was a consolation to them during the rather sad time they passed through, to note the very wide and very sincere respect with which the Society is regarded in Limerick. At a full meeting of the Sodality BVM,
on the evening of Fr. Kelly's burial, the Rector thanked the public for the remarkable sympathy shown to the Community of the deaths of Mr Hyland and Fr. John Kelly.

Irish Province News 5th Year No 4 1930
Obituary :
Mr James Hyland
We owe the following to the kindness of Fr McCurtin, Mr Hyland’s Rector :
Mr Hyland died suddenly at Sacred Heart College, Limerick, about 6.30 on the morning of June 18th, 1930. The house-man had knocked at the door of his room a couple of times. Fearing that Mr Hyland would be late, at 8.15 he entered the room to find the corpse lying back on the bed, with the legs protruding over the side. The poor young man evidently started to rise at once his alarm went. He was to have served an early Mass, and then to have taken the acolytes on a picnic to Galway. The doctor, who was with us immediately, pronounced that Mr Hyland had died about two hours previously, of heart failure. The Coroner was summoned at once. He and the doctor decided that there was no need for an inquest.
Mr Hyland had been swimming and cycling the afternoon before his death. He had attended the College distribution of prizes in the evening, and, later still, had been to the procurator's room to get money for the excursion to Galway next day. As far as is known there was no warning that his heart was weak. In fact, he had said a few days before that he felt in very good form. The only illness he had during his time at the Crescent was an obstinate carbuncle on the back of his neck. For this he had been carefully treated, and was sent on holiday to Galway at Christmas, 1929, and again at Easter 1930.
A remarkable tribute was paid to Mr Hyland, and, indeed, to the Society, on the occasion of the obsequies. The clergy, both secular and regular, were present in great numbers at the High Mass in our Church. The Church was quite filled with sympathisers. Public bodies, such as the Limerick Corporation and the Labour Organization, sent in notes of condolence. The latter body also postponed an important public meeting out of sympathy with the Community. The boys of the College, whose vacation began the evening before Mr Hyland's death, were all present at,the Mass and the funeral, wearing the school colours draped in black. Fr. Provincial very kindly came from Dublin for the obsequies, and officiated at the graveside in the Mungret College cemetery. Mr Hyland’s aged mother, his brother and brother-in-law, were present during the last rites. One could not but sympathise with them in their great grief, and in the tragic frustration of their hopes to see him a priest.
Mr Hyland was horn at Ballyvary, Go. Mayo, 6 Jan. 1899. He spent a few years in the Apostolic School, Mungret, and entered the Society in 1919. After noviceship at Tullabeg, he did his juniorate at Rathfarnham, and secured the B. Sc. degree of the National University. Philosophy followed at Milltown, after which he spent one year at Clongowes, and then joined the Crescent College staff as Science Master and teacher of Irish. He was a devoted student of the national language, and spoke it fluently. He was also Prefect of the boys, who liked him greatly, and was very successful in his training of the acolytes for church ceremonies. More than once the Bishop of the Diocese praised his work in that respect, as well as his efficiency as Master of Ceremonies - a duty he was always ready to fulfil.
Mr Hyland was a very exact young Religious - punctual at all his duties, end very careful not to omit any religious exercise, He was specially devoted to the Mass, and had the habit of hearing as many Masses as his work would permit. Notwithstanding a shy and retiring disposition, his uprightness and unfailing kindness won for him the respect and even the affection of the boys. They loved to go on cycle rides or picnics with him, and it was touching to see the friendly way in which the little lads gathered round him during recreations. May God give this good young man an eternal rest.

Keane, Edmund, 1916-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/624
  • Person
  • 28 July 1916-11 May 2000

Born: 28 July 1916, Ballina, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1951, St Ignatius, Leeson Street, Dublin
Died: 11 May 2000, St Vincent’s Hospital Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1949 North American Martyrs, Auriesville NY USA (NEB) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

Fr. Edmund Keane, writes 27th September, from Oour Lady of Martyrs Tertianship, Auriesville, New York :
“On the eve of the Long Retreat (it begins this evening) I write to commend myself in a special manner to your Holy Masses and prayers. Auriesville certainly affords all the exterior aids for a faithful retreat : peace, coolness, and the wide open-spaces so welcome after the heat and hurried tempo of New York, and one can depend on the weather to behave. After four weeks Fr. Kent and I are now well settled into the Tertianship, and both are in good health, D.G. The house is very comfortable and well appointed, food excellent, and surroundings from a scenic point of view very beautiful. In all there are 43 Tertians, of whom only about 8 hail from Provinces other than American, so there are no language difficulties. Fr. Keenan is our Instructor, and I am glad of the opportunity of spending a year under his direction.
Yesterday, the Feast of the Matryrs was marked by special celebrations, and during the day the number of pilgrims that flowed in through the Shrine must have been over 10,000. Solemn High Mass coram Episcopo (Most Rev, Dr. Gibbons of the Albany diocese) in the Coliseum at noon, preceded by a procession into it of various bodies, the Knights of Columbus, The Order of Alhambra and the A.O.H., etc. A sermon was preached by Fr. Flattery, Director of the retreat-house. The celebrant, deacon, subdeacon and M.C. were Filipino, Canadian, Italian and Dutch respectively Tertians). Supply work comes round about every third week : one regular week-end call brings us a distance of 150 miles, and so we are armed with the faculties of three dioceses - New York, Albany and Syracuse. Some hospital work, too, may likely fall to my lot, such work, apart from its value as an experimentum, should be rich in experience ..."

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949

From Fr. R. Ingram, Holy Family Rectory, 1501 Fremont Ave., South Pasedena, Cal., U.S.A. :
“I have just missed a trip to the Marshall Islands and Hawaii. Shell Ox Co. is sponsoring a world-wide experiment op gravity observations to be taken simultaneously at many different stations. We had arranged a party to take the observations in the Pacific, they were to be made every 1 hour, and the Navy had agreed to co-operate by flying the personnel and instruments to the locations. But an automatic recorder was perfected by La Coste (the designer of the ‘gravy-meter’) and off he went alone. God bless American efficiency! Instead of flying across the Pacific a party of us have charge of the observations for the Los Angeles region. We hope to get a lot of information.
I plan to leave the West for St. Louis at the end of July. I sail for Ireland with Frs. Kent and Keane on 7th September”.
(Fr. E. Kent has been acting as Assistant Chaplain in City Hospital, New York.)

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 105 : Special Edition 2000


Fr Edmund (Eddie) Keane (1916-2000)

28th July 1916: Bom in Ballina, Co. Mayo
Early Education Private school in Ballina and at Clongowes Wood College
7th Sept. 1933: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1935: First Vows at Emo
1935 - 1938: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1938 - 1941: Tullabeg, studying Philosophy
1941 - 1943: Belevedere - Teacher, H.Dip in Education
1943 - 1944: Mungret College - Teaching
1944 - 1948: Milltown Park - studying Theology
30th July 1947: Ordained at Milltown Park
1948 - 1949: Tertianship at Auriesville, New York
1949 - 1951: Leeson Street - Assistant Editor “Studies” and Editor “Irish Monthly”
1951 - 2000: Gonzaga College - Teacher until 1991 when he retired from teaching. He continued to be active as Writer, Spiritual Director (SJ), etc.

Father Keane played golf and tennis until an advanced age. Even after a hip operation in recent years he went back to golf. His health was failing and he moved to Cherryfield Lodge in March while awaiting a bed in the hospital. He was admitted to St. Vincent's Private Hospital for tests on the 20th April last. There had been a gradual deterioration in his health, so his death was not unexpected. The community were glad to have a vigil with him on the evening before he died. He died peacefully before 10 a.m. on 11th May, 2000.

The following obituary appeared in The Irish Times shortly after Fr. Keane's death ...

Eddie Keane - known with much more affection as “Neddie” to generations of Gonzaga students - lived a long and an ordinary life which will almost certainly be forgotten. Fame asks of its candidates the proofs of ego and the protocols of conquest, and neither in any way interested this very benign, bookish man who taught classics in a quiet secondary school through a half century of planetary atrocity and apocalypse.

In fact, he was so self-effacing that most of us discovered his background in Ballina only by reading the death notice which his community placed in a newspaper, and so self-possessed that the other possibilities of his apostolate - the prestige of service overseas, say, or of academic ambitions as a classicist - didn't distract him for a moment from his daily obligations as a mentor and a friend to multitudinous middle-class kids cogging Xenophon and Virgil from their inky, broken-down textbooks.

Eight and nine-year-olds who served Eddie's Mass - the old Tridentine rite of Pius V in the little scented oratories of the priests' house - won't have forgotten that familiar kindness of his at the far end of their schooldays, when bewilderment over the black-letter and the red-letter Latin of the altar-server's laminated sheet would cause the affectionate face to turn, smile, and set right, as the smells of breakfast rose up from the kitchens and oriental blossom drifted across the tennis courts. And, by the same token, 18 and 19 year olds who participated in the late 1960s in the new vernacular Mass of Paul VI won't have forgotten the period after the Council, years of turmoil and resurgence, the glory days of the Jesuits under their second Ignatius, Arrupe the Basque, as the order re-invented itself in the name of liberation theology and the preferential option for the poor, when Father Keane was still there with Catullus in one hand and the Psalter in the other, trying to twin Jerusalem and Athens, the Graeco-Roman idea and the Judeo-Christian ideal.

This was no small achievement. When the Lord scolds Saul on the road to Damascus in the Acts of the Apostles, he does so with a quote from Euripides. But to the fundamentalist mind (Eddie would probably red line the phrase as oxymoron) classical civilisation is a pagan place, while to the humanist sensibility scriptural culture, because of its association with the institutional church , is usually barbaric. To one splendid Ignatian companion, however, the two belonged together as the blackboard and the chalk, so that he could speak in a senior classroom, after prayer at the start of the session, of the homosexual organisation of the fifth-century Greek army or of bisexuality in antiquity, at the time when either dispensation was a criminal activity in the Irish state and when the dislike of the gay individual was as pronounced and as pathological as the dislike of the Roman Catholic clergy is today.

Asked by a boy in the senior school what he most looked forward to after his death, he said: "I want to spend my first thousand years talking to Sophocles". (Did he know that the dramatist's Antigone had been called the fifth gospel by Simone Weil?) And again, preaching to a packed congregation in the school chapel at midnight mass on Christmas Eve, the feast of the incarnation, he declared: “Because of what we are celebrating here tonight. I am speaking to a gathering of immortals”.

Some of his former students are still fearful that eternal life and immortal life may not be the same thing. More of us again have given up altogether on the hereinafter. But Edmund Keane was a scholar and a very gentle man and I leave the adjectivity in his hands. In an ordinary and ordained life he taught us all, men and boys, that continuity is a form of constancy, that constancy is an act of fidelity, and that fidelity is the behaviour of love. I hope that he wept tears at the sight of heaven, just as he wept on the marble steps of the Propylaea on the Acropolis in Athens in 1965 and cried out among the tourists: "How beautiful! How beautiful!"

His articles appeared in the Sacred Heart Messenger and not in Concilium; his parish work during the summer adjournments was in Britain and not in Bolivia; but his dedication, on the long gravel drive to the long millennium, to the two discredited creeds of the Jew and the Greek - to the Way, the Truth and the Life on the one hand and to the true, the Good and the Beautiful - was a threshold and a turning point to the students he guided.

Now he has entered, more deeply than ever before, the society of Jesus.

Aidan Matthews

Interfuse No 106 : Autumn 2000


Joe Brennan

Father Edmund Keane was born on July 28th 1916 and died in St. Vincent's Private on 11th May 2000. His primary education was in his home-town. He went to Clongowes for his secondary education where he was an above average student, good at games, particularly tennis. He matriculated in 5th year and entered the Society in Emo in September 1933.

He did a Classics degree in UCD, gaining first-class honours. He was an exceptionally bright student and had no difficulty in putting either Greek or Latin words to the popular tunes of the day or songs from Gilbert and Sullivan or other operettas.

This ease in the Classics was evident to his students in Gonzaga in a teaching career of 40 years. To a professional ease was added an enthusiasm for the intellectual and linguistic challenge Greek and Latin demand. A past pupil, Aidan Matthews, wrote of him in an obituary in the Irish Times:

“... he was so self effacing that most of us discovered his background in Ballina only by reading the death notice which his community placed in a newspaper, and so self-possessed that the other possibilities of his apostolate - the prestige of service overseas, say, or of academic ambitions as a classicist - didn't distract him for a moment from his daily obligations as a mentor and a friend to a multitudinous middle-class kids cogging Xenophon and Virgil from their inky, broken-down text-books”.

His own course of studies took the normal course; Philosophy in Tullabeg, two years regency in Belvedere, one in Mungret, Theology and ordination in Milltown. He did his tertianship in Auriesville, New York, and particularly enjoyed the chance to ski, skate and play ice-hockey, once again showing his natural athletic abilities.

For two years he was in Leeson Street as assistant Editor of Studies and Editor of the Irish Monthly. In 1951 he went to Gonzaga where he remained for almost 50 years. He founded the Classics Department there, but also helped in many other fields, especially rugby, and above all, tennis. In a fitting tribute to his contribution to Gonzaga, a group of past pupils have commissioned the renewal of the College courts with a savannah-grass surface as a memorial to Eddie and his contribution to Gonzaga.

In more recent decades he had developed a pusillus grex on Sunday mornings in the Domestic Chapel. His insights were greatly valued. In the words of one of the most regular members he was “holy, intelligent, very well informed and obviously a scholar. He was very kind and possessed a very natural dignity”.

In community he made a tremendous contribution to recreation. His joy with words and word-plays, his interest in current affairs, his enthusiasm for all forms of sports meant that all benefited from his wit and wisdom. Yet in all of this he was basically a reserved man, rarely sharing his religious insights. While no stoic or sophist - he could be devastatingly critical of the 'culture' of the classical world - he did not believe in wearing his heart on his sleeve.

While the boys might not know of his Mayo origins, the community knew of his pietas. He was proud to bring his cousin, President Mary Robinsion, to visit the house. He delighted in the company of his nephews and nieces, especially Dillie Keane, the well-known founder of “Fascinating Aida”. As one of his nephews wrote; “To us he was so constant, such a rock of good sense, kindly and humorous, that we will miss him greatly”.

Many of his past-pupils speak highly of him. He kept up a correspondence with many of them. One writes: “I was one of those who corresponded over the years with Father Keane. I have kept all his letters and agree with you that they were all minor works of art, carefully crafted and full of information and insightful analysis, as he would have wished. I shall be doubly sure now to safeguard them”.

