Southern Province (Zambia)

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Southern Province (Zambia)

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80 Name results for Southern Province (Zambia)

Barry-Ryan, Kieran, 1929-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/820
  • Person
  • 20 February 1929-17 November 2018

Born: 20 February 1929, Cappaghwhite, County Tipperary
Entered: 06 September 1947, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1960, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1965, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 17 November 2018, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Uper Gardiner Streey community at the time of death.

by 1950 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1955 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency
by 1971 at Coventry, England (ANG) working
by 2007 at Annerly, London (BRI) working
by 2011 at Beckenham, Kent (BRI) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/kieran-barry-ryan-sj-a-gifted-marriage-counsellor/

Kieran Barry-Ryan SJ: a gifted marriage counsellor
Fr Kieran Barry-Ryan SJ died peacefully after a short illness in St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin on Saturday, 17 November 2018 aged 89 years. His funeral took place in St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner Street in Dublin on 20 November followed by burial in Glasnevin Cemetery.
Born in Cappaghwhite, County Tipperary, Fr Kieran was educated in Ireland and England before entering the Society of Jesus at St Mary’s, Emo, Country Laois in 1947. His Jesuit training included studies abroad in France and Zambia, and he was ordained at Milltown Park Chapel, Dublin in 1960.
As a Jesuit priest, Fr Kieran taught Religion at Bolton Street DIT in Dublin and was a member of the Gardiner Street community for many years. He was deeply involved in marriage and family ministry. He identified a great need for this work, helping to set up pre-marriage courses, writing the material for them, and training those who would give them.
Fr Kieran said that the most challenging part of marriage and family ministry was encouraging the trainers to reflect and draw on their own experience of faith and prayer. Rather than focusing simply on human development which had a strong gravitational pull for people, he helped to nourish and develop the religious heart of the sacrament of marriage.
He lived in England from 1997 to 2013 where he continued his popular pre-marriage courses. He became known as a wise and kind presence to the many couples and families who were referred to him. Later, he was a Chaplain to Emmaus Nursing Home in Kent, England.
The Irish Jesuit returned to Gardiner Street community in 2013 and spent his last four years in Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Dublin where he prayed for the Church and the Society. He died in St Vincent’s Hospital while being surrounded by his family and friends.
Dr Chris Curran, who is working on the Loyola Institute initiative, was a friend who attended the funeral on 20 November. He remarked that Fr Kieran, fondly known as ‘Kerry’, was a person of good fun and laughter: a very good bridge player, a golfer, fluent in French, someone who worked very well with groups and who loved an argument.
“Kerry was a close family friend of very long standing”, said Dr Curran. “He was involved in the life of my family for many years where he officiated over the sacraments. He was dedicated and committed in particular to the marriage apostolate”.
Fr Kieran is sadly missed by his sisters Eileen Dooley, Wimbledon and Patricia MacCurtain, Jesuit confreres and friends. He is predeceased by his sister Maureen Lightburn. ‘Kerry’ was known to be a much loved brother, uncle, granduncle, priest and friend. He will be particularly remembered in Ireland, England and America.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Early Education at St Augustine’s, Ramsgate; Downside School, Bath; College of Surgeons, Dublin
1949-1951 Laval, France - Juniorate
1951-1954 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1954-1957 St Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia - Regency : Teacher
1957-1961 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1961-1962 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1962 Teacher of Religion at Bolton St DIT, Dublin
1968-1970 Gardiner St - Assisting in Church; teaching at Bolton St
1971-1976 Leeson St - Director of Marriage Courses at CIR
1976-1997 Gardiner St - Assisting in Church; Marriage & Family Apostolate; Marriage Counselling & Courses
1988 Director of Church Apostolate
1991 Sabbatical
1997-2009 Annerley, London, England - Parish Work; Marriage and Family Apostolate at St Anthony of Padua Church
2009-2013 West Wickham, Kent, England - Chaplain to Emmaus Nursing Home
2013-2018 Gardiner St - Sabbatical
2014 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Benson, Patrick J, 1923-1970, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/735
  • Person
  • 19 December 1923-15 May 1970

Born: 19 December 1923, Kilkishen, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1959
Died: 15 May 1970, Fordham University, The Bronx, New York, USA - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Part of the Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia community at the time of death

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
The suddenness of Fr Paddy's death came as a great shock. He had left Chikuni for a well deserved leave in January 1970 and during the course of that leave went to the USA to do some career guidance. He had been doing this at Canisius Secondary School with great success and went overseas to acquire the latest techniques. He was staying at Fordham University when he died, and an extract from a letter from the Rector there, Fr James Hennessey S. J., gave the details of Fr Paddy's death:

"He had been here a month and we were delighted to have him. Rarely has anyone fitted into the community so well. He was always pleasant and his humour was delightful, he went about his business seriously and impressed all who came into contact with him. He was cheerful to the last; several who were with him at dinner last evening remembered that he had been in fine fettle. He must have retired early. This morning a relative, Br Bernard F.M.S., came to call for him. They had planned to spend the day together. It was about 10 a.m. and when Paddy did not answer, he went to his room and found him dead. It looked to me as if he had tried to get up, then had fallen back and died quickly and peacefully. There was no evidence of struggle or pain. Fr Minister anointed him and our house doctor pronounced him dead of a coronary".

Paddy was born in Co. Clare, Ireland, on 19th December 1923, an only child. He went to St Flannan's College in Co. Clare and after his final year in school, entered the Society on 7 September 1942 much to the regret of the diocesan clergy who would have liked him for the diocese. He went through the usual training in the Society doing his regency at Belvedere and Mungret. While at these places he was known for his selflessness and the memory everyone had of Fr. Paddy was of his willingness to help others in any way he could. He was ordained at Milltown Park on the 31st July 1956, a happy event which was tempered by the fact that neither of his parents lived to see him ordained. After his tertianship he came to Zambia.

After spending some time learning the language, he became Manager of Schools for a year, then did two years at Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College and finally came to Canisius in 1962, as Senior Prefect, a position he held until 1969 when he was acting principal for almost a year.

If one were to pick out two virtues in Fr Paddy, all would agree that his ever-cheerfulness and readiness to help others are the two outstanding ones. He was a man who rarely thought of himself or his own comfort and this combined with a simplicity of soul, endeared him to all who had dealings with him. In all the houses in which he had been, he left his mark, for he was gifted with his hands and electricity had always been his chief hobby. In Milltown Park, Dublin he did the wiring for the telephone system while he was studying there. In many houses in Zambia, both in the Society and elsewhere, there are "many things electrical" which are working due to Fr Paddy's dexterity.

He was never too busy to help others and was ready to drop everything in order to be of assistance to the many who called on him to do "little jobs", to fill in for a supply if someone was sick or unavailable, or just to be cheerful in conversation. This willingness to help others and his fondness for the steering wheel, gave him a certain mobility and it was not uncommon to see him disappearing in clouds of dust down the avenue.

He led a tiring life but even so, at the end of a hard week put in at the school work, he would go off on Mass supply to preach and baptise or help in the parish at Chikuni. To one who lived and worked with Fr Paddy for many years, the oft quoted Latin tag "consummatus in brevi, expleveit tempora multa" (he accomplished much in a short time) takes on a new meaning.

Though he died in New York his body was returned to Ireland to be buried at Mungret where he had taught and which was not too far from his old home.
Many letters of sympathy came to Fr O’Riordan, Education Secretary General, not least from the Minister of Education and his Permanent Secretary. Here are some extracts: "Fr Benson will always be remembered for his warm humanity, keen sense of humour and willingness to assist others." (Minister of Education); "Fr Benson's calm and reasoned approach to education problems, his sense of humour and the cooperative and helpful spirit with which he went about his affairs, remain in the memory." (Permanent Secretary, Min. Ed.).

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 45th Year No 3 1970

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Benson SJ (1923-1970)

The news of Fr. Benson's death in New York on May 15th had a stunning effect on those, and they were many, who but a short time previously had welcomed him back for the holiday break from Zambia; he had spent some intervals in his native Clare and had visited a number of friends in the various houses and professed himself sufficiently fit to do an educational course at Fordham before returning to the missions proper.
After the first announcement of his death Fr. James Hennessy, Rector of Fordham, set himself immediately to give a more detailed account : “Several of those who were at dinner with him last evening remarked that he had been in fine fettle. He must have retired early. This morning a relative, Br. Bernard, F.H.S., came to call for him. They had planned a day together. It was about 10 am, and when Paddy did not answer Br. Bernard went to his room and found him dead. It looked to me as if he had tried to get up, then had fallen back and died quickly and peacefully. There was no evidence of struggle or pain. Fr. Minister anointed him and our house doctor pronounced him dead of a coronary”.
Fr. Provincial here was contacted and it was decided to have the burial at Mungret sixteen miles from Fr. Paddy's native place Kilkishen, across the Shannon.
In Fordham the obsequies were not neglected; over twenty Jesuits were present at the exequial Mass on May 18th; the lessons were read by Frs. Joseph Kelly, Brian Grogan and Hugh Duffy. Fr. Paddy Heelan gave an appreciation of his contemporary and friend at an evening Mass previously and Fr. George Driscoll, Superior of the Gonzaga Retreat House for boys, with whom Fr. Benson had already formed a firm friendship, gave the homily or funeral oration. The suffrages on Fr. Benson's behalf from the Fordham community amount to 150 Masses.
Fr. Paddy was a student at St. Flannan's College, Ennis, and had come to our novitiate in 1942 in company with his fellow collegian Michael O'Kelly whose lamentable early death occurred when later they were theologians together in Milltown. Paddy followed the conventional courses - juniorate and degrees from UCD at Rathfarnham; colleges at Belvedere and Mungret, and theology at Milltown, priesthood 1946.
He went to Zambia (North Rhodesia then) in 1948. An energetic teacher and missionary with considerable versatility and skill in practical matters - his flair with electric fittings saved the mission considerable incidental expenses, obliging and resultantly much in demand. He possessed a pleasant sober manner, not dominating but willing to take his share quietly in the conversation, a sense of humour and a droll remark where apposite. About five years since he was home for the normal break and on this present occasion no one from his appearance would have surmised that the end was approaching; since his death we have been informed that in Africa, he had recently experienced a bout of languor which made it advisable that he take a change which he did in Southern Rhodesia and he appeared to have been re-established on his return to Ireland; the sad and unexpected event of May 15th proved other wise. May he rest in peace.

Fr. C. O'Riordan has forwarded the following letters of sympathy from the Minister of Education and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education in Lusaka :

Dear Fr. O'Riordan,
I have learned, with a deep sense of shock, of the untimely death of Fr. Benson whilst in New York. To those of us who were privi leged to have known and worked with Fr, Benson, this comes with a heartfelt sense of regret.
Fr. Benson, apart from his long and dedicated service both at Charles Lwanga Training College and Canisius Secondary School at which, towards the end of last year, he acted as principal, will always be remembered for his warm humanity, keen sense of humour and willingness to assist others.
I am writing to you because of Fr. Benson's involvement in education, but would be most grateful if you could convey my sincere condolences, coupled with those of the Minister of State, to Fr. Counihan and to His Lordship, Bishop Corboy, to each of whom Fr. Benson's death must be a grievous loss.
Yours sincerely,
W. P NYIRENDA (Minister of Education).

Dear Fr. O'Riordan,
I was deeply shocked to hear, from our telephone conversation this morning, of Fr. Benson's death.
One is conscious of the significant contribution he made, both at Canisius Secondary School and Charles Lwanga during the years he served in Zambia. His calm and reasoned approach to education problems, his sense of humour and the co-operative and helpful spirit with which he went about his affairs, remain in the memory.
Please accept not only my own heartfelt condolences, but those on behalf of all my officers within the Ministry, who I know will feel Fr. Benson's death keenly.
Yours sincerely,
D. BOWA (Permanent Secretary).

Browne, Liam, 1929-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/825
  • Person
  • 18 August 1929-26 October 2017

Born: 18 August 1929, Kilmainham, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1960, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1964, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died 26 October 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969; ZAM to HIB : 31 July 1982

by 1955 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency
by 1963 at Campion Hall, Oxford (ANG) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/liam-browne-sj-much-loved-missionary/

Liam Browne SJ – a dedicated missionary
Irish Jesuit Fr Liam Browne SJ died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Dublin on 26 October 2017 aged 88 years. His funeral took place on 31 October at Milltown Park, Ranelagh followed by burial in Glasnevin Cemetery. The Dubliner spent much of his early priestly life on various missions in Zambia, before returning home to work at various places in Ireland in 1974. Below find the homily at his funeral mass given by Fr John K. Guiney SJ.
A dedicated missionary
We remember and celebrate a long and eventful life of Liam Browne.
He was born in the Rotunda on 18th August 1929 and brought up in Kilmainham Dublin, went to CBS James’s St... and entered the Jesuits at Emo Park on 7th September 1946, was ordained in Milltown Park on 28th July 1960, and took his final vows at Chikuni in Zambia on 2nd February 1964.
Four of the 12 companions who took first vows with him in Emo are with us still: John Guiney, John Dooley, and Jim Smyth... MJ Kelly who is living in Lusaka, Zambia.
To say Liam had a rich,varied and eventful life is an understatement. He worked in Zambia, Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard, was Chaplain in St Vincent’s Hospital and Marlay Nursing Home and all through was constant in his research on the Chitonga language and culture. He went to God peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge last Thursday at 4pm.
A common theme of Liam’s life was his desire and wish to be close to ordinary people and to understand their cultures and ways of life. In an interview with the Irish Jesuit Mission Office he expressed his desire to become a Jesuit and priest in this way: “to help people and to enable them to experience Christ’s forgiveness and he noted the great influence on his vocation of his grandmother Susan Waldron.
When Liam arrived in Zambia in 1954 he plunged himself into learning the local language Chitonga in the diocese of Monze. He was not only interested in learning a language but set about researching the culture of the people, looking at what makes them tick – trying to understand seeing how culture/religion/faith are interrelated.
His work in the study and preservation of Tonga culture was similar to the work of another renowned student of Tonga culture – Frank Wafer who founded the Mukanzubo Kalinda Cultural Centre in Chikuni. They did so much to record, store and document traditional proverbs, dance, songs, customs and rites of the community. Liam did what every effective missionary does; he fell in love with the people he was called to serve – the Tonga people and culture.
Liam was the go to person for scholastics/young volunteers, learning the language and entering a new culture. He was the person to induct them into Tongaland. Colm Brophy as a scholastic in Zambia in 1969 recounts: “I was anxious to acquire a knowledge of Chitonga. So I asked the Provincial, John Counihan, to send me to a place and to a person who could help me do that.
“In 1969 I was posted to Chilala-Ntaambo (‘the sleeping place of the lion’), a metropolis of remoteness... because I knew it was remote and that I would be living with a man who was very fluent in the language – Liam Browne.”
Liam, he remembers, would spend a lot of his time researching the Chitonga language and culture. He would go around various villages with his tape-recorder interviewing mainly elderly people.
Chilala-Ntaambo was frontier missionary land in the 1960s.
It wasn’t an easy life for Liam there as parish priest. There was no solid Catholic community. The place was new. For Sunday Mass only eight or ten people would turn up mainly from two families. He was ploughing a lone furrow.
Liam continued to work in missionary frontiers in the Fumbo and Chivuna parishes and in 1973 took a break to study cultural anthropology in Campion Hall, Oxford under the guidance of the renowned Professor Evans Pritchard.
Liam then published some of his research on the initiation rites of the Tonga people but fell foul of at least one influential Tonga political leader who felt that secrets of their culture was not for public reading. He was not allowed to renter the country.
Two years ago while visiting Monze I met his mentor and friend in Zambia – the great cultural anthropologist of the Tonga people Barbara Colson who worked with Liam.
She was full of admiration for the work and research of Liam and admitted that Liam’s kind of research is now prescribed reading for students of the Tonga culture in every African library. A real joy for Liam in latter years was The Tonga-English Dictionary that Liam had started in the 60s and was finally completed and published by Frank Wafer just 3 years ago.
Liam returned to Ireland in 1974 and from then to 1989 he went to work in Ballyfermot and began to build firstly a temporary and then a permanent Church with the people and with the able assistance of the Daughters of Charity and especially Sr Cabrini.
His friends in Cherry Orchard still remember him as a man of great kindness and compassion. They remember his outreach to the most needy, his wisdom in counselling people and also his ability to plan, budget and look ahead even when the share budget of the diocese was small. Amongst Liam’s talents was wood work and he loved making things; much of the design and wooden fixtures and paintings were done by Liam in the Churches he built.
Those who knew Liam in Zambia and Ireland remember him as good-humoured, generous and who loved music especially jazz.
His friends also remember Liam as a man who shot from the hip, spoke his mind with a bluntness that could put people off. He had a certain distrust of superiors and people in authority, sometimes with well founded reasons. However, once he had got it out of his system, he got on with things and remained on good terms with all whom he encountered.
Perhaps the phrase ‘he got on with things’ sums up the greatest characteristic of Liam’s life. Liam was a man always available for mission and when the mission he really loved, Zambia was suddenly interrupted – it must have been a heartbreak for him, but he moved on without complaining to the new missions on the home front.
At the end of his life Liam shared with his friends. I am glad I did what I did when I could. He had few regrets. Once he decided that Cherryfield Lodge nursing home was the best, he moved and had the highest regard to all who cared for him there.
He was indeed always ready for a change and recognised in the wisdom of the ancestors that there is a time and a season for all things under the sun. On Thursday last a final time had come; he surrendered in peace to his maker in the presence of his sister Monica.
Finally, a word of thanks to two great missionary families: the Browne’s and the Cassidy’s. Liam’s niece Susan shared with me that as a child she saved up her pocket money for the missions. Monica helped out Tommy Martin for years with cake sales and raffles for the missions and coincidentally two weeks ago we got a letter from a Zambian PP, from that very parish that Liam founded 50 years ago with the help of his family and friends saying hello to Liam.
It reads:
My name is Fr. Kenan Chibawe, parish priest of St. Francis Xavier parish in Chilalantambo, Monze in Zambia. Our parish was officially opened in 1967 by Fr Liam Browne. This year on 28th October, we are celebrating 50 years or Golden Jubilee of the growth of the Catholic faith that was planted by the Jesuit missionaries in particular Fr Brown and the Late Fr Norman McDonald SJ. We would have loved to see Liam here but maybe his age may not allow him to travel. People still remember these priests in our parish.
We too remember and celebrate Liam’s life with the people of Zambia, Cherry Orchard, his former colleagues alive and dead in the Vincent’s and Marlay chaplaincies. We pray for and with Liam in his adopted language Chitonga:
Mwami leza kotambula muzimo wakwe kubuzumi butamani, which means in our own language, Ar dheis dei go raibh an anam dilis.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions :
As in “Jesuits in Ireland” : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/571-liam-browne-sj-a-dedicated-missionary and https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/238-interview-with-fr-liam-browne

Fr. Liam Browne, born in 1929 in Rotunda, Dublin, can easily sum up why he wanted to be a priest: ‘to help other people’, particularly by allowing them to ‘experience Christ’s forgiveness’. Fr Browne had been encouraged in his calling by his grandmother, Susan Waldron, who raised his brother, his sister, and himself after the death of his mother. He had first become interested in the Jesuits after attending a retreat with his school, James’ Street Christian Brothers, and was attracted to missionary work because of the possibilities it offered for helping others abroad.
Fr. Browne left Dublin as a young scholastic bound for Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) to work with the Tonga. Although direct flights now link London and Lusaka, in the 1950s it took three days to reach the Zambian capital by air. Despite the distance and the difficulty, Fr. Browne recalls his first year in Africa as the happiest of his life: ‘it was the happiest time because I was doing exactly what I wanted.’ He spent this first year acclimatising, learning the language, and immersing himself in Tongan culture. His greatest consolation, or most rewarding experience, was learning the language and speaking to the Tongan people about religion. He spent his time with the Tonga working in the mission station and at Canisius College, the Jesuit-run boys’ school, and served in Zambia for a total of thirteen years (three years as a student, and ten as an ordained priest). It is clear that Fr. Browne immensely enjoyed his time in Africa: his only desolation in mission was the frustration of waiting for the rains to come, with October standing out as ‘the most dreadful time of the year’!
Fr. Browne became fascinated with Tongan culture, and with the broader field of social anthropology. He had been able to study Zambezi culture thanks to work by Elizabeth Colson, an American anthropologist who had begun studying the Tonga through the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute. In between postings, he had the benefit of spending a year at Campion Hall, Oxford, studying under Professor Evans-Pritchard at the Institute of Social Anthropology. He states that this training was ‘invaluable’ to his work in Zambia, and recalls Evans-Pritchard (a legend in anthropological circles) as an ‘outstanding’ scholar. Fr. Browne went on to write a detailed study of the Tongan way of life; studies such as these were useful not only in providing a record of Tongan custom, but also for instructing new missionaries about their host culture.
Although life in Zambia was very different to life in Ireland, Fr. Browne never experienced a ‘culture shock’. His entire philosophy was based around being open and receptive to Tongan culture, and he didn’t ‘allow himself the luxury of being shocked’ by unfamiliar practices. ‘I felt you should be open. I was convinced you needed to know the people’s language and customs- if you didn’t know that then you were really clueless! The prevailing view was that you had everything to give and nothing to receive, but I didn’t believe a word of it.’ He argues that this openness is the secret to success in both missionary work and in anthropology: ‘there is a Jesuit saying that one must go in another’s door in order for that other to come out of your door...You need to be receptive.’
Because missionaries had been working in Zambia since 1896, the Tonga were not tabula rasa when it came to the Christian message. However, Christianity still needed to be culturally located: ‘What I believe is that you have to make an effort to understand the people; that will determine your approach to preaching Christianity. To preach in a way which people will understand, you must preach in terms with which they are familiar.’ When asked if African Christianity differs from European Christianity, Fr Browne replies that it does so ‘as much as Africa differs from Europe’. Some interpretations of Christianity were more Pentecostalist than Catholic, but the Tonga were generally a receptive people who took the Christian message to heart. Indeed, Fr. Browne argues that the Zambian mission housed some of the holiest people one could ever hope to meet. In his own words, it takes ‘a hell of a long time to build a Christian culture’: given this, the fact that Christianity has become rooted in African culture in only a few generations is astounding.
However, there were areas in which the acceptance of Catholic doctrine was somewhat superficial. Although the Irish tendency is to assume that we can separate the ‘religious’ from the social or the economic, life among the Tonga shows that this is not the case. For example, polygamy was common amongst Tongan men, even those who were Christian. Converts knew that this went against Biblical teachings on marriage, but because polygamy was seen as an economic rather than a moral practice, they did not view it in the same way that their Irish missionaries did. There were also some issues of cultural ‘translation’: because the Tonga are a matrilineal people, it was somewhat difficult to promote a patrilineal religion such as Christianity, with its emphasis on Father and Son. Fr. Browne argues that new converts always tried to live the Christian life; like all Catholics, however, this was a work in progress.
Political agendas have always been a part of the mission process, and this was equally true for Jesuit missionaries in Zambia. Although race relations in Zambia were significantly less strained than those in South Africa or Zimbabwe, there were still tensions between white and black populations. However, Fr. Browne believes that a distinction was made between white government officials and white missionaries. Missionaries, unlike government officials, made an effort to assimilate into the local culture: they had to, after all, if they were to have any success. Because they were not familiar with Zambezi culture, white government officials misunderstood local power relations. For example, they would treat one man as local headman despite the fact that he was not seen as such by his would-be subjects. This was a mistake which was avoided by missionaries, who had learnt (through living with them) that the Tonga valued democracy and the ability to compromise or broker peace far more than an abstract colonial understanding of power; as the Tongan saying goes, ‘anyone can call himself a chief, but it doesn’t mean we have to obey him’! Headmen tended to be European appointees. Further, Christian missionaries were respected because they had opened schools. Although the British government had claimed that education was important, they had only introduced primary schools, and it was left to religious organisations to open schools for secondary education.
The mission station also benefited the community by distributing basic medical supplies. The Sisters of Charity ran a small bush hospital, and the mission distributed pills, tonics, supplies for cuts, etc. With the nearest hospital 35 miles away, and high rates of infant mortality, this proved a very useful service. The parents of sick children would go to great lengths to prevent their premature deaths. Fr. Browne recalls a woman who decided to begin the 35 mile walk to the hospital in the middle of the night so that her sick baby could get access to medical treatment; although she was eventually persuaded to wait until morning, when she could be driven there, this incident demonstrates the very real danger of having a sick child in the bush.
The mission station is now run by local recruits rather than Europeans. Fr. Browne is ‘delighted’ to see local people running the mission, and has high hopes for Zambia’s future. He believes that the Catholic Church can act as a unifying force in Africa today, because this is the message of the liturgy. Although the mission station is now largely run by African priests and nuns, there is still a role for Irish Catholics to play. Fr. Browne speaks highly of volunteers who give up their time to work in Zambia. He gives a particularly glowing report of a couple from Derry, who taught at the Catholic girls’ school for six years. The children grew up with their parents’ students, and Fr. Browne laughs as he recalls their daughter being taught to dance by the African girls.
If there is an overarching theme around which to organise Fr. Browne’s narrative, then surely it is that of being open and receptive: ‘Be ready to learn. If you go in with a full head, thinking you know everything, you’ll learn nothing.’

1948-1951 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1951-1954 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1954-1957 Chikuni, Zambia - Regency at Canisius College, learning Chitonga
1957-1961 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1961-1962 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1962-1963 Oxford, UK - Diploma in Social Anthropology at Campion Hall
1963-1964 Monze, Zambia - Parish Priest at Sacred Heart
1964-1965 Chikuni, Zambia - Teacher at Canisius College
1965-1972 Chivuna, Zambia - Parish Work at Chivuna Mission
1968 Parish Priest at Chilala-Ntambo, Pemba
1969 Transcribed to Zambian Province [ZAM] (03/12/1969)
1971 Working in Parish at Fumbo
1972-1973 Chisekesi, Zambia - Studying Language and Social Anthropology at Charles Lwanga Teacher Training
1973 -1974 St Ignatius, London, UK - Studying Social Anthropology at London University
1974-1989 Gardiner St - Parish work in Dublin Diocese at Ballyfermot
1982 Transcribed to Irish Province [HIB] (26/03/1982)
1986 Parish Ministry at Blessed Sacrament, Cherry Orchard, Dublin
1989-2017 Milltown Park - Historical Research and Writing
1993 Chaplain at St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Dublin
2000 Chaplain at Marlay Nurshing Home, Rathfarnham, Dublin
2009 Research in African Studies
2014 Praying for the Church and Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Byrne, Daniel, 1920-1964, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/731
  • Person
  • 20 June 1920-05 May 1964

Born: 20 June 1920, Knockaney, Hospital, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1955
Died: 05 May 1964, St Mary’s Hospital, Choma, Zambia

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

by 1955 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
It was about 11.30 that morning of 5 May 1964 that the hospital in Choma was asked by the police to send an ambulance immediately to a spot about 15 miles out on the Livingstone road where an accident had occurred. When the ambulance arrived back at the hospital bearing the two survivors who had been found still breathing, the Sister of Charity who met it realized that one of them was wearing a roman collar. On looking closer, she recognised Fr. Dan (who had a sister in Ireland who was a Sister of Charity). In spite of the terrible shock, she immediately phoned the church and Fr Luke Mwanza was on the scene within minutes and gave him Extreme Unction. The bishop had just arrived back in Monze from Chikuni when the news reached him.

No one knows exactly how the accident occurred. Between Livingstone and Choma it is mostly tarred road but at that time there was a stretch of about 25 miles remaining untarred. It was on this "dirt" road that Dan was in head-on collision with another car coming from Livingstone. The coroner at the inquest remarked on the deplorable condition of the road at the part where the collision took place. In the car with Fr Dan were Mr Mungala, his manager of schools, a loyal and devoted supporter of Ours, as well as the manager's nephew. In the other car were Mr Nash, a teacher, and his wife, their two year old daughter and a Mr Hassan. The only survivor of the accident was the child who escaped with relatively light injuries. No witness has been found although the man who first found the crashed cars said at the inquest that, when he returned with the police, the bodies in the Nash's car had been removed from the car to the side of the road.

The burial of the three who died took place at Chikuni on Tuesday 6th May. At the end of the Mass, the Bishop spoke of the universal anguish at the great loss sustained by the Church and the teaching profession.

Fr Dan, who was 44, was born at Knockaney, near Hospital, Co. Limerick. He completed his secondary school at Mount Melleray (Cistercians). He admitted later in life that it was a retreat given at Mount Melleray by a Jesuit that set him on his way to Emo which he entered in 1938. During his formation years, his gifts were more practical than speculative: he liked working with wood and there is hardly a house in the Irish Province which has not got some evidence of his handiwork. He noticed things that needed to be done. There was a quality and finish about everything he set his hands to; he did indeed 'do all things well'.

It was inevitable that Dan's practical abilities should have been recognised and used on the missions. He had not been many months in Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) when he was hard at it, building schools and teachers' houses. From then until his death it is true to say that he had more than a 'finger' in all the major (and minor) building activities of the Mission. Some of the churches he designed and built, for example Fumbo and Kasiya. Later, as education secretary, he really found himself and had much more scope for his talents. His mind was very orderly and he never allowed himself to be snowed under by the mass of architects’ drawings, bills and letters that streamed into his office. When death removed him so tragically from the scene, he had left everything as if he were about to hand over to his successor.

Dan remained always a shy man although he concealed it with a brusqueness that became more pronounced as he got older. This disconcerted people who did not know him; at times they thought him off-hand, casual and blasé. He had little time for non- essentials, came to the point quickly and liked others to do the same. He was completely detached from personal comfort and convenience; at times he expected the same detachment and integrity from others, not doubting that others were as self-sacrificing as himself.

The same attention to essentials was apparent in his spiritual life. There were no 'spiritual frills' in Dan's life. Even in the novitiate there was a quality of robustness about his spirituality. That his devotion went deep is evident by the life he led. He was very much a "faithful and prudent servant" intent on service, indifferent to what people thought of him. He conquered all human respect early in life. One who lived with him in Monze for several years said that he never knew him to miss a spiritual duty, a remarkable thing in a man so busy.

Bishop Corboy said of him: "He was a truly saintly man – in the chapel every morning at five o’clock with his Mass at six. He was unassuming and never displayed his holiness and the love of God that inspired his whole life. Back in the office at 7.30 a.m. a day began that could have fully occupied two men, and that was true of six days in the week. On Sunday he regularly said two Masses at out-stations, and returned here to Monze for lunch. On Sunday afternoon when he was free, he would visit some schools to inspect a building he was erecting. He never took a day off and never had a holiday. He is a great loss, but may God's will be done’.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 39th Year No 3 1964

Obituary :

Fr Daniel Byrne SJ (1920-1964)

The Rhodesian Mission has had its calamities over the years but none as sudden and unexpected as the tragic death of Fr. Dan Byrne on May 5th last. Little did His Lordship Bishop Corboy think, as he bade farewell to Father Dan that very morning at Chikuni, that on the following day he would be officiating at Fr. Dan's burial in the cemetery at Chikuni.
A week before the accident Fr. Byrne had been in hospital at Mazabuka. He was treated for malaria and after a few days rest was back at work. On Saturday, May 2nd he attended a Conference on educational matters. The Monday following he took part in a meeting between a Delegation of Teachers and the Bishop, together with a group of the priests. This meeting, for which he had done a good deal of the preparatory work, lasted until afternoon. He was due in Livingstone on the Wednesday for yet another educational meeting. As his own car was in Monze garage for repairs, the Bishop offered him the use of his. On Tuesday 5th there was to be a Priests' Meeting at Chikuni, called by the Bishop; but Dan had been exempted from attending this. However, he did take His Lordship to Chikuni. On arriving at Chikuni, Dan said to the Bishop “Are you sure you wouldn't like me to stay for this meeting?” The Bishop assured him that it wasn't necessary and Dan left with his African passengers for Livingstone (180 miles).
It was at about 11.30 that morning that the Hospital in Choma was asked by the Police to send an ambulance immediately to a spot about 15 miles out on the Livingstone road where an accident had occurred. When the ambulance arrived back at the hospital bearing the two survivors who had been found still breathing, the Sister of Charity who met it realised that one of them was wearing a Roman collar. On looking closer she recognised Fr. Dan. In spite of the terrible shock, she immediately phoned the Church, and Fr. Luke Mwansa was on the scene within minutes and gave Extreme Unction. The Bishop had just arrived back at Monze from Chikuni when the news reached him.
No one knows exactly how the accident occurred. Between Livingstone there is mostly tarred road, but one untarred stretch of about 25 miles remains. It was on this dirt road that Dan was in head-on collision with another car coming from Livingstone. The Coroner at the Inquest, remarked on the deplorable condition of the road at the part where the collision took place. In the car with Fr. Dan were Mr. Mungala, his Manager of Schools, a loyal and devoted supporter of ours, also the Manager's nephew. In the other car were Mr. Nash, a teacher, and his wife, their two year old daughter and a Mr. Hassan. The only survivor of the accident was the child who escaped with relatively light injuries. No witness has been found although the man who first found the crashed cars said at the Inquest that when he returned to the scene with the police, the bodies in the Nash's car had been removed from the car to the side of the road.
The burial of the three who died in the Bishop's car took place at Chikuni on Tuesday, 6th May. The Requiem was sung by Very Rev. Fr. O'Loghlen. Crowds came for the Mass; there were as many outside the Church as inside and for them Fr. Conway conducted a separate service. Many cars came from as far as Broken Hill and Livingstone, bringing representatives of Government and Education bodies. The Churches were also represented -even to Dan's opposite number in the Salvation Army! At the end of Mass the Bishop spoke of the universal anguish at the great loss sustained by the Church and the teaching profession.
Dan, who was 44, was born at Knockaney, near Hospital, Co. Limerick. He was at school with the de la Salle Brothers at first; then he went to Mount Melleray, where he completed his Secondary schooling. He admitted later in life that it was a Retreat given at Mount Melleray by one of Ours that set him on his way to Emo, which he entered in 1938. In the noviceship he was reserved, and shy. In Rathfarnham he had a broken head for some time, which perhaps forced him to turn his attention to mundane and practical things in the house and grounds. His gifts were more practical than speculative; he liked working with wood and there is hardly a House in the Province which hasn't got some evidence of his handiwork. Even when Dan was on a rest, it was more than likely that he would notice something that needed repairing. He noticed things that needed to be done. one remembers him looking in a calculating way one day at the old pavilion of the tennis courts at Milltown Park. Within a few days thie pavilion had been 'stripped down and in a matter of weeks it had been replaced by a bigger and (of course) better structure. There was a quality and a finish about everything he set his hands to; “he did, indeed, do all things well”. He was the perfect Sub-beadle, an office which he was burdened with from noviceship to tertianship. When Dan took office, there was a big reorganisation, unwonted order was introduced, everything was given its place and it was a delight to use the Sub-beadle's Press.
Dan taught at the Crescent and Belvedere. He was a good teacher, exacting, who was respected by his pupils. It was always hard to know what he thought about things; but one who knew him and worked with him said that he couldn't imagine Dan volunteering to teach for the rest of his life. In Theology, he was always abreast of the work and was better than average at Moral. He had begun in Milltown, to suffer from the anaemia which dogged his days to the end but of which he spoke little.
It was inevitable that Dan's practical abilities should have been recognised and used on the Mission. He hadn't been many months in Rhodesia when he was hard at it building schools and teachers' houses. From then till his death it is true to say that he had more than a “finger” in all the major (and minor) building activities of the Mission. Some of the Churches he designed and built for example those at Fumbo and Kasiya. Later as Education Secretary he really “found” himself and had much scope for his talents. His mind was a very orderly one and he never allowed himself to be snowed under by the mass of architects drawings, bills and letters that streamed into his office. It was the Bishop who said of him that he never knew a man who kept better files, for he could find any document in a matter of seconds. When death removed him so tragically from the scene, he had left every thing as if he were about to hand-over to his successor.
Dan remained always a shy man although he concealed it with a brusqueness that became more pronounced as he got older. This disconcerted people who did not know him : at times they thought him off-hand, casual, blasé. He had little time for unessentials; came to the point quickly and liked others to do the same. Often he had little small talk and could be preoccupied by his work. He was completely detached from personal comfort and convenience; at times he expected the same detachment and integrity from others, not doubting that others were as self-sacrificing as himself.
The same attention to essentials was apparent in his spiritual life. There were no “spiritual frills” in Dan's life; even in the noviceship there was a quality of robustness about his spirituality. That his devotion went deep is evident by the life he led. He was very much “servus prudens ac fidelis”, intent on service, in different to what men thought of him. He conquered all human respect early in life. One who lived for several years with him in Monze said that he never knew him to miss a Spiritual duty - a remarkable thing in a man so busy. And so he had lived since 1938. In the attache case which was retrieved from the wreckage of the car was found, as well as his few toilet things, a book for Spiritual Reading . . . Can we doubt but that he has already received that “unfading crown of glory” of which he read in the last Mass he said, a few hours before he died?
In a letter Fr. O'Loghlen said of Fr. Byrne : “From every point of view it is a terrible blow. He was a first class religious, and there is the consolation of knowing that if anybody was prepared to meet his death he was. The first thing I found in his bag was a book on the Mass which he used. In his work he was equable and capable. He will be very hard to replace”.
Bishop Corboy said of him : “He was a truly saintly man-in the chapel every morning at five o'clock with his Mass at six. He was unassuming and never displayed the holiness and love of God that inspired his whole life. Back in his office at 7.30 a.m, a day that could have fully occupied two men began, and that was true of six days a week. On Sunday he regularly said two Masses at out-stations, and returned here to Monze for lunch, On Sunday afternoon, when he was free, he would visit some school to inspect a building he was erecting. He never took a day off and never had a holiday. He is a great loss but May God's will be done”.

Very Rev. Fr. Provincial received the following letter :
Parochial House,
Fethard,
Co. Tipperary,
May 13th 1964.
Very Rev. and dear Fr. Provincial,
I would like to offer my sympathy to you and to the Fathers of the Irish Province on the sad death of Fr. Daniel Byrne S.J. in Northern Rhodesia.
It is a matter of regret for me that I cannot attend the Mass for him in Gardiner Street tomorrow. I have already offered Mass for him.
He was the first boy in whose vocation I had a hand as a young curate and he was one of the best. One could not fail to be impressed by his sincere piety, kindly disposition and twinkling humour.
I wish too to sympathise on the loss to the Mission of so competent a priest in educational matters. May he rest in peace.
With kind personal regards,
Sincerely yours in Christ, Christopher Lee P.P.

Carroll, Denis, 1920-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/644
  • Person
  • 18 January 1920-29 October 1992

Born: 18 January 1920, Geashill, Walsh Island, County Offaly
Entered: 22 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950
Professed: 02 February 1955
Died: 29 October 1992, Kizito Pastoral Centry, Monze, Zambia - Zambiae Province

Part of the Mukasa Secondary School, Choma, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1953 at Lusaka, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fifth wave of Zambian Missioners

Younger brother of John Carroll - RIP 1957

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Denis Carroll, known to his colleagues as "Dinny", was born in Offaly, Ireland in 1920, into a large family of farming stock, with strong religious traditions. These traditions were far more prominent during his life than his agricultural background, though at one stage he took charge of the school garden in Mukasa. Five of his sisters entered religious life and his brother, John, was a Jesuit on the Hong Kong Mission.

After his schooling at Mungret College, he entered the novitiate at Emo in 1937 and went through the normal training, being ordained a priest in 1950. Two years later he came to Zambia and went almost immediately to the eastern province to learn ciNyanja at which he became quite proficient.

Dinny's life can be divided into two distinct ministries: the apostolate of the school and the apostolate of the parish, the latter being determined to a large extent by his proficiency in ciNyanja. He served in many parishes along the line of rail in the Monze diocese. He started his parish work, however, in Regiment parish in Lusaka around 1953. He came to Chikuni in 1956 as Rector of the community, teaching and supplying at Mazabuka, Choma and Kalomo. A bout of sickness took him to Ireland for two years and when he returned he was posted to Choma parish in 1962. Mazabuka and the Sugar Estate saw him from 1968 to 1975.

One would never have classed Dinny as a well organised person whose program of work was drawn up with meticulous care. Yet despite his fluid approach, one thing was uppermost in his mind while he worked in the parishes: the administration of the sacraments. He made them available to his parishioners and was always willing to administer them. He was conservative in his theology and never liked the phrase "the people of God". His vision of God's people was as a Sacramental People, a Eucharistic People. He saw the Eucharist as the centre of Catholic parish life. He himself had a very deep faith and reverence for the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

He tried to serve the people as he found them, offering liturgies in different languages. He preached strongly and upheld the sanctity and sacramentality of Catholic marriage. In his parish work he believed in family-by-family visitation. In that way he got to know his parishioners, both adults and youth. At a later stage, many would consult him on their marriages and the advice he freely gave was, solely and loyally, from the Catholic point of view. He worked with the St. Vincent de Paul Society and engaged the services of some of his adult parishioners in the teaching of catechism to the youth.

While his move from parish work to school work in the mid seventies was partly necessitated by considerations of health, (his arthritis was making constant physical movement around the parish more and more difficult for him) nevertheless he had a firm conviction of the value of Catholic education. He decried the closure of Jesuit schools here and there, and he saw the practice of superiors of allowing young Jesuits to choose apostolates other than teaching as abdicating responsibility for the Catholic educational apostolate. For 17 years he liked teaching and was not happy at the thought of possibly having to give it up because of failing health. The Lord read his mind and Dinny taught right up to three days before his death. He was a fine teacher, attaining excellent results in all his subjects, English and English Literature, History and even ciNyanja. He understood the youth and had good rapport with them. From time to time the unwise and misguided behavioru of boys would depress him, but by and large he had the understanding and patience to accept such conduct in its own context. He took it for granted and did not judge them harshly. He often acted as mediator between them and the administration, thus earning for himself the title of "Peacemaker" while, at the same time, he would never compromise the Headmaster, his fellow members of staff nor the aims of Mukasa Seminary. At his funeral Mass, at least five of the concelebrants were Zambian priests who had been past pupils of his.

As a religious and Jesuit, Denis Carroll was a man of prayer and deep faith with a personal closeness to Christ in the Eucharist. He was loyal to the Society and interested in its growth and its apostolates. He was worried about how devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus seemed to have taken a less prominent place in the life of the Society. He felt that it should be more actively promoted and practiced by all.

Though failing in strength little by little, his death was sudden and very simple. He had gone to St. Kizito's Pastoral Centre for ten days rest as ordered by the doctor. While waiting for supper on the second day there, the Lord called him home to his reward on 29th November 1992.

"Criost an Siol" was an Irish religious phrase frequently on his lips. It means "Christ of the Sowing" and they are the first words of a beautiful poem and Eucharistic hymn which talks about Christ sowing and reaping and bringing us from death to new life. In a way, it sums up Dinny's life of faith and the work Christ did through him even though at times he might have uttered them in order to express mild exasperation.

Carroll, James, 1934-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/645
  • Person
  • 12 February 1934-02 May 2006

Born: 12 February 1934, Caherconlish, County Limerick
Entered: 06 September 1952, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1966, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 15 August 1971
Died: 02 May 2006, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Part of the St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 15 August 1971

by 1961 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Big Jim, as he was often referred to, grew up in Limerick Ireland and was of farming stock. He attended the Jesuit Crescent College in Limerick and entered the Society at the end of his secondary school. At school, he was a fine rugby player and would have gone far in that field if he had not entered the Society. After novitiate, he attended the university for his B.A. and went to Tullabeg outside Tullamore for philosophy.

Then he headed for the then Northern Rhodesia to Chikuni where he remained from 1960 to 1963. Here he learned ciTonga, the local language, taught in Canisius Secondary School along with performing the other duties which a scholastic in regency normally does. He returned to Ireland to Milltown Park for theology where he was ordained on 28th July

  1. On completion of tertianship, he returned to Zambia.

Jim was both able and adaptable. When he returned to Chikuni, he became Minister of the house and assistant parish priest. In 1969, he became rector and taught in Canisius again for six years. He then moved to the parish for five years as parish priest. He went to Monze as secretary to the Bishop, Rt Rev James Corboy S.J. in 1981. This he did for seven years and then became director of building for the diocese. This entailed buying supplies, supervising building, carpentry, electrical work and plumbing. He added wings to Monze hospital and built a chapel there. Outstations benefited from his ability with the building of schools and churches. A special building dear to his heart was the school for the handicapped, St Mulumba, in Choma. His interest in these handicapped children never waned and varied from helping to send a few of them to the USA for the Special Olympics (where some medals were won) to sending money on the 21st birthday of the school so that the children could have a treat.

Heart trouble brought him back to Ireland for two years from 1991 to 1993, where he did some pastoral work in his beloved Limerick. With improved health, he returned to Zambia, this time to a rural area, Chilalantambo, a one-man station on the road from Choma to Namwala.

Jim loved the place and the people. He extended an awning from the veranda of the house and here he met, talked to, chatted with, debated local affairs with the people from all walks of life, including Chief Mapanza himself who lived quite near. Coming from a farming family, he gardened and planted trees in all the places he lived. He helped the farmers around Chilalantambo, buying their maize and selling it in Choma to the Indian traders, bringing back seed and fertiliser for them. He organised schemes for the women for food production. His advice, usually good, was sought for and listened to.

On weekends, Jim would head out to an outstation to celebrate Mass for the people. Confessions, baptisms, church council meetings were all part of the Sunday supply work.

Being of a practical turn of mind, he had a no-nonsense approach to life and its problems and could be quite critical of the institutional Church for its failure to allow and encourage lay participation in the running of the Church. This, combined with his placid and unruffled disposition, did not endear him to everyone. In fact, some found him difficult to understand. He was a good cook and when you went to visit him at Chilalantambo, you were sure of a tasty meal.

After five years in Chilalantambo, he went to Ireland on leave but his health prevented him from returning. That was a sad day for him, for his heart was in Zambia. That was in 1998. He was posted to Gardiner Street, Dublin, where he joined the church team. He never complained about his ill health but would say with a grin, "Looking after your health is a full time job"!

His end was a no-fuss one. He was in bed in hospital and was talking to his sister, a nun, about the possibility of moving out of the hospital when he turned over in the bed and died. He loved Scripture and spent some time in Jerusalem during a mini-sabbatical which consolidated that love.

Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
Barney moved to Namwala parish from 1968 to 1973 with Fr Clarke as his companion in the community to be joined later by Fr Eddie O’Connor (and his horse). From 1973 to 1977 he was parish priest at Chilalantambo and returned to Chikuni in 1977 to be assistant in the parish to Fr Jim Carroll.

Note from Bill Lane Entry
On Friday, 9 January 1998, Bill was on his way to Chilalantambo with Fr Jim Carroll to give some Scripture talks to the parishioners. As they drove on that bumpy road, Bill suddenly stopped talking. Fr Jim was shocked to find that Bill was dead beside him. There seems to have been no intervening period of sickness or pain. His departure was, as he had wished, ‘quickly and without fuss’.

Note from Joe McCarthy Entry
Jim Carroll was with him for his last four hours of life. When taking his leave of Jim in his final moments, Joe revealed so much of himself in his final words: ‘I think you should leave me here, old chap; there are certain formalities to be undergone from here on’! Within minutes Joe had died

Note from Patrick (Sher) Sherry Entry
Br Sherry's passing was sudden. On Friday ‘Sher’ (as he was known to his friends) stayed in bed for the greater part of the day. He came to meals and evening prayer. The following morning saw him as usual at the early Mass. At about 1300 hours on Saturday he phoned the Sisters in the hospital. The Sisters and doctor came over. The crisis came at about 22.50 when Sher struggled to the door of Fr Jim Carroll’s room to say that he could not breathe. Sr Grainne arrived and started cardiac massage. But the Lord had called Sher to himself.

Chula, John, 1932-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/734
  • Person
  • 25 December 1932-04 May 1990

Born: 25 December 1932, Kasama, Zambia
Entered: 05 July 1963, Mumbai, India
Ordained: 24 May 1970, Bwacha Stadium, Choma, Zambia
Professed: 08 December 1983
Died: 04 May 1990, University Teaching Hospital, Nationalist Road, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambia-Malawi province (ZAM)

Part of the Matero Parish, Lusaka, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr John was born near Kasama, Zambia, on 25 December 1932 and at the age of four he was baptised at Kasisi Mission, outside Lusaka. After school studies he went to Chishawasha Seminary near Harare, Zimbabwe in 1956 where he studied philosophy for three years. He expressed a desire to enter the Society of Jesus so in 1963 he entered the novitiate in India, at Vanayalaya near Bombay. After the novitiate, he did another year of philosophy, gaining a licentiate. He studied theology and returned to Zambia in 1970 where he was ordained priest at Bwacha Stadium, Kabwe in May 1970; he was the first Zambian to be ordained a Jesuit priest.

His early assignments included pastoral work at Bwacha and Kasisi parishes and teaching at Canisius Secondary School.

In an article entitled ‘The Blind Priest and a Golden Cross’ Fr John wrote about himself: “I realise that my first response to God was not an unqualified “yes”...it was a “yes” and a ‘no’. I was selfish in my work as a priest and was preaching myself! I lacked patience (a serious fault in a priest but especially in a Zambian!), and did my work hurriedly in order to have more time to read and spend with my friends. My so-called friends were to be my downfall, as our meetings were occasions for drinking. I now see that I was running away from something – perhaps myself. Anyway I turned in on myself instead of outwards to my parishioners. My personal spiritual life was barren and this showed in my preaching.

The Lord's second call came about most mysteriously, as indeed it always does! On 6 April 1981, I suddenly became blind, with all the panic and helplessness which accompany such a shock. One month in the local University Teaching Hospital proved fruitless. In Harare an eye specialist said that my eyes were alright but the optical nerves were partially damaged. I now had to face the fact that I would probably never see again, at least well enough to read or to drive a car and so on. With a strength that was not my own, I was able to pray: Lord, I'm blind but I'm a priest. Use me as you want. I accept my situation”.

Fr John went on to describe how he began giving retreats and hearing confessions in different parishes around Lusaka. He wrote: “I am useful again. I now enjoy a deep peace and joy which was not there before. Indeed, I am often not aware that I am blind, until I walk into an object. I can negotiate the stairs, the garden walks, even say Mass alone in the event of nobody being free to join me. I do not use a stick, but maybe I am more of the stick in the hands of the Lord that Ignatius Loyola would have wanted us to be”.

Fr John continued his retreat work from Luwisha House until 1984 when he moved to Kasisi to help in the parish. In 1986 he moved back to Luwisha House to become the spiritual director for the young Jesuits in formation. Finally in 1988 he went to Matero Parish. At the time of his death, he was saying two Masses on Sundays, hearing confessions and preparing couples for marriage.

He took ill in May of 1990 and died on the 4th in UTH, Lusaka.

Clarke, Arthur J, 1916-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/646
  • Person
  • 11 April 1916-08 March 1995

Born: 11 April 1916, Dublin
Entered: 12 November 1938, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951
Professed: 05 November 1977
Died: 08 March 1995, John Chula House, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambiae Province

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
After leaving school at Clongowes Wood College in 1933, Arthur worked for about five years in the Hibernian Bank. Later he enjoyed recalling his days as an oarsman in a crew of eight, racing on the river Liffey in Dublin.

Arthur took as his model and ideal his Master of Juniors, Fr Charles O'Conor Don, whose motto, ‘faithful always and everywhere’, Arthur took as his own. He was noticeable for his observance of rules, regularity at prayer, simple faith, thoroughness in his work – even polishing the floor of his room. He was outstanding for his charity especially towards those in trouble or unwell. These traits remained with him all his life. One who lived with Arthur said that he had a characteristic blend of the ridiculous with a stern sense of duty.

When he finished tertianship, Arthur became socius to the Master of Novices for about two years and then became Minister at Clongowes Wood College for two years. The job of Minister seemed to have followed him in all the houses he was posted to.

1958 saw him in Zambia, in Chivuna where he studied ciTonga and acted as Minister. He was transferred to Chikuni, again as Minister, but after two years became Rector there, In the role of rector, as in the rest of his life, Arthur never once showed the slightest trace of malice, vindictiveness or favouritism. During his six years as rector, he was blessed with such outstanding heads of Canisius as Dick Cremins and Michael J Kelly. Arthur's vision for Canisius as a leading secondary school was influenced by his experience of Clongowes Wood College in Ireland. First, he wanted a proper house for the community. Though the actual building was the responsibility of Fr McCarron and Br Pat McElduff, the siting and design of the spacious community house are largely Arthur’s. Then came the expansion of Canisius with better quality classrooms and dormitories, a fitting dining room and kitchen. Arthur was deeply involved too in the design of the college chapel.

From 1967 to 1973 he was at Namwala Government Secondary School as teacher and later as Deputy Head. Arthur revelled in giving himself to the demands made on him: teaching, conscientious correction of assignments, availability to students, and counsellor to his fellow teachers. Becoming Deputy gave him the extra load of maintaining discipline and setting high standards of behaviour and work among the students. This seems to have been one of the happiest times of Arthur's life in Zambia and every indication was that he had excellent relations with the staff and pupils, due no doubt to his inherent kindness and generosity. He actually wore himself out and was then transferred to the smaller Mukasa minor seminary in Choma in 1974.

However, in 1974, he went on long leave to Ireland where he was exposed to new styles of living the religious life and nuanced modifications of traditional ways of expressing Catholic doctrine. Arthur became confused and deeply upset, as his simple faith had always delighted in accepting the traditional textbook expression of the Catholic faith which he had learnt in theology. So he held on grimly to his convictions for the rest of his life, as he continued to think and preach in scholastic categories. He found Mukasa too small for him after the vastness of Namwala and was moved after two years. His eight years (1976–1984) at Charles Lwanga T.T.C. gave him fresh scope for his zeal and energies. He enjoyed being in a large community house which he kept spotlessly clean during his years as Minister. His lecturers were meticulously prepared and all assignments corrected. He was tireless in supervising teaching practice. He worked hard to build up the morale of a small group of Catholic pupils at Rusangu Secondary School.

In the end he wore himself out again and was transferred to St Ignatius in Lusaka as assistant in the parish (1984-1990). He was especially devoted to hearing confessions and generous in answering calls on his time. When Fr Max Prokoph began to fail, Arthur was as assiduous as ever in helping him. Ascetical in his own life, stern towards those for whom he felt responsibility, Arthur was surprisingly indulgent towards the various strays and ‘inadequates’ who quickly detected in him and easy touch and flocked around St Ignatius.

He was moved to the infirmary at John Chula House as his mind began to fail even though his body was strong and healthy. It was painful to see him slowly losing touch with the outside world as Alzheimer’s took its inevitable toll. At the end, Arthur died quite suddenly. It was discovered that he had widespread cancer of which he never complained. He was never one to vacillate or waffle and when the time came he took his leave of life as he had lived it, with dispatch and no nonsense.

Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
Barney moved to Namwala parish from 1968 to 1973 with Fr Clarke as his companion in the community to be joined later by Fr Eddie O’Connor (and his horse). From 1973 to 1977 he was parish priest at Chilalantambo and returned to Chikuni in 1977 to be assistant in the parish to Fr Jim Carroll.

Collins, Bernard P, 1910-1987, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/97
  • Person
  • 24 November 1910-12 August 1987

Born: 24 November 1910, Laragh, Swatragh, County Derry
Entered: 02 September 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 03 February 1953
Died: 12 August 1987, St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambia Province (ZAM)

Part of the Namwala Catholic Church, Narwal, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03 December 1969

Early education at St Columb’s College Derry

by 1948 at Rome Italy (ROM) - editing “Memorabilia”
by 1952 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fourth wave of Zambian Missioners

Tertianship at Rathfarnham

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Bernard Collins (known to his friends as Barney) was born in the north of Ireland at Laragh, Co Derry. He entered the Society in September 1929. His course of studies was the usual one followed by members of the Irish Province. After the novitiate, a degree at the university in Dublin in humanities and a Higher Diploma in Education, philosophy in Tullabeg, and theology in Milltown Park where he was ordained on 31 July 1943.

At the university he took a classics degree, Latin and Greek, and when he did the Higher Diploma, he got a certificate to enable him to teach through Irish. He went to Rome for a number of years after his tertianship as an assistant secretary to the English Assistant. He added an extra language to his store, namely, Italian.

In 1951 he accompanied the first two scholastics, Bob Kelly and Joe Conway, and Br. Jim Dunne, on their way to the then Northern Rhodesia. The ship's doctor diagnosed heart trouble in Barney so that he spent most of the voyage immobile in the prone position including when going through customs. At the Blue Sisters hospital in Cape Town, he was pronounced healthy and free from any heart ailment. It must have been the sea air that cured him as they were at sea for two weeks!

From 1951 to 1960 he was parish priest in Chikuni. It was here his renowned proficiency in Tonga showed itself. His earlier linguistic studies stood him in good stead as he composed several booklets. In Tonga, he produced 'Lusinizyo', his pamphlet against the Adventists; ‘Zyakucumayila’, 61 Sunday sermons for harried missionaries; a Tonga grammar (now used in schools); a short English/Tonga dictionary; a translation of a pamphlet on the Ugandan Martyrs; and ‘A Kempis' which was written but never published. His knowledge of the villages and people of his time is legendary and he was always willing to give of his time to any willing ear that might wish to know the Chikuni people and their relationships. Towards the end of this period in Chikuni, he founded the first Pioneer Total Abstinence Centre.

From 1960 to 1966, he worked in Chivuna as parish priest and Superior and also taught the language to the scholastics, who delighted in relating stories of far off days when they struggled to master the prehodiernal past.

Barney moved to Namwala parish from 1968 to 1973 with Fr Clarke as his companion in the community to be joined later by Fr Eddie O’Connor (and his horse). From 1973 to 1977 he was parish priest at Chilalantambo and returned to Chikuni in 1977 to be assistant in the parish to Fr Jim Carroll. He went back to Namwala as superior and parish priest with Fr Piekut as his assistant. The scene changed in 1984 when Fr Frank 0'Neill became superior and Barney was the assistant in the parish. This was his status at the time of his death
It was during lunch at St Ignatius, Lusaka, on Wednesday 12th August that Barney began to show signs of not being well. By five that evening he had gone to his reward. The funeral took place at Chikuni with 29 priests concelebrating. Fr Dominic Nchete, the principal celebrant, paid tribute to the long years that Fr Collins had mingled closely with the Tonga people. Bishop Mpezele in both English and Tonga re-echoed the sentiments of Fr Nchete.

Fr Collins, a very unassuming man, had a deep knowledge of the Tonga people and was truly an incarnation of becoming all things to all people. With his fluency in Tonga, it was a delight to listen to him preach which he did in the grand manner. He had a sympathy and understanding of the mentality and customs of the Tonga that few from overseas have achieved. Here are the concluding remarks of the funeral oration: "We pray that Fr Barney may have eternal rest where we are sure he will be able to sit and speak with so many from Tongaland that he had sent on before him"

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 62nd Year No 4 1987

Obituary

Fr Bernard Patrick Collins (1910-1929-1987) (Zambia)

The following obituary notice has been adapted from the one printed in the newsletter of the Zambian province, Jesuits in Zambia.

Fr Bernard Collins, born on 24th November 1910 in northern Ireland, entered the Society on 2nd September 1929. His course of studies was the usual one followed by members of the Irish province: noviciate (at Tullabeg and Emo, 1929-31), juniorate (at Rathfarnham, 1931-34) with university degree in classics, philosophy in Tullabeg (1934-37), regency in Belvedere (and Higher Diploma in Education: 1937-40), theology in Milltown Park (1940-44, with priestly ordination on 29th July 1943), and tertianship in Rathfarnham (1944-45). After two more years' teaching in Belvedere (1945-47) he was sent to the General Curia in Rome, where he worked as substitute secretary for the English assistancy (1947-51). There he also edited the Latin news-periodical, “Memorabilia Societatis Iesu”, which was a forerunner of the present-day “SJ news and features”.
In 1951 he accompanied the first two scholastics, Bob Kelly and Joe Conway, and Br Jim Dunne on their way to Northern Rhodesia (as Zambia was then called). En route the ship's doctor checked Barney's medical condition and diagnosed heart trouble, so that for most of the voyage and the passage through customs he lay flat and immobile. At the Blue Sisters hospital in Cape Town he was pronounced healthy and free from any heart ailment.
From 1951 to 1960 Barney was parish priest of Chikuni, and it was here that he developed his renowned proficiency in Tonga and wrote his Grammar, also “Lusinizyo”, his pamphlet against the Adventists. His knowledge of the villages and people of the Chikuni area were legendary, and he was always ready to give of his time to any hearer wishing to learn about the Chikuni people and their interrelationships. It was in April 1958, towards the end of his first time in Chikuni, that he founded the first Pioneer Total Abstinence centre.
From 1960 to 1966 he worked in Chivuna parish and was vice-superior of the community. He also taught the language to newly-arrived scholastics, who still entertain us with stories of those happy far-off days when they struggled to master the intricacies of the pre hodiernal past. During this time he was also a mission consultor.
From 1969 to 1974 Barney worked in Namwala parish with Frs Arthur Clarke and Edward O'Connor as his companions in the community. In 1975 for a short time Barney was parish priest at Chilalantambo. In 1976 he returned to Chikuni to be parish assistant to Fr Jim Carroll. During this his second spell in Chikuni, he had for some time Frs Joe McDonald and T O'Meara as collaborators. In 1983 he went to Namwala as superior and parish priest with Fr Antoni Piekut as his assistant. In 1984 the scene changed, with Fr Frank O'Neill becoming superior and Barney becoming parish assistant: this was his status at the time of his death.
It was during lunch at St Ignatius (Lusaka) on Wednesday, 12th August, that Barney began to show signs of illness. By five o'clock that evening he had gone to his reward. His funeral took place on the Friday (14th), with 29 priests concelebrating Mass. Fr Nchete as principal celebrant paid tribute to Fr Collins for mingling so closely with the Tonga people for long years. Bishop Mpezele in both English and Tonga re-echoed Fr Nchete's sentiments.
Fr Collins, a very unassuming man, had a deep knowledge of the Tonga people, and was truly an incarnation of the Pauline ideal of being all things to all people. He had a sympathy and understanding of Tonga mentality and customs that few from overseas have achieved. We pray that Fr Barney may have eternal rest where, we are sure, he will be able to sit and speak with the many from Tongaland that he had sent on before him.

Conway, Joseph B, 1925-1981, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/100
  • Person
  • 07 March 1925-17 May 1981

Born: 07 March 1925, Kilmihil, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957
Final vows: 05 November 1977
Died:17 May 1981, Cahercalla Hospital, Ennis, County Clare - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969

by 1952 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency - fourth wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Joseph Conway was born in Co. Clare, Ireland on 7 March 1925. After the normal period of primary and secondary education, which latter he did at Mungret College, he entered the noviceship on 7 September 1943. He followed the usual university and philosophical studies and arrived in Chikuni in August 1951 with Fr Robert Kelly, the first two Irish scholastics to be sent to the Zambian mission. He spent three years at Chikuni teaching but at the same time made himself thoroughly fluent in Tonga. In 1954 he returned to Ireland to study theology and was ordained in July 1957. By August 1959, he was ready to return to Zambia to begin his real life's work, beginning as parish priest in Chikuni for 13 years. He had no difficulty in learning the ciTonga language and was the picture of a man who had the ability, determination and dedication to carry out his life's work. For the next 13 years he labored single-handed in Chikuni parish, which for part of that time included areas covered by the present Monze town and St. Mary's parishes.

As parish priest Joe was meticulously dedicated to his work. Not only did he take great care of the parish records but by degrees he equipped himself with pocket records of all the parishioners, village by village, which he brought up to date on his annual visitations. The people knew their parish priest and Joe was known and is remembered as a pastor who "spoke about God", as one .who “told us the ways of God", as one who "told us how God wants us to live". At times people referred to him in the same context as Fr Moreau. He was also manager of schools. In this capacity he once again had direct contact with his teachers now in their more professional and temporal needs. He built outstations at Chipembele, Choompa and Gwembe. Just before he left Chikuni, he supervised the building of the new parish church which was designed by his architect brother, Senan Conway and built by Br Martin Murphy.

