Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Mordaunt, Edward, 1865-1957, Jesuit brother
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Dates of existence
30 May 1865-13 February 1957
Born: 30 May 1865, Gorey, County Wexford
Entered: 27 April 1885, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Final Vows: 02 February 1897, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 13 February 1957, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 32nd Year No 2 1957
Br Edward Mordaunt (1865-1957)
At Tullabeg, early in the morning of 13th February, 1957, Br. Edward Mordaunt died peacefully in his sleep. He was 91 years of age and had been a Jesuit for more than 71 years. At his death he was the oldest member of the Province and the last survivor of those who had made their noviceship in Dromore, Co. Down.
Br. Mordaunt was born at Gorey, Co, Wexford, on 30th May, 1865. Educated by the Christian Brothers in that town, he came to Dublin at the age of seventeen and was apprenticed to a firm of tailors. There he became an expert tailor and cutter, a skill which he used to good purpose during his long life subsequently in the Society. At nineteen, feeling the call to religious life, he returned to the parish where he had lived as a boy (the one parish in Co. Wexford belonging to Dublin diocese), to Consult his parish priest. He was advised to enter the Society of Jesus and this he did on 27th April, 1885. One of his reminiscences of these Dromore days was seeing Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, a visitor from University College, Dublin, standing long and pensively in a field, watching the ploughman turning up the furrows. (Cf. “Sheer plod makes plough down sillion shine.") After the noviceship was transferred to Tullabeg, Br. Mordaunt came there as tailor (1888). In this craft he was quite outstanding. His Jesuit gowns were famous in the Province for the excellence of their cut and trim, and this high standard he taught to his pupil, John Ryan, who for over half a century was tailor at Tullabeg. Later Br. Mordaunt was tailor at Milltown Park for a period of twelve years (1890-1902). It is interesting to note, in the annual Catalogues for those years, how the list of Br. Mordaunt's duties and responsibilities lengthens as his manifold talents gradually come to light. Thus in 1892 he is : Sartor, Cust, vest,, Ad dom., but in 1901 he is, in addition, Aedituus, Emptor, Excitator. During this period, as subsequently in Tullabeg (1902-1911), he proved himself an excellent caterer and was frequently invited to other houses to organise festive occasions. Thus for several years, he was in charge of arrangements for the annual Union Dinner in Clongowes. He himself liked to recall how on the occasion of Fr. James Murphy's funeral at Tullabeg in 1908, he catered for a hundred distinguished visitors.
The competence which Br. Mordaunt displayed in domestic administration decided his superiors to apply him exclusively to that task. In 1911 he took up residence in Wilton House, off Leeson Park, where a hostel for university students had been established, following the foundation of the National University. This hostel was the forerunner of University Hall, Hatch Street, which was completed in 1913, and whither Br. Mordaunt transferred in that year. For thirty-three years he rendered distinguished service in University Hall as universal provider and manager of the domestic staff. He was a strict disciplinarian and secured obedience and efficiency from the servants in his charge. Some of his religious brethren might consider his managerial methods some what stern and autocratic, but somehow the youths over whom he ruled not only respected but were devoted to him. They discerned, beneath a rugged exterior, Br. Mordaunt's fundamental justice and benevolence. The students in the Hall also respected him, though they were not above playing an occasional practical joke upon him. In his shopping expeditions all over the city; Br. Mordaunt was a figure well-known to generations of tradesmen and shop assistants, who, one and all, bad a wholesome respect for his shrewdness and determination to get precisely the commodity he was seeking. During all those years he lived the life of an edifying religious, regular and attentive to his spiritual duties, despite his manifold distractions, and insisting on attention to their religious duties from the servants in his charge. God blessed him with health and vigour all his life. He was fond of walking and, when work was not pressing, he would ask his superior for a shilling and go for a long solitary march to the Dublin hills. A regular feature of his annual holiday in the Jesuit College, Galway, was his trip to the Aran Islands, as honoured guest of Captain Senan Meskil of the good ship Dún Angus.
In 1946, being now an octogenarian, Br. Mordaunt relinquished his tasks in University Hall but continued to work for two years more in 35 Lower Leeson Street. Then, at his own earnest request, in 1948 he was sent to Tullabeg that he might end his long and serviceable life in quiet and prayer. Until his memory began to fail a year or two before the end, he was an active and affable member of the Tullabeg community, always ready to enter with zest into the friendly banter of recreation and brimful of anecdotes from his long and varied career in the Irish Province. When his memory and later his bodily strength began to decline, he was cared for by the other Brothers with a charity and devotion which were truly admirable.
Father Rector said Br. Mordaunt's Requiem Mass in the People's Church, Tullabeg, on 15th February, with Right Rev. Monsignor McCormack, P.P., V.G., Clara, presiding. Also present were Father Provincial, the Rectors of Emo and of Lower Leeson Street and Father Minister of Clongowes. The Tullabeg choir sang the Absolution and “Benedictus”, and Br. Mordaunt was laid to rest in the college cemetery.
◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Brother Edward Mordaunt SJ 1865-1957
Br Edward Mordaunt laboured for 33 years as universal provider and manager at University Hall Dublin. He had a special gift in that respect, though he was by trade a first-class tailor. He was often called upon by other institutions to manage their big celebrations, University College, for example. On the occasion of Fr James Murphy’s funeral in Tullabeg, he catered for over a hundred distinguished guests.
But this excellence in the gifts of Marta did not exclude the gifts of Mary. He had the hands of Martha and the heart of Mary. A deep religious spirit underlay his efficiency, so that when his usefulness was at an end in 1948, when he was already 82, he requested to be sent to Tullabeg and to end his days in prayer and quiet. There on February 13th 1957 he passed peacefully to his reward at the age of 91, with the record of having been 71 years a Jesuit.
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Type of relationship
Mordaunt, Edward, 1865-1957, Jesuit brother
Dates of relationship
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Place access points
- County Wexford » Gorey
- County Down » Dromore » Loyola House (Dromore)
- County Offaly (King's) » Ballycowan (Bar.) » Tullabeg » St Stanislaus College
- County Dublin » Dublin City » Sandford Road » Milltown Park
- County Dublin » Dublin City » Hatch Street Lower » University Hall SJ
- County Dublin » Dublin City » Lower Leeson Street » St Ignatius House of Writers
- County Dublin » Dublin City » Upper Gardiner Street » St Francis Xavier's Church (Roman Catholic)
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