His reputation with the lay staff was particularly high. While he had his natural reserve, he was open to all. They found him “extraordinarily civil”, with a positive attitude to all. Many enjoyed his play with words and responded to it. But behind it all they knew him to be “a dedicated priest and don”"

For many years he wrote a most popular article in the Messenger, “If you see what I mean”. They were a perfect demonstration of learning worn lightly. Yet they had a deeper purpose behind them, as the title implied. Clearly in all his work this balance of the sacred and the profane was something which he did naturally, though greatly aided by grace. This balance was expressed by Aidan Matthews in his obituary:

“His articles appeared in the Sacred Heart Messenger and not in Concilium; his parish work during the summer adjournments was in Britain and not in Bolivia; but his dedication, on the long gravel drive to the long millennium, to the two discredited creeds of the Jew and the Greek - to the way, the Truth and the Life on the one hand and to the true, the Good and the Beautiful - was a threshold and a turning point to the students he guided.

Now he has entered, more deeply than ever before, the society of Jesus."

Kelly, Hugh, 1886-1974, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/204
  • Person
  • 16 September 1886-01 November 1974

Born: 16 September 1886, Westport, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1906, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1921, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1925, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 01 November 1974, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, County Louth

Part of St Francis Xavier's community, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
by 1917 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 49th Year No 4 1974
Obituary :
Fr Hugh Kelly (1886-1974)

The tendency to be egotistical noticeable in some persons who are free from the faintest taint of egotism is a tendency hard to account for - but delightful to watch.
“Anything”, says glorious John Dryden, “though ever so little, which a man speaks of himself in my opinion, is still too much”.
A sound opinion most surely and yet how interesting are the personal touches we find scattered up and down Dryden’s noble prefaces. So with Newman - his dignity, his self-restraint, his taste, are all the greatest stickler for a stiff upper lip and the consumption of your own smoke could desire, and yet the personal note is frequently sounded. He is never afraid to strike it when the perfect harmony that exists between his character and his style demands its sound, and so it has come about that we love what he has written because he wrote it, and we love him who wrote it because of what he has written.
It may need an apology to introduce an obituary with a spate of quotation but the culprit, the writer, recalls the above passage from one of Birrell’s essays on Newman being read out at the Rathfarnham home juniorate class, forty odd years since by Fr H. Kelly, then Master of Juniors. It was a specimen of the felicitous way in which he conveyed or suggested an appreciation of good things and the passage itself, it might occur to one more than merely passingly acquainted with Fr Kelly, might serve as a resumé of his own manner and character. He was one of the most unimposing, unimperious of men; if one happened to gain a point on him - not indeed that he ever had a mind for controversy, other than that of a friendly exchange of opinion, you almost regretted having won.
He was born in Westport, Co Mayo, 16th September 1886. One of six children, four boys - one of whom, Peter, the eldest, as Hugh himself, became a priest and died some years since, Adm of the Cathedral in Tuam - and two sisters who now alone survive : Mother Peter of the Presentation Convent in Tuam, and Mrs Eileen Ryan of Westport: with whom Fr Hugh even in latter years contrived to maintain home associations for a few days annually.
His first schooling was with the Christian Brothers at Westport of whom he retained kindly remembrances and for one of whom, not identifiable at the moment, he possessed something of a veneration. His eldest brother was at Maynooth and according to the custom of the time Hugh, with the priesthood likewise in view, proceeded to St Jarlath's where he excelled in classics gaining first place in Greek in the public exam in his concluding year.
Two years in Maynooth, the story goes that on reading a life of St Ignatius, after thought, he presented himself as a candidate for the Society in 1906 to Fr Conmee the then Provincial; he was accepted and on occasion years later he would expatiate on the journey by sidecar from Tullamore station to Tullabeg “with the fall of the year”.
The fellow novices of his year were men later distinguished in their own right. As they are listed in the catalogue of 1907, in the order of seniority apparently, apart from H Johnson who arrived later, they stand : Hugh Kelly, Deniş Nerney, John Deevy, James Gubbins, John Coyne, Michael Meaney, Michael Fitzgibbon, Stephen Bartley and Henry Johnson. All persevered, five became octogenarians; two, Fr John Coyne who was to become Fr Hugh's intimate friend through life, and Fr Henry Johnson who might have rivalled Fr Coyne in closeness of friendship did not seas divide, still happily survive.
After completing the noviciate Hugh Kelly continued for two years as a junior at Tullabeg. In 1910 he moved to Milltown to attend University College, still in its infancy. In 1912 he secured his BA degree which he later crowned with an MA under the guidance of Fr G O’Neill but with no sabbatical period with which to specialise. His thesis was Newman, already a beloved subject. He taught in Mungret, 1912-17, among other chores undertaking the editorship of the Mungret Annual. Fr Edward Dillon, a contemporary member of the Mungret Community, in his last years delighted to recall the happy relations between himself, a seasoned classical, and the young scholastic who was already dis playing a flair for imparting knowledge and generating enthusiasm among his scholars. One success, at any rate, must be chronicled : Tom Johnson, later Fr Tom, brother of Henry above, gained the Senior Grade Medal for Latin in the public exams under Hugh Kelly's tutelage.
1917 found Hugh at Jersey for philosophy but in middle course the threat of conscription here at home and the consequent peremptory behest of Fr T V Nolan, the Provincial, withdrew all our scholastics from foreign parts and Hugh with the other émigrés concluded the philosophic course at Milltown Park and immediately proceeded to theology in the same domicile. Ordination 1921; tertianship at Tullabeg 1923-24; an intervening year again at Mungret and in 1925 he succeeded Fr Frank Ryan at Rathfarnham as Master of Juniors, Fr D. O’Sullivan has kindly under taken, in his modesty, “to supply lacunae” and we content ourselves with some reference to Fr. Kelly's concluding years (reference extended beyond our first calculation); after completing his Rectorate at Rathfarnham in ‘48 he was engaged as operarius and scriptor at Gardiner Street.
It would be inexcusable to omit mention of the various reviews of books he provided for Studies almost continuously and the numerous full-dress articles in Studies but frequently further afield; he had a keen sense for the propriety of language, and a happiness of expression that induced editors to keep him to the mill. An article on Belloc on one occasion drew from that great man a letter of thanks; this really was easy going, as he immersed himself early in Belloc and Chesterton; his acquaintance with Burke and Boswell and Johnson's Poets was a byword among his pupils. He humorously remarked that he would burn for the number of novels he had “consumed” but he too readily recognised trash to be led into devious ways.
The gravitation to Gardiner Street was only a lull; his term of more active service was not concluded. In 1954 he was impelled into the responsible position, again at Rathfarnham, of Tertian Instructor and retained that demanding post for eight years; once again his kindliness, his diffidence almost, though he had a good grasp of the literature of the Institute and the Spiritual Exercises educed on occasion that smile about enthusiasms to which Fr O’Sullivan, in an earlier context, hereafter refers. When he was relieved of the task ultimately he was beginning to feel older yet for another decade he soldiered on, again at Gardiner Street; his Novena of Grace when in on his eighties evinced the energies of one twenty years younger and his command of appropriate language made the lectures something of a literary treat, Together with being solid spirituality. Practically to the end he retained his concentration and as the various volumes of Newman's letters appeared his satisfaction in perusing them was immense.
However, about a year since even the interest in systematic reading languished; this was a novelty for him and he began to have sleepless nights and cheerless depressing days. His appetite, a healthy one generally, failed and from mere lack of sustenance there was fear of his stumbling and injuring himself. The devotion with which he had served Mother Mary Martin’s Missionaries of Mary practically from their foundation (the absence of any allusion to which, as also to the innumerable retreats given by him through the country and even in Boston, Mass, we apologise for), led to Our Lady of Lourdes' Hospital, Drogheda, run under the Missionaries' auspices, being considered as a place of care in decline. Under the nuns’ and nurses’ devoted attention he survived over a year, remarkably tenacious of life but definitely failing. The end came, graciously, we hope, of the Providence Whom he so loyally served through life, at the dawn of the Feast of All Saints.
The obsequies from Gardiner Street on Monday, November 7th, had something unique in the number who followed the cortège to Glasnevin as if to register their affection rather than mourning for the deceased,

We apologise to Fr D O’Sullivan for delaying so long from presenting his tribute to Fr Kelly, as follows:

I lived with Fr Hugh Kelly for only five years - three years under him in Rathfarnham when he was Minister of Juniors and Prefect of Studies and, after an interval of twelve years, as his Rector in Tullabeg. My Rathfarnham memories of Fr Hugh are of the happiest. Life in community, in spite of our division into “home” and “university” juniors was real and was great fun. Studies were perhaps a little higgledy-piggledy due in part to the amiable eccentricities of our Rector, Fr John Keane. Many scholastics studied hard, bringing home the University honours so much esteemed by him - too much perhaps; others studied less. But, almost all, after a somewhat Cistercian noviceship gradually found their Jesuit feet-even if in startlingly variform ways.
The process, luckily, was to a great extent unconscious. The three years with Fr Hugh as Prefect of Studies were unashamedly liberal and cultural, for he was a man of culture though I doubt that he ever knew the word could be used so cynically and pejoratively as it nowadays is. He taught us by his example and the sincerity of his observance that rules could be liberating: and, more formally, that the liberal arts were liberalising. Science was a puzzle to him; but in English literature particularly he was an admirable tutor. We smiled a little at his enthusiasms but, till our dying day, we shall be marked by them. Newman came alive for us: and Fr Hugh took care that when Belloc and Chesterton came to Dublin we heard them and saw our household gods in the flesh.
I was not to meet him again until after Tertianship. I did not look forward to the meeting : he had been removed abruptly and, to the general mind of the Province, unfairly from the Rectorship of Tullabeg and I had the unpleasant task of replacing him. I need have had no fears. Never once was there the slightest disruption of loyalty and friendship : Hugh Kelly was a man of the Exercises. He practised the third degree - unostentatiously - as befitted his temperament and character. His obedience had also a quality of the near-heroic, He was, by inclination and by training, a man of letters : yet he served some fourteen years on the metaphysical treadmill, filling as well the tasks of Rector and Prefect of Studies. He was reckoned adequate as a professor and he worked conscientiously at the various branches of philosophy that fell to his lot: but few scholastics found him inspiring.
As a man they liked and admired him and he was a welcome companion on their weekly villa-walks when they enjoyed his conversation and he theirs. In community life in general he displayed the same Pauline “courtesy”: and in recreation he was as good a listener as he was a conversationalist, One perhaps - as often with men of his mould - took his good qualities for granted. I know that when to the unselfish delight of all-he was, after only two years, chosen to be Rector of Rathfarnham, I realised how much his presence in the Tullabeg community had been a quiet force for humane and harmonious living.

Loftus, John, 1915-1999, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/629
  • Person
  • 11 November 1915-27 March 1999

Born: 11 November 1915, Ballyhaunis, County Mayo
Entered: 11 March 1941, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 02 February 1951, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 27 March 1999, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Tailor before entry

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999


Br John Loftus (1915-1999)

11th Nov. 1915: Born at Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo.
Early education: National School, Ballyhaunis.
Pre-entry crafts: 6 years with Prices Tailors.
11th Mar. 1941: Entered the Society at Emo.
12th Mar. 1943: First vows at Emo
1943 - 1953: Rathfarnham Staff Supervisor
1953 - 1972: Belvedere Staff Supervisor
1972 - 1976: Tullabeg, Staff Supervisor
1976 - 1981: Manresa House : Administration in Retreat House
1981 - 1998; S.F.X., Gardiner St.
During the 18 years he spent at Gardiner Street, John worked in various posts: Assistant Minister, Assistant Director SFX Hall, Buyer, Infirmarian, Assisting in the Community.

Brother John Loftus was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on September 15th 1998 with leg ulcers. He was admitted to St. Vincent's Hospital on the 25th with pulmonary emboli, returning to Cherryfield on 12th October. He had to be hospitalized again on 13th November with severe bowel obstruction, and was discharged to Cherryfield on 9th December. His general condition was very poor and he was in need of total nursing care. There was a gradual deterioration in his condition and he surprised everybody by how long he held onto his life. He was under the care of Dr. Matthews. He died peacefully on Saturday evening 27th March 1999, aged 83 years.

Brother John Loftus was born on 11th November 1915 in Co. Mayo, about ten miles from Knock. He worked in Dublin at Tailoring for a number of years. During this period he lodged at the Brazen-Head guest house beside Wood quay. This is reputed to be the oldest pub in Ireland, going back to the 12th century, John was always proud of this achievement.

He joined the society in 1941 and took final vows in 1951. We were together on several occasions for summer holidays. He was always cheerful and my mother said he had a perpetual smile. He was very close to his family and often spoke about them. He had a great devotion to Our Lady and often went to make his Annual retreat at Knock, His faith was very strong. He always had his rosary beads in his hands. He never passed the chapel without opening the door, As he said to me 'I like to say hello to the boss'. His prayerful life spilled over into everyday life. I always noticed his kindness and gentleness to the poor.

He suffered a lot from arthritis, but he seldom complained. He was very patient man. I talked a good deal with him during his last illness. He was well prepared to meet with his God. I count it a privilege to have known and lived with him. I'm sure he's still smiling down upon us.

George Fallon

Loftus, Michael, 1820-1901, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1587
  • Person
  • 29 September 1820-11 May 1901

Born: 29 September 1820, Ballyheer, County Mayo
Entered: 03 September 1858, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Professed: 15 August 1869
Died: 11 May 1901, Holy Cross College, Worcester, MA, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Lynch, Laurence, 1783-1852, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1603
  • Person
  • 10 August 1783-25 October 1852

Born: 10 August 1783, Ballina, County Mayo or Ballinamallard, County Fermanagh
Entered: 10 October 1807 - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Professed: 02 February 1821
Died: 25 October 1852, Frederick, Maryland, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)

MacDonnell, Matthew, 1823-1871, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/467
  • Person
  • 25 December 1823-20 March 1871

Born: 25 December 1823, County Mayo
Entered: 04 December 1861, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: - pre Entry
Died: 20 March 1871, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Naas, County Kildare

by 1865 at Montauban France (TOLO) studying Theology 4

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Had been a Priest working in the Harrogate Mission in England before Entry. His Entry annoyed the local Bishop.

He was sub-Minister at Milltown, and spent a year at Montaubon studying Theology.
He was then procurator at Clongowes until his death there 20 March 1871.