Appreciating the value of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Movement in the promotion of strong Christian family life, Joe was the diocesan director of the Movement for most of his time at Chikuni. To promote recreation among the young men of the parish, he started a football league between the different districts. This league was most successful, culminating each year in the big event of the Bishop's Cup.

After 13 years as parish priest at Chikuni, he became secretary to the Bishop of Monze which post he held until he was forced to go to Ireland because of failing health in December 1980. On top of all this responsibility, his work also included being bursar of the diocese and coordinator of the diocesan building team.

Joe's greatest contribution was his service to the personnel in the diocese. Being at the same time superior of the Bishop's house, he kept an open door. Everyone experienced his hospitality and helpfulness, especially the sisters of the diocese.

Joe did not lose his pastoral interests during this long period of administration. Each weekend he did his "supplies", preferring the small and isolated communities to the centers of large congregations. Fundamentally, he was a community man, loved the Christmas get-together and other similar occasions. He never wore his spirituality on his sleeve. One of the dominant features of Joe's spiritual life seems to have been the sacramental life offered to us by the Church and about which he frequently preached.

In 1977 he went to Ireland on long leave. He had a complete medical check-up together with operations for gall stones and hernia. When he returned to Zambia, he was the picture of health.

For more than a year and a half, he remained in good form. Then his health began to decline and he was flown to Ireland in December 1980. Almost immediately on arrival, a tumor on the brain was diagnosed. His family took him home to Co. Clare and agreed to his own request to keep him there as long as possible. He became totally blind. Two days before his death, Joe became semi-comatose and was moved to a nearby hospital run by the Sisters of St. John of God. While in this state, he spoke Tonga and also answered Fr O’Driscoll in Tonga who was with him the day before he died. His two sisters, both of whom are nuns, were with him when he died on Sunday evening, 17 May 1981.

The Lord took Joe peacefully home though not at the time of life Joe would have planned for himself. One of Joe's last prayers was to the Lord of the Harvest to send more shepherds, especially Zambian shepherds, to the Church in Zambia.

Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
In 1951 he accompanied the first two scholastics, Bob Kelly and Joe Conway, and Br. Jim Dunne, on their way to the then Northern Rhodesia.

Note from Bob Kelly Entry
He followed the normal course of studies in the Society but for regency he went to Northern Rhodesia in 1951 with Fr Joe Conway.

Note from Fred Moriarty Entry
He inherited the Credit Union from Fr Joe Conway and was able to live with all the hassle involved.

Irish Province News 56th Year No 4 1981

Obituary

Fr Joesph Benignus Conway (1925-1932-1981)

Joseph Conway was born in Co Clare, and after secondary education at Mungret College entered the noviceship. After the usual university and philosophical studies he arrived in Chikuni in August 1951, being one of the first two scholastics of the Irish Province to be sent to the Zambian Mission. He spent three years in Chikuni and made himself thoroughly fluent in Tonga, did some teaching and helped in the building of some of the out-stations and schools. In 1954 he returned to Ireland, and after theology, ordination and tertianship, returned to Zambia in August 1959.
I remember well the arrival in Chikuni of himself and Fr Robert Kelly - the first scholastics to return as priests. Both Joe and Bob were full of enthusiasm for the building of God’s Kingdom among the Tonga people. In his first Sunday sermon, in the old parish church, Joe told his people of all the questions the people of Ireland had asked him about Zambia and Chikuni in particular. He exhorted all present to live up to the answers which he gave to their questions. He was buoyant after Mass and was warmly greeted by the Bapati, the Kachosas, the Nkandus, the Choobes, by teachers and past students who had known him previously. As he met group after group under the shade of the great fig-tree (which alas was soon to disappear!) he had no language difficulty. He could even joke and enjoy jokes in Tonga. For the next thirteen years he laboured singlehanded as priest of Chikuni parish, then including areas covered by the present Monze town and St Mary's parishes.
He was meticulously dedicated to his work. Not only did he take great care of the parish records, but by degrees equipped himself with pocket records, village by village, which he brought up to date on his annual visitations. He aimed at visiting all areas in his far-flung parish at least once a year. He carried out this heavy programme during the dry season, staying out from Tuesdays to Fridays, sleeping in classrooms and cooking for himself; later he acquired a caravan. His people knew their parish priest. He met them at home in their villages. He had first-hand contact with the teachers. He expected a lot from his Catholic teachers - perhaps too much at times - but he saw that they were key figures in the planting of the faith in the hearts of the youth. He did all he could to help them keep their families together and to be faithful to their marriage. His flock saw him baptising, offering the Eucharist, blessing marriages, preaching, looking after and visiting the sick and the dying, conducting funerals. Before the day of the catechetical training centre at St Kizito’s, Joe took care of his own catechists. Every First Friday they were brought into Chikuni for instruction, Mass and an opportunity of the sacrament of Penance from some priest other than himself.
For a period he was also Manager of Schools; he ferried supplies of textbooks and school materials to his near and distant schools, and planned the siting and the building of new schools or extensions to existing ones. Later he had to take responsibility for the diocesan building programme: the building of out-churches at Chipembele, Choompa and Gwembe; and just before he left Chikuni, he was able to supervise the building of the new parish church designed by his architect brother Mr Senan Conway,
Joe was diocesan director of the Pioneer Total Abstinence movement for most of his time in Chikuni. Because of their growth, the annual Pioneer rallies had to move out from the original small classroom to larger and larger halls. Joe saw the great need for the Pioneer movement if family life was to be rescued from near destruction.
The temporal side of his parishioners’ life also interested him. He started a football league between the different districts of his parish. In this also he was a pioneer! - seeing the need of wholesome social activity. The league was most successful, culminating each year in the big event of the Bishop’s Cup. So successful was the league that later on, local football organisers copied the idea, and in the end robbed the Chikuni league of many of its best players! Joe felt this deeply, but did not become embittered.
To improve his parishioners’ standard of living, he started a parish credit union - a most successful and lasting venture. He preached the need of Zambian vocations among both boys and girls.
Following the call of obedience (September 1971) Joe took up the post of secretary to the Bishop of Monze, which post he held until forced to return to Ireland because of failing health (December 1980). As well, he was a diocesan consultor, consultor of the Vice Province, and bursar of the diocese. When Br James Dunne returned to Ireland for medical reasons, Joe had to assume the extra responsibility of the full diocesan building programme. As Superior of the Bishop’s house he kept an open door. All diocesan personnel and visitors alike experienced his hospitality and helpfulness. Fundamentally, at heart, Joe Conway was a community man. He loved the homely game of cards. He greatly enjoyed week-ends with the community and Christmas get togethers.
Sickness was something almost foreign to him, but from 1976 onwards he began to experience ill-health; sudden attacks of numbness in jaw and arm. In 1977 he went to Ireland and had a complete medical check-up together with operations for gallstones and hernia. The doctors failed to get to the root cause of the numbness: a brain scan revealed nothing. Back in Zambia, seemingly the picture of health, occasional attacks of the numbness recurred, this time with vomiting and severe headaches, from which he had never before suffered, and depression. On medical advice he was flown home to Ireland, where almost immediately a brain tumour was diagnosed, unknown to Joe himself. From Belvedere he was taken home to his family in Co Clare. Despite nursing, day and night, his health steadily declined. Total blindness set in. After Easter he was visited by Frs J Dargan (Irish Provincial), V Murphy and his brother Msgr Kevin Conway, who anointed him. After that he became increasingly resigned and peaceful. Two days before his death Joe was moved to a hospital at Cahercalla, Ennis, run by the Sisters of St John of God. His two sisters, both of whom are nuns, were with him when he died late on Sunday evening, 17th May, 1981. .
Even though in nursing Joe at home his family carried a great burden of love, yet I am convinced that nobody was more relieved at his passing than Joe himself. Some weeks before his death he had admitted that it had been “a long haul”. May the presence and peace of the risen Lord be felt by his sorrowing family. To his aged father, his brothers, sisters, relatives and friends let us offer the consolation and certainty of our faith in the Resurrection.

Cooney, Thomas, 1896-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/102
  • Person
  • 02 December 1896-17 July 1985

Born: 02 December 1896, Carrick-on-Suir, Tipperary
Entered: 22 May 1920, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1928
Final vows: 15 August 1937
Died: 17 July 1985, Chikuni College, Chisekesi, Zambia - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03 December 1969

Studied BSc Engineering at Royal College of Science, Merrion Square 1915-1919 before entry, and awarded a 3 year “Exhibition of 1856” thereafter which he did not complete.

Awarded a B.Sc. honoris causa by the N.U.I. in 1936.

by 1930 Third wave Hong Kong Missioners
by 1935 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
Mission Superior of the Irish Province Mission to Hong Kong 09 November 1935-1941

by 1952 in Australia

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He was educated by the Christian Brothers at Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary. Afterwards he attended University taking a BSc (Engineering) from the University of London and a BSc (Hons) from University College Dublin.

1922-1929 After First Vows he studied Philosophy and Theology at Milltown Park Dublin, and was Ordained in 1928.
1929-1945 He was sent to Hong Kong, where he became Rector of the Seminary (1929-1945) and became Superior of the Mission (1935-1941). This also included a break to make his tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales (1934-1935)
He lived through the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong (December 1941-August 1944). He left for Macau for a short time and then moved to Australia as his health had broken down.
1945-1953 He taught at St Ignatius College Riverview where he related well with everyone and was an efficient Prefect of Studies. Many people sought his counsel. He taught general Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry and achieved good examination results. His students felt his interest in them and found him very supportive and encouraging.
1953-1985 He went to the Irish Province Mission in Zambia and remained at Chukuni until his death. From 1955-1970 He was the Mission Bursar. When the Teacher Training College at Charles Lwanga was to be built in the late fifties, he was the one who looked after the construction of a dam. before the spillway was ready there was an exceptionally heavy rainfall that caused the dam to fill rapidly, so that there was a danger the dam wall would be swept away by the pressure of water. Every morning during those critical days, he was down early to scrutinise the rising levels of water.

He had a real fondness for animals. He rarely took a holiday but loved a visit to a game park.

He was a gentleman in every sense of the word, and he had an extraordinary gift for making people feel welcome at Chikuni, carrying the bags of visitors, making sure they were looked after and would try to e present when they left to wish them a good journey.

He was a very dedicated and painstaking teacher of Mathematics and Science at Canisius College and was appreciated by his students - no nonsense was ever tolerated in his classroom!

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
On 17 July 1985 in his 89th year, Fr Tom Cooney went to his long awaited reward. He was born on the 2 December 1896 in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, Ireland. He attended the Christian Brothers school in Carrick-on-Suir and won a scholarship to the university in his last year at school. He was a brilliant student and took his B.Sc. from London and a B.Sc. from Dublin, getting honours in the latter. He was a mechanical and electrical engineer.

He first learned about the Jesuits from the Encyclopaedia Britannica which did not speak too highly of them in that particular edition but Tom decided to join them. While an engineering student in Dublin (1915-1919) he used a lot of his spare time in the making of bombs in the Dublin Mountains as his contribution to the final struggle for independence.

He joined the Society in 1920 and, after the usual studies, he was ordained a priest in Milltown Park on 31 July 1928. He was appointed superior of Hong Kong while still in tertianship and arrived out there in 1929. While there, he was Rector of the Major Seminary and also acted as Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University in Hong Kong. He lived through the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong and left for Macao for a short time before moving on to Australia (1946-53), as his health had broken down. He had a hard time persuading the Japanese that being Irish was not English, but he succeeded and so was not interned.

In Riverview College, Sydney, he taught for seven years, being completely fulfilled in the job. He often said that he liked the Australian boys. He was heart and soul in the effort then being made to overhaul the curriculum. In the senior Mathematics and Physics classes he was able to bring promising pupils to their full potential.

When the Irish Jesuits came to Zambia in 1950, the Provincial, Fr Tommy Byrne, was on a visit in 1952 and was being asked for more men especially for one or two senior men. He thought of Fr Tom in Australia and wrote to him that evening inviting him to come, extolling the excellence of the climate (it being the month of May!) and describing it as a veritable paradise. Fr Tom flew to Johannesburg and from there took the three day train journey to Chisekesi, arriving on 15 February 1953 in the middle of a downpour of rain which did not let up for two weeks. His transport got stuck in the Magoye river on the way to Chikuni and for a fortnight after his arrival he could be seen at midday sloshing his way in wellingtons and umbrella across the campus to the dining room. More than once he was to exclaim, "This is what Tommy Byrne called a pleasure resort"!

From 1953 to his death, he always lived at Chikuni both as a teacher at Canisius Secondary School and as procurator of the mission for many years. No big decision was taken on the mission without sounding out the advice and experience of Fr Cooney. When the Teacher Training College at Charles Lwanga was to be built in the late fifties, Fr Cooney was the one who looked after the construction of the dam. Before the spillway was ready, there was an exceptionally heavy rainfall which caused the dam to fill rapidly, so that there was danger of the dam wall being swept away by the pressure of water. Every morning in those critical days an anxious Fr Cooney was down early to scrutinize the rising level of the water.

He had a fondness for animals. Though he rarely took a holiday, a visit to a game park was an occasion he would always rise to. The instant memory people have of Fr Tom is the sight of him walking in the evening with his dog. His favourite one was a collie called Pinty.

Fr Cooney was a gentleman in every sense of the word. He had an extraordinary gift for making people feel welcome to Chikuni and would carry the bags of visitors, making sure that they were looked after and he would try to be present when visitors left, in order to wish them a safe journey.

He was a devoted, dedicated, painstaking teacher at Canisius, something which the pupils appreciated and realized that no nonsense was ever tolerated in his classroom. In the early years, when Grades 8 and 9 were usually 'fails' in the Cambridge examination, he would tell his pupils, "Gentlemen, Grade 8 is a fail and Grade 9 is a first class fail"!

He was a good Jesuit and had a great devotion to the Mass and the Divine Office. His kindliness and welcoming traits reflected that inner appreciation of the person of Christ which flowed out in his attitude to people. He was so willing to help others. Fr Tom was lent to the mission for two years but stayed 32 years until his death.

A strange thing happened on the day Fr Tom was laid to rest in the Chikuni cemetery. "Patches", his last dog, died on that same day.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He lectured (Electrical Engineering) at the University of Hong Kong, as he had graduated from University of London in that subject. During the war years (1942-1945) he went to Macau teaching at Luis Gonzaga College. He was Rector of the South China Regional Seminary in Aberdeen, Hong Kong in 1931. In 1936 he was responsible for obtaining a large telescope from Ireland which he used in the Seminary for the education of the seminarians. His idea was that Hong Kong would join the Jesuits in Shanghai and Manila in astronomical observation and meteorological work.
In 1953 he was Mission Superior in Zambia where he died.

Note from Joseph Howatson Entry
He came to Hong Kong as Regent with Seán Turner who was a different personality and whose whole world was words and ideas. Travelling with them was Fr Cooney who was bringing the Markee telescope

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 60th Year No 4 1985

Obituary

Fr Thomas Cooney (1896-1920-1985) (Zambia)

Born on 2nd December 1896. 22nd May 1920: entered SJ, 1920-22 Tullabeg, noviciate. 1922-25 Milltown, philosophy. 1925-29 Milltown, theology. 1934-35 St Beuno's, tertianship,
1929 to Hong Kong. 1930-32 Ricci Hall, minister and lecturer in university. 1932-34, 1935-37 Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, rector. 1935-41 Superior of the Mission. 1941-43 Wah Yan Hong Kong, teaching. 1943-45 Macau, Mission bursar, teaching.
1945-53 Australia, Sydney, Riverview, teaching.
1953-85 Zambia, Chikuni: teaching till c 1982; 1955-70 Mission bursar; confessor to community and local Sisters. Died on 17th July 1985 in Monze hospital.

In the last few years Fr Cooney's declining health gave plenty of scope to Ours at Chikuni to exercise true fraternal charity. In spite of a heavy workload they all rose to the challenge magnificently. One of those who knew him since 1953 writes:

On 17th July 1985 in his 89th year, Fr Tom Cooney went to his long-awaited reward. He was born on 2nd December 1896 in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, Ireland. He attended the Christian Brothers' school in Carrick-on-Suir and won a scholarship to the university in last year at school. He was a brilliant student and took his BSc (Engineering) from London and a BSc from Dublin, getting honours in the latter.
He first learned about the Jesuits from the Encyclopaedia Britannica which did not speak too highly of them in that particular edition, and Fr Tom decided to join them. While an engineering student in Dublin during the years 1915 to 1919, hę used a lot of his spare time experimenting with the making of bombs in the Dublin mountains.
In 1920 he joined the Society of Jesus and after philosophy and theology in Milltown Park, Dublin, he was ordained a priest on 31st July, 1928. He completed his Tertianship at St Beuno's in Wales during which year he was appointed Superior of the Mission in Hong Kong. From 1929 to 1946 he worked in Hong Kong, being among other things Rector of the Major Seminary. He lived through the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong and left for Macao for a short time before moving on to Australia as his health had broken down. Seven years he spent in Australia teaching at the Jesuit college at Riverview.
The Irish Jesuits had been asked to come to the then Northern Rhodesia to help their Polish fellow-Jesuits there. Fr Tom was asked to join them in 1953. From 1953 to his death, he lived at Chikuni both as teacher at Canisius Secondary School and procurator of the mission for many years. No big decision was taken on the mission without the advice and experience of Fr Cooney. When the Teacher Training College at Charles Lwanga was to be built in the late fifties, Fr Cooney was the one who looked after construction of the dam.
Before the spillway was ready, there was exceptionally heavy rainfall which caused the dam to fill rapidly so that there was danger of the dam wall being swept away by the pressure of water. Every morning in those critical days, an anxious Fr Cooney was down early to scrutinise the rising level of the water.
He had a fondness for animals, Though he rarely took a holiday, a visit to a game park was an occasion he would always rise to. I suppose the instant memory people have of Fr Tom is the sight of him walking in the evening with his dog. Among the many dogs that trailed at his heels over the years, his favourite one was a collie called Pinty.
Fr Cooney was a gentleman in every sense of the word. He had an extra ordinary gift of making people welcome to Chikuni, would carry the bags of visitors, making sure they were looked after, and would try to be present when visitors left to wish them a good journey.
He was also a very devoted and pains taking teacher at Canisius. The many pupils who have had him for maths and science appreciated this talent but at the same time realised that no nonsense was ever tolerated in his classroom. His dedication and 'being an elder' (he was fifty-seven when he first came to Chikuni) offset any discipline he would insist on. In the early years in Chikuni, when Grades 8 and 9 were “fails” in the Cambridge examination, he would tell his pupils: “Gentlemen, Grade 8 is a fail and Grade 9 is a first-class fail.”
Of his spiritual life one can say only what one saw. He was a good Jesuit and had a great devotion to the Mass and the Divine Office. His kindliness and welcoming trait reflected that inner appreciation of the person of Christ which flowed out in his attitude to people. He was ever willing to help others.
To end this brief appraisal: a rather strange thing happened on the very day Fr Tom was laid to rest in Chikuni cemetery - 'Patches', his last dog, died.
May Fr Tom's soul now rest in peace.

Corboy, James, 1916-2004, Jesuit priest and Roman Catholic Bishop of Monze

  • IE IJA J/590
  • Person
  • 20 October 1916-24 November 2004

Born: 20 October 1916, Caherconlish, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1953
Died: 24 November 2004, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1951 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969
Bishop of Monze, 24 June 1962. Retired 1992

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
The diocese of Monze was set up on 10 March 1962, an offshoot of the Archdiocese of Lusaka. Fr James Corboy S.J., at that time a professor of theology in Milltown Park, Dublin, Ireland, was appointed to be the first bishop of the new diocese. This new diocese was three-quarters the size of his own country of Ireland. It had a population of a million people, 16% of whom were Catholic. At that time there were 8 mission stations in the whole area centred at Chikuni. It was a daunting task ahead for the new bishop.

Bishop James was born in Caharconlish, Co Limerick, Ireland in 1916. He was the son of a country doctor who lived on a small farm. There he grew up appreciating nature and farming. He attended Jesuit schools and entered the Jesuits in 1935, followed the Jesuit course of studies, arts, philosophy, regency and theology, being ordained priest at Milltown Park on 28th July 1948. After tertianship, he went to the Gregorian University for a doctorate in Ecclesiology. Later as bishop he attended the Vatican Council and became really interested in theology, something that he continued to study passionately throughout his life.

He returned to Milltown Park to lecture and also take charge of the large garden. He always loved pottering around in the garden of any house he lived in. He became rector there in 1962.

At the age of 43 he found himself appointed to be the Bishop of a newly set-up diocese of Monze in Zambia, where the Jesuits had been working since 1905. So on 24th June he was consecrated bishop in Zambia. For 30 years he was the bishop of Monze. The task before him as he saw it was fourfold: development, pastoral work, health and education. He invited a number of congregations to help him in this task. Monze hospital was set up and run by the Holy Rosary Sisters. The Sisters of Charity and the Handmaids were already in the diocese. Presentation Sisters, Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Sisters of Charity of Milan and others entered into pastoral work, and the teaching and healing ministry. The Spiritans, Christian Brothers and John of God Brothers are the chief male religious groups who came to help in various fields.

As early as four years after becoming bishop, he put into effect a project after his own heart – promoting vocations from the people themselves. So in 1966, he built Mukasa, a minor seminary in Choma to foster and encourage young boys who showed an interest in the priesthood. Boys came here not only from the dioceses of Monze but also from, Livingstone, Lusaka and Solwezi. Over 50 Mukasa boys have been ordained priests and several are studying in the major seminaries.

Another project very close to his heart was the establishment of a local congregation of sisters – Sisters of the Holy Spirit – in 1971. The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary helped out in this venture. These local Sisters are involved in teaching, pastoral work, nursing and formation work among their own people. The last eight years of his life Bishop James spent in Milltown Park, Ireland on the advice of doctors both here and in Ireland. Whenever anyone visited him from here, his first question invariably was: "How are the Holy Spirit Sisters”?

He regularised the eight mission stations as parishes and set up 13 more parishes. Development was another project close to his heart. With the help of Fr Fred Moriarty SJ Monze became the leading diocese in the country in promoting development

People found Bishop Corboy approachable, kind, caring and simple. He spoke simply (deceptively so, some said). He could explain himself in quite simple language, understood by all. He had to learn ciTonga in which he had a passable skill and even that was spoken simply but correctly. He was unassuming. Often in a crowd, one would often ask 'which is the Bishop?'. He loved to pray the Rosary. He was a very shy man and avoided large social gatherings when he could. Inevitably after doing a confirmation he would say, ‘Gosh, I’d love to stay for the celebrations, but I have some important business to get back to in Monze’.

On 24 October 1991 he was called to State House to receive the decoration of Grand Commander of the Order of Distinguished Service for his work in the Monze Diocese.

He retired as Bishop in 1992, worked for four years at St. Ignatius in Lusaka before returning to Ireland because of his blood pressure. A short time before he died in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, his nephew, Dr John Sheehan, was with him and thought the Bishop looked distressed and asked if he was in pain. Bishop James replied. "No. God bless you, and good bye"! He died on 23 November 2004, aged 88 years.

Note from Patrick (Sher) Sherry Entry
”Sher is a great loss. Apart from his work, he was a great community man”, said the Bishop of Monze. “He was part and parcel of everything that went on in the community. He was interested in parish affairs. He never stinted himself in anything he did. In community discussions he often brought them back to some basic spiritual principle’.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/celebrating-bishop-corboy-sj/

Celebrating Bishop Corboy SJ
The life and work of James Corboy SJ, Bishop of Monze, Zambia, was celebrated with the launch of his biography by Sr Catherine Dunne, in the Arrupe Room, Milltown Park on Thursday 24 January. It was a great occasion described by some there as a “reunion of the diocese of Monze”. Over fifty people attended the launch, including members of Bishop Corboy’s family, who had an opportunity to meet many of those who had known him in Zambia.

The Irish Jesuit Provincial, Tom Layden SJ, warmly welcomed the publication of Catherine Dunne’s book, ‘The Man Called James Corboy’, published by The Messenger Office and sponsored by the Irish Jesuit Missions. He recalled meeting Bishop Corboy, whilst studying for his Leaving Certificate at Clongowes, and he remembered how he spoke about the plight of farmers in Zambia with real concern.

The Provincial said reading the book he was struck by the impact Vatican II made on James Corboy and how its vision of the Church as the people of God was always to the fore in everything he did in the Monze diocese. It permeated his leadership style and his sense of purpose, he said.

He also referred to the fact that James was given the Tonga name of “Cibinda”, meaning a wholesome person who knows where he is going and where he is leading others. Listen here to his talk. (http://www.jesuit.ie/content/onsite/irish-jesuit-podcasts/two-funerals-for-jesuit- bishop)

Two of James Corboy’s nieces, Joanne Sheehan and Ann Ryan, painted an intimate picture of their uncle, especially in his later years at Cherryfield, far removed from his beloved Zambia.

Ann recalled how she and he shared a great love of gardening, flowers and muck! She said he also took great interest in the progress of his great nephews and nieces. Indeed, his great-nephews, Josh and Alan, and his great-nieces, Anna and Alice, were all present and received copies of the book from Catherine Dunne.
Joanne Sheehan told of how there had been Jesuits in the Corboy family for nearly 200 years. She said her uncle “gave his whole life to other people and in that way he was a real Jesuit – a true man for others.” But he only ever claimed a tiny role for his work in Zambia acknowledging the tremendous group of Irish people who had made an enormous contribution to the country besides himself.

Damien Burke from Jesuit Archives provided a recording of Bishop Corboy’s own words from 1962 on the occasion of his consecration as Bishop, along with slides from his early life and time in Zambia. In the recording Bishop Corboy said that “Africa owes a tremendous debt to the Irish people” and thanked everyone for their continued prayers and financial support.
Sr Pius, an 89 year old missionary nun who worked with him in Monze, recalled his attempts to teach them about Vatican II on his return from Rome. “He said that the Council changed his life forever, and he talked about ‘communio’ so often. Something about him touched our hearts as he tried to teach us about the Second Vatican Council – even us ‘noodley’ heads were moved.” She said he valued people and valued particularly the wisdom of women. “We owe him a great debt.”
Sr Catherine Dunne also spoke and read an appreciation of the book from Sr Rosalio of the Holy Spirit Sisters, the order founded by the Bishop with the assistance of Catherine herself.
She said she was encouraged to know the book meant so much to people because, “many’s a time whilst writing it I heard his voice from behind me saying ‘have you nothing better to do with you time?’ I’m glad I didn’t heed that voice now”.
After the launch and a celebratory lunch, Sr Catherine spoke in depth to Pat Coyle of the Jesuit Communication Centre about ‘This Man Called James Corboy”: Listen here : (http://www.jesuit.ie/content/onsite/irish-jesuit-podcasts/the-man-from-monze).

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 37th Year No 3 1962

GENERAL
On April 18th the midday news from Vatican Radio contained the announcement that Fr. James Corboy, Rector of Milltown Park, had been appointed bishop-elect of the newly-created diocese of Monze, Northern Rhodesia.
The bishop of Monze entered the Society at St. Mary's, Emo, in 1935.. and from 1937 to 1941 studied at U.C.D., where he obtained his M.A. Degree in Irish History. He studied Philosophy at Tullabeg and taught at Belvedere 1944-45. His Theology was done at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in July 1948. After his Tertianship at Rathfarnham, he attended the Gregorian University, where he obtained the D.D. in Dogmatic Theology. Since 1952 he has been Professor of Fundamental Theology and Rector since 1959.
The diocese of Monze comprises the mission area assigned to our Province in 1957 and, before its constitution as a separate entity, formed part of the archdiocese of Lusaka.
Bishop Corboy left Ireland on May 31st for Rome and thence to Rhodesia. The consecration has been fixed for June 24th at Chikuni and the consecrating prelates are Most Rev. Adam Kozlowiecki, S.J., Arch bishop of Lusaka, Most Rev. Francis Markall, S.J., Archbishop of Salisbury, and Right Rev. Timothy O'Shea, O.F.M.Cap., Bishop of Livingstone.
The Province and the Mission received with great joy the news of the erection of the diocese of Monze and of the election of its first bishop, who can be assured of the good wishes and prayers of all for a long, happy and fruitful pastorate.

Milltown Park
It was during the same week that news came of the appointment of our Rector, Fr. Corboy, to the newly-created diocese of Monze. Our pleasure at this compliment to Fr. Corboy and at the progress it signifies in the development of Rhodesia was marred only by our regret to be losing so kind and capable a Superior. A special lecture was organised on May 9th, the proceeds of which were presented to the bishop-elect. We are grateful to Fr. Moloney of the Workers' College for speaking on the title “Education for Marriage, 1962”. At a reception afterwards in the Retreat House Refectory, the Ladies Committee and the Men's Committee both made presentations to Dr. Corboy. A dinner was given in his honour on May 23rd and after it several speeches were made. Fr. Patrick Joy, Acting Rector, took the opportunity to assure Dr. Corboy of the continuing support of all those associated with Milltown, including the Ladies Committee. Fr. Brendan Barry, having prefaced his remarks with the words “Egredere de domo tua”, congratulated the mission on the erection of the new diocese and the election of its bishop. Fr. Tom Cooney then rose to voice on behalf of the missionaries their pleasure at welcoming one so young and capable to the government of Monze diocese. In fact he had to apologise for mistaking the bishop-elect a few days previously for a scholastic. In more serious vein, he went on to trace for us the history of the whole question of the Province's responsibility for a mission territory, since the appointment of a bishop has always been the corollary to that issue. He told us that it all went back to before the war, when it still seemed that we could expand in China. When that proved impossible there was question either of a territory in Rhodesia or of educational work in Malaya. Eventually it was Fr. General who decided on our taking responsibility in Rhodesia. Fr. Cooney viewed Dr. Corboy's appointment in the light of all that development and he wished to pay tribute to the constant generosity of the home Province, towards Australia, the Far East and Rhodesia. Fr. Kevin Smyth spoke on behalf of the Faculty, remarking that he was glad to note the departure from usual practice in selecting the bishop not from the canonists but, as he said, from the theologians. To the speeches of the upper community Mr. Guerrini, our Beadle, added his “small voice” on behalf of the scholastics. He proposed his tribute in the form of a thesis. This thesis, he said, was theologically certain, since it met with the constant and universal consent of the Theologians - not to mention the Fathers. There were no adversaries, and he went on to prove his point from the experience of the last few years. Dr. Corboy then spoke. He expressed his attachment to Milltown and of the debt of gratitude he felt towards all who had worked with him in Milltown. He commended the diocese of Monze to our prayers.

Counihan, John, 1916-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/650
  • Person
  • 29 December 1916-07 March 2001

Born: 29 December 1916, Ennis, County Clare
Entered: 09 February 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 14 August 1959
Died; 07 March 2001, John Chula House, Lusaka, Zambia

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

1st Zambia Province (ZAM) Vice-Provincial: 03 December 1969
Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969-1976

by 1957 at Chivuna, N Rhodesia - Regency

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr John was a man for whom decisions came before sentiment and who rarely changed his mind once he had made it up. This was the basis of the affectionately critical nickname given to him by some scholastics and others, namely "Dr No" because of his "no" to many requests. After finishing as provincial, he returned to Charles Lwanga TTC to lecture in education. One evening at table, a member of the community said to him, "John, you are right. You seem to know everything”. John replied, 'They do not call me" "Dr. Know" for nothing'!

He was born in Ennis, in Co Clare, Ireland, into a large family. He went to Clongowes Wood College for his secondary education and left laden with academic prizes. He attended University College in Dublin to study classics and after an M.A. won a traveling scholarship in ancient classics which brought him to Leipzig University in Germany. His academic habits served him well in studying the scriptures which would be his favourite spare time occupation for the rest of his life. Later a Greek New Testament and a Tonga dictionary helped him prepare Sunday homilies.

At the age of 26, he entered the Society at Emo in 1942. After the customary study of philosophy and theology, he was ordained priest in Milltown Park in 1951. He went to teach Latin and Greek at Belvedere College in 1953 but three years later found him in Zambia. He learnt ciTonga after arrival and then moved to Canisius Secondary School until the newly built Teacher Training College across the river was opened. Then he went there to be its first principal, 1959 to 1964.

He then went to Monze as education secretary for the diocese and Bishop's secretary. However the unification of the two Missions of Chikuni and Lusaka brought about the creation of the vice-province of Zambia with John as first provincial from 1969 to 1976. This was no easy task, to get the different nationalities of Jesuits to think of themselves as one province. He organised an international novitiate for Eastern Africa, built Luwisha House near the university for future scholastic undergraduates and encouraged the recruitment of young Zambians into the Society. Such recruitment had been inhibited for a long time by the necessary policy of building up the local clergy. In 1975, the province began working in the Copperbelt. He was duly gratified at the end of his term of office when Fr Mertens, the Assistant for Africa said to him, “You have done a good job, you have set up a Jesuit province”.

After being provincial, he returned south again to the Monze diocese to the staff of Charles Lwanga TTC from 1978 to 1984, and then to Kizito Pastoral Centre, 1985 to 1998, to help in the formation of local religious.

A colleague paid the following tribute to him: "I recall some of John's characteristics. Such an intelligent man can hardly have been blind to the difficult spots in the characters of some of his confrères. Yet, I never heard him speak negatively of another. His tendency was to idealise them. Even if he was firm to the point of inflexibility in his decisions, he was unfailingly courteous, considerate and kind to others. You could always count on him being in a good humour. He did not wear his prayer life on his sleeve, yet he was everything that is implied in the term, ‘a good religious’. Without being overly pious he clearly gave priority to his spiritual life, took an Ignatian view of life's details and sought God in everything".

In 1999, John retired to Chula House in Lusaka, the infirmary for Jesuits, where he died peacefully on 7th March 2001.

Note from Jean Indeku Entry
He was pulled back to Charles Lwanga TTC as minister and bursar where he looked after the brethren well. Later the first provincial, Fr John Counihan used to tell the story of how, as he was being transferred to Monze, went into to John and asked him where the week-end refreshments appeared in the books, which he had carefully scrutinised but failed to locate. Fr Indekeu replied laconically ‘Look under jam’.

Note from Philip O’Keeffe Entry
I was privileged to live, for Philip was born in Ennis, Co Clare on 12 June 1946. Two genuinely saintly men. The elder statesman, John Counihan, would stand up promptly at eight pm and announce ‘All right boys, I'll leave you to it. It's time for me to retire’. And he'd toddle off to his room to the Greek New Testament and Tonga New Testament laid out side by side on his desk – no English – and he'd prepare his homily for the following day

Coyne, John J, 1889-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/42
  • Person
  • 28 April 1889-17 March 1978

Born: 28 April 1889, Dunmore, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1906, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1922, Milltown Park
Final vows: 02 February 1926, Rome, Italy
Died: 17 March 1978, Milltown Park, Dublin - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03 December 1969

Early education at Christian Brothers College Cork and Clongowes Wood College SJ
Studied for an MA in Classics at UCD and awarded a Studentship in 1912-1913

by 1914 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1919 at Nowy Sącz Collège, Poland (GALI) studying
by 1925 at Baexem, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) making Tertianship
by 1927 at Rome Italy (ROM) Socius English Assistant (Substitute English Assistant)
by 1966 at Loyola Lusaka (POL Mi) Diocesan Archivist

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr John Coyne was born in Dromore, Co Galway, Ireland on 28th April 1889, where both his father and mother were teachers. Within a couple of years, his father became an inspector of schools and as a young inspector he was kept on the move: after a period in Dublin he was posted to Tralee, then to Cavan and then on to Cork in 1902. After three years with the Christian Brothers in Cork, John came to Clongowes in 1905.

He entered the Society in Tullabeg on the 7th September 1906. After vows, he attended the university taking a classics degree, also taking an M.A. in 1912. He won a traveling scholarship and was posted to Innsbruck in Austria. Later he moved to Vienna as the First World War had broken out. Then he went on to Poland for a year to Nowy Sacz to prepare for his final philosophical examination. Returning to Ireland, he completed his studies and was ordained priest on 15 August 1922.

Assigned to Rome after tertianship, he became substitute secretary to the English Assistant from 1925 to 1929. Fr Wladimir Ledochowski, the General of the Jesuits, told him that he had learned as much in the Curia as he was likely to learn and that he was sending him back to Ireland to become rector of Belvedere College in Dublin.

He was master of novices from 1931 to 1934. One of his novices said of him later, "I think it would not be unfair to describe Fr John as a Christian stoic rather than as a Christian humanist".

Then came a long period of 24 years (1935 to 1959) as socius to the provincial, not just to one Provincial but to four of them – Frs L Kieran, J R Mac Mahon, T Byrne and L O’Grady (who for reasons of health and temperament 'left Province decisions rest far too much on his socius, Fr John'). He worked for a few years in Gardiner Street Church after being socius.

In 1964 at the age of 75, he accepted an invitation of the Polish Archbishop Kozlowiecki of Lusaka to come and set the diocesan archives in order. Though his provincial suggested a stay of six months, Fr John spent about 8 years in Zambia.

Returning to Ireland, he spent a lot of time translating works of German into English. He was prevailed upon to write his memoirs. 'Memoirs of a Jesuit priest 1906 to 1977: Grafted on the Olive Tree’. He died a year after this on 17 March 1978 in Dublin.

Of Fr Coyne’s time in Zambia, Fr Max Prokoph writes:
‘In spite of his age, he tried to make himself useful in every way possible. For a man who had a finger in every pie in his home province for so many years, it was quite remarkable that he never tried to interfere in the province of his adoption, but spent his time in all sorts of projects for which a younger person would neither have the time nor the inclination. Having put the archives of the Lusaka Archdiocese in order and separated what belonged to the newly erected diocese of Monze (1962). He got down to gathering material for a history of the mission in the days of the Zambesi Mission. Since there was only one full-time priest available for the parish of St Ignatius (Fr Des 0’Loghlen) he gave a hand wherever he could, in the confessional, extra Masses, keeping the parish registers and not least by regular systematic parish visiting, house by house, as far as he could get on foot, perhaps the most systematic visiting the neighbourhood ever had. Quite a few were brought back to the church’.

Fr Michael Moloney writes:
‘Fr Coyne took a very keen interest in what Jesuits had done in Zambia since the coming of Frs Moreau and Torrend for whom he had a deep admiration. Admiration for people who did "great things for Christ" was a permanent attitude of his. His standard for a Jesuit was that he should be "a saint, a scholar and a gentleman" and he clearly tried to exemplify that in his own life. He was a kindly man yet at the same time a puzzle to many. Many wondered what "the real John Coyne was like" because externally he seemed to be set in a conventional spiritual mould and to be rather formal in much of his behaviour, so much so that one cannot escape the conclusion that he was a man with a conflict between his personality traits and what he considered Jesuit spirituality demanded of him. In Zambia he was faithful to his afternoon stroll during which he would meet people and through which he made some friends whose hospitality he was pleased to accept".

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 6th Year No 1 1931
Brussels Congress :
Fr. Rector (John Coyne) and Fr. J. O'Meara (Louvain) represented the College at the First International Gongress of Catholic Secondary Education, held at Brussels July 28 . August 2. Fr, O'Meara read a paper on State Aid in Irish Secondary Education. Our Irish Jesuit Colleges were well represented in the Exhibition organised by Fr. Corcoran S. J.

Irish Province News 34th Year No 4 1959

GENERAL
On 17th June Very Reverend Fr. General appointed Fr. Brendan Barry as Socius to Fr. Provincial in succession to Father John Coyne. Thus came to an end a term of office which had lasted for nearly a quarter of a century. This surely must be an easy record. Many members of the Province had known no other Socius and some of the younger generation might not have been able to name any of Fr. Coyne's predecessors. Provincials might come and go but Fr. Coyne remained, an abiding element in a changing world. In all, he worked under four Provincials; Fr. Kieran, during whose period of office he became Socius (22nd February, 1935), Fr. J. R. MacMahon, Fr. T. Byrne and Fr. M. O’Grady. On more than one occasion he deputised as Vice-Provincial. He had come to be regarded as an almost indispensable appendage of government, and then in June the appointment of a new Fr. Socius came as a reminder that even Socii are, after all, subject to the law of mutability.
At the celebration of his golden jubilee in 1956, Fr. Coyne said that his career in the Society had been a series of false starts and changes of direction. But these seemingly false starts, his interrupted classical studies, his years as Substitute to the English Assistant, as Rector of Belvedere and as Master of Novices were preparing him for what was to be the great work of his life. These experiences gave him an understanding of the day-to-day business of the government of the Society and of individual houses, and, of course, his impeccable Latin prose and mastery of curial style. At the same jubilee celebrations the Provincial for the time being and two former Provincials paid tribute to his skill in the dispatch of business, his loyalty, generosity and other personal qualities. To these the Province may add: his courtesy, tact, sympathy and good sense. The timid or diffident who considered a personal interview with Fr. Provincial too formidable found in Fr. Coyne the perfect intermediary. To all who had permissions to ask or MSS. for censorship or other small business to transact he was always approachable and gracious. The province takes this opportunity of thanking him and of expressing its admiration, Not to say amazement, at the cheerfulness with which year after year he went about the infinity of his important but monotonous tasks. It also extends a warm welcome to Fr. Barry in his new work.

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 3 1978

Obituary :

Fr John Coyne (1889-1978)

Father John Coyne was born in Dunmore, Co. Galway on 28 April 1889 where both his father and mother were teaching. Within a couple of years his father became an inspector of schools, and as a young inspector he was kept on the move: after a brief spell in Dublin he was posted to Tralee, then Cavan and then in 1902 to Cork. After three years with the Christian Brothers on Patrick’s Hill, John came to Clongowes in 1905. He used to say that he felt the first feeble stirrings of vocation while in St Patrick’s College, Cavan, but that the call was peremptory one night in his cubicle in Clongowes when he felt “visited” by an overpowering grace of God: “a wave of deep peace and brightest light flooded my soul to its deepest”.
Two aspects of his youth will surprise those of us who came to know him only after his curial training in Rome: his mother whose parents were English found her favourite reading in John Mitchell's “Jail Journal”; secondly one of the greatest disappointments of his youth was in losing the Junior Munster Final, in which he played as a forward, to Presentation College when at the last moment a sturdy Presentation full-back dropped a goal from half-way which soared between the posts. That he took exhibitions, medals and prizes in his stride is what one expects; his father used to con a chapter of St Luke’s Greek with him every Sunday.
Though only one year in Clongowes he was much in luck to find among his masters four scholastics: Tim Corcoran, Charlie Mulcahy, Patrick Connolly and William O’Keeffe. Among his classmates in that year’s Rhetoric were Paddy McGilligan, Tom Arkins, Tom O'Malley and J B O'Connell, later to become an authority on matters liturgical. Paddy McGilliagan beat him by 25 marks for a medal in Latin.
When he decided to offer himself to the Society the then Provincial, Father John S Conmee, began his chat in this way: “Well John, what makes you want to join the ‘crafties’: that is how Dublin priest speak of us?” Later Father Conmee visited I Rhetoric during Latin class, and John was asked to construe “O fons Bandusiae”.
In the following September eight novices turned up in Tullabeg: among them Hugh Kelly from Westport, John Deevy from Waterford, Henry Johnson from Belfast, Michael Meeney from Limerick, Denis Nerney and John from Cork. In Tullabeg for a year and a half Father James Murphy was his novice master: John liked to tell how Father Murphy, like an Old Testament Prophet, summoned all his novices round his bed, recalling for the last time the great principles of Ignatian spirituality by which his novices were to live. Father Murphy died on 28th March 1908, and his Socius, Fr Tighe took over until Father Michael Browne was appointed in August,
After his first vows on 8 September 1908, he and his fellows moved to another table and wore their birettas. For his first two years he was coached by Fr John Keane and Mr Dan Finn in Tullabeg, going to Dublin only to sit for the Royal University exams. In his third year 86 St Stephen's Green had become the Dublin College of the new National University, so the Juniors moved up to Milltown. His Greek Professor was Father Henry Browne and for Latin Paddy Semple.
He took his MA In 1912: his thesis dealt with Hellenism as a force in Eastern life and thought; he spent most of this year in Trinity Library as facilities in 86 were understandably limited. He spent the Christmas term teaching English and Latin in Belvedere, but early in the new year Father T V Nolan, recently appointed Provincial, sent him back to Milltown to prepare himself for the travelling studentship in Classics coming up in the following September.
John won the studentship and was posted to Innsbruck. By a stroke of luck he met on the Holyhead boat the extern examiner for his thesis and his oral, Professor J S Reid, a notable Ciceronian scholar; generously the Professor gave him a letter of introduction to Professor Rudolf von Scala in Innsbruck, chief expert on Polybius, the Greek historian of Rome. Scala gave him a warm welcome, the run of his library and welcome to his lectures. With disappointment on John’s part he suggested as the subject of his Bodenpreise (Ground Rents). As sources for his thesis in Innsbruck were thin, John moved to Munich after Christmas where there was a flourishing centre for the study of papyri under the direction of an Austrian named Wenger. Occasionally Wenger invited small groups to his home for a beer evening where his wife proved a charming hostess. Here he used to meet from time to time Hermann Grisar, then the authority on Luther, and Peter Lippart.
Summer vacation drew him back to Innsbruck; fortunately he had a fortnight's villa before the war broke out. The Jesuits undertook care of the wounded, beginning to trickle back from the Serbian front. With a crash course from a Viennese doctor, they took over a large building to serve as a hospital. In May 1915 British subjects had to get out of Innsbruck as Italy had entered the war and was planning to force the Brenner Pass. Three Irish Jesuits Fr Tim Halpin, recently ordained, John and Dan Finn made their way to Vienna.
John was drafted to Kalksburg, where he spent three years as a spare tyre: “parratus ad omnia” as he loved to quote to us, novices. One year on returning from Christmas holidays Prince Liechtenstein brought the mumps with him; spreading through the school rapidly some 150 boys were affected. As the Brothers had all been called to the colours, John spent from January to May as a nurse: more serious were one case of scarlatina, one of typhoid, and the most critically ill of all was the Archduke Godfrey of Salsburg down with serious pneumonia. Trying enough as the nursing with its broken nights was, John preferred it to being gallery prefect, sitting in a glass box, regulating traffic, ringing bells or covering a sick or weary prefect’s beat. Sanctions were difficult: no corporal punishment to deter slackers or offenders-only detention or, for the younger boys, putting them in the booby corner. One Pole, called the Black Prince because of his dark features, had been recalled from an English public school and found Kalksburg considerably more to his liking,
His next move was to Poland to finish his philosophy at Nowy Sacz (now Sardac), a town two hours journey south of Cracow. His main task was to prepare for his “de universa”, and in keeping with Jesuit custom, to learn the language of the house of studies in which he lived: this time a Slav language.
On returning from Poland he taught in Clongowes for the year 1919-20, and liked to tell that one of his boys later broke his gavel in a vain attempt to stem Kruschev’s eloquence at UNO in New York - and subsequently became the first Catholic Chancellor of Trinity.
In the Autumn of 1920 he went to Milltown for theology: by a war-time privilege he was ordained at the end of his second year on 15 August 1922. After two more years in theology he went to Exaten in eastern Holland to do his tertianship in a German community (1924-5).
On the status of 1925 he was assigned to study Scripture in Rome but at the last moment he was asked to fill a gap by becoming substitute secretary to the English Assistant, Fr Joseph Welsby, previously Tertian instructor in Tullabeg. For his first year and a half he lived in the German College while the new curia on the Borgo Santo Spirito was being built. He quickly learned the “stylus Curiae” and after three years Fr Wladimir Ledochowski, the General, told him that he had learned as much in the Curia as he was likely to learn and that he was sending him back to Ireland to become Rector of Belvedere.
Fr Martin Maher, a long-time novice master, was beginning to fail and John was appointed to replace him in the Spring of 1931. The present writer entered the novicehsip the following September; we were the only group to have him alone for our master. He was a dedicated Ledochowski man, as indeed was his then Provincial, Fr Larry Kieran, whose contact with Fr General was 99% epistolatry. Fr John had an outstanding devotion to Our Lord, at times over emotional in its expression; eager to tell us that we had not real Ignatian indifference unless we kept one foot in the air; insistent on the 'magis' of the Exercises which meant his novices must be grounded in “agere contra”, and, at least, have a desire to live in the third degree. I think it would not be unfair to describe him as a Christian stoic rather than as a Christian humanist. His war-time experiences had taken a great deal out of him and one sensed the strain. Many of us found it difficult to feel relaxed in our regular visits to him: we waited for an opening as he gazed out the window at Dairy hill and played rather nervously with a paper knife. He found “priming the pump” difficult.
Not that he was inhuman but he didn't believe in showing that side to his novices. He did to his Provincial when he wrote to say that, for days on end, apart form the Community, all he ever saw was the postman and, occasionally, a stray dog. A few months break from Emo towards the end of 1933 didn't help to reduce the tension under which he was living; he was simple and humble enough to ask his Provincial to accept his resignation.
If his first three appointments were each three years long, his next one was to last almost twenty-five years: February 1935 until mid June 1959. Over that span he served as Socius to four Provincials. I think he would like to be described as “idus Achates”; but a Socius in the Society is much more than a secretary; ex officio he is one of the four Province consultors. In Fr Kieran’s reign both he and his Socius were too like-minded. Though Fr Kieran met Fr Ledochowski only once in the General Congregation of 1938, from his appointment as Provincial in 1931 he was an all-out Ledochowski man: “actio in distans non repugnat”. His successor in the difficult war years, Fr John R MacMahon, knew his own mind as did his successor Fr Tommy Byrne who founded three houses and took on commitments in Northern Rhodesia - the Zambia of today. Father Louis O’Grady, for reasons of health and temperament, left Province decisions rest far too much on his Socius, Father John.
On retiring from his unselfish devotion to a typewriter for twenty five years, from letters and forms to Rome, from Collecting informations for fitness for Hong kong or Zambia, for suitability for ordinations, and for government, and, perhaps, most tedious of all, bringing out the annual “Catalogus”, he was posted to Gardiner Street as operarius. Even as Socius pastoral work appealed to him: for years he guided two praesidia of the Legion of Mary, his first experience of it being in Rome when an ecumenical praesidium was formed in the mid-twenties: it didn't last long as the non-Catholics couldn't stomach the rigidity of the Handbook. He struck up a real friendship with Paddy Reynolds, Lord Wicklow's astute partner in Clonmore and Reynolds. Though Paddy had a heart of gold, in language he’d outdo any trooper. As a result John translated a number of German books which, to his delight, Reynolds managed to sell- despite the fact that John had a taste fot the “turgid” German.
Five years later (1964) carrying out what he had taught us in Emo, the “magis” of the Exercises, he accepted the invitation of the Polish Archbishop of Lusaka to set the Mission Archives in order. Though his Provincial, Fr Charlie O'Connor, suggested a stay of six months, John, apart from one furlough, spent almost ten years in Zambia where he wished to leave his bones.
By 1966 a new presbytery had been built adjoining the modern Church of St Ignatius. With his work on the archives completed he joined the Irish parish community, taking on the duties of a curate at the age of 77: baptisms, marriages, pre-marriage courses, keeping the parish registers. As most of the community was working outside the house, he acted as porter, answered the phone, dealt with callers. One of the Community - no great admirer of John in his Socius days - prevailed on him to take a glass of grog every night, and so he learned to relax.
Returning to Zambia in 1969 after a break in Ireland, he was able to spend four days in Greece - from the human point of view the highlight of his life. Less than three years later he had to return to Ireland on stringent medical advice, but he refused to hang up his boots. Between bouts in hospital he continued translation work, was no “laudator temporis acti” but had a warm welcome, a keen interest in the theologians whose régime was so different to what he had experienced when Fr Peter Finlay and Matt Devitt were the stars in his student days (1920-1924).
May the Lord reward him for his enthusiasm and generosity; may he win for his two Jesuit nephews of whom he was so proud, for his three sisters and all the family, abundant grace.
RBS.
PS. For most of the facts in this notice I have drawn from a sixty-one page typescript which Father John was prevailed upon to write in his last year in Milltown (1977): It is, in the main, Province history with little personal comment and remarkably restrained in passing judgments “discreta caritas”. (RBS).

Cremins, Richard, 1922-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/751
  • Person
  • 24 August 1922-21 February 2012

Born: 24 August 1922, Dublin
Entered: 05 October 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1961
Died: 21 February 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Arthur J Clarke Entry
During his six years as rector, he was blessed with such outstanding heads of Canisius as Dick Cremins and Michael J Kelly. Arthur's vision for Canisius as a leading secondary school was influenced by his experience of Clongowes Wood College in Ireland. First, he wanted a proper house for the community. Though the actual building was the responsibility of Fr McCarron and Br Pat McElduff, the siting and design of the spacious community house are largely Arthur’s.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/203-missionary-experience-of-the-late-fr-richard-cremins

Missionary Experience of the late Fr. Richard Cremins
Father Richard Cremins, SJ died on 21st February 2012 in Cherryfield Nursing Home in Milltown Park after a long illness. The funeral mass took place on Friday 24th February in Milltown Park Chapel, after which Fr. Cremins was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.
Fr. Cremins spent over 50 years working as a missionary in Zambia until a stroke brought him back to Ireland in 2006 where he remained until his recent death.
Fr. Richard Cremins was born in 1922 and attended Blackrock College in Dublin. He went on to study at university for 3 years before making the decision to become a Jesuit priest after being impressed by the spirit among the students of Milltown Park. Fr. Cremins taught in Belvedere College for 2 years before he was ordained in 1955. In 1957 Fr. Cremins was sent out to Zambia, then Northern Rhodesia, to work in the Chikuni Mission. He spent several months learning the local language, Tonga and was mainly involved with the primary schools in the area. He spent a year travelling around the country finding schools a job which required him to learn a second language, Bemba. In 1964, Fr. Cremins was sent to Monze to step in as principal of the secondary school for 6 months. He remained in the post for four and a half years until the appointment of Michael Kelly as principal. Fr. Cremins spoke fondly of his time as parish priest in Monze. “They were lovely people. Very nice” he said. He felt it was important to value the customs and traditions of the people in the area. He recounted an early experience he had of a woman who was having trouble with her husband and he had been asked to step in. He sat with them in their family home but realized that his presence there was enough. “They had their own way of settling these things. So I never tried to interfere and just let things take their course”. Fr. Cremins kept this stance throughout his time in Zambia. He did a lot of work in development in the area which included the setting up of Church councils in each area and also the translation of the Bible into Tonga. This occurred in 1970 after the events of Vatican II.
Fr. Cremins was most noted for his work in AIDS prevention and development in Zambia. He went to Lusaka, the capital, in 1970 and spent 12 years there working on development with particular attention given to the introduction of natural family planning. This followed the work of Doctor Sister Miriam Duggan who wanted to introduce the idea to the area. After the implementation of a programme in Lusaka, Fr. Cremins then moved to Malwai in 1990 where he spent 12 years working on a similar project resulting in the establishment of FAMLI. In 2004, he helped to set up an AIDS programme called Youth Alive which aimed at educating young people in Malawi about the risks of AIDS.
Fr. Richard Cremins enjoyed his work as a missionary and spoke positively of his experiences abroad. “I always had a principle that if you have to do something you might as well enjoy it and I always enjoyed my work whatever it was".

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/225-fr-richard-cremins-sj-1922-2012

Fr. Richard Cremins, SJ 1922-2012
Dick was raised in Dublin during the post independence and post civil war years. He attended the Holy Ghost Fathers' Blackrock College and then proceeded to do undergraduate studies at University College Dublin (UCD). Afterwards he began legal studies spending one year at King's Inn, passing his first bar exam with first class honours. He was a formidable debater and was elected president of the LH Society (Literary and Historical Society), well known for the who's who of Irish politicians and professionals who had been members in their younger days. Dick resigned as president of the Society and discontinued his legal studies to join the Society in 1943. He followed the usual course of studies in Ireland doing regency at Belvedere and Mungret Colleges. After theology at Milltown Park he was ordained a priest in 1955.
In response to a request from Father General, the Irish Province formally assumed responsibility in 1949/1950 for missionary work in much of the Southern Province of Northern Rhodesia (later to become the independent country of Zambia). This led to the establishment of the Chikuni Mission in the Southern Province with a procure in the capital, Lusaka. Building on the great accomplishments of the Zambezi Mission and of Jesuits from the Polish-Krakow Province who had laid the foundations of Church presence in this area, the new arrivals for the Chikuni Mission quickly found themselves engaged in the work of mission development. This they did through the establishment of parishes, the consolidation and expansion of secondary and teacher training institutions, the management and growth of an extensive network of primary schools, and the advancement of women and lay leadership in the Church.
Throughout the 35 years of his period in Northern Rhodesia/Zambia, where he arrived in September 1957, Dick Cremins found himself involved in each one of these works, apart from teacher training. On completion of a period learning chiTonga, the major local language used in the Chikuni Mission territory, his first assign- ment was as Manager of Schools, in charge of supervising, improving and expanding the large network of Catholic primary schools for which the Mission was responsible. In an era when Church presence in an area tended to be closely linked to educational presence through a Church-managed primary school, this involved much hard bargaining with similarly placed representatives from other Christian Churches and colonial officials. Though he threw himself into this work with enormous verve, this was something that did not fit well with Dick's broader ecumenical vision. Neither did it give much scope for his manifest abilities, including his sharp understanding of the needs of a colonial territory that sooner rather than later would become independent.
The situation changed for him in 1959 when he was appointed as Principal of Canisius College, a Jesuit boys' secondary school which had commenced in 1949, much to the displeasure of the colonial authorities who protested at the time that the territory already had a secondary school for boys and so did not need a second one. But by 1959 the winds of change were already blowing in Northern Rhodesia and Dick saw it as his duty, not to challenge the colonial authorities, but with their (sometimes grudging) financial support to develop a school that would respond to the territory's future needs for well qualified human resources. His task in doing so was facilitated by the transfer of the teacher training component from Canisius to the newly established Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College nearby, leaving Dick free to promote a programme of expanding boarding and teaching facilities (especially science laboratories and a library) at Canisius and to increase the number of staff.
A very significant development during the four-and-a-half years of Dick's tenure as Principal of Canisius was the commencement of 6th Form (A-level). Those who completed this programme would have spent almost fifteen years in school - this in a territory where by 1963 less than 1,000 (up to 200 of them from Canisius itself) had completed even twelve years in school. Equally significant, and an early sign of what would be a major con-cern throughout the rest of Dick's life, was his determination that girls should benefit from this development and be able to attain the highest possible level of education. This resulted in Canisius becoming the only school in Northern Rhodesia that offered 6 h Form education to both girls and boys - a noteworthy advance not only towards gender equity but also in Jesuit understanding of the need to ensure that the equality between women and men became a lived reality.
A further development was the active recruitment of a large number of lay teachers for the staffing of the expanding Canisius College. But more was at work in Dick's case, for here he found it possible to give expression to his pre-Vatican II vision of increasing the role of the laity in Church affairs. The strength of Dick's convictions in this area led to his appointment in 1964 as parish priest of the town of Monze and subsequently as chaplain to the Lay Apostolate Movement in the newly established Diocese of Monze. That same year, Northern Rhodesia's colonial status ended when it became the independent country of Zambia. Dick identified wholeheartedly with the new State and as soon as it was possible for him to do so adopted Zambian citizenship, even though this necessitated renouncing his status as a citizen of Ireland, the country of his birth. For the rest of his life, Dick remained a Zambian, a man committed to improving the status of women, and a man passionately concerned to give practical expression to Vatican II's vision of the importance of the laity and the involvement of the Church in the development of peoples.
Dick worked indefatigably for six years as parish priest of Monze town and for five years as promoter of the lay apostolate throughout the diocese. An outstanding legacy to his term as parish priest was the establishment by the Holy Rosary Sisters of Monze Mission Hospital. Dick always proved himself a staunch ally of these Sisters, some of them still fresh from the Biafran war in Nigeria. Always conscious of the dignity of women and the active role that lay and religious women could play in the Church, he supported the Sisters with deep practical love and respect (which they in turn generously reciprocated). Dick pursued these apostolic commitments in Monze Diocese at such expense to himself that he had to spend the greater part of 1976 rebuilding his health. When he was strong enough to return to Zambia late that year, his enduring commitment to the development of the laity resulted in his transfer to Lusaka and appointment, on behalf of the Catholic Hierarchy, as national chaplain for the lay apostolate and secretary for development. For the next seven years he spent the greater part of his time educating and training the laity, mobilising and energising lay groups, and advocating on their behalf. His constant concern was to ensure that Vatican II's vision of the role of the laity became a reality energetically adopted and practised, not only by the ordained ministry of the Church and by members of the Society, but also by lay-persons themselves. These years also saw his trail-blazing support for the National Council of Catholic Women in Zambia, with his unflagging insistence to the women who asked him to implement some of their ideas, "No; this is for you to do, yours are the voices that should be heard." His belief in the power of women was remarkably vindicated in 1982 when, because of the outspoken opposition of the Catholic Women's League to the Zambian Government's inclusion of communist ideology in the curriculum for schools at all levels, the Government capitulated and backed off from this development.
Dick's experience and reflections during this time brought into sharper focus for him the importance of the family. A prime concern here was to enable women to control the number of children they bore while observing the teaching of the encyclical Humanae Vitae about contraception. He was motivated here not just by loyalty to Church teaching, but also by his commitment to improving the lot of women and his anguish at the suffering women endured in bearing more children than their health, their means, the well-being of their already-born children or their prospects as persons who were fully equal to men, could sustain. He was further energised by his deep-seated conviction on the supremacy of human life and hence was driven by the imperative of preventing abortion and opposing its legalisation.
Both of these concerns led Dick to become a protagonist for natural family planning as a way that respected human dignity, while enabling women take more control of their lives and avoid abortions by not having unwanted pregnancies. He became skilled on the medical and social aspects of natural family planning and was soon recognised as a national and international authority in this area. His views did not always find acceptance with others, but this did not diminish their respect for his integrity, the consistency of his approach, and his manifest commitment to bettering the condition of women. His involvement in the area of natural family planning be- came more all-consuming when in 1983 he was appointed as Director of Zambia's Family Life Movement. He was to remain in this position until his appointment to Malawi, the second country that constitutes the Zambia- Malawi Province, ten years later. During this Lusaka period Dick also served for six years as Superior of the Jesuit community of St. Ignatius. Throughout the latter years of that time, St. Ignatius' was the base for the newly established Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, a faith and social justice think-tank which received wholehearted support from Dick's wisdom, experience, and vision.
In 1993 Dick was sent to Lilongwe in Malawi to set up a Jesuit residence there. Since a number of Jesuits were already working in the Malawian seminaries, Malawi was now recognised as part of the Zambian province, but there was no specifically Jesuit residence there. Dick first stayed with the Kiltegan Fathers for a few months as he surveyed the houses which came on the market in Lilongwe. He was responsible for the purchase and rehabilitation of the present residence of Our Lady of the Way, more usually known as 9/99, the official address. This house became the rallying point for a scattered Jesuit community whose members were working hundreds of kilometres away to the four points of the compass (Zomba, Kasungu, Kachebere and Mangochi).
However 9/99 was not merely a convenient staging point - one of the attractions was meeting Dick. At breakfast and especially after evening meal, one could be sure of a stimulating discussion arising on some point relevant to our mission that had been noticed by Dick and obviously pondered over by him. One might not always agree with Dick's point of view, but that made the discussions all the more stimulating. Dick continued the family apostolate he had animated so well in Lusaka and set up an official NGO called FAMLI, supported by overseas aid.
In Lilongwe in 2007, Dick experienced a massive stroke that ultimately led to his return to Ireland and admission to Cherryfield, the Irish Province's nursing home for infirm, disabled and recuperating Jesuits. Here Dick was to remain until his death in February 2012. But his approach to his transformed conditions was not one of self-pity. Instead, with characteristic determination and enormous courage, he succeeded in teaching himself to speak with some sort of clarity and in making himself mobile with the aid of a "walker" that had been designed according to his specifications for a person whose right hand was crippled. The strength of his resolve and his unfailing commitment to his priesthood were shown by the way he struggled every week to serve as principal celebrant at the community Mass. Despite his limited mobility, he succeeded in attending outside lectures and functions. He taught himself to use a laptop by tapping out messages with one finger of his left hand. And in an effort to build up a sense of camaraderie among his fellow-residents in Cherryfield and the wider community of Jesuits living in the Dublin area, he organised Scrabble and draughts competitions.
Dick put his hard-won computer skills to good use in these final years. From the darkness that must have enshrouded his own life, he regularly sent warm and supportive messages to colleagues who, like himself, were experiencing the cloud of unknowing. But even more, despite his limitations, he continued to press for the better- ment of women, loyal adherence to the teachings of Humanae Vitae, ever greater involvement in the official Church on the part of "outstanding lay Catholics who are to be found as leaders in every walk of life," and advocacy for a Church "where St. Peter might feel at home. "At a meeting just six weeks before his death, he expressed concern that Cherryfield might be obtaining its medical supplies from a pharmacy where the "morning-after" pill could also be purchased. His spirited contributions continued after his death - nine days after he died, The Furrow, the respected religious journal from Maynooth, published his article in support of the Irish government's decision to close its Embassy to the Vatican as he saw this as a step in the direction of making it possible for the Church to remain true to the simplicity of the Gospel.
Throughout his long and very full life, Dick Cremins emerged as a gentle person, kind and peaceful, who lived his life joyfully in the service of others and in pursuit of the highest ideals. At times, people could be upset by his sabre-sharp remarks or forthright statement of his views. But behind these there always lay his fearlessness in challenging accepted points of wisdom, his passion to see the Kingdom of God as envisaged by Jesus realised among us, his zeal for the genuine development of all peoples, his razor sharp mind and his powerful sense of humour with its love of irony, laughter and the joy of people.
Years ago, Dick was characterised as being shaped like a paschal candle - tall, thin and luminous. But his moral stature far surpassed his physical tallness. The Bible tells us that there were giants in the early days. But Dick Cremins shows us that giants are still to be found in modern days.

Cullen, Paul, 1936-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/479
  • Person
  • 09 February 1936-16 September 1997

Born: 09 February 1936, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1981
Died: 16 September 1997, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969; ZAM to HIB : 31 July 1982

by 1963 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
A familiar picture of Fr. Paul (known as Cu) was of him rubbing the palm of one hand against the back of the other with a skittish laugh.

He was born in Clonmel in Co. Tipperary on in 1936, attended the Christian Brothers there for school and then entered the Jesuit novitiate at Emo Park in 1954. After his degree at University College Dublin and philosophy in Tullabeg, Paul came to Zambia in 1962. This involved, first of all, giving time to learn ciTonga and then teaching in Canisius Secondary school accompanied by the many chores which scholastics had to do when in a teaching job. He enjoyed these three years with his fellow scholastics, for Paul was essentially person-oriented.

Paul returned to Ireland to study theology at Milltown Park in Dublin and was ordained priest there in 1968. Prior to returning to Zambia, he asked to do a course in London (teaching English to foreign students) and a counselling course in the USA, which he believed would be of help to him when he came back whether he was assigned to teach or to work in a parish.

He returned to Zambia in 1969 and went to teach in Canisius for a short time then to Fumbo mission in the valley (which he found extremely difficult) and then back to Canisius. As a priest he wanted to help people. For him people were more important than any issues. Just teaching in a school with a little prefecting was not his idea of priestly work. To counsel schoolboys at a deeper level, he found that the differences in cultural background interfered and were a block. In Fumbo parish he discovered that the type of life there was not for him: the language barrier, cultural differences, loneliness and a certain anxiety in his character, all militated against a fruitful sojourn in the valley.

He left the mission and returned to Ireland in 1972. From then to his death in 1997, twenty five years were spent in parish work in a number of Dublin parishes, Walkinstown, Bonnybrook, Ballymun, and finally in Gardiner Street where he was curate from 1985 to 1991 and then parish priest from 1991 to his death. His priesthood was expressed in his care for people. Working in a parish gave him great scope for this. Always with a thought for others, he had a sensitivity for the concerns of those with different opinions and any differences he had with people were always expressed with an apology.

When a sabbatical year was the in-thing in the eighties, Paul's thoughts turned to Zambia not the USA or Canada, as he wrote to the Provincial there. "I would like a chance to visit old places with the Holy Spirit. I believe it would be good for me personally. However I would also like to help in a genuine way". This offer was accepted in Zambia, but the actual going never materialised.

Paul had a sense of fun and a hearty laugh. He liked to be with people with whom he related. A contemporary of his wrote, "There were great depths of kindness, sympathy, generosity and love in him, which even longed for a fuller expression. He needed his own freedom and the assurance of encouraging affirmation, something Paul did not always experience. He was basically a pastor, sympathising with strange waywardness while kindly suggesting a way forward, or dealing jovially with people".

Curran, Shaun, 1924-1999, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/622
  • Person
  • 29 December 1924-14 August 1999

Born: 29 December 1924, Dublin
Entered: 02 October 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1959
Professed: 06 January 1978
Died: 14 August 1999, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1949 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1985 at Regis Toronto, Canada (CAN S) Sabbatical

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Shaun Curran was born on 29 December 1924 in Dublin. Before he entered in 1946, he was at school with the Christian Brothers in Dublin after which he did a three year's projectionist's course at Kevin Street Institute of Technology. His formation in the Society was the normal one except that he was sent to do his juniorate in Laval, France.

After his ordination, he was posted to a number of different jobs which revealed the diversity of his talents and his skill in adapting himself to different circumstances. He was appointed to Zambia after his tertianship. An attractive plan was presented to him: he should stay there for a few months, make a film of the mission for propaganda purposes, then go on to Hong Kong to do the same there and then return to Ireland. He made the film in Zambia but then got involved in the building of the MacMahon stadium at Canisius College, Chisekesi. He procured a small bulldozer and delighted in running it, gouging, removing, transferring and leveling the area – all to his heart’s content. He did a great job. "Good enough!” as he so often said.

However he was recalled to Ireland. He did a stint as chaplain at Rathmines Technical School for a year and became minister at Gardiner Street and Director of St Francis Xavier Hall. Later as minister at Milltown Park, he went to Glencree to set up the Peace Centre. This was a new pioneering work in which, for a number of months, he lived in a caravan feeding himself on cornflakes and orange juice! Although he had an excellent committee to help him, shortage of funds was a big problem. Shaun did many trips trying to raise funds for the project. Northern Ireland saw him many times. He also did a trip to the United States where a journey covering many states was organized for him. One of his memories was of being met at the airport by a large car with American and Irish flags on the wings and being driven to address a large audience at a Rotary Club in Hawaii. Another memory was praying with a Protestant Minister at a service when the minister collapsed and Shaun had to complete the service as best he could.

After working for ten years in his Glencree Peace work, he turned his attention to work for the itinerants, forming a school for them. A well deserved sabbatical year was spent in Canada. Returning to his work with the itinerants, Shaun had to beg around for a bus to collect pupils for school and deliver them home after school. He liked the work and got on well with the pupils. "The travellers are great" he used to say, ‘especially when they see that you trust them’.

The wear and tear of his lifestyle caused concern and he was persuaded to have a health checkup. He had to face heart surgery and while recovering at the Jesuit nursing unit of Cherryfield he got on so well with both patients and staff, that he was invited to stay on. If there was a crisis, Shaun was the man to fix it. He helped at Cherryfield using his many mechanical skills. He also helped with the patients and was very kind to the staff, often driving them home on a wet evening, the most natural thing for him to do.

He was not as strong as he appeared and he would sometimes be confined to bed with his computer unplugged! A few times when he did go away, even for a break or retreat, he often returned in bad shape. He got an asthma attack and was admitted to Naas hospital with heart failure. He returned to Cherryfield after being discharged from the hospital. But only for a few days as he was again admitted to hospital in Dublin. He always used to say that he would like to keep working and "go out like a light". His wish was granted on the morning of 14 August 1999 after his breakfast.

Diffely, Edward, 1916-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/501
  • Person
  • 10 April 1916-22 September 1993

Born: 10 April 1916, Cloonfad, County Roscommon
Entered: 07 September 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1950
Died: 22 September 1993, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Eddie was born in Cloonfad, Co Roscommon in 1916. His family moved to Galway where Eddie attended St Joseph's College and later Coláiste Iognáid. He entered the Jesuits in 1934 and was ordained priest at Milltown Park, Dublin, in 1947.

He spent almost fifty years in the active apostolate, first of all as a scholastic in Clongowes and as a priest in Coláiste Iognáid and Belvedere; secondly in giving retreats and missions throughout Ireland; and lastly in mission work in Zambia. To all of these, he brought unbounded drive and enthusiasm.

Eddie was a conscientious and successful teacher, mostly of Irish and Religion. He had a tremendous capacity for motivating young people and drawing the best out of them. They followed his lead with enthusiasm and zest. Many of them remember him years later with gratitude and affection.

It was probably outside the classroom that Eddie exercised his greatest talent. He was strong and athletic with considerable natural talent for a variety of games. In each of the colleges in which he taught, his love for the Irish language and Irish culture was carried over from the classroom into a wide range of extra-curricular activities: Irish dancing, debating, hurling and Gaelic football. His interest in these continued through life. His great interest, however, was in rowing. As a schoolboy, he with a few others organised the first rowing crew to appear on the river for many years. This was in the early thirties and ever since the college rowing club has played a large part in the history of Galway rowing. One of the highlights of his life was his selection as President of the Irish Rowing Union.

He had a natural gift for friendship. Wherever he went, he made friends. A casual meeting would lead to further contacts, growing eventually into a close friendship which often lasted for life. His warmth and humanity and genuine interest in people broke through all barriers of nationality, colour, religious belief or social caste.

He loved company and social occasions and he enlivened every one of these. But it was not all fun. Many a time at one of these functions he would be called out by someone who had been away from the Church for many a year.

He was very faithful to the way of life he had undertaken. Number one in Eddie Diffely's book was his priesthood and Jesuit vocation. No one was ever under any illusion about his commitment to these. His faithfulness to the Mass and the breviary was absolute. He never omitted these no matter how crowded his day was.

What were his failings? It can be said that he had quite a few, most of them springing from a generous nature that was quick to react to any form of injustice. Cheek from a pupil in class or a motorist parking and blocking an entrance could produce a fit of rage and he would tear strips of the offender with typical Diffely eloquence.

His short two years in Zambia brought the same characteristics of this generous man with his gift for friendship and conviviality. He was a teacher in Mukasa, minister in St Ignatius and he gave retreats. Generosity and a desire to help deserving causes were always part of Eddie's apostolate. He took an active part in fund-raising to found a Cheshire Home for disabled people in Galway as well as other charities which benefited from his efforts – Simon, Samaritans and St Vincent de Paul Society.

He had a long spell of illness at the end of 1992 which left him weak and apparently beyond recovery. But he rallied and regained some strength. He was due to leave for England to visit relations in September and was looking forward to the holiday. But the Lord had different plans for him and took him to Himself the evening before he left. Thus he was active and generous to the end. The news of his sudden death came as a great shock to his family and to many people in Galway. Yet all were agreed that this is how he himself would have chosen to pass away among his own while still active and in touch with many people, with a minimum of fuss.

Dowling, Maurice, 1896-1965, Jesuit priest, chaplain and missioner

  • IE IJA J/729
  • Person
  • 23 December 1896-27 August 1965

Born: 23 December 1896, Sallins, County Kildare
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 August 1929
Professed: 15 August 1933
Died: 27 August 1965, Lusaka, Zambia

Part of the Chivuna, Monze, Zambia community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

1942-1946 Military Chaplain

by 1921 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1927 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1932 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
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 Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Maurice’s family used to spend a month in Skerries, an Irish seaside resort, in the summer. Maurice Dowling was a keen, strong swimmer and one morning, as a teenager, he saved the life of a girl who was drowning. He went home to lunch and never mentioned the incident. It was when the family had finished tea and Mr Dowling was reading the evening paper, that he came across a paragraph or two describing the plucky rescue by his son. Passing no comment, he scribbled "Bravo"! beside the passages and silently handed the paper to his son. This incident in some way, sums up a characteristic of Maurice that he had already developed at that age, – he was modest in his achievements and helpful to others.

He was born in 1896 in Dublin. His father was the Registrar of the College of Science in Dublin. His mother died early in her married life leaving Maurice and his brother Desmond behind. Both boys went to Clongowes Wood College for their secondary education.

At the age of 18, Maurice entered the Jesuits at Tullabeg and followed the normal course of studies which were followed by Irish Jesuits of the time. He was ordained in 1929 on 29th August. He spent some time in the colleges as teacher and prefect e.g. the Crescent, Limerick in the thirties.

As a young Jesuit, he learned to speak Irish, spending many a holiday in the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking area). He genuinely loved the language and when home on what was to be his last leave, he was delighted to hear that there were in existence Irish-speaking praesidia of the Legion of Mary. He had a great admiration for Edel Quinn who died working for the Legion in Africa.

During the Second World War he volunteered as a chaplain. Just before departing, he was involved in an accident where he was thrown through the window of the bus in which he was traveling. As he lay on the ground in his own blood, he heard one of the rescuers say to another nodding towards Maurice "He's had it"! (but in much more colourful language).
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.

The Bishops had been endeavouring then to set up a Catholic Secondary school for Africans. There was only one secondary school for Africans in the whole country, a Government school at Munali, Lusaka which had been founded a few years before. In 1949 Canisius Secondary School opened its gates to the first class. Speaking of Maurice's work in the college during the first few years, Fr Max Prokoph who had been instrumental in getting Fr Dowling for the mission and who had been his principal, said of him, "I have never met a more loyal man". Fr Prokoph described how in the initial difficult days, Maurice had stood by him on every occasion, always ready to help, never questioning a decision, absolutely loyal.
While at Chikuni, he would travel south to Choma at the week-end to say Mass long before a mission was opened in 1957; also to Kalomo still further south. Then back to the school for another week of teaching. In 1962 he went to Namwala to the newly built mission as the first resident priest bringing with him some Sisters of Charity. He later moved to Chivuna in 1964 and died in Lusaka on 26 August, 1965.

Fr Maurice had great qualities: his deep spirituality and union with God, his great zeal for souls, his kindness and courtesy to all, his optimistic outlook even when things looked by no means bright. He had a zest for life, his cheerfulness was catching. He was loyal as Fr Prokoph remarked. Loyalty would seem to have been the source of his strength, loyalty to God as a priest and religious, loyalty to his country as shown by his deep love of it, loyalty to the Society as shown by his great respect for it and his dislike of even the slightest criticism of it, loyalty to his Alma Mater and to his many friends as shown by his great interest in all that concerned them. His life had been a full one, in the classroom, in the army and on the mission.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941
General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr. Hayes reports from Redcar Yorks that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

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

Irish Province News 18th Year No 1 1943

Fr. Maurice Dowling was awarded substantial damages with costs in the action against Great Southern Railways Co. which came before Mr. Justice Hanna and a jury in the High Court on 4th November. It will be remembered Fr. Dowling met with his serious accident 18th August, 1941, when the bus in which he was travelling from Limerick to Dublin in order to report for active service was involved in a collision near the Red Cow, Clondalkin.

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.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949

LETTERS :

Fr. M. Dowling in a letter from Chikuni Mission, N. Rhodesia :
He says there are now 282 boys in the Central Boarding School ; and 60 girls under the care of the Irish Sisters of Charity. All are native Africans, 95% baptised and but a few catechumens. The staff consists of Fr. M. Prokoph, Principal of the School, Fr. Dowling himself, Fr. Lewisha, an African, two Sisters of Oharity, an English laymaster, and four African teachers.

“I am teaching Religious Knowledge, Chemistry, General Science, History and Maths. My classes vary in number between 45 and 50. We are rather understaffed and so are kept busy. The top classes at present reach a standard equivalent to our Inter-Cert. There is also a course for Teachers, and a Trades School for carpenters and brick layers.
The mission depends on us for its Catholic teachers and the number of Catechumens depends on them too. The mission is very short of men and many are old and ill. Many of the Polish Fathers have been out here 20 and 25 years without a break.
Normally the rainy season begins here in October and lasts till March. This year it has been a failure. We have had 18 inches of rain instead of our usual 35-40 and there is grave danger of famine in all Central Africa. Famine has already begun in Nyassaland.
There are six different African languages spoken by different sections of the boys. All teaching above standard IV is in English. Many are quite good at English.
The weather is pretty hot, which I like but some don't. It has averaged 95 degrees in the shade for a long time recently. I have lost two stone since I came here and gone down from 16 stone to 14. You wouldn't know my slender form!”

Irish Province News 41st Year No 1 1966

Obituary :

Fr Maurice Dowling SJ (1896-1965)

Fr. Dowling's death was a great shock even for us on the mission. His operation had been successful, he was making a good recovery, and then the end came suddenly and unexpectedly in a heart attack. Rev. Fr. Superior, who was in Lusaka at the time, was called by telephone and was able to give him Extreme Unction and recite the prayers for the dying. He died during the prayers without regaining consciousness.
The funeral, preceded by Requiem Mass, took place on Sunday afternoon. He was buried in Chikuni, as he certainly would have wished, beside Fr. A. Cox and Fr. D. Byrne, and close to the founders of the mission - Frs. Moreau and Torrend. Fr. Dowling had known Fr. Moreau, he had been with him for a few months before his death in January 1949, and had anointed him before he died.
There was a very big attendance at the Mass and funeral, for he had made many friends during his seventeen years in the country. They came not only from the neighbourhood but even from Livingstone, Lusaka and Brokenhill. They included boys whom he had taught many years ago and who were now young men of importance in Government positions, Sisters and Brothers of several congregations to whom he had given retreats, and many priests both African and European. His Grace the Archbishop of Lusaka and His Lordship Bishop Corboy were also able to be present as they had not yet left for Rome.
In his panegyric during the Mass, Rev. Fr. Superior paid tribute to Fr. Dowling's great qualities, his deep spirituality and union with God, his great zeal for souls, his kindness and courtesy to all, his optimistic outlook even when things looked by no means bright. His life had been a full one, in the classroom, in the army and in the mission, and his reward must therefore be very great.
When Fr. Dowling came to Chikuni in 1948, there was only one secondary school for Africans in Northern Rhodesia, a Government school at Munali which had been founded ten years before. He played a big part in founding the second school, Canisius College. Speaking of his work in the college during the first few years, Fr. Prokoph, who had been instrumental in getting Fr. Dowling for the mission and who had been his principal, said of him: “I have never met a more loyal man”. He described how in the initial difficult days Fr. Dowling had stood by him on every occasion, always ready to help, never questioning a decision, absolutely loyal. Loyalty then would seem to have been the source of his strength, loyalty to God as a priest and religious, loyalty to his country as shown by his deep love of it, loyalty to the Society as shown by his great respect for it and his dislike of even the slightest criticism of it, loyalty to his Alma Mater and to his many friends as shown by his great interest in all that concerned them. He was a man of whom it can be truly said that it was a privilege to have known him and to have lived with him.

Death of a Jesuit Friend
The first intimation our family received on Easter Monday, 1916, that the Volunteers had risen, taken over the General Post Office and other key buildings, was when a neighbour, Mr. P. A. Dowling, Registrar of the College of Science, knocked at the door and excitedly told us the news.
This morning (2nd September 1965) I attended a Requiem Mass in the Jesuit Church, Gardiner Street, offered for the soul of Fr. Maurice Dowling, S.J, second son of the neighbour who rushed to us with the news of the Rising. Fr. Maurice, though he had undergone a serious operation some time ago, had, I under stood, made a good recovery and it came as a great shock to his relatives and friends at home to hear that he died suddenly last month in Zambia, on Friday, 27th August, and was buried the following Sunday.
As I take a look at the ordination card, printed in Irish, he sent me from Germany in 1929, I notice he died - 36 years later on the anniversary of his ordination.
Maurice and his brother Desmond (his senior by a year or so) were educated at Clongowes. After the death of their mother early in her married life, Mr. Dowling eventually married again and it was when he and his second wife came to live on Anglesea Road, a few doors from where we then lived, that the two families became friends. We, as children, came to know the second family very well, only meeting Desmond and Maurice at holiday time and, in any case, they were older than I was by six or seven years. That age gap makes a great difference in early youth, later on it does not.
I recall one incident in the boyhood of the future Jesuit perhaps never known to his step-brothers and step-sisters - to whom he was always devoted as they were young children at the time. I myself was about 10 or 11 years of age, I suppose, and it was Mrs. Dowling who related the incident to me :
Both families used to spend a month or two in Skerries in the summer. Maurice Dowling was a keen, strong swimmer and one morning he saved the life of a girl from drowning. He went home to lunch and never mentioned the incident. It was when the family had finished tea and Mr. Dowling was enjoying a read of the evening paper that he came across a paragraph or two describing the plucky rescue by his son. Passing no comment, he scribbled “Bravo!” about the paragraph and silently handed the paper across to his son.
But the future Jesuit, teacher, Army chaplain, African missioner, was no quiet, retiring youth in other respects. Of a natural bright, cheerful, optimistic disposition, he was immensely popular with both girls and boys of his own age.
As a young Jesuit he learned to speak Irish fluently, spending many a holiday in the Gaeltacht. But most important of all, he genuinely loved the language and when home on what was to be his last “leave” he was delighted to hear from me that there were in existence Irish-speaking praesidia of the Legion of Mary. He had a great admiration for Edel Quinn who had died working for the Legion in Africa and, if I recollect rightly, I gave him a copy of the prayer for her canonisation printed in Irish.
We only met him for a few hours on the rare occasions he came on holidays from Rhodesia. He was always very attached to his family, relations and friends. I could never keep track of all his cousins and friends he mentioned in conversation but I do remember the names of two friends, perhaps because I know both by sight, Fr. Leonard Shiel, S.J, and Very Rev. Fr. Crean, now P.P. of Donnybrook, but Head Chaplain in the last war in which Fr. Maurice also served as chaplain.
He loved to visit the home near Naas of his step-sister, Shiela and her husband, Paddy Malone, taking a great interest in their son and three daughters. The young man is now helping to manage the farm; one of the girls is in the Ulster Bank in Baggot Street, another is training as a nurse in St. Vincent's Hospital and the third is still at school.
Thus, another Irish priest dies in voluntary exile for love of the African people. Go ndeinidh Dia trocaire ar a anam.
Nuala Ní Mhóráin
From the Leader Magazine

Doyle, Peter, 1932-2017, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/829
  • Person
  • 06 September 1932-21 February 2017

Born: 06 September 1932, Fairview, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 July 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Professed: 15 August 1964, Mungret College Sj, Limerick
Died; 21 February 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin community at the time of death.

Early Education at St Joseph’s, Marino

1956-1957 Tullabeg - Cook; Refectorian
1957-1960 Milltown Park - In charge of Staff; Refectorian
1960-1963 CIR - Ministers in Community
1963-1974 Mungret - Ministers in Community; Tertianship in Tullabeg (1963)
1974-1981 Coláiste Iognáid, Galway - Maintenance; Carpentry
1981-1982 Chelston, Lusaka, Zambia - Maintenance at Jesuit Education Centre, Xavier House
1982-1983 Chisekesi, Zambia - Maintenance at Canisius College
1983-1985 Manresa House, Dublin - Maintenance; Painter; Ministering in Community
1985-1992 Chisekesi, Zambia - Maintenance at Jesuit Residence, Canisius College
1992-2002 Mazabuka, Zambia - Maintenance and General Services at Nakambala Catholic Church
2002-2017 Manresa House, Dublin - Cares for the fabric of the House and Grounds

Duda, Joseph, 1896-1972, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1241
  • Person
  • 16 November 1896-07 June 1972

Born: 16 November 1896, Karb, Bytom, Poland
Entered: 10 July 1923, Kalisz, Poland - Polonaise Province (POL)
Professed: 26 August 1933
Died: 07 June 1972, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Part of the Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed Polonaiae Minoris (POL Mi) to Zambia (ZAM) : 03 December 1969
by 1956 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fifth wave of Zambian Missioners 1955-1970

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Joseph Duda was born on 10 July 1896 in Karb, Upper Silesia, Poland. From the age of twelve he was thinking of becoming a priest but his family was too poor to send him to a secondary school. He became a lock-smith at an industrial school. During World War I he was conscripted into the German army and fought for four years on the Western Front where he was wounded. He used to recount how the soldiers were lined up to get a decoration for their efforts but the officer giving out the medals saw he was a Pole, so he demanded that he say “Bitte” (‘Please’) before receiving his decoration. He refused – and so did not get his medal! Later he fought in the uprising in Silesia and joined the underground resistance.

When he read that the Jesuits received young men as brothers in Poland, he left Silesia and joined the Society on 10 July 1923. For three years after his vows he worked in Cracow and Chyrow. When the Provincial Fr Jankievicz appealed for missionary volunteers, he stepped forward. He arrived in Zambia on 30 April 1928 with a group of Sisters and three other Jesuits (Josef Boron, Ladislas Zabdyr, Stanislaus Wawrzkiewicz). Kasisi was his first mission. As an old man he could still point to two buildings that are still standing which he built at the time, the first solid dormitories for boys and for the girls. He was remembered for many years for having provided a copious water supply.

The following year he moved to Chikuni where he built many schools for Fr Zabdyr. For three years he was blacksmith, driver, carpenter, turner, bricklayer and sacristan. These were the most fruitful and productive years of his life. In 1932 he moved to Chingombe where he constructed the convent for the Sisters. Forty years later it is still among the most solid buildings of the many structures on the mission. But here his strength began to fail. He contracted tropical dysentery called chiufa which is treated with traditional bark medicine inserted into the colon. However it was hookworm which doctors later thought he had carried undetected for ten years that left him feeling weak at times. Still he helped build the church at Katondwe in 1934 and the orphanage at Kasisi in 1936.

During World War 2 while he was at Katondwe he was often sick, so he was sent to Cape Town for medical attention from 1945 to 1947. He returned to Kasisi to help with the new church and to repair some of the old buildings. Then in 1957 when the mission was divided, he moved to Chikuni where he stayed until his death. The community was very kind to him there and his declining years were very happy. He used to give practical advice to the newcomers and sometimes they would banter with him, saying “Brother this advice of drinking plenty of water seems crazy. How can one possibly drink 8 gallons a day?” He would always rise to the bait: “I said eight pints, not eight gallons!” He was a man of many memories, some of which he never let go. He used to mention about a great photograph of himself in his shirt sleeves holding a large snake that he had killed. It was duly sent to the
General, Fr Ledochowski in Rome. The comment that came back was remembered: ‘Why is brother not wearing religious attire?’

In 1968 he wrote to a fellow Jesuit in Poland: ‘It is forty years since we came with Father Zabdyr to Zambia. Father Zabdyr was buried in Kasisi in July. I hope I shall soon follow him. I desire it very much and I am ready. My weak heart will help towards it ’. Four years later Joseph was operated on in Lusaka hospital and while the operation was a success his heart finally failed him and he died on 7 June 1972.

Feeney, George, 1933-1989, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/657
  • Person
  • 12 July 1933-09 February 1989

Born: 12 July 1933, Dublin
Entered: 16 March 1955, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Professed: 15 August 1966
Died: 09 February 1989, University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambiae Province

Part of the Chikuni College, Chisekesi, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Br George Feeney was born in Dublin, Ireland, on the 12 July 1933. He attended school in that same city at St Canice's and O'Connells Secondary School, and also attended Bolton Street Technical School.

At the age of 22, he entered the novitiate at Emo Park in March of 1955. A couple of years after taking vows, he was sent to the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. This was in June 1960 and his first posting was at Charles Lwanga TTC where he stayed for two years looking after the water supply and things mechanical. In 1962 he was transferred to Chikuni across the river where he lived the rest of his life except for the year's tertianship at Tullabeg (Ireland) where he took his final vows in August 1966. Later he lived for a short spell at Kasisi, outside Lusaka.

George was very versatile and he turned his hand to many different types of work, from gardening to farming when the need arose, from mechanics to being minister in the house, while continuing with the very essential job of keeping the mission supplied with water. When someone went on leave, George was there to fill the gap until the return. He was a Jesuit for 34 years, 29 of which were spent in Africa, in Chikuni.

This very factual account of his life as given above does not do justice to the man George. Apart from the various jobs he did so ably, an outstanding quality which he had was his ability to make friends. To the many schoolboys who passed through Canisius, George was a good friend. It was not just the work that kept him going but just strolling down through the school in the evening for a bit of a chat. A not uncommon picture was to see him sitting on the low wall outside the house chatting with schoolboys while at the same time he pulled no punches and was very straight in his speaking with them.

He was very generous with his time and talents when people came to him for help or advice or both. The number of people who turned up for his funeral is clear evidence of the esteem in which he was held. He was a sharp card player as his friends knew well and sometimes his solution to a problem could be quite radical when with a characteristic shrug of the shoulders, he would say, "scrap the whole thing, matey, and put up a new one".

He came to Luwisha House a week before he was due to go on leave and receive medical treatment. He was quite sick really and was eating nothing and developed what seemed to be a high fever on Monday, the 6th February. He was taken to UTH to be put on a drip for the night. Next day it was suspected that he had blackwater fever and anaemia. But on Wednesday it was clear that it was more serious than that. The final diagnosis was leukaemia at an advanced stage. He must have had it for some time and yet continued with his work. He received blood transfusions from his fellow Jesuits. On Thursday he was in a comatose state not recognising anyone. That evening there were five Jesuits and a number of Sisters who knew him well, praying at his bedside. At 2100 hours he was moved to the Intensive Care Unit and died fifty-five minutes later. It was a shock to all, the speed with which the leukaemia acted. The funeral was held in Chikuni. The evening before many people both religious and villagers assembled in the church for the vigil. On the 13th February George was buried. The Bishop of Monze was the main celebrant at the funeral Mass, aided by the Archbishop of Lusaka and many Jesuit and other priests.

His life was one of faith, a constant presence in Chikuni. He, as a Jesuit, was "prepared and very much ready for whatever is enjoined upon us in the Lord and at whatsoever time without asking for or expecting any reward in this present and transitory life, but hoping for that life which, in its entirety, is eternal through God's supreme mercy".

FitzGerald, John M, 1919-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/774
  • Person
  • 29 September 1919-13 January 2012

Born: 29 September 1919, Dublin / Kilkenny City
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1953
Died: 13 January 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1953 at London (ANG) studying

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Patrick (Sher) Sherry Entry
“We imagine his going left many hearts empty and evoked memories of all kinds of services and kindnesses, not least his unfailing patience and cheerfulness”. With these words Fr John Fitzgerald, writing from the Seychelles, summed up well the immediate aftermath of Br Sherry's death on the night of Saturday 5 November 1983.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/60-years-after-the-milltown-fire/

60 years after the Milltown Fire
At 5.40 a.m. on Friday, 11 February, 1949, a fire was discovered in a pantry of the Milltown Park building where the community lived. The fire brigade was summoned, and shouts went up to arouse those sleeping nearby. The fire was of the “flash-over” type: propagated by the secret spread of smoulder inside floors, stairs, partitions and lofts until a critical temperature is reached and the smoulder bursts into flames simultaneously at different points. At ten to six, with a muffled explosion, a great wave of fire and smoke rose up to the roof and flowed into the corridors of the house. The roof was in flames, the lights went out and within minutes the whole place was engulfed in thick smoke and fumes. Within two hours Fr Jimmy Johnston was burned to death, Michael Reidy was injured, and the Milltown building was a ruin. Below, Fr John Fitzgerald recalls that winter morning :

I rose early and left my room with a jug to get hot water. There was some commotion below, with the sound of jugs filling. I cried: “I’ll go down to help” – but a shout came up: “Get out!” All I recall is hurrying back, putting on shoes and some clothes, and calling Des Coyle, my neighbour. “There seems to be a fire. We’re ordered to get out.”
By now there was some heat and smoke. I made for the fire escape across the corridor. An iron ladder was the lifeline for about 30 Jesuits on the two upper stories. Barring an emergency, none of us would have tackled that ladder, as it was narrow and vertical and passed some distance from the window sills. There was no hesitation then.
We gathered on the grass between the refectory and the library. Mick Reidy was on the projection of a bay window. We urged him to jump. Michael was no athlete. He dropped like a stone, fell on the grassy slope and back into the area, fracturing his spine. That was the only injury, but sadly there was a fatality. Jimmy Johnston had the last room on the top floor. He was to have said the late Mass at the convent, so while his neighbours hurried to safety Jimmy slept and the flames raced up. He left his room too late and was overpowered on the corridor.
All those on the first floor would have probably survived, provided they waited behind closed doors. Those on the top floor were surely saved by the fire escape. Fr Packy Gannon was at the end of the first floor and when he turned his doorknob his hand was burned. He was making his peace with God when the fireman came. Dick Brennan and Piaras O’Higgins were rescued from the roof of the roadside bay window. Piaras’ mother remarked: “Piaras would usually fall over a pin!”
We gathered near the Minister’s House (the reception area in today’s Milltown). It was an awesome sight to watch the fire fighters, and the fire engulfing the upper rooms, and showers of sparks scattering upwards as the roof fell in. We saw a fireman shepherding down Fr Edmund Power from the topmost room of the Minister’s House. Back inside Fr Tommy Byrne told us that Jimmy Johnston was missing. Soon after, a fireman brought down his body.
Some final reflections: Those on the top floor lost everything. Jim Corboy and my brother Eddy had a souvenirs the corpus of a vow crucifix half melted by the heat. If I had closed my door I would have lost nothing to fire. The smell was all pervading, and unlike anything experienced before or since.
A sad note to end. Jimmy Johnston was a kindly and thoughtful soul, scholarly and sensitive. In 1945 he handed over senior history classes to me in Clongowes. Caring and perceptive as ever, he tried to alert me to the pitfalls ahead, as he foresaw the fate of one ill-equipped to enliven later medieval European history. At Milltown we gardened together and shared an interest in nature.
Jimmy’s death came as an immense shock to his family. I don’t think his elderly mother could take in the tragedy. Perhaps the circumstances were kept from her. But Jimmy’s younger brother was deeply saddened, puzzled and disappointed. Why had Jimmy alone died? How was it no-one had thought of him? It was hard to reassure, and besides Fr Tyndall in his imperious manner waved Eddie and me away as we approached the family at the coffin. The whole episode of 11 February was mysterious and tragic, but also miraculous for most, and befitting the Lourdes feast.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-sullivan-the-last-witness/

Fr Sullivan: the last witness
Fr John Fitzgerald SJ, the last surviving Jesuit to have been taught in Clongowes by Fr John Sullivan, shared some precious memories at the commemorative Mass :

The bones of Fr John Sullivan are your precious possession. They draw his clients from near and far. If John is beatified, St Francis Xavier’s will be a place of pilgrimage like St Thomas a’Becket is at Canterbury, Blessed Pope John XXIII at St Peter’s, Bl. Mother Teresa at Calcutta, and as Cardinal Newman will be at the Oratory in Birmingham. The people in a quiet corner of County Kildare still keep such fond memories of John. They were greatly saddened when his bones were taken away from them for Gardiner Street in 1961. It is a sad separation they will always feel. In fact his grave has been visited ever since.
The relocation of Father’s bones is as good for his cause as it is for you who give them this new home. You have always by your devotion shown how grateful you are to have him. You bring him day by day the stories of your needs – they are always pressing and often sad. John listens – he was always a ready and eager listener to others’ worries.
Coming to St Francis Xavier’s was in a sense a homecoming. John had been baptised in Temple Street (St George’s), and Dublin was his home until he joined the Jesuits. During the years in Clongowes, the City’s hospitals, the Mater included, were within range of his trusty old bicycle.
Sometimes people have asked me what was he really like. Some have a nagging impression that he must have been an ascendancy type, as his father was a baronet and he had passed through Portora Royal School to Trinity College. My own memory of him – clear and vivid – is of a humble, entirely self-effacing person, riveted on the one thing necessary, the commandment of love. He was completely focussed on the needs of others, particularly of the poor and suffering. For him the face of the Lord was there. Gardiner Street would have been an ideal assignment with so much sickness, suffering and poverty all around in the hungry years between the wars.
Clongowes in its rural isolation does not seem an ideal place for one so drawn to the poor and suffering. I knew John in the last three years of his life – my memories are boy’s memories – a child’s impressions – but still so vivid. His appearance so well captured in Sean Keating’s drawing – the sunken cheeks, the fine crop of brown hair, the bowed head, the penetrating eyes – a true man of God. I remember his wrinkled leathery hands. Meeting you on a stone corridor on a bleak cold winter’s evening he would clap those hands and say “Cheer up, cheer up, cheer up”. He well knew the mood of small boys – short of funds, nursing chilblains and facing into two hours’ study. I have a memory of Johnny O shuffling quickly from the sacristy, head bowed, halting at the altar rails – a welcome interruption to the evening rosary. Always he would describe a visit he had made to some sick or dying person. He was no gifted story-teller, no gifted preacher. There were no embellishments; sincerity shone through, telling of his complete devotion to the sick and needy.
John was occupied with the People’s Church and the boys’ spiritual needs with very little teaching. He took the smallest ones for Religion classes. Often we delighted to annoy him by rowdiness and irreverence. This drew the condemnation we intended: “Audacious fellow – pugnacious fellow!” Deep down we revered him, but we played on him.
If some day you visit the Boys’ Chapel, you see at the back on your left Fr John’s Confessional. The “toughs” – the ones never selected as prefects and who won no prizes – were most often there. The smaller boys would crowd into his very bare room after supper. We would come away with rosaries and Agnus Deis which John got from convents he knew. The People’s Church is the easiest place for a visitor to find. There is where John spent long hours and helped so many in times of trial. There he prayed long after the boys were tucked in bed.
Father John was our Spiritual Father. His life and interests revolved round the boys’ spiritual needs. He took no part and had no interest in our games – never appeared at matches, debates, concerts or plays. Free time meant time for prayer or the sick. No use asking Johnny O to pray for victory at Croke Park today, but he will listen to your sorrows, he will pray for your sick and departed ones.
The day of Fr John’s funeral in 1933 comes back clearly. I was in the youngest group and so was up front in the Chapel, and near the coffin. I tried without success to cut off a splinter – as a keepsake, a relic. We had been privileged to know Fr John for three years. Not everyone is so blessed – perhaps only a few have been close to saintliness in one who so well mirrored the Lord Jesus, the Suffering Servant. It is a joy to be here in St Francis Xavier’s and to share your treasure – the Venerable John Sullivan.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/198-interview-with-late-fr-john-fitzgerald-sj

Interview with late Fr. John Fitzgerald SJ
Fr. John Fitzgerald, SJ died on 13th January 2012 in Cherryfield Nursing Home, Ranelagh after a long illness which he bore graciously to the end. He was buried in Glasnevin cemetery following the funeral mass in Milltown Park Chapel on Monday 16th January. Below is an interview with Fr. Fitzgerald before his death in which he recounts his experience of Zambia as a Jesuit Missionary.

‘Zambia was a completely new world,’ began Fr. John Fitzgerald, as he recalled his years spent in Africa. It is certainly easy to imagine that the Northern Rhodesian bush, as it then was, would have been a world away from Fr. Fitzgerald’s native Killiney!
Fr. Fitzgerald was born in 1919, and was educated at Clongowes Wood College before joining the Jesuits in 1937. He was ordained with his brother Teddy in 1950. He spent 48 years of his life abroad, living and working in Zambia, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Seychelles, before returning to Ireland in 2001. Although it was only one of many posts, it was Africa on which his mind used to dwell.
Fr. Fitzgerald was sent to the Jesuit mission station in Chikuni, Zambia in 1953, where he worked at St. Canisius College, the Jesuit-run secondary school, and Charles Lwanga Teachers’ College, a centre for trainee teachers. Although he did not view himself as a natural teacher, witnessing the benefits of education proved to be his greatest consolation in mission. Seeing students on the path to better career prospects and a higher salary was gratifying because of the appreciation displayed by the students. In his own words, ‘you didn’t give them very much, but they’d gobble it up. They were good, eager students- even though I wasn’t a good teacher!’
Listening to Fr. Fitzgerald, one couldn’t help but conjure up exoticised images of a world completely foreign to our own. This was particularly true of his descriptions of the physical landscape, the seasons, and the flora and fauna. Life was governed by the changing seasons rather than the ticking clock, and everything depended on the coming of the rains. Although the landscape would remain dusty and barren during the dry season, ‘in the rainy season, everything changed. You quickly had a carpeting of all kinds of wild flowers, all totally different in appearance... I was teaching in a rural area, and so much depended on the rain.’ With the rain, however, came danger: thunderstorms were frequent, and injury by lightning was not unheard of. Other occupational hazards included venomous snakes and poisonous spiders, with the puff adder being the most dreaded. If one stood on a puff adder, it could be fatal: because of the distance to the hospital, it was difficult to receive the necessary antidote. For this reason, snakes were always quickly ‘dispatched’, regardless of their species! Climate and wildlife were not the only differences which Fr. Fitzgerald encountered. He soon came to realise that Zambian Catholicism was expressed in ways which would be unfamiliar to Irish Catholics.
‘They threw themselves into Christianity wholeheartedly. In comparison to what we are used to here, they are much more demonstrative in their piety: they sing, they dance, they participate. Kneeling in silence, as we do, might be completely foreign to Tongan Christians.’ New and innovative ways of expressing Christian worship were devised to accommodate Zambian culture. One such method involved using local hunting songs as templates from which to create Christian hymns: this allowed people to experience a message which was unfamiliar in a format which they recognised. These hymns are still sung in Zambia today.
Missionaries in Africa have always worked as agents of development, and Fr. Fitzgerald believed that development is a key part of the missionary project: ‘Christianity cannot make any headway unless people also develop economically. Without development, I don’t think Christianity could be easily accommodated.’ He stated that Dr. Corboy, who was appointed Bishop of Monze, Zambia, in 1962, was interested in developing Africa ‘along African lines’, so as to ‘promote the African.’ There was a great emphasis on promoting development in such a way that it fit with African culture.
However, some cultural practices were found to be difficult to integrate with Catholicism. Fr. Fitzgerald argued that the ‘superstitions’ of the Tonga had an occasional tendency to ‘spill over into Christian living’. This was particularly apparent with regards to local understandings of health and sickness. Because the Tonga believed that all misfortune could be attributed to evil spirits, there was a constant struggle over their reactions to hospitals and Western medicine. Certain practices which were antithetical to Christian living also proved difficult to stamp out. For example, some converts would revert to polygamy because it was seen as an economic practice which was necessary for subsistence farming.
As an Irishman, Fr. Fitzgerald admitted that he originally found the cultural divide between Killiney and Chikuni quite difficult to bridge. However, the influence and efforts of other Jesuits, some of whom produced cultural studies, English-Tongan dictionaries, and works of anthropology, made the transition more manageable for those who came later. ‘In our days it was a good deal different, but later works focused more on enculturation.’
Although the Chikuni mission is now run by Zambian locals, there is still a part for Irish Catholics to play in promoting the missionary spirit. Fr. Fitzgerald believed that volunteering is a great help: ‘the fact that people are willing to go out and work must make a big impression [on their hosts].’ Such work benefits not only the recipients, but also the volunteers, by ‘breaking down barriers’ and facilitating the opening of a ‘global conversation.’
Fr. Fitzgerald always remained optimistic about the future of the Jesuits in Africa. Vocations have been successfully promoted, and studies for the religious life, from first interest up to ordination, are completed in Africa. Returning missionaries are happy to pass the torch to their African brothers; this was, of course, always the end goal! ‘It’s a healthy looking, locally-grounded church. The Jesuits will continue to do excellent work there, just as they do here in Ireland and in our other foreign Provinces.
All indications are that it will become stronger.’

Flannery, Denis, 1930-1999, jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/662
  • Person
  • 02 December 1930-08 March 1999

Born: 02 December 1930, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1949, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1963, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 05 November 1977
Died: 08 March 1999, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin Dublin - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Part of the Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM: 03 December 1969

by 1958 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Denis was born in Dublin, Ireland, on the 2 December 1930. He attended the Holy Faith Convent School and Belvedere College for his secondary education. He was a member of the photographic club in 'Belvo' and toured the many historical sites around Dublin in that capacity. In September 1949, he entered the novitiate at Emo, followed by the juniorate and philosophical studies after vows. Four scholastics from his year were assigned to go to Zambia for regency but Denis was not one of them. However, one of the four asked that he be sent to Hong Kong, so Denis was then assigned to Zambia. How Providence works!

When he came to Zambia he worked in Monze and then went to Fumbo in the valley for a year to struggle with Tonga while living with Fr Joe McDonald. Then he had two years at Canisius Secondary School, the beginning of his life-long contact with youth.

After his theology and ordination at Milltown Park on 31st July 1963, he flew out once again to Zambia, to Monze. Bishop Corboy of the newly established diocese of Monze (1962) saw the need for a minor seminary (a secondary school) to nurture young boys who might have a vocation to the priesthood. Fr Denis was asked to work there, so he went to Mukasa at Choma which was being built and opened the first Form 1 with the help of two scholastics, Frs Paddy Joyce and Clive Dillon-Malone. Denis remained Headmaster until 1970 putting Mukasa on a firm footing. He came again as Headmaster from 1986 to 1990 when the need arose. He moved to Fumbo for a year as parish priest and then returned to Monze to be a teacher and chaplain at Monze Government Secondary School for 14 years until 1985. With all his experience behind him, Denis now became travelling chaplain for the Catholic Teachers in the primary schools of the Monze diocese. He was also Diocesan vocations promoter and spiritual director of the Monze major seminarians. The diocesan Newsletter written by him for many years, always had 'full' pages for reading.

That was Denis the 'activist'. What about Denis the man?

He was a devoted priest and Jesuit, devoted to the poor and the sick. Wherever he went he had the Holy Oils with him ready to anoint the seriously sick.

He was a strict disciplinarian in the schools, whether in Mukasa or Monze Secondary. He knew the name of every boy in the school, even the hundreds in Monze Secondary. While in Monze one evening as he passed the Freedom Bar, he spotted a few Monze boys (boarders) enjoying themselves inside, out of bounds, of course. Out came Denis' note book and down went the names even though they scattered in the crowd. He did not have to ask anyone. Denis seemed to revel in adversity! Crises attached themselves to him. Someone once said that if there was no crisis, Denis would make one! Twice he came across dead bodies on the main road and like the Good Samaritan, he did not pass by. As headmaster, he could be quite radical in the sense that he would send home a whole class for infringements of discipline.

The Boy Scout Movement had a special place in his heart from the time he was a scholastic. He kept up this interest even in his busy life, becoming coordinator of the Boy Scouts in the Southern Province of Zambia.

Service was uppermost in his life. He was ready to drive down the Valley to Chipepo Secondary School for a Sunday Mass even after having had a church service in Monze in the morning. If a football match needed a referee, Denis was there. Sports and clubs saw him as active and at times dramatic! And he loved to regale his fellow Jesuits with the events and incidents (of which there were many!) in which he was involved, especially late at night. Midnight often did not register with him.

His last years with cancer were painful ones. Cherryfield in Dublin was where he was for many months. He hated to be alone and always wished for the company of his sisters, his fellow Jesuits and his friends. The Mass was central to his suffering life and he said or attended it each day in his room. In his last weeks, the way he carried his suffering became for those who were with him an example of great courage and faith.

Note from Paddy Joyce Entry
In August 1964, he came to Zambia for three years, the first year teaching at Canisius Secondary School, the second year he went to Choma with Frs Flannery and Clive Dillon-Malone to be the founder members of Mukasa Minor Seminary.

Flood, Kenneth, 1930-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/730
  • Person
  • 17 August 1930-19 April 1962

Born: 17 August 1930, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1961, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 04 April 1962
Died: 19 April 1962, James Connolly Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1957 at Chivuna, N Rhodesia - Regency
by 1958 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia - Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Ken was only 32 years of age when he died, so young for a Jesuit, just at the beginning of his priestly life. He was born in Dublin on 17 August 1930. After being at O’Connell’s School he entered the Society at Emo on 7 September 1948.

After studies at Rathfarnham and Tullabeg, he volunteered for work in the Chikuni Mission, Zambia, where he was sent in August 1956. He went to Chivuna to learn the language in 1957. The following tribute was paid to him by Fr Dominic Nchete, the vicar general and first Tonga priest of Monze diocese, "Fr Flood was a first rate missionary. During his language studies he had prepared and instructed many children for baptism. Those whom he had prepared for baptism burst into tears when they heard of his death".

Fr Ken went to Chikuni, to Canisius Secondary School to teach for his second year. This work he tackled with characteristic devotion, although he found teaching hard. He was not blessed with any great reserves of energy. Already perhaps at Canisius, the disease from which he was to die less than four years later was slowly undermining his health and sapping his strength.

Cancer of the ear was diagnosed in August 1958, so he was sent back early in September to Ireland to pursue theology at Milltown Park where he was ordained priest on 31 July 1961. An X-ray check revealed lung trouble. On 15 February 1962, he was operated on and went to Galway to convalesce. While saying his last Mass on the feast of St Joseph, 19 March, Ken felt the beginning of his collapse. He returned to the hospital where the doctors diagnosed serious internal complications and gave him less than a month to live.

Fr Ken showed a courageous acceptance of the news which was all the more striking in one whose outward life was that of an ordinary but devoted Jesuit. During his last illness, he bore his suffering with great resignation. No word of complaint or self-pity was heard from him. Death was to be his final sacrifice, the sacrifice of his own great desire to spend his priestly life as a missionary among the BaTonga people. He died on 19th April 1962.

What was perhaps most characteristic about Fr Ken, that which impressed both those with whom he lived and externs who had dealings with him, was his great sincerity, completely devoid of any affectation or artificiality. He was a man of prayer and a zealous priest. His life and death in the Society was an inspiration.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 37th Year No 3 1962

Obituary :

Fr Kenneth Flood (1930-1962)

Fr. Kenneth Flood died on Holy Thursday morning, April 19th, in the James Connolly Memorial Hospital, Blanchardstown. He was admitted to hospital in February after an X-ray had revealed lung trouble. On February 15th he underwent an operation after which he was sent to : Galway to convalesce. It was there that the deep-rooted nature of his illness revealed itself. While saying his last Mass on the feast of St. Joseph, March 19th, Fr. Flood felt the beginnings of his collapse. He returned to Blanchardstown where the doctors diagnosed serious internal com plications and gave him less than a month to live. When informed of the gravity of his illness, Fr. Flood showed a courageous acceptance of the news which was all the more striking in one whose outward life was that of an ordinary but devoted Jesuit. On April 4th Fr. Flood took his Final Vows in the presence of Fr. Visitor who was deeply impressed by his fervour and peace. Fr. Flood looked on his approaching death as a return to his Father whom he had served so well. During his last illness he bore his sufferings with quiet resignation. No word of complaint or self-pity was heard from him. Death was to be his final sacrifice, the sacrifice of his own very great desire to spend his priestly life as a missionary among the Batonga people,
“Ken” Flood, as he was known to his contemporaries in the Society, was born in Dublin on August 17th, 1930. He was educated at O'Connell School, North Richmond Street, where he was an active sodalist. He entered the Novitiate at 'Emo on September 7th, 1948. He took his First Vows on September 8th, 1950, and then followed the usual course of studies at Rathfarnham and Tullabeg. He volunteered for work in the Chikuni Mission to which he was sent in August 1956.
This tribute was paid to him in a recent letter received from Fr. Dominic Ncete :
“Fr. Flood was a first-rate missionary. During his language study at Chivuna he had instructed and prepared many children for Baptism. Those whom he had prepared for Baptism burst into tears when they heard of his death".
In his second year he taught in Canisius College, Chikuni. This work he tackled with characteristic devotion to duty, although he did find teaching hard. Ken Flood was not blessed with great reserves of physical energy. Already, perhaps, at Canisius, the disease from which he was to die less than four years later was slowly undermining his health and sapping his strength. In September 1958 he returned to Ireland from the mission as his health was giving serious grounds for anxiety. He commenced his Theology at Milltown Park and was ordained a priest on July 31st, 1961. Thus, in the Providence of God, his life's ambition had been realised.
Ken Flood, both as a scholastic and a priest, was always a familiar sight in the grounds of our houses which he tended with great diligence. He was especially noted for his willingness to help out with Confessions in “The Incurables”, where he is remembered with much gratitude and affection.
What was, perhaps, most characteristic about Fr. Flood and that which most impressed those with whom he had lived and externs who had dealings with him, was his great sincerity, devoid of all affectation or artificiality. He was quiet and unassuming. He was a man of prayer and a kind and zealous priest. His life and death in the Society have been an inspiration to us all.
O. Mwami, ko mwaabila kulyookezya lyoonse.

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
Professed: 02 February 1948
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.

Indekeu, Jean B, 1905-1984, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joyce, Patrick, 1937-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/668
  • Person
  • 04 July 1937-09 July 2007

Born: 04 July 1937, Galway City
Entered: 11 September 1956, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 25 June 1970, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 22 April 1977
Died: 09 July 2007, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 22 April 1977

by 1963 at Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain (TOLE) studying
by 1965 at Chivuna, Monze, Zambia - Regency learning language
by 1976 at Colombière Centre, Clarkston MI (DET) making Tertianship

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Paddy Joyce was born in Galway, in the west of Ireland, on 4 July 1937. He went to primary school to St Brendan's and to secondary school at the Jesuit school of St Ignatius, both in Galway. He joined the Jesuit novitiate at Emo Park on 11 September 1956. On completion he went to Rathfarnham Castle in Dublin to the university where he studied Latin, French and Irish (1958 to 1961). This was followed by a three year course in philosophy, the first year at Tullabeg and the final two years at Alcalá in Spain, where he added Spanish to the languages he already knew.

In August 1964, he came to Zambia for three years, the first year teaching at Canisius Secondary School, the second year he went to Choma with Frs Flannery and Clive Dillon-Malone to be the founder members of Mukasa Minor Seminary. The third year he spent at Chivuna learning ciTonga, still another language.

He returned to Ireland to study theology at Milltown Park, Dublin where he was ordained priest on 25 June 1970. In 1971 he returned to Zambia, to Mukasa, for a short spell as a priest. From then on he took up the work he was to continue for the rest of his life, namely, pastoral work in the parishes. Apart from a break for tertianship in Clarkson MI, USA, he spent his time in Monze parish (1971 to 1975), in Choma town parish (1976 to 1980), in Nakambala parish (1980 to 1982), in ltezhi-tezhi parish in 1982, in Chikuni parish (1981 to 1987, and 1993 to 1995). He was sent to Nakambala parish again (1988 to 1993). These names and dates give but a faint idea of his parish work, his travels to outstations, baptisms, marriages and visits to the sick. Eventually he became an expert in Marriage Encounter.

In 1996 he took over the position of National Director of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association which he still held at the time of his death. Fr Paddy moved to Lusaka from this time onward until his death, apart from a renewal year at St Anselm's in England.

He had gone to Ireland for eye treatment in Galway but developed heart trouble and had to go to the Regional Hospital there for open heart surgery on 9 July 2007. He did not recover consciousness but died the next day, 10 July.

The above outline is a factual account of Paddy's 70 years of life and tells us a lot about him. As a boy at school he was a good footballer and always kept up an interest in the game. He knew who was playing against whom, who scored and how. He was quite enthusiastic in recounting the latest game he had seen on the TV. He was also a prize winning runner and an accomplished Irish dancer. This you will recognise when you see Zambian orphan children stepping out to the tune of 'The Walls of Limerick' !

Marriage Encounter and the Pioneers were to the fore in his later apostolic work but, apart from these, Fr Paddy was most faithful in bringing the sacraments to the sick and dying, especially to the AIDS patients in the nearby hospice of St Theresa. Nothing would stop him from this. The poor had a special place in his heart. Any alms he got from Ireland he gave to them and they always knew when Fr Paddy was at home. He was most assiduous in preparing homilies for Mass, supplying outstations on Sundays and never refusing when a call came. He was a pastoral man to his finger tips.

He was also a man of prayer, praying for his own family, for his Jesuit brothers, praying for his friends and the people he came in contact with. At the same time he enjoyed a game of golf, and liked a good joke, giving pleasure to the teller of a joke by his typical reaction. Here in Lusaka where he lived, Fr Paddy could be seen going for a walk in the cool of the evening with his rosary beads dangling from his hand. Fr Paddy has touched so many lives and he will be sorely missed.

Note from Denis Flannery Entry
Bishop Corboy of the newly established diocese of Monze (1962) saw the need for a minor seminary (a secondary school) to nurture young boys who might have a vocation to the priesthood. Fr Denis was asked to work there, so he went to Mukasa at Choma which was being built and opened the first Form 1 with the help of two scholastics, Frs Paddy Joyce and Clive Dillon-Malone.

Keenan, Francis, 1929-2020, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/863
  • Person
  • 04 October 1929-22 April 2020

Born: 04 October 1929, Portrush, County Antrim/ Glenavy, County Antrim / Belfast County Antrim
Entered: 24 March 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1963, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1966, Collège Saint-Michel, Etterbeek, Belgium
Died: 22 April 2020, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM: 03 December 1969; ZAM to HIB 1999

by 1952 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1957 at Monze, Zambia - Regency, teaching
by 1966 at Mukasa, Choma, Zambia - teaching
by 1967 at Kizito, Zambia - Director of Training Centre
by 1971 at St Louis MO, USA (MIS) studying
by 1993 at Upper Gardiner Street (HIB) Mission Office
by 1996 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) working
by 2007 at Upper Gardiner Street (HIB) - working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-frank-keenan-sj-a-faithful-servant/

Fr Frank Keenan SJ – ‘a faithful servant’
Fr Francis (Frank) Keenan SJ died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Dublin, on 22 April, 2020. He was an Irish Jesuit missionary who spent 30 years in Zambia. Due to government guidelines regarding public gatherings, a private funeral took place at Gardiner Street Church, Dublin, on 25 April followed by burial at the Jesuit grave in Glasnevin Cemetery. The main celebrant at the funeral Mass was the Gardiner Street Superior, Fr Richard O’Dwyer SJ, while Irish Provincial Fr Leonard Moloney SJ and Parish Priest Fr Gerry Clarke SJ concelebrated. His death is deeply regretted by his loving sister Bernadette, by his nephew John and his wife, Sally, and family, and by his Jesuit confreres and friends in Ireland and Zambia.
Francis was born on 4 October, 1929, in Portrush, County Antrim. He was raised in Belfast and in the village of Glenavy and attended St Mary’s CBS before entering the Society of Jesus at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois, in 1950. After taking his first vows, he studied in Laval, France, for two years followed by philosophy studies in Tullabeg and regency as a teacher in Monze, Zambia. Upon further Jesuit formation in Ireland, he studied Catechetics in Brussels, Belgium, and then returned to Zambia where he was a teacher of the local language at Mukasa Secondary School.
From 1967 to 1979, he worked in a variety of roles in Monze including Director of Catechetics, Parish Priest, Retreat Director and as Vicar General for Religious in the Archdiocese of Lusaka. He also studied Pastoral Theology at St Louis University, Missouri, USA. Later, he directed the Spiritual Exercises at the Jesuit Education Centre in Lusaka and worked in the Kizito Pastoral Centre in Monze before returning to Ireland in 1993.
Fr Francis was Director of the Jesuit Mission Office, Spiritual Director and Parish Assistant while living in Gardiner Street Jesuit community in Dublin. He was also a community member of St Bueno’s retreat centre in Wales for 11 years and directed the Spiritual Exercises there. From 2007 to 2017, he continued active ministry in Gardiner Street as Spiritual Director, Parish Assistant, Chaplain, Assistant Treasurer and Pastoral Worker. He prayed for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge nursing home right up until his death.
Fr Richard O’Dwyer SJ, who gave the homily at the funeral Mass, noted that Francis grew up in difficult circumstances. He experienced the death of his father when very young and witnessed bombing in Belfast during the Second World War. His family supported each other and moved to Glenavy village about 15 miles outside of Belfast. He came to appreciate the gift of life and told his sister Bernadette in later years, “I have loved every day of my life”.
Fr O’Dwyer said that Fr Francis became very proficient in the Zambian language of Tonga and taught it for a number of years and wrote a book on grammar. He said, “Francis was very humorous and a very kind, considerate man.”
Fr O’Dwyer noted that when Fr Francis came home to Ireland after 30 years in Zambia he was a very committed presence among his community and very much appreciated. He said, “He was always very willing to offer Mass, hear confessions, and he had a very good reputation as a very compassionate and“He was also a very sympathetic preacher and explained the Good News in a very compassionate and understanding way”. Fr O’Dwyer referred to his chaplaincy work at St Monica’s Nursing Home in Dublin City, saying he was “utterly reliable and very faithful in his ministry with the elderly”.
Fr O’Dwyer said, “He was a very faithful servant. Any work he undertook he did so with a great spirit of service and dedication. I’m sure now the Lord will welcome him with these words: ‘Well done my good and faithful servant, come and enter your master’s happiness.'”
Mr Colm Brophy, art psychotherapist and former Jesuit missionary in Zambia, paid tribute to his late friend.
“Frank, as we called him in Zambia always wanted to be known as Francis. This I only discovered in Cherryfield. He was renowned for his sharp, even acerbic, wit coupled with kindness, hospitality and generosity. He did not suffer fools gladly and hated hypocrisy as the gospel hates it.
And so he could bring a person down to earth with a brilliant, yet highly humorous thrust of the verbal dagger. He was kindly towards wisdom and kept another person’s honesty close to his heart. I always enjoyed joining him for a meal over his years in Kizito.
He had four roles in Kizito’s. First, Kizito’s was built as a compound of family cottages where Monze diocese catechists and their families lived while following a two-year program. Then it became a diocesan pastoral training and retreat centre for a wide variety of groups. Francis was the director. One of the groups was the ciTonga language school. He wrote a grammar of, and taught, the local language for a period.
He also wrote a book for those directing the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius for retreats in daily life. He was also a great confident of Bishop James Corboy and a member of the diocesan consult. He dealt with a great number of different people coming through the centre and had a gracious ability to adapt.
His other time in Zambia was a number of years he spent in Lusaka archdiocese in the role of Vicar General for religious. It meant having the listening skills to sort out two sides of an argument where strong personalities were involved.
I miss meeting Francis in Cherryfield. May he rest in peace.”
A recording of the funeral Mass is temporarily available on the Gardiner Street website. Under recordings,
see the funeral Mass for 25 April. Click here for the link ».
Fr Frank spoke about his missionary work in Zambia with Irish Jesuit Missions in 2010. Click here to watch
the video ».
A Memorial Mass will be held at a future date. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis.