MacHenry, Balthasar, 1622-1695, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1632
  • Person
  • 02 February 1622-28 May 1695

Born: 02 February 1622, Ballyhaunis, County Mayo
Entered: 15 May 1652, Madrid Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: Salamanca, Spain - pre Entry
Final Vows: 15 August 1663
Died: 28 May 1695, Imperial College, Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)

Alias Henriquez

1655 CAT Teaching Grammar at Huete, Cuenca, Spain TOLE

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Wote a Latin Grammar and a Latin-Spanish Dictionary; Professor of “Belles-Lettres” for twenty-five years.
1670 Father De Burgo asked Father General to send him to the Irish Mission

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had studied at Irish College Salamanca where he was Ordained before Ent 15 May 1652 TOLE
After First Vows he was sent to do further studies and then teach Grammar at Huete. He was seen to be a good teacher and so also appointed in the same city to teach the Scholastics
1670-1680 Sent to teach Scholastics at the Juniorate at Villarejo
In 1670 there was correspondence between the General and the Irish Mission Superior to have him sent to Ireland, but the negotiations came to nothing.
1680 On his retirement from teaching he was sent as Operarius at Church of the Imperial College, Madrid, where he died 27 May 1695

McDonnell, James, 1878-1948, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1699
  • Person
  • 07 June 1878-15 September 1948

Born: 07 June 1878, Bohola, Swinford, Co Mayo
Entered: 07 June 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1925, Sacred heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 15 September 1948, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly, Co Offaly community at the time of death

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949
Br. James McDonnell (1878-1914-1948)
Brother McDonnell died in St. Vincent's Hospital very suddenly in the early afternoon of Wednesday, 15th September. He had been some weeks in hospital with prostate trouble, and had had a minor operation on 14th September. He felt well and was in good spirits the next day, but at 1.45 p.m., without warning or struggle, he rendered up his soul to God. He was anointed immediately by the hospital chaplain. The funeral took place to Glasnevin 17th September, after the 10 o'clock Mass, celebrated by his Rector, Fr. Michael Connolly, St. Stanislaus College, Tullamore. The prayers at the grave-side were recited by Fr. Provincial.
Brother James was born at Bohola, Swinford, Co. Mayo, on 7th June, 1878 and was a late vocation, not entering the noviceship till he was well on in the thirties. In fact he received his gown on his 36th birthday, 7th June, 1914. It was the brother of the late Bro. James O'Grady, John Canon O'Grady, P.P. of Bohola who brought him to Dublin and introduced him to the then Provincial, Fr. T. V. Nolan with a view to his admission to the Society.
After leaving school Br. McDonnell worked on his father's farm, but about 1909 went to the United States and was employed in Butler's Chain Stores for two years at the end of which he became a Manager of one of the Stores. While in America he started a correspondence course in Commercial Art, which he continued after his return to Ireland, intending to make of this branch of art a life career. However, Providence had other designs for him. On the last night of a fortnight's mission held in the parish, Canon O'Grady arranged for him to drive the missioner to the station the following morning, and it was as the result of the conversation he had with the priest in question during the drive to the station that James McDonnell decided to join a religious Order.
On the completion of his noviceship Bro. McDonnell was sent to Belvedere College where he remained two years. The following four he spent at Clongowes, and in 1923 he began his long association with Mungret College (1923-25 and 1931-39) where for ten years and more he had charge of the boys' refectory. It was largely due to his kindly ways and neighbourly charity shown John Dillon, a farmer who lived nearby, during his serious illness that the College was left a valuable property which rounded off our farm near the Apostolic School, during the Rectorship of Fr. Edward Dillon. From 1925 to 1929 Bro. James worked at the Crescent College, where he made his final profession on 2nd February, 1925. He was in charge of the domestic staff of Belvedere College during the years 1929 and 1930 and it was at this time he contracted pneumonia from which he barely recovered, thanks to expert nursing in the Mater Hospital. The ten years preceding his death Bro. McDonnell spent in Tullabeg, engaged chiefly in secretariate and printing work in connection with the Ricci Mission Unit and in light work in the garden where he was helper to Bro. Pill. This period of his life was overclouded with ill-health and nervous exhaustion against which he struggled bravely.
Bro. James was a saintly man, very unworldly and mortified, of imperturbable patience, he was like many patient people, of strong and resolute character. Gentle to a fault, affable and sweet of temperament he won the affection and confidence of all who came in contact with him. He was deeply attached to his family relations and took the greatest interest in their spiritual and temporal welfare, and was in turn held in the deepest affection by them. Few of those who lived with Bro. James in the Society were aware of his taste for music and painting. He could play the violin quite well, and he devoted many of his leisure hours as a younger man to the painting of religious pictures. Cultured and refined by temperament and upbringing, he was before all else a model of the virtues which befit the Jesuit Brother : union with God, love of the brethren, self-effacement, anxiety to help the Society to the best of his powers, fidelity and trustworthiness, on which Superiors could ever rely. R.I.P.”

McIntyre, Thomas, 1926-2016, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/837
  • Person
  • 06 February 1926-04 August 2016

Born: 06 February 1926, Knocksaxon, Balla, County Mayo
Entered: 08 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1959, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1966, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 04 August 2016, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966

Son of James McIntyre ad Ellen Clarke.

by 1954 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1962 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death Notice
Father Thomas McIntyre SJ died peacefully on 4 August 2016 at Ricci Hall, Hong Kong, at 2:30pm. Born in Knocksaxon, Balla, Country Mayo, Ireland, on 6 February 1926, Father McIntyre entered the Society Jesus at Emo Park, Portlaoise, Laoise, on 7 September 1948. He was ordained to the priesthood on the feast of St. Ignatius, 31 July 1959, in Milltown Park, Dublin, and professed his final Vows on 2 February 1966 at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. A requiem Mass was celebrated at Wah Yan College in Wan Chai on 13 August, followed by burial at Happy Valley Cemetery. May he rest in peace. Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 21 August 2016

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He entered the Society in 1948 and came to Hong Kong as a Regent in 1955, where he learned Cantonese in Cheung Chau.
He studied Theology at Milltown Park and was Ordained there in 1959.
He returned to Hong Kong in 1962 and was teaching at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. After that he taught Collegio Rici in Macau for 13 years, during which time he spent two years in Germany studying Catechetics. He eventually returned to Hong Kong and spent 6 years at Xavier House giving directed Retreats. He then moved to do the same work at Ricci Hall.
He is described as a careful and accurate man, keen on details and scrupulous about facts. He was very keen on social justice - inspired by “Rerum Novarum”, and worked hard for social change.

Moore, John J, 1927-2018, Jesuit priest and botanist

  • IE IJA J/822
  • Person
  • 22 April 1927-20 September 2018

Born 22 April 1927, Ballyglass, Kilmovee, County Mayo
Entered 07 September 1945, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1963, St Ignatius, Leeson Street, Dublin
Died 20 September 2018, Coptic Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Part of the Novitiate, Xavier House, Lusaka, Zambia at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 16 May 1990

by 1960 at Münster, Germany (GER I) making Tertianship
by 1985 at Lusaka, Zambia (ZAM) teaching

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

Fr Browne’s Polymath partner
While John Moore was home on leave from Zambia, he talked to Pat Coyle, Director of Communications, about his links with Fr Frank Browne, and about much else in his most unusual life. He was Professor of Botany in UCD during the 70’s. He also became a student and friend of the renowned Jesuit photographer, Fr Frank Browne. John took early retirement from his UCD chair, but the last thing he did was retire. Instead he became a Jesuit missionary and went to Africa, working in Zambia and Malawi. As in previous years, John returned to Ireland this summer to visit his family and Jesuit friends. Whilst here he watched the RTE TV documentary on Fr Browne (see story in this issue) and recalled his own special relationship with the Jesuit who was not only a famous photographer but also a heroic chaplain to Irish volunteers in World War I.
After the documentary was aired, John talked to Pat Coyle of Jesuit Communications about his life and his friendship with Fr Frank. You can listen here to the interview in which he recalls his days in UCD as Professor of Botany and shares with her a letter he’d just received from a student who’d discovered a yellow poppy on a beach in Mayo. The poppy was thought to have been lost to these shores, not having been seen for thirty years – but it’s back! He also speaks about the subsequent rewards and challenges of becoming a missionary in his late 50’s; as well as lecturing in various institutions, he mastered the complexities of the computer age and put those skills to good use. At 87 John is still full of vitality and as the IJN photo shows, he looks like a man in his sixties. There’s a reason for that too; he spoke about what keeps him young in body and soul. He returns to Africa in September, bitten by the missionary bug and refreshed by his holiday home, ready as ever to serve the Lord with a willing heart.

Death of a botanist
The funeral Mass of Fr John J. Moore SJ took place on Monday 24 September in Kasisi Parish, Lusaka. Fr Moore, who was 91 years old, died on 20 September. Charles Searson SJ was the principal celebrant and homilist at the vigil Mass. Speaking to a packed Church he recounted the key moments of his life and the remarkable contribution he made to the Jesuits and to wider society. (Read his homily notes here).
Fr John was a native of Mayo, born in Kilmovee on 22 April 1927, and his family moved to Dublin when he was ten. He was a student at Belvedere College SJ. He joined the Jesuits in 1945, was ordained a priest in 1958, and took his final vows in 1963.
For more than twenty years Fr John was Professor of Botany in UCD. He was an elected member of the Royal Irish Academy, and an Irish government appointee to the Wildlife Advisory Council. He was awarded the Europapreis für Landespflege prize in 1982 in recognition of his work on Irish vegetation and nature conservation. As Fr Charlie noted, “Right through his academic career in Dublin John showed himself to be an outstanding academic and professor.”
In the 70’s Fr John was rector of the Monkstown community in Dublin and in 1980 he was appointed superior of the Espinal community in Gardiner St, in inner city Dublin. He also was a member of the Teams of Our Lady, a Catholic organisation which supported couples in their married life.
In 1983 Fr John took the surprising step of early retirement in order to join the Jesuit mission in Zambia. Fr Charles also noted that when he first turned up for work in the University of Zambia he showed considerable patience as he had a lengthy wait for an official appointment. But he put his computer skills (honed in 1960’s Dublin) to good use. According to Fr Charles, “there was great demand for his assistance from Ph.D students at the university, who were trying to assemble the fruits of their research.”
Fr John settled well in Zambia but he did return to Ireland from time to time. During a visit in 2016 he gave a lengthy an insightful interview to the Irish Jesuit Mission office which you can read in full here.
He also spoke to Pat Coyle, Director of Irish Jesuit Communications in 2014. In the course of that interview (listen above), Fr John talked about his early Jesuit days as a student and friend of the renowned Jesuit photographer Fr Frank Browne SJ.
Recalling his days as Professor of Botany in University College Dublin he shared a letter he had just received that summer. It was from one of his former students and he had discovered a yellow poppy on a beach in Mayo. The yellow poppy was thought to have been lost to Irish shores, not having been seen for thirty years, but it was back.
Fr John also spoke about the rewards and challenges of becoming a missionary in his late 50’s, and his work as a lecturer in various institutions in Zambia, first teaching biology and later theology.
He was 87 at the time of the interview but was still full of vitality. As the IJN photo shows he looked like a man in his sixties and there was a reason for that which became clear when he talked about what kept him young in body and soul.
The interview took place in August and Fr John returned to Zambia in September bitten by the missionary bug, and refreshed by his holiday back home. He gave four more years of fruitful service before his peaceful death last Thursday. The readings at his vigil Mass, were from Isaiah 6;1-8 ‘Whom shall I send? Who shall be our messenger?’ And Matthew 6:25-33: ‘ Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them.’ They were a fitting tribute to his life of service to others, and care for the earth.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions :

What does it mean for me to be a missionary in Zambia today?
John Moore, SJ
I came to Zambia as a missionary when I was 56, after a very fulfilling time working in the Botany Department at UCD. My “spare-time” activities during that time involved me with married couples, giving retreats and spiritual direction as well as helping in Parishes at the weekends.
When I left Ireland some of my colleagues at the University as well as the more senior students were very surprised at my decision to move to Zambia and some told me bluntly that it was a wrong decision. I was not convinced by their arguments. It seemed to me that I had done sufficient for Ireland during my 23 years at UCD. Besides, after I had spent a few days the previous year as external examiner at the Biology Dept. of the University of Zambia (UNZA), I became very aware of the needs of Zambia, especially in University education.
Since I am now 85 years old, I could hardly be called an active missionary, but I am still convinced that I am in the right place. During my 29 years “on the missions” I have seen a huge change in the Church and among the Jesuits in Zambia. When I came here all the active Jesuits were white – now almost all the Jesuits running the various Jesuit works are native Zambians or Malawians. This gives me enormous satisfaction. Is this not why we came out here? To help in the development of an indigenous church.
So, without falling into the temptation of sitting back in my old-man’s rocking chair in a self-satisfied way, I must admit that I do feel a sense of having cooperated with the Lord in doing my little bit to bring about this change.
2nd April 2012


The Irish Jesuit Missions continues its series of interviews with Fr John Moore SJ. From ecologist to theologian, Fr John Moore SJ takes us though his life’s story in Ireland and Zambia.
When John Moore entered the Society of Jesus’ noviciate straight from secondary school, it was customary at the time. Like the other young Jesuits who came straight from secondary school, he was assigned to study for a degree in UCD. He did first Arts but switched over to Science the following year. In his final year one of the research projects he undertook was a follow up survey of vegetation in the Dublin Mountains, which had been researched 50 years previously by the famous naturalist, Lloyd Praeger, the results being published in 1905. He was required to re-survey the parts closer to Dublin and write up the results.
After getting his B.Sc. degree he was sent to study philosophy in the Irish midlands. A few days before he left Dublin, the Fr. Provincial (who had been his Master of Novices and knew all about his scientific interests) suggested that he might look around and start work in an informal way on his Ph.D. during his spare time. He was fascinated by the vast areas of Bogland which stretched in all directions and discovered that a local bog had two very rare plants growing on it: one a rare rush never seen in Ireland before, the other one found in only one other place in Ireland. So he decided to work eventually on a Ph.D. thesis on the ‘Bogs of Ireland’.
During the holiday periods he decided to finish the re-survey of the mountain area south of Dublin, covering the whole area of Praeger’s original survey. He wrote up the results during his spare time while studying Theology at Milltown Park. He finished the job before leaving for ‘Tertianship’, the final year of Jesuit formation which focusses on deepening one’s spiritual life. He was sent to Germany for this stage of his formation, so he left the manuscript with the Professor of Botany to see it through the printing process.

Dublin Mountains’ conversations in Germany
While in Germany his paper on the “Resurvey of the Vegetation south of Dublin” appeared in print and his Professor in Dublin sent him a few reprints. These he distributed to some of the ecologists living on the European Mainland. To his surprise, a reply came back immediately from the famed German ecologist, Reinhold Tüxen. He, along with the famous French ecologist Braun-Blanquet, had been invited to Ireland after Europe began to recover from the effects of World War II. They published their results (in German) in 1952 and John had critiqued some of their work in his paper. Tüxen was extremely pleased. He wrote “Although we published our Irish material 10 years previously, nobody seems even to have read it, let alone critiqued it! “Can you visit me before you return?” Tüxen asked. And so began a long and valued relationship of scientific interests with Reinhold Tüxen.
Before John’s ordination, his Provincial casually mentioned to John that UCD (University College Dublin) had requested to have him on its staff after he had finished his Jesuit studies. “I said ‘Yes’ - is that OK for you John?” All he could say was “You are the boss! If you want me to take up the offer, that is OK by me.”
So John taught for 23 years at UCD, Botany Dept., being eventually appointed Professor and Head of Department.