Full text of the homily at the funeral Mass
Francis Keenan was born in Portrush, Co Antrim, and grew up in north Belfast, the second youngest in a happy, close-knit and united family of 5 children with his parents John and Mary Agnes.
When Frank was only 7 years old, his Dad, John died suddenly at the age of 39. Just 2 years later, World War 2 began. As you know Belfast was heavily bombed especially in 1940 and the area where Francis and his family lived at the intersection of the bottom of the Cliftonville/Duncairn Gardens had a number of houses destroyed and badly damaged. I remember Francis mentioning to me once that sadly the local school survived unscathed and I said to Frank that his story reminded me of John Boorman’s film Hope and Glory set in London during World War 2. John’s school was destroyed in the London blitz and when he sees the bombed-out school, he murmurs “thank you Adolf”. Francis said to me I would have liked to have uttered the same words about my school!
Francis’ sister Bernadette said that because of the danger of bombing, she and Frank were evacuated from Belfast out into the country to the village of Glenavy about 15 miles west of Belfast very close to Lough Neagh. Bernadette was 5 and Frank was 10. They grew very close to each other and forged a deep bond between them. It would have been easy for Francis to opt to play with boys his own age but after the death of his father, under the care of his mother, the family grew very close and supported each other in their loss and grief. They had to pull together to survive. Out in the country, Francis grew to love nature and the countryside, something which never left him.
I can only imagine how the death of his father and his experiences of the mortal danger and evacuation had a profound effect on the young Francis and I believe it gave him a profound appreciation of how precious the gift of life is and that that gift is there to be fully appreciated and lived to the full. Frank much later in life told his sister Bernadette, “I have loved every day of my life”. At his birthday last year when he turned 90, Francis told his nephew, “Life is a gift from God, enjoy every moment”.
At age of 20 in March 1950, Francis entered the Society of Jesus, at Emo, County Laois. Bernadette told me that she and his family missed Francis during those 2 years. Francis spent 2 years in France, followed by 3 years philosophy in Tullabeg and then he went to Zambia, or as it was then Northern Rhodesia in 1957 where he spent 3 years. That was the beginning of 30 years spent as a missionary in Zambia, as a teacher as director of training of catechists, working closely with Bishop James Corboy in Monze. Francis became very proficient in the Tonga language and taught it for a number of years and wrote a grammar book of Citing.
I just want to turn to our gospel reading for today. “That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you are to clothe it. Surely life means more than food and the body more than clothing. Look at the birds of the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” I wonder when Francis walked on the shores of Lough Neagh or on the savannah of Zambia, did he ponder and treasure those words of Jesus, knowing that with the love and support of family, of his fellow missionaries and lay catechists that one can keep going, and continue with our life’s journey and mission, despite the loss of a beloved father, despite have one’s home badly damaged by Nazi bombing. Those words of Jesus, “Will not my heavenly Father not much more look after you?” I believe that no missionary, Jesuit or lay could never undertake work anywhere in the world, without a sense of being called and accompanied by God and the prayers of family, fellow Jesuits and friends.
When Francis came home on leave from Zambia to his beloved family in Belfast, to visit the wee Ma and his sisters and his brother in England he regaled them with wonderful stories of the people he worked for in Zambia, whom he greatly loved. Francis was a very considerate and kind man. He referred to their houseman in Zambia as his gentleman’s gentleman!
After his 30 years of service in Zambia, he returned go Ireland. He continued his mission as director of the Jesuit Mission Office, working in spirituality and as a retreat director on the staff of St Beuno’s in north Wales for 11 years. He then came back to Gardiner Street and Francis was a committed presence and church priest. Always obliging for Mass and confessions, and a reputation as a preacher with a good message, and a compassionate confessor both in the confessional and for people who called to the parlour for confession. I am deeply grateful for his ministry when I was parish priest. Latterly, he was chaplain in St Monica’s Nursing Home around the corner from us in Belvedere Place and again he was utterly reliable and very faithful in his ministry to the elderly.
Almost up to the end of his life, Francis continued to visit his family in Belfast, and in particular, his sister Bernadette. He always travelled on the Dublin-Belfast Enterprise train and he was on first name terms with the train staff and was usually given an upgrade to the First Class carriage. This had many advantages, and one time he met the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins. Bernadette as she awaited Francis’ arrival was amazed to see him coming down the platform accompanied by the Irish President!
Frank lived a long life, he saw the darker side of life in the premature death of his beloved father and he learned to appreciate, rejoice and be glad. He was grateful for the most important aspects of life and loved both his natural and Jesuit families. He was a faithful servant who loved those who were entrusted to him. He trusted in God and in God’s providence.
I’m sure now the Lord will welcome him with these words, “Well done good and faithful servant, come and enter your master’s happiness”.
Fr Richard O’Dwyer SJ

Early Education at Star of the Sea, Belfast; St Mary’s CBS, Barrack Street, Belfast

1952-1954 Laval, France - Studying
1954-1957 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1957-1960 Monze, Zambia - Regency : Teacher at Chivuna Station
1960-1964 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1964-1965 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1965-1966 Brussels, Belgium - Catechetics Studies at Lumen Vitae
1966-1967 Choma, Zambia - Teacher of local language at Mukasa Secondary School
1967-1979 Monze, ZA - Director Kizito Catechist Training Centre
1968 Parish Priest St Mary’s Parish; Chair of Diocesan Catechetical Commission; Member of Diocesan Consult
1969 Transcribed to Zambian Province [ZAM] (03/12/1969)
1971 St Louis, MO; USA - Studying Pastoral Theology, at St Louis University
1975 Retreats; Workshops / Seminars; at Kizito Pastoral Centre; CiTonga Language Course
1976 Vicar General for Religious, Archdiocese of Lusaka; Member of Archdiocesan Consul
1979-1984 Chelston, Lusaka, Zambia - Directs Spiritual Exercises at Jesuit Education Centre, Xavier House
1984-1993 Monze, Zambia - Kizito Pastoral Centre
1987 Superior
1993-1996 Gardiner St - Director of Mission Office, Dublin; Spiritual Exercises; Assists in Gardiner St Church
1996-2007 St Bueno’s, St Asaph, Wales, UK - Directs Spiritual Exercises
1999 Transcribed to Irish Province [HIB] (05/01/1999)
2007-2020 Gardiner St - Directs Spiritual Exercises; Assists in Church
2010 Chaplain in St Monica’s Home, Dublin
2012 Assistant Treasurer
2014 Pastoral Work
2017 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Kelly, Michael J, 1929-2021, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/191
  • Person
  • 19 May 1929-15 January 2021

Born: 19 May 1929, Tullamore, County Offaly
Entered: 07 September 1946, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1961,
Final Vows: 02 February 1964
Died: 15 January 2021, Coptic Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambiae-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Part of the St Ignatius, Lusaka community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM 03 December 1969

Son of Michael Joseph Kelly and Agnes Sheehy. Studied at UCD.

Middle Brother of Bob Kelly (ZAM) - RIP 2005 and Joseph A Kelly - RIP 2008

Ordained at Milltown Park

1946-1948 St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
1948-1952 Rathfarnham Castle - Studying
1952-1955 St Stanislaus College Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1955-1958 Chikuni, Zambia - Regency, studying language then teaching at Canisius College
1958-1962 Milltown Park - studying Theology
1962-1963 Rathfarnham Castle - Tertianship
1963-1971 Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia - teaching; (1964-1970) Proncipal (1966-1969) Rector
1971-1973 Birmingham, England, - studying Child Psychology
1973-1974 Ireland
1974-1975 Jesuit House, Handsworth Park, Lusaka, Zambia -
1975-1976 Moreau House, Mazabuka, Zambia
1976-1978 UNZA Hostel, Lusaka, Zambia - Professor of Education at UNZA; Education Consultant;
1978-1986 Luwisha House, Lusaka, Zambia - Professor of Education at UNZA; Education Consultant; Writer re HIV AIDS; (1975-1979) Dean, School of Education; (1979-1983) Deputy Vice Chancellor
1986-1987 Rue de Grenelle, Paris, France - International Institute of Education, planning visitng fellow
1987-2011 Luwisha House, Lusaka, Zambia - Education Consultant; Writer re HIV AIDS;
2011-2012 Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - recovering health
2012-2020 Luwisha House, Lusaka, Zambia - Professor of Education at UNZA; Education Consultant; Writer re HIV AIDS
2020-2021 St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions
Fr. Michael Kelly Honorary Degree Conferring
Honorary Degree Conferring, RCSI, 6th June 2012
In accepting the honorary doctorate that RCSI has just now conferred on me I feel greatly honoured, greatly humbled and greatly privileged: honoured that RCSI should recognise in this way the limited contributions I have been able to make in advocating for more and better education for girls, a better deal for orphaned children and a more coherent response to HIV and AIDS; humbled that I should have been singled out from the great number of people world-wide who are dedicating themselves so wholeheartedly to efforts to stem the AIDS epidemic and who see girls’ education as central to this; and privileged that I can represent in some way so many thousands of wonderful people across the world whose lives have been darkened by the shadows of HIV or AIDS but who never lost heart.
Ladies and Gentlemen, forty-nine years ago the great Martin Luther King shared with the world his dream that, among other things, one day his four children would live in a nation where they would be judged not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.
Dr. King’s dream speech inspired his people and transformed the face of the United States to such an extent that less than four years ago the country elected its first ever black President, who could affirm: “Where we are met with cynicism and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people, Yes We Can!”
Ladies and Gentlemen, Graduating Students, our vision for global health is also a dream, a dream which strongly reaffirms that the enjoyment of good health is a fundamental human right and that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment the actualisation of this right remains a possibility. In the words of Barack Obama, we here at this RCSI conferring ceremony can affirm with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of this great institution - yes, we can.
Yes, we can eliminate infant and child mortality, and ensure universal vaccination coverage against measles, polio and other diseases.
Yes, we can roll back the malaria which affects over 200 million people each year.
Yes, we can reduce and eventually eliminate the almost nine million new cases of tuberculosis that occur each year.
Yes, we can reach the global targets of zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS deaths and zero HIV-related discrimination.
Yes, we can even address the enormous challenges of neglected tropical diseases which currently affect more than 1,000 million people and thrive in the poorest, most marginalised communities.
Yes, we can ensure the access of all peoples - here and in all other parts of the world - to a level of health care that will help them lead a satisfying, full and productive human life.
Yes, we can do it and we are doing it.
Let me speak for a few moments about my own country, Zambia, where just three months ago a team of nine doctors successfully removed a fourteen-and-a-half kilo tumour from the back of a young man. Of course, the tumour should never have been allowed to grow to such size, but that it could be successfully removed speaks well for the medical services that a developing country can provide .
In recent years, Zambia has also seen considerable improvements in many of the markers for health care:
A significant reduction in child mortality;
• HIV infection rates falling steadily and substantially among young women and young men;
• About 90% of adults who are in need of anti-retroviral therapy receiving it, the result being fewer AIDS-related deaths;
• Among infants a dramatic reduction in deaths arising from the transmission of HIV from parent to child;
• More widespread use of anti-malarial drugs, an increase in the numbers sleeping under anti-mosquito impregnated bed-nets, and more widespread spraying of mosquitos.
Yes, we can do it and we are doing it. But we need to do it more quickly. We need to do it more
quickly for the sake of the millions whose lives are being blighted by preventable ill-health. We need to do it more quickly for the sake of our own human integrity since we have made promises that too often we honour more in the breach than in the fulfilment.
And for this we need more financial and material resources. We need more civic and political commitment. We need more human resources.
Believing, as RCSI does, that the person is at the centre of everything we do, we need a more enlightened priority system that ranks health, education, social services and job creation higher than bailing out questionable financial institutions, and certainly higher than squandering public resources on doomed investments and extravagant and even corrupt undertakings.
And that requires that every one of us here today pulls together to make this a better and more decent world. It requires that we become radically committed to eliminating scandalous inequalities in the access of people to health care. It means that we firmly believe that each one of us can make a difference for the better.
George Bernard Shaw once said: “Some look at things that are, and ask, why? I dream of things that never were and ask, why not?”
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Graduating Students, let this conferring day be memorable for the way it motivates each one of us to dream of something that never was - a peaceful, healthy and more just world - and ask “why not? Why can’t I do something to make it so? What am I doing to make this a better world? What more can I do to ensure peace and health and basic justice for all people?”
I thank you.
Michael J. Kelly, S.J. Lusaka, Zambia

24 October 2012
Irish Jesuit, Fr Michael Kelly SJ, was conferred with The Order of Distinguished Service by Zambian President Edgar Lungu, in State House, Lusaka on 24th October.

The honour was given to Fr Kelly in acknowledgment for his tireless commitment to ending HIV and AIDS in Zambia. He has worked for decades to educate people about the virus and to promote safe behaviour among youth and those most at risk in Zambia, sub-Saharan Africa, and abroad. He has been active in developing strategies for HIV prevention, and human rights, and has been a consultant to international organisations including UNESCO, UNICEF, the FAO, UNAIDS, Oxfam and Irish Aid.

Fr Kelly went to Zambia as a Jesuit missionary in 1955 and spent most of his working life there in education, as a teacher and administrator at secondary and university level. He felt from the outset that it was home and that he was welcomed there. He became a Zambian citizen in the 1960s, a decision he says he never regretted. In later years, he was deeply saddened by the numbers of people who were dying because of the country’s AIDS epidemic and vowed to address the problem, through the schools.

This is not the first honour that Fr Kelly has received due to his outstanding work. He was awarded an Honorary Degree by University College Dublin in 2006, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) in 2012. Since 2006, Irish Aid has honoured Father Michael’s achievements through the Annual Father Michael Kelly HIV/AIDS Event, timed to coincide with World AIDS Day (1st December)

A JESUIT’S WORK WITH HIV AND AIDS
Michael J. Kelly, S.J., was one of the first ten recipients of the new Presidential Distinguished Service Awards at Áras an Uachtaráin on 15th November 2012.
President Michael D. Higgins said the new Award allowed the State to formally honour exceptional individuals and to recognise the “sacrifice, support and commitment to Ireland of the wider Irish diaspora in all its diversity”.

Fr Michael J. Kelly writes below about his campaigning struggle against the global epidemic of HIV/Aids :
When AIDS exploded on the world in the 1980s, I was lecturing in education at the University of Zambia. It soon became obvious to me that I would have to take account of this new disease in my teaching, research and priestly work.
Deaths and funerals were becoming the order of the day. Across the country people were dying in large numbers, most of them parents with young families, leaving behind them children to be reared and educated by communities which were being overwhelmed by the great number of orphans. Teachers and education administrators were also falling sick and dying in large numbers.
I quickly saw that the courses I was teaching had to say something about this totally new situation. They had to speak about adjusting to the potential loss of teachers, about the great numbers of orphans that would be coming into the schools, about teaching children traumatised by the loss to a dehumanising sickness of greatly loved family members, about communities shattered and bewildered and impoverished by the sickness and deaths of their most productive members.
But the courses also had to suggest how the very process of education could help check the disease and what could be done to protect the education system itself against the disease’s destructive impacts. From then on, my work was guided by what I termed education’s “minimax” response to the pandemic: minimise the potential of HIV and AIDS to harm the education sector, maximise the potential of the education sector to control the disease and reduce its harmful effects.
This was a new approach at the time, so new that the University of Zambia has the distinction of being one of the first universities in the world to take account of HIV and AIDS in its teaching programmes. Increasingly, I began to study, write and give presentations about AIDS and education. It was not long until we began to speak about the potential of education to provide a “social vaccine” against the disease, an approach that UNAIDS, the highest world authority on the disease, still strongly advocates.
Gradually I found myself being drawn more and more into national and international discussions on the two-way interaction between AIDS and education, into advocacy and awareness-raising in regard to orphans, and eventually into a wide spectrum of AIDS-related areas, almost all of them with strong social justice implications – stigma, poverty, the subordinate status of women, human rights, the marginalisation of whole categories of people, unfair north-south trade and other practices, food security, environmental protection, global failure to deal honestly with several AIDS-related issues.
The outcome was a greatly extended engagement on my part with the pandemic and extensive commitments to activities across the world on its educational and other implications. As the demands became greater, it eventually became necessary for me to retire from the University of Zambia so that I could dedicate myself more wholeheartedly to the work of confronting HIV and AIDS nationally and globally. And it is to this work that I remain committed. AIDS is not yet over. People are still dying. AIDS continues to consume them. It also consumes me, not in body but in spirit, and challenges me with the great Jesuit questions: “What have I done for Christ who is suffering with HIV and AIDS? What more should I be doing so that there is less AIDS and more chance that people can live with greater human dignity in a world that comes closer to being the happy world God had planned it to be?”
In many ways the answers are simple. There is need for more honesty in dealing with central AIDS issues. There is need to avoid complacency and recognise how far the world is from seeing an end to the pandemic. There is need for an uncompromising stand on making social justice a reality for every child, woman and man. There is need for more resources for those affected by the pandemic and for research that will lead to its control.
To the extent that I can respond to any of these needs I must do so. The miracle of those living with HIV or AIDS demands this of me. For as long as one person remains with HIV or the disease deprives one child of a parent, I cannot stop. Until God calls me, or AIDS ends, I simply must keep going.

22 August 2015
August 22nd will be the 60th anniversary of my first arrival in Zambia in 1955. I was young and inexperienced then, but greatly excited at the prospect of sharing with others my life and whatever expertise I had and thereby communicating the Good News of Jesus Christ.
A spirit of céad míle fáilte
I am now old and somewhat decrepit, but blissfully happy that I can still share myself and the word of God with my Zambian sisters and brothers. I am deeply indebted to them for the sincerity with which they welcomed me into their lives and society. The spirit was always that of céad míle fáilte. I felt this right from the outset, though the feeling was deepened when I became a Zambian citizen in the mid- 1960s, a step that I never for a second regretted, though I recall the tears it caused to my mother!
I spent most of my working life in Zambia in education — teaching and administering — at secondary school and university levels. It is a great pleasure today to meet so many who had been “through my hands” at school or university and to see them successful in life, most of them happily married and parents of lovely families, some of them grandparents, and some of them priests or religious.
But there is also the sadness of knowing that many have died, especially that many died from AIDS. Very soon after the world became aware of this terrible scourge, I saw that it was a challenge that we would have to do something about through our schools, not only in Zambia but all over the world. This realisation drew me into thinking, teaching, writing and speaking about the give-and-take between AIDS and education, into speaking out on behalf of orphans, and eventually into a wide range of AIDS-related areas.
In my AIDS work I have met and been influenced by many remarkable people infected with the disease. I don’t think I could have continued were it not for them, above all the women and the children. I felt driven by their suffering and the way it had undercut their very humanity. But equally I felt driven by their resilience, their spirit, their determination, their courage, and their cheerfulness.
Brigitte Syamalevwe: fearless and powerful
Most uplifting of all was Brigitte Syamalevwe, a highly educated Zambian woman who was diagnosed with HIV in 1992. Instead of staying at home feeling sorry for herself, Brigitte travelled around, speaking fearlessly, feelingly, and powerfully about the epidemic and her situation. She refused to take life-saving anti-retroviral drugs when these were offered to her, saying she would do so only when the poor of Zambia, and particularly the women, could also have access to such treatment. Even at the very end, when I had paid for the drugs that could save her, she told her family not to collect them but to leave her in God’s hands. And so, overwhelmed by grief, weariness and illness, she died quietly and peacefully, letting her great spirit soar to the God whom she had loved and served so well.
Brigitte was an Easter witness in the darkness of HIV and AIDS. You just had to be inspired by her. She and people like her show the strength of the human spirit and give real promise that we can make this a better world.
Sixty glorious, happy, fulfilling, satisfying years
Coming back to myself and thinking about my 60 years in Zambia, I wouldn’t ask for a minute of them to have been any different for me. They have been 60 glorious, happy, fulfilling, satisfying years and I thank God for every second of them. Of course there were setbacks and difficulties, very especially the grief and anguish of seeing the way AIDS was ravaging the people. But the overwhelming picture is one of joy and gladness and an awareness that God is working all things together for good.
I ask you to join with me in praising and thanking God that it has been so.

June 2016
A MUSEUM PIECE OR A HERO?
Early in May a new state-of-the-art interactive-type museum, EPIC Ireland, was opened in the vaults of the docklands CHQ building in Dublin. The new museum focuses on the Irish abroad and the Irish diaspora, what they have done and what they are doing in various parts of the world.
The Museum Director has informed me, as a matter of courtesy, that they are featuring my story in the visitor experience and will continue to do so for the coming ten years. I have no idea what aspects of my ‘story’ are touched on, but it is reassuring to know that at last I have found my proper niche - as a museum piece!
Distinguished Visitor visits ‘her hero’
On May 25th, which was Africa Freedom Day, I was greatly honoured when the former Irish President Mary Robinson, called at Luwisha House to see me. She was in Lusaka for a few days to speak to a top- level meeting of the African Development Bank on ecological, clean power and climate-change issues. Noting that I was not present when she met some members of the Irish community shortly after her arrival in Lusaka, Mrs. Robinson asked the Irish Ambassador if she could come to see me as I was ‘her hero’ (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/410-irish-men-behind-the-missions-fr-michael-j-kelly-sj). God save the mark!
To talk of many things
During her stay of about an hour she and I talked about many things – progress against HIV and AIDS, the empowerment of women, the problems faced by children, clean energy and solar power, population growth, and even family.
Unfortunately I had to acknowledge that so far we here at Luwisha House had done nothing about installing a solar power system, even though we are very suitably placed to do so, with the sun beaming down on us all day almost every day of the year.
But I was able to redress the balance a little by drawing attention to the work being done by the Jesuit Centre for Ecology and Development in Malawi (http://jcedmw.org/jced-as-a-new-project-of-the-jesuit- fathers/) and the development there of a cooking stove that is very economical in its use of charcoal, something that Mrs. Robinson said she had heard about.
It was indeed a great honour to receive this surprise visit from such an eminent and busy person. I greatly appreciated it.
Michael J. Kelly SJ, Luwisha House, Lusaka, Zambia. June 2016

20 July 2020
MICHAEL J. KELLY FEATURED ON STAMP
The pioneering work of Irish Jesuit, Michael J. Kelly SJ, as an educator and a campaigner for HIV/AIDS in his adopted home of Zambia, has been honoured on a postage stamp from An Post (https://www.anpost.com/AnPost/media/PDFs/The-Collecto_1st-Ed_2020_AW_FOR-WEB.pdf) which is part of a set to mark St. Patrick's Day.
The Irish Abroad series of five stamps, marks the contribution that emigrants from Ireland made to their respective communities overseas. Fr Kelly (1929-), who was born in Tullamore, shares the stamp with award-winning author Edna O’Brien (1930-) from Co. Clare, and also with Cork-born humanitarian worker Mary Elmes (1908-2002) who saved the lives of 200 Jewish children in France during the Holocaust.
In 1955 Fr Kelly left Ireland for Northern Rhodesia, which would become the Republic of Zambia in 1964. Over the next 60 years, he held a series of appointments across the country, which resulted in his nomination as Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zambia in 1980 and a promotion to Professor of Education in 1989.
He worked tirelessly to get rid of the stigma of HIV/AIDS through education and advocacy work across Zambia and further afield.
Very soon after the world became aware of this terrible scourge [HIV/AIDS], I saw that it was a challenge that we would have to do something about through our schools, not only in Zambia but all over the world. This realisation drew me into thinking, teaching, writing and speaking about the give-and-take between AIDS and education, into speaking out on behalf of orphans, and eventually into a wide range of AIDS-related areas.
In my AIDS work I have met and been influenced by many remarkable people infected with the disease. I don’t think I could have continued were it not for them, above all the women and the children. I felt driven by their suffering and the way it had undercut their very humanity. But equally I felt driven by their resilience, their spirit, their determination, their courage, and their cheerfulness.
In 2006, the Irish Government established the annual Father Michael Kelly Lecture on HIV and AIDS, which is now an annual event. In 2019 the theme was 'HIV & AIDS: Women, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights'. (https://globalhealth.ie/womens-sexual-and-reproductive-health- rights-leaving-no-one-behind/)Fr Kelly delivered a compelling video message to the audience about the need to educate women and girls in Zambia to protect themselves from HIV infection. (https://globalhealth.ie/womens-sexual-and-reproductive-health-rights-leaving-no-one-behind/)
Fr Kelly has been the recipient of many awards, in Ireland and abroad for his aid work. In recognition of his contribution to education in Zambia and worldwide HIV advocacy, the Association of Commonwealth Universities presented him with the Symons Award in September 2003. He has received several honorary degrees including Doctor of Science (2004), from the University of the West Indies, Doctor of Laws from NUI (2006) and an honorory doctorate from the Royal College of Surgeons (2012).
The Forum for Women Educationists in Africa (Zambia Chapter) awarded him the first ever Kabunda Kayongo Award for “immense contribution through research on girls’ education” (2006) and the First Lady of South Africa, Madame Thobeka Zuma, presented him with a Humanitarian Award for commitment to health and HIV and AIDS in the southern African region (2010).
He received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award from President Michael D. Higgins (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/241-fr-michael-j-kelly-sj-receives-new-presidential-award) at Áras an Úachtaráin in November 2012, which honours the Irish diaspora in recognition of its sustained and distinguished service abroad. (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/241-fr-michael-j-kelly-sj-receives-new-presidential-award)
Fr Kelly's is also one of over 320 emigrant stories that is featured at EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum (https://epicchq.com/)in the CHQ Building in Dublin.

Kelly, Patrick, 1920-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/779
  • Person
  • 21 February 1920-04 May 2012

Born: 21 February 1920, Limerick City
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950
Professed: 15 August 1953
Died 04 May 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1953 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fifth wave of Zambian Missioners
by 1986 at Chicago (CHG) studying
by 1987 at Roosevelt NY, USA (NEB) working
by 1989 at Sunland-Tujunga CA, USA (CAL) working

Kelly, Robert J, 1924-2005, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/670
  • Person
  • 17 October 1924-08 March 2005

Born: 17 October 1924, Tullamore, County Offaly
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1961
Died: 08 March 2005, John Chula House, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambia-Malawi province (ZAM)

Part of the St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia community at the time of death

Eldest Brother of Joseph A Kelly - RIP 2008 and Michael Kelly - RIP 2021

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1952 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fourth wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Bob (as he was always called) Kelly was born in Tullamore in the midlands of Ireland on 13 July 1925. He attended the Christian Brothers’ school in Tullamore until he finished his secondary education. He then entered the Jesuits at Emo Park in 1943. He followed the normal course of studies in the Society but for regency he went to Northern Rhodesia in 1951 with Fr Joe Conway. They were the first of the Irish scholastics to go there. He began by learning ciTonga and then taught at Canisius Secondary School. Even then he seemed to have a flair for the language as he wrote a polycopied codex called ‘Tonga without Tears’, the first of a number of his publications.

Whatever Fr Bob did, he put his heart and soul into it. After his ordination to the priesthood in 1957 in Dublin, Ireland, and his tertianship, he returned to Northern Rhodesia in 1959 to Canisius Secondary School where he taught for ten years and was Spiritual Father to the boys as well. With his degree in English he was a very clear teacher. Apart from teaching, he developed the school canteen donning the cap of a busy shopkeeper, organized the films (cinema) for the boys, ordering them from Rhodesia and worrying if they were delayed in coming. In order to help the boys follow the films Fr Bob would write a long, detailed preview for them. When the school annuals began to appear, he would be prowling around with his camera! Whatever was going on in the school, Fr Bob would be there. He mixed well with the boys and had their confidence and trust.

He moved from Canisius to St Edmund's Secondary School in Mazabuka, again teaching and being Spiritual Father for nine years, bringing him up to 1978. As with Canisius he was so involved with the school that he even cheered for St Edmund's when they were playing football against Canisius!

The Pioneer Total Abstinence Association (PTAA) is an association to help others by voluntarily giving up all alcoholic drink. Fr Bob himself became a full pioneer just before he entered the Society in 1943. As the Association had begun in the Southern Province and was beginning to spread, the Episcopal Conference appointed him as National Director, a post he held for over twenty years. So ended his formal teaching after twenty one years and he moved to Lusaka. Again his thoroughness brought him around the country promoting the Association, giving talks, retreats, organizing rallies. He had to contend at times with Pioneer centres trying to introduce new rules such as: ‘we want a uniform, we must wear the badge over the heart only, smokers cannot be pioneers’!

He became parish priest at St Ignatius Church in Lusaka for four years and then moved to Kitwe from 1989 to 1991. School retreats and retreats for religious were a big feature in his life. He was a very spiritual man, a man of prayer and a very good preacher. So many people have been helped by him as he was a man of compassion.

Normally one would not associate Fr Bob with singing but he produced a booklet of charismatic hymns, ‘Songs of Praise’ which went into five editions. As director of PTAA, he produced a Handbook for the Association which was also translated into ciNyanja as well as a popular booklet ‘A Christian solution to a national problem’(drink).

Apart from Pioneer material, Fr Bob wrote ten books over the years: Planted in Love; Calming the Storm; Stories New and Old; Hidden with Christ; With Unveiled Faces; A Joy so Glorious; Fan into Flame; Be Still and Know; In Love with God; HIV/AIDS a Response.

He moved from Kitwe to St Ignatius in Lusaka again in 1995 helping out in the parish with pastoral work. He had a good sense of humour, liked a good game of cards in his earlier days and was endowed with a practical, realistic outlook on life.

His health began to deteriorate in 2004 and he moved to Chula House, the Jesuit Nursing Home. He died peacefully at 06.55 on the morning of Tuesday 8 March 2005. As his body lay in the chapel at Chula House before he was taken to the Ambassador Funeral Home, a beautiful butterfly was seen hovering over Fr Bob's body.

Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
In 1951 he accompanied the first two scholastics, Bob Kelly and Joe Conway, and Br. Jim Dunne, on their way to the then Northern Rhodesia.

Note from Joseph B (Joe) Conway) Entry
He arrived in Chikuni in August 1951 with Fr Robert Kelly, the first two Irish scholastics to be sent to the Zambian mission

Note from Bill Lane Entry
Not long before Fr Bill Lane died, he was chatting with Fr Bob Kelly at St lgnatius, Lusaka. A young lady whom they both knew had died in a very sudden manner at U.T.H. Fr Bill remarked, ‘You know, Bob, that's the way I'd like to go, quickly and without fuss’. And that is the way it happened.

Note from Ray Lawler Entry
Now at the age of sixty, Ray had a sabbatical in Toronto. Then came a big change in his life when he opted to come to Zambia, Africa where he spent two years teaching French and Scripture to the novices in Lusaka. Fr Bob Kelly went on sabbatical for a year and left his gleaming new car in charge of Ray whose talents did not extend to motor maintenance!

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news?start=225

IRISH MEN BEHIND THE MISSIONS: BOB KELLY SJ
Jesuit missionaries and volunteers were remembered at the annual Memorial Mass on 30th November at Milltown Institute.
One such Jesuit was Fr Bob Kelly SJ who died in 2005. We continue our series Irish Men behind the Missions with Bob’s inspiring story, written by his colleague Fr Charlie Searson SJ.

An unusual mission in Zambia
Fr Bob Kelly SJ was born in Tullamore, County Offaly in the midlands of Ireland on July 13th 1925. After attending the local Christian Brothers’ school he joined the Jesuit Novitiate in Emo in 1943 and in 1951 was missioned to Zambia, then known as Northern Rhodesia. He spent 54 years of his life there.
Bob prepared himself to announce the Gospel by immersing himself in the local culture and language. As a scholastic and later as a priest, he taught at Canisius Secondary School near Monze where he was the Spiritual Father. His pupils remember his “office” as a place where boys could drop in for a chat or to read.
Bob developed the school canteen as a social area and he made sure that a film was sent up each week from South Africa. He took photographs and wrote articles about school life for the school magazine. He was later sent to St Edmund’s, a Christian Brothers’ Secondary School in Mazabuka, where he spent nine years in similar work.
Up until now Bob had followed a missionary path that is familiar to many Irish missionaries announcing “the joy of the Gospel” through education and pastoral work.
However his missionary life was about to make a major turn.

The Pioneer work begins
Since his schooldays Bob had been a member of the Irish Pioneer Total Abstinence Association[1]. The Pioneer Association had been brought to Zambia in 1958 by Fr Barney Collins SJ and soon spread rapidly across the country.
Like Ireland, Zambia has an ambiguous relationship with alcohol. While some people drink very moderately there is a large group in both countries who drink far too much, causing grave harm to themselves and their families.
To address the problem of excessive drinking, the Bishops of Zambia set up a National Pioneer Office in 1978 and Fr Bob Kelly was appointed as the first National Director of the Pioneers in Zambia.
Bob gave up the security of his work in schools and parishes and took to the road. Zambia is a very large country, about 12 times the size of Ireland. Bob visited each diocese in the country several times over in the next 17 years.

Motivated by love and compassion
Bob was also involved in another aspect of missionary work which others often neglect. Before the era of computers, he spent long hours writing excellent manuals which put down in a clear, convincing style the purpose of the Pioneers. The title of one of his booklets sums up his dream: A Christian Solution to a National Problem. The Pioneers still depend on Bob’s books today. He was at pains to point out that the Pioneers are focused not on alcohol but on the love of God as revealed in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Pioneers are motivated by that love and by compassion for families torn apart by alcohol related harm.
The ability of the missionary to address a wide range of social issues — in addition to announcing the Gospel, celebrating the sacraments and calling people to a life of prayer — is a sign that the mission respects the culture while also evangelising it. Bob loved the local culture but was not afraid to challenge it. Drunkenness is never something to excuse or to joke about. For him, it was contrary to the Gospel.

Bringing fire on the earth
Bob was famous for his dynamic school retreats. His book of hymns Songs of Praise is still widely used today and has gone into its fifth edition. He wrote 10 very popular books on spirituality. Much of his excellent material is available on the web: http://bit.ly/rkellybooks (https://bit.ly/rkellybooks)
In 1995 he handed over the management of the Pioneers to Fr Paddy Joyce (from Galway, Ireland) but he remained active in parish work in Kitwe and Lusaka until his death in 2005 at the age of 80.
The life and work of Bob Kelly in Zambia over 54 years exemplifies in dramatic form the great missionary words of Jesus: “I have come to bring fire on the earth and how I wish it were blazing already!” (Luke 12:49). Through his teaching, retreats and parish work and his tireless dedication to the spiritual and organisational aspects of the Pioneers, Bob made a unique contribution to the integral evangelisation of Zambia.

Continuing Bob Kelly’s Pioneer work
After over 100 years of the Church’s presence in this part of Africa, most of the present missionaries are Zambian bishops, priests, religious and laity. They are the ones who are spearheading the missionary work.
In November 2013 the Ministry of Health in Zambia produced its first draft National Alcohol Policy. This policy has still not been approved by the Cabinet and implemented through the various line ministries. The work so well carried out by Fr Bob Kelly SJ still waits for missionaries to complete it.

Lane, William, 1931-1998, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/671
  • Person
  • 29 July 1931-09 January 1998

Born: 29 July 1931, Tullamore, County Offaly
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1964, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1967
Died 09 January 1998, Chikuni, Zambia - Zambia-Malawi province (ZAM)

Part of the St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 02 February 1967

by 1959 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Not long before Fr Bill Lane died, he was chatting with Fr Bob Kelly at St lgnatius, Lusaka. A young lady whom they both knew had died in a very sudden manner at U.T.H. Fr Bill remarked, ‘You know, Bob, that's the way I'd like to go, quickly and without fuss’. And that is the way it happened. On Friday, 9 January 1998, Bill was on his way to Chilalantambo with Fr Jim Carroll to give some Scripture talks to the parishioners. As they drove on that bumpy road, Bill suddenly stopped talking. Fr Jim was shocked to find that Bill was dead beside him. There seems to have been no intervening period of sickness or pain. His departure was, as he had wished, ‘quickly and without fuss’.

Bill was born in Tullamore, Co Offaly, Ireland in 1931. After school with the Christian Brothers, he went to Dublin University to study engineering for a year. At the end of that year he joined the Society in 1950. For his regency he was sent to Zambia and taught at Canisius for a year as well as learning ciTonga. After the usual course of studies, he was ordained priest in 1964 at Milltown Park, Dublin.

Returning to Zambia he worked in the Kasiya parish, then Mukasa Minor Seminary at Choma. From 1969 to 1973, he was education secretary in the diocese of Monze, responsible for a network of 80 primary schools. His organizing and administrative talents were recognized at this time. He was the last expatriate Education Secretary in the Monze diocese as the primary schools were handed back to Government.

Bill was moved to the Archdiocese of Lusaka. The late Fr Dominic Nchete asked, ‘Why are they moving our best men away from the diocese? Fr Lane knows how to work with our people’. He was asked to become secretary for communications (1978-85). He combined the job with the office of province bursar (1982-88). From 1990 until his untimely death, Bill worked for the Zambia Episcopal Conference first as secretary for catechetics and then as coordinator of the Bible apostolate.

Publishing was big in his life during all these years, to help people come to grips with Sacred Scripture, with methods of prayer and with the history of the Church in Zambia. His writing was clear and concise and very practical in the many booklets he produced. All Bill's activities were carried out with wit and good humour which made him a popular member of any group he was in. He could also be a devastating critic when aroused by what he considered hypocrisy. Bill considered himself to be politically incorrect in that he expressed his views honestly, rather than resort to making the right noises in the right places and he was aware that this did not enhance his chances for advancement through the hierarchy of the Society. In fact he never was a superior.

The number of people whose lives he touched was great indeed. He had a rare gift for reaching out to those whom others might have considered black sheep. His sensitivity to those who were ill at one time or another was another remarkable facet of his life. Bill was a gifted person who gave generously of his time and talents to the Church and people of Zambia for the forty years he worked in the country.

Throughout his years in Zambia, he preached and directed numerous retreats as well as helping at Kalundu Study Centre and in the Major Seminary. In his busy career he was always willing to help out in the parish, supplying Masses and other church services when needed. He was a good confessor and a no nonsense preacher.

Note from Fred Moriarty Entry
Fr Fred was a radio program coordinator. He recorded many programs in ciTonga and English for ZNBC. He coordinated with Fr Bill Lane and Fr Max Prokoph in this area.

Leahy, Maurice A, 1920-2004, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/732
  • Person
  • 22 July 1920-26 October 2004

Born: 22 July 1920, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1978
Died: 26 October 2004, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin Dublin - Zambia-Malawi province (ZAM)

Part of the Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia community at the time of death.

Brother of Henry (Harry) Leahy - LEFT 10 January 1944 for medical reasons

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 01 December 1977

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Brother of Henry (Harry) Leahy - LEFT 10 January 1944 for medical reasons

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
To look at Fr Maurice, a rather frail figure, one would not imagine that he was a fine rugby player on the school team during his schooldays at the Crescent College, Limerick. In a way, Maurice was a Limerick man through and through. He was born there on 22 July 1920, grew up there and went to school there. He was a bright student coming top of his class year by year and winning many prizes. He was a good sportsman and athlete, playing on the school junior and senior rugby teams. With those long thin legs of his he was, not surprisingly, the Boys’ High Jump Champion of Limerick.

He joined the Society in 1937 at Emo Park, took Latin and History at University, studied philosophy at Tullabeg and went back to Limerick for regency to his old school. After ordination at Milltown Park, Dublin, in 1952, he spent six years at Gonzaga College in Dublin teaching and holding the job of minister. From 1960 to 1972 he was back in Limerick, first in Crescent College teaching and then for five years at Mungret College, again teaching and vice-superior at the Apostolic School. His qualities of simplicity and outstanding patience and kindness must have made teaching rather a trial.

1966 seems to have been a turning point in his life as regards work. He moved to the Sacred Heart Church in Limerick as a pastoral worker for six years, functioning quietly and successfully. In 1972 another big change took place in his life, this time he was missioned to Zambia at the age of 52 where he spent the rest of his life at pastoral work. After his ordination he had asked to be sent to the missions (Hong Kong) and twenty years later his wish was answered (Zambia).

To begin with, he studied ciTonga at Chikuni and then moved to Namwala (1973) as parish priest and superior there. Here he had plenty of practice at the language as he worked in the parish with all that that entailed. After nine years there he was transferred to Assumption Parish in Mazabuka for a year before moving to the Sugar Estate at Nakambala, where he worked for eleven years in the parish, ten years of these as superior and eight years as parish priest.

His younger brother Harry singles out his gentleness and simplicity. He was always kindly and thoughtful, never bad-tempered or argumentative. He really was ‘the good peaceable man’ of Thomas a Kempis. Everyone was good in Maurice’s eyes. His brother tells of his happiness during these years in Zambia. He was at home among the villagers in Namwala, the urban dwellers in Mazabuka and Nakambala, as well as the sick and feeble in Chikuni hospital. As one person put it: ‘A man of simple and quaint goodness, who had his heart in the right place’.

In 1994, Maurice now 74, moved to Chikuni again as pastoral worker. He was a very dedicated priest, a man of God and deeply spiritual. This the people recognized in their own perceptive way. He was an easy person to live with as he was so undemanding even as a superior. He became a charismatic, again in his own quiet way and became a much-sought-after giver of directed retreats.

He developed a peculiar up-down characteristic in his speech, one minute bass and the next falsetto. This affected his preaching in public but it did not interfere with his retreat giving. He was a very methodical man. The data on the outstations where he supplied were kept up to-date so that the priest who took over the outstations, when Maurice was transferred to Chikuni, had a clear picture of each of these outstations and of the people there, who were being prepared for baptism, for marriage and so on.

At the end of 2003, he was operated on in Lusaka for a colostomy and moved to John Chula House. While there the doctor remarked that Maurice had the recuperative powers of a man of 25! – Maurice was 83 years of age at the time. The doctor suggested that he return to Ireland for the next operation for a number of reasons. This Maurice did on 14 February 2004. The operation was a success. Later, while at Cherryfield Lodge, he suffered a stroke, unrelated to the operation and he died on 26 October 2004 in Dublin but he was buried in his own beloved Limerick.

Lee, William M, 1915-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/509
  • Person
  • 07 December 1915-04 June 1992

Born: 07 December 1915, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 09 October 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947
Professed: 02 February 1950
Died: 04 June 1992, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - third wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Bill went through the usual studies of the Jesuits, was ordained in 1947 and after tertianship was posted to Limerick. Plans were then afoot to send Irish Jesuits to what was then Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). Bill conceived a keen desire NOT to go there. He was just settling down in the Crescent when he received a letter telling him to get a medical check-up with a view of going to Northern Rhodesia. The Irish Jesuits had been asked to help out their Polish colleagues there. So in 1950, nine Irish Jesuits sailed from Ireland, including Fr Bill.

For many years, Fr Zabdyr had moved out from Chikuni, his base, in order to set up elementary schools in various places. 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. A letter from Fr Bill to Fr Zabdyr dated 17 June 1951 reads:

‘I have been in “permanent residence” here since the beginning of May, more or less, and will continue so for the future. I am busy building my Mission-station and it is going fairly satisfactorily. A space has been cleared in the bush, foundations are down, a well dug in the river, and grass for thatching cut and piled. After that, things will go smoothly as far as I can foresee. Somewhere near the end of July the house will be finished as far as I can do it this year. I may have to wait until later for cement to make proper floors. lt will be a two-roomed house, with a small kitchen near it. In the meantime I have a class going each evening for Christians who have not married in church’.

When Fr Gill arrived and a 250cc motorbike was available, Fr Gill looked after the station and set out to visit the centres of Christianity within a radius of up to 30 miles. Bill was transferred to Fumbo and later to Chikuni where he taught and was Spiritual Father to the African Sisters. He was also, for a time, secretary to the Bishop of Lusaka.

Having spent seven years in Zambia, he returned to Ireland to Gonzaga College for 30 years, teaching physics etc. up to 1987. The remaining five years of his life he spent at University Hall and at 35 Lower Leeson Street. He died in St Vincent's Hospital on 4th June 1992.

Bill came from a large Waterford family and was distinctive among them, ‘he alone of the 10 children greeted orders with “Why” and all information with “How do you know”? and he always enjoyed a good argument as much as other children enjoyed a party. He endearingly retained these characteristics to the end’. He loved discussion and debate but his kindness, good humour and generosity were no less noticed and appreciated. He was a good teacher and had a marvellous rapport with his students who really loved him. He was a colourful member of his community, enjoying the interchange and contributing much to it. He always had a sense of wonder. As he watched a fellow Jesuit perform some simple 'magic' tricks, he would be enthralled and laugh.

In pastoral work he was most successful, if somewhat diffident. Indeed he was suspicious of those who trafficked in certainties. Nor was he one for laying down an inflexible code of behaviour. He accepted people as he found them and in whatever circumstances they were in. He was keen to help them to make sense of their lives in their own way and to give their own meaning to their lives. He never entertained the idea that he could solve all people's problems but he did try to help others to live more easily with those human and religious problems that everyone experiences and that are beyond solution in this life. He was especially good with those whose faith was fragile, whose link with the Church was tenuous or whose practice was spasmodic. He himself lived happily with questions unanswered and problems unsolved but with the absolute certainty that the day would come when he would get his answers and solutions.

Pulmonary fibrosis was what took him in the end. Actually he had planned to visit Zambia with his sister in the autumn of the year he died but the Lord had other plans for him.

MacDonald, A Norman, 1926-2005, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/681
  • Person
  • 26 April 1926-04 May 2005

Born: 26 April 1926, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 05 November 1977
Died: 04 May 2005, Victoria Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Part of the Nakambala Church, Mazabuka, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1953 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency - fifth wave of Zambian Missioners
by 1967 at SFX University Antigonish Canada (CAN S) studying

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Norman MacDonald was born in Dublin on 26 April 1926. His mother died while he was still a child. However he had stepbrothers, three of whom came to see him while he was in Zambia.

He went to Clongowes Wood College as a young boy and had the nickname of 'Curley Wee', not after the cartoon character but because of his short curly hair at that time. After secondary school, he entered the Jesuits at Emo Park in 1944 and pursued the normal study course of arts, philosophy and theology. He went to the then Northern Rhodesia in 1951 as a scholastic, learned ciTonga and taught for two years in Canisius Secondary School, as well as being involved in brick making.

Returning to Ireland for theology, he was ordained priest at Milltown Park Dublin on 31 July 1958. After tertianship, he returned to Northern Rhodesia and was minister at Chikuni for a year.

Looking at his curriculum, Fr Norman was parish priest or assistant parish priest for over forty years. This was work he was good at and did well. He first went to Kasiya Parish (1961-1970), then to Mazabuka to Assumption Parish (1970-1976). His longest continuous stint was at Chilalatambo as parish priest from 1976 to 1993 – 17 years. He built a number of small churches at the outstations where he went to say Mass and over a number of years he was part of a team involved in translating the Bible into ciTonga.

He lived on his own over these years and established a daily routine for himself, everything in its place, an unchanging routine meticulously laid out. He was attached to Mukasa Community in Choma 60 miles away and would come in once a week to load up with supplies, arriving at a set time and departing next morning. Before he stopped smoking, it was a lesson in itself to see him prepare and light his pipe in the evening. Everything he did was carefully jotted down, things done, things to be done, in his round copperplate almost childlike handwriting.

He loved the game of rugby, for he was on the school rugby team as a boy, a solid fullback. In fact when he went on leave he opted for the winter months so that he could attend the rugby matches in Ireland.

A year spent in Chikuni parish brought him again to Mazabuka, this time to Nakambala parish in 1994. As he worked there, a day came which was to change his life. In early July he got a stroke, just as he parked his vanette and was getting out of it. He was incapacitated and was brought to John Chula House in Lusaka. His mind and speech were clear. Slowly he began to mend; he got to the stage that with a walker he could make his way to the dining room for morning tea. He was brought to Victoria hospital for treatment and there he fell out of bed and broke his shoulder. This really set him back and he seemed worse than when he came in at first. However he began again with physiotherapy and slowly, oh so slowly, he tried to get onto his feet again but with little improvement. He was aided to get in and out of bed and at night a minder was there, William by name. He complained of stomach trouble, an ulcer he called it and would take antacid tablets before bed. As the stomach pain got worse he was taken to Victoria hospital with his minder William. Stomach cancer was diagnosed. On the morning he was to be operated on, he asked William to hold his hand, and thus he died on 4 May 2005 at 05.10, a complete surprise!

His brother Paddy came from Australia for the funeral with Mass at Nakambala and afterwards Norman was buried at Chikuni. Fr O'Keeffe gave the homily in ciTonga and Fr Walsh in English.

During his period at John Chula house, from the time he came until he died, Fr Norman showed extraordinary courage. His sense of humour, his day-to-day acceptance of his condition and his lack of self-pity were the fruit of his inner life. A fellow Jesuit described Fr Norman as 'a nice person' in the sense that he had a pleasant disposition and was very pleasant to visit – and that does sum him up.

Note from Philip O’Keeffe Entry
And now the darkness of the open door into some small African house is reflected on the blue water across the river where he has now gone. Maureen and Bill, his parents are there to meet him. Rufina Mwiinga and Jennifer Ndima and Norman MacDonald and many many others are there too.

MacMahon, Brian, 1907-1960, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/293
  • Person
  • 24 October 1907-15 August 1960

Born: 24 October 1907, Streatham, London, England
Entered: 01 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1943
Died: 15 August 1960, Dublin

Part of St Ignatius community, Lusaka, Zambia at the time of his death.

by 1932 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1934 at Kaulbachstrasse, Munich, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1935 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - third wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
At an early stage in the Society, someone had the courage to tell Brian that he was speaking and acting like a bishop. General agreement consecrated him with the nickname of ‘Bishop MacMahon’, almost immediately reduced to its homely form of ‘The Bish’.

Fr Brian was born in London, England in 1907 and educated at Clongowes Wood College. After vows, he studied for his BSc and then his MSc at University College Dublin also obtaining a traveling scholarship. He went to Valkenburg, Holland, for philosophy. This was followed by a further three years of Biology, one of them at Munich, Germany and the other two at Louvain (changing from German to French!) where he obtained a Doctorate in Science with First Class Honours. He taught for a year at his Alma Mater and then went to Milltown Park for theology and ordination to the priesthood in 1940.

He was minister, Professor of Cosmology and Biology at Tullabeg 1942-1943, minister at Milltown Park 1943-1944, prefect of studies at Clongowes 1944-1947. He became rector at Mungret College, Limerick, in 1947 until 1950 when he departed for Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) with the first batch of Irish Jesuits. For several years he was rector and principal of Canisius Secondary School. In 1959, he moved to Lusaka as Education Secretary of the Bishops' Conference. Serious illness brought him back to Ireland where he died of cancer on 15 August 1960, at 53 years of age and 20 years a priest.

What of the man himself? He was a big man. Fr Dominic Nchete preached at the Mass for Brian at St Ignatius Church, saying, ‘Fr MacMahon was a big man. He had a big body, a big heart, big brains. He thought big, he spoke big, he acted big. Amid his many and varied occupations, he remained calm, kind, charitable, considerate and, above all, extremely patient; he was kind to all whether they were white or black’.

As a school boy, as novice and as a man, he was always ready to put work before play. His normal life was a steady application to duty whether it appealed to his taste or not. He would like to have studied Mathematics and Political Economy (under Fr Tom Finlay S.J.) but obedience took him down a different path of studies.

“He was dominant in height”’ one wrote about him, “but not domineering in manner. He could achieve a certain loftiness of style that well matched his bulk, but his dignity had a fatherly flavour about it; his natural superiority was almost lost in that kindly, friendly, good-humoured way he had”. He loved to keep up with world news and his brother had sent him a subscription to the air edition of the Times which Brian loved to read, sitting in his office. As one scholastic once remarked, ‘The Bish's biography should be entitled “20 years behind the Times'”

Under his direction, Canisius Secondary School was improved and enlarged. He was headmaster (then called principal) from 1951 to 1959. Senior courses leading up to the School Certificate were introduced by him. Among the large number of African schoolboys who passed through his hands, he enjoyed a unanimous reputation for patience and kindness combined with an unwavering sense of justice. To his fellow Jesuits, devotion to his work and to the interests of the school was well known. Government officials whom he dealt with held him in the highest esteem.

He did not easily resign himself to the close of his life. He fought the blood poisoning and cancerous growth to the end. He remained buoyant and optimistic as long as there was any shred of hope of recovery. Eventually, in simple faith and acceptance, he answered the call to eternity.

Note from Patrick (Sher) Sherry Entry
For the next 30 years he served the young Church in Zambia selflessly and with unbounded generosity. In Chikuni he served as a kind of ‘minister of supplies’. Fr MacMahon would lean heavily on him but Sher had his little hideouts which constituted his survival kit!

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 35th Year No 4 1960

Obituary :

Fr Brian MacMahon (1907-1960)

Fr. Brian MacMahon died in a Dublin Nursing Home on 14th August, 1960. He was born in London on 24th October, 1907, was educated at Clongowes Wood College and entered the Society at Tullabeg on 1st September, 1925. Having taken his Vows in 1927, he went to Rathfarnham Castle, where he studied for his M.Sc. degree at University College, Dublin. He was sent in 1931 to Valkenburg for Philosophy. He did special studies in Biology, for one year at Munich and two years at Louvain, where in 1936 he obtained his degree of Docteur en Sciences Naturelles at Louvain University. Having returned to Ireland, after one year's teaching at Clongowes, he went to Milltown Park for the study of Theology and was ordained in 1940. He did his Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle. He was Minister, Professor of Cosmology and Biology at Tullabeg 1942-43, Minister of Milltown Park 1943-44, and Prefect of Studies at Clongowes 1944-47. On 25th July, 1947, Fr. MacMahon was appointed Rector of Mungret College, Limerick, an office which he held until 1950, when he was sent among the first missionaries to the new Irish Jesuit Mission in Northern Rhodesia. For several years he was Rector and Prefect of Studies of St. P. Canisius College, Chikuni. In July 1959, he became Catholic Education Secretary for the Southern Province of Northern Rhodesia and also Superior of St. Ignatius Church, Lusaka.
On 14th April, owing to serious illness, he returned to Ireland and after four months of suffering he went to his eternal reward.
Fr. MacMahon's death was not sudden, for he had been in hospitals in Rhodesia and in Ireland for several months. Yet it was surprising that it came so soon; it seemed to cut him off while he was still in full vigour and on active service. “A short life in the saddle, Lord, and not a long life by the fireside” is a prayer that might come to mind when meditating on the possibility of an inordinate affection for length of days. Fr, MacMahon's twenty years from the time of his ordination was a short life of priestly activity. He did not easily resign himself to its close. His habit of hard work and constant devotion to duty made him eager to recover from the blood-poisoning and cancerous growth which proved fatal in the end. Those who visited him in hospital did not have to cheer him up; he remained buoyant and optimistic as long as there was any shred of hope of recovery. And then in simple faith and acceptance he answered the call to eternity.
Many will remember Br. MacMahon as a novice, who was primus inter pares, in stature head and shoulders above the rest of us, an out standing Br. Porter, the very symbol of stability and regularity. He enjoyed looking up old Porters' Journals in order to find precedents for “Coffees” - indeed he claimed a record in this respect for his term of office. He enjoyed recreation and he liked to see others enjoy it. But, as schoolboy, as novice and as man, he was always ready to put work before play. His normal life was of steady application to duty, whether it appealed to his taste or not. He was an excellent example both as novice and schol astic, who was not exaggerated in any way, neither excessively recollected nor excessively austere, always a man of duty of the “no nonsense” variety. He was kind and helpful to the weak; he helped them to help themselves. He was both good humoured and strict in a remarkably well blended way.
Brian MacMahon had been a talented student in Clongowes, his strongest subject being mathematics. But his course of studies in the Society was not in accordance with his tastes, though well within his ability. He would have liked to include Political Economy - then taught by Fr. Tom Finlay, S.J.- among the subjects for his Arts degree; if that were not allowed, then mathematics would have been the obvious choice. But he was transferred to the Science faculty and the B.Sc. course in Biology. Holy obedience, sheer plod, mental acumen and a good memory brought him through triumphantly to the B.Sc., the M.Sc. and a Travelling Studentship. Two years of relentless application to Philosophy followed at Valkenburg, Holland, the North German Province's Collegium Maximum. Then three further years of Biology, one at Munich, till Professor Wettstein died, and two at Louvain under the direction of Professor Gregoire. This enforced move from one University to another meant for Brian a new start. He had to commence a line of research approved by his new Professor-an investigation into the chromosomal peculiarities found at meiosis of the pollen mother-cells of Listera ovata. It meant also a change of vernacular from German to French-no small cross for one who had very little gift for acquiring languages. Yet there may have been compensations; he may have found the circumstances and companionship at Louvain more congenial. He obtained the Doctorate in Science in the form of “Aggregé”, which is equivalent to First Class Honours or summa cum laude. He had done what he was told to do, had done it with éclat.
People looked up to him, and he spoke down to them. Everyone accepted the fact that it simply had to be so. Dominant in height, but not domineering in manner, he could achieve a certain loftiness of style that well matched his bulk; but his dignity had a fatherly flavour about it; his natural superiority was almost lost in that kindly, friendly, good humoured way he had. In the College of Science Mr. MacMahon was long remembered with respect and affection. He had been a very popular Auditor of the Natural History Club. He would have been welcomed as a Lecturer in the Botany Department. Officials and former fellow students took a friendly interest in his later career,
Among his contemporaries in the Society, Brian also won a considerable degree of respect and affection. He was respected as a model religious, conscientious, exact, living up to the greater and lesser obligations of his vocation. He was an example: what standards he maintained one felt one ought to aim at; what little liberties he allowed himself, one knew one could take with impunity. As regards affection, one might search for another way of expressing it: he was well liked, he was popular, for all his dignity he was a thoroughly decent fellow. He was a good community man; he fitted easily into any community and became one of its better ingredients. At an early stage in the Society someone had the courage to tell him that he was speaking and acting like a bishop. General agreement consecrated him with the nickname of “Bishop MacMahon”. But lest perhaps this might seem to declare him more pontifical than he really was, it was almost immediately reduced to its homely form “The Bish”. Those who knew him well will find far more meaning and pleasant memories in the mention of his nickname than in the bald statement that he was popular.
During the 1940's Fr. MacMahon experienced several changes of status: the fourth year at Milltown, Tertianship at Rathfarnham, Minister and Professor of Biology in Tullabeg, Minister in Milltown, Prefect of Studies in Clongowes, Rector of Mungret. His general capability made him an obvious choice for so many various appointments. As soon as he could be spared in one place he was sent to fill a need in another, especially a need for organisation and administration. He was eminently reliable; he could grasp and control a new situation at short notice. No doubt there are records of his successes at Clongowes and Mungret, for he was chosen to guide the educational policy of our Mission in Northern Rhodesia, a very important task to which as a matter of fact he devoted the remaining decade of his life. Round about 1930 he would have been glad to be chosen for the Hong Kong Mission, but his Travelling Studentship intervened; twenty years later he was suddenly asked to go to Rhodesia. As always he responded immediately to the wishes of superiors, to the will of God: “Here I am, Lord, send me”.
As Rector of the community at Chikuni, Fr. MacMahon was head master and Prefect of Studies of St. Canisius College, the secondary school for boys.
On completing his term as Rector he remained on as Principal. It was in this capacity that he is best remembered by students and staff. Under his direction the school was improved and enlarged and Senior Secondary Courses introduced. Among the large number of African schoolboys who passed through his hands he enjoyed a unanimous reputation for patience and kindness combined with an unwavering sense of justice. To his fellow-missionaries devotion to his work and to the interests of the school was well known. And the government officials with whom he collaborated held him in the highest regard.
In 1959 Fr. MacMahon was appointed Education Secretary-General to the Catholic Schools of Northern Rhodesia and Superior of St. Ignatius Residence, Lusaka, where he lived for six months before illness forced him to return to Ireland, The last months he spent in hospital, suffering a good deal, until death, for which he was well prepared, came to release him. His loss is very deeply regretted by his colleagues on the mission and by all those who benefited by contact with him" (Extract from Your St. Ignatius Newsletter, Lusaka, 21st August, 1960).
Under News from the Missions, Northern Rhodesia, in this issue will be found the panegyric preached by Fr. Dominic at the outdoor Requiem Mass at Chikuni on 19th August.

McCarron, Seán J, 1907-1975, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/275
  • Person
  • 01 October 1907-16 July 1975

Born: 01 October 1907, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1938, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1942
Died: 16 July 1975, Mungret College, County Limerick

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

Early education at O’Connell’s School Dublin

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
John McCarron was known as Sean. Even as a novice, his qualities of leadership and practical common sense were recognised. He was self-confident, sure of his judgment and, on occasion, forthright in urging his point of view. His self-confidence stood to him in counselling and directing the large number of people, both clerical and lay, who sought his advice.
He was born in Dublin on 1 October 1907 and entered the Society in 1925. After the normal course of studies, juniorate, philosophy, regency and theology, he was ordained at Milltown Park in 1938.

For 15 years (1942 to 1957) Fr Sean was the Central Director of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association (PTAA) with the exception of the first year when he was the assistant. He possessed tremendous drive and was demanding of others both as to the quality and quantity of their work. Some within the Society said he was too demanding. However he had the knack or ability to draw around him people of talent and dedication who would give of their best.

He had a genius for organisation and administration which showed itself in the restructuring of the Pioneer office, in the conducting of Pioneer affairs and also in the overall direction of the memorable Golden Jubilee of the Association in 1949 which entailed a huge parade through the centre of Dublin and a massive meeting in Croke Park. He founded and launched the Pioneer Magazine in 1948 which quickly built up a good circulation in spite of the pundits who said that such a magazine would not be a practical proposition. He even procured a car for his work of promoting the Association - a very progressive action at the time. Until the late 40s, the only cars permitted in the Province were the four official cars for the country houses - Emo, Clongowes, Tullabeg and Mungret. The annual Pioneer Rally at Dublin's Theatre Royal was certainly the biggest annual rally of any group in Ireland. Because of the Association, he became one of the best known priests in Ireland.

An amusing incident took place when he was Director of the Pioneers. One afternoon seeing a poor woman pushing a pram up the hill in Gardiner Street, he went to assist her and found himself pushing a pram, not with a baby, but one full of bottles of beer!

He left the Association to be posted to Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) for the express purpose of building and setting up Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College. His right hand man was Br Pat McElduff. It was quite a showpiece with even a fountain on the campus. He was a tremendous worker but at the same time he had great kindness towards the workers and foremen. The firms he dealt with had great respect for him as he was always so straight and clear about what he wanted. He lived where he worked, in a small house, the inside of which was littered with plans everywhere – on the floor, on the table, on his bed. Zambia was a very happy episode in his life which revealed his charm and affability.

Back in Ireland he founded Manresa Retreat House and was the first Superior of Loyola House, the provincial’s new residence. His health had not been good for a number of years though he always made light of this. The end came suddenly early in the morning of 16 July 1975 in Limerick where he had been living.

Note from Arthur J Clarke Entry
During his six years as rector, he was blessed with such outstanding heads of Canisius as Dick Cremins and Michael J Kelly. Arthur's vision for Canisius as a leading secondary school was influenced by his experience of Clongowes Wood College in Ireland. First, he wanted a proper house for the community. Though the actual building was the responsibility of Fr McCarron and Br Pat McElduff, the siting and design of the spacious community house are largely Arthur’s.