In the 1970’s the Irish Government was sending quite a lot of official aid to Zambia University, financing lecturers from the Irish Universities to give courses at the University of Zambia. Fr Michael J. Kelly, SJ, a good friend of John since the novitiate, was at this time Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University in Lusaka and was much involved in arranging this government aid; he petitioned the Irish Government to finance John to come as External Examiner of the Biology Department. John accepted the offer and was very struck by the difficulties of running a third world University according to First World standards. When his work in the University was finished John stayed on for some time in order to visit the Irish Jesuit Missioners and help in their work.

A ‘road to Damascus’ moment
John returned to UCD in time to organise things for the new academic year. It was while making his annual retreat in the Jesuit retreat-house, Manresa in Dublin that it happened.
John had been 23 years in the Botany Department of UCD. He was unexpectedly overcome with a very strong feeling that he should relocate to Zambia! Having prayed over the matter, he sent a letter to the Provincial requesting to be sent to the Zambian mission. He was quite late going onto the missions at 56 years of age.
The answer he wanted arrived with one condition – that he remain working within third-level education. Fr Michael Kelly SJ ( set about arranging a position for him at the University of Zambia and John prepared for this new phase in his life. Then with only two days to go before departure, a telegram arrived from Michael: “SOMETHING GONE WRONG WITH JOB. STOP. COME ANYWAY. STOP.”
“What should I do Fr Provincial?”. The Provincial’s consultants had all been very clear in their requirement that John remain at third level teaching. He consulted Bishop Corboy of Monze, Zambia, who was in Dublin at that time for medical treatment. “You can trust Michael Kelly’s good judgement” he advised. And, with that assurance, John set out for Zambia and a new chapter in the book of his life.

Once a professor, always a professor
The search was then on in earnest for a job in Lusaka, but it had to be in third level education. He found out that when he applied for an advertised position in Agricultural Ecology, he didn’t even get an acknowledgement of his applications. Undaunted, he took the bold step of offering himself and his expertise to the Biology Department in Lusaka University. Not as a professor, not as a salaried staff member—but just as a n ordinary demonstrator! During the following year, he was back in the lecture halls and laboratories, giving tutorials and running practical classes.
At that time, a new lecturer had been employed and she was assigned to run a rather difficult course on Ecology, Statistics and Evolution to the final year students. She became ill. So John and two others stepped up to the mark, put a course together and got the students through their exams.
His opportunistic efforts paid off and he was offered a three year professorship contract, ‘once a professor, always a professor’. The contract was duly renewed after three years.

Former biologist turned theologian
At this time, In Malawi, there were big problems at the Diocesan Major Seminary situated at Zomba in southern Malawi. A decision from Rome requested that three Jesuits be sent in from Zambia—a Rector, a spiritual father and a Dean of Studies.
The Provincial Fr Jim McGloin had two well prepared men for the first two jobs, but he had no one who would be able to take on the job of Dean of Studies. He wrote to the Provincials of all the Jesuit provinces who might have a suitable man qualified to teach theology in English, even for a year or two. At that time John was living with the Provincial and each day when John enquired of him how the search was progressing, the reply was negative. John understood the awkward position the Provincial was in, given that the request had come from Rome. But he had a solution.
His contract was up for renewal but a thought persisted. Should he retire from Biology and teach theology, work towards taking up the Dean of Studies position? He shared his thoughts: Jim was delighted! “Do you really mean that?”.“I do!” said John and so it was settled. The two others were already in Zomba and soon he was welcomed as the third man.
A few weeks remained before the next semester and John had to work very hard to prepare to teach Theology of the Sacraments to students. During the following years he also taught Scripture, both Old and New Testaments.
The Jesuit Provincial had signed two 5-year contracts with the Malawian Bishops but then the Jesuit teachers were gradually withdrawn. After two more years, John too was moved on, received by the international education authorities. Back at Ireland’s UCD, 70 was the limit for even the best preserved lecturer to function.

The influence of others
Fr Tommy Byrne SJ was his Master of Novices for two years and then was made Provincial during which time he always took an interest in John and the development of his scientific interests.
Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ and his account of the atom bomb blast at Hiroshima is the passage John likes to recommend to young men wanting to know about the Jesuits. Fr Arrupe had been a medical student before entering the Jesuits and was the master of novices in the novitiate situated on a hill outside Hiroshima far enough from the centre of the city to avoid any deaths from the blast. Since this was the first atomic blast to be exploded over a civilian target, the medical authorities had no idea of what the best treatment was for severe radiation burns. Fr Arrupe set up a clinic in the novitiate to treat the survivors suffering from severe radiation burns but he had no idea on how to treat them. He had just received a consignment of borax for his infirmary. He discovered that it was quite effective in alleviating the effects of bad radiation burns.
Man’s inhumanity to man framed Fr Arrupe’s whole character and was noted by all who met him. When, several years later, Fr Arrupe viewed the film “Hiroshima, mon amour” where the nuclear blast was replicated—a terrible flash, then awful destruction—the memory came back to haunt him and he resolved never to view it again.
The present pope is also a much admired figure. John was inspired when he read about the change that Pope Francis had experienced when he lived in very poor areas of Brazil. Upon his return he was made Bishop of Bueno Aires.

The day the unexpected occurred
Born in Kilmovee, County Mayo in Ireland, John is the eldest of two sons and two daughters. At 10 years of age the family moved to Dublin for his father’s work. He had been separated from them during his primary school years since his mother wasn’t very keen on the local school; so she had sent her son to be educated at the national school where her father was Principal. There the teaching standard was high and in fact, John Mc Grath, his grandfather, was the first Irish National School teacher to receive a University Degree from the Royal University in Dublin.
John’s secondary school years were spent vey happily at Belvedere College in Dublin and was his first encounter with the Jesuits, although John didn’t experience any inclination at the time towards becoming a member of the Society of Jesus. There was a connection in the wider family: Fr Jack Kelly SJ was a first cousin.
Then the unexpected occurred when, on John’s first enclosed retreat in 6th year, Fr Eugene Ward SJ gave the retreat to the young men during their last year of college. Fr Ward had returned from the Chinese missions to study theology and be ordained priest, but he had been blocked by World War II from returning as a young priest.
One evening during the retreat, he was reminiscing about his experiences in China and mentioned the enormous opportunities there since the Chinese people were very receptive to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Suddenly, like a flash, John was convinced that the Lord wanted him to be a Jesuit! Next day, determined to rid himself of what he felt to be a silly teenage crush on the Jesuits, he took a long walk in the rain – to no avail. He asked Fr. Ward, the retreat director, what he should do about it. “Ah interesting.” was the only reply he got, and that was all! But John could not shake the thought off. He decided to attended Mass every morning with the intention that the Lord would help him to shake off the idea. It did not work!
Next step was to run this persistent notion past the Prefect of Studies who advised John to speak with the Provincial about it. So far he had kept the idea to himself knowing that once it was shared, it would spread, which it did eventually. He confided his decision to his uncle, Fr Jack Kelly’s father, who scolded him for not informing his parents first. But John’s parents weren’t surprised at his decision to enter the Society of Jesus and were very supportive.

A lifetime’s decision finally made
It was decided—John went to Emo to begin his studies! And so the decision to become a Jesuit was partly influenced by Belvedere College, partly perhaps by his cousin Jack Kelly SJ and certainly by Fr Ward’s quiet evening musings over his experience as a missionary in China.
Ironically, at the beginning of John’s second year at Belvedere, the prefect of studies decided he should be a member of a small class studying classical Greek while the rest of the class were studying Science. His parents requested that he take Science, given his inclination towards the subject, but the Prefect was adamant. It was only a few months before the Leaving Cert Exam that the Prefect allowed him the option of writing the Science exam.; John decided to finish the Greek course. The result was that Science as a subject was not taken by him at secondary school and yet he ended up as a scientist plus theologian! The knowledge of classical Greek became very useful later on in study of Sacred Scripture—to this day, John always reads the New Testament in Greek.
Retirement in Zambia
John is now living a very busy retirement in Zambia in the novitiate for English-speaking young African men wishing to join the Jesuits. He teaches an introduction to the New Testament to novices—a challenge at times, as some hold fundamentalist ideas and expect every word in the New Testament to be ‘gospel truth’ even when taken outside of its context. John divides his time between community work, managing a large library and the Jesuit archives for Zambia.
The Irish Jesuit Missions is grateful to Fr Moore for the time and care given to his interview in July 2016 and for this ensuing article.
Author: Irish Jesuit Missions Communications, 24th November 2016

Morahan, Michael, 1914-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/527
  • Person
  • 18 November 1914-03 November 1992

Born: 18 November 1914, Shantalla, Galway City, County Galway
Entered: 17 September 1932, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 19 March 1946, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeed, Hong Kong
Died 03 November 1992, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, County Mayo

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

by 1975 at Palmer City AK, USA (ORE) working
by 1988 at Greenlawn, Long Island NY, USA (NEB) working
by 1979 at Monterey Park CA, USA (CAL) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

JESUITICA: The flies of Ireland
Only one Irish Provincial has had a genus of flies called after him. In 1937 Fr Larry Kieran welcomed Fr Hermann Schmitz, a German Jesuit, to Ireland, and he stayed here for about four years, teaching in Tullabeg and doing prodigious research on Irish Phoridae, or flies. He increased the known list of Irish Phoridae by more than 100 species, and immortalised Fr Larry by calling a genus after him: Kierania grata. Frs Leo Morahan and Paddy O’Kelly were similarly honoured, Leo with a genus: Morahanian pellinta, and Paddy with a species, Okellyi. Hermann served Irish entomologists by scientifically rearranging and updating the specimens of Phoridae in our National Museum. He died in Germany exactly fifty years ago.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong Kong

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 74 : Autumn 1993 & Interfuse No 82 : September 1995


Fr Michael Morahan (1914-1992)

18th Nov. 1914; Born, Shantalla, Galway.
Early education: Patrician Brothers and St. Mary's College, Galway,
17th Sept. 1932: Entered the Society at Emo
1934 - 1937: Rathfarnham Castle, studied Arts at UCD
1937 - 1940: Tullabeg - studied Philosophy
1940 - 1944: Milltown Park - Theology
29th July 1943: Ordained at Milltown Park
1944 - 1945: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1945 - 1946: St. Ignatius, Galway, Sodality work
1946 - 1961: Hong Kong
1946 - 1947 : Regional Seminary, teaching Scripture
1947 - 1948 : Studying Chinese
1948 - 1950 : Social Work
1950 - 1951 ; Regional Seminary, Minister
1951 - 1957: Prefect/Spiritual guide, Wah Yan College
1957 - 1961 : Social Service Officer, Hong Kong Police
1961 - 1973: College of Industrial Relations - Chaplain at Kevin St. Technical College.
1973 - 1975: Alaska - Parish work
1975 - 1978: New York - St. Francis of Assisi Church
1978 - 1992: Parish work at Monterey Park, California. Also part-time Chaplain at Knock,
Died in Knock 3rd Nov. 1992:

After 60 years in the Society of Jesus, Fr. Michael Morahan died suddenly on November 3rd, 1992. The end came unexpectedly in his beloved Knock, where he collapsed in mid-moming, and after being brought to Castlebar hospital, he died from a burst aortic aneurysm at 5.30 that afternoon. He was attended at the end by his close friend Fr. Dave Fitzgibbon from Knock who related that his last few words were to ask for his Jesuit crucifix which he held in his hands as he died. My he rest in peace.

Fr. Michael was bom near Barna pier on 18th November 1914 and he related how as a youngster he set out one evening on the sea in a washtub to row to America. Luckily he was rescued at that stage and he did not reach his goal until much later. The family soon moved to Shantalla, Galway, and Michael attended school at the Patrician Brothers primary school and later at St Mary's College secondary school. During this time, he served Mass at St. Ignatius' church, and in 1932 he joined the Jesuits at Emo, Co. Laois.

Michael studied Arts at UCD, Philosophy at Tullabeg and then would normally have gone to regency in one of the schools. However, it was 1940 and his wish to go to Hong Kong could not be granted because of the war. He went straight to Theology at Milltown Park where he was ordained in July 1943. After his tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle, he was sent to Galway in 1945 to do sodality work. In 1946 he finally arrived in Hong Kong aboard an RAF plane and went to the regional seminary where he taught scripture for a year.

The years in the seminary awoke in Michael a great desire to foster vocations and throughout his life he asked and encouraged many young men to join the society and the secular priesthood. He left many letters and cards from priests across the world who were grateful to him for this encouragement, and so his own world-wide mission is still being carried on.

In 1947, Michael took a full year to study Cantonese which he learned well, and this was to be extremely important in his future work. He did a lot of social work in the fishing village of Aberdeen in Hong Kong where a huge number of people lived on the water. He was involved in organising the people as a community, getting new fire and safety regulations into practice on the boats, starting the first primary school for the children, saving the local cemetery from being moved to the mainland, getting the first football field for the community, and I'm sure many other occurrences. He became known as the “King” or the “Mayor” of Aberdeen and was very warmly welcomed back much later even when he had been gone from Hong Kong for 20 years.

Michael's father had been an RIC sergeant, and it was probably arising from this that Michael's great interest in the police and their work arose. In Hong Kong, the rank and file police spoke little English which was the language of the officers. As the seminary was near to Michael, he began to visit and gradually to work with the rank and file police. These men frequently lived in atrocious conditions and there was great fear that many would be open to bribes and gifts from the communists in exchange for spying and working for them. Michael worked hard for them, even to the extent of taking out a trader's license, which he gave to a police widow when she was unable to get one for herself. Later, in 1957, at the request of the Police Commissioner, Michael was appointed Social Service Officer for the Hong Kong Police. He was so well remembered for his great work and his personality that a FAX arrived after his death bearing condolences from the present Commissioner of Police in Hong Kong.

Michael also linked up with the police when he was in New York from 1975-78, and he was a chaplain to the Los Angeles police during the last few years, giving a number of retreats and days of recollection.

In Hong Kong, Michael also served as minister in the Regional Seminary and as prefect and spiritual guide in Wah Yan College in Kowloon. Here he produced a number of plays and Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, and organised teacher training seminars for a number of years. He left many friends in Hong Kong and from all accounts had a very fruitful ministry indeed.

Due to a very bad ulcer on his ankle which refused to heal and which he had until he died, Michael came back to Ireland in 1961 and for twelve years worked as chaplain in Kevin Street College of Technology. During this time, he lived at the College of Industrial Relations, and he used to claim that he kept his notes in Chinese so that they would be absolutely confidential! He also gave many retreats and tridua around Ireland.