Note from Pat McElduff Entry
For the construction of the Teachers Training College Charles Lwanga across the river from Chikuni, Br Pat was the obvious man for the building together with Fr McCarron just out from Ireland.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.
We moved in on Saturday morning, 14th August. Fr, Superior (Fr. McCarron), Fr. Minister (Fr. Kearns), and Bro. E. Foley constituted the occupying force, and Fr. T. Martin not only placed his van at our disposal, but gave generously of his time and labour for the heavy work of the first day.
A long procession of vans unloaded until noon, when the men broke off for their half-day, leaving a mountain of assorted hardware and soft goods to be unpacked and stowed. By nightfall we had a chapel installed, the kitchen working, dining-room in passable order, and beds set up, so we said litanies, Fr. Superior blessed the house and consecrated it to the Sacred Heart.
Next morning Fr. Superior said the first Mass ever offered in the building. It was the Feast of the Assumption and a Sunday, so we. placed the house and the work under the Patronage of Our Lady and paused to review the scene. Fr. Provincial came to lunch.
The building is soundly constructed from basement to roof, but needs considerable modification before it can be used as a temporary Retreat House. The permanent Retreat House has yet to be built on the existing stables about 130 yards from the principal structure, but. we hope to take about twenty exercitants as soon as builders, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and decorators have done their work.
Fr. C. Doyle is equipping and furnishing the domestic chapel as a memorial to Fr. Willie, who worked so tirelessly for the establishment of workingmen's retreats in Ireland. A mantelpiece of this room has been removed, and thermostatically controlled electric heating is being installed. Lighting is to be by means of fluorescent tubes of the latest type.
With all due respects to the expert gardeners of the Province, we modestly assert that our garden is superb. Fr. Provincial was so impressed by the work done there that he presented us with a Fordson 8 H.P. van to bring the surplus produce to market. Under the personal supervision of Fr. Superior, our two professional gardeners took nine first prizes and four seconds with fourteen exhibits at the Drimnagh show. Twelve of their potatoes filled a bucket, and were sold for one shilling each. The garden extends over 2 of our 17 acres and will, please God, provide abundant fruit and vegetables.
From the beginning we have been overwhelmed with kindness: by our houses and by individual Fathers. Fr. Provincial has been a fairy-godmother to us all the time. As well as the van, he has given us a radio to keep us in touch with the outside world. We have bene fitted by the wise advice of Frs. Doyle and Kenny in buying equipment and supplies, while both of them, together with Fr. Rector of Belvedere and Fr. Superior of Gardiner Street, have given and lent furniture for our temporary chapel Fr. Scantlebury sacrificed two fine mahogany bookcases, while Frs. Doherty and D. Dargan travelled by rail and bus so that we might have the use of the Pioneer car for three weeks. Milltown sent a roll-top desk for Fr, Superior's use. To all who helped both houses and individuals we offer our warmest thanks, and we include in this acknowledgement the many others whom we have not mentioned by name.
Our man-power problem was acute until the Theologians came to the rescue. Two servants were engaged consecutively, but called off without beginning work. An appeal to Fr. Smyth at Milltown brought us Messrs. Doris and Kelly for a week of gruelling labour in the house. They scrubbed and waxed and carpentered without respite until Saturday when Mr. Kelly had to leave us. Mr. Hornedo of the Toledo Province came to replace him, and Mr. Barry arrived for work in the grounds. Thanks to their zeal and skill, the refectory, library and several bedrooms were made ready and we welcomed our first guest on Monday, 30th August. Under the influence of the sea air, Fr. Quinlan is regaining his strength after his long and severe illness.
If anyone has old furniture, books, bedclothes, pictures, or, in fact anything which he considers superfluous, we should be very glad to hear of it, as we are faced with the task of organizing accommodation for 60 men and are trying to keep the financial load as light as possible in these times of high cost. The maintenance of the house depends on alms and whatever the garden may bring. What may look like junk to an established house may be very useful to us, starting from bare essentials. Most of all, we want the prayers of the brethren for the success of the whole venture, which is judged to be a great act of trust in the Providence of God.
Our postal address is : Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.

Irish Province News 50th Year No 3 and 4 1975

Obituary :

Fr Seán McCarron (1907-1975)

Fr Kevin O'Donnell writes:
“I went to Tullabeg in September 1925, a few days after Seán McCarron. We were together from that date until the end of our Tertianship in 1940, moving on from the Noviceship to the Juniorate, then to Philosophy, to Clongowes, to Milltown Park and finally to Rathfarnham.
Father Paddy Kenny was in constant attendance during our years of formation, being Socius and Minister during our noviceship and coming with us to Rathfarnham. He was appointed Minister in Clongowes at the same time as we were sent there as scholastics. We had, therefore, the benefit of the guidance and example of an outstanding Jesuit - a practical and deeply spiritual man.
Seán would be astonished if he heard anyone attempting to draw a comparison between himself and ‘PK’, and I don't intend to try it. His long and constant association with ‘PK’ undoubtedly influenced Seán.
Even in the Noviceship, Seán's qualities of leadership and practical common sense were recognised. At ‘outdoor works’, when Seán was in charge of a group, we all knew whom to obey, Seán was aware of his gifts - he was self-confident, sure of his judgement and, on occasion, forthright in urging his point. This self confidence stood to him in later life in counselling and directing the very large number of people - clerical and lay - who sought his advice.
In addition to a very practical mind and his gift of leadership, Seán had a deep and genuine spirituality, zealous and generous in giving the Spiritual Exercises, and a great worker on a Mission.
He gave devoted and distinguished service to the Society which he joined fifty years ago. God grant him his reward”.

Fr Dan Dargan writes about Seán as Director of the Pioneers :
“In 1942 Fr Seán McCarton was appointed assistant to the Director of the Pioneer Association, Fr Joe Flinn. The following year Fr Flinn died and Seán succeeded him as Central Director. He remained in that office until 1957 when he left Ireland to work on the Zambian mission.
For nine years I was his assistant, and during that time I grew to look on him as one of the most able men I have met in the Society. He was highly intelligent, practical and forceful, he commanded widespread respect throughout the country and became one of the best-known priests in Ireland. Himself possessing tremendous drive, he was demanding of others, both as to the quality and quantity of their work. In the Society some said that he was too demanding. Outside the Society I have known several people who were ready to work themselves to the bone for Fr McCarron and glad to be able to do it. Indeed a secret of his success in whatever he undertook was his ability to draw around him people of talent and dedication who would give of their best.
I was often struck by his handling of a thorny issue. He would study it, would get right to the kernel and would evaluate reasons for and against. Then, where others might hesitate, he would make a decision and would fearlessly execute it. He had a genius for organisation and administration, as he showed in his efficient re structuring of the Pioneer Association office, in his overall direction of the memorable Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Association in 1949, and in his conducting of Pioneer affairs. He was much sought after as a spiritual adviser, especially during his years at Manresa Retreat House. I have heard people speak of the valuable direction he gave them with his commonsense approach and generous kindness to them.
Until recently it fell to the lot of few Jesuits to be assigned to more than one totally new work in the course of their lives. Within ten years Seán McCarron was given three such assignments: he was appointed founder of Manresa Retreat House, first superior of Loyola, and was sent to Zambia for the express purpose of building and setting up the Charles Lwanga College. One reason for these appointments was his great initiative, to which any house where he was in charge bears witness. In the Pioneer Association, before his coming on the scene, it was the official viewpoint that a special magazine for the Association would not be a practical proposition. In 1948 Seán blew this theory to bits when he founded and launched the Pioneer magazine, which quickly built up a good circulation. After the Second World War, as soon as motor cars began to appear freely on the roads, Seán procured a car for his work of promoting the Association - an action which at the time was considered very progressive! (It may come as a surprise to younger Jesuits to learn that until the late 1940s the only cars permitted in the Province were the four official house cars allowed to our country houses, one each to Emo, Tullabeg, Clongowes and Mungret).
For him a favourite occasion was the annual Pioneer meeting in Dublin's Theatre Royal. This was quite a remarkable meeting, certainly the biggest annual rally of any group in Ireland. The theatre, which held three and a half thousand people, was always packed. No sooner had Seán risen and said a few words than you could see that he held his audience in the palm of his hand. He would begin in a relaxed, humorous vein, often referring jocosely to his personal proportions - at that time he weighed 18 stone - and he would have his listeners chuckling away merrily. Then he would grow serious, would speak with impassioned eloquence, often lifting his listeners to heights of enthusiasm. On many occasions he hit out hard at drink abuses, including breaches of the licensing laws. He was sometimes criticised by members of the Province for this, but he was convinced that he was justified in making strong protests against abuses which produced such damaging effects on the moral and social life of our people.
Those of us who worked with him often marvelled at his powers of persuasion in bringing people around to accept his viewpoint. On the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the Association, he pro posed to archbishop McQuaid his intended programme involving a huge parade through the centre of Dublin and an open-air meet ing in Croke Park. The archbishop was anything but encouraging. Undaunted Seán explained to the archbishop the spiritual motivation of the Pioneer Association, and said that the rally would afford a unique opportunity to put this motivation before the general public. The archbishop withdrew his disapproval and gave his sanction to Seán's plans.
Almost on the eve of a national Pioneer pilgrimage to Knock in the Marian Year (1954), the men in the GNR company in the Drogheda area became involved in a dispute with the management, and decided that until they got satisfaction they would not operate any trains on Sundays. Realising the disappointment this would bring to people in Meath and Louth, Seán went up to Drogheda, met the men and appealed to them to run the trains for the Pioneer pilgrimage. To do so, he told them, would not adversely prejudice their case, but rather would win admiration from the public. The men were impressed, responded to his appeal, and - the Pioneers got to Knock!
It came as a surprise to many outside the Society to learn after his death that he experienced bad health in many forms for many years. He himself always made light of this, would even joke about it, but throughout his ill-health and suffering he showed remark able courage, never giving way to self-pity and showing a deep spirit of faith. He knew that the end might come suddenly at any time, and so it did, early in the morning of the 16th July, 1975, May his great soul enjoy happiness with God whom he served so cheerfully and courageously”.

Mary Purcell has a 3-page illustrated article on Seán in the Pioneer (September 1975).

Fr Charlie O'Connor writes about Seán in Zambia :
“I have a very clear picture of Seán in Zambia. I think he was in his element there. He had a job to do and he was complete boss in that job - and I think Seán needed to be completely in charge. He made a great job of the building of Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College: it was quite a showpiece - who in Africa had ever thought before of including a fountain in a campus?
The word I find coming to mind for the McCarron of those days (1956-'63) is genial. There was great affability towards workers and foremen - but the affable face could set in serious lines when problems arose. The firms he dealt with had great respect for him - I suppose because he was so straight and so clear about what he wanted.
Another picture comes to mind: he lived on his own in one of the teachers' houses he had erected. You'd go in and find him in a room littered with plans on the floor, table, bed, plans everywhere.
Another picture: You'd meet him making his way very purposefully towards one of the sites, his huge wide-brimmed hat on his head - that was quite a characteristic feature of Seán in those days - in shirt and trousers - and with a rolled plan under his arm.
I'm certain Zambia was a very happy episode in his life - and perhaps revealed more than other periods his great charm and affability. Before that I had thought of him as autocratic and not very warm.

McCarthy, Joseph, 1912-1986, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/277
  • Person
  • 17 April 1912-05 January 1986

Born: 17 April 1912, Dublin
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1946
Died: 05 January 1986, Monze Hospital, Zambia - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Part of the Kasisi Parish, Lusaka, Zambia at the time of death

Early education at O’Connell’s School Dublin

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1956 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fifth wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Because Joe was such a ‘character’ - widely known and admired (as it were from a distance), fondly mimicked, amusedly quoted in his characteristic phrases like ‘old chap’, ‘nonsense!’ ‘My community’ etc, perhaps the full depth of his humanity and Jesuit identity were known only to a small circle of friends with whom he felt totally comfortable. His achievements as a missionary can easily be narrated for the edification of others or the annals of history.

Born on 17 April 1912, to a Dublin family of Cork stock, Joe had to compete with several brothers and sisters for the approval of his father; his mother had died when Joe was very young. After secondary school with the Christian Brothers, he entered the novitiate at Emo on 3 September 1930. As a junior he finished with a B.Sc. in Mathematics from U.C.D. Philosophy, regency and theology brought him to ordination at Milltown Park on 29 July 1943. He went to teach at Clongowes Wood College and was looked upon as a very competent teacher. From his oft repeated anecdotes of his life there, it is very clear that he enjoyed himself immensely.

A call for volunteers to meet the needs of the Jesuit Mission in the then Northern Rhodesia, saw Joe packing his bags to say goodbye to Clongowes. His ability to discard the comforts of life would be a feature of his life right up to his dying moments, despite the fragility of his body and the poor state of his general health. He came out with the first nine Irish Jesuits in 1950.

In the late 50s, Joe pioneered the Chivuna Mission where he built the community house, church and Trade School with the co-operation of Br Jim Dunne and won the esteem and affection of the people in the locality who fondly spoke of him as ‘Makacki’. For four years he was in Namwala, again building the mission house, a sisters' convent and outstations. In both these places he was full time parish priest.

The new Bishop of Monze, in his wise fashion appointed Joe as his Vicar General in the newly established diocese of Monze. Few (if any) could match Joe's qualifications for such a post: clear-sighted, wide experience in pioneering Church expansion, adroit in negotiating with local authorities, well able to collaborate with so varied a group of people, and an ability to make most of the limited funds available. Joe contributed enormously to the expansion of the church in Monze diocese during those years.

At the Bishop's request he was assigned to Chirundu, to the Zambezi Farm Training Institute, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Milan. In those ten years Joe became known in the vicinity and was highly appreciated by government officials, trainees and their families.

It was characteristic of Joe that wherever he lived and worked soon became ‘his’. He would speak of ‘my’ mission, ‘my' road, ‘my’ community etc. He loved to reminisce about the good old times of his life as he got older, amusedly recalling the characters of the old days, their witty sayings that indicated their nimbleness of mind. Such memories provided him with immense entertainment. The older he got the more he tended to repeat himself.

The Society he loved and felt part of was the Society of pre-Vatican II days, the Society in Ireland before the 60s; or the pioneering Society of Chikuni Mission characterized by the thrust and energy of the newly arrived Irish Jesuits, enjoying a degree of autonomy and homogeneity. How often would he later recall those great times. The present-day emphasis on community meetings, faith-sharing, more open dialogue between the members of the community continued to baffle him and defeat him to the very end.

His health was never very good and began to wane. After surgery in early 1977, Joe realised the strong possibility of the recurrence of the cancer. However some years later, the end came quickly. Jim Carroll was with him for his last four hours of life. When taking his leave of Jim in his final moments, Joe revealed so much of himself in his final words: ‘I think you should leave me here, old chap; there are certain formalities to be undergone from here on’! Within minutes Joe had died, leaving behind so many friends regretfully but at the same time looking forward to meeting so many others.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 61st Year No 2 1986

Obituary

Fr Joseph McCarthy (1912-1930-1986) (Zambia)

17th April 1912: born. 3rd September 1930: entered SJ. 1930-32 Emo, noviciate. 1932-35 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1935-38 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1938-39 Clongowes, regency, 1939-40 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1940-44 Milltown, theology. 1944-45 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1945-50 Clongowes, teaching. 1950-86 Zambia.
1950-51 Chikuni, learning language. 1951-57 Chivuna, administering trade school (1954-57 Vice-superior). 1957-58 Chikuni, assistant administrator of schools. 1958-59 Kasiya. 1959-62 Namwala. 1962-66 Kasiya, acting vicar general of Monze diocese. 1966-68 Monze, building Chirundu. 1968-75 Lusaka, St Ignatius, administering Chirundu. 1975-77 Chikuni, teaching. 1977-86 Kasisi: 1977-82 Superior, 1982-86 administering Kasisi farm. 5th January 1986: died.

The following obituary notice is taken from pp. 6-9 of the Zambian Province news-letter, February 1986.

As we stood mournfully round Fr Joe McCarthy's grave at Kasisi Fr Felix Kalebwe asked the Jesuit novices to kneel round the grave and realise that they were blessed to have been able to participate in the burial of a great Jesuit; and they were invited to remember this event for the rest of their lives, and to try to emulate Fr McCarthy in his zeal and dedication.
Later, as we came away from the burial-ground, avoiding the large pools of rain-water, one of the loveliest things of my life happened: many people, Jesuits and non-Jesuits, expressed their sympathy for me personally, in words like, “You will miss him greatly; you were such great friends”.
Because Joe was such a “character”, widely known and admired (as it were from a distance), fondly mimicked, amusedly quoted in his characteristic phrases like “I say, old chap”, “Nonsense”, “My community”, perhaps the full depth of his humanity and Jesuit identity were known only to a small circle of friends with whom he felt totally comfortable. Yes, his achievements as a missionary are part of history, can easily be narrated for the edification of others or the annals of our history. But lest his shyness with so many, and his inclination to resort to eccentric behaviour would hide the warm and gentle character of Joe, I would like to try to describe Joe the man who was a dedicated Jesuit and a very warm friend to a few of us.
Born on 17th April, 1912, to a Dublin family of Cork stock, Joe had to compete with several brothers and sisters for the approval of his father; his mother died when Joe was very young. After secondary school with the Irish Christian Brothers Joe entered the Jesuit noviciate at Emo on 3rd September, 1930. University studies followed at University College, Dublin, and despite being incapacitated by tuberculosis he finished with a good BSc Mathematics. On to Tullabeg for philosophy, where his keen intellect continued to reveal itself. Regency at Clongowes, followed by theological studies at Milltown Park; he always claimed in later life, in his characteristically boastful way, that he was an outstanding moral theologian of that era! What is clear from his studies throughout his Jesuit formation is that Joe could easily have gone on to lecture in any of the three fields of mathematics, philosophy or theology - and would have made his mark in whichever he chose.
Instead, after ordination on 29th July, 1943, fourth year of theology and tertianship, Joe went to teach at Clongowes Wood College. He was looked up to as a very competent teacher while at Clongowes. And from his oft repeated anecdotes of life in Clongowes at that time it is very clear that Joe enjoyed himself immensely while there, and later treasured fond memories of characters like The Prince McGlade and Patch Byrne. A life of satisfying teaching, accompanied by the gracious- ness of castle life lay before him; an inviting prospect for a humanly intellectual person like Joe.
But the Irish Provincial of the time, Fr Thomas Byrne, called for volunteers to meet the need of the Jesuit mission in the then N. Rhodesia. Joe packed his bag and said goodbye to the status and comradeship of Clongowes. In no way did he gladly turn his back on Ireland, the land and people that he loved so much, whose history and literature were so much part of him. That innate asceticism in him, the willingness to leave what he treasured so dearly and with which he was so personally involved, led him to offer himself for the challenging work of a new mission. This ability to discard the (justifiable) comforts of life would be a feature of Joe's life till his dying moments, despite the fragility of his body and the poor state of his general health.
The long boat and train journey to Chisekesi, language study at Chikuni, and then assignment to Kasiya Mission, where he quickly proved his qualities as a missionary. In the late '50s Joe pioneered Chivuna Mission, where he built the house, church and Trade School with the able cooperation of Br Jim Dunne, and won the esteem and affection of the people in the locality, who fondly spoke of him as “Macacki”.
At this stage of his life Joe had entered into the zenith of his apostolic life. Besides being a pioneering missionary and full-time parish priest, he was soon to be an invaluable consultor of the regional Jesuit superior of the Chikuni Mission. His clear-mindedness, coupled with an imaginative zeal and appreciation of the people's needs made Joe a very valuable consultor. Besides providing the superior with the benefits of his knowledge, Joe was energetically pursuing his own expansion of the church. Teachers, headmen and chiefs appreciated his efforts to extend education in their regions. His working relations with all of them were always amicable, and highly appreciated - often still recalled with great admiration and affection even thirty years afterwards. Numerous primary schools in the southern province of Zambia are monuments to Joe's zeal and competence.
Whether as planner, builder, adminisrator, pastoral worker, negotiator, adviser, fruit farmer, cattle farmer or whatever, Joe could not only turn his hand to it, but excel in it. And could (and would!) talk per longum et latum on any of these achievements; as indeed he could talk on any other subject on this earth. He needed to talk about what occupied his time and energy, to think aloud and sound out his grasp of the subject, rather than to learn from another. He was very much a self-made man, believing that with intellect nearly everything could be mastered practically by personal trial and error). Of course he found it next to impossible to admit to others that he ever made a mistake!
The new Bishop of Monze, James Corboy, in his wise fashion appointed Joe as his Vicar-General in the newly established diocese of Monze. Few (if any) could match Joe's qualifications for such a post: clear-sightedness, wide experience in pioneering the church expansion, adroit in negotiation with local authorities, ability to collaborate with so varied a group of people, and an ability to make the most of limited funds. Joe contributed enormously to the expansion of the church in the Monze diocese area in those years. Up to last year Bishop James was still in the habit of calling on the services of Joe when negotiations had to be made with some government ministry. Joe always looked on such a task as a great honour to himself . . , “to help James”.
At the Bishop's request Joe was assigned to Chirundu, to launch the Zambezi Farm-Training Institute, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Milan. In those years (about ten) Joe became known in the vicinity, had cordial relations with all officials in the locality, and was highly appreciated by government officials, personnel of the Archdiocese of Milan, as well as by the trainees and their families who passed through the Institute. During those years, often living alone, Joe was able to give free rein to his personal eccentricities, that would make it difficult for him to re-enter into ordinary community life. To all practical purposes he was Chief of Chirundu, and would later recall the advantages of that way of life. Life at Chirundu also afforded Joe opportunity to find pleasure in the wonders of nature; his knowledge of fossils, birds and trees was very extensive indeed; and his enquiring mind found such delight in so many simple objects of nature.
It was characteristic of Joe, that wherever he lived and worked soon became “his”. He threw himself totally into whatever he was doing, mastering it and achieving his goals in it; never withholding himself from a place or a work. I guess this partly explains why he developed the habit of claiming districts, missions, churches, schools, roads, farms, communities, even cattle for his own: “my” mission, “my” community, ...
This praiseworthy characteristic, to make anything his own, might account for Joe's long-standing resistance to the formation of the Province of Zambia. It took him years to accept that such a change did not inevitably mean a neglect of the Chikuni area or of the diocese of Monze. Those areas, where for the best part of twenty years he had spent himself untiringly - often to the neglect of his health - were to remain, even to the end, of great concern for him.
As the strenuously active part of his life came to an end, other aspects of Joe's character began to manifest themselves more. He always held that he came from a long line of traditional Irish bards or poets, and was convinced that he had the gifts of oratory. He loved to reminisce about the good old times in his life, amusedly recalling the characters of those days, their witty sayings that indicated nimbleness of mind: the memorable incidents of life in Clongowes, the victories of McCarthy and O'Riordan in the early mission days, the achievements of Namwala and Chirundu, brought to life by accolades for the colourful characters of those of those days. Such memories provided Joe with entertainment. And the older he got the more he tended to repeat himself; he was aware, to a degree, that such constant re-living of the past could bore his listeners; but that did not deter him from an exercise that gave him such great delight!
The competitive element of Joe's character, which had helped make him such a zealous missionary in the 50s and 60s, remained with him in later life. How he yearned to preach the greatest sermon, even to the children of Kasisi primary schools, or to be the most heal-ing of confessors to the people of the parish! How he wanted to be the best cattle farmer, the best buyer of necessities for the community! How he was spurred on by a crossword puzzle, by a debate. Such competitiveness quite often could lead him into what seemed rudeness towards others, as he grabbed the limelight in company. Joe was never content to sit back and listen, allowing someone else to be the 'soul of the party'. He had to be the one who dazzled!
The Society he loved and felt part of was the Society of pre-Vatican II days, the Society in Ireland before the 60s; or he pioneering Society of the Chikuni Mission, characterised by the thrust and energy of the newly-arrived Irish Jesuits, enjoying a degree of autonomy and homogeneity; how often he would later those “great times”. The present day emphasis on community meetings, faith-sharing, more open dialogue between all members of the community continued to baffle and defeat him to the very end. Of course he was incapable of admitting to this bafflement, and so tended to dismiss it all as emotional immaturity, decrying the absence of the old solid virtues of self-reliance and selflessness.
How remarkable that Providence : should lead him, for the last eight years his life, to Kasisi, a non-Irish environment, As superior he was able to show his innate kindness to members of his community, to the Sisters in the nearby community and to guests who visited Kasisi to rest or make their annual retreat. All were the recipients of Joe's hospitality.
After surgery in early 1977 Joe realised the strong possibility of a recurrence of the cancer in him. But he would never discuss his anxiety with anyone else. He preferred to carry on as if
everything was okay, doing his duty; and whenever close friends tried to get him to share his anxieties with them, he would quickly switch the conversation into less personal channels. And few people were better than Joe at giving direction to a conversation, in fact at taking over the conversation completely and not giving the other conversant (!) a chance of changing it back on course!
The end came quickly: fighting for life in the intensive care unit at the University Training Hospital, imbalance of body fluids with intermittent hallucinations, infection of the surgery wound, removal to Chikuni and Monze hospitals, an apparent recovery, a lapse into pneumonia, accompanied with a great peace and acceptance of the inevitable. Jim Carroll, who was with Joe for his last four hours, describes his death as a most beautiful one, with Joe eagerly looking forward to seeing his mother and Jesus. When taking his leave of Jim, recall in his final moments, Joe revealed so much of himself in his final words: I think you should leave me, here, old chap; there are certain formalities to be undergone from here on! Within minutes Joe had died, leaving behind so many friends regretfully, but at the same time looking forward to meeting so many others.
In recent annual retreats Joe had confided in me that he had been over- whelmed by God's love for him. I honestly think that he made great efforts in returning that love through his deeds; may he now rest in that same love.

McDonagh, Francis, 1915-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/518
  • Person
  • 21 December 1915-25 February 1993

Born: 21 December 1915, Salford, Manchester, Lancashire, England
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1954
Died: 25 February 1993, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

by 1971 at Charles Lwanga, Zambia (ZAM) working

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Frank was born in Manchester, England, on 21 December 1915. His family moved back to Ireland to live in Dublin. He was 23 years of age when he entered the Society at Emo Park. He went through the usual studies of the Society and was ordained priest at Milltown Park in July 1951.

After tertianship in 1953, he was posted to Belvedere College in Dublin as Assistant Prefect of Studies, going on to be minister for five years and then rector for another six. As it is normal for rectors to be moved at the end of their term, Fr Frank moved to Gardiner Street Church in 1966 to work in the church there, with all which that entailed.

A big change of scene took him to Zambia in 1969 to Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College for a few years where he taught, was spiritual Father to the students, minister and also bursar. St. Ignatius in Lusaka had him for a year, as had Mukasa Minor Seminary in Choma. Back to Lusaka to Chelston parish where he did church work and was also on the Nunciature staff as the ‘local collaborator’, a term to which Fr Frank objected. He remarked to a colleague, ‘My Vatican masters were either oblivious or unbothered that the Nazis had made the term “collaborator” a very bad word’. In 1975 he was minister in Chikuni and returned to Ireland the following year.

He was posted to Gardiner Street where he had been in the sixties. He was bursar and church worker, posts which he held up to 1990 when he was transferred to Cherryfield, the Jesuit Nursing Home, again as bursar and censor of books. This was his last posting as he died there of a heart attack in February of 1993.

Fr Frank was a kind man, right from his novitiate days, ready to help his fellow Jesuits. When he was at Belvedere College, he was remembered as ‘a kind, thoughtful and humane rector’. A good community man, his kindness went with him to Zambia and it is that quality that he is remembered by.

One who wrote a short obituary of him ended it thus: ‘He was an urbane man with a sure sense of humor and the ability to tell a story. Not an ascetic in the physical sense, he liked his drink and smoke and music. But there was in him the essential askesis of devoted service and of deep sympathy and concern for people. It is good to know that he considered his time at Cherryfield the happiest time of his life’.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Civil Servant before entry

McDonald, Joseph, 1918-1999, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/680
  • Person
  • 19 January 1918-11 June 1999

Born: 19 January 1918, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 05 November 1977
Died: 11 June 1999, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1952 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fourth wave of Zambian Missioners

Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Joseph McDonald finished his secondary schooling at Belvedere in 1936, the year he entered the Society at Emo, leaving behind him a smart red vehicle, one of the very few school leavers in Ireland at that time who had his own car! He was born on 19 January 1918 in Dublin and grew up at his father's established Law firm. After the normal course of Jesuit studies, he was ordained priest at Milltown Park on 31 July 1949. For his regency, he had gone back to Belvedere for which he had a great love.

In 1950, nine Irish Jesuits departed for Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) to aid their fellow Jesuits there and in 1951 the second batch of nine followed, among whom was Fr Joe. They traveled by boat to Cape Town and then by train to Chisekesi Siding, six miles from Chikuni, the only mission station at the time and described as a place ‘of pit latrines, oil-lamps and candles’.

Building was just beginning at Fumbo, Kasiya and Chivuna which were to become mission stations. Fr Zabdyr from Chikuni had set up a school at each of these places some years previously. Now they were being developed to house a resident priest. Fr. Joe first and foremost was a priest and an apostle. For him, ministry held top priority: for the sick, for the hungry and for the spiritually hungry. He preached the good news in his own inimitable way, both in season and out of season. He would make available the means of grace and salvation to the people.

He worked in Chikuni, Fumbo, Kasiya, Chivuna and Nakambala, all the time his concern was for 'the people'. Of all places Joe administered in, Fumbo was the favorite of his apostolic life. He lived and worked there for 16 to 17 years having gone there in 1952, just when the mission station was beginning. In fact he was known as ‘Fr Fumbo’! Though he was minister in Chikuni and Chivuna at times, it was parish work he preferred in whatever place he was posted.

He built up Fumbo and its wide outreach. Over the years there, he was on his own for much of the time. He was so sensitive to the growth and spread of the faith in the valley that he was known to become frustrated from time to time and would let this frustration be known in writing both to his Superiors and to the Bishop of the diocese.

There are many stories of Joe from these days. At one time, as Manager of Schools in the Fumbo area, a pompous Education Officer from the Gwembe Boma kept referring Joe to his circulars on procedure. On one occasion, as the story goes, Joe wrote back to him, ‘The people find your circulars very useful for smoking paper’!

Then there was the Father on the staff of Canisius Secondary School on the plateau who expressed doubt as to whether there were elephants in Fumbo. Joe sent him a cardboard box containing some dried elephant dung – the doubt vanished. The classic remark from Joe was made on a day when Joe, bemoaning the fact that the Bishop was not coming to Fumbo as often as Joe would have liked him to come: ‘There's very little of the shepherd about James!’ Joe had a good sense of humor and liked a good laugh.

As the years crept up on Joe, he was posted to Chikuni, helping in the parish and visiting the sick regularly in the hospital. His death occurred at Chikuni in his 50th year as a priest. The day was Friday, 11 June, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an important day for Joe who was deeply devoted to the Sacred Heart. He collapsed while on his way to early morning Mass in the Domestic Chapel. After rallying for a short time, he passed away in the presence of his brother Jesuits.

McElduff, Patrick, 1923-2000, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/682
  • Person
  • 17 April 1923-06 April 2000

Born: 17 April 1923, Killeigh, Tullamore, County Offaly
Entered: 20 November 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Professed: 02 February 1955
Died: 06 April 2000, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Xambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Part of the Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1953 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fifth wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Early in his stay at Chikuni, one evening a worker came to Br Pat to report that a snake had fallen into the well, the source of the people's drinking water. ‘If it dies, no one will ever drink from the well again’ he was told. What to do? Br Pat was nothing if not inventive. Into the 30 foot well he lowered a bag of hay knowing that snakes liked to rest or hide under sacking or straw. Next morning at 04.00 hours, Br Pat was awakened by the worker who said, ‘We have killed the snake after hauling up the hay with the snake inside’. Br Pat writing about this incident years later wrote, ‘I suppose it's in overcoming challenges that we grow in joy, in closeness to our Creator, and in a knowledge of who we are and how closely we work with Him’. Br Pat was a deeply spiritual man and all his working life was a challenge to him.

He was born on 17 April 1923 in Killeigh, Co Offaly, Ireland, into a farming family. After school he went to the Tullamore Vocational School for Trades Training (carpentry and building) and further academic subjects. He looked upon his early life as ‘a good Catholic religious upbringing’. He came to the Society in 1944 to Emo where he stayed even after his vows working on the farm, eight years in all.

He came to Northern Rhodesia in 1952 and took charge of the Chikuni farm for six years. For the construction of the Teachers Training College Charles Lwanga across the river from Chikuni, Br Pat was the obvious man for the building together with Fr McCarron just out from Ireland. During the following eight years, 1964 to 1972, he was on the move around the diocese building churches, schools, teachers' houses and catechists' houses. He spent three years promoting agriculture around Chikuni, went to Kasisi outside Lusaka as farm manager for three years and returned again to Chikuni as farm manager for eleven years. He did a few years' stint at Namwala doing maintenance and pastoral work and then back to Chikuni, also on maintenance and assisting in the parish. His health began to trouble him which took him to Ireland. In 1999 he was back in Zambia and was operated on but this did not cure the trouble. In great pain he asked to be brought to Ireland where he died on 6 April 2000.

In all this tremendous work that he did, he never forgot that he was working for God, as he once told a contractor with whom he was working when they had a difference of opinion. He prayed for the people he worked with, took a great interest in his workers and their families. He fed the hungry in famine times, visited the sick, presided at communion services, attended Charismatic prayer groups and generally encouraged people everywhere he went. He was never short of a word of advice or a prayer of encouragement.

On a short curriculum vitae sheet which the Jesuits fill in for the archives, one of the items on the sheet reads ‘Other activities, apostolic interests, hobbies, publications etc.’ Br Pat had, with an arrow pointing to 'hobbies' written, ‘get on with the job’. That, in some ways sums up Br Pat's life. He was practical, spiritual, helpful and kind. Ever busy himself, he was always ready to help others. He was well known around the Chikuni area as one to whom people would go when in trouble, knowing that they would get a listening ear. This, the local farmers knew. He was a farmer like themselves and his advice was readily sought.

The people were sad that Br Pat had died abroad. They would have liked to have his body brought back for full traditional burial rites, such was the esteem and love which they had for him. But as the Tonga proverb has it. ‘They say goodbye, they say goodbye but they leave their names behind’.

Note from Arthur J Clarke Entry
During his six years as rector, he was blessed with such outstanding heads of Canisius as Dick Cremins and Michael J Kelly. Arthur's vision for Canisius as a leading secondary school was influenced by his experience of Clongowes Wood College in Ireland. First, he wanted a proper house for the community. Though the actual building was the responsibility of Fr McCarron and Br Pat McElduff, the siting and design of the spacious community house are largely Arthur’s.

Note from Seán McCarron Entry
He was posted to Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) for the express purpose of building and setting up Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College. His right hand man was Br Pat McElduff.

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

McGivern, Thomas, 1927-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/832
  • Person
  • 24 December 1927-14 January 2017

Born: 24 December 1927, Newry, County Down
Entered: 07 September1945, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1959, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 05 November 1977, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 14 January 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

Raised in Newry, County Down and Galway.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

Early Education at Coláiste Iognáid and Clongowes Wood College

1947-1950 Rathfarnham - Studying at UCD
1950-1953 Tullabeg - Studying Theology Philosophy
1953-1954 Lusaka Mission - Studying CiTonga language
1954-1956 Chikuni Mission - Regency : Teaching Religion, History, Maths; Assistant Games Master; Health Prefect for students; Scouts
1956-1960 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1960-1961 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1961-1972 Canisius College - Prefect of Discipline; Teacher of English and Latin; President Junior Academy; Photographic Society; Scouts & Cadets; Retreats
1971 Headmaster (1971-1972)
1965 Teacher of Geography and Geology
1972-1975 Teacher; Spiritual Father to House and students; Spiritual Exercises at Kohima Barracks (Kabwe); Consultor
1975 Choma, Mukasa, Zambia – Headmaster, teacher
1976-1982 Canisius College – Rector, Teacher
1982-1997 Luwisha House, Lusaka - Religious Education Inspector for Department of Education and Culture (to 1993)
1988 Revisor of Archives for Province
1993 Education Secretary, ZEC (1993-1997)
1995 Consultor
1997-2001 Choma, Zambia - Teaches English & Geography at Mukasa Minor Seminary, Choma
2000 Librarian
2001-2011 Xavier House, Lusaka - Minister; Works in JTL and Archives at Fr John Chula House (Infirmary)
2005 House Treasurer; Works Archives at Fr John Chula House (Infirmary)
2011 Prays for the Church and the Society at Fr John Chula House
2011-2016 Loyola House, Dublin
2011 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/tom-survives-a-battering-2/

Tom survives a battering
Galway-born Tom McGivern SJ was locking up Chula House in Lusaka, Zambia, on Thursday evening when he was set upon by a thug demanding money. Tom had very little, and
the exasperated thief bashed him over the head with an iron bar. The community found him slumped on the floor. He needed ten stitches to his head, but after observation and a scan in the ICU, the scene has improved. Fr McGloin reports from Lusaka on 10 January: “I’ve just returned from visiting Tom in hospital. He seems to be greatly improved. He recognizes people; he is talking, though sometimes he gets confused; he is eating quite well; he has walked to the toilet; he was sitting up for a while today. This morning the surgeon does not believe any surgery will be required. But pray for him. Aged 83, he faces a struggle.”

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/tom-mcgivern-sj/

Tom McGivern SJ: a man without guile
Michael J. Kelly SJ gives an account of his late missionary friend Tom McGivern SJ who passed away on 14 January, 2017 in his 90th year.
Just a month before his death, the British Journal Religion & Education referred to Tom as “father of Zambian RE” and elsewhere as its “hero”. During the years 1982–1993, he served as Zambia’s first Inspector for Religious Education. At this post, Tom was not only responsible for ensuring the quality of RE in all secondary schools across the country, but he also served as the chief professional and technical advisor to the Government on matters relating to RE.
Tom recalled very laconically his appointment to this post: “The word came to me through my superiors that I had been appointed as the Inspector of RE. So I packed my bags and headed to Luwisha House which was to be my abode for the next eleven years.” He responded very courageously to this challenge and was instrumental in developing a syllabus which, with minor modifications, is still in use today.
Sadly, Tom was not fully aware in the final years of his life how significant his work for RE in Zambia had been. What led to this was as a result of an attack by a thief which left him brain injured at his home in Lusaka, in January 2011. He was later repatriated to Ireland in September 2011 for more specialised investigations and care. Despite being away from his beloved Zambia where he had lived for most of his life, he showed much gratitude to everybody who stretched out a hand to help him. And it was in Cherryfield that, following a fairly short illness, he handed over his great self to God.
Furthermore, Tom had three great characteristics: his smile, his loyalty and his open childlike nature. In some ways he was the incarnation of a smile. It seemed to be there always, even when he had to reprimand or correct, as those who had him as a prefect of discipline can well recall. He loved a good joke – and he loved to repeat back to you any good joke you might have told him! Maybe it was because he was born on Christmas Eve that he had such a good sense of humour, such a realisation that there was plenty to smile about in life, even if there were also sad and disturbing things.
As for loyalty, Tom’s was almost legendary: loyalty to the Church, loyalty to the Society, loyalty to his companions and friends, loyalty to Zambia. If Tom was on your side, you were safe. He would never let you down. This loyalty showed itself in a very special way when he set out to do something on behalf of religious Sisters: if one of them let it be known that she had a problem, Tom would be off his mark at once, seeing what he could do to help.
And Tom always embodied in his person the words of Jesus, “Unless you become like little children you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” He was always a child and had all the loveableness of a child. When somebody would produce some sweets or a piece of chocolate, Tom would stand there, eyes opening wide, expectant like a child. Indeed, jokingly it was sometimes said of him that he showed himself, less as a man among boys but more as a boy among boys!
Finally, Tom was a great inspiration and model for all of his Jesuit brethren. He was the kind of Jesuit St. Ignatius of Loyola would have wanted him to be, the kind of person God had in mind when He created him. Like Nathanael in the Gospel, he was a person in whom there was no guile, a most lovable, kind, cheerful man. We in Zambia are poorer without him. The world is poorer without him, but heaven is better off for having him. Ar dheis láimh Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/518-irish-men-behind-the-missions-fr-tom-mcgivern-sj-rip

IRISH MEN BEHIND THE MISSIONS: FR TOM MCGIVERN SJ RIP
Fr Tom McGivern SJ passed on to his final reward on the 14th January 2017 in his 90th year. Encouraged by his friends and family, he had completed his biography in January 2011.The following excerpts are drawn from ‘As I Remember’ as Tom relates his life story weaving into it references to some of the momentous historical events of the 20th century.

Family values and Catholic education
Born on Christmas Eve 1927 into a family of two boys and two girls, Tom went to the Jesuit primary school ‘The Jez’ in Galway and then to Clongowes Wood College for second level education. He went to train for the priesthood in the Society of Jesus in County Laois, then known as 'Queen's County'. After his ordination in 1959, he went on to spend most of his life in Zambia.
In his biography, Tom comes across as a modest, straight talking and honest man. His parents Eileen and Edward, while very understanding, expected nothing less than the truth from their children. When young Tom was caught out in a lie about a visit to the local cinema, he was grounded and his punishment was to write out 100 times: ‘No lie can be lawful or innocent and no motive however good can excuse a lie, because a lie is always sinful and bad in itself.’
This Catholic catechism definition and punishment left a lifelong impression on him!

Into the silence
World War II had just ended when Tom began his Jesuit novitiate at the age of 18. A new life opened characterised by study, silence and prayer into which the ‘outside world’ only occasionally intruded.
Tom remembers Fr Frank Browne SJ, made famous for his rare photos of the Titanic when he sailed at the beginning of the ship’s only voyage from England to Ireland in 1912. An old man by the time Tom stumbled, covered in embarrassment, across his path in the chapel, Fr Browne had served as aChaplain in the trenches during WW I.
The novitiate came to an end after two years with the taking of perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

On to university life in Dublin
As the newly arrived students at university, the young Juniors were given the oldest bikes to cycle from their seminary to the University. It was a punishing five miles each way. Rationing was still in place after WW II and the young men were given a tin of sugar lumps each month, used for sweetening the tea and as money for playing poker!
During this time, the Free State of Ireland left the Commonwealth and ushered in the birth of the Irish Republic.
A primary Arts degree was followed by a further three years of Philosophy—taken to acquire critical and precise thinking. The ‘how’ and ‘why’ of life were often on his mind. It reveals something of Tom’s twinkling humour bubbling up throughout his biography, that one assignment submitted was entitled ‘Man, the Laughing Animal’.

‘Go South, young man’
It was 1953 and the young Queen Elizabeth had ascended the throne. The Irish Province had been assigned to send men to Northern Rhodesia as the Polish Jesuits who usually served there, were now unable to travel after the fall of the Iron Curtain that divided post WW II Europe. Tom had volunteered to go on mission to Alaska but was instructed to travel south of the Equator instead to Zambia—then Northern Rhodesia, a colony of the British Empire.
Zambia is about nine times the size of Ireland and Chikuni Mission where Tom went to live, is roughly the same as the island of Ireland. Tom’s first task was to learn Chitonga, the language of the Southern Province.
Being understood wasn’t always easy. In class, teaching about the Holy Trinity and the four gospels, Tom once asked the students how many persons were in the Trinity. “ Four” they said, “ Matteo, Marko, Luka and Johanne”. He admitted he had a lot to learn about teaching but little did he know he was to spend 40 years in education (http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/WgSDS2KHccxNSESQi9xb/full)!
The building of Chikuni mission was slow but steady in every sense of the word—from moulding bricks in the sun to bringing a meaningful understanding of Christ and religion to the people.
Following a period away from Chikuni and a one year Tertianship in Ireland and England in 1960, Tom returned to immerse himself in education. During that period he taught English, French, Geography, Geology, Literature, Mathematics and Religious Education.

‘The reluctant hero’
Across the years, Tom McGivern lived through the civil and political unrest preceding Zambian independence, rolled up his sleeves in the building of a fledgling nation and devoted his life to its growth along with his Jesuit brethren and members of other religious organisations.

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/520-michael-j-kelly-sj-and-the-man-with-the-beaming-smile

MICHAEL J KELLY SJ AND THE MAN WITH THE WELCOMING SMILE
Father Tom McGivern, S.J. Memorial Mass, St. Ignatius 28th January 2017
Fr Michael J Kelly SJ and a large number of priests concelebrated a Memorial Mass in Lusaka, Zambia for their friend and colleague Tom McGivern SJ. Presided over by Fr Emmanual Mumba SJ, Provincial of the Zambia-Malawi Province and attended by over 130 people including the Irish Ambassador Séamus O'Grady and his wife, a large part of the congregation were former students from four decades of Tom's teaching and religious sisters with whom he had worked.
The Homily given by Michael J Kelly SJ expresses the deep appreciation of Fr Tom's work and comradeship across the many years he served in Zambia.

Homily by Fr Michael J Kelly SJ
Friends, I welcome all of you very warmly to this memorial Mass for Father Tom McGivern who died in Ireland two weeks ago today. And as we remember Tom and celebrate his life, we think lovingly of his sister Mary and brother Eddie in Canada; of his nieces, nephews, relatives and their families in Ireland, Canada, and Switzerland; and of the thousands of people here in Zambia and elsewhere in whose lives he made such a difference for good. To all of them we extend our sincere sympathy. They have lost a great brother, a great uncle and a great friend, but they can be absolutely certain that Tom continues in his love for them and his concern that all should go well with them in every aspect of their lives.
It’s more than seventy years since Tom and I first met. The occasion was my arrival at the Jesuit novitiate in Ireland where Tom had already completed his first year. I remember it so well. It was five past four, the afternoon of Saturday, September 6th 1946, and Tom was the first Jesuit novice that I met. He immediately stretched out his hand – his hairy hand, I might say – and gave me a very warm welcoming smile, telling me that if he had stuck it out this long, then I should be able to do the same! That was the beginning of a friendship that lasted literally a lifetime and that was stronger than the brutal assault Tom experienced six years ago this very month, stronger than the death that took him from us two weeks ago today.
Most of us know what happened to Tom that fateful night in Chula House on the Airport Road - how when he was locking the security gate into the house a thief sprang on him and with an iron bar gave him a few hefty blows on the head. Because of his strong physique and the great care he got in hospital and subsequently in Chula House, Tom recovered to the extent that his life was no longer in danger. But damage had been done to his brain and as the months passed it became clear that he needed more specialised investigations and care. So it was that in September 2011 he was repatriated to Ireland, to Cherryfield, the Nursing Home there for elderly and infirm Jesuits. There he received the wonderful love and care that enabled him to live peacefully for the final years of his life, generally in reasonable physical health but with his mind gradually slipping away from him all the time. And it was there that, following a fairly short illness, he handed over his great self to God at half-past-ten in the morning on Saturday 14th January.
These were difficult years for Tom when he was away from Zambia and the people he loved, and when he could no longer remember people or events and needed nursing assistance in looking after himself. But some things remained with him: his great, broad beaming smile; his graciousness; his sense of fun; his gratitude to everybody who stretched out a hand to help him. And occasionally in the early days of his handicapped existence back in Ireland, I even heard Tom express this gratitude in Chitonga, as his faltering memory brought up words from the past: “Eh-hee. Mbubo.Twa lumba1.” Zambia was where he had lived for most of his life and Zambia was close to his heart up to the very end. And it was truly fitting that, although he did not die in Zambia, one of his many Zambian friends, Mable Chilenga, was with him, holding his hand when the time came for him to go home to God. Thank you, Mable, for being there at that time.
Here in Zambia we find it hard to think of Tom as being enfeebled, having difficulty in speaking, not being able to recognise people, weary and tired. That was not the Tom we knew. The Tom we knew was a vigorous active man; a great Jesuit and a wonderful priest; a loyal friend and delightful companion; a man of heart-warming kindness and immense concern for anybody in need, especially if that person was a religious Sister; always bright and cheerful; steadfastly loyal, true and trustworthy. And for more than fifty years he put all of these great qualities at the service of the people of Zambia, principally through education but also and more strikingly through the kind of person he was.
Tom spent almost twenty of his early years in Zambia at Canisius College in the Southern Province, as teacher, prefect, headmaster and Rector. Those who came under his influence there will always remember how he formed them into being persons of integrity and character, hard-working, honest, and fired with concern for others. It was he who established the Cadet Force at Canisius several months before Independence. As Captain the Reverend Thomas McGivern he had the privilege in September 1964 of marshalling these into a Guard of Honour for inspection by Kenneth Kaunda, who was then Prime Minister of what was still Northern Rhodesia, the very first Guard of Honour that the future President of Zambia ever inspected. And in later years, under Tom’s dynamic leadership, the Canisius Cadets won the top awards at army camps held at Arakan Barracks.
When Tom left Canisius he brought his vitality, practicality and deeply religious Christian spirit to his work at Mpima Minor Seminary and later at Mukasa in Choma. Through his life and work in both places he inspired many youthful would-be seminarians to commit themselves to following the Lord who had called them, wherever He might go. In this way, Tom played a significant role in bringing it about that today we have so many good Zambian priests. I don’t think he could have left us a finer legacy.
The next phase of Tom’s apostolic life (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/517-fr-tom-mcgivern-sj- may-he-rest-in-peace)saw him breaking altogether new ground, both for himself as a person and for Zambia as a country. This was when he launched out into the field of Religious Education. He has the distinction of being the country’s first Inspector of Religious Education and through his dedication in this area over a period of more than ten years, he established RE on a sound footing within the Ministry of Education, raised it to a status comparable with that of other school subjects, and gave the teaching of it a tremendous boost in the schools across the country. Moreover, with the help of a group of very dedicated people, lay and religious, he also developed a syllabus for RE that has stood the test of time. Given that his own academic and teaching backgrounds were in English and Geography, all of this was a tremendous achievement on Tom’s part. What for somebody else would have been the work of a lifetime, he just took in his stride, seeing this as his way of serving God at the moment.
From the Ministry of Education Tom moved to the Zambia Episcopal Conference where for a number of years he put his long experience as teacher, administrator and inspector of schools at the service of the Church as its Education Secretary General. During these years he consolidated much that he had initiated in the field of Religious Education and made good use of his understanding of the workings of the Education Ministry to help the Catholic education system adopt and adapt to emerging education policies and new directives.

Three of Tom’s great characteristics were his smile, his loyalty and his open childlike nature. In some ways he was the incarnation of a smile. It seemed to be there always, even when he had to reprimand or correct, as those who had him as a prefect of discipline can well recall. He loved a good joke – and loved to repeat back to you any good joke you might have told him! Maybe it was because he was born on Christmas Eve that he had such a good sense of humour, such a realisation that there was plenty to smile about in life, even if there were also sad and disturbing things.
As for loyalty, Tom’s was almost legendary. Loyalty to the Church, loyalty to the Jesuits, loyalty to his companions and friends, loyalty to Zambia. If Tom was on your side, you were safe. He would never let you down. He was always that way, but this became even more characteristic of him as he grew older. And this loyalty showed itself in a very special way when he set out to do something on behalf of religious Sisters. Sometimes you hear somebody like Mother Teresa being referred to as the saint of the poor. I think Tom will always be remembered as the saint of the Sisters, whether those at the Marian Shrine, or the Sisters of Charity in Kabwata or Roma, or Sisters wherever: if one of them let it be known that she had a problem, Tom would be off his mark at once, seeing what he could do to help, even to the extent of pestering you or somebody else to come to her help. Ever loyal, ever faithful, ever energetic on the Sisters’ behalf.
And Tom always embodied in his person the words of Jesus, “Unless you become like little children you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” He was surely one of the children to whom our Father in heaven revealed the mysteries of the kingdom, as we heard in the Gospel today. Tom was always a child and had all the loveableness of a child. I can still see his eyes opening wide when somebody would produce some sweets or a piece of chocolate, wide-eyed and expectant like a child. Indeed, we Jesuits sometimes joked among ourselves that at Canisius and elsewhere Tom always showed himself, not so much as a man among boys but more as a boy among boys! Again, maybe he had this most endearing trait because his birthday was Christmas Eve when God gave him to the world 89 years ago as a most delightful Christmas present.
And underlying all this and giving it life were Tom’s deep faith and his total Christian commitment. Always and everywhere he was a man of God and a man of prayer; a man who endeavoured to praise, reverence and serve God in everything he turned his hand to; a man consumed in very practical ways by the love of God and who was always concerned that he should let that love have its full way with him.
Friends, I could go on forever talking about Tom, a man who was such an inspiration and model for all of us Jesuits, the kind of Jesuit St. Ignatius of Loyola would have wanted him to be, the kind of person our heavenly Father had in mind when He created him. But let me end by going back to my first meeting with Tom and that warm welcoming hand extended to me nearly 71 years ago. It is my earnest hope and prayer that when I too am called to our Father’s home Tom will be there with his lovely smile, stretching out to me the same hand, welcoming me home, and both of us hearing the reassuring words of the Lord Jesus, “In my Father’s house there are many places to live in. Your place is now ready for you. That’s why I am taking you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.”
Two weeks ago today, after a long and faithful life, Tom’s place was ready and the Lord Jesus came to take him to himself, so that where Jesus is Tom also might be. That is our assurance. That is our faith. And we express it in a short prayer in the Irish language, a language Tom knew and loved so well: “Ar dheis laimh De go raibh a anam dilis,” words which mean “may his lovely soul always be there at God’s right hand”.
Mu zyina lya Taata, ilya Mwana, ilya Muya Musaante2. Amen Author: Fr Michael J. Kelly, SJ

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/517-fr-tom-mcgivern-sj-may-he-rest-in-peace

HOMILY FOR FR TOM MCGIVERN SJ BY JOE HAYES SJ

When I think of you Tom the image that comes to my mind is that of the reluctant hero reluctant because you are the last to realize that in so many of our eyes you are a hero. You spent your life as part of critical movements you did not initiate but which you did your best to move forward. You are a very private man about your inner dreams but I suspect that privacy didn't come from shyness alone but from a sense that the second reading is trying to communicate. "We are earthenware vessels, doing the best we can, but always appreciating we are part of a deeper movement, the movement of our transcendent God."
I found Tom in the midst of what I call the Chikuni/Canisius movement, the movement to educate potential male and female leaders to be ready to play key roles in the emerging Zambian State. Young Tom helped pupils deepen their appreciation of nature through his Geography classes. He helped improve their communication skills through his English teaching. He modelled the virtues needed as the young Zambia took more control of its copper resources. This is also the period where one saw Tom leading his troop of cadets as he inspired the youth to value a career in the uniformed services.
Tom then switched to participate into the movement to educate and encourage young men to become priests so that the emerging Christian communities would be served by their own people.
From there Tom was invited to help oversee the teaching of religious education in schools and from there to oversee the overall participation of the Christian Churches in their partnership with government in providing formal education for Zambian Children.
While here, Tom was drawn into another movement, the movement by Zambian women to claim their dignity and move towards a partnership with men that respected the unique qualities of each gender. Key players in this movement were the young members of women's religious orders.There Tom made many special friends and it was so nice to hear that one of those special friends was with him as the time clock ran out. Thank you Mable.
For the past few years Tom has been more consciously invited into the most important movement within which all the other movements get their meaning. To the eyes of mere experience we have seen the cruel assault, the movement into dementia, the loneliness of leaving behind his work and friends, the dying away from the place where he would have loved to have died. To the eyes of faith that invitation is one into the paschal mystery of Christ as the Gospel reading hints. "God working to make all people appreciate they are his friends, doing it Christ's way. Not focusing on our sins, our failure to live up to our potential but inviting us to be his ambassadors of reconciliation so that all will know they are God's friends."
I would imagine there were times that Tom, with Christ asked the question of God "My God, why have you forsaken me." But we sense too that many times he prayed with Christ "Father into your hands I commend my Spirit." Tom gave us glimpses that he was singing that deeper song when, amid the darkness, we experienced his smile, that smile that said a special thank you to those who visited, to those who cared for him in Cherryfield. A special thank you to his family and to those in the mission office.
Tom, you have walked the walk. Thank you for being a mentor, an inspiration, a friend

McKenna, Donal, 1933-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/684
  • Person
  • 06 July 1933-24 May 2000

Born: 06 July 1933, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1955, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1966
Professed: 02 February 1973
Died: 24 May 2000, Blantyre, Malawi - Zambia-Malawi province (ZAM)

Part of the Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 02 February 1973

by 1961 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
To walk into Fr Donal's room was like walking into a multi-purpose workshop. Apart from his bed and table and wash sink, there were pieces of machinery, electrical components, bottles of a variety of liquids, exercise books and other mysterious pieces of equipment. In a tribute to him it was said, ‘He was a good engineer, mechanic, electrician, scientist, teacher, agriculturalist, and above all a man of prayer’.

Donal was born in Dublin on 6 July 1933 into a family deeply connected with Irish history, for his father was Chief of Staff of the Irish Army for many years. He was educated by the Christian Brothers at O’Connell's School in Dublin, after which he went to University College, Dublin where he received a B.Eng. (Electrical). He worked as an engineer in Switzerland for a year. He then entered the Society in 1955. For regency he came to Zambia in 1960, learned ciTonga and then taught science at Canisius Secondary School.
Returning to Ireland to study theology, he was ordained priest in Milltown Park in 1966.

He returned to Zambia in 1968 and remained at Canisius Secondary School until 1982. During this period, apart from teaching and using his many talents in answer to the many requests made to him, he did the Post-Graduate Certificate of Education (PCE) at UNZA by correspondence. He was also Headmaster from 1974 to 1978. It was in 1978 that he handed over the post of headmaster to Mr Mooya Nyanga, the first non-Jesuit and Zambian headmaster. He then returned to being an ordinary teacher under the new head.

During this time too, he developed Chikuni Rural Industries (CRI) involving the manufacturing of soya bean inoculum, a bacteriological fertilizer. The extraction of oil from sun flower, the compounding of animal feed and an eight year crop rotation experiment, all came under the CRI. His ever-productive mind led him both to silk worm and mushroom cultivation. In recognition for his work at Canisius, Donal received the Order of Distinguished Service, First Division in the 1978 Freedom Day Awards from President Kenneth Kaunda.

He moved to Kasisi, just outside Lusaka (1982 -1990) as superior. He worked in the Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre where he developed the pedal water pump and the ox-cart with rubber wheels and a timber axle.

Then a complete change of scene brought him to Harare in Zimbabwe for one year as spiritual father in the juniorate. Not such a change of work really, since Donal, in the midst of a hyper-busy life, kept studying theology and spirituality at a deeper level which he used in his own life and in retreat giving. Sunday was his day for theological studies. One of his brethren remarked “If you were looking for a novel in Donal's room you would in all probability find Schillebeeckx!”

He was recalled to Zambia and sent to Mukasa Minor Seminary in Choma as headmaster and superior from 1991 to 1996, back to the classroom and the grind of trying to make ends meet in a boarding school. He then returned to Chikuni as farm manager. In May 2000, he had gone to Blantyre in Malawi to give a retreat to the Sisters of Divine Providence. On the 24th, he collapsed at table and died.

In that full life, Donal always had time for people, was always warm and welcoming in the house and took great care of all visitors. Whenever anyone wanted help, Donal would immediately drop everything and come to the rescue – e.g. ZESCO electrical failure, water pump stoppage, ‘dead’ engines brought back to life. The autoclave in Monze Mission Hospital was maintained by him and when he decided to learn the computer he became an expert, and his expertise was often called on! He was most sensitive to the needs of others in all fields, whether spiritual or practical.

Note from Fred Moriarty Entry
When the young Fred Moriarty arrived at the Jesuit Novitiate he was surprised to find a pupil from his own school with him. That companion was Fr Donal McKenna who was two years ahead of him at O’Connell's School, Dublin.

McSweeney, Joseph, 1909-1982, Jesuit priest, chaplian and missioner

  • IE IJA J/297
  • Person
  • 31 March 1909-14 February 1982

Born: 31 March 1909, Dublin
Entered: 12 November 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1943
Professed: 24 June 1948
Die:d 14 February 1982, Milltown Park, Dublin

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969; ZAM to HIB 1980

Chaplain in the Second World War with the Royal Air Force.

Early Education at Christian Brothers School, North Brunswick Street, Dublin

by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - third wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Born in Dublin on 31 March 1909 Fr Joseph Augustine McSweeney grew up in Dublin, Ireland, and completed his secondary education with the Christian Brothers in Dublin. He worked for a short time before entering the Society in 1930. He followed the normal university studies, philosophy, regency and theology, being ordained in 1943. In 1945 he was assigned to be chaplain in the Royal Air Force where he served until 1949. He enjoyed his years in the armed forces, especially the opportunity they gave him of seeing the Holy Land and the Middle East. In later years, his recollection of those years seemed to bring him real joy. After a year in Belvedere he was missioned to Chikuni in Zambia. There he taught as a Jesuit priest for 17 years, from 1950 to 1967. Because of poor health, he then returned to Ireland. He celebrated his jubilee, 50 years as a Jesuit, in 1980. Two years afterwards, he died in Dublin in 1982.

A single quotation from one of his letters will best describe the type of dedicated man Joe McSweeney was: ‘I have the normal 28 periods a week, and as these are all in Forms 5 and 6, they involve much preparation and correction of homework. During this term, I have felt bound to give 4 more periods a week to teaching hymns to Forms 1,2,3 and 4, because the singing of hymns at Mass and Benediction has become very poor. This makes 32 periods. I give 7 hours a week attending at the Spiritual Father's room; this is the equivalent of another 10 periods a week; altogether 42 periods’.

Besides being a highly competent teacher, Fr McSweeney was a most devoted spiritual Father in Canisius. Throughout his 17 years he was always concerned about providing his students with both religious and moral training, never taking the easy way out. ‘Training in responsibility needs continual supervision’ was one of his beliefs with the result that he was present at all student Masses throughout the week, being available to them in the confessional, at all times promoting among them a habit of regular attendance at Mass and reception of the sacraments.

It was he who introduced and promoted religious groups like the Crusaders of the Blessed Sacrament, Apostleship of Prayer and the Sodality of Our Lady. His serious conscientiousness was evident in all that he did. The young students appreciated his gentleness and thoroughness. In the homily in Gardiner Street at his funeral, Fr Paul Brassil, the Zambian provincial, told of the past pupils' appreciation and gratitude for all that they had received from him. “An outstanding, successful teacher” was the description of Joe that those who worked with him in Chikuni gave him.

By no stretch of imagination could Fr Joe be termed a modern, well-integrated priest. He was just an old-fashioned, slightly nervous and tense priest, but he did dedicate himself fully to the improvement of his students. And they were his students, particularly the senior ones for whom he had a great sensitivity.

Towards the end of his teaching at Canisius, Fr Joe began to suffer from his nerves, finding it more and more difficult to cope with the normal tensions of a dedicated teacher's life. Of course he had always been a perfectionist. Even in his more relaxed days he had required at least a month's notice to prepare his choir for a sung Mass. It is quite easy to imagine the agony that the more casual attitudes of today can be to a perfectionist! But even when he felt the lack of special attention in the way of food more suitable to his needs, he retained his sense of humor: ‘I hope at 57 I am not going to be asked to approach the minister, plate in hand like Oliver Twist, toties quoties, for some more’.

In Joe's case, it is now clear that in this nervous person, God provided us with a great example of care and dedication and He no doubt even now rewards Fr McSweeney’s dedicated response to this vocation.

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 57th Year No 2 1982

Obituary

Fr Joseph McSweeney (1909-1930-1982)

I have an early memory of Joe McSweeney in Emo noviceship coming out to recreation wearing a peaked tweed cap. The memory remains because the incident was unusual, yet it puts Joe in context. He was a late arrival to the noviceship (November, 1930) and a late - though not very late - vocation. Chronologically he was only a few years older than the rest of us schoolboys of the previous June, yet his experience of having had a job seemed to invest him with a maturity we didn't have.
Then as always, seriousness was his outstanding characteristic. He tackled the outdoor works, which were a real trial to him, with the determination of a man whose job depended on doing so much in a fixed time. One of the jobs the novices had to do with pick and shovel was to clear the overgrown paths of the vegetation which had spread unchecked for fourteen years. Joe applied the principle Age quod agis to every task and ministry he ever undertook, as few men have applied it.
When we moved to Rathfarnham for juniorate, Joe enjoyed the studies, and to my mind was a far happier person than he had been when using pick and shovel in Emo. Though serious, he had a good sense of humour, and responded positively to our jovial ragging with a laugh. As a junior he was put in charge of our Pioneer total abstinence branch, and when one night he grew weary of the jocose cases of conscience we were giving him, he just stood up, bowed, and with a laugh announced “The meeting is over, gentlemen” and ran.
In Tullabeg, as in Rathfarnham, he got real satisfaction in study - this time of philosophy. He never gave the impression that he ambitioned being an academic, yet in conversation he showed how thoroughly he had mastered the matter in hand, and what relish the mastering of it had given him. He played games, though he was not an athlete, and took part in everything that was going on in the scholastic community. We knew him as a very self-contained person whose prime relationship was with God. He was never late for “morning oblation”, nor did he “hit the floor” for any other faults that brought many of us to our knees in the refectory.
He was apprehensive of life in the colleges, but when the time came and he was posted to the Crescent, he dedicated himself entirely to his teaching. He showed his courage and generosity in undertaking to teach a beginners class Greek, though he had never studied it previously.
He was delighted to be sent to Milltown after a two-year regency. In those years the Second World War kept all the native scholastics within the shores of Ireland. Theology interested Joe as much as, if not more than, philosophy, and it afforded him scope for his interest in argument and discussion. Here as always he was the unobtrusive obliging one you could always rely on to do the job you could coax no one else to do.
His post-tertianship status - chaplain to the RAF - came as a great shock to most of us, his contemporaries. We thought Joe’s academic outlook and innate reserve and shyness would make a chaplain’s life a very trying one for him. He didn't seem to view it that way at all. In his simple direct approach, he took it as God's will for him, and God would see him through. So quite undaunted he donned the officer's uniform. He enjoyed his years in the armed forces, especially the opportunity they gave him of seeing the Holy Land and the Middle East. In recent years his recollection of those years seemed to bring him real joy.
My knowledge of Joe’s success as a teacher in Zambia (1950-'70) comes from those who shared the burden of the day with him there. That serious conscientiousness was as evident there as it had been elsewhere. The young Zambians appreciated and valued his gentleness and thoroughness more than their less studious Irish contemporaries seem to have done. Paul Brassil, the Zambian Provincial, in his homily at Joe's funeral Mass in Gardiner street, told us of his past pupils’ appreciation of and gratitude for all that they had received from him. An outstanding successful teacher, was the description of Joe that those who worked with him in Chikuni gave us. Yet Joe himself seemed unaware of his success and equally un concerned about it. He rarely initiated conversation about either his teaching or his week-end parish ministry. It was part of what God's providence had brought about through him. That seemed to be the view of the truly humble, obedient, unassuming Joe.
He returned to Ireland (1970) a semi invalid, taught in Mungret for two years, but discovered that his energy was unequal to the task; moved to Rathfarnham to do secretarial work, thence to Monkstown (1974) and finally to Milltown Park (1975). Those of us who had known him as a younger man, and accompanied him in his last years in Milltown, were saddened to see how ill health had affected him so seriously. In recent years, when he felt well, he could still enjoy an argument or discussion as much as ever. However, his nervous debility dictated for him a routine pattern of living that seemed almost compulsive.
For example, he went out every afternoon and had a cup of tea: in Bewley's restaurant, if he got as far as the city centre; or in a Ranelagh tea-room if he could go no farther.
He was up at six every morning, said his prayers and offered Mass. This daily act of worship had come to be the occasion of considerable anxiety to him. He concelebrated with us frequently, but we were aware of the strain that so doing caused him. Meals were a big part of the compulsive routine that he seemed forced to follow. He found it difficult to follow the letter of the law that the doctor laid down for him, but frequently spoke of the kindness and consideration of the kitchen and refectory staff in helping him to do so. The staff in turn, despite Joe's ill-timed visits to the kitchen, his ever recurring questions and requests, saw and appreciated the gentleness and courtesy that his illness had obscured but not destroyed. They had a real affection for him.