In 1973, the wanderlust came again and he headed off to Alaska to serve as pastor for two years in the parish of Tanana at the junction of the Tanana and Yukon rivers. He used to speak of the tremendous cold (minus 60 Celsius) in the winter and the difficulty of travelling to his other church which was a hundred miles away. He appeared on skis, on motor-sleds, on dog-sleds, and in aeroplanes. He gathered the children and adults who had not been confirmed or received their First Holy Communion and had them write to invite the bishop to perform the ceremonies.

In the twenty-four hour darkness of winter, he wrote of the dan ger of cabin-fever, and with a group of others, he founded a Shakespearian Society where they read and discussed a play each week. Again in Alaska he left many friends and invites to return.

From Alaska, he moved to a parish in New York for three years and in 1978 he began his twofold apostolate in Los Angeles and Knock. Each January, he flew to Los Angeles (sometimes with a month in England or New York) to the parish of St Thomas Aquinas where he worked in the church and particularly with the Chinese community. He also taught religion in grade school and took great joy in the children and the letters and prayers they would write for him. He returned to Ireland each July and would work at the Shrine in Knock from August to December 8th.

Michael was a very cheerful and outgoing man who loved meet ing people. He made friends in his work and on his travels, on buses and planes, in trains and by giving lifts in his car. He often wrote in thanksgiving for the tremendous reception he used to get from his many friends. And he kept contact with a great number of them, particularly with a number of priests and seminarians. He had friends in many places particularly on Mweenish Island near Cama in Connemara. He kept up his Irish and his Cantonese andyou never knew which language or poem he would come out with next. For he loved poetry and the natural beauty of the world. His photographs and his letters were full of the wonder of the marvel lous sights he had seen throughout the world and he chuckled when he told of having a genus of insect named after him. A Jesuit biologist, Fr. H. Schmitz S.J. from Germany discovered this minute bug, which looks like a household flea and is only a few millimetres long, in the mountains of the Belgian Congo and named it “to honour my earlier assistant Fr. M. Morahan of Hong Kong”. The genus is of the sub-family Metopininae and is called “Morahania palliata”

And for all his travel and his work in the latter part of his life which was outside the traditional institutions of the Society he was very committed to his Jesuit vocation and his Jesuit brothers. He was very conscious of being sent on his mission by the provincial and loved to retum periodically to his Jesuit community. An operation last January and the death in February of his last brother John knocked a lot out of him, but still he delighted in his work and was looking forward to returning once more to Los Angeles in 1993.

But he was proudest of all of the work going on in Knock and of the great friendship and welcome he received there from the cler gy. He felt the work was hard but tremendously worthwhile and I think that if he was to choose where he would die it would proba bly have been in Knock. He will be missed a lot by the people there and by his family and community in Galway. But people will mourn for him throughout the world recognising in him a man of goodness and a man of God..

Ár Dheis De go raibh a anam!


Moran, James, 1932-2016, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/816
  • Person
  • 17 August 1932-18 November 2016

Born: 17 August 1932, Ballina, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1951, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1964, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1967, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 18 November 2016, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin community at the time of death.

by 1966 at Salamanca, Spain (LEG) making Tertianship
by 1978 at Wilmette IL, USA (CHG) studying
by 1984 at Palo Alto CA, USA (CAL) studying
by 1985 at Barrington IL, USA (CHG) studying
by 1987 at Menlo Park CA, USA (CAL) working
by 1992 at Chicago IL, USA (CHG) working

Early Education at NS Ballina, Co Mayo; Mungret College SJ

1954-1955 Rathfarnham - Studying at UCD
1955-1958 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1958-1961 Crescent - Regency : Teacher
1961-1965 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1965-1966 Salamanca, Spain - Tertianship at Collegio de San Estanislao
1966-1968 Belvedere - Teacher; Assistant Gamesmaster; Spiritual Father (3rd & 4th Years); “Newsboys Club”
1968-1969 Clongowes - Teacher; Lower Line Prefect; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1969-1974 Belvedere - Teacher; Assistant Gamesmaster; Spiritual Father; Career Guidance (5th & 6th Years)
1974-1976 Leeson St - Principal at University Hall, Hatch St, Dublin
1976-1977 University Hall - Community Minister
1977-1983 Chicago, IL, USA - Studies at Loyola University; St Joseph’s Parish, Wilmette, IL, USA
1982 Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Glenview, IL, USA
1983-1984 Palo Alto, CA, USA - Doctoral Studies at Palo Alto University; St Thomas Aquinas Church
1984-1986 Chicago, IL, USA - Studies at Loyola University; Parish work; Counsellor at St Anne’s Rectory, Barrington
1986-1991 Palo Alto, CA, USA - Post Graduate Training at Palo Alto University; St Raymond Catholic Church; Menlo Park
1988 Research in Family Therapy MRI at Palo Alto University
1987 Our Lady of the Rosary Rectory, Palo Alto
1991-1994 Chicago, IL, USA - Visiting Professor in Psychology at Loyola University; St William’s Church
1992 St Philip the Apostle Rectory, Northfield
1994-2016 Leeson St - Sabbatical (94-95); Lecturer in Education at Trinity College Dublin; Family Apostolate; Writer
1998 Vice-Superior
2002 Principal University Hall, Hatch St, Dublin
2003 Family Therapist
2015 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

A man for others
friends, and fellow Jesuits bade him a final farewell at his funeral Mass in Milltown Chapel on Monday 21 November.
Jim had a wide circle of friends associated with the various ventures he undertook as a Jesuit. They were active on Facebook when news of his death broke. Despite some bad health and a twice broken leg, Jim was quite an athlete. He had a passion for rugby, which he taught with gusto to many students down the years in various Jesuit schools. Ivan Morris, one of his former pupils, posted a photo of the rugby team Jim coached, a long time ago. He wrote: “55 years ago these old geezers were quite a decent rugby team! Sadly, our trainer Fr. Jim Moran passed away yesterday. We all owe him a lot. He instilled in us the ability to focus on our goals, gave us just about the right amount of confidence and enough back bone to last a lifetime.”
Similar sentiments have been echoed by many since his death. Preaching at his funeral Mass, his life-long friend Fr John Looby SJ recalled two stories that summed up Jim’s determination and desire to win, even though he would have roundly protested that ‘it wasn’t about the winning’. One concerned the handball games they used to play as novices. John said that although he himself was the better handball player, Jim worked out a strategy and a war of attrition that always resulted in Jim being the victor.
He recalled another occasion when Jim went off to Chicago to study and offered his rugby training services to a Jesuit school there, telling them of his winning accomplishments back in Ireland. His offer however was politely declined and he was told the school was already proficient at winning rugby games. So Jim took himself off to a neighbouring Jewish school where the same offer was gratefully accepted. Some time later his rugby team took on the Jesuit school that had spurned him and won.
Jim had a number of careers in his lifetime – teacher, coach, psychologist, family therapist, and finally lecturer in Trinity College Dublin. Wherever he went he made friends. “He never forgot his friends and I was to learn that his friends never forgot him,” said John, noting that this was especially true of his Jesuit brothers. John learnt in later years that Jim’s father had died before Jim was born, and his stepfather was instrumental in cultivating the talent he had for making lasting friendships. “Providentially his stepfather was a strong influence, setting an example that Jim copied for the remainder of his life. He was given great freedom and he confidently went out to meet new people and allow them into his life.”
The Gospel read at the Mass was that of the Good Samaritan, a fitting one for Jim who was, according to John and indeed all those who knew him well, “a man for others”. He was always quick to offer any help he could to those who crossed his path. Be it the mother in difficulty with her teenage son or the former student who needed some good advice. The music at the funeral was the work of the well known composer and musician Willie Hughes who played and sang in gratitude for the influence Jim had been on his life.
When he returned to Dublin from America in the ’90s, Jim was part of the Leeson St community. They had a large garden at the back-end of the large Georgian house, and Jim spent years lovingly and patiently transforming it. He planted trees and stunning rose bushes, and made arbours and boundaries out of bushes and flowers. It was a labour of love that to this day gives endless pleasure to those who visit the community house in the centre of Dublin.
John concluded by noting that Jim was a person who never saw events in life as mere chance but rather as due to “the providence of a loving God whom he loved and trusted in all his life”.
He served Him well. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Mulligan, John M, 1920-1986, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/187
  • Person
  • 18 April 1920-29 May 1986

Born: 18 April 1920, Swinford, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1954, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 29 May 1986, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Bray, County Wicklow

Part of Gonzaga College SJ community, Ranelagh, Dublin at time of his death.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 61st Year No 3 1986
Fr John Mary Mulligan (1920-1943-1986)
18th April 1920: born. Lived in Swinford, Co Mayo. Studied for the diocesan priesthood at Clonliffe and Maynooth colleges. 7th September 1943: entered SJ. 1943-45 Emo, noviciate. Bypassed juniorate. 1945-48 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1948-51 Mungret, regency. 1951-56 Milltown, theology. 1956-57 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1957-69 Gardiner Street: 1957-60 assistant, Jesuit Mission office, also (1958-60) house bursar; 1960-69 assistant to national director, Pioneer TAA.
1969-71 minister of houses: 1969-70 Mungret, 1970-71 Gonzaga.
1971-86 curate in Dublin parishes: 1971-77 Finglas West, 1977-83 Halston Street and Arran Quay, all the while attached to Belvedere; 1983-86 Bray (Queen of Peace), while attached to Gonzaga. 29th May 1986: died.

John Mulligan was 24 when I first met him, in my first year in the noviceship, and his second, We looked on him as very old, not just because of the six-year gap between him and us boys just out of school, but because he had experienced a lot. He could entertain us with stories of his home in Swinford - he always had deep roots in county Mayo - and of his school days in the national school and in Blackrock college, which he loved dearly and spoke of always with affection. More than that, he knew Clonliffe, where he was classmate of many who
were to go into Dublin diocese. He could speak of Maynooth too, which he had left to enter the Jesuits. He seemed to be a man cut out in every way to be a priest. Even though his mother was alive and survived for many years, he was in a sense an alone man. His father had died when John was young and his only sister Kitty died tragically only two years
after our noviceship together. He was a bit like that legendary biblical figure Melchizedeck, who is remembered as a high priest and as a man without ancestors, without family, a man alone.
John did indeed cling closely to his family. He had cousins and relations all over Ireland, and he worked to keep in touch with them. He travelled to Cork and Wexford and Mayo and Dublin and kept all the different relations in touch with all the rest.
Yet there was the lonely priest about him. He had a clear public personality. He presented himself easily, warm, talkative, with a fund of entertaining chat. He had an extraordinary memory for names. He was a people's person. He loved people, wherever he went, in Finglas, Halston street, Bray, all around the country in the earlier years, he met people, placed them in their relations, and was enormously interested in them. He was indeed a man of considerable culture, and a clever man, which you discovered if you played bridge with him - he had a remarkable head for cards.
He was a very sharp chess player. He could finish the Times crossword as fast as anybody I know. He had a great store of literature by heart; loved to recite Macaulay's passage on the Church of Rome which would outlast empires; and the last paragraph of Francis Thompson's life of Ignatius Loyola, with its vision of the soldier saint.
But “culture” did not mean as much to him as people. On one occasion he was on a holiday with friends in Vienna, admiring the masterpieces of European Art in the Staatsmuseum. John made an excuse and slipped away from them, and was found later poring over the London Times in a coffee shop. He had calculated that the only newspaper available in Vienna that would cover the Irish general election - then at the counting stage - would be the Times : so he found a newsagent that sold it, and devoured it to satisfy his hungry curiosity as to who had got the fifth seat in the Laois-Offaly constituency. He loved Ireland, loved its people, even its politicians, loved them as he found them, as they are.
John's easy presence and talk, his public persona, stood him in good stead in the one work as a priest which he did superbly, the most important task in the life of a parish priest, namely visiting the parish. He was faithful to his district, visited everyone systematically, and this is not always easy. You may arrive in the middle of a good television programme, or in the middle of a fight between children of parents; you may be rebuffed or made unwelcome. But John persisted as the presence of the Christian community, of the Church, in going from house to house, and letting people know that he was interested in them.
As we think about the public person of John, we must ask how did he keep it up? There was another side to him. He had few and simple pleasures: reading the paper, doing the crossword, talking to friends. A few years ago he gave up two of the pleasures which meant a good deal to him, smoking and alcohol. Again one wonders about the private life that lay behind such a renunciation. It was a life hidden in God. Again you wonder how he was so contented in himself, happy with the second place. He was Assistant throughout his life: assistant to the director of foreign missions, assistant to the director of the Pioneers, assistant to this or that superior, assistant in parishes - at 66 he was still a curate. Yet one never felt an ambition in him, or a resentment at not having the top job. There was an unworldliness about John. It wasn't that he didn't see worldliness: he could be very funny about people who were too attached to money, whether clergy or laity. But he didn't rant against them, and himself he was open-handed and generous.
He had in the last months quite a sense of his final call. A couple of weeks before the end, in Lourdes, when he was wheeling an invalid around, he felt a stabbing pain and had to stop. He was found to have had a coronary attack; but he carried on, and did not talk about it when he returned to Ireland. One Saturday, in a house with friends, invited to play a boisterous game with children, he said: 'I can't anymore. My hands feel like sacks of potatoes.' A few days later in the sacristy he felt another warning pain, and before he went to bed he got in his car and drove into Gonzaga to talk - to say goodbye? - to his community. Then he went to bed and died peacefully in his sleep, as he would have wanted. He always said that in his family he couldn't expect to live to seventy. May he continue to remember us to God, as we remember him.
Paul Andrews

Ó Peicín, Diarmuid T, 1916-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/611
  • Person
  • 16 October 1916-04 March 2008

Born: 16 October 1916, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1953, Sacred Heart College SJ (Crescent), Limerick
Died: 04 March 2008, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Dermot Peakin - by 1985 Diarmuid Ó Peicín;

by 1967 at Handsworth, Birmingham (ANG) working
by 1968 at Erdington, Birmingham (ANG) working
by 1970 at Walthamstow, London (ANG) working
by 1971 at London, England (ANG) working
by 1975 at Dockhead, London (ANG) working
by 1976 at Redcross, London (ANG) working
by 1977 at London W2 (ANG) working
by 1978 at Rotherhithe London (ANG) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

Tributes for Diarmuid Ó Peicín SJ
Tributes have been paid to Fr Diarmuid Ó Peicín whose funeral took place on Friday 7 March 2008 and was featured on TG4 Nuacht. ( > Cúrsaí Reatha – Cartlann >
Nuacht TG4 – 7/3/08) His work to save Tory island was the subject of the 2007 documentary Fear na n- Óilean and the film-maker Anne Marie Nic Ruaidhri told the Donegal Democrat that he was a leader who “inspired people, especially the Tory people, and he was passionate about island communities and helping them.” That passion led him to Europe where he found an unlikely ally in Dr. Ian Paisley. Minister for State, Pat “the Cope” Gallagher also paid tribute to Fr Ó Peicín saying it was ironic that he passed away on the same day that his friend Ian Paisley announced his retirement. March 2008

Please pray for the repose of Father Diarmuid Ó Peicín S.J. who died on 4 March 2008 at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin, at 91 years of age. Born in Dublin on 16 October 1916, Diarmuid received his early education at the Christian Brothers (O’Connell Schools) and at Mungret College . He took his first vows in the Society of Jesus at Emo on 8 September 1936. During his Jesuit formation he studied Arts at UCD and philosophy at Saint Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, Offaly. He taught in Clongowes Wood College and Mungret College, Limerick before studying theology at Milltown Park, Dublin.
Ordained priest at Milltown Park at 31 July 1949, Diarmuid went on to teach at
Crescent College, Limerick and took final vows as a Jesuit on 15 August 1953 after which he taught in Mungret College, Limerick and at Rathmines Technical College. He spent some time engaged in pastoral work with Irish immigrants in Birmingham and London and, after a year in South Africa, returned to Ireland in 1980. Having spent three years as curate on Tory Island, he continued to work for the Comhdháil Oileáin na hÉireann – the Irish Islands’ Federation.