Here is an excerpt from Fr Tom O'Brien's tribute in the newsletter of the Zambian Vice-Province (Jesuits in Zambia: News): A single quotation from one of his letters will best describe the type of dedicated man Joe McSweeney was:
I have the normal 28 periods per week, and as these are all in Forms 5 and 6, they involve much preparation and correction of homework. During this term I have felt bound to give 4 more periods a week to teaching hymns to Forms 1, 2, 3 and 4, because the singing of hymns at Mass and Benediction has become very poor. This makes 32 periods. I give 7 hours a week attending at the Spiritual Father's room: this is the equivalent of another 10 periods per week; altogether, 42 periods.
Besides being a highly competent teacher, Fr McSweeney was a most devoted Spiritual Father in Canisius (Secondary School, Chikuni). Through out his twenty years [in Zambia) he was
always concerned about providing his students with both religious and moral training, never taking the easy way out. ‘Training in responsibility needs continual supervision' was one of his beliefs; with the result that he was present at all student Masses throughout the week; was available to the students in the confessional at all times; and promoted among them a habit of regular attendance at Mass and reception of the Sacraments of confession and communion, It was Fr McSweeney who introduced and promoted religious groups like Crusaders of the Blessed Sacrament, Apostleship of Prayer and the Sodality of Our Lady, giving to this apostolic work his meagre spare time.
By no stretch of imagination could Fr McSweeney be termed a modern, well integrated priest. He was just an old fashioned, slightly nervous and tense priest, who dedicated himself to the improvement of his students, for whom he had a great sensitivity, particularly for the senior ones. In reaction to some derogatory remarks made by his fellow Jesuit teachers in regard to the boy-girl mores of Chikuni, Fr McSweeney once had this to say: “If such fathers had more pastoral experience, they would have more respect; and respect is very important in affecting our words and actions towards others”. In fact it was his conviction that his students at Canisius were superior in this regard to their peers in other countries.
Towards the end of his teaching at Canisius, Fr Joe began to suffer from his nerves, finding it more and more difficult to cope with the normal tensions of a dedicated teacher's life. Of course he had always been a perfectionist; even in his more relaxed days he had required at least a month's notice to prepare his choir for a sung Mass. It is quite easy to imagine the agony that the more casual attitudes of today can present to a perfectionist?
However, even when he felt the lack of special attention in the way of food more suitable to his needs, he retained his sense of humour: “I hope that at 57 I am not going to be asked to approach the Minister plate in hand like Oliver Twist toties quoties for some more”.
In Joe’s case it is clear that in this nervous person God provided us with a great example of care and dedication, and no doubt rewards even now such a response to this vocation. We praise and thank Him, and ask Him to look mercifully on the soul of our fellow-worker. [He died on 14th February 1982.]

Meagher, Daniel Louis, 1911-1980, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/245
  • Person
  • 18 August 1911-14 April 1980

Born: 18 August 1911, Dublin
Entered: 14 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Dublin
Professed: 15 August 1968
Died: 14 April 1980, Mater Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya - Zambia Province (ZAM)

Part of the Chivuna, Monze, Zambia community at the time of death.

Mission Superior Lusaka Superior of the Poloniae Minoris Jesuit Mission to Lusaka Mission : (POL Mi) 11 August 1955
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Chikuni Mission: 01 January 1957

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - third wave of Zambian Missioners
Mission Superior Lusaka (POL Mi) 11 August 1955
Mission Superior Chikuni (HIB) 01 January 1957

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
‘Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them’ (Shakespeare, Twelfth Night). These words in some way could be applied to Fr Louis (nobody called him 'Daniel'). In human qualities Fr Louis was very ordinary. He saw himself as a great 'chancer' (his own word), meaning that he was willing to try his hand at anything, though not highly gifted for anything in particular. In fact, he found the studies in the Society extremely difficult but he realized that they were a preparation for the works of the Society like preaching and retreat giving. His tremendous determination and great sense of mission carried him through these difficulties so that at the end of his training he was better equipped to carry on apostolic works than many others more talented than he was. He had ‘greatness thrust upon him’ as he was appointed superior of the Irish Jesuits in Zambia a few years after arriving there.

He had come to Zambia in 1950, one of the original nine Irish Jesuits appointed to come to Chikuni Mission. The appointment came as a shock to Louis but he faced up to the situation as he had faced up to all the difficulties in his life. He was also appointed Vicar General of the Monze diocese where he was so highly appreciated by all.

After school at St Finians and Belvedere, he entered the Society at Emo in 1931. For regency he taught at Clongowes Wood College and then proceeded to Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1944. Afterwards he went to the Crescent, Limerick, to teach there until he came to Zambia in 1950.

In the early 60s, he began to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis which crippled him increasingly until his death. It was in this that Louis ‘achieved greatness’ in the way he bore his illness for nearly 20 years. He could laugh and talk as if he had not a care in the world. He was an 'Easter person' who by word and deed reflected the good news of the victory of the Cross and of the joyfulness of the Resurrection. It is possible to resign oneself to suffering but it is a very different thing to bring sunshine into the lives of others at the same time. This calls for great faith, hope and charity. Louis retained a warm and appreciative interest in everyone to such a degree that all considered themselves to hold a special place in his heart.
He had a happy interest in the life of the secondary school at Chivuna and helped the community there through his visiting, his counselling, his concern for each one's welfare, for their academic achievements as well as their prowess in sports.

Finally when arthritis made him almost unable to walk, he made the journey to Nairobi in Kenya to see if anything could be done for his feet. While there in hospital, he was anxious to get back to Chivuna for the opening of the school term. However, cardio-respiratory failure was the final cause of his death there at the age of 68.
His remains were flown to Zambia and he was buried at Chikuni on 14 April 1980. The most noticeable thing about Louis' funeral was the manner in which the ordinary Tonga people seemed very clearly to take over the burying of their priest. It would have been unthinkable to bury Louis elsewhere, he who had lived and worked among them for 30 years

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 55th Year No 3 1980

Obituary

Fr D Louis Meagher (1911-1931-1980)

(The following piece, by Fr Socius, Zambia, is copied from the VPZ Newsletter:)

Normally I would ask someone else to write an obituary. But in this case I wish to do it myself; partly, I suppose, because my friendship with him goes as far back as 1948, when I was a schoolboy at the Crescent in Limerick.
Fr Louis died in the Mater hospital, Nairobi, on 14 April, 1980, having said Mass on the same day. Cardio-respiratory failure was the final cause of his death at the age of sixty-eight.
Requiem Mass was celebrated for the repose of his soul in the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Family, Nairobi, with a cardinal and about 50 priests concelebrating. His remains were flown home to Zambia, and he was buried at Chikuni on 19 April. Though both Bishop Corboy and Bishop Munhandu conducted the funeral services, with nearly 50 fellow-priests concelebrating, I would say that the most noticeable fact of Louis’s funeral was the manner in which the ordinary Tonga people seemed very clearly to take over the burying of their own priest. It would have been unthinkable to bury Fr Louis elsewhere.
Ordained in 1944, Fr Louis taught for a while in the Crescent College and then came to Zambia in 1950, working principally in the Chikuni area till he was appointed Superior of the Jesuits of the Chikuni Mission in 1955. In the early 1960s he began to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, which crippled him increasingly till his death. His work as Vicar-General of the Monze diocese was highly appreciated by all. In recent years, as chaplain to St. Joseph's secondary school, Chivuna, Louis was the friend and inspiration to all.
At a special requiem Mass at St Ignatius, Lusaka, I was asked to preach the homily, in which I tried to highlight three outstanding characteristics of Louis - in an attempt to learn the meaning of his life. I would like to repeat these briefly:
His undiminished interest in other people: You would excuse interest diminishing through age or sickness; but in him there was none of these. Louis retained a warm and appreciated interest in everyone, to such a degree that they all considered themselves to hold a special place in his heart. And of course this deep interest enabled Louis to converse with absolutely anyone - on any subject under the sun.
His humility and freedom from conceit: In human qualities Fr Louis was very ordinary. He saw himself as a great “chancer” (his own word), meaning that he was willing to try his hand at anything, though not highly gifted for anything in particular. He would never have considered himself outstanding - a gifted preacher, an intellectual, a specialist, a famous Jesuit (!) or a holy priest. In God’s own wisdom it was the way he bore his illness for nearly 20 years that made Louis extraordinary. To listen to him talk and laugh you could easily imagine he hadn't a worry in the world, though he was largely crippled with rheumatoid arthritis. Such inspiring acceptance indicated a very deep spirituality.
“Let there be sunshine in my world together with you” are the words of a popular song today. And they apply very much to Fr Louis. It is possible for people who suffer seriously over a long period of time to find solace in the mystery of the Cross; but often such people communicate a faith which stays at the Cross. Louis however was definitely an “Easter person”, who by both word and deed reflected the good news of the victory of the Cross and the joyfulness of the Resurrection. It is possible to resign oneself to suffering, but very difficult to bring sunshine also into the world of others; this calls for great faith, hope and charity.
I think it was Louis’s remarkable ability to proclaim charismatically “Praise the Lord” with his crippled body that was his outstanding gift to us all.
In his obituary notice on Louis Meagher, Fr Tom O'Brien has rightly emphasised Louis' courage and cheerfulness in his sickness and often painful suffering during the last twenty years of his life. I would like to add that this courage and determination was something which was built into Louis's character during his years of formation and his early work in the Society before bad health came upon him.
Louis found extremely difficult not only the studies in the Society but also the preparation for many of the works such as preaching and the giving of retreats. Study for him was always a real grind, but he had tremendous determination and a great sense of mission and this carried him through, so that at the end of his training he was better equipped to carry on the apostolic works of the Society than many others who were endowed with greater intelligence and other natural gifts.
There was however one gift with which Louis was endowed to an extraordinary degree, and that was a very attractive and cheerful personality. This natural charm enabled him to make friends with people of every, age and sex. It was quite an experience to see Louis meeting strangers (sometimes unfriendly strangers) and in no time
they were at ease and enjoying his company.
When Louis came to Zambia he needed all his courage and determination. A few years after his arrival he found himself saddled with the job of religious superior of the Irish Jesuits here and that of vicar-general of their section of the archdiocese of Lusaka. These were difficult times for Louis due to lack of finance and other circumstances beyond his control. The appointment came as a great shock to Louis. I can well remember that for once he looked really down in the mouth. However he faced up to the situation as he had faced up to all the difficulties in his years as a scholastic. To a large extent he concealed all his worries and anxieties and he surprised us all by his ability to lead and to govern during those difficult years.
I would like to single out one special virtue which was very evident to me in his administration of the Mission. I was closely associated with him as a consultor for most of those years, and I can honestly say that I don't think that he was ever influenced by self-interest in any of the decisions he made. His likes and dislikes of other people (and like any normal person he had his likes and dislikes) never influenced his decisions. When he made mistakes they could never be attributed to selfish motives.
When sickness and pain came upon Louis it was no surprise to me that he bore it with courage and unselfish cheerfulness to the end. Louis was only continuing to live his life as he had always lived it.

With Louis Meagher’s death, the communities at Civuna have lost a great friend and a loyal support. The mission at large will miss him for his great enthusiasm and inspiration; but as Christ said to the Apostles, one feels that it is better that he should go to his Father because now he will help us all the more and his spirit will continue to inspire us.
“I only want to complete the work the Lord Jesus gave me to do, which is to declare the good news about the grace of God”. In Louis’ last days in a Nairobi hospital he still had one great wish, namely to return to Civuna and continue his apostolate. That was not to be; but the tributes at his burial at Chikuni were a sign that not only at Civuna but in the diocese as a whole, his life and work made a lasting impact on the people. About 50 priests concelebrated Mass with our bishop, James Corboy, and the bishop of the neighbouring diocese of Livingstone, brothers, sisters and the ordinary people in great numbers.
Louis could have called a halt twenty years ago when he first developed arthritis and the doctors declared that he had only a few months to live. But that wasn’t Louis Meagher. He fought against his illness every day since then, never giving in and never complaining, but took all the medical attention he could get, including the hip operation. Finally, when the arthritis made him almost unable to walk, he made his journey to Nairobi to see if anything could be done for his feet.
As a community man he was always cheerful and available. He was interested in everything that was going on in the parish; the numbers at Mass in each centre, the leaders, the catechists, development work and the youth. He had a deep impact on the life of the Secondary school and helped to form both staff and pupils into a happy community through his visiting, his counselling, his interest in each one's welfare, the academic achievements of the girls and in sport. Probably one of the best tributes to his time in Civuna is the formation of the new diocesan congregation of sisters, the Sisters of the Holy Spirit, who celebrated their 10th anniversary on Pentecost weekend (24th-25th May). They now have 12 sisters, all past pupils of the school; four are teaching here and others are still in training for their future ministries. They always came to him for advice and help, and the encouragement they received is evident in the very pleasant family spirit which they have developed: each one's personality and talents are able to be brought together for the good of all.
I think if there is one single lesson that Louis's life teaches it is this, . to use whatever talents the Lord has given us, perfect them through developing them for the sake of others, until we all attain maturity, contributing to the completed growth of Christ. It is no coincidence that Louis took to the Charismatic Renewal in the Church as a fish takes to water, and in spite of his ill-health, attended the local and national conferences and inspired many people by his presence. The Spirit of the risen Lord was certainly evident in him, but it was a light shining from the daily cross of physical suffering. May he enjoy a rich reward for his life of faith and service to others and may he always inspire us to go and do the same.

Moloney, Michael, 1913-1984, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/252
  • Person
  • 25 March 1913-05 June 1984

Born: 25 March 1913, Abbeyfeale, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1949
Died: 05 June 1984, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Part of the St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1965 at Loyola Watsonia, Australia (ASL) working

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Michael Moloney on coming to Zambia wrote a short 250 word account of his life, at the end of which he put: “He arrived in Zambia in May 1967 and was attached to Mukasa Secondary School at Choma. He spent x years there. He died at xx in 19xx...May he rest in peace”. PLEASE PUBLISH NO MORE THAN IS IN THIS ACCOUNT Signed: Michael Moloney S.J. 14 April 1967.

He had had four heart attacks before this date and this might have prompted him to write his own obituary! So brief! So succinct! That was Michael! Yet he lived another seventeen years, in Zambia, fully occupied.

Michael was born on 25 March 1913 in Abbeyfeale on the border of Co. Limerick and Co Kerry. His secondary education was taken in St Michael's College, Listowel, and at the Jesuit College of Mungret. He entered the Society in Emo in 1931, pursued the normal Society studies with regency at Clongowes Wood College. He was ordained in July of 1945 at Milltown Park, Dublin and after tertianship went to Belvedere College to teach for four years. He moved to Leeson Street as minister and editor of the IRISH MONTHLY which ceased publication in 1953. From 1953 to 1959, he was attached to the College of Industrial Relations (CIR) as director of the Cana Conference which organised pre-marriage courses. These were a liberating experience for many couples whom were deeply in love and full of hope and good intentions. The spirit prevailing during courses were happy - even hilarious at times, deeply spiritual in the best sense, full of the wisest insights he could muster from wide reading and from his sympathetic and naturally optimistic temperament.

In 1959 he went to Loyola University, Chicago, USA, where he gained a degree in social and industrial relations and returned to CIR. He began to have heart attacks during these years (1961-64). For four years he went to Australia as a director of a retreat house near Melbourne.

He arrived in Zambia in 1967 to teach in Mukasa Minor Seminary for a year before being moved to St Ignatius in Lusaka. He became director in the Zambia Institute of Management and spent eleven years at Evelyn Hone College of Further Education, becoming Head of the Department of Business Studies. He retired in 1981. He was kept busy at St lgnatius helping with pastoral work, preaching, marriage counselling, writing leaflets and pamphlets on Christian values in the modern world. He was very conscientious in his work and totally dedicated to whatever work he was asked to do. He highly valued his religious life as a Jesuit and was very loyal to the Church. He loved a challenge and was always ready to take up his pen to defend the Church. He started the Kalemba Leaflets to bring out the deeper aspects of our common faith.

He was a good companion and, as well as enjoying his own talk, he could listen to others. He had certain conventions to which he held tenaciously, but he was not hidebound nor narrow. On the contrary, he loved freedom and the liberty to express every truth and facet of life as it was, or as he saw it. He was essentially logical and exact and could be impatient when undue consideration was being given to illogical and incalculable elements in human behaviour. He rejected all nonsense.

On and off during his seventeen years in Lusaka, some health symptoms occurred that slowed him up and endangered his life.

He returned to Ireland threatened with gangrene on the toe. The time he spent before and after the amputation was no more satisfactory than could be expected. There were times when he wanted to die. His lifelong sense of friendship with Christ seemed to become more vivid in that last year or so. He worked over many thoughts for the defense of the faith and these he hoped to continue publishing in Zambia in the Kalemba Leaflets. That was not to be. He was sensitively cared for in Cherryfield Lodge, the Jesuit Nursing Home in Dublin where, in the end, his death came unexpectedly on 5 June 1984.

Note from John Coyne Entry
Fr Michael Moloney writes:
‘Fr Coyne took a very keen interest in what Jesuits had done in Zambia since the coming of Frs Moreau and Torrend for whom he had a deep admiration. Admiration for people who did "great things for Christ" was a permanent attitude of his. His standard for a Jesuit was that he should be "a saint, a scholar and a gentleman" and he clearly tried to exemplify that in his own life. He was a kindly man yet at the same time a puzzle to many. Many wondered what "the real John Coyne was like" because externally he seemed to be set in a conventional spiritual mould and to be rather formal in much of his behaviour, so much so that one cannot escape the conclusion that he was a man with a conflict between his personality traits and what he considered Jesuit spirituality demanded of him. In Zambia he was faithful to his afternoon stroll during which he would meet people and through which he made some friends whose hospitality he was pleased to accept".

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Michael Moloney came to Australia as director of the retreat house at Loyola College, Watsonia, and worked with Conn Finn, 1964-66.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 59th Year No 4 1984

Obituary

Fr Michael Moloney (1913-1931-1984) (Zambia)

1931-33 Emo, noviciate. 1933-36 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1936-29. Tullabeg, philosophy. 1939-42 Clongowes, 1942-46 Milltown, theology. 1946-47 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1947-51 Belvedere, teaching. 1951-55 Leeson St., Minister, Ed, Irish monthly. 1955-59 Catholic Workers College, dir. Cana Conference. 1959-60 Loyola University, Chicago, stud sociology and industrial relations. 1960-63 Catholic Workers' College, lect and psychology. 1963-67 Loyola College, Watsonia, Victoria, Australia, dir. retreat-house.
From 1967 on: in Zambia. 1968-83 St Ignatius Residence, Lusaka, Zambia, dir Zambia Institute of Management (till 1970. then:) lect. Evelyn Hone College of Further Education/Applied Arts and Commerce. 1984 convalescing in Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin, after hospital treatment. Died there on 5th June 1984.

To write about someone I knew as well as Michael is surprisingly difficult, I have little interest in cataloguing the events of his life, and no inclination, or right, to reveal the inner person I came to know so well. What then can be said? As a young man in the Society (1931-47) he was very well liked; comfortable and relaxed in a rather tense era; lively and zestful for life; stalwart in his convictions and strong in their expression. He worked hard, and was always good at mastering a subject accurately and expressing it clearly.
After the years of 'formation we never lived in the same community again. Our relationship was full of absences, crowned by the final departure so well described by Jean Guitton: “From the angle of the living and of those who have not yet made the great journey, the absence of the dead is more than a sorrow. It is so incomprehensible, so ironical, to see them no more, not to be able to communicate with someone who was a substantial part of one's life, and who seems to have gone away one evening in a fit of madness leaving no address....
In the close community of the early years he would be remembered for his pleasant singing of ballads like “Ivan Skivinski Skivar” or “The garden where the praties grow” on days of celebration; and indeed how he would become voluble and expansive after one glass of the unnamed wine we used to get on rustication days! He was good company; and, as well as enjoying his own talk, he could listen. He had conventions which he held to tenaciously, but he was not hidebound or narrow: on the contrary he loved freedom and the liberty to express every truth and facet of life as it was, or as he saw it. His competence on formal occasions combined well with an unfettered and untrammelled spirit at other times.
He had an orderly mind, symbolised by his very clear and firm handwriting and the way he typed his letters, with seldom a misprint and never a faded or blurred ribbon. He was essentially logical and exact, and could be impatient of undue consideration being given to the illogical and incalculable elements in human behaviour. He threw out nonsense, We often disagreed as to what constituted nonsense.
Nevertheless, during one of the most fertile periods of his life he was dealing with what might be thought of as the most illogical and irrational area of human life - sexuality. Here his sound judgement rescued him from the then conventional attitude of clerics to marriage as essentially a legal contract with rights and duties. He knew instinctively that this was an inadequate and he could not accept the sexual apparatus as some kind of mechanical device, kept in a bedside locker, to be used or not according to a complicated set of philosophical and legalistic nostrums, devised largely by the inexperienced. Hence his pre-marriage courses in the CIR were a liberating experience for many pairs in love, and full of hope and good intentions. The courses, I understand, were happy, even hilarious at times; deeply spiritual in the best sense; full of the wisest insights he could muster from wide reading and from a sympathetic and naturally optimistic temperament.
I cannot speak with any assurance of the other long period he spent in adult education, in the Evelyn Hone Institute in Lusaka, He went through some difficult times with courage and faith, and kept working hard even when he felt some degree of disapproval and a sense of being undervalued. On the whole, though, my impression was that he got satisfaction from and gave satisfaction in his work there.
He did not take too kindly to the onset of old age or the intimations of mortality: he was in fact rather disbelieving of its drastic effects. Those who die young have this advantage over us, I now realise, that they come to fulfilment when still fastened to their “own best being and its loveliness of youth” (Hopkins: The golden echo), and do not have to reverse of anticlimax and slow decay to get there.
About twenty years before he died he had some trouble with heart and circulation. Then he went to Australia, where he was very active in retreat-giving, and made at least one rich and lasting friendship. Off and on during the sixteen years he spent in Zambia some symptoms occurred that slowed him up and endangered his life. When he came on holiday to Ireland he took things physical quietly, On villa in Achill he showed no tendency to climb the lovely mountains, but would kindly drive me to the foot and would stay below until I returned many hours later, on one occasion to find that he had had a very serious fall from the pier at Dugort. On the last villa we spent together at Banna Strand, Co Kerry, we took little exercise, he much less than I. He was contented to mooch about the dunes when it was fine, and look long meditatively over the Atlantic to the and setting sun.
When he came back some months ago threatened with gangrene in the toe, he was a very changed man. The time he spent before and after the amputation was no more satisfactory than could be expected. There were times when he wanted to die. His lifelong sense of friendship with Christ seemed to become very vivid in this last year or so. He worked over many thoughts for the defence of the faith: these he hoped to continue publishing in Zambia, as the Kalemba Leaflets. He was sensitively cared for in Cherryfield Lodge, where in the end his death came unexpectedly. I viewed his remains in Kirwan's funeral parlour. They did not look like remains, but like him: determined, and ready to spring into animated conversation at the right stimulus. I came by chance into possession of a record of Verdi's Requiem a few days after his burial, and will I hope always enjoy thoughts of him as I listen to its gentle and its thunderous passages. May he enjoy eternal life. the years
Michael J. Sweetman

Moriarty, Frederick, 1934-1998, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/678
  • Person
  • 17 December 1934-24 July 1998

Born: 17 December 1934, Dublin
Entered: 24 September 1955, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1967, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1973
Died: 24 July 1998, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Part of the Bishop’s House, Monze, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 15 August 1973

by 1962 at Chivuna Monze Nothern Rhosesia - Regency studying language
by 1970 at Swansea, Wales (ANG) studying

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
When the young Fred Moriarty arrived at the Jesuit Novitiate he was surprised to find a pupil from his own school with him. That companion was Fr Donal McKenna who was two years ahead of him at O’Connell's School, Dublin. They were to be working in Zambia for both their lifetimes. Fr Fred Moriarty's specialisation was development in Monze Diocese.

Fr Fred was born in Dublin 17 December 1934. He was a late vocation. He had done a full year of engineering and part time studies in accounts and commerce before joining the Jesuits. He played entertaining jazz on the piano and really enjoyed the New Year celebrations at Mazabuka annually. He studied philosophy at Tullabeg from 1958 to 1961. He arrived in Zambia on 15th August 1961. His ciTonga language study was from August 1961 for one full year. He spoke ciTonga fluently and in a businesslike manner. Then he taught in Canisius for two years. With Fr Shaun Curran, he leveled the second football field and prepared the running track. His theology was done at Milltown Park from I964-1968. Ordination was on 28 July, 1967. This was followed by tertianship in Rathfarnham in 1968-69. Fr. Fred did a post-graduate Diploma in Social Administration at the University of Wales, Swansea in 1969-1970.

From November 1970 to August 1971 he began his pastoral work at Kasiya Parish. He liked to move around on a Honda motorcycle. When he was changed to Chikuni the following year as Parish Priest, his mode of travel did not change.

Fairly quickly he had a tractor available for hire for the local farmers. Getting paid was a problem here but Fr. Fred's ciTonga was able to reach bargaining level before too long. He inherited the Credit Union from Fr Joe Conway and was able to live with all the hassle involved. Some thieving went on at the parish house on account of his having to go to Canisius College for supper. One day he came across someone wearing his shirt and had the courage to confront him. One rainy day on the way to Chipembele for Sunday Mass on the Honda he got drenched. During Mass his clothes were left hanging out to dry! He got a development team started in Chikuni. His last parish assignment was to St Mary's Parish in October 1975 until May 1978. St Mary's spreads north to Kazungula and beyond and Fred reached those places by Honda.

Bishop Lungu had responsibility for maize distribution during times of famine for the whole of Zambia. Fr Fred and himself were a wonderful team. Only God knows the good they achieved together in those desperate years. Around this time, Fr Fred went to India to have a look at the possibilities of silk worm culture in Zambia. He was also on the alert to learn from development in India. The Jesuits there have many different projects. He was always open to change and improvement. He could live with taking risks.

Fr Fred was a radio program coordinator. He recorded many programs in ciTonga and English for ZNBC. He coordinated with Fr Bill Lane and Fr Max Prokoph in this area. He had all the equipment with him and set himself up in Chikuni parish house or wherever he could get another program. He stuck to his task and only left when he had another program tucked under his sleeve. He did this as an extra for years.

On 25 April 1998, Fr Fred left Zambia. He was not in good health and was complaining of stomach pains. Bishop Paul Lungu left him to Lusaka but was killed in an accident himself a few days later. Fr Fred was diagnosed with cancer of the liver. He took his suffering like he had lived. He was interested in all the details regarding his illness. He was curious about what it would be like on the other side of life in this world. He had a lot of visitors when in hospital. The Mission Office and its supporting team were generous in their care. After visitors laid hands on him in prayer Fr Fred joined in with his own prayer for them. His family was present at that special time. He died peacefully on 24 July 1998. Fr Eddie Murphy did the homily at his funeral Mass in Dublin. His classmate, Fr Donal McKenna preached at Mass for him in Monze and finally Fr Colm Brophy spoke at his Mass at St. Ignatius in Lusaka.

His two ciTonga nicknames were Chimuka and Haamanjila. The first one was based on the fact that Fr Fred used never quite make it in time for meals. His work and the workers and the people being served took priority over food. His second name refers to his custom of checking out the food on the stove in Monze. He was always curious and wondered could more sugar be added to the jam as it boiled. Maybe he is still asking questions there where he is in his eternal well-earned reward.

Note from Bishop James (Jim) Corboy Entry
He regularised the eight mission stations as parishes and set up 13 more parishes. Development was another project close to his heart. With the help of Fr Fred Moriarty SJ Monze became the leading diocese in the country in promoting development

Murphy, David, 1944-1982, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/19
  • Person
  • 15 May 1944-21 May 1982

Born: 15 May 1944, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1962, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed 29 December 1980
Died 21 May 1982, St Luke's Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1968 at Chantilly France (GAL S) studying
by 1975 at Grenelle Paris (GAL) teaching
by 1979 at Copenhagen Denmark (GER S) working

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
‘A tall, determined young man’ is what first comes to mind when David's name is mentioned. He was born in Dublin on 15 May 1944 and attended Gonzaga College for his secondary schooling. He was one of the school's first vocations and entered the Society at Emo in 1962. At the University he took English and French for his degree and French culture had a special appeal for him, so he went to Chantilly, France, for his philosophy in 1967. For regency he came to Zambia in August 1969 and after six months working at the ciTonga language, he moved into Canisius Secondary School as a teacher. ‘A certain intolerance for what he saw as the merely conventional began to emerge. There was something a little wooden and naive in his own attitude but his indignation at another man's apparent failure in charity or common sense for the sake of conventional propriety never led to a lessening regard for those he disagreed with’. He took on a number of 'causes': prisoners' rights (Dublin, Copenhagen, Northern Ireland), opposition to apartheid in South Africa, Third World problems (which increased that intolerance), and a distaste for injustice of any kind.

He was ordained in Milltown Park on 21st June 1974 and went to America for a few months. It was while there that the brain tumour which finally killed him came to light. That settled the question of whether he should return to Zambia where he had so enjoyed teaching. Still, though slowed down by his illness and treatment, he went to Paris for two years to study pastoral theology. After a year in Gardiner Street parish, he returned to Paris for another year 1977.

In 1978 he undertook what was perhaps the most amazing adventure of all, he became prison chaplain in Copenhagen (Denmark) to those non-Danish prisoners who neither spoke nor understood either English or French. His sense of outrage at what he saw as the callous mistreatment of a fairly wretched group by a reputedly sophisticated society was quick to surface and he did not hesitate to communicate it to others’. The last two years of his life he spent in Dublin receiving treatment for his tumour. He did a little parish work and prison visiting at Mountjoy prison.

His final illness as he moved in and out of comas and became increasingly paralysed and humiliatingly dependent was a deeply harrowing time, above all for David himself but also for his community and brave family. He died on 21 May 1982 in his 38th year of life.

People who knew David found him to be gentle, humorous, kindly, while at the same time determined and single minded. He was angered by humbug and pretence. On these occasions he could be rigidly uncompromising. His strong character showed a deep personal honesty and integrity. To the end, he was very appreciative of the dedicated help he received from those who were looking after him, both at St Luke's Cancer hospital and from his own religious community.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 57th Year No 3 1982

Obituary

Fr David Murphy (1944-1962-1982)

David Murphy came to the Society in the middle of the brief boom at the start of the sixties. Son of Michael, an active and well-loved Old Clongownian and related, through his mother, to Fr Paddy O’Kelly, he had spent his schooldays in Gonzaga and was one of the school's first vocations. We were 24 in the class of ‘62, reduced to 15 by vow-day two years later and now, with David’s course already completed, numbering just eight. But in those days the cameratas bulged on the seams, we had enough to play two soccer matches on a Sunday afternoon and Fr Socius Timoney’s eyes gleamed at the prospect of a huge workforce to be unleashed on the unsuspecting “clochar”, come the Long Retreat.
From the beginning David stood out. He was a big man, both in body and spirit. The monastic style of Emo in those preconciliar days required just the qualities of generosity and inwardness which David abundantly possessed. He was a very diligent, reliable novice but never lacking in a sense of humour to keep things in proportion. He was a good athlete - who can forget him, then and later, putting in those disconcertingly long-legged tackles at centre-half and rising above everybody to head clear? On the tennis-court, where a novice's spirit of charity could be tested, David was a tough but always impeccably courteous opponent.
He was in Rathfarnham from 1964-67 and enjoyed the university years. He was a solid student and got a solid degree in English and French. But for David there was much more to life in UCD than study or the narrow constraints of the set curriculum. It was from him that we all first heard of Merleau-Ponty and we used to be aghast at his facility for persuading the likes of Monsieur Cognon and Dr Denis Donoghue to take him down to the Shelbourne between lectures for coffee and earnest discussion. These encounters were neither engineered to curry favour with his teachers nor narrated afterwards to impress his companions in the Juniorate. I have rarely known anyone so free of human respect or fear of what others might think.
French culture had a special appeal for David - he was to spend five of his 20 years as a Jesuit in France - and in 1967 he went to Chantilly for philosophy. He became interested in Freud, an interest he never lost, and was reputed to have managed an interview with the reclusive Samuel Beckett by the simplest of stratagems - going along and knocking on the great man's door.
He volunteered for the missions after philosophy and went to Zambia with Colm Brophy in 1969. That David should have wanted to be a missionary was wholly in character and exemplified his courage, generosity, independence and spirit of adventure. It was in France and in Zambia, I think, that something else began to emerge - a certain intolerance of what he saw as the merely conventional. There was possibly something a little wooden and naïve in his own attitude but his indignation at another man's apparent failure in charity or commonsense for the sake of conventional propriety never led to a lessening of respect for those he disagreed with. He was not inclined to judge motives; he simply could not understand their behaviour. In later years, when he was ill and when his causes had become prisoners' rights (whether in Dublin, in Northern Ireland, or in Denmark) and opposition to apartheid, the intolerance increased and the interpretation of some situations could seem a little lopsided. But behind it was always David's own utter decency and his extreme distaste for injustice of any kind.
After three years in Milltown Park at theology, he was ordained by Archbishop Ryan on 21st June, 1974 and, that summer, while he was in America, the brain tumour which finally killed him first came to light. After that there could be no question of returning to Zambia. But, although slowed down by his illness and the treatment, David was not prepared to make major concessions to it or to opt for the life of an invalid. He went to Paris for two years and did his best to study pastoral theology. After that there was a year in Gardiner street, where he did some work in the parish and even began to teach himself Spanish. Typically, he visited the headquarters of Sinn Féin in Gardiner Place (now the Workers' Party) and, despite their known Marxist leanings and presumed hostility to the Church, coolly informed them that they were in his area and that he was available, should they require him in his capacity as a priest. History does not record what they said; they were probably too surprised to say anything.
In 1977 he went back to Paris for another year and then, in 1978, undertook what was perhaps the most amazing adventure of all, becoming prison chaplain in Copenhagen to those non-Danish prisoners who spoke or could understand either English or French. Without Danish or German (the native language of most of the Jesuits in Scandinavia) and not well enough to try to learn either, most others would have been daunted by such an assignment. But not David. His sense of outrage at what hę saw as the callous mistreatment of a fairly wretched group by a reputedly sophisticated society was quick to surface and he did not hesitate to communicate it to others. At that time he was full of hopeful and touchingly zealous schemes for other Jesuits to come from Ireland and join him. But of his own ministry he told us little or nothing. It appears that he and his Mexican colleague were awarded a substantial humanitarian prize in Denmark for a report they drew up on the sufferings of prisoners in solitary confinement. How typical of David that we should learn of this only now, after his death.
The last two years of his life were spent between Tabor, Milltown Park, Sherrard street and St Luke's, under the darkening cloud of his illness. He did not cease to work for as long as he could, among other things involving himself in prison visitation at Mountjoy. Although formally assigned to tertianship in the autumn of 1980, he never went. Instead, he made his solemn profession, in the presence of his family, his Jesuit friends and a few others, in Milltown on 29th December. It was not a sombre or despairing ceremony but serious, courageous, trusting. The readings were David's own choice, beginning with the vocation of Abraham narrated in the Book of Genesis: “Leave your country, your family and your father's house, for the land I will show you ....” It seemed to express not only his history as a missionary but also a constant quality of detachment in his own life and his mysterious and painful destiny to leave all things in death a few days after his 38th birthday.
After that the visits to St Luke’s became more frequent and more prolonged. His final illness, as he moved in and out of comas and became increasingly paralysed and humiliatingly dependent, was a deeply harrowing time, above all for David himself but also for his community and his brave family. He (and they) bore it with courage and with a dignity that was always distinctive of him, a sense of inwardness and understatement noticeable in him from the beginning. He died early in the morning of 21st May and was buried the next day, after a moving funeral Mass in Gardiner street.

Many of us who knew David found him to be gentle, humorous, kindly: while at the same time, determined and single- minded. In his last years of failing health these qualities were very much to the fore. Determination and single-minded ness marked his struggle to cope with his illness. Not a moment was wasted. He was constantly planning, even against the odds, for future work and leisure. He vibrated enthusiasm in his own unique way, living a very full and varied life, never giving in to the pressures and limitations of deteriorating health.
One of the most remarkable features of the past seven years of David's life has been that they were years of solid achievement despite the burden of ill-health.
As a prison chaplain he was outstanding. His strong character was shown at its best in recent years in the lively and sincere concern he shared with those who were suffering or oppressed. Only those who were closest to him know of the active and priestly work which consumed so much of his little energy. Typical of such activity was his work in the prisons at Copenhagen and Mountjoy. One of his fellow-chaplains remarked recently that what impressed the prisoners deeply was 'the driving interest David had in their welfare - when it was perfectly obvious to even the most casual observer, that he was gravely ill. Yet his major concern seemed to be with their problems rather than his own. Here, as in everything else, he gave himself unstintingly to the needs of others.
His influence was pervasive. He made many friends in widely differing walks of life and, as always, once he made friends they became friends for life. He had the respect and affection of those who were close to him. Not surprisingly, he is sorely missed.
David was at his best when faced with challenge. When the serious nature of his illness first became apparent the immediate future looked extremely gloomy. It seemed evident at the time that David's highly active life was going to be greatly restricted. Yet, after initial hospital treatment, he was off on his travels once again - this time back to Paris where he continued to take his English classes at Franklin. His dogged determination to live as normal a life for as long as possible was remarkably obvious. He had great difficulty at this time in adapting to the fact that his resources of energy were much diminished. He tried so very hard to continue as before but it was clear that changes would have to be made.
When David returned from France many of us expected him to slow down the pace – at least a little! But he had hardly settled back before he was off again: this time to Copenhagen as prison chaplain to the English-speaking prisoners. He spent two years in Denmark. While he found his work very satisfying and invigorating he found certain aspects of community life very difficult.
His qualities of gentleness and concern for those who were oppressed were predominant at this time. He was particularly prominent in speaking out on behalf of those whom he considered were being treated unfairly or unjustly. His major concern was for the dignity of the individual which he considered to be sacred. He was angered by humbug or pretence. On these occasions he could be rigidly uncompromising. There are many stories and anecdotes he used recount of his experiences in Copenhagen. But even when he spoke of the setbacks they were usually related with a touch of humour And yet he was very appreciative of rather than bitterness.
So many of these experiences reveal his questioning mind which refused to be browbeaten. His strong character showed a deep degree of personal honesty and integrity.
David felt very strongly on certain matters. His stand on such issues as anti-apartheid, prisoners' rights, Northern Ireland, the Third World etc. left no room for ambiguity. While many in the Province may not always have synchronised with his views there was never any doubting his personal integrity and dedication. David advocated his cause fearlessly and enthusiastically, always seeking to implement his vision. Even when time for active involvement was obviously getting shorter, his lively spirit did not diminish. To the end he was alert to the issues which gave him so much of his inner fire.
He was gifted with an active and enquiring mind. The adventure and mystery of life provided him with a never-ending search into the deeper questions of the world which surrounds us. This search, for him, could never be satisfied by dallying on the surface. Before his illness, David had a deep-rooted fascination with the power of the written word as an instrument for research and as a means of expression. One of his greatest frustrations in recent years was the incapacity to express himself clearly in writing. And yet his enquiring mind remained unbowed: always the active lively interest in so of his causes célèbres'. In the closing weeks of his life he was gathering his thoughts on the dignity that is due to the 'incurable patient in hospital. He was adamant that patients in hospital should never be made feel that they are in danger of being reduced to the category of prisoner' with no control over the ordinary decisions that affect their lives. His own reaction to hospitalisation was a clear indication of his feelings on this matter.
And yet he was very appreciative of the dedicated help he received from those who were looking after him. He had respect and admiration for the staff of St Luke's whom he considered to be “good listeners and who did not make you feel that there were two types of person, the sick and the non-sick”. He was also very much aware of the fact that without the devotion and selfless generosity of Br Joe Cleary he could never have managed to have the degree of independence that marked his time at Milltown.
To say that David had a zest for living would surely be a gross understatement!, He had an insatiable appetite for travel and new discovery. It was reflected in his great enthusiasm for life. He loved people and he loved living. Despite the difficulties with which he struggled during the past seven years the bedrock of his enthusiasm remained undimmed.
So many of his friends remember, maybe even with a touch of humour, how the suggestion of foreign travel could revive David's spirits in recent times. Shortly before his death he was already preparing for the possibility of another trip to the Holy Land. It was fitting. Many of those who knew him intimately will remember him as a citizen of the world', always preparing for new Voyages of discovery and . meeting new people.
He went to God on the day following: the Ascension. We can only imagine how enthusiastically he is revelling in this new! to the world of discovery. It is difficult to visualise David resting in peace with many such a brave new world to be explored!
It is only the annals of eternity that will reveal to the full the outstanding and selfless dedication of this remarkable priest. His deep faith and trust in God was an inspiration. It was typical of the man that self-pity and self-concern were never his major preoccupations. The heavy burden of ill-health he accepted as part of the mysterious plan of redemption for a suffering world. His faith was solid and shown in his apostolic enthusiasm. He was constantly preoccupied in trying to bring the peace of God to those whop were suffering in any way. Much of this work is hidden in the God whom he served faithfully. he comforted many who wept the tears of life, and gave new hope and encouragement to those threatened by difficulty and despair.
He was truly what Ignatius would like us all to be: a man for others.
CH

Murphy, Dermot J, 1916-1979, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/262
  • Person
  • 26 May 1916-08 December 1979

Born: 26 May 1916, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948
Professed: 02 February 1951
Died: 08 December 1979, St Mary’s, Surrenden Road, Brighton, Sussex, England - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

Brother of John - RIP 1986

by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - third wave of Zambian Missioners
by 1968 at St Paul’s. Mulungushi, Brokenhill, Zambia (POL Mi) teaching
by 1969 at Lusaka (PO Mi) working
by 1975 at Worthing Sussex (ANG) working
by 1976 at Brighton Sussex (ANG) working

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Just at the end of his tertianship, Fr Dermot was selected to go to the then Northern Rhodesia and was one of the nine Irish Jesuits who went there in 1950. The Irish Province had been asked by Fr General to send men to aid their Polish colleagues there. When they arrived, Fr Dermot was based mainly at Fumbo and Chikuni during his first five years. Many were the stories told about his apostolic adventures in the Gwembe valley and along the line of rail during these years. His resourcefulness in coming up with needed articles was also a byword. He seemed to have a ready supply of things required by his brethren. One Father setting out on a visit to a distant outpost in very hot conditions, wished to take some butter and other perishables. Fr Dermot said to him, ‘I think I have a refrigerator bag'. He produced the bag when most of his brethren did not know that such things were obtainable.

The second half of 1956 saw Fr Dermot in Lusaka as Parish Priest of St Ignatius. He immediately launched the building of a long-planned church which involved a great deal of finding both money and material. In doing this, with remarkable success, Fr Dermot acquired a host of friends, acquaintances and some would add with affectionate facetiousness – victims. On one occasion when a motor dealer offered a donation of £10, Dermot intimated that a larger donation would better match the esteem in which the listener was held. After an exchange of pleasantries, the business man said: ‘Just to listen to you, Father, is well worth £25; here is my cheque’.

The new church was blessed in December 1957 and, over the next few years, Dermot added to it with loving care. He also made improvements to the already existing parish hall and, in particular, promoted youth entertainment.

Returning from leave in 1964, he was assigned to Roma township where the cathedral was to be built. While there, he presided over the building of it as well as the Regiment church at Chilenje.

In 1972 Dermot's health began to fail and increasing heart trouble made it advisable for him to live at a lower altitude. While he had been a scholastic at Clongowes doing his regency, diphtheria had broken out. All the community were tested and found to be immune. Dermot, however, went down afterwards with a bad bout of diphtheria. This can affect the heart and it was his heart that went against him at this time. Accordingly he left Zambia in February 1973 and took up parish work at sea level in Brighton, England, where he laboured with his customary zeal and success until his regretted death on 8 of December 1979. His brother John, also a Jesuit, was with him when he died. When John arrived, Dermot was in a coma. John wrote, ‘He (Dermot) did not give any sign of recognition but I had the uncanny feeling that he knew I was there’.

A strict contemporary writing about Dermot, said, ‘Dermot was, and remained so all his life, the kind of person one was glad to meet. It was always good to have him in the company. He had a sense of humour and an original dry verbal wit. After one of his verbal shafts, he would cackle happily. I think he was incapable of an uncharitable remark and he never showed disappointment or bitterness. He was a good community man’. Before he left Zambia, Dermot could become depressed, maybe the result of his health. However when in the parish in Brighton he was most apostolic as witnessed by the parishioners there.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 55th Year No 1 1980

Obituary :

Fr Dermot Murphy (1916-1935-1979)

Dermot Murphy and myself walked up the Emo steps for the first time on the 7th September 1935. In that year we were the only two candidates who had been at school in Belvedere. On that heart freezing day it was a help to see somebody one knew, and Dermot, as usual, was cheerful, which I was not.
Although we came across one another little enough in Belvedere, Dermot was always friendly and cheerful. He was - and remained so all his life - the kind of person one was glad to meet. We were always glad to have Dermot with us walking on the hills from Rathfarnham or in the boats from Tullabeg. There was something gentle and peaceful about him. He had a sense of humour and an original dry verbal wit. After one of his verbal shafts he would cackle happily. I think he was incapable of an uncharitable remark and he never showed disappointment or bitterness. He was a community man; a good guy.
In Clongowes, where we were scholastics together, the community used all be given a test for vulnerability to diphtheria. All were found to be immune. Dermot, however, went down shortly afterwards with a bad bout of diphtheria, and the test, as a result, was abandoned by the medical profession. Diphtheria can affect the heart, and it was his heart that went against Dermot in the last years.
I think I remember him on one of the younger teams in Belvedere but it was golf not rugby that was his game. We always said he was born on a golf course! Playing on the seaside course near his home from an early age, he became one of those players who are marvellously natural and easy.
One day, in half a gale and rain, we were playing Portmarnock, There is one hole in the second nine which used to be almost unplayable in bad weather. From a low tee you looked up at a high sandhill which blotted out the sky. Later they took away part of the sandhill because it was too difficult for the Canada Cup players. Dermot asked “What’s the line?” We pointed to the white stone which was hardly visible. “How far?” We told him. His drive went straight and effortlessly into the wind, rising over the stone, and we found the ball in the middle of the fairway.
That was like the man: in spite of difficulties, assured, straight, undeviating, reaching the desired place which could not even be seen. That is how he was with people. That, I believe, is how he went to God. May the Lord be exceptionally good to him.
J C Kelly SJ

Irish Province News 55th Year No 2 1980

Obituary

Fr Dermot Murphy († 8th December 1979)

A contribution from Zambia

Fr Dermot Murphy joins Frs Brian McMahon and Walter O’Connor, to bring to three the number of the 1950 arrivals on the Mission who have departed this world, Lord rest them. .
Fr Murphy learned chiTonga soon after his arrival in Zambia, and was based mainly at Fumbo and at Chikuni during his first five years in Africa. Many were the stories told about his apostolic adventures in the Gwembe valley and along the line of rail during those years. His resource fulness in coming up with needed articles was also a byword. He seemed to have had a ready reserve supply of things required by his brethren - tools of every kind, apparel for various occasions. The writer, setting out on a visit to a distant outpost in very hot conditions, wished to take some butter and other perishables. Fr Dermot, on hearing of the problem, considered a moment, and said in his unhurried way, “I think I have a refrigerator bag”. And sure enough he had, at a time when most of us did not know that such things were obtainable!
In the second half of 1956 he was posted to Lusaka as parish priest of St Ignatius. He immediately launched the building of the long-planned church. His predecessor, Fr Paddy O’Brien, had left the parish with enough resources to get the work started: but to keep it going a great deal more money and material was needed. These Fr Murphy sought tirelessly, perseveringly and with remarkable success, and in doing so he acquired a host of friends, acquaintances, and - some would add with affectionate facetiousness – victims! On one occasion he is said to have approached a Lusaka motor dealer. The gentleman in question offered a donation of £10, Dermot intimated that only a larger donation would match the esteem in which his listener was held. After an exchange of pleasantries the businessman said, “Just to listen to you, Father, is well worth £25. Here is my cheque”.
To general rejoicing the church was blessed and opened in December 1957. Over the next few years the parish priest added to it with loving care a distinctive side-altar, the sanctuary stained-glass (donated by his aunt, Mrs Scanlon of Killaloe), electronic equipment, etc. He also made improvements to the already existing parish hall, and in particular pro moted youth entertainment.
Fr Dermot continued as PP until 1964, when he went on well deserved overseas leave. On his return he was assigned to Roma township, where the cathedral was to be built. While there, he presided over the building of the cathedral, the church of St Charles Lwanga at Chilenje, and the 'Doxiadis' church at the new Kafue industrial centre.
In 1972 his health began to fail, and increasing heart trouble made it advisable for him to live at a lower altitude. Accordingly, he left Zambia in February 1973, and took up parish work at sea-level in Brighton, England, where he laboured with his customary zeal and success until his regretted death.
At the memorial Mass in St Ignatius church, Lusaka (17th December), the main celebrant was Fr Provincial, and about thirty of Dermot's Jesuit brethren concelebrated. Fr Paddy O’Brien in his homily reminded us that while St Ignatius church stood, Fr Dermot Murphy would always have a fitting memorial. Speaking in lighter vein of his priestly commitment, devotion and unction, he recalled the lament of a lady parishioner shortly after his departure from Lusaka: “Who will baptize our children, now that Fr Murphy has gone? The mothers who were accustomed to him do not think that the other priests baptize properly in comparison with him!” Among those at the Mass were several survivors of Lusaka twenty years ago who welcomed the opportunity to pay their last respects to an esteemed and well-beloved Pastor and friend. Among them with his wife was Mr Conor McIntyre the contractor, who gave his services freely for the building of the church in 1956-'57, and who is now Irish Honorary Consul to Zambia.
We in Zambia are grateful to Clongowes for providing Fr Dermot with a Community in Ireland and for welcoming his remains. May he rest in peace!

Murphy, Martin, 1934-2015, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/843
  • Person
  • 07 August 1934-12 March 2015

Born: 07 August 1934, Ringsend, Dublin
Entered: 10 August 1966, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Professed: 15 August 1985, Luwisha House, Lusaka, Zambia
Died: 12 March 2015, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1974 at Canisius Chikuni, Zambia (ZAM) working
by 1979 at Babati, Tanzania (AOR) working for “Concern”
by 1995 at JRS Malawi (MOZ) working

Early Education at National School; Ringsend Vocational School

1968-1969 St Mary’s, Emo - Mechanic; Maintenance
1969-1975 Chisekesi, Zambia - Construction; Irrigation; Teaching at Canisius College, Chikuni
1975-1978 Milltown Park - Maintenance
1978-1983 Tanzania, East Africa - Working for “Concern” at Babati, Tanzania
1983-1984 Tullabeg - Tertianship
1984-1986 Lusaka, Zambia - Minister at Luwisha House
1986-1992 Mazabuka, Zambia - Concern Development Project
1987 Youth Development Project at St Paul’s, Nakambala
1992-1993 Santry - Pastoral Care of Refugees
1993-1994 Limbe, Malawi - Working for JRS
1994-1995 Mozambique - Working for JRS
1995-1996 Clongowes - House and College Maintenance
1996-2015 Gardiner St - Assists Director of Arrupe Society
2009 Hospital visitation; Studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/br-martin-murphy-sj-may-he-rest-in-peace/

Br Martin Murphy SJ: may he rest in peace
Death has finally got the better of Martin Murphy, but after a mighty struggle. Born in Ringsend, he learned his building skills and qualifications (a Diploma from the Catholic Workers College) before he entered the Jesuits at the age of 32. Over the next 50-odd years he practised or taught motor mechanics, building maintenance, construction, irrigation and pastoral care of refugees. Nearly thirty of those years were given to Africa, especially Zambia and Malawi.
Martin was strong as an ox, but he suffered enough sicknesses to fill a text book. His multiple health problems, touching all his senses and most parts of his sturdy body, involved treatment in four hospitals. He made full use of medical help, and carried his oxygen supply with care as he walked the pavements round Gardiner Street. He would not let medical problems absorb his energy.
At the age of 73 he embarked on a 5-year course in theology with the Tallaght Dominicans. He worked his way right up to the last assignment, on “The Just Society”, at which he balked. Why? they asked. “Because I never lived in a just society, and do not know what it is like.” Dear Martin was a strong and distinctive presence in the Irish Jesuits, a model for anyone who with God’s help has to fight sickness. “Death, be not proud.”

Murray, Christopher, 1912-2008, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/782
  • Person
  • 29 February 1912-09 January 2008

Born: 29 February 1912, Aughrim Street, Stoneybatter, Dublin
Entered: 26 May 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Professed: 15 August 1947
Died: 09 January 2008, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to ZAM: 30 July 1970; ZAM to HIB : 31 July 1982

by 1941 at Rome Italy (ROM) working at Curia

29th February 1912 Born in Dublin
Early education at CBS, St. Mary’s Place and Bolton Street Technical College
1929-1936 Worked at French Polishing
26th March 1937 Entered the Society at Emo
1st April 1939 First Vows at Emo
1939-1940 Milltown Park – Book binding and French Polishing
1940-1946 Roman Curia – Secretary
1946-1958 Crescent College, Limerick – sub-sacristan; in charge of staff and Infirmarian 15th August 1947 Final Vows at Crescent College
1958-1960 Loyola House – Provincial’s secretary
1960-1961 Manresa House – Secretary to Editor of Madonna
1961-1963 Curia Rome – Mission Secretariat
1963-1970 Zambia – Assistant Secretary : Bishop of Monze
1970 Transcribed to Zambia Province
1970-1979 Bursar – Canisius College & Community, Chikuni
1979-1984 Milltown Park – ‘Messenger’ Office administration
1982 Transcribed to Irish Province
1984-2008 St. Francis Xavier’s, Gardiner Street –
1984-1993 Bursar
1993-1995 Assistant Treasurer; House Chapel Sacristan.
1995-2002 House Chapel Sacristan
2002-2008 Cherryfield Lodge – Prayed for the Church and the Society
9th January 2008 Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin.

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Brother Christopher Murray, known to his fellow Jesuits as Christy, but always to his family as Kit, was born on 29 February 1912. He was always ready for a joke or wisecrack about the fact that he had a birthday only once every four years and so was still only in his 23rd year when he went to Cherryfield at the age of 90!. During that long life he was to live in close proximity to some of the great drama of the 20th century both in Ireland and in Europe. He was born about six weeks before the Titanic foundered in the Atlantic, and two years before World War 1 broke out. He was too young to join his elder brothers and sisters who walked a mile down North Circular Road from their Aughrim Street home to say the Rosary outside Mountjoy Jail as Kevin Barry was being hanged. As a boy he saw Michael Collins walk past the Christian Brothers' School beside the Black Church at the head of the funeral cortege of Arthur Griffith. A short week later he saw Collins' own funeral pass the same spot on its way to Glasnevin Cemetery.

He did his early schooling at the Christian Brothers School in St. Mary’s Place and got a two year scholarship to Bolton St. College of Technology but only stayed for one year. He worked for seven years apprenticed to a French polisher of furniture. He was an official in the Trade Unions. Those who knew him will not be surprised to know that he led at least two strikes! At the age of 27 he entered the novitiate (1937) having made what he said was a ‘mature decision’. Later his mother said she was surprised at the decision but he saw no problem once he made his mind up.

Shortly after he ended his novitiate, he was posted to Rome in 1940. While en route he had barely passed through Paris when it fell to the Germans. The day he arrived in Rome was the time Mussolini declared war. As long as he stayed in the house he was technically in the Vatican but if he walked out the front door he was in Italy! It was a difficult time since on arrival he was asked to type a letter in Latin. He had no idea of Latin and never typed in his life. However he soon mastered the necessary skills with his usual intelligence and determination. While he was in Rome the food shortages became desperately severe. The situation took such a toll on his health that he was on a milk diet for a whole year after the war ended. One thing that upset him very much afterwards was the suggestion that Pope Pius XII had abandoned the Jews to their fate during the war. He himself had run messages on behalf of the Holy Father to Jewish families in hiding around the city, bringing them food and other supplies. He rarely traveled twice by the same route lest he was under surveillance. Christy worked with Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, the legendary "Vatican Pimpernel" who did so much for the Jews and whose life was portrayed by Gregory Peck in a major feature film. He did two stints at Rome 1940-46 in the secretariat of the English Assistant and 1961-63 at the Mission Secretariat.

Back in Ireland he did various jobs in the Crescent both in the Church and the community from 1946 to 1958, before being appointed secretary to the Provincial from 1958 to 1960. He also worked as secretary to the editor of The Madonna from Manresa House in 1960/61.

While in Rome he volunteered for the Zambian mission and for seven years (1963-70) he was secretary to Bishop Corboy, whom he had known as a novice. These were the heady years of post-independence. At the end of his life it was these years with Bishop Corboy that always came to his mind. He then was bursar at Canisius Secondary School from 1970 to 1979.

He returned to Ireland in 1979 and worked from Milltown Park in the Messenger Office up to 1984 from where he went to Gardiner Street where he spent his remaining years (1984-2002) before he went to the Nursing Unit of Cherryfield. His work always included looking after the finances and the sacristy.