His experience on Tory was documented in his books, Tory Island: the island that wouldn’t go to sleep (Trafford, 1412028965) and Islanders: The True Story of One Man’s Fight to Save a Way of Life, (with Liam Nolan, Harper Collins 1997 978-0006279983) and in Lugh Films’ 52-minute documentary, Fear na nOileàn.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 48th Year No 1 1973

Father Dermot Peakin continues to do energetic work in London. He has organised a weekly instruction class which has six members ready for reception into the Church and he has introduced the Legion of Mary to the parish.
Recently he published a 24-page brochure for the Geraldine G.A.A. Hurling and Football Club, of which he has been Chairman since 1970. The club is flourishing and has won trophies for both hurling and football. Father Dermot has been successful, both in Birmingham and London, in bringing the sons of Irish exiles into the G.A.A., a far-sighted policy in view of the recent sharp decline in emigration from Ireland. In the brochure there is some interesting and hitherto unpublished material about Michael Collins' association wth the Geraldines. He was club secretary from 1910 till his return to Ireland in 1916.
Fr Bob Stevenson and Fr Noel Holden had a day out with Fr Dermot after their successful Mission in Kentish Town last November and enjoyed themselves thoroughly.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 136 : Summer 2008


Fr Diarmuid Ó Péicín (1916-2008)

16th October 1916: Born in Dublin
Early education at Christian Brothers (O'Connell Schools), Dublin, and Mungret College
7th September 1934: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1936: First Vows at Emo
1936 - 1939: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1939 - 1942: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1942 - 1943: Clongowes Wood College - Teacher
1943 - 1946: Mungret College, Limerick - Teacher
1946 - 1950: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31 July 1949: Ordained at Milltown Park
1950 - 1951: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1951 - 1957: Crescent College, Limerick
15th August 1953: Final Vows
1957 - 1960: Mungret College, Limerick - Teacher
1960 - 1962: Rathfarnham - Teacher / Chaplain at Rathmines Technical College
1962 - 1966: Tullabeg - Giving the Spiritual Exercises
1966 - 1969: Birmingham - Pastoral work
1969 - 1978: London - Pastoral work (Irish immigrants)
1978 - 1979: Rathfarnham - Retreat work
1979 - 1980: Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Pastoral work
1980 - 1981: Rathfarnham - work on Tory Island
1981 - 2008: Milltown Park -
1981 - 1984: Curate, Tory Island
1984 - 1992: Research on Islands of Ireland
1992 - 1997: Assisted “Islands Trust” of Ireland
1997 - 2007: Research and Writing
2007 - 2008: Cherryfield Lodge - Praying for Church and Society
4th March 2008: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin.

James Kelly writes:
After I volunteered to write this, it occurred to me that I knew very little about Diarmuid. So the most I can do is give a portrait, gained from living some years with him in Milltown and from hearsay.

On my first acquaintance with him, we both were new to Milltown Park. I found him pleasant at table. But soon I noticed that some would not sit with him at all. One said that he found his sympathy with the IRA annoying - something I never noticed at all. A very prominent Irish Jesuit living abroad, who was often here in the summer, failed to notice this either. He, with some others, frequently sat with Diarmuid, and found him cheery and grateful, with humble good humour. Later it was said that he caused this isolation himself.

He could be quite hilarious at table, if provoked the right way. The late Fr Joe Conran, who was in Milltown for some months before he died, brought the best out of him. They recalled old days in Birmingham and London. They were both in the former city when the infamous bomb went off. They had numerous tales about London, the GAA there and the move to new grounds in Ruislip.

A Columban priest, who attended Diarmuid's funeral, knew him very well there. Diarmuid stayed for a time in St Patrick's, Central London, with a Fr. Pat Davis. It seems to have been a very active time in his life, when his deep fighting spirit at times came to the fore. He was a good confessor and must have helped many people. The Columban priest showed appreciation for his work there. I'm sure Diarmuid had rich experiences in that big city, but he only talked about them when some one was able to draw him out - and most of us were unable to do so.

Island Apostolate
He had a vision of helping those on Tory Island to remain there, even when heavy political forces, with less understanding, were working against him and his supporters. He had an office in Milltown, from where he corresponded widely, and, for a time, was aided by two Fás workers - one a very pleasant Italian girl. He was full of enthusiasm for his work, frequently vaguely saying, 'There's a lot going on'. He had a number of influential outsiders helping him. While he clashed with some people, he was always able to win good people to his cause, like Liam Nolan with whom he produced a book. Two books on Tory Island saw the light of day, and he was greatly involved in them. The film about him and his work crowned a long and struggling endeavour, and won great praise from some, at least, of the Tory people. The progress made on the island is remarkable, and his contribution to this seems to have been large. Of course, he flourished on the challenge it offered him. Defeat never conquered his spirit.

Clear communication was not his strong point. There was, perhaps, a deep element of mistrust in him which left him closed. It was said that this was due to an incident, while he was “in the colleges” in Mungret. He and another scholastic (Johnny Keogh is the name given to me) cycled to Thurles to a Munster final. Unfortunately one bike broke down, and they arrived home very late - a fact that was discovered. They were severely reprimanded for this and Diarmuid's stay in Mungret was extended. It was a case of initiative and openness running into solid inflexibility. Looking back now, it is remarkable how inhuman regulations became so encrusted, and that it took a vast movement in the Church to restore common sense. The longing for a fundamental change and a more reasonable approach existed long before the reality came.

Towards the End
Diarmuid did not get away lightly and had to endure a lengthy illness. Hospital diseases like MSE added to his woes. He must have been lonely too. He said towards the end that he greatly missed people like Joe Conran.

The depths of his aspirations and dreams were known only by God. But he remained loyal to the end, and the God of all might surely guided him safely home.

From the Irish Times, Saturday 8 March 2008 (reprinted with permission)
Turbulent priest who saved Tory Island

One of the many lasting images of Fr. Diarmuid Ó Péicín is when last year, old and frail, he attended the Dublin premiere of the film about his island exploits, called Fear na nOileán. The award-winning film, subsequently broadcast on TG4, was made by Frenchman Loic Jourdain and his partner Anne Marie Nic Ruaidhri, a native of Tory Island, Co Donegal, where the priest served controversially, but ultimately successfully, in the early 1980s. When Anne Marie visited him in Dublin five years ago to moot the idea for the film his response was, “You took your time”. Fr, Ó Péicín knew his standing in the world.

As the film, depicting how he spearheaded the campaign to save the island, rolled, the couple's then three-year-old daughter Kilda was happily running up and down the aisle. This was a double satisfaction and validation for the priest because not only was he being honoured in his lifetime but through Kilda he could see that he had preserved Tory for another generation, at a time when it could so easily have been stripped of its people. It was fitting therefore that at his funeral yesterday Anne Marie was invited to do one of the requiem Mass readings in the Jesuit church in Milltown while Kilda, now 4, carried the gifts.

Fr Ó Peicín was a Dubliner who, close to retirement and after years teaching and working with Irish immigrants in England, travelled to Tory Island in 1980 to learn Irish. While there he was angered by the lack of facilities, the official indifference to the place, and the fact that such were the conditions that 10 families felt they had no option but to accept houses in Falcarragh on the mainland. He suspected this was part of an insidious plan to gradually destroy Tory as a living island, to transform it into another Blaskets,

This suspicion was reinforced when journalist Gerry Moriarty unearthed an official paper suggesting that the 150 people on Tory should be relocated and the island used as variously a holiday home for American tourists, a high-security prison, a quarantine centre or a firing range for the Army. This astonishing official mindset triggered a ruthless, single-minded Old Testament fury and zeal in Fr Ó Peicín, who had a simple biblical take on his mission: if you weren't for Tory you were against Tory.

Those who were so negatively inclined - and there were many - were regularly subjected to the venom of his tongue. He campaigned throughout Ireland, Britain, Europe and the US. He also campaigned for all of Ireland's coastal islands. He died on Tuesday, March 4, aged 91, the day that Ian Paisley announced he was resigning as First Minister and DUP leader.
What was curious here, perhaps even unique, is that Dr Paisley - no lover of the Jesuits - was a firm supporter of the priest, and lobbied on his behalf in Brussels. "He has lit a fire that has never gone out in Europe, and Europe must look after its island people," said Dr Paisley on Fear na nOileán.

Charles Haughey, in opposition and as Taoiseach, was supportive, although at the time in the recession-hit Ireland of the 1980s the money was not available to meet all of the priest's ambitions. Still, when in 1984 the then Bishop of Raphoe, Dr Seamus Hegarty, instructed that Fr Ó Peicín leave the island because, the bishop argued, his presence was proving so divisive, Mr Haughey spoke in favour of the priest.

“While I don't want to interfere in diocesan affairs”, Mr Haughey opined to the interviewing journalist, before doing just that by contending that removing the valiant priest from Tory was bad for the island and its people. At the end of the interview Haughey looked up from under his hooded eyes and, off the record, growled, “You know, he's mad”.

And so he was, but in the positive John Healy sense, where, in his book “Death of an Irish Town”, he urged people to “get mad” in order to halt the depopulation of rural Ireland. In Fr Ó Péicín's case it was to save Tory. Which, against the odds, and with the support of the islanders, he did.

O'Brien, John FX, 1873-1920, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/757
  • Person
  • 22 June 1873-12 January 1920

Born: 22 June 1873, Castlebar, Co Mayo
Entered: 14 September 1889, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1905, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1912, Coláister Iognáid, Galway
Died: 12 January 1920, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1899 at Enghien, Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1900 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1901 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was the son of a well known MP, JFX O’Brien, who had been sentenced as a member of the IRB to be hanged, drawn and quartered for his part in the 1867 Rising. (He had also been an Assistant Surgeon for the Confederate Army at New Orleans during the Civil War, and he also later became President of the IRB 1882-1891, and MP for South Mayo 1885-1895 and for Cork City 1895-1906)

Early education was at French College, Blackrock and Clongowes Wood College SJ.

After his Novitiate he was sent for Regency to Mungret as Prefect and Clongowes as Teacher. He also studied Philosophy at Louvain.
1903 he began the long course in Theology and was Ordained in Dublin 1905, and Tertianship at Tullabeg.
1915-1917 He was Minister at Rathfarnham.
1919 He was Spiritual Father and Editor of “Irish Monthly”.
Early in his career he was affected by headaches, suffering much through his religious life. he died peacefully at Rathfarnham 12 January 1920.
He was very talented and had a good knowledge of Irish.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John FX O’Brien 1873-1920
Fr John FX O’Brien was toe son of a well known Member of Parliament JX O’Brien who had been sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered for his part in the ’67 Rising.

He was born in Castlebar County Mayo, on June 22nd 1873, and was educated at Blackrock College and Clongowes. He entered the Society in 1889.

He was Minister in Rathfarnham from 1915-1917. In 1919 he became Spiritiual Father and editor of the Irish Monthly. From early on in his career he suffered from headaches and endured much pain during his religious life. He was very talented and very proficient in Irish.

His death took place peacefully at Rathfarnham on January 12th 1920.

O'Brien, John, 1839-1915, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1855
  • Person
  • 01 January 1839-20 March 1915

Born: 01 January 1839, Clare Island, County Mayo
Entered: 30 December 1864, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1875
Died: 20 March 1915, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He made his Novitiate under Luigi Sturzo and remained at Milltown as a cook for a while afterwards.
1868 He was sent to Tullabeg as cook, where he did excellent work under Father William Delany, who was 10 years Rector there.
He was then moved to Belvedere for a while, and after a short interval at Gardiner St, he went to UCD, where he worked for a long period. He died leaving a fine record of work at Leeson St 20 March 1915

It may not be out of place to mention that Edmund Hogan stated that the Italian Fathers told James Butler, of Clongowes fame, in 1805, that an Irish Jesuit Synnott was the last to leave off the Jesuit habit worn at the time of the Suppression in 1773 - “Go and tell His Holiness that it was an Irishman was the last member to put aside the habit”. So, Brother O’Brien was the last Brother to put aside the tall-hat in 1892 in obedience to the order of the Provincial Timothy Kenny.

Note from Michael O’Reilly Entry :
Towards the end of his life he was sent to Leeson St, and just before his death to Milltown, where he died 16 September 1915 - six months after John O’Brien.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - DOB 12 March 1840 Killaloe, Co Clare; Ent 04 January 1865; Cooper before entry

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Brother John O’Brien SJ 1840-1915
Br John O’Brien was born in Killaloe on March 12th 1840. He did his noviceship in Milltown Park under Fr Sturzo in 1865.

He was faithful and efficient as a cook in many of our houses, notably in Tullabeg, where Fr Delaney was Rector for 10 years. He was then moved to Belvedere and finally to University College, where he worked a for a long period. He died on March 20th 1915, leaving a fine record of useful and hidden labour.

It may not be out of place to record here a fact stated by Fr Hogan, that the Italian Fathers told Fr James Butler, of Clongowes fame, that an Irish Jesuit names Synott, was the last to leave off the Jesuit habit worn at the time of the Suppression 1773 : “Go and tell His Holiness that it was an Irishman was the last member to lay aside the habit”. So, Br O’Brien was that last Irish Brother to lay aside the tall-hat, in obedience to Fr Timothy Kenny, Provincial of Ireland from 1888 to 1894.