Christy was gifted with a high IQ as was evident in his ease in dealing with figures and accounts. He was widely read and well informed. This led to his holding a very definite position on a variety of matters. In any discussion it was not long before this was made clear with the words ‘the facts of the matter are’. Naturally this ensured lively and occasionally heated discussions on a variety of topics. An inveterate walker, he must have known every street in Dublin. Until he was into his 90s he did a four mile walk every Wednesday up and down the North Circular Road to visit Stephanie, his youngest sister, still living in the family home. She herself categorized him as a "man of will". We, in John Austin House, noticed his pace slacken towards the end until at last he had to give it up.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/christy-murray-rip/

Christy Murray RIP
Please pray for Rev. Brother Christopher Murray, S.J. who died at Cherryfield Lodge on 9 January 2008, aged 95 years. May he rest in peace.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/from-french-polisher-to-roman-secretary/

From French Polisher to Roman Secretary
An interview with Christy Murray on Nov, 10, 2005
First published in Interfuse
Interfuse: I was amazed when I found out that you were born in 1912 – on February 29! You are one of those special people.
Christy Murray: Yes. A birthday only every four years.
That’s why you have lived so long, probably! Sure you’re only 23 years old! 1912 – that was before the First World War. Have you any interesting memories from those early days?
I can’t really say I have. I didn’t start school until I was nine.
Was the school in Dublin?
Yes. I didn’t go to Junior School. I went to a med Miss Ryan on the Berkeley Road, and only spent a year there. Otherwise I got taught until I was nine at home. And then I went to the Christian Brothers in St. Mary’s Place near the Black Church.
How many years were you there?
All my school life – until I was 14 or 15. I did the exam for Bolton Street Tech and got a scholarship there. So I was there for a couple of years, catching up on some of the things I was short on in my education. I got a scholarship for two years, but I didn’t stay the two years. I went as an apprentice to a trade. I was a French polisher.
A French polisher! That’s very interesting.
I worked for seven or eight years at French polishing before I entered the Society.
So you were a late vocation?
Yes. I was 27 when I entered. One of the things I decided was that I must qualify in something before I enter religious life. It was a planned thing, you know, and then I was interviewed in Gardiner Street by the Provincial there. When I went to Emo I wanted to feel that, if I didn’t like what I met with there, I could go back to the trade. As well as being a qualified tradesman I was an official in the trade union.
Was Gardiner Street your church, or how did you come into contact with the Jesuits?
No, Berkeley Road was my parish church. But I went down to Gardiner Street to have an interview. Since I was thinking of entering the religious order there, I had to be interviewed by a Jesuit, so that’s what brought me to Gardiner Street.
And you met the Provincial. Who was the Provincial then?
I don’t remember. I thought at that time that it was the Superior of Gardiner Street who interviewed me.
You went to Emo in 1936, and finished your novitiate about 1939. What was your first assignment?
My first assignment was to Rome. I was sent directly to our head house in Rome. I was secretary to the Assistant General – the English assistant.
So, instead of polishing wood you were writing letters.
I had to learn to use a typewriter there. When I was sent out I hadn’t any experience of doing secretarial work. So in Rome they had to give me time to learn how to use a typewriter, and so on. I remember that well because I felt very awkward then, arriving. And, you see, I couldn’t come back from Rome because I arrived in Italy the day that country entered the war alongside Germany, so there was no question of coming back.
So you spent all the war years there. And when you went there the General was Fr. Ledochowski. He died during the war.
Yes. He died the second year I was there.
I see. And then you had Father Janssens.
That’s right.
It must have been interesting knowing both of those men. Any memories of those times?
Well, I can’t say I can remember clearly now, but the fact was that I found them both very encouraging. I was doing a type of work I had never done before and they were giving me time to get used to doing it. There were fifteen assistants – general assistants. When I arrived I didn’t know anything about typing or anything like that and they gave me time to learn it. It was a Canadian brother who taught me.
You were there till the end of the war. And then in 1946 you came back to Ireland. Had you been away all seven years without coming back?
There was no question of coming back. I was locked in Italy. I was one of the enemy, so I couldn’t travel. And, of course, there wasn’t any question of Mussolini giving permission to anybody but himself. It was a hard time, because we hadn’t enough to eat. We were living on Vatican territory. The Curia of the Jesuits was on Vatican land. When we stepped outside of the house we were in Italy, but when we were in the house we were in the Vatican. And therefore, the police couldn’t come into the house to arrest anyone. Once you stepped outside the hall door you were officially in Italy, but once you remained in the house you were a Vatican citizen.
What kind of work did you do in Ireland when you came back at the end of the war? Were you in Gardiner Street?
Yes. I was in Gardiner Street. Brother Priest was the sacristan there and I was his assistant.
Brother Priest?
That’s right. A funny name, but I found him very good. He helped me along.
You were assistant there. And did you stay in Gardiner Street for many years?
To tell you the truth, I forget.
You didn’t go to any other place? Were you in Gardiner Street for the rest of your days?
I forget the sequence, but I know I volunteered to go to Zambia.
Oh, so you went to Zambia?
Yes. It was the time that Father Corboy was made bishop. I knew him in his noviceship. Later he became Bishop Corboy. I volunteered to go because I had secretarial experience.
So you volunteered to work as secretary to Bishop Corboy.
That’s right. I spent fifteen years in Zambia with him.
And that was secretarial work, too.
Yes. I was in Rome at the time I volunteered to go to Zambia. I had a chat with the General at the time that Bishop Corboy was created bishop, and I had a chat with the General about going and joining him. He invited me to go and do the same kind of work as I had been doing.
You went back to Rome on a visit and when you were there you talked to the General about going with Bishop Corboy?
Yes. I was appointed to Rome at the time. I had been in Rome a number of years. It was my second time in Rome.
Oh, you went back a second time, after the war?
Yes. I was invited back.
That was after time as assistant sacristan in Gardiner Street?
That’s right.
That was a good few years afterwards because Bishop Corboy didn’t go until well into the 50s. You had quite a few years then in Zambia, did you?
I had fifteen years there. I got leave every five years – this is how I know. I just got leave once in five years…
Back to Dublin?
I was on my third leave back to Dublin when someone else was placed in my job.
I see. And were you then back in Gardiner Street again? You didn’t have any other assignment?
No, not that I remember.
So you’ve had a very varied career – Rome and Zambia and Ireland. And of course you came here to Cherryfield from Gardiner Street, so that was your last assignment there. And how do you find it here in Cherryfield?
The fact of the matter is that I was over 90 when I came here. Actually it was my 90th birthday the day I came in here. The 29th of February. I’ve been here over a year. I’m close to two years here.
And are you comfortable here?
In fact I’m surprised I’m so comfortable, because I had some experience of being in hospital, in care, before. I was in a ward with five or six others. Then I come here and I have my own room. This place is a great idea, I think. We’re really blessed to have this place. We’re one of the few Orders that has a good organised house for the aged.
The changes that have taken place in your time in the Society are tremendous. Especially, there were a lot more brothers when you entered.
Yes. Hadn’t got the same chances, you might say.
They had larger communities of brothers in the society.
Yes. There were a bigger number of brothers then than now. The brothers did a lot of work taking care of the houses and the farms. There were far more vocations then. In fact, it was nearly a fight to get into the Society then. Personally, I think I had an exceptionally happy time in all my years in the Society and in all the different jobs I was doing, and I got a fair amount of travel done.
Would you have a word of advice or a special message you’d like to give to the Province as you celebrate nearly 94 years?
I would like to say that they should keep the Brothers’ vocations in Ireland. They shouldn’t be sent to England. And even if they are few, they’ve a better chance of increasing their number by keeping them at home. I think that parents get preoccupied if they can’t visit them. I remember the impression I got from the first visit from my family in the novitiate in Emo. When I got talking to my mother – six people came to see me – she said that she expected to be bringing me back home, that I really wasn’t a person who was a likely Religious, and she thought she’d be taking me back home. She told me afterwards, “I didn’t expect you to be so happy; I thought you’d be coming back home, that you’d made a mistake”.
But you hadn’t made a mistake.
That’s the thing. I was thinking the opposite – that I was old enough to decide at that point in my life what my future was going to be, because I had already served my time at French polishing and as a trade union official.
You never felt like giving up. You were happy in your vocation.
I thought I was deciding when I was mature enough to decide. I felt that I had made it quite clear that I wasn’t making a mistake. I was surprised when she told me that.
That satisfaction with your vocation seems to have continued over the years.
Yes. When I was working in Rome, for example, everything went so well that I couldn’t believe it.
It’s great to be able to say in your nineties that you have no regrets about the way you chose.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Polisher before entry
Quite the reverse.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 15th Year No 2 1940

Milltown Park :
Rev. Fr. Assistant (P. A. Dugré) reached Dublin 21 December 1939, and stayed with until 30 January, when he left for Scotland via Belfast. He counted on reaching Rome on 1 March. He was accompanied from London by our Brother Christopher Murray who has taken up the duties of amanuensis in the Curia at 5 Borgo Santo Spirito.

Murray, Seán, 1922-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/783
  • Person
  • 02 May 1922-21 July 2008

Born: 02 May 1922, Carrigaholt, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1940, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1954, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1978
Died 21 July 2008, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Seán was 49 years of age when he first came to Zambia in 1971. It was for him a new country, a new people and a new language. In the normal course of events, he would have come to Zambia thirty years earlier during regency time. As a scholastic, he spent his three years regency teaching, one year at the Crescent College in Limerick and two years at Clongowes Wood College.

He was born in Kilkee, Co Clare, a seaside resort, in 1922. His schooling was at the Christian Brothers in Limerick, at The Crescent College in Limerick and also at St Flannan's College in Ennis.

At the age of 18 he joined the Jesuit novitiate at Emo Park in 1940. After his first vows, he followed the normal course of studies: humanities, philosophy, regency and theology, being ordained at Milltown Park in 1954. Tertianship came at the end of his formation in 1956. He spent a short time in Emo as bursar, then for twelve years he was back in Limerick at the Sacred Heart Church as minister of the house and prefect of the church.

Fr Seán brought to his work as a priest a spirit of prayer, a warm personality, a spirit of hard work, a friendliness which people found easy to approach, a concern for people and a good sense of humour.

In 1971 there came a great change of life and of lifestyle for Fr Seán. He came out to Zambia. His first assignment was as secretary to the Bishop of the Diocese for six months. Then he went to Malawi to the Language Centre at Lilongwe to learn this new language called ciNyanja, followed by a few months in a parish in the Chipata diocese to practice what he had learned.

Returning to Zambia, he was posted to Nakambala to the Sugar Estate in Mazabuka where he spent the rest of his time in Zambia doing parochial work among the people on the Estate. These were workers who came from various parts of Zambia with their different languages. For this, the ciNyanja Fr Seán had learned, was ideal as it is a sort of lingua franca in Zambia, though its main location is the Eastern Province and Malawi.

Poor health took him back to Ireland for a long break but he returned to continue his work at Nakambala until 1986 when he had to return to Ireland for good. When he had recovered after a few years in Ireland he had hoped to come back again to Nakambala, as he wrote clearly to his Provincial, ‘I am keen to return to Nakambala’. But unfortunately, his health took a turn for the worse and he could not return.

For the next sixteen years until his death, Fr Seán soldiered on, working in the church, often in pain but he was always most welcoming to all who sought his services. The qualities – shall I call them virtues – which Fr Seán brought to his priestly life in the Crescent in Limerick, he brought also to Nakambala in Zambia and he also brought them back with him to Gardiner Street in Dublin. He died in Cherryfield Lodge infirmary in Dublin on 21st July 2008 at the ripe old age of eighty six years.

My fond memory of Fr Seán (known to his near contemporaries as Fr Max) is a Sunday evening in Mazabuka with two of his fellow Jesuits from other communities, meeting for a chat, a cuppa, a bar of chocolate, one of them lighting his pipe, and a game of canasta. May he rest in peace.

Ó Riordan, Colm, 1919-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/534
  • Person
  • 31 May 1919-02 December 1992

Born: 31 May 1919, Oranmore, County Galway
Entered 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 05 November 1977
Died: 02 December 1992, Heathrow Airport, London, England in transit to Jesuit Residence, Kitwe, Zambia.

by 1952 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fourth wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
In a letter written in January 1953 by Fr Colm (as he was known and not by his other names) to his Provincial, he wrote ‘Since July, new schools have been finished at Pemba, Haamapande, Siggubu, Ntambo, Lumbo, and Ntanga; new teachers' houses at Pemba, Ntambo, Sikabenga, Njola, Civuna, Fumbo, Ntanga and Nyanga’. He was Manager of
Schools since 1952 having learned ciTonga after he arrived in 1951. So much in so short a time!

Colm was born in Galway in the west of Ireland on 31 May of 1919. He was fluent at the Irish language which influenced the other languages in which he was proficient. After juniorate, philosophy, regency in Clongowes Wood College and theology, he was ordained priest in Milltown Park, Dublin in 1949. After tertianship, he came to Zambia in August 1951.

Education was his field of work for the forty years he lived and worked in Zambia. As Manager of Schools, he built both new schools and teachers' houses as exampled above. He became education secretary in Chikuni, Civuna and Monze up to 1960 and was responsible for building the church at Monze town. In the early days, he traveled by bicycle, motor bike and landrover setting up, visiting and inspecting schools.

Someone compared Fr Colm to that Irish 6th century Saint Columba (after whom Colm took his name). ‘He (Columba) was able, ardent and sometimes harsh but mellowed with age. The description is also apt for Colm. He was extremely able. As an educationist and administrator he was highly capable and was driven by a generous zeal for the Lord's work. Like other outstanding people there was also a negative side to his very positive character, at times he would appear moody or even harsh. But this was only a passing phase; like his patron Columba, he mellowed with age’.

His work in education continued in Lusaka from 1960 to 1976. He worked in the Catholic Secretariat as Education Secretary General 1960 to 1964 and combined this with the job of Secretary General 1964 to 1976. He was convinced of the value of education and the apostolate of education was his first preference. Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College was launched by him and he was responsible for the establishing and developing of lay missionary teachers (LMA T) so sorely needed in the early days of independence. He came to be widely known as a good organiser and administrator, a chairman who could be relied upon to give satisfaction, get work done and produce results.

In 1970 he was nominated by the President of Zambia to be chairman of a high level commission to review salaries, salary structures and conditions of service for the Public Service, including police and defence forces on a nationwide basis. However, he had not left his building skills behind in Monze for he planned and executed the Catholic Secretariat Building – Unity House on Freedom Way, as well as the residence at St. Ignatius Church in Lusaka.

His work became widely known and he was invited to cooperate in the setting up of a Bishops' Secretariat in Lesotho which occupied him from 1977 to 1978. He retired to Kitwe to be engaged mainly in pastoral work.

He was very loyal to his friends and devoted to others, ready to put himself out to help them. In the midst of all his education work, he was first and foremost a priest, very conscientious to his call to grow in the love and service of the Lord and bringing others to Him, helping others to seek and find God in their lives by his preaching, Mass, sacraments, retreats and counselling.

As the years went by, his health became quite a serious problem especially heart and circulation difficulties. He was in Ireland for treatment but his mind was made up to return to Zambia since he had become a Zambian citizen in 1966. At Heathrow airport on his way back, he collapsed and died on the 2 December 1992.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - MICHAEL O'Riordan

O'Brien, Desmond, 1936-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/685
  • Person
  • 22 September 1936-17 July 2007

Born: 22 September 1936, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 20 July 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 05 November 1977
Died: 17 July 2007, Mater Hospital, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Part of the St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 15 August 1973

by 1963 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency
by 1971 at Swansea, Wales (ANG) studying

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Des O’Brien was born on 22 September 1936 in Dublin. He did his early schooling with the Christian Brothers in Monkstown obtaining his leaving certificate in 1954. That same year, he began his life as a Jesuit in Emo Park. After his novitiate, he did his juniorate at Rathfarnham Castle, obtaining a BA degree in Arts from UCD Dublin in 1959. Philosophy studies followed at Milltown Park from which Des obtained a licentiate in 1962.

For his regency he was sent to the then Northern Rhodesia. He studied Chitonga for a year at Chikuni and other mission stations. In 1963 he taught at Canisius College and the following year at Munali Secondary School in Lusaka. Completing his regency, he returned to Milltown Park for theology studies and was ordained on 10 July 1968. Tertianship in Dublin followed and in 1970 he went to Swansea University in the UK and obtained a diploma in social policy and administration.

Returning to Zambia in 1971, Des was appointed parish priest in Monze where he served until 1975. Among his many pastoral activities he began a strong youth club called the Red Arrows which was well known for its football success. He was then appointed chaplain of the lay apostolate for the Monze Diocese, living in Kizito Pastoral Centre from 1976 to 1980 and then at Charles Lwanga Jesuit community from 1980-84. He initiated renewal programs for the laity and traveled throughout the diocese giving workshops. During this time he also became involved with the charismatic renewal and provided steady and balanced leadership.

Des had a sabbatical in the United States in 1981, working on spiritual direction. On his return he was appointed national chaplain of the YCS and took his national team around the country in a minibus offering workshops in all the dioceses. As rector of Xavier House, he was able to provide care for the older members of the community and offer support for the novice director without interfering in his work. The late Paul Lungu often commented on how much he depended on Des’ support in his work with the novices.

The Episcopal Conference asked him to be national secretary for the laity while the Provincial appointed him as delegate of formation. He moved to Matero for a year but then went to Luwisha House which was more central for his work. In 1998 he was made superior of Luwisha House. He was a great man in community with his ready wit and happy demeanour. He was an excellent mimic and often had his companions rolling around in laughter with a few well chosen words and a little gesture. Since his job as delegate and superior took up more and more of his time, he withdrew from his position with the laity. As a delegate for formation, the young men found in him a great listener. However he could be challenging, but he was always fair and supportive. During his years in Lusaka Des offered regular courses on prayer and spiritual direction to the novice groups at Kalemba Hall as well as to the sisters’ formation program at Kalundu Centre. He was a fine teacher, entertaining yet substantial in the material he offered. Many Church personnel came to him for counselling and direction.

In 2000 Des moved back to Monze and took over Kizito Pastoral Centre, offering retreats and seminars as well as renewing the physical structure of the plant. The Bishop asked him to take care of the young priests of the diocese with regular meetings and direction. He was the chairperson of the organising committees for the celebration of the Centenary of the Jesuit arrival in the Monze Diocese. He kept the different committees working together. However towards the time of the big celebration at Chikuni he was quite ill with constant bronchial problems. He did not want to take his home leave until after the big event. When he finally went home it was found that he had inoperable cancer in his left lung. He underwent chemo- and radio-therapy but he weakened with time and eventually lost his voice. He was accepting of his condition and at peace with it. In an email in May he wrote: ’The picture is not bright but, thank God, I am very deeply at peace (even joyful!) I have no doubt that this is all the fruit of the many prayers being offered for me. I am ready for anything and in the meantime enjoying all the leisure I have’.

He tells how a woman from the parish in St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St., came up to him after a Sunday Mass in which he concelebrated, grabbed his hand and said: ’Thanks, Father, for the words’. Des was surprised and said to her, ’but I didn’t say anything, my voice is too weak’. The lady whispered in response, ‘Being up there silent on the altar with us every day is a powerful homily’. He entered the fullness of life on 17 July 2007.

O'Brien, Patrick JT, 1910-1991, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/686
  • Person
  • 26 December 1910-21 March 1991

Born: 26 December 1910, Nenagh, County Tipperary
Entered: 14 September 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1953
Died 21 March 1991, Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

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

Part of the St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM: 03 December 1969

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1938 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1946 at Lusaka, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - - First Zambian Missioners with Patrick Walsh
by 1947 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Before Fr Paddy entered the Society at Emo in1935, he had already attended university, was a graduate and a solicitor in the family firm. He was born in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, Ireland in 1910 and went to school at Clongowes Wood College. After his novitiate, since he was already a graduate, he went straight to philosophy in Jersey, the French-speaking philosophate in the Channel Islands. He stayed there two years but as World War 2 had broken out, he returned to Tullabeg, Ireland to finish his philosophy. After his theology at Milltown Park he was ordained in 1943.

After tertianship in 1945, he volunteered to come to Northern Rhodesia which he did with Fr. Paddy Walsh in 1946. He went to Chikuni to teach until he moved to Lusaka to St Ignatius as parish priest for nine years where he was also chaplain to the hospital and taught at both a primary and secondary school. He alternated with Mgr Wolnik as chaplain to St .Francis and Regiment Church.

He taught at Munali Secondary School and Hodgson Trade School and gave spiritual talks to the Dominican Sisters and the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood. For a year he was secretary to Archbishop Kozlowiecki. Then he went to the Southern Province as parish priest in Choma for three years and chaplain to the hospital, 1959 to 1961. He acted as education secretary at the Catholic Secretariat in Lusaka for six months in 1962, teaching again at Munali and Chalimbana where he was also chaplain to the two institutions. From 1969 to 1974 he was secretary to Archbishop Milingo, and from 1974 to 1988 he was secretary to the Papal Pro-Nuncio. All the occupations of parish priest, chaplain, teacher, secretary, fitted into his educational background.

He had an abiding sense of the presence and the majesty of God. He found God in simple daily devotions like the Rosary. He was also fascinated by the wonders of nature and the discoveries of science. In them he found material for prayer. All these things for him were reflections of the wisdom, the power and the love of the Creator. He was a great reader and liked to communicate what he had assimilated in retreats, in sermons and even in conversation. He was interested in people, keeping in touch with his many friends, and being ecumenically minded with people of other denominations.

He was always ready to ‘uphold his priestly ministry even when it cost’. In his early days in Lusaka, a young man involved in a fatal shooting came to Fr Paddy for advice and counselling. The young man gave himself up to the police and Fr Paddy was put into the witness box and asked to testify that the incriminating weapon, a rifle, had been handed to him by the accused. Fr Paddy refused to give evidence and was committed for contempt of court.

A newspaper reported:
“What is described as the most sensational murder trial ever to be held in Northern Rhodesia came to an abrupt end when the magistrate at Lusaka dismissed the case against Lawrence Sullivan, 24, who was charged with the murder of Mrs. Christina Margarita Fuller. The sensation was caused by the persistent refusal of a priest, Fr P J O'Brien, S.J. to take the oath as a witness. Fr. O'Brien maintained that there ‘there was a conflict of duties’ and, although warned by the magistrate of the risk he look, said he could not give evidence which might look like a breach of confidence. He insisted that it was for the public good that a man or woman who had done something seriously wrong should feel free to have recourse in confidence to their priest or minister of religion”.

A fall which seriously damaged his hip and other long standing health problems, brought him back to Ireland to the Jesuit Nursing Unit in Dublin in 1989. On 21 March 1991 at the age of 80, Fr Paddy died of a heart attack. He was a wonderful story teller!

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.

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

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Frs. O'Brien and Walsh left Dublin on January 4th on their long journey to North Rhodesia (Brokenhill Mission of the Polish Province Minor). They hope to leave by the "Empress of Scotland" for Durban very soon.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 2 1946

From Rhodesia.
Frs. O'Brien and Walsh reached Rhodesia on February 21st. They were given a great welcome by Mgr. Wolnik. He has his residence at Lusaka and is alone except for one priest, Fr. Stefaniszyn who did his theology at Milltown Park. Lusaka is the capital of Northern Rhodesia and is a small town of the size of Roundwood or Enniskerry.
Fr. O'Brien goes to Chikuni, which is a mission station with a training school for native teachers. Fr. Walsh is appointed to Broken Hill. where he will work with another father. ADDRESSES : Fr. Walsh, P.O. Box 87, Broken Hill, N. Rhodesia; Fr. O'Brien, Chikuni P.O., Chisekesi Siding. N. Rhodesia

Fr. P.J. T. O'Brien, Johannesburg, Africa, 10-2-46 :
“We docked in Durban on February 6th. The Oblate Fathers, who had come to the boat to meet ten Christian Brothers from Dublin, very kindly took us in, The trains were crowded with holiday-makers and demobilised soldiers. We reached Johannesburg on the 9th, and the Oblates again invited us to stay with them. We hope to catch the train for Livingstone to-morrow night. The voyage was quite pleasant, though things were a bit congested on board, as the ship was carrying a lot of troops : 2,000 Basutos and 800 coloured Cape soldiers got on at Suez.

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

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948
Fr. P.J. O'Brien writes from Lusaka (N. Rhodesia), 16th September :
“Fr. Dowling's cable arrived a few days ago bringing the welcome news that he and Fr. Gill expect to sail for Cape Town on 12th October. May I again say how very grateful we all are for sending the two Fathers. They will be a great acquisition here, especially to the Secondary School. African Secondary Education is non-existent in this country, except for one Government school (and another for teachers). Hence the Department of African Education hopes for a lot from the new Catholic Secondary School. In fact it expects that the Jesuits will show what can and should be done in this line, and that we will give a lead to the whole country and to itself. It is very important, of course, that we should do so, and play a big part in Secondary Education, for it is the Africans who have received this who will form public opinion amongst their fellows and form it for or against the Church..
I had a three week's rest in Livingstone recently with the Irish Capuchins, who treated me with the greatest kindness and hospitality. I was very glad to meet their Provincial, Fr. James, who was out on visitation. Their Mission is to the south and west of us ; the Italian Franciscans are to the north, and the White fathers are in all parts to the east.”

O'Brien, Thomas, 1932-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/687
  • Person
  • 16 June 1932-06 August 1992

Born: 16 June 1932, Limerick City
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1964, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1967
Died: 06 August 1992, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Transcribed HIB to ZAM: 03 December 1969

by 1959 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Tom's death was very sudden. He was acting Mission Procurator in Dublin and had just picked up his sister from the airport. He drove back to the Mission Office. While speaking to her there, he just fell from his chair, with a massive heart attack, and so he died. That was on 6 August 1992.

Tom was born in Limerick in 1932, attended the Jesuit school of the Crescent and then entered the Society in 1950 in Emo. He pursued the normal course of studies of the Society and came out to Zambia for his regency where he taught, prefected and was games master at Canisius Secondary School and Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College.

He was ordained priest at Milltown Park, Dublin on 31st July 1964 and returned to Zambia after his tertianship. He was in the Southern Province from 1966 to 1970 as minister and bursar at Chikuni, minister and assistant Parish Priest in Monze and minister/teacher at Charles Lwanga TTC. The rest of his life in Zambia was spent in Lusaka. Chaplaincy and teaching occupied his time and he also helped in the parish at St Ignatius. He taught at Munali Secondary and Chongwe Secondary. For the Advanced Primary Course at Chalimbana, he taught Religious Education as well as being involved in student counselling. Students at Evelyn Hone College also saw him for spiritual direction. Counselling was what he wished to do with third level students and so he studied at Loyola University in Chicago, USA, for his Masters in Education.

From 1978 to 1983 he became socius/secretary to the provincial, a job which took him to all the Jesuit houses. He became rector of Luwisha House in 1983 and worked as chaplain at the Christian Centre at UNZA. While there, he had a serious heart attack and left for Ireland when he was well enough to travel. It was while he was acting mission procurator, that he had the massive heart attack. As he wished, he was active to the end.

There was a history of heart sickness in the family. Tom himself had minor strokes as well as a by-pass. He was well aware that he would probably die from a heart attack but forged ahead with his life even with this in mind. He was so busy in Dublin – meetings of the Irish Missionary Union, interviewing possible volunteer teachers, traveling for Missionary Exhibitions, fund raising, bringing missionary awareness to the pupils of the Jesuit schools in Ireland – these all kept him on the go. Added to these were family functions such as weddings, baptisms and funerals.

His great talent was his ability to relate to other people, to share friendship with them. He had his own close circle of friends in the Society, yet this never interfered with his sharing his friendship with others. He was approachable and warm-hearted, person-centered. Being with others meant more to Tom than efficiency in planning and execution. On one occasion, he had three appointments in different places at the same time! He looked for the best side of others, accepting them as they were. In his own communities he would give himself as freely and as warmly to the shy and withdrawn as to the stronger members.

A 20-year friend of Tom wrote about him after his death: “He loved life; he loved people. And he did so from a base that was hidden and silent because he dreaded that anyone would think him ‘pious’. But over the years, I became more and more aware of that hidden rock in Tom – his love of Christ. It came through in his homilies to the students and his love of the Jesuits. I think he was at his most fulfilled and contented as a Jesuit during his years at Luwisha. He loved his brothers. I find myself also thinking of the contradictions in him. He was confident and proud; but he was also humble. He was contented, so contented – but he was questioning, sometimes startlingly so. He was above all compassionate but his compassion didn't let you off the hook”.

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

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
Professed: 02 February 1959
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.

O'Connell, Jeremiah, 1937-2020, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/450
  • Person
  • 02 July 1937- 17 November 2020

Born: 02 July 1937, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1955, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1969,
Professed: 17 September 1975,
Died : 17 November 2020, John Chula House, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambiae-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Transcribed HIB to ZAM, 17 September 1975

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

1955-1957 St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
1957-1960 Rathfarnham Castle - Studying
1960-1962 St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1962-1963 Loyola, Spain - studying Philosophy
1963-1965 Chivuna, Monze, Zambia - Regency, studying language, then teaching at Canisius College, Chikuni
1965-1966 Belvedere - Regency, teaching
1966-1970 Milltown Park - studying Theology
1970-1974 Canisius College, Chikuni - teaching
1974-1975 Mpima Seminary, Kabwe, Zambia - teaching
1975-1989 Mukasa Secondary School, Choma, Zambia
1989-1992 Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia - Maintenance
1992-2004 St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia
2004-2005 Jesuit Community, Claver House, LeConte, Berkeley CA, USA - sabbatical
2005-2018 Mukasa Jesuit Community, Choma, Zambia
2018-2019 Lusaka House, Lusaka, Zambia
2019-2020 Luwisha House, Lusaka, Zambia - John Chula House

O'Connor, Charles E, 1920-2014, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/851
  • Person
  • 12 December 1920-03 February 2014

Born: 12 December 1920, Ballybunion, Co Kerry
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1952
Professed: 02 February 1955
Died: 03 February 2014, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM 03 December 1969; ZAM to HIB : 31 July 1982

by 1955 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency
by 1970 at Fulham, London (ANG) studying
by 1990 at Biblicum, Rome, Italy (DIR) Sabbatical

O'Connor, Edward, 1905-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/689
  • Person
  • 07 December 1905-08 September 1993

Born: 07 December 1905, County Waterford
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 05 November 1977
Died: 08 September 1993, John Chula House, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

Brother of Walter O'Connor - RIP 1967 (their father Peter had been an Olympic triple jump champion)

by 1937 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1939 at Rome, Italy (ROM) Assistant to President of Secretariat Marian Congregation

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Ernest Mackey S.J. was a well known school retreat giver. The vocations of Fr Eddie O'Connor and a few years later of Walter, his brother, were influenced by him. The father of the two brothers was Peter O'Connor a local lawyer and former Olympic champion. The story has it that Peter, encountering Fr Mackey after Fr. Eddie had entered the Society, said
‘That man has taken one of my sons’. Fr Mackey's undaunted reply was, ‘And now, he is coming to take another (Walter)’.

Fr Eddie was born in Waterford, Ireland, in 1905. After secondary school, he entered the Society in Tullabeg in 1923. The normal course of studies brought him to ordination at Milltown Park in 1935. He taught for a year in Mungret College and then moved out to Rome to work in Vatican Radio from 1938 to 1946, remaining there during World War 2.
He returned to Ireland and was on the retreat staff up to 1960.

He volunteered to come to Zambia and came in June of 1960, immediately setting about learning ciTonga. He worked mainly in the Southern Province where his brother Walter was. His work was pastoral, preaching, retreat work and parish work. However, he is very much associated with Namwala where he resided and administered for 17 years, 1963 to 1980.

His driving ability was not good, mainly because of failing eyesight. It is told that once when driving with his brother Walter, Walter suddenly shouted, ‘Look out for that cow’! ‘What cow’? says Fr Eddie. After that it was decided that he stop driving. How now to get around his far-flung parish? Easy. He got a horse and this worked extremely well. He became a familiar sight trotting near and far, in fact one of the local farmers used to refer to him as 'Galloping Jesus'.

Fr Eddie was deeply devoted as a pastoral priest ready to give time and attention to his people, the result being that his work was fruitful. After his stay in Namwala, he was chaplain to St Joseph's Secondary School in Chivuna as well as carrying on his pastoral work. In 1989 he moved to Monze where he did dedicated work as chaplain in the hospital there. He was dependable and always available when needed. He was a man of regular habits in his prayer life and daily routine.

In the middle of 1992, Fr Eddie weakened considerably and moved to John Chula House, the Jesuit infirmary in Lusaka. In September of the following year he suffered severe back burns while taking a bath that was too hot and was confined to bed. September 8 was a big day for four Jesuits whose Jubilee was being celebrated and Fr Eddie was one of these, celebrating his 70th year in the Society. Just as Mass was beginning in the novitiate chapel news came across from Chula House that Fr Eddie had passed away quietly. The eighty or so Jesuits, priests, brothers, scholastics and novices who had gathered for the Jubilee, moved over to the chapel of Chula where Fr Eddie had already been laid out in his priestly vestments.

For several, years Fr Eddie wrote the Monze Diocesan Newsletter. Over the years he produced articles for magazines on devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Pioneers. He wrote a pamphlet called ‘Spotlight on Matt Talbot’ which went into a number of printings.

Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
Barney moved to Namwala parish from 1968 to 1973 with Fr Clarke as his companion in the community to be joined later by Fr Eddie O’Connor (and his horse). From 1973 to 1977 he was parish priest at Chilalantambo and returned to Chikuni in 1977 to be assistant in the parish to Fr Jim Carroll.

Note from Walter O’Connor Entry
On July 21st 1967 he was operated on at St Anne's Hospital in Harare but when opened up, inoperable cancer was found. He died five days later on the 26 July in the company of his brother, Fr Eddie and fellow Jesuits.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - St John’s College (Seminary), Cnoc Eoin, Waterford before entry

O'Connor, Sean P, 1920-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/690
  • Person
  • 20 July 1920-04 September 2006

Born: 20 July 1920, Dublin
Entered: 04 October 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1953
Died: 04 September 2006, Loyola House, Nairobi, Kenya - Africa Orientalis Province (AOR)

Transcibed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969; ZAM to AOR 21 December 1982

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1953 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fifth wave of Zambian Missioners
by 1962 at St Paul’s, Brokenhill, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) teaching
by 1968 at Katwata, Lusaka, Zambia (POL Mi) working

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
After secondary school, Fr Sean entered the novitiate at Emo in October 1937 and after vows he progressed through the normal course or studies, viz. university in Dublin, philosophy in Tullabeg, regency in one or our colleges, theology in Milltown Park, Dublin where he was ordained in 1950. His final year of tertianship was in Rathfarnham, Dublin.

The first large batch of nine Jesuits had gone to Africa in 1950 and the African mission was in the air. So in 1952, Fr Sean departed for Northern Rhodesia to Chikuni where he began to learn the local language, CiTonga. After a year there he then worked for some time in Chivuna and Fumbo mission stations.

In 1955 at the request of Archbishop Adam, Fr Sean went north to Kabwe to Mpima Minor Seminary to teach for eleven years. During this time he was very active both teaching and being chaplain at St. Paul's secondary school some miles away. For nine months he was parish priest in a church in Kabwe and even lived at St .Paul's for some time.

1967 saw him back in Lusaka as archdiocesan coordinator for the Lay Apostolate, a post he held for a year. He was also asked to work on radio and TV in the absence of Fr E Milingo who was studying in Nairobi. From 1968 to 1975 he gave religious instruction in nine Government schools in the Lusaka area. He was then appointed fulltime Communications Secretary for the Archdiocese. This entailed a great deal of work giving basic training in radio, TV and journalism. He helped to produce 26 Sunday morning services and many shorter programs. This was really his last job in Zambia.

He returned to Ireland on health grounds for a year and a half. While convalescing his active mind was constantly enquiring about different courses which he might follow. He went to Tanzania in 1977 where he worked in the minor Seminary in Tabora for six and a half years. He became Vocations Promotor for the East African province for about twenty years. He traveled all over East Africa visiting schools and families of those aspiring to religious life, giving retreats and workshops, directing young men into seminaries and religious life. He retired from this work in 2004 as his health was failing and he returned to Ireland but on rallying, he returned to Nairobi. He died in Nairobi on 5 September 2006 at the age of 86. This is a broad outline of a long active life.

What of the man himself? He was a good letter writer to superiors keeping in touch with them in Zambia and elsewhere. In one of his letters he wrote: ‘It's not the teaching that counts but giving students your time, interest and energy’. This Fr .Sean lived throughout his long life with his contact with young men in minor seminaries, in government schools, in Christian Life Groups and in his vocation promoting work. While in Zambia, he edited for eleven years a magazine called "The Sun" for young people, finding material, advertisers, photos, prizes and himself editing all these materials. He was also very active in the Christian Life Groups and the Pioneer TTA movement.

Early on, he became involved in refereeing when he was asked by his superior in Mpima if he would help the referees in their work in Kabwe. He became chairman of the local branch of referees and became so involved with this work that later he was honorary secretary of the Referee Board of Zambia. For many years in Zambia he both refereed and trained referees. In 1972, an article of his appeared in the Mirror newspaper ‘Know the Soccer Laws’ and in the same year a 26 page booklet also appeared entitled, ‘How to be a Football Referee’. This was very successful with 4000 copies printed which the Daily Mail called the “the perfect referee's ‘Bible'”. It cost 9 ngwe in that year! He was most influential in this field of work as it dealt with youth. So much so that in November of 2004, he was awarded a certificate:

‘The Football Association of Zambia in recognition of your contribution to Zambian Football bestows the award of:
OUTSTANDING REFEREE to FATHER SEAN O'CONNOR’.

Communications was another love of his life, speaking and writing, radio and TV – all of which took a lot of his time. He completed communication courses in Dublin, Wisconsin (US) and elsewhere. He encouraged the youth to write wherever he was, for he considered this the apostolate of the printed word.

As with so many people who are active, always looking ahead, people in a hurry, details were often forgotten which caused misunderstandings with fellow workers. Still, in his letters he was always at pains to clear up any such misunderstandings. In spite of such a hectic life, he was always ready to give retreats.

O'Connor, Walter Mary, 1910-1967, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/322
  • Person
  • 22 May 1910-26 July 1967

Born: 22 May 1910, Waterford City, Waterford County
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 03 February 1947
Died: 26 July 1967, St Anne's Hospital, Harare, Zimbabwe

Part of the Jesuit Novitiate, Mazowe, Mashonaland Central, Zimbabwe community at the time of death

Brother of Eddie O’Connor - RIP 1993 (their father Peter had been an Olympic triple jump champion)

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, Northern Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - third wave of Zambian Missioners
by 1962 at Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (ANG) Socius to Novice Master

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
He was born in 1910 at Waterford, Ireland, into a large family of nine children, son of Peter O'Connor, a local lawyer. Walter's elder brother Eddie had already entered the Society five years before that (1923) and Walter entered the Society in 1928. He was educated by the Christian Brothers and completed his secondary education at Clongowes Wood College. Ordained at Milltown Park in 1942, after tertianship he was appointed minister at Mungret College for a year and again as minister at Rathfarnham, the juniorate. He liked what was described as practical work and he was never short of ideas as to how this, that and the other might best be done – subjectively, and often opposed by others. Still his cheerfulness remained undiminished. He had a 'stick-to-it-attitude' in the projects he undertook. His zeal and enthusiasm were qualities that stayed with him all his life. While minister at Rathfarnham, he developed an apostolate in the promotion of the family rosary in Dublin. He collected and presented films and other aids for this apostolate.

As a scholastic at Clongowes during regency, he did much to build up the athletics, perhaps inspired by the fact that his father had been an Olympic triple-jump champion. His health was never very strong but his psychic energy was never low. He was passed by the doctors to travel to Zambia (Northern Rhodesia) as one of the nine Irish Jesuits who went there in 1950. As parish priest at Chikuni he entered into the new work with the same spirit that had always characterised him. A very familiar sight was Fr Walter on his heavy motor bike either coming or going on supply. He took a great interest in the condition of the lepers in the area and did much for them. His efforts to establish a leper settlement for them bore fruit after he had left the area.

Due to ill health, he returned to Ireland for three years during which he did retreat work and lectured about the Mission. This resulted in a number of benefactors who donated churches and other benefits to the mission.

He returned to Zambia in 1960 and moved to Harare (Zimbabwe) to assist the Master of Novices when the joint novitiate was set up. He gave retreats, established the Pioneers at Harare and developed a new apostolate for the consecration of families to the Sacred Heart. He was appointed Director of Vocations for the archdiocese of Harare and traveled a lot with Fr Regis Chigweduc on vocation promotion. Fr Regis paid tribute to Fr Walter at his funeral for his holiness and his work in promoting vocations; his zeal, energy and enthusiasm in everything.

On July 21st 1967 he was operated on at St Anne's Hospital in Harare but when opened up, inoperable cancer was found. He died five days later on the 26 July in the company of his brother, Fr Eddie and fellow Jesuits.

Tributes that came in after the funeral were many and sincere and they could be summed up by what a fellow Jesuit wrote about him, ‘He was always full of charity, cheerfulness and on fire with a zeal that consumed him; he was steeped in a spirit of prayer’.

Note from Eddie O’Connor Entry
Fr Ernest Mackey S.J. was a well known school retreat giver. The vocations of Fr Eddie 0'Connor and a few years later of Walter, his brother, were influenced by him. The father of the two brothers was Peter 0'Connor a local lawyer and former Olympic champion. The story has it that Peter, encountering Fr Mackey after Fr. Eddie had entered the Society, said
‘That man has taken one of my sons’. Fr Mackey's undaunted reply was, ‘And now, he is coming to take another (Walter)’.
His driving ability was not good, mainly because of failing eyesight. It is told that once when driving with his brother Walter, Walter suddenly shouted, ‘Look out for that cow’! ‘What cow’? says Fr Eddie. After that it was decided that he stop driving. How now to get around his far-flung parish? Easy. He got a horse and this worked extremely well. He became a familiar sight trotting near and far, in fact one of the local farmers used to refer to him as 'Galloping Jesus'.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 43rd Year No 1 1968

Obituary :

Fr Walter O’Connor SJ (1910-1967)

Fr. O'Connor died in St. Anne's Hospital at Salisbury on 26th July. He had gone to St. Anne's about ten days previously because he had been having grave trouble in swallowing and eating for some time and the doctors suspected an ulcer. When he was operated on, on the 21st July, cancer was discovered, and of an inoperable kind. He was then told that his days were numbered but in the next few days pneumonia developed. He was too weak to resist its virulence and his condition rapidly deteriorated. He died at 3.15 a.m. and was quite conscious till the moment of death and participated fully in the prayers that were being said by his brother, Fr. Edward, and by Frs. Ennis and Berrell of the English Mission.
After Fr. Walter's death numerous letters of sympathy were received by the members of his family and especially by his sister, Mother O'Connor, R.S.C.J. In these letters there is presented a portrait of Walter contributed to by those who knew him well. In one of the letters a Jesuit confrere has written “Fr. Walter was one of those rare people, in a worldly age, who was a professional man of God - whose main interest always was, not studies or writing or teaching or any of our other concerns but simply the Kingdom of God”. Another Jesuit has written of him, “I can truly say that I regarded him as one of the best Jesuits I ever knew, and I am, thank God, nearly fifty years in the Society. He was always full of charity, cheerfulness, on fire with a zeal that consumed him and steeped in a spirit of prayer. I always found that even a few minutes talk with him was a tonic, and invariably the conversation would very soon turn to something concerned with God's interests. I knew well, too, that he got plenty of ‘knocks’ some of them very hard. I could never discover any vestige of bitterness on these occasions”. From these excerpts and others, Walter O'Connor emerges as a man of God, a man of zeal, and like all zealous men he had to meet the problems of clash and conflict but never lost his own integrity which was protected by his spirit of charity.
Walter was born at Waterford in May 1910, the fourth of a family of nine children. He was educated by the Christian Brothers at Waterpark and completed his secondary education at Clongowes Wood College. He entered the Society in 1928 and followed the usual course. While teaching in Clongowes as a scholastic he did much to build up the athletics. After Tertianship he was minister in Mungret for a year after which he went to Rathfarnham as minister. He liked what is described as practical work and he was never short of ideas as to how this, that, and the other might best be done, Walter's ideas of the “best” ways were often more subjectively influenced than objectively and in this he found that others could hold different views. But his cheerfulness was not diminished. He was persistent and had what across the Atlantic is called “sticktuitiveness”. He was always interested in getting a “good bargain” and took delight in pointing out the technical and practical advantages of what he was able to come by as a bargain. Again, he found that others did not quite see things the same way and their ability to unveil the disadvantages was sometimes stimulated as a counter to Walter's enthusiasm. And he was an enthusiast. His persistence and enthusiasm produced advantages for his brethren and one of them was the first swimming pool in a house of formation in the Province, at Rathfarnham. While he was minister there he developed an apostolate in hte promotion of the family rosary in Dublin. With his usual zeal and enthusiasm he collected and presented films and other aids to fos ter this apostolate and his energy in its promotion provoked others to develop the new ways of fostering exercises of religious devotions. His health was never very strong but his psychic energy level was never low.
In 1950 despite his weak health he was passed by the doctors for work in the new mission in Zambia. After his arrival he was made “parish priest” at Chikuni. He entered into the new work with the same spirit that had always characterized him and around Chikuni there appeared many shrines of Our Lady as the fruit of his ideas and zeal. He took a great interest in the condition of the lepers in that area and did much for them. His efforts to establish a special settlement for them bore fruit after he had left the area and the nucleus of it might be said to have been in the special outdoor Mass-shrine which Walter built and where he often said Mass for the lepers.
Walter as usual lived on his nervous energy and his health was again weakened. All his life in the Society this lack of good health was a harassment to him and the tempo and intensity of his personal life are hardly without some relationship to the physical disabilities he suffered. He returned to Ireland from the Missions because of this ill-health. From 1956 till 1959, when he again went back to Zambia, he taught in Bolton Street Technical School (as it was then named). It was the same Walter who again showed his zeal and enthusiasm in his work for the students there. In addition, he did retreat work and much lecturing on the Mission and its needs and through his efforts a number of benefactors were found to donate churches and other benefits to the Mission.
When he returned to the work in Zambia he was appointed to Kasiya to assist in the work of the Parish. Later he moved to Lusaka for work at Chilimbana and Munali where there is one of the largest and best secondary schools in the country (often classed as the rival of Canisius College!). Walter's health did not improve and when the joint novitiate was set up at Salisbury he was sent there to assist the Master of Novices in 1960. In addition to the work of socius he gave many retreats in Southern Rhodesia, including Long Retreats. He established the Pioneers at Sailisbury and developed a new apostolate of the consecration of families to the Sacred Heart. But the great work in which he was engaged at the time of his death was the fostering of vocations among the Africans. This work meant so much to him that in his dying hours many of his prayers were for its success. He was appointed Vocations Director for the archdiocese. He worked with Fr. Regis, an African priest, and they went all over the country on lecture tours, visiting practically all the mission schools. Walter used his previous knowledge and experience and collected films and other visual aids which he employed with benefit in the vocations work in the mission schools. Fr. Regis who accompanied him paid a warm tribute at the funeral to Walter's holiness, zeal, energy and enthusiasm in the work of promoting vocations. Fr. Wallace of the English Mission has written “Walter will have all the outlets for zeal he could ever have desired on earth, and much more. He had that something in his soul that found expression in his energy and urgent manner, he will certainly be another who will spend his Heaven on earth doing good. And what I said about his being nearer to us, I don't at all regard as a pious wish, but as solid fact to be perceived by faith”. Letters from Jesuits in Sailisbury testify that “Walter approached his operation with complete calm and a happiness to accept God's will whatever it might prove to be. He knew the operation would be a severe strain on his system which he might not survive; he did not want the family to be caused anxiety by knowing beforehand that he had to undergo this. His courage, his devoted acceptance of God's Will, and his energetic coping with the consequences of this in his own life are, as they have been before, most impressive and I am sure he will be deeply satisfied to have this last challenge and to be given the chance to go to God - one might say with full knowledge and consent, knowing what is happening and able to offer one's life to God with full deliberation and even timing”.
When Fr. O'Connor was dead four different obituary notices, as well as the official one, appeared in the daily newspaper. They were tributes to his memory from people who knew him well. This is a quotation from one of them, “In memory of a wonderful person, a good friend, and an inspiration to all who knew him. Remembered with love and affection by ... (the signatures follow”). One of his former Rectors has written “He was my Minister at ... and I have the happiest memories of him. We worked very well and harmoniously together. He was a great help and always cheerful. Everywhere he went he did good work in spite of delicate health. He was a splendid missioner. Nothing would have pleased him better than to work for his converts to the end”.
Walter O'Connor was buried at Chishawasha - “where many of our missionaries from the pioneer times are buried ... this is what Walter wanted” - after Requiem Mass in Salisbury Cathedral. The Mass was concelebrated by Fr. Eddie O'Connor, Fr, O'Loghlen, Fr. Ennis, Fr, McKeown and Fr. James Wallace. The Archbishop of Salisbury presided and performed the absolutions at the coffin. There was a very large congregation and imong them all the novices from Silveira House. The prayers at the graveside were recited by Fr. Eddie O'Connor assisted by Fr. Meagher, Vicar General of Monze, who was representing the Bishop, Very Rev. Dr. James Corboy. In many of the letters from priests the quotation “Well done, good and faithful servant” was used as their theme. May he rest in peace.

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

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

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

Grew up in Ballyhale, County Kilkenny.

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 15 August 1971

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

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

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

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/rip-fr-neil-odriscoll-sj/

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

O'Holohan, John, 1923-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/824
  • Person
  • 31 March 1923-19 April 2018

Born: 31 March 1923, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 06 September 1941, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park , Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1959, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 19 April 2018, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Brother of Colm O’Holohan - RIP 1998

by 1958 at Gandia, Valencia, Spain (TARR) making Tertianship
by 1994 at Orlando FL, USA (NOR) working
by 2001 at Simpsonville SC, USA (NOR) working
by 2004 at Lancaster SC, USA (NOR) working

Early education at Loreto Convent Bray, CBS St. Canice's NCR; Belvedere College SJ

1943-1946 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1946-1949 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1949-1952 Belvedere College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying H Dip in Education at UCD (49-50)
1952-1956 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1956-1957 St Mary’s, Emo - Assistant Socius; Bursar; Teacher; Confessor;
1957-1958 Gandia, Valencia, Spain - Tertianship in Palacio del Santo Duque
1958-1960 Mungret College SJ - Teacher
1960-1965 Belvedere College SJ - Teacher; Directs Conf VdP; Editor of “Belvederian”
1965-1966 Chivuna Mission, Zambia - Studying CiTonga
1966-1978 Chisekesi, Zambia - Teacher ; Spiritual Father; St John Berchmans Sodality; Editor “Canisian” at Canisius College, Chikuni
1969 Transcribed to Zambia Province [ZAM] (03/12/1969)
1978-1981 Mazabuka, Zambia - Teacher and Spiritual Father at St Edmund’s Secondary School
1981-1982 Sabbatical
1982-1986 Zomba, Malawi - Acting Rector; Professor of Moral Theology; Directs Pastoral Ministry at St Peter’s Major Seminary
1986-1987 Luwisha House, Lusaka, Zambia - Teacher at Juniorate; Writer, Director National Apostleship of Prayer, Edits Newsletter
1987-1988 Spokane, WA, USA - Pastor at The Ministry Institute
1988-1992 DeLand, FL, USA - Assistant Pastor at St Peter's Catholic Church
1992-2000 Orlando, FL, USA - Assistant Pastor at Holy Family Catholic Church
1992 Transcribed to Irish Province [HIB] (24/11/1992)
2000-2003 Simpsonville, SC, USA - Associate Pastor at St Mary Magdalene Catholic Church
2003-2009 Lancaster, SC, USA - Pastor at St Catherine Catholic Church
2007 Pastor at St Joseph Parish, Chester, SC; Pastor at St Michael’s, Great Falls, SC
2009-2018 Gardiner St - Writer; Chaplain St Monica’s; Locum in Mater Hospital; People’s Church in Clongowes
2014 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/remembering-john-oholohan-sj/

Remembering John O’Holohan SJ
Fr John O’Holohan SJ died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin on 19 April 2018 aged 95 years. Prayers were said at Cherryfield Lodge on 22 April, and his funeral Mass took place at Milltown Park Chapel on 23 April, followed by burial at Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.
Born in 1923, John grew up in Drumcondra, Dublin and was educated at Belvedere College SJ in Dublin City. He entered the Jesuit novitiate at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois in 1941. He studied arts at UCD and philosophy at Tullabeg, County Offaly. He did his regency as a teacher in Belvedere while also studying for the Higher Diploma in Education at UCD. He was ordained in 1955 after further studies in theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. John continued to teach in Jesuit schools in Ireland and did his tertianship in Spain.
In 1965, John went to the missions in Zambia. There, he learned the Chitonga language, taught in schools, and ministered as Spiritual Father among other roles. He was transcribed to the Zambia Province in 1969. He continued to mission in Zambia except for a period as a key formator in St Peter’s Major Seminary in Malawi from 1982-1986. He was the national director of the Apostleship of Prayer in Zambia from 1986- 1987.
In his later years, John worked in pastoral ministry in the United States from 1987-2009. First in Washington state as pastor, then in Florida as assistant pastor, and later as associate pastor and pastor in South Carolina. In the meantime, he was transcribed to the Irish Province again. He returned to Ireland as a member of the Gardiner Street Community in Dublin where he was a writer among other positions. Notably, John celebrated his 90th birthday in 2013, and he finished the day by watching reports of the election of Pope Francis.
He moved to Cherryfield Lodge nursing home in 2014 where his family visited him very often, and he was most appreciative of the care he received there. John died peacefully on the evening of 19 April in the loving care of the staff at Cherryfield. He is deeply regretted by his sisters Dympna Cunningham and Nesta Tuomey, his brother-in-law Larry, his nephews, nieces and extended family, his Jesuit Community and by many friends in the United States.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

The Early Years – in appreciation of my brother John Terry O’Holohan SJ by Nesta Tuomey
As I often told you your influence on me when I was growing up gave me my strong faith in Jesus Christ and your loving chats about God and the saints so interesting and inspiring, they led me to know and want to love Him from an early age. When you took my sister and myself on walks in the Botanic Garden I particularly remember your stories about Wopsy, the little angel, who was always getting into trouble but when he saw the error of his ways he was penitent and tried to do better. He was the role model for me when I was as young as five or six and I loved hearing about him and all the adventures he had. When you were appointed to Belvedere College you would often bring the boys’ essays home with you and allow us to read them, even, at times, to allot marks in order of excellence. All very exciting and heady stuff for ones as young as we were then. Of course, you would put your own marks on the actual copies but it taught us literary appreciation and perception. I remember being intrigued by the letters A.M.D.G. written at the top of each copybook page. When I asked, you explained what the letters stood for – Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam which was the Latin motto for the Society of Jesus founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola and meant ‘To the greater glory of God’. We enthusiastically imitated the Belvedere boys and put A.M.D.G. at the top of our exercise copies until the Sacred Heart nuns at our school in Leeson Street gently bid us to desist.
Undoubtedly, you passed on to us your own fervour and love of St. Ignatius and when you were ordained you chose to spend your Tertianship at Valencia in Spain, despite the rigorous regime this would entail. When you returned to Ireland after a year away, you could speak Spanish and loved to tell us of St. Ignatius and how he came from a very wealthy family and what a proud aristocratic man he was. How when his leg was severely injured by a cannon ball at the Battle of Pamplona he courageously endured the agony of having it broken again and set without benefit of anaesthetic, rather than endure the mortification of walking for the rest of his life with a limp. During his long convalescence, as his leg slowly healed, he underwent a religious conversion. The only books available to him were the lives of the saints but, before long, he found them very much to his taste, and was inspired by the courage and sacrifice of the men and women who showed their burning love in their unconditional service of God. Giving up his great wealth, he resolved to live a life of poverty and sacrifice, doing everything to the greater glory of God, later founding the Society of Jesus. I read the books you gave me including the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and learned discernment and how to make the right decisions but that was not until I had reached a more mature age.
Back in my childhood I very much liked hearing of St. Ignatius’s life and generosity and how when St. Francis Xavier was very strict on new novices and inclined to send them away from the seminary St. Ignatius always gave them a second chance and took them in again by the back door. That was the saint for me, I decided, he was just like Jesus Christ compassionate and ready to forgive and I found myself very much drawn to the order you had chosen to join. From what you told me I was aware that at the age of seven you knew that you wanted to become a priest and it was through your influence on your pupils at Belvedere that a great many joined the Jesuits and were ordained priests. I was no saint myself and in those early years when I used to complain about having to set the Sunday lunch table while my older sister sat listening to you, you told us the story of Mary and Martha, pointing out that in listening to Jesus and letting her sister cook and set tables ‘Mary had chosen the better part’, as indeed she had. But I could never really like Mary or Martha and would have much preferred to be sitting comfortably listening to your stories myself, particularly, when you had such a wonderful way of engaging our interest. You often told us the Bible was the most exciting book ever written, certainly it was the most blood thirsty too. The stories of David and Jonathan’s great friendship and Saul’s jealousy came alive when you told them, making me long to read them for myself.
You were always very generous with your time and I particularly loved the way you would keep front seats for us at the Belvedere College operas. How we loved Gilbert and Sullivan and came to know all the songs. I can still see you young and vigorous, your soutane flying out behind you, as you came smiling towards us. There were our ‘Lemmo’ parties when you financed a bottle of fizzy lemonade and the luxury of Mikado biscuits with jam and marshmallow topping. You would play cards with us, simple games of ‘Snap’ or ‘Beggar My Neighbour’ and there would be a sweet as the winner’s prize. My mother used to laugh and say you could see no wrong in us, I suspect she would have liked us to be more like model children but was forced to put up with the reality.
On looking back, it was on our walks as children and later when you came to spend your leave from Africa with myself, my husband and children, becoming their friend as you had become mine, that our friendship blossomed and grew. I am so thankful you entered into our lives from the beginning enriching them by your affectionate presence, always stirring us gently to an awareness of Jesus and telling us how important it was to put him first in our lives. Somehow you always saw the best in us no matter what and by your unstinting friendship and wise counselling helped us to become more worthy, less selfish, less self- orientated. Undoubtedly, you helped and guided so many others while abroad on the missions in Africa and during your time spent in America as a Jesuit priest. By your ministry you have touched so many lives. At 86 you returned home to Ireland, having been pastor to three parishes in South Carolina, where you had a driver who brought you to the distant towns to say the weekend masses. You took on so much having always expressed the desire to ‘work while there was work to be done’, always of the mind that you would go anywhere a priest was needed; in your eighties even offering your services on an American troop ship. When the officer with a smile in his voice asked, ‘Do you mind my asking, Father, how old you are?’ you told him your age, adding ‘Well, even if I can’t go on board I can set up a confessional on the dock,’ adding the sobering observation, ‘Many of those young soldiers will never come back from Afghanistan and it may be the only time they will have an opportunity to confess before death.’
With your passing, I feel as though I have lost my best friend but believe and take consolation from the fact you have gone to a better place and you are now with Jesus whom you served so faithfully and for so long. With all my love and thanks until we meet again.

O'Keeffe, Philip, 1946-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/792
  • Person
  • 12 June 1946-17 December 2007

Born: 12 June 1946, Ennis, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1963, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 June 1975
Professed: 08 September 1980
Died: 17 December 2007, St Vincent’s, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Part of the Xavier House Lusaka - Mazabuka community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 08 September 1980
◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Philip was my friend. Our life's correspondence could easily fit in your smallest pocket. Many here might have lost contact with him because of his pocket size communications. Many here too can say he was their friend. Certainly I know many a person in Zambia who would say emphatically: Philip was my friend.

T'is many a night in the early nineties that I sat in the sitting room of St Kizito's Pastoral Centre Monze with the two Clare men with whom I was privileged to live, for Philip was born in Ennis, Co Clare on 12 June 1946. Two genuinely saintly men. The elder statesman, John Counihan, would stand up promptly at eight pm and announce ‘All right boys, I'll leave you to it. It's time for me to retire’. And he'd toddle off to his room to the Greek New Testament and Tonga New Testament laid out side by side on his desk – no English – and he'd prepare his homily for the following day. Meanwhile myself and Philip would switch off the serious stuff and put on a videotape, in those days it was the special Late Late Show tribute to Sharon Shannon - another famous Clare woman.

The long drawn out notes of the accordion are the years of love and struggle, the years of pastoral planning, the years of walking with, that Phillip did from the time he first boarded the plane in Dublin for Zambia 'in August 1970 with Joe Hayes and Stan Farrell. He walked with care and love in his own humble, shy, unintrusive manner. First in Mumbwa in the late 70's where he had to learn ciNyanja and some Shona. Then in Monze, Maamba, St Mary's Monze and finally Nakambala Sugar Estate, Mazabuka. While he walked unobtrusively yet he could lay down the law with people in a most fruitful and containing way. And his shyness could disappear like a cloud in a sunburst when he would sit and read for you with enthusiasm some favorite poetry or throw out one of his humorous and acute observations of the human situation. Or offer his funny, sometimes painfully frank, comments on a person's foibles.

Philip was very honest with himself and had no ambitions to power. He had a really hard time with his inner self. I know some of 'the intense personal agonies he went through. He was low and depressed a lot of the time. And still he could ride the waves of the unconscious and throw humour and good sense to his fellow travellers. Even here in hospital, the last time I spoke with him from Sheffield on the phone, he displayed his wry humour. I asked him how he was managing with all the visitors while feeling so weak – knowing also that in his very introverted nature he likes to put a limit on seeing people. ‘Well’, he says, ‘I'll tell you, it's like in the old days in Ennis when Duffy's circus used to come to town. They used to have this little tent where we'd have to pay sixpence to get in. People would come, half out of guilt and half out of curiosity to see the cow with six legs’. Then he paused. ‘Since they put me in this wheel chair – I'm still counting my legs’. He found it enormously difficult to retain the energy to keep going in his parish work. But he was utterly faithful to it.

And now the darkness of the open door into some small African house is reflected on the blue water across the river where he has now gone. Maureen and Bill, his parents are there to meet him. Rufina Mwiinga and Jennifer Ndima and Norman MacDonald and many many others are there too. There is a blaze of light from the warmth and love flowing out and around and inside that distant house on the other side. Of which we know nothing, just nothing. Philip has climbed the mountain and seen nothing on the slopes. And now he's reached the top and... well, we can see nothing.

A family phoned me recently asking me to pray for her husband dying of cancer. Of course I said I would. But I was aware of my own very uncertain faith. ‘Oh,’ she said ‘I'm glad we have you on board, I'm really glad we have you on board’. I thought to myself, ‘I may be on board, I may be in the ship, but the question is, “Is the ship in the water?” And if it is, what sea exactly are we setting out to cross?' I felt a bit like Jonah. Throw me overboard. Death brings up all these unresolved questions in us.

Philip was a man of faith. I look at you now Philip in wonder and admiration. Thank you for your friendship. May you rest in peace.

O'Loghlen, Desmond, 1918-2003, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/691
  • Person
  • 03 March 1918-04 September 2003

Born: 03 March 1918, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1954
Died: 04 September 2003, St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Zambia Mission : 27 November 1962
Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03/12/1969

by 1951 at Paray-le-Monial France (LUGD) making Tertianship
by 1952 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fourth wave of Zambian Missioners
Mission Superior Chikuni (HIB) 21 November 1962 - 1969

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Des (as he was known to his fellow Jesuits) died on 4 September 2003 at the age of 85, completely unexpectedly. His mother lived to be 101 and all thought that Des would follow suit. He had gone to the Mina Medical Centre with a touch of 'flu with another member of the community, and then he died.

He was born in Waterford, Ireland, in 1918, attended school at Blackrock College and Ballyfin and then entered the Society at Emo Park in 1936. The usual course of studies, arts, philosophy, theology, brought him to ordination in 1949 at Milltown Park, Dublin. For his tertianship he went to Paray-le-Monial in France, 1950/1951.

The second batch of Irish Jesuits to come to the then Northern Rhodesia in 1951 included Des who came to Chikuni to be Assistant principal of the newly opened Canisius College, 1951-52. He then went north to learn CiBemba for a year and came to Lusaka to work in the Regiment church for a few months before moving to St. Ignatius (1953-l959), doing parish work at Chilanga and Kafue, and being chaplain to Munali Secondary School and Chalimbana Teacher Training College. He became judicial Vicar for the Archdiocese. He moved to Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College to teach for a few months in 1960. He returned to St .Ignatius as Superior and chaplain as above.

He was appointed Regular Superior of the Mission from 1962 to 1969, first residing in Choma and then in Mazabuka in Moreau house. As Des never gave a snap decision but one which was cautiously thought out, where he lived became known as ‘Tomorrow House’. He returned to Lusaka to St. Ignatius in 1970 where he spent the rest of his life. Parish priest there from 1970 to 1977, he then became full time chaplain to the University Teaching Hospital, a devoted priest to the sick and dying. This was from 1977 to 1991 where he also built a chapel in the hospital. Even after retiring as official chaplain, his devotion to the sick took him twice a week to other hospitals in Lusaka, Hill Top, Mina Medical Centre and Mine Hospital etc. At the same time parish work in St Ignatius: Masses, funerals, marriages, occupied his ever busy life right to the end.

Des was a very hospitable person, sincere and genuine in his relationships with others. He was sensitive to the needs of others and had a great serenity about him. He never became upset, was 'unflappable' as the homilist at his funeral described him. He ‘hastened slowly’ and was known to arrive for meals or any other function always 'slightly late'.

He had a marvellous memory for people and occasions, and could be relied upon to remember who was who, and recall when such an event took place. ‘Ask Des’ was always the solution when one was looking for information about the past. In fact after he died, letters, newspaper cuttings, records etc were found in his room, in short, ample material to gladden the heart of the archivist!

He would never be rushed. Once when he was having a cuppa in the sitting room at St Ignatius, someone came to the parish office to see him without an appointment. He continued with his tea even pouring a second cup and was reminded that someone was still waiting at the parish office. He is said to have remarked ‘I am not a fireman’! But, despite that, he was always kind and understanding to all who came to him. He was the perfect example of a gentleman in his graceful old age who had spent 52 years of dedicated priestly service in Zambia and especially Lusaka.

O'Meara, Thomas, 1911-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/532
  • Person
  • 21 January 1911-30 December 1993

Born: 21 January 1911, Mallow, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1946
Died: 30 December 1993, Cherryfield Lodge, Milltown, Dublin

Youngest brother of Jack - RIP 1991; Michael - RIP 1998

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Tommie O'Meara (as he was known) had two brothers also in the Society. One summer on villa (summer holidays), the local parish priest was invited to dinner and was being introduced to the scholastics, one of whom was Charles O'Conor-Don (a descendant of the last High King of Ireland). He was introduced as ‘This is the O’Conor-Don’, when Tommie immediately pipes up ‘I'm the O’Meara Tom’.

Tommie was born in Mallow, Co Cork in 1911, did his secondary education in Clongowes Wood College and entered the Society in 1929 at Tullabeg. He also did regency at Clongowes taking his H Dip in Education there. Then Milltown Park saw him for theology with ordination on 29 July 1943.

After tertianship, he was posted to Milltown Park as minister of the house for 8 years, 1945-1953, a difficult and onerous task catering for four years of theologians as well as priests and brothers. He entered the work with a heart and a half, the way he took all the jobs he was given. He moved to Gardiner Street ministering in the church for two years. The pattern was set for the rest of his life, being minister and/or, for the most part, being engaged in pastoral work.

He was direct in speech but ever kind and charitable. He had a great laugh and a strong voice (some say a 'loud' voice) which became stronger in later years with the advance of deafness. He was a man of very definite opinions and expressed them so. A bit of an either-or person; sometimes that was bluff, sometimes not. In his directness, simplicity and impulsiveness, he was far from being the stereotype Jesuit. Those 8 years as minister in Milltown Park brought out his gifts of unselfishness and generosity.