O'Connell, Denis, 1923-2004, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/688
  • Person
  • 19 February 1923-18 October 2004

Born: 19 February 1923, Westport, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1959, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 18 October 2004, Crossna, County Roscommon - Nazareth House, Sligo - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Denis O'Connell (known to all as 'Dinny') was born in Westport, Co Mayo. After primary school, he went to Clongowes Wood College, run by the Jesuits, until he finished his secondary education. The attraction to religious life was already there for he went to the Cistercians for a short time but turned back to the Jesuits he knew from school, and entered the novitiate at Emo Park in 1942. He followed the normal course of studies of university, philosophy, regency at Belvedere and on to theology at Milltown Park Dublin, where he was ordained priest on 31st July 1956.

He came out to Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) in 1958 and went to Chikuni to learn CiTonga, the language of the people. After a year at Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College he came to Monze (1962/63) where he worked in the parish. Pastoral work was to be his vocation for the rest of his life. A big step from here took him to the large urban parish of St Ignatius in Lusaka where he worked for six years (1964–1970). Nakambala on the Sugar Estate in Mazabuka held Dinny for eight years, again working with the people.

During that time he oversaw the building of Christ the King church, the second church on the estate along with St Paul's.
After thirty years of fruitful, patient work in Zambia, he returned to Ireland to continue his pastoral work, first in the archdiocese of Dublin for three years and then in the west at Clarinbridge and Lisdoonvarna in the diocese of Galway where he did pastoral work and chaplaincy. After nine years at this he went north to Sligo to Nazareth House as assistant hospital chaplain. He returned to Galway from Sligo on the 18 October 2004, staying with a priest friend at Crossna, Co Roscommon on the way, but died peacefully in his sleep while staying there.

These are the facts of Dinny's life, a pastoral priest at all times. What of the man himself? Outwardly he was a very laid-back person, easy going in the sense that very little disturbed him much. Always associated with him was his pipe and his hand basket in which he carried the essentials for his pastoral work as he moved around. The pipe brings to mind a story about him while he was on a sabbatical in the United States. A quiet evening smoke in the room where he was a guest activated the sprinklers in the ceiling and drenched the room.

As a pastoral worker and chaplain, he was most faithful to the work at hand, proceeding quietly and with no fuss, almost unnoticed. He had an easy way of talking to the elders, putting them at their ease, whether visiting their homes or attending at their bedside in hospital. He loved to walk on his own by the sea if it was nearby or along a river bank and for him this was also a time of prayer. He loved a good chat with friends once he had the pipe lit and glowing.

He was not adverse to recounting stories or events about himself. One that springs to mind is the time when he was traveling to Lusaka with a Jesuit colleague, a colleague who would quickly speak of spiritual matters. ‘Dinny’, the colleague said, ‘I admire you’. ‘Huh! why's that?’ said Dinny. ‘Well’ was the reply ‘you are a man of few talents but you use them to the best of your ability’. Dinny's talent was the quiet, unobtrusive ability to get his pastoral or chaplaincy work done and his easy manner with people.

Before he died, Dinny donated his body to the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway for medical research. After the evening service in St Ignatius Church, the body was taken away so that at the Mass for Dinny on the following morning in Dublin, his body was not present.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005


Fr Denis (Dinny) O’Connell (1923-2004) : Zambia Malawi Province

Feb. 19th 1923: Born in Westport, Co. Mayo
Early education at CBS, Westport, and Clongowes Wood College
Sept. 7th 1942: Entered the Society at Emo Park
Sept. 8th 1944: First Vows
1944 - 1947: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1947 - 1950: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1950 - 1953: Belvedere College - Teacher
1953 - 1957: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
July 31st 1956: Ordained at Milltown Park
1957 - 1958: Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1958 - 1959: Chikuni - Studying local language; Spiritual Director
Feb. 2nd 1959: Final Vows at Chikuni Mission
1959 - 1960: Teacher Training College Chisekesi – Teacher; Spiritual Director
1960 - 1963: Sacred Heart, Monze - Prefect of Church
1963 - 1964: Sacred Heart, Monze - Mission Bursar; Prefect of Church
1964 - 1970: St. Ignatius Church Lusaka, - parish priest
Dec. 31st 1969: Transcribed to Zambia / Malawi Province
1970 - 1971: Chikuni, Canisius community - studying Chitonga
1971 - 1973: St. Mary's, Monze, - parish priest, minister
1973 - 1974: Chikuni, Canisius community - PP Fumbo
1974 - 1975: Ireland
1975 - 1980: Mazabuka, Nakambala- assistant PP
1980 - 1983: Mazabuka, Nakambala- superior, PP
1983 - 1984: Toronto-sabbatical
1984 - 1987: Kalomo - PP
1987 - 1988: Loyola House, Dublin - pastoral work
1988 - 1990: Arklow, Co Wicklow - pastoral work
1990 - 1991: Galway - pastoral work in Galway Archd.
1991 - 1993: Lisdoonvarna, Stella Maris Convent chaplain
1993 - 1999: Galway - assistant director of Mission Office.
1999 - 2003: Sligo, Nazareth House -asst. hosp. chaplain
2003 - 2004: Galway - Assist in church
Oct. 18th 2004: Died in Co. Roscommon

On October 9th Denis left Galway to visit friends in Sligo. He planned to be away for about a week. On Monday 18th he left a message for John O'Keeffe to say that he was with friends near Lough Key and that he planned to return to Galway on Wednesday 20th. On the evening of the 18th a message was received in Galway from the PP of Crossna, Co. Roscommon, to say that Denis did not come to tea as expected and that on going to his room he found him dead. He had gone to take a siesta.

Tom McGivern writes in the ZAM Province News Oct. 2004:

Dennis O'Connell (known to all as “Dinny”) was born in the west of Ireland, in Westport, County Mayo, on 19 February 1923. After primary school, he went to Clongowes Wood College run by the Jesuits, until he finished his secondary education. After school he tried a vocation with the Cistercians for a short time but turned back to the Jesuits whom he knew from school....He came out to Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) in 1958 to Chikuni where he studied Chitonga. After a year at Charles Lwanga Teachers' Training College, he went to Monze (1962-63) where he worked in the parish. Pastoral work was to be his vocation for the rest of his life. From Monze he took a big step to the large urban parish of St. Ignatius in Lusaka where he was parish priest for six years (1964-1970).

After Lusaka he moved again to the South where he worked for a while out of Chikuni and later in Monze. Then, for eight years (1975-1983) he worked at Nakambala in Mazabuka. During that time he oversaw the building of Christ the King church, the second church on the Sugar Estate after St. Paul's. His final years in Zambia were spent as parish priest in Kalomo (1984-1987). After thirty years of fruitful, patient work in Zambia, he returned to Ireland to continue his pastoral work. First he worked in the Archdiocese of Dublin for three years and then went to the West to the Diocese of Galway. There he did pastoral work and chaplaincy in Clarinbridge and Lisdoonvarna. After nine years at this he moved north to Sligo to Nazareth House as assistant hospital chaplain. In the latter part of last year he moved back to the Jesuit community in Galway where he was assisting in the church. Returning to Galway from a visit to Sligo on 18 October, he stayed with a priest friend at Crossna, County Roscommon. He died peacefully in his sleep while staying there.

These are the facts of Dinny's life. What of the man himself? Outwardly, he was a very laid-back person, easy going in the sense that very little disturbed him much. Always associated with him was his pipe and his hand basket in which he carried the essentials for his pastoral work as he moved around. The pipe brings to mind a story about him while he was on his sabbatical in the States. A quiet evening smoke in his room above the Downtown Chapel in Portland, Oregon, where he was a guest, activated the smoke detector in the ceiling and set off the sprinkler system, drenching the room.
As a pastoral worker and chaplain, he was most faithful to the work at hand, quietly, no fuss, almost unnoticed. He had an easy way of talking with elders, putting them at their ease, whether visiting their homes or attending their bedside in hospital. He loved to walk on his own by the sea or along a river bank. For him it was a time of prayer. He loved a good chat with friends once he had the pipe lit and glowing.

He was not adverse to recounting stories about himself. One that springs to mind was a time when he was traveling to Lusaka with a Jesuit companion, a companion who would quickly speak of spiritual matters. “Dinny”, the Jesuit said, “I admire you”. “Huh! Why's that?” asked Dinny. “Well”, was the reply. “You are a man of few talents, but you use them to the best of your ability!”
Dinny's talent was his easy, welcoming manner with people and his quiet, unobtrusive pastoral ability.

O'Reilly, Richard, 1849-1932, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/344
  • Person
  • 31 December 1849-21 January 1932

Born: 31 December 1849, Ballyjamesduff, County Cavan
Entered: 19 April 1872, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1887
Professed: 02 February 1891
Died: 21 January 1932, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1873 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1885 at St Aloysius, Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1888 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying
by 1890 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 7th Year No 2 1932
Obituary :
Fr Richard O’Reilly
On Thursday, 21 January, Fr. R, O'Reilly died at Tullabeg, in his 59th year in the Society, at the age of 82.

He first saw the light at Ballyjamesduff, Co, Cavan on the 31st December 1849, was educated. first at St. Mary's, Chesterfield, then went to Clongowes in 1868, where he joined the class I Grammar, taught by Fr. N. Walsh, and had as class fellow Fr. M. Devitt. He was elected captain of the House two years in succession. This unique honour was probably due to that popularity which won for him so many friends in after life.
He entered the novitiate at Milltown 19 April 1872, and at the end of the two years was sent to Roehampton. After spending some months there he joined Frs. M. Devitt and H. Lynch at Milltown in September. All three attended the courses of the old Catholic University for the year 1874-75.
Three years philosophy at Laval followed, and then began a course of teaching for 6 years in Ireland, The first of them was spent in Tullabeg the next three in Clongowes, and the last two at the Crescent. His subjects were Latin, Greek, French, Mathematics. For one year he had charge of the H. Line debate in Clongowes. Theology came next, one year in Jersey and three at St. Beuno's. A year was spent in Mungret as Minister and Procurator before going to his Teirtianship at Tronchiennes in 1889.
On returning to Ireland he began his long career as Minister, Procurator, Consulter, broken only by three years as Miss. Excurr., during which he was stationed in Galway.
In all he was Minister for 11 years, Procurator or sub-Proc. for 29, Consultor for 39, twenty-seven of them being in Tullabeg.
He lived in Tullabeg for 29 years, in Clongowes for 9, Mungret 5, Galway 3, Milltown 3, Crescent 2, and Belvedere 1 (1917-18). These, with 8 years abroad, brought him to within a few months of his Diamond Jubilee in the Society.
He had charge of the People's Sodality in Tullabeg for a Number of years, and his devotion to the work made the members really devoted to him. They almost looked on him as their Parish Priest. He spoke to them with great frankness when occasion demanded it, and told them of their faults, but this only increased their respect.
For years he never missed saying Mass in the People's Church daily, though in winter it was so cold that with difficulty he kept the blood circulating in hi s fingers so as to hold the chalice. The novices looked serving Mass in that Church for a week during winter as a severe penance yet Fr, O'Reilly said Mass there, week in week out, for many a year,
With the priests too he was very popular. At all their social meetings he was ever a welcome guest, and was given the place of honour. When Dr. Mulvaney was consecrated Bishop, it was Fr. O'Reilly who was placed on the Bishop's right hand.
All this shows what manner of man Fr. O'Reilly was. Through life a quiet, steady worker, easy to get on with, yet, when his own opinions seemed right, they were defended with energy. His kindliness won for him hosts of friends at home and abroad. No man enjoyed a joke better and when he himself was the object of the fun every thing was taken in the best possible humour, a somewhat rare virtue. To the end he was an excellent religious, and his devotion to the obligations of Jesuit life resembled at times those of a novice.
Fr, O’Reilly was anointed on Saturday evening, 16 Jan., yet he was able to get up on Sunday, actually said Mass and heard two others. On Monday he offered the Holy Sacrifice for the last time, and on the following Thursday morning was found dead.
His Lordship Dr. Mulvaney, many priests and a great crowd of people attended the Requiem Mass and funeral

Pelly, Michael C, 1907-1990, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/20
  • Person
  • 09 July 1907-20 August 1990

Born: 09 July 1907, Ballina, County Mayo
Entered 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1938, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1942, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Died: 20 August 1990, John Austin House, North Circular Road, Dublin City

Early education St Patrick’s De La Salle BNS, Castlebar and Mungret College SJ

Chaplain in the Second World War.
Hong Kong

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946
Frs. Guinane, Pelly and Perrott C. have been released from the Army. Fr. Guinane is now Minister at Mungret, Fr. Perrott is posted to Galway, and Fr. Pelly is awaiting travelling facilities to go to our Hong Kong Mission. Fr. Martin, a member also of the Mission, was to have been released from the Army on December 12th, but on the 11th be met with a serious accident in Belfast (see letter below). Fr. Provincial went to Belfast on Wednesday, January 9th, to visit him at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Fr. C. Murphy hopes to start on his homeward journey from Austria on January 14th and to be released from the Army by the end of January.

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong Kong

Rabbitte, James, 1857-1940, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/463
  • Person
  • 10 April 1857-02 August 1940

Born: 10 April 1857, Dunmore, County Galway
Entered: 08 September 1885, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: - pre Entry
Professed: 15 August 1902
Died: 02 August 1940, Coláiste Iognáid, Sea Road, Galway

by 1888 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
Came to Australia 1889

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
James Rabbitte was a diocesan priest when he entered Loyola House, Dromore, in 1885 for the novitiate, and then went on to Louvain to revise his theology. In 1889 he was sent to the Australian Mission, where he taught at St Patrick's College and did some pastoral work until 1893, followed by some time at St Aloysius' College. He then taught at Riverview, 1896-98. He returned to Ireland in March 1898, teaching mainly in Galway, with a period of time as province archivist, living at Gardiner Street.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 15th Year No 3 1940

Obituary :

Father James Rabbitte

1857 Born at Dunmore, Co Galway10th April. Educated at St. Jarlath's Tuam and Maynooth College
1880 Ordained at Maynooth for the Ahdiocese of Tuam. Served as Curate at Roundstone, Inishbofin, and Ballyhaunis
1885 Entered the Society at Dromore 8th September
1887 Louvain, Recol. Theol.
1888-1897 Australia - Worked in St Patrick’s Melbourne, St. Aloysius and Riverview, Sydney Was “Cons. Dom,” in all three Colleges.
1898-1899 Crescent, Doc., Cons. Dom.
1900 Galway, Miss Excurr Oper
1901 Crescent, Minister, etc
1902-1904 Crescent, Doc., Oper
1905 Belvedere. Doc
1906-1908 Crescent, Doc., Oper
1909-1910 Tullabeg, Praef. Spir., etc
1911-1922 Galway, Doc., Oper
1923-1929 Gardiner St., Cust. Archiv. Prov.. etc
1930-1931 Galway, Praes. Coll. Cas., Oper
1932-1940 Galway, Cens. lib., Conf. dom

Died at Galway, Friday, 2nd August, 1940. Was 31 years Mag according to Catalogue of 1919

As will be seen from the above catalogue of dates, Father Rabbitte spent nearly half of his life in the Society at St Ignatius', Galway, where, in 1936, he celebrated the Golden
Jubilee of his entrance into the Society, and where he quietly passed to his reward on 2nd August of the present year, 1940.
A quiet man, Fr. Rabbitte lived a retired life, but he had many qualities that endeared him to those who came his way. Intimate with few, he had a host of friends - no enemies. He had an astonishing love of children, and even in his last years of life when he had no direct contact with the boys in the College he seemed to know most of them personally, and, of course knew most of their fathers unto the third generation. He was a keen and accurate observer, and was a lifelong student of History and Irish Archaeology. Both of these subjects were arenas in which a moderate iconoclast can do a lot of good, and Fr. Rabbitte was a moderate iconoclast. As a critic, he was undoubtedly severe, but at the same time he was just and always very courteous. Over a controverted point he would “sit as a refiner of silver”, and when, at length an article left his crucible for publication, one could rest assured that it bore little, if any, of the dross of fable under the guise of History. It was perhaps this desire for absolute accuracy that prevented Fr. Rabbitte from writing more, and it may be that his undoubted aversion to speaking Irish may have had its roots in that same trait of character.
But if we ask ourselves what struck us most in Fr. Rabbitte's ordinary life, I should answer without hesitation the regularity of his religious life. He rarely accepted, and still more rarely
sought exemption from Common Life. Up to the very end he never missed a visit to the Blessed Sacrament after his breakfast or his lunch, even though such a visit meant a weary journey up the stairs to the Domestic Chapel. During the last few years, after a stroke or fall had deprived him of the sight of one eye, he was (more praise to him for it) a little careful of himself. He never wore spectacles, but during Mass would use a large magnifying glass. During this period he found Community Recreation. a little trying, and asked to be exempted. When the community went into the Dometic Chapel for Litanies Fr. Rabbitte was sure to be there before, having come down from his room above in time.
His great anxiety after the stroke in June of 1938 was that he should be enabled to celebrate his daily Mass. God granted his request, and Fr. Rabbitte had the happiness of saying Mass almost to the end. His last Mass was on the Sunday before he died, and apparently he had some premonition of his coming illness, for he turned to his faithful server after Mass and said, “I shall not say Mass to-morrow”.

Ryan, William, 1823-1876, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2082
  • Person
  • 02 April 1823-26 October 1876

Born: 02 April 1823, Castlebar, County Mayo
Entered: 28 September 1857, Beaumont, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: Maynooth - pre Entry
Final vows: 08 September 1869
Died: 26 October 1876, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1868 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) Studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at the Royal College Maynooth, where he proved very able and carried off a number for the special prizes awarded to students. He was Ordained at Maynooth, and worked as a Curate in his native Diocese for some years before Ent.

He Entered at Beaumont under Thomas Tracy Clarke.
After First Vows he was sent to Clongowes, and then to Tullabeg, where he was a Teacher, Prefect , Director of the BVM Sodality and Spiritual Father to Ours.
1870 He devoted himself to Missionary work up to the log illness which preceded his death, and he did not spare himself in zeal.
1876 He had to give up work early in the year and he retired to Milltown. He suffered from bronchitis, paralysis and a weak heart. Humility and patience were the virtues in evidence through this trial, and he died 26 October 1876 in his 54th year.
He had great eloquence, recognised all over the country, and exercised great charity, though his voice was quite a harsh one.

Shiel, Joseph A, 1891-1969, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/403
  • Person
  • 23 August 1891-02 December 1969

Born: 23 August 1891, Swinford, County Mayo
Entered: 06 September 1908, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 August 1928
Final Vows: 02 February 1929
Died: 02 December 1969, Jamalpur, Bihar, India - Kolkata Province (CCU)

Transcribed HIB to BELG : 1911; BELG to CCU

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).

Tarpey, James, 1924-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/617
  • Person
  • 05 May 1924-21 March 2001

Born: 05 May 1924, Kilkelly, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 21 March 2001, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to HIB : 1976

by 1952 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1980 at Richmond Fellowship London (BRI) studying

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 108 : Special Edition 2001


Fr James (Jim) Tarpey (1924-2001)

5th May 1924: Born in Kilkelly, Co. Mayo
Early Education at Mungret College
7th Sept 1942: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1944: First Vows at Emo
1944 - 1948: Rathfarnham - studying Arts at UCD
1948 - 1951: Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1951 - 1954: Hong Kong- 2 years language School / 1 year Wah Yan College
1954 - 1958: Milltown Park - studying Theology
31st July 1957: Ordained at Milltown
1958 - 1959: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1959 - 1969: Hong Kong (Wah Yan, Queen's Road; Wah Yan, Waterloo Road; Cheung Chau) - various capacities: Rector, Minister Prefect of the Church, Teaching English
2nd Feb. 1960: Final Vows in Hong Kong
1969 - 1973: Tullabeg - 1 year Mission staff, 3 years Retreat House staff
1973 - 1976: Rathfarnham - Retreat House staff
1976 - 1978: Betagh House, 9 Temple Villas - Superior
1978 - 1979: Rathfarnham - Director Spiritual Exercises
1979 - 1980: London - Studying practical psychology
1980 - 1981: Rathfarnham - Director Spiritual Exercises
1981 - 1984: Tullabeg - Director Spiritual Exercises
1984 - 1986: Manresa - Director Spiritual Exercises
1986 - 1988: Milltown Park - Director Spiritual Exercises; Lay Retreat Association
1988 - 1991: Arrupe, Ballymun - Parish Curate
1991 - 1996: Manresa - Director Spiritual Exercises
1996 - 1997: Milltown Park - Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Director Spiritual Exercises
1997 - 1998: Sandford Lodge - Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Director Spiritual Exercises
1998 - 2001: Milltown Park - Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Director Spiritual Exercises
21st March 2001: Died in Dublin

Some ten years ago, Jim was very seriously ill with a heart condition. He made a remarkable recovery and continued to live a very energetic life, giving retreats and novenas, besides his main job as Co-ordinator of Cherryfield Lodge. He was greatly appreciated for his apostolates, as retreat-giver and homilist. The suddenness of his passing took us all by surprise, since only the day before he died he had said the prayers at the removal of the remains of Fr. Tony Baggot. He was attending a meeting when he collapsed. He was taken to the Mater Hospital, having had a massive heart attack, from which he passed away.

Noel Barber writes....

Jim Tarpey died suddenly at an AA meeting on Wednesday, March 21st. The sudden death left his family and Jesuit community stunned, but it must have been a delightful surprise for Jim. One moment he was attending a meeting on a dank cold March day and then in a blink of an eyelid he was facing the Lord he loved so well and served so faithfully.

He was born 77 years ago in Kilkelly, Co Mayo, He was one of 8 children. All but his sister, Sr. Simeon, survive him. He was educated at Mungret College, Limerick where he performed weil in studies and games. He excelled at rugby and won a Munster Senior School's Rugby medal. On leaving school he entered the Society and followed the usual course of studies, After seven years the possibility of going on the missions arose. He opted for Zambia, then known as Northern Rhodesia, but was sent to Hong Kong, where he spent two years learning the language and one year teaching in a secondary school. He returned to Ireland in 1954 to study theology and was ordained in 1957 at Milltown Park.

During the years as a student his colleagues appreciated his wisdom, balance, good humour and good judgement. His piety was unobtrusive and dutiful. On the side, he acquired a formidable reputation as quite an outstanding Bridge player. He returned to Hong Kong in 1959 for 10 years. It was there that he developed his talent as a preacher.

On coming back to Ireland in 1969 he devoted the rest of his life to pastoral ministry of all shades and types with an interlude of two years when he was Superior of a Scholasticate. He was an outstanding preacher to priests, nuns, laity, to the young and the old. Father Donal Neary tells that Jim was in constant demand to return to wherever he gave the Novena of Grace. One could multiply such accounts in all sorts of areas.

He was greatly beloved by patients and staff in Cherryfield Lodge, similarly in the Royal Hospital, Donnybrook, where he spent an afternoon every week, having heard that the hospital required volunteers to visit patients. He had a large apostolate within the AA. He travelled the length and breadth of the country giving retreats and missions. He had exceptional gifts as a confessor and spiritual director, as many can testify, not least his Jesuit brothers.

The ingredients that made him so successful in pastoral ministry were many. The card player was dealt a good hand. And like the good Bridge player he was, he exploited that hand to the full, capitalising on his long suits and maximising his short ones. He was a fine speaker and a gifted storyteller. He was amiable, unpretentious, and simple, of sound judgement and eminent common sense. He had the precious ability to learn from experience and convey what he learned to others.

He might well be embarrassed to hear himself described as a theologian. He was, however, a very good one. His theology was not speculative or philosophical. He thought about the Christian message in stories, created or drawn from experience, and he conveyed the message in the same way, simply, concretely and vividly. He was in good company in communicating the message in this way. He shared this style of communication with people we know as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These were important elements in his make-up.

But above all he was a man of prayer. He loved prayer: to love prayer is to love the one to whom one prays and with whom one journeys. One would find him regularly in the early hours of the morning in the little community oratory.

As a card player, he could maximise his short suit, so too in life. He discovered painfully that he suffered from alcoholism. In some ways that was the defining experience in his life. He battled the sickness, at times with little success, but ultimately conquered it. His own family, his Jesuit brothers and his friends are all proud of the way he accepted the sickness, spoke about it, overcame it, and helped so generously so many who suffered in the same way. That illness impressed on him a sense of his own fragility and from that sense so many of his qualities came. It gave him an enormous capacity to help others, to feel for them in their weakness and to accept them as he accepted himself.

Through his sickness he became humble in the true sense of the term. It did not blind him to his strengths, nor did he use it to protest that he was not up to this, that or the other. In fact he was always ready to take on whatever he was asked to do and to volunteer for any pastoral work, quietly confident that he could do successfully whatever he was called to do.

In his account of the last Supper, St. John leaves out the institution of the Eucharist, and where the other evangelists recount that scene, John puts in the washing of the feet. This is, of course, John's commentary on the Eucharist. And, Tarpey like, the evangelist makes his point in a story. He is saying that the Eucharist is pointless unless it leads us to serve others in humble tasks. Someone has said that the sign of a good Christian community would be if after lining up for communion, the congregation then lined up to serve others. Jim Tarpey was always in line, ready to serve others.

Tasburgh, Thomas, 1675-1727, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2176
  • Person
  • 29 September 1673-05 July 1727

Born: 29 September 1673, Bodney, Norfolk, England
Entered: 07 September 1691, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1700
Final Vows: 21 March 1704
Died: 05 July 1727, Dublin - Angliae Province (ANG)

Son of John and Elizabeth (Darell)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of John and his second wife Elizabeth
Early education at St Omer’s College France
1701 At College of the Holy Apostles, Suffolk
1704 St Ignatius College London, until near the time of his death
He died in Dublin 05 July 1727 in the odour of sanctity and was buried, it is believed, at St Michan’s. Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS states “In a letter of the Rv Dean Meyler, 08 June 1832, from 79, Marlborough St, Dublin, that worthy gentleman says ‘Many miracles were performed at the tomb of this Father, and his remains were, in consequence, almost carried away by the people. There is at present, in the possession of one of the Priests of Dublin, a finger belonging to this very holy man, the applications of which has been followed by many extraordinary and rapid cures, some of them even to my knowledge”.
Father R O’Callaghan’s sister was cured by an application of the above relic (Hogan)
Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS also says :
In connection with this family and Father Thomas Tasburgh’s relic, so famous for the miraculous cures effected by its application, Father Edmund Hogan has sent us the following communication
“In the abbey of Ross Co Galway, over the vault of the Lynches of Ballycurrin, is a slab with the inscription : ‘The arms of ye Ancient Family of Tasburg, of Tasburgh, afterwards of St Peter’s Hall, in ye Manor of Southelman, in Suffolok, now of Felzton in said County (Flixton or Feixtown) ....... This Monument was erected by Ellen Lynch, of Lydican, and wife of Peregrine Tasburgh, who died the 5th February, 1710”.
The late Bishop Blake of Dromore, who preached Father Betagh’s panegyric, collected a great number of cases of cures by Father Tasburgh’s relics, and had an intention of publishing a tract on the subject. The celebrated Dr Cahill was to have his leg cut off by Surgeon O’Reilly, he applied Father Tasburgh’s finger to his leg and disappointed the surgeons.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of John and Elizabeth née Darrell
Early education was under the Jesuits at St Omer, France.
After First Vows he followed the usual course of studies in Europe, was Ordained and then returned to work as a priest in England
The circumstances of his arrival in Ireland are simply not known. It may be suggested that he came to for reasons of health or as Chaplain to some Anglo-Irish Catholic household. All that is known with certainty is that he was only a short time in Dublin when he died 05 July 1727
He died with the repute of high sanctity. Nearly a century after his death it was reported that many wonders had taken place at his tomb and that one of his fingers was treasured as a relic by a Dublin priest

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Thomas Tasburh 1673-1727
Fr Tasburg was probably an Englishman, as we find two other Jesuits of the same name listed in the English Catalogues. He is honoured in an Irish Menology, because he was for years attached to the parish of St Michan Dublin, where he died in 1727 on the 6th July, and was buried in the vaults.

Bu the concurrent testimony of many, though not juridically proved, miraculous cures were often effected by the application of his relics. One witness states that Fr Richard O’Callaghan SJ, then living with the family in Church Street, where one of his sisters was for years incurably affected by a spinal disease, he procured a finger of the deceased Fr Tasburg, and with the prescribed prayers applied it to the diseased parts which were immediately cured. The famous Dean Meyler, Parish Priest of St Andrew’s testifies :
“Many miracles were performed at the tomb of this Father, and all his remains were in consequence carried away by the people. There is at present in the possession of one of the priests of Dublin a finger belonging to this very holy man, the application of which has been followed by many extraordinary and rapid cures, some of them to my own knowledge”.

Fr Tasburg was born in 1673 and laboured for some time on the Mission in London before coming to Dublin.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
TASBURGH, THOMAS, joined the Society on the 7th of September, 1691; made a Spiritual Coadjutor on the 21st of March, 1704 : was stationed in London during the early part of the last Century; but for some time before his death resided in Dublin, in great repute for Sanctity. He died in that city on the 5th of July, N.S. 1727, aet. 54. and I think was buried at St. Michan’s. In a letter of the Rev. Mr. Meylor, dated 8th of June, 1832, from 79, Marlborough street, Dublin, that worthy gentleman says, “Many miracles were performed at the tomb of this Father; and its remains were in consequence almost carried away by the people. There is at present, in the possession of one of the Priests in Dublin, a finger belonging to this very holy man, the application of which has been followed by many extraordinary and rapid cures; some of them to my own knowledge.