He came to Zambia in 1955, went to Chivuna for the language, then to Chikuni as minister and for parish work. He went back to Chivuna again as minister and parish priest. Mazabuka had him for 13 years (1962-1975) doing all sorts of jobs: hospital chaplain, minister, bursar, parish work, teaching. He set up an unofficial school to cater for those who did not get into any school, but he had to discontinue it. Tommie was an active priest, on-the-go all the time. His brethren used to joke that he never read a book after theology, there was too much to do. He returned to Chikuni in 1975 as minister and assisted in the parish church. However, arthritis began to take over and developed quickly despite replacement of his limbs. It was very noticeable in the deformation of his hands. Now came a life of complete inactivity, a great cross for such an active person. He found it hard to come to terms with the arthritis but after a while he did. He had returned to Ireland, to Cherryfield, the Jesuit infirmary in Dublin and was confined to a wheelchair. He found it very difficult to adapt to this new type of life and, with deafness increasing, there must have been the inevitable feeling of isolation. The few breaks for him, apart from visits from relatives and Jesuits from Zambia, were to watch the horses on TV, an ancient love of his.

Fr .Eddie Kent did him a great service by supplying him with books of varying interest for him, spiritual, Irish and so forth. Dormant interests were awakened and life surely was made a little more bearable; concelebrated Mass with other ailing Jesuits in Cherryfield and the many daily rosaries also helped him.

When a Jesuit comes to an inactive stage in his life, his status in the Jesuit catalogue is “to pray for the Church and the Society”. This Tommie did. Is it a coincidence that in those years leading up to his death, vocations to the Society increased in Zambia? His ten long years of suffering and prayer came to an end on 30 December 1993.

Note from Jean Indeku Entry
During this time his real solace, as he says himself, was the weekend supplies in Mazabuka where he was duly missioned together with Frs Tom O’Meara and Vinnie Murphy.

O'Neill, Frank, 1928-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/791
  • Person
  • 11 July 1928-06 April 2011

Born: 11 July 1928, Castletownbere, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1962
Professed: 05 November 1977
Died: 06 April 2011, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1957 at Chivuna, N Rhodesia - Regency
by 1958 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia - Regency

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-frank-oneill-r-i-p/

Fr Frank O’Neill, R.I.P.
Fr Frank O’Neill, who died on 6 April, grew up on a farm in Allihies, West Cork, in peaceful days when living was simple and you knew your neighbours. After school in Mungret he entered the Jesuits and volunteered for the Zambia mission. He loved the Tonga people – the gentlest he had ever met, he said; and he attained real fluency in their language. He was attuned to country people and worked mostly in parishes in the bush, living austerely, with no creature comforts. What made him a great missionary was that he was able to enter into the rhythm of the Africans. He revelled in their music and dance, and they loved him, a happy man, always positive and hopeful, with a deep trust in God’s Providence.

Prokoph, Maximilian A, 1910-1990, Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 28 March 1910-28 May 1990

Born: 28 March 1910, Dobřenice, Czechoslovakia
Entered: 07 September 1928, Mittelsteine, Grafschaft, Germany now, Ścinawka Średnia, Poland (GER I for Čechoslovacae Province - CESC)
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Munich, Germany
Final vows: 02 February 1948
Died: 28 May 1990, Nazareth House, Johannesburg, South Africa - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Transcribed BOH (Lusaka) to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1947 came to Rathfarnham (HIB) making Tertianship
by 1967 came to St Ignatius Lusaka (HIB) working 1966-1970

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Max was born in Hanersdorf in Bohemia on 28 March 1910. He entered the Jesuits in 1928. After philosophy and a two year stint as a teacher and prefect of discipline in the Jesuit College at Duppau, he went to England, to Heythrop College for theology but returned to Germany for ordination as a priest in Munich in 1937. He returned to England to do a post-graduate certificate in education at London University.

He came to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) in 1940 and spent ten years in pastoral work as well as being in charge of teacher training at Chikuni from 1940 to 1950. During this time he fought for the establishment of Canisius Secondary School and eventually opened it in 1949.

He then moved north to Broken Hill (Kabwe) to the Sacred Heart Church where he worked for 15 years (1950 to 1965) as manager of schools, education secretary and parish priest. For his work he was awarded an M.B.E. from Governor Hone in 1964.

In 1966 he came to Lusaka to St Ignatius Church and was the first chaplain at the newly opened university (UNZA) from 1966 to 1979. During these thirteen years, he was pastorally active in preaching, giving marriage preparatory sessions and counseling. He also found time to visit, help and encourage detainees and prisoners. Then there were his radio programs. Through "Thought for the Day" and other programs, he reached an ever wider public, presenting clear, well-thought-out views on current questions and life in general.
On 24 October 1985, he received the Order of Distinguished Service (1st Division), from President Kaunda for tirelessly 'working for the development of this country for the past 40 years’.

Fr Max was devoted to serving others. School boys, school girls, teachers and managers of schools – all were helped in one way or another. He even organised a bursary fund for students who needed help.

He had the vision forty years ago to see the potential for development and education among the women of the country. Quite early on, he persuaded a group of girls, with permission from their parents, to enrol for teacher training. He transported them from Chikuni to Chilubula Training College. They changed their minds when they got there and wanted to return. But their tears were to no avail. Later, of course, they thanked Fr Max for launching them on a worthwhile career which gave an example to the many young women who followed them.

He did much to encourage, support and motivate the first Zambian priests, men like the late Elias Mutale, the late Dominic Nchete (the first Tonga priest) and Archbishop Adrian Mungandu who acknowledged his influence on them. He also introduced the Handmaid Sisters of the BVM into Zambia. Married couples, both before and after marriage, were a concern of his; he always encouraged and supported them.

Did he consider his life and work worthwhile? His answer was, ‘What could be more worthwhile than working for Christ. If it was given to me to choose again where to live and work for these 50 years, I would choose no other country, no other people’.

He was 'a man for others', driven by the love of Christ. At times he may have been impatient and he could say the most devastating things, but the people forgave him because they knew his heart was in the right place.

In the last few years, his health began to fail. The Nazareth Sisters accepted him in their hospital in Johannesburg where he died on 28 May 1990, aged over 80, fifty of those years were lived in Africa.

Note from Arthur J Clarke Entry
When Fr Max Prokoph began to fail, Arthur was as assiduous as ever in helping him.

Note from John Coyne Entry
Of Fr Coyne’s time in Zambia, Fr Max Prokoph writes:
‘In spite of his age, he tried to make himself useful in every way possible. For a man who had a finger in every pie in his home province for so many years, it was quite remarkable that he never tried to interfere in the province of his adoption, but spent his time in all sorts of projects for which a younger person would neither have the time nor the inclination. Having put the archives of the Lusaka Archdiocese in order and separated what belonged to the newly erected diocese of Monze (1962). He got down to gathering material for a history of the mission in the days of the Zambesi Mission. Since there was only one full-time priest available for the parish of St Ignatius (Fr Des O’Loghlen) he gave a hand wherever he could, in the confessional, extra Masses, keeping the parish registers and not least by regular systematic parish visiting, house by house, as far as he could get on foot, perhaps the most systematic visiting the neighbourhood ever had. Quite a few were brought back to the church’.

Note from Maurice Dowling Entry
Fr Max Prokoph who had been instrumental in getting Fr Dowling for the mission and who had been his principal, said of him, "I have never met a more loyal man". Fr Prokoph described how in the initial difficult days, Maurice had stood by him on every occasion, always ready to help, never questioning a decision, absolutely loyal.

Note from Jean Indeku Entry
He also worked with Fr Prokoph on the Luwisha House project and when he returned back to Belgium in 1972, at 67 years of age, he sourced substantial funds to cover the cost of its chapel.

Note from Fred Moriarty Entry
Fr Fred was a radio program coordinator. He recorded many programs in ciTonga and English for ZNBC. He coordinated with Fr Bill Lane and Fr Max Prokoph in this area.

Riordan, Brian J, 1907-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/375
  • Person
  • 12 October 1907-01 September 1985

Born: 12 October 1907, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 04 October 1934, Manresa, Roehampton, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 22 July 1922
Professed: 20 March 1950
Died: 01 September 1985, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - British Province (BRI)

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 60th Year No 4 1985

Obituary

Fr Brian Joseph Riordan (1907-1934-1985) (Britain)

Fr Brian Joseph Riordan was born in Belfast on 12th October 1907. He was educated at St Malachy's College, Belfast, and St Mary's College, Dundalk He became a journalist and then on 4th October 1934 joined the Society at Roehampton. After 1st vows he studied philosophy and theology at Heythrop Oxon. In October 1942 his theology was interrupted when he became an RAF chaplain. In February 1947 he was demobbed and had a brief spell on the staff of the Holy Name, Manchester, before returning to Heythrop to finish theology. In 1948 he was a tertian at St Beuno's. In December 1949 he went to Rhodesia where he served at Mondoro, Makumbi, Kutama and Martindale. He returned to the UK in June 1954 and went first to Craighead and then in 1955 joined the parish staff at St Aloysius, Glasgow. He was in charge of the Preparatory school at Langside from 1961 until 1964 when he began his long spell as priest-in-charge and military chaplain at St Margaret's, Lerwick. In 1980 he went to work in N Ireland, first at Ballykilbeg and then at Ballycrabble - both in Downpatrick. In Oct 1984 he was admitted to the Irish Province infirmary, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin, and from there moved to Our Lady's Hospice, Dublin, where he died on 1st September 1985. Fr Provincial celebrated the requiem in Gardiner street. Among those participating were Brian's brother and other members of the family; the parish priest of Downpatrick; Fr Senan Timoney, Acting Provincial in Ireland, with many members of the Irish Province; and Rory Geoghegan, Hugh Hamill and Bill Mathews from our own province. Fr Provincial is very appreciative of the care shown to Brian by the Irish Province during his illness in the last year, and for their support and hospitality at the funeral. The interment was at Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.

Roe, Francis, 1917-2003, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/613
  • Person
  • 09 December 1917-13 March 2003

Born: 09 December 1917, Dublin
Entered: 07 March 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Professed: 15 August 1949
Died: 13 March 2003, St Vincent’s Hospital

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

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
After his novitiate, Br Frankie Roe was posted to Belvedere College to take charge of the Boys Tuck Shop. A fellow Jesuit, who was a boy at the school, remembers: ‘It was there that I first met him when I was a small boy of 8. He was in charge of the Tuck Shop and was to us a person of significance. But my main memory is of his kindness to the youngest boys and how he protected us from what seemed to us to be the giant marauding 11 year olds. Never would he allow the older ones to push us youngsters out of the queue. He consoled us when we were in trouble and encouraged us at all times’.

Br Roe, born in Dublin on 9 December in 1917, was the seventh of eight children, all of whom predeceased him. Among his brothers were two All-Ireland Handball champions and he himself was no mean performer in the sport. He was educated by the Christian Brothers and after schooling worked with Independent Newspapers.

He entered the Society at Emo in 1939. For 64 years he served the Lord in the Society in many places, in Ireland and Africa and in a variety of roles. He was refectorian in a number of houses, – Clongowes, Milltown Park, Loyola House, Tullabeg – twenty eight years in all. Added to that, he was also sacristan in the houses as well.

He decided to offer himself to the missions in Zambia. He came out for two years, 1977 to 1979, at the age of sixty. He worked at Choma Minor Seminary School as minister and library assistant and then moved on to Kizito Pastoral Centre, Monze, as general factotum.

In everything he did he was a perfectionist – highly competent, diligent, and meticulous in the attention that he gave to his tasks, precise in word, deed and in every detail of his manner. All of these tasks he carried out effectively and industriously but almost always with a touch of the frustration that is the lot of the perfectionist. He had great difficulty reconciling himself to be among the ‘imperfectionists’ who populate our world.

He returned to Ireland and found the ideal position and with it something approaching happiness. In 1981 he became bookbinder of the Milltown Library. It demanded the skills that he had in abundance and afforded him an environment that suited his temperament perfectly. He applied his skill assiduously and took immense pride in his work that he carried out flawlessly and generously. He did all the work himself and no longer was he at the mercy of the shortcomings of others. He was truly master of all he surveyed in the bindery. In these years, his relationships with others blossomed. He greatly appreciated the librarians and they, in their turn, positively treasured him. Within the library staff the feminine balance seemed to have pleased him significantly. His departure from the library left a gap that will not be filled.

For two and a half years he battled with cancer uncomplainingly. In Cherryfield Lodge, the Jesuit Nursing Home, he found something approaching perfection, particularly in the staff, who were devoted to him, whom he so deeply appreciated and of whom he was so extraordinarily undemanding. He died on 13 March 2003 in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Worked at Independent Newspapers before entry

Sharkey, Brian, 1917-1980, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/399
  • Person
  • 22 January 1917-28 October 1980

Born: 22 January 1917, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948
Professed: 05 November 1977
Died: 28 October 1980, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Part of the Mukasa Seminary, Choma, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - third wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Brian entered the novitiate at Emo on 7 September 1935 and went through the usual Jesuit formation. The war determined that the scholastics of these days would receive their academic and spiritual training – sound though perhaps unimaginative – within the shores of holy Ireland, uncontaminated by the philosophical stirrings on the continent. The utter dependability that was to be a characteristic of Fr. Brian's priestly life was noticeable during those years. Here was someone ready to help in picking potatoes on a cold November day, to rake the autumn leaves off the gravel in Rahan, a 'he-man' to fill up a crew for the row down the canal and the River Brosna to Shannon Harbour – the congenial Brian would never let you down.

In 1950, the Irish Province committed itself to the short staffed Polish African Mission, and, at the end of his tertianship, Brian was assigned to Zambia. For thirty years he labored in that field. He did not leave any lasting monument of brick and mortar, but no one could quarrel with this assessment written years after he had left Kasiya: “none of us touched the hearts of the people as Fr Brian did”.

His successors on the mission would be reminded again and again, 'Fatha Shaakee baptised me', 'Fatha Shaakee married me'. This was the more remarkable as Brian did not acquire a fluency in their language. The reason for their response and the depth of their feelings towards him may be gathered from this letter of sympathy from a Form 2 boy who met Brian once, on retreat. He wrote: “It's very sad that such a man should pass away. He was so kind and such a peace-loving man. He was always so eager to help the students. Even though we never lived together, my life has been changed by him”.

The most striking quality in Brian Sharkey that everyone noticed during his 30 years in Zambia, was what may be summed up as his benevolence. The list of places where he served is alone enough to show his availability: Chikuni 1950 to ‘53, Kasiya 1953 to ‘63, Namwala 1963 to ‘70, then, between 1970 and 1974 Civuna, Kasiya again, Fumbo, Kizito and finally Mukasa where he remained until his life ended. After one such sudden switch he remarked to a colleague, ‘You know, there can be the last straw’! But for him, his vows were a sure guide. At a discussion on obedience, he once said, ‘One may always state objections but if the superior holds to his decision, the subject should lay aside his objections and throw himself unreservedly into the task’. St. Ignatius, who wished his sons to be outstanding in obedience, would have been pleased with Brian's performance. He was pre-eminently 'the man in the gap', who could be called upon when there was an emergency to be coped with, an awkward vacancy to be filled, or a contrary person to be accepted.

His devotion to duty resulted in his having a remarkable personal interest in all those committed to his care, whether as parishioners or pupils. He knew each one by name as well as all the other members of that family, the places from which they came and their cross-relationships with other people. Detailed information of this sort was very valuable to him in his apostolate and was a matter of admiration and, at times, of surprise to his brethren. His devotion to duty likewise kept him working to the last. He was carrying a full teaching load of 24 periods a week with exam classes, right up to eight days before he died. He gave no indication that he was ill during the preceding months. The only thing that the community at Mukasa noticed as different from usual about him, was that he tired easily and went to bed early and that he was eating less and sometimes did not appear at meals.

As a result, his death, coming so quickly and without any apparent period of illness beforehand, was not only a great shock but a real puzzle to his colleagues at Mukasa. Yet, during the greater part of that year, he must have been suffering considerably at least from internal upsets and physical exhaustion, if not from actual pain.

His benevolence showed itself in many ways. His kindness to all was common knowledge and there was no limit to the trouble he would take to oblige anyone. His tolerance of the shortcomings of fallen humanity, both within and outside the Society, seemed almost a reflection of the Divine magnanimity. Consequently, he was hardly ever heard to utter a critical word about anyone. Finally, he was renowned for an unruffled calm which was proof against even the most provoking situations, or people. His keen sense of humour which led him to savour and to recount little human tales, if they hurt no one, kept him chuckling good-humouredly to himself.

When he was dying, he said to the rector of Mukasa, showing his concern for both the Rector and the boys: “I am letting you and the boys down”. He then went on to give him details of what he had planned to do in the classes that remained before the exams began and explained where his notes could be found. Long before the words ‘a man for others' became a catch-phrase, Fr Brian was a living example of such a person.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 56th Year No 1 1981

Obituary

Fr Brian Sharkey (1917-1935-1980)

I saw hardly anything of Brian Sharkey for the last thirty years or so while he was in Zambia. Although we spent all our scholasticate together, detailed memories of those fifteen years cannot be recalled easily at this distance. Many things have happened since 1950 and much has changed; including ourselves. However, some impressions of Brian are crystal clear to me and of importance. I may have forgotten the details but I remember the meaning. His life and attitudes revealed certain things to me so that I remember Brian with gratitude and pleasure. My memories, like the man, are of one piece. He appeared to me, remarkably, as a man of integrity and wholeness.
We met first in the Higher Line pavilion at Clongowes. The day was sunny and warm. Both of us - in the slightly dishonourable role of “twelfth man” in the senior cricket teams were “scorers” in the annual match between Clongowes and Belvedere. Brian, I remember, was very pleasant, welcoming and civilised; something I appreciated even then. I suppose there was a maturity about him which impressed even the very callow youth I then was. As I came to know him better I never had any occasion to alter that judgment.
We met again, to our mutual surprise at the portals of Emo. Although objects and events in that undoubtedly grace filled but quite fantastic noviceship are blurred in the memory (fish-bath, blue gravel, ice-pits, ambulacrum) I remember Brian, who was physically strong, as a great man with a mattock on sycamore roots and as a terrifying inside forward.
Much more importantly, I remember his as someone utterly reliable and stable at all times. Brian gave the impression from the beginning that he knew exactly why he was in Emo and had no doubts about it. Of course, everyone must have some doubts and I am sure Brian was no exception. He seemed however to be able to master the 'blues' better than the rest of us. Even then, I think the reason must have been apparent: he prayed much, perhaps constantly, with deep concentration. Prayer was an occupation at which he was at home.
The years of studies must have been difficult for Brian. He was an intelligent man, sensitive in judgment particularly where people were concerned, but he never made any claims to being academic. During the dark years of 1937 to 1940 when we were juniors in Rathfarnham, Brian bore himself cheerfully and honourably and encouraged others. He was present, at the little cove near Skerries, when Peter Cush was drowned. Brian was a strong swimmer and, if he had not been there, others perhaps would also have been lost.
I found it disturbing to discover - many years later, when it was too late to do anything - that Brian, during his philosophy in Tullabeg and his theology in Milltown, had to translate painfully the Latin textbooks into English before he could start work. He had particular difficulty with Génicot's moral theology: where, of course, he was concerned to be accurate. Then he had to sit out the lectures which, for the most part, were in uncompromising Latin, My heart bleeds for him and for the others who also suffered.
Yet Brian never complained or lost his air of stability and peace. His cheerfulness and sense of humour was constant and never seemed to wear thin, At the time, for everybody, obstacles in studies were many and by no means easy to overcome; for him they must have been enormous. He overcame them all.
Once again, the explanation must lie in his prayer; the quality of which one could guess at from his stillness and obvious concentration. His constant joy, cheerfulness and kindness too must have been the fruit of his inner union with the Lord. From his first day in Emo on, as I have said, Brian seemed to be quite sure why he was in the Society; to serve the Lord in His people. He went to Zambia in the calm certainty that he was called and sent by the Lord. The world was a better place for his being in it. May he rest now in peace!
J C Kelly

Fr Brian entered the noviceship, Emo, on 7th September 1935 and went through the usual Jesuit formation. The war determined that the scholastics of those days would receive their academical and spiritual training, sound though perhaps unimaginative, within the shores of holy Ireland, uncontaminated by the new philosophical stirrings on the continent. The utter dependability that was to be a characteristic of Fr Brian's priestly life was noticeable during those years – one to help in picking potatoes on a cold November day; to rake the autumn leaves off the gravel in Rahan; a “he-man” to fill up a crew for a row down the canal and the Brosna to Shannon Harbour - the congenial Brian would never let you down.
When Frs Paddy Walsh and Paddy O'Brien volunteered for the Polish Mission in Zambia, back in 1946, not one of us young Jesuits dreamed that their action would affect us. We were Mission-minded, but Hong Kong was Our Mission. In 1950, however, the Irish Province committed itself to aid the inadequately manned Polish Mission, and at the completion of his tertianship Brian was assigned to Zambia.
Most of the early Irish activity was centred on an area stretching from the Kafue river towards Livingstone, 200 miles to the south, and from Namwala on the Zambesi to 150 miles east. The district had but one Mission station, Chikuni, an important centre then but rather small in the light of later developments. The Christians then numbered a few hundreds; now they are numbered in thousands. The build-up was not easy, Cycling out on roads that were dusty in the dry season, clinging mud in the rains, to see to the burning of bricks for new schools, encouraging the teachers, organising the catechumenates, then back to Chikuni with its pit-latrine and solitary tin-bath, a struggling paraffin fridge and the tilley lamp, Brian and his associates of those early days faced, literally, the weariness, the fever and the fret, but through their tireless perseverance, in thirty years the Church has been transformed. As one not directly involved in the ceaseless activity but more or less sitting on the sideline, I feel free to express my deep admiration for their devotion.
Remarkable projects and impressive buildings now mark the diocese - churches, halls, schools of varying levels of education, hospitals and clinics - but not one of these is the work of Fr Brian. Has he then left no lasting monument? He certainly has. I do not think that anyone would quarrel with the assertion that none of us touched the hearts of the people as Fr Brian did. Years after he left Kasiya Mission, his successors would be reminded that “Fahta Shaakee baptised me ... Fahta Shaakee married me ...” This was the more remarkable as Brian did not acquire a fluency in their language. The depth of and the reason for their response may be gathered from a Form I boy's letter of sympathy (he had met Brian on retreat once). He wrote and I leave his words untouched), “It’s very sad that such a man should pass away. He was so kind and peace loving man. He was always so eager to help the students ... Even though we never lived together my life has been changed”.
In the expansion, manpower was often stretched thin and harassed Superiors often had to fill a gap at a moment's notice: but Brian was there. He was switched from Chikuni to Kasiya, back to Chikuni, to Fumbo, to Namwala, to Civuna, back to Namwala, etc. Yet he was no automaton: he felt it. After one sudden transfer he said to me, “You know, there can be the last straw”, and on another occasion, “I find this assignment very hard”. But for him, his, Vows were a sure guide. At a discussion on obedience, he once said, “One may always state objections, but if the Superior holds to his decision, the subject should lay aside his objections and throw himself unreservedly into the task”. St Ignatius, who wished his sons to be outstanding in obedience, would have been pleased with Brian's performance
When I was a first-year Junior, I remember a senior Junior (I) whose words of wisdom we held in reverence (and still do) saying, “Gosh, I'm convinced that the strength of the Society lies in the ordinary Jesuit”. The life of Fr Brian Sharkey would be a forceful argument in favour of that proposition.
He was always contented, and particularly so during his last years in Mukasa. It was a time of shortages but Brian was largely responsible for ensuring that things ran smoothly; and they did. When the end suddenly came, he worried that he was letting Jerry O’Connell and the boys down just before their exams. Long before the words became a catch-phrase, Fr Brian Sharkey was a living example of “living for others”.
D C

Sherry, Patrick J, 1920-1983, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/402
  • Person
  • 17 March 1920-05 November 1983

Born: 17 March 1920, Dundrum, Dublin
Entered: 10 February 1939, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1951
Died: 05 November 1983, Sacred Heart, Monze, Zambia - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03 December 1969

by 1955 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
“We imagine his going left many hearts empty and evoked memories of all kinds of services and kindnesses, not least his unfailing patience and cheerfulness”. With these words Fr John Fitzgerald, writing from the Seychelles, summed up well the immediate aftermath of Br Sherry's death on the night of Saturday 5 November 1983.

Br Sherry's passing was sudden. On Friday ‘Sher’ (as he was known to his friends) stayed in bed for the greater part of the day. He came to meals and evening prayer. The following morning saw him as usual at the early Mass. At about 1300 hours on Saturday he phoned the Sisters in the hospital. The Sisters and doctor came over. The crisis came at about 22.50 when Sher struggled to the door of Fr Jim Carroll’s room to say that he could not breathe. Sr Grainne arrived and started cardiac massage. But the Lord had called Sher to himself.

Br Sherry was born in Ireland on 17 March 1920. He entered the Society on 10 February 1939 and arrived in Zambia on 1 September 1953. For the next 30 years he served the young Church in Zambia selflessly and with unbounded generosity. In Chikuni he served as a kind of ‘minister of supplies’. Fr MacMahon would lean heavily on him but Sher had his little hideouts which constituted his survival kit! He finally moved into the field of mechanics and water pumps. After Chikuni he moved to Chivuna where he was engaged in the trade school and with odd jobs of maintenance. Then he started to be a sort of “move and fix it” on a diocesan level. About 1965/66 he moved into the Bishop’s house in Monze from where he continued his 'move and fix it’ campaign. He loved to colour these trouble shooting journeys with a touch of drama and life and death urgency;

”Sher is a great loss. Apart from his work, he was a great community man”, said the Bishop of Monze. “He was part and parcel of everything that went on in the community. He was interested in parish affairs. He never stinted himself in anything he did. In community discussions he often brought them back to some basic spiritual principle’.

He was a gentle, understanding, thoughtful and patient man. He was both candid and open with the ability to talk about the small things of life. People appreciated this and were greatly saddened by his death. He was loyal to the group of men who worked with him and was ready to defend them when criticism was levelled against them. They, on their part, appreciated this and made his coffin when he died, planed and varnished it, washed and shone his vanette and drove him to his grave to show the fellowship they enjoyed in his company.

Perhaps it was his generosity that shone most brightly. He had no hours. He once said, “My Philosophy of Life is to try to help everyone as best I can”. He liked praise and a pat on the back but he never worked for it. He was a self-made man. He battled with great courage against illness and disability. Without any chance of professional training, he became proficient in general mechanics, electricity and plumbing. But he specialized in water pumps where he often succeeded where more professional people failed! He had well developed hobbies, stamp collecting being close to his heart and he left behind him quite a valuable collection. ‘If you want your watch repaired, Sher's your man’ indicates his other hobby.

His religious life and Jesuit vocation were something very dear to him. He never had an identity crisis. He was a fully convinced and dedicated religious. His was a deep and direct faith, a gospel faith, which led him directly to the person of Christ in His church, in His sacraments and in His People. This faith enriched his many human qualities and his selfless service of others.

A great crowd thronged the Church in Monze for his funeral Mass. They came from every corner of the diocese to pray for Br Sher and to offer thanks for his life. Fr Dominic Nchete, the VG, at the graveside voiced the official thanks of the diocese for Br Sherry's life of service and dedication to the church in Zambia. The leader of the Salvation Army in Monze offered a prayer and thanks to God for Sher. As the 28 concelebrants left the altar, the leading priests lifted his coffin and carried it to the waiting vanette – a last gesture of closeness to him.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Clerk in Pim’s of Dublin before entry

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 59th Year No 1 1984
Obituary
Br Patrick Sherry (1920-1939-1983) (Zambia)
I first made the acquaintance of Br Sherry in the summer of 1938 when he came down to Emo to visit the Novitiate for a day or two before deciding to finalise his decision to enter. It was a fine summer's day and we were all out at recreation when we met this quiet, shy young boy sitting on the bench in the “pleasure grounds” at the back of “this ancient house”. We had many a good joke over this in later days as it was unusual (if not unique) for a “Brother” novice, in those far off days, to come to come to see what he was letting himself in for. It seems to me that Paddy Sherry remained this same quiet, shy person all the days of his Jesuit life. Officially he entered in February 1939 but actually he came as a postulant in the August of 1938. So I had about seven months with him during the Emo days and then did not live with him again for another 25 years or more.
Meantime he spent a year in Belvedere, three in Tullabeg, six in Rathfarnham one in Mungret and one in Milltown Park; always as “cook” with several “minor” offices tagged on in case he should not find enough to keep him busy in the kitchen.
Various stories are told about him in those more or less uneventful days (if one forgets the various crises the six years of war in the early forties occasioned in the running of kitchens in particular) - when some of his time to repairing watches, experimenting with the use of oil and water gadgets for cooking during the fuel shortages of the war period. Also his taking apart the Aga cooker in Mungret College to replace the defective asbestos packing and even prepare it as the future oil-burning cooker, which many came to see and admire : with the intention of acquiring a similar cooking apparatus.
Where Paddy Sherry really found his scope and outlet for his yet undiscovered talent was in what was then the Chikuni He was among the pioneering brothers in these first few years of the Irish Province entry into what is now the Province of Zambia. The need for the ability they had to offer was very real and urgent as there was much to be done and a whole structure to be built up so that the actual missionary activity could take place. Brother Jim Dunne was the precursor of such as Pat McElduff, Paddy Sherry and Charles Connor; men who left their stamp on the Mission and on whom the Mission left its stamp too. The great need tested the yet unknown talent of these men and they were not found wanting. It was a talent that the Hong Kong Mission had not given an opening to and could have remained undiscovered had not the Chikuni Mission cried out for it. At the time there was no way it was going to show itself in Province. his The variety of jobs that Paddy was called on to do after he went on the Chikuni Mission in 1953 was to reveal what great ability of mind and hands were his despite the early years of a somewhat handicapped and educationally deprived young boy; educationally deprived because of these defects of hearing and speech that were his from the cradle to his early teens. I came to know of this only in later years when he spoke to me about it to praise all that the doctors had done for him the way they cared for him in the various hospitals, the he was giving prayers that were offered by his own family and others that helped him to reach normality. He called it a miracle and I think that is what brought him to his vocation.
When Paddy went to Africa the Chikuni Mission was seething with building plans and future development in the yet undeveloped missionary area but the funds were as scarce as the plans were plentiful. At that time Jim Dunne was devoting his time to developing the manual talents of the local Africans in the “Trade School” in Chivuna; he himself was only a short time after taking his first Vows having gone out while yet a novice: to finish his second year as Novice under Fr Joe McCarthy. Many of those he trained in brick-laying, carpentry, plastering etc. were later on to become the nucleus of the many building teams of the mission. Paddy Sherry was into building from the start and his training was simply on-the-job experience, moving from the shovel, pick and wheel barrow stage, to the more skilful areas as his experience of what was needed grew and his own personal skill was given a chance to practise and develop. There were incidents too that could have been harmful to him: such as when he was on a roofing job on the great assembly hall being built for Canisius College he inadvertently stepped on the end of a loose asbestos sheet which he was laying out in groups on the roof preparatory to fixing them in place. The sheet tilted and Paddy was launched into space, coming through the roof to fall on the concrete floor some fifteen feet below. Everybody was horrified and he was rushed off to hospital but was back on the job in a few days and trotting about the roof again as if nothing had ever happened to him.
He was ten or eleven years on the Mission when it was decided to allow him to give his full time to electrical work for which he had shown a decided talent; a talent he attributed to his early home days in Dundrum when he used fill in the days with “messing' around with electrical things. He proved more than a success at this and did many highly complicated electrical jobs (apart from the routine wiring jobs on the various new buildings and teachers houses), such as making the connections in Monze Hospital for X-Ray units, Sterilisers etc. and at the same time was on call for the various bore-hole pumps (for water supplies) around the Mission area, which were often very troublesome. He had many emergency calls when the pump failed to deliver the precious water and on one particular occasion. he got an emergency call from Chivuna Girls' Secondary School. Their pump had “conked out” and the situation was serious for the following morning with such a large number of pupils and people depending on the supply, apart from the sanitary problem. He set out at 9 pm on a dark African night to go 25 miles away to settle the problem before the next morning dawned and was really pleased with himself. There was nothing he enjoyed more than an emergency call and it did not matter how long the hours were that he had already been working, he set out at once. It wasn't always realised by the recipients of his attention that he had cheerfully made such a sacrifice without fuss.
Paddy Sherry was indeed a humble person in the real sense of the word, a person with a great sense of personal dignity who while very sensitive to any sort of criticism was indeed very careful not to criticise others whatever the circumstances. He might complain of being somewhat misused but never was he inclined to make it a personal issue. What struck me about him was his innocence; he was uniquely innocent and yet very perceptive. I have never met anyone like him in this unconscious innocence and the way he would instinctively recoil from anything said or done that would seem to threaten this in any way. The Lord did indeed reveal many things to this “innocent and lowly”.

Obituary
Br Patrick Sherry : continued
Zambia, † 5th November 1983
“I can imagine his going left many hearts empty and evoked memories of all kinds of services and kindnesses, not least his unfailing patience and cheerfulness”. With these words Fr John FitzGerald, writing from the Seychelles, well summed up the immediate aftermath of Br Patrick Sherry's death on the night of Saturday, 8th November 1983. An emptiness certainly prevailed.
His passing was very sudden. He is not known to have complained of feeling unwell until the very last day of his earthly life. On Friday he stayed in bed for the greater part of the day, but came to meals and evening prayer. The following morning saw him as usual at the early Mass. At about 13.00 hours on Saturday he 'phoned the Sisters in the hospital. He is reported to have said to them that he could not go through another night of what he had gone through the previous night. The Sisters and doctors came over at least twice if not thrice between then and his death but did not detect anything serious. The crisis came at about 22.50 when Br Sherry himself struggled to the door of Fr Jim Carroll to say that he could not breathe. The doctors were again called. Sr Gráinne arrived and started cardiac but the Lord had called Br Sherry to Himself.
Br Patrick Sherry - known to his Jesuit confrères as “Br Sher” or simply “Sher” - was born in Ireland on 17th March 1920, entered the Society on 10th February 1939, made his final profession on 15th August 1951 and arrived in Zambia with Fr John FitzGerald on 1st September 1953. For the next thirty years he served the young church of Zambia selflessly and with unbounded generosity. In Chikuni he served as a kind of Minister for Supplies and store manager, finally moving into the field of mechanics and water-pumps. After Chikuni he moved to Chivuna where he engaged in the hundred and one jobs of maintenance. It was during this period that he started to be a sort of miss excurr, on a diocesan level - shooting trouble-spots all over the diocese but returning to base every Friday evening. About 1965 or 1966 he moved into the Bishop's house, Monze, still serving as miss. excurr. He loved to tint these trouble-shooting journeys with a touch of drama and life-and-death urgency.
"Sher' is a great loss. Apart from his work, he was a great community man. He was part and parcel of everything that went on in the community. He was interested in parish affairs, never stinted himself in anything he did, and at community discussions often brought us back to some primal spiritual principle. He was gentle, understanding, thoughtful and patient, candid and open. He had the ability to talk to people about the small things of life: they appreciated this and were greatly saddened by his death.
Perhaps it was his generosity that shone most brightly. He had no hours. He once said "My philosophy of life is to try to help everyone as best I can.' He liked praise and the pat on the back, but never worked for it. A self-made man, he had battled with great courage against illness and disability. Without any chance of professional training, he became proficient in general mechanics, electricity and plumbing. He specialised in water-pumps, in which he often succeeded where more professional people failed.
In another way too Br Sherry was a self-made man: he had quite well developed hobbies. I doubt if he really knew the total number of stamps in his collection or its value. He also developed a taste for music and was able to relax with it.
His religious life and Jesuit vocation was something very dear to him, His was never an identity crisis. He was a fully convinced and dedicated religious. His deep faith led him directly to the person of Christ in his Church, in his sacraments and in his people. This faith enriched his many human qualities and his selfless service to others.
A great crowd thronged the church in Monze for his funeral Mass. They came from every corner of the diocese to pray for Br Sherry and to offer thanks for his life. The Vicar-General, Fr Dominic C Nchete, voiced at the graveside the official thanks of the diocese for Br Sherry's life of service and dedication to the Church in Zambia. The leader of the Salvation Army in Monze offered a prayer and thanks to God for Br Sherry. As the 28 concelebrants left the altar, the leading priests lifted his coffin and carried it to his waiting vanette - a last gesture of closeness to him.
(From Jesuits in Zambia: News, slightly adapted).

Thompson, Robert, 1918-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/545
  • Person
  • 25 April 1918-09 September 1995

Born: 25 April 1918, Mallow, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949
Final Vows: 02 February 1952
Died: 09 September 1995, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Clongowes Wood College, Naas, County Kildare community at the time of death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1952 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fourth wave of Zambian Missioners
by 1962 at Loyola, Lusaka, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
‘He was radical, he had vision and he made things happen. He was single-minded and, not least, he was stubborn as a donkey’. These words were spoken by Mr P J Kirby, chairman of Clane Community Council at the graveside of Fr Thompson on 12 September 1995.

Fr Bob was born in Mallow, Co Cork in 1918, went to school with the Patrician Brothers and then on to Clongowes Wood College. He entered the Society at Emo Park in 1936 and after studies and ordination in 1949 and then tertianship, he straightaway went to Northern Rhodesia where he stayed for 12 years. While there at Chikuni, he was involved in general teaching, in teacher training, scouting and teaching of religion. He moved to Lusaka and was editor of a newspaper "The Leader" which advocated independence, was very pro-UNIP and was critical of the colonial government. With Fr Paddy Walsh he became friends with Dr Kenneth Kaunda and other leaders at the Interracial Club. This was all during Federation days. In fact, the then Federal Prime Minister Roy Welensky wrote to Fr Bob's brother who was a doctor in Rhodesia, ‘Tell that Jesuit brother of yours he is causing me a lot of trouble’. At Independence in 1964, Kaunda brought Fr Bob back from Ireland for the occasion.

Fr Bob was very intelligent, had plenty of ideas in a very active mind and would 'take up the cudgels' as it were, for worthy causes. Many did not see eye to eye with him and often it was mutual, yet he got things done and was never shy of speaking out.

When he returned to Ireland in 1963, he was on the Mission circuits for five years, traveling throughout Ireland and then stayed on retreat work at Rathfarnham and Tullabeg for seven years. In 1977, he was transferred to Clongowes Wood College and became assistant curate in the parish of Clane, a nearby village. For ten years he took part in the life of the parish and the local community: primary schools, the restoration of the old Abbey, renovation of Mainham cemetery, projects for tidy towns, negotiation for a site for a new business enterprise centre and a memorial to Fr John Sullivan S.J. ‘He made things happen’. After leaving Clane for Moycullen in Co Galway, he was called back for the unveiling of a plaque at the restored Abbey which read: “This plaque is erected to the tremendous contribution of life in the locality by Rev R Thompson S.J. during the years 1977 to 1987”.

Bob's remark about this tribute was that he was the first Irishman to have a plaque erected to him before he died. A business centre was built and opened in 1996 after Bob's death and is called the Thompson Business and Enterprise Centre.

In 1987 he retired to Moycullen, Co Galway, for the quiet life as assistant curate and a bit of fishing. The word 'retire' does not really apply to him as his active mind soon saw him involved with concern for the environment, the collapse of the sea trout stocks and the rod license dispute, being on the side of the fishermen. He helped in the Church and stayed there for four years up to 1991. He returned to Clongowes and Clane and four years later he died in Dublin on 9 of September 1995.

He was a man of big ideas he had ‘a remarkable ability of having a new idea every day’ yet he never praised himself for his achievements. He was a devoted confessor. There was nothing artificial in his dealings with parishioners and he was always so sympathetic to those going through hard times. He looked after poor people in a sensitive and low key way that protected their dignity. He had an abiding interest in encouraging young people to use their talents and had total confidence in their ability to improve on what the last generation had done. He motivated those around him, especially the young people. Nobody got preferential treatment, least of all those who believed they deserved it!

‘He was single-minded and tireless’.

Tyrrell, Michael, 1928-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/618
  • Person
  • 27 May 1928-28 June 2001

Born: 27 May 1928, Dublin
Entered: 06 September 1947, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1961, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1964
Died: 28 June 2001, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969; ZAM to HIB : 1978

by 1956 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency
by 1970 at Bristol University (ANG) working
by 1971 at Glasgow, Scotland (ANG) working
by 1972 at London University, England (ANG) working
by 1984 at Berkeley CA, USA (CAL) Sabbatical

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Michael Tyrrell was a Dublin man and before entering the Jesuits in 1947 he worked for a short time for Guinness’ Brewery, becoming proficient at barrel rolling! After philosophy in Tullabeg, he came to Zambia, Africa, first as a scholastic in 1955 for three years and then again in 1964 when he came back as a priest. The first time, he learnt the language and taught in Canisius Secondary School. He returned to Ireland for theology and for ordination which took place in Milltown Park in 1961. Before returning to Zambia in 1964, he obtained his Master of Arts in History. When he came back he hoped to get into the newly opened university in Lusaka to lecture in history but unfortunately this was not to be. He was in Canisius again teaching the A-level course and he also got interested in sports. With Br Aungier and scholastic P Quinn, he helped train the Canisius athletic team which won the National Inter High School Sports at Matero Stadium in Lusaka (July 13 1966) at which a few records were broken. It was a proud day for the school.

He liked to walk and he liked to talk; he would laugh at jokes among the brethren even those against himself at times, with the oft repeated expletive 'James' Street'. Being a walker, he organized a walk from Chikuni to Chivuna, a journey of over 30 miles. When the walkers arrived, weary and footsore, they saw a large notice put up by the Sisters, “Blessed are the feet of those …..”

Michael was quite disappointed in not getting into the university even though he was a successful teacher at Canisius. He moved into parish ministry in the Monze diocese, at Kasiya and Civuna parishes.

His health deteriorated, a condition which was not helped by a failure by others to appreciate that he was genuinely ill and not just suffering from imagination. While on home leave, a doctor friend put him straight into hospital for surgery for a rather rare stomach condition which had not been previously detected. A second operation was deemed necessary, the doctor warning the family that Mick might not survive the night. However he did survive and was advised not to return to Zambia.

When he recovered, he entered the university chaplaincy in the British Province. As Mick had always hankered after the academic life, the twelve years spent in London University were perhaps the most fulfilling and satisfying period in his life. His specialty seems to have been working with post-graduate students, with whom he relished hours of discussion and stimulating conversation for which he was amply qualified.

In 1983 he went to Berkeley USA for a sabbatical year. On returning to Ireland he gave retreats and directed the Spiritual Exercises. In 1987 he was posted to Gardiner Street where he remained until his death in 2001. While there he was chaplain to Temple Street Hospital, assisted in Gardiner Street Church and was Province Archivist for three years.

Michael was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 17 October 1998 with an unusual degenerative condition of the brain. He had a problem of mobility and in the last six months or so he was confined to a wheelchair. His condition was treated with. medication. In the last few weeks his condition deteriorated rapidly, and he died peacefully at 9.30 a.m. on 28 June 2001, surrounded by his family and Jesuit colleagues’.

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

Walsh, Patrick J, 1911-1975, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/436
  • Person
  • 17 February 1911-02 May 1975

Born: 17 February 1911, Rosmuc, County Galway
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1946
Died: 02 May 1975, Vatican Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

Early education at Mungret College SJ; Tertianship at Rathfarnham

by 1937 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency
by 1939 at St Aloysius, Sydney, Australia - health
by 1940 in Hong Kong - Regency
by 1946 at Lusaka, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - First Zambian Missioners with Patrick JT O’Brien
by 1947 at Brokenhill, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working
by 1962 at Loyola, Lusaka, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Sec to Bishop of Lusaka

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
In 1926 and 1927, a team of three boys from Mungret College at Feis Luimnighe (Limerick Festival) swept away the first prizes for Irish conversation and debate. The three boys were native Irish speakers. They were Seamus Thornton from Spiddal who became a Jesuit in California and later suffered imprisonment at the hands of the Chinese communists, Tadhg Manning who became Archbishop of Los Angeles and Paddy Walsh from Rosmuc who joined the Irish Province Jesuits in 1928.

Fr Paddy was born in the heart of Connemara, an Irish speaking part of Ireland and grew up in that Irish traditional way of life, a nationalist, whose house often welcomed Padraic Pearse, the Irish nationalist who gave his life in the final struggle for Irish independence. Fr Paddy came to Northern Rhodesia in 1946 and felt an immediate sympathy with the aspirations of the younger and more educated African nationalists.

For regency, he went to Hong Kong, China, but a spot on his lung sent him to Australia where he recovered in the good climate of the Blue Mountains. Back in Ireland for theology and ordination in 1943, he once again volunteered for the missions, this time to Northern Rhodesia where he came in 1946.

His first assignment was Kabwe as superior and education secretary. Chikuni saw him for two years, 1950 and 1951, and then he went north to Kabwata, Lusaka as parish priest where he constructed its first church. From 1958 to 1969 he was parish priest at Kabwata, secretary to Archbishop Adam, chaplain to the African hospital and part-time secretary to the Papal Nuncio. He became involved in the problems of race relations, an obvious source of prejudice, and he had a hand in setting up an inter-racial club in Lusaka where the rising generation of both Africans and Whites could meet on an equal footing. His own nationalist background led him to participate in their struggle which he embraced with enthusiasm. When many of the leaders were arrested and sent to prison, Fr Paddy was a constant source of strength and encouragement, especially for their bereft families. He administered funds for their support which in large part came from the Labour Party in England. He was a friend of Kenneth Kaunda and looked after his family and drove his wife to Salisbury to visit Kaunda in prison. Within six weeks of Independence, Fr Paddy had his Zambian citizenship and at the first annual awards and decorations, the new President Kaunda conferred on him Officer of the Companion Order of Freedom.

In 1969 Fr Paddy had a heart attack and it was decided that he return to Ireland. As a mark of respect and appreciation, the President and some of the ministers carried the stretcher onto the plane.

Fr Paddy recovered somewhat and returned to Roma parish in 1970 but his health did not improve and it was felt that a lower altitude might improve things, so he went back to Ireland and Gibraltar to work there. The Papal Nuncio in South Africa, Archbishop Polodrini who had been in Lusaka, invited Fr Paddy to be his secretary in Pretoria. He accepted the offer in 1973. 0n 2 May 1975 Fr Paddy died in Pretoria of a heart attack and was buried there, a far cry from Rosmuc.

Fr Paddy was completely dedicated to whatever he did, especially in the African hospital where he ministered and he bitterly complained to the colonial powers about the conditions there. He had a great sense of loyalty to people, to a cause, to the Lusaka mission, to the Archbishop himself and to the welfare of the Zambian people and the country.

At the funeral Mass in Lusaka, attended by President Kaunda and his wife, the Secretary General, the Prime Minister and some Cabinet Ministers, Kaunda spoke movingly of his friend Fr Paddy. He said that he had had a long letter from Fr Paddy saying ‘he was disappointed with me, the Party, Government and people of Zambia because we were allowing classes to spring up within our society. Please, Fr Walsh, trust me as you know me, I will not allow the rich to grow richer and the strong to grow stronger’.

Archbishop Adam wrote about Fr Paddy who had worked as his secretary for eleven years: ‘It was not very easy to know and to understand Fr Walsh well. Only gradually I think I succeeded – sometimes in quite a painful way. But the more I knew him the greater was my affection for him, and the respect for his character and qualities. Apart from his total dedication, I admired his total disregard for himself, his feeling for the underprivileged and his deep feeling for justice’.

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 Bob Thompson Entry
With Fr Paddy Walsh he became friends with Dr Kenneth Kaunda and other leaders at the Interracial Club. This was all during Federation days.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-truth-without-fear-or-favour/

A hundred years ago, Paddy Walsh was born in Rosmuc to an Irish-speaking family that frequently welcomed Padraic Pearse as a visitor. Paddy was the first Irish Jesuit missionary to “Northern Rhodesia”. He felt a natural sympathy with the leaders of the struggle for independence. When Kenneth Kaunda (pictured here) was imprisoned by the Colonials, Paddy drove his wife and family 300 miles to visit him in Salisbury gaol. As a citizen of the new Zambia, Paddy was trusted by Kaunda. He upbraided the President for permitting abortion, and for doing too little for the poor. Kaunda revered him, insisted on personally carrying the stretcher when Paddy had to fly to Dublin for a heart operation, and wept as he eulogised Paddy after his death: “This was the one man who would always tell me the truth without fear or favour.”

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Frs. O'Brien and Walsh left Dublin on January 4th on their long journey to North Rhodesia (Brokenhill Mission of the Polish Province Minor). They hope to leave by the "Empress of Scotland" for Durban very soon.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 2 1946

From Rhodesia.
Frs. O'Brien and Walsh reached Rhodesia on February 21st. They were given a great welcome by Mgr. Wolnik. He has his residence at Lusaka and is alone except for one priest, Fr. Stefaniszyn who did his theology at Milltown Park. Lusaka is the capital of Northern Rhodesia and is a small town of the size of Roundwood or Enniskerry.
Fr. O'Brien goes to Chikuni, which is a mission station with a training school for native teachers. Fr. Walsh is appointed to Broken Hill. where he will work with another father. ADDRESSES : Fr. Walsh, P.O. Box 87, Broken Hill, N. Rhodesia; Fr. O'Brien, Chikuni P.O., Chisekesi Siding. N. Rhodesia

Fr. Walsh, Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia, 16-2-46 :
Fr. O'Brien and I arrived in Durban on February 6th, having come via Port Said and the Suez Canal. The voyage was a tiresome one, as the ship was overcrowded - in our cabin, a two-berth one in normal times, we had thirteen, so you can imagine what it was like coming down through the Red Sea and the east coast of Africa. We had a large contingent of British soldiers as far as Port Said. They got off there to go to Palestine. We had also about six hundred civilians, demobilised service-men, their wives and children. We had ten Christian Brothers, two Salesian priests, two military chaplains (both White Fathers), six Franciscan Missionary Sisters going to a leper colony quite near Bioken Hill, four Assumption Sisters, and two Holy Family Sisters, so we had quite a big Religious community.
Our first stop was Port Said where we got ashore for a few hours. We moved on from there to Suez and anchored in the Bitter Lakes for a day and a half. There we took on three thousand African (native) troops, most of them Basutos. The Basuto soldiers were most edifying. There were several hundred of them at Mass every morning, very many of whom came to Holy Comnunion. They took a very active part in the Mass too - recited the Creed and many other prayers in common, and sang hymns in their native language, and all this on their own initiative. They are certainly a credit to whatever Missionaries brought them the Faith.
Our next stop was Mombasa, Kenya, then on to Durban. The rainy season was in and it rained all the time we were there. We arrived in Joannesburg on Saturday night, February 9th. We broke our journey there, because we were very tired, I had a heavy cold, and there was no chance of saying Mass on the train on Sunday. We were very hospitably received by the Oblate Fathers, as we had been also in Durban. I could not praise their hospitality and kindness to us too highly. Many of them are Irish, some American and South African. We remained in Jo'burg until Monday evening and went on from there to Bulawayo. We had a few hours delay there and went to the Dominican Convent where we were again most kindly received - the Mother Prioress was a Claddagh woman. We were unable to see any of the English Province Jesuits. Salisbury, where Fr. Beisly resides, would have been three hundred miles out of our way. Here at Livingstone we visited the Irish Capuchians. We were both very tired, so we decided to have a few days' rest. We have visited Victoria Falls - they are truly wonderful. The Capuchians have been most kind to us and have brought us around to see all the sights. It is wonderful to see giraffes, zebras and monkeys roaming around. Recently one of the Brothers in our mission was taken off by a lion. We expect to come to Broken Hill on Wednesday night. Most of our luggage has gone on before us in bond. We were able to say Mass nearly every day on the boat, except for a few days when I was laid up with flu. I think we are destined for the ‘Bush’ and not for the towns on the railway. It is very hot here, but a different heat from Hong Kong, very dry and not so oppressive. On the way up here we could have been travelling anywhere in Ireland, but they all say ‘wait till the rainy season is over’.”

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Rhodesia :
Fr. P. Walsh, P.O. Box 87, Broken Hill, N. Rhodesia, 15-8-46 :
“On the day of my final vows I ought to try to find time to send you a few lines. My heart missed a few boats while I glanced down the Status to see if there was anyone for Rhodesia. Fr. O'Brien and I are very well and both very happy. I met Fr. O'Brien twice since I came out, once when he came to Broken Hill, and again last month when I went to Chikuni to give a retreat to the Notre Dame Sisters who are attached to our mission there. Chikuni is a beautiful mission. The school buildings there are a monument to the hard work done by our lay brothers. The brothers whom I have met out here have struck me immensely. They can do anything, and are ready to do any work. Yet they are wonderfully humble men and all deeply religious. I am well settled in to my work now, You may have heard that I have been appointed Superior of Broken Hill. I am blessed in the small number of my subjects. My main work continues to be parish work among the white population. As well as that I am Principal of a boarding school situated about eight miles outside Broken Hill. We follow the ordinary school curriculum for African schools, and we also have a training-school for vernacular teachers. Most of the work is done by native teachers. I go there about three times a week and teach Religion, English and History One lay-brother lives permanently at the school. He is seventy two years of age but still works on the farm all day. The farm is supposed to produce enough food to support the boys in the school (and sometimes their wives), The hot season is just starting now. It has been very cold for the last month. L. have worn as much clothes here in July and August as ever I wore in the depth of winter at home. Although we do not get any rain during the cold season, still the cold is very penetrating. It will be hot from now till November or December, when the rains come. We were to have Fr. Brown of the English Province here as a Visitor. (He was formerly Mgr. Brown of S. Rhodesia). He had visited a few of our missions and was on his way to Broken Hill when he got a stroke of some kind. He is at present in hospital. One leg is paralysed completely and the other partially. He is 69 years of age, so he will hardly make much of a recovery. It is difficult to find time for letter writing. I seem to be kept going all day, and when night-time comes there is not much energy left”.

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

Irish Province News 50th Year No 2 1975

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Walsh (1911-1975)

In 1926 and 1927 a team of three boys representing Mungret at Feis Luimnighe swept away first prizes for Irish conversation and debate. Small wonder, since they were all native speakers. All three of them became missionary priests. Séamus Thornton, SJ suffered imprisonment at the hands of Chinese communists; Tadhg Manning is now Archbishop of Los Angeles, and Paddy Walsh was one of the six boys three “lay” and three “apostolic” - who joined the Irish Province from Mungret on the 1st of September, 1928.
The transfer of the novitiate from Tullabeg to Emo took place about a month before his first vows, Juniorate at Rathfarnham and UCD, and Philosophy in Tullabeg followed the normal pattern, but for regency Paddy went to Hong Kong. Before long, a spot was discovered on his lung and he was sent to the Blue Mountains in Australia, where he felt his isolation from the Society, but where he was cured. Ordination in Milltown (1943) and Tertianship in Rathfarnham completed his course and then, in 1945, an urgent cry for help came from the Polish Province Mission to Northern Rhodesia. Paddy O'Brien and Paddy Walsh were the first two Irish Jesuits to answer. There are about seventy three languages and dialects in that country, so they had to learn the one used by the Tonga people who inhabit the southerly region in which Canisius College, Chikuni, is situated. It was, however, after his transfer to the capital, Lusaka, that the main work of his life began. It entailed learning another language, Nyanja, and plunged him into pastoral work. As Parish Priest of Regiment Church, so called because it lay near a military barracks, and Chaplain to the hospital, he laboured untiringly for the spiritual and temporal well-being of his flock, with whom he identified himself. They were poor, sick and sometimes leprous. Father Paddy’s letters to the Press, exposing their misery and calling for action, made him unpopular with some of the Colonial administrators, but enthroned him in the hearts of his African people.
Their aspiration to political freedom found a ready sympathiser in one whose boyhood home in Rosmuc had frequently received Padraic Pearse as a welcome visitor: Leaders of the Nationalist movement, Harry Nkumbula, Simon Kapapwe and Kenneth Kaunda, were emerging: They trusted Paddy and he stood by them in face of opposition from Colonials. When they were imprisoned, Paddy administered the fund - largely subscribed by the British Labour Party - for the support of their wives and children. It was Paddy who drove Kenneth Kaunda’s wife and family the three hundred miles to visit him in Salisbury gaol.
When independence was won in 1964, Paddy took citizenship in the new Republic of Zambia (named after the Zambezi River) and its first President Kenneth Kaunda conferred the highest civil honour upon him, Commander of the Order of Companions of Freedom. With the destiny of their country in their own hands now, the new rulers of Zambia faced the enormous problems of mass illiteracy, malnutrition and poverty. Using their wealth of copper to enlist aid from abroad and finance huge development plans, they have made gigantic progress.
Paddy continued his priestly work in Lusaka until a heart attack struck him down in 1969. Though the air-journey would be risky, it was necessary to send him home for surgery. President Kaunda and Cabinet Ministers carried the stretcher that bore him to the aeroplane. BOAC had heart specialists ready at Heathrow Airport, who authorised the last stage of the journey to Dublin, Paddy FitzGerald inserted a plastic valve in the heart, with such success that Father Paddy's recovery seemed almost miraculous.
He returned to Zambia, but felt that more could be done for his beloved poor. He was very disappointed, too, by the passing of a law permitting abortion. Maybe, he had a dream of a Zambian utopia, and could not bear to think that it had not been realised. He returned to Ireland; worked for a very short time in Gibraltar, and, finally, went to Pretoria as Secretary to the Papal Nuncio in 1973. There he died suddenly on the 2nd of May, 1975.
It was as impossible for Paddy to dissemble or compromise as it was to spare himself in the pursuit of his ideal. The driving force of his life and of his work for Zambia was his love of Christ. In the retreat that Fr John Sullivan gave us before our first vows in Emo, he said: “Any friend of the poor is a friend of Christ. It is the nature of the case”. Paddy both learned and lived that lesson. An dheis Dé go raibh a anam

Irish Province News 51st Year No 3 1976

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Walsh (1928-1975)

“Fr Paddy Walsh was amazingly and touchingly honoured by the nation when President Kaunda preached a eulogy of him at a funeral Mass on 13th May 1975. The huge Christian love that ‘KK’ displayed in his talk was wonderful to hear. There were few dry eyes in the Church”. (So runs a letter from Fr Lou Haven, S.J., Zambia.)
A Zambian newspaper article (by Times reporter') featuring the event says:
President Kaunda has vowed that he would fight tooth and nail to ensure that the rich did not grow richer and the strong stronger in Zambia. Dr Kaunda broke down and wept when he made the pledge before more than 400 people who packed Lusaka’s Roma cathedral to pay their last respects to missionary Fr Patrick Walsh who died in South Africa. He revealed that Fr Walsh, an old friend of his, had decided to leave Zambia because “we had failed in our efforts to build a classless society”. In an emotion-charged voice, Dr Kaunda told the hushed congregation: “Fr Walsh revealed to me in a long letter that he was disappointed with me, the Party, Government and people of Zambia. He had gone in protest because we were allowing classes to spring up in our society”.
The President, who several times lapsed into long silences, said: “Please, Fr Walsh, trust me as you know me. I will not allow the rich to grow richer and the strong to grow stronger”.
To the Kaundas, Fr Walsh meant “something”. He came to help when the President was in trouble because of his political beliefs. “Fr Walsh looked after my family when I was away from home for long periods due to the nature of my work ... What can I say about such a man? He drove Mrs Kaunda to Salisbury to see mę while I was in prison ... What can I say about such a man?” ... he asked, In 1966, Dr Kaunda decorated him with the rank of Officer of the Companion Order of Freedom. He was a Zambian citizen.
Fr Lou Haven adds: “Paddy had been the support of the President's family when many of his friends deserted him during the struggle for independence. Dr Kaunda often had to be away from his family for long stretches during that time, rousing the people hundreds of miles away to a desire for independence, and sitting in jail, Fr Walsh was father to his whole family for years.'

Fr Walsh arrived in Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) in 1946, as one of the first two Irish Jesuits sent out here, the second being Fr PJT O'Brien.
An ardent Irishman, deeply steeped in Irish history and culture, he nevertheless wholeheartedly answered the Lord's call to leave his beloved Ireland and to go to the ends of the earth’ to serve his less fortunate brethren. First, as a scholastic, he was sent to China, but because of his poor health there seemed to be little hope of him every becoming a missionary. He was sent to Australia to recuperate his health, then back to Ireland. There he heard the appeal for help in Zambia, where the mission confided to the Polish Jesuits was in great difficulties as a result of the war and then of the post-war situation in Poland. He offered himself immediately, and was accepted. Arriving here in February, 1946, he gave his all to his newly-found mission, firstly in what was the apostolic prefecture, then the vicariate, and finally the archdiocese of Lusaka. He was appointed superior, first in Kabwe (then Broken Hill), then, after four years, in Chikuni. Finally, he was transferred to Lusaka as parish priest in St Francis Xavier's (“Regiment”, today St Charles Lwanga) church, where he re-roofed the old church and built the first parish-house. In 1958 he became my secretary, acting at the same time as chaplain to what was then called the African hospital, and as parish priest in Kabwata, where he built the first church.
It was not very easy to know and to understand Fr Walsh well. Only gradually I think that I succeeded sometimes in quite a painful way. But the more I knew him, the greater was my affection for him, and the respect for his character and qualities. Apart from his total dedication and the efficiency with which he applied himself to whatever duties were imposed on him, I admired his total disregard for himself. This became so evident to me when I had to supply for him in the hospital during his absence. Only when trying to do what he was doing day after day, week after week, did I realise what a hard task he took on himself as a “part time” occupation. For years he used to get up shortly after 4 a.m. to bring our Lord to the sick and to comfort the suffering. Every evening, once again he used to go to the hospital, to find out new cases and to hear confessions. He took particular care in baptising every child in danger of death.
The second quality which I admired so much in him was his feeling for the underprivileged. On seeing one who was poor or downtrodden, he automatically stood by him, and would not only show his sympathy openly, but would do everything in his power to assist him. It was not just sentiment that made him take such a stand, but a deep feeling for justice, on which he was absolutely uncompromising. I know of one case when, in spite of his sympathy towards the “liberation movements”, he completely broke off relations with one of them: he was convinced that they had committed an act of grave injustice against those whom they were fighting
I think that St Ignatius, who had such a great sense of loyalty, found a worthy son in Fr Walsh. Once he had given his loyalty to people or to a cause, he remained 100 per cent loyal. He gave his loyalty to Zambia and her people: he was absolutely, 100 per cent, loyal to them: some might have reason to say 105 per cent. I think this was typically Irish, in the best sense of the word. He gave his loyalty to the Lusaka mission - he remained absolutely loyal to it. On a more personal level, he gave his loyalty to me as his archbishop, and he was 100 per cent loyal - probably 105 per cent. I must mention yet another of his loyalties: he came here to help the Polish Jesuits in their need, and he was and remained absolutely loyal to them. Being a Polish Jesuit, I can never forget this.
I came to bid farewell to him before his departure from Zambia in 1973. I could not stay until his actual departure from the airport, because it was a Saturday, and I had to be back to say Mass in Mumbwa. He accompanied me to my car, then suddenly took me by the hand. All he could say was a whisper: “Pray for me"...and he nearly ran back to his room.
God called him since to Himself, I lost a loyal friend, and Zambia lost a very loyal son,

  • Adam Kozlowiecki, SJ, Chingombe, written on the first anniversary of Paddy's death

Ward, Eugene A, 1906-1976, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/437
  • Person
  • 15 November 1906-20 January 1976

Born: 15 November 1906, Dublin
Entered: 15 November 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1938
Final Vows: 02 February 1941
Died: 20 January 1976, Our Lady of Victories, Floral Park, New York NY, USA

Unlce of Séamus - RIP 2011

Early education at O’Connell’s School, Dublin and completed 1st Arts in Commerce at UCD before entry

by 1933 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1973 at Hoylake MA, USA (NEN) working
by 1976 at Floral Park NY, USA (NEB) working

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Eugene Ward, S.J.
R.I.P.

Who taught in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, in the early 1930s, died recently in the U.S.A., aged 69. Even after four decades, some elderly gentlemen will remember the energy and personal interest with which he overwhelmed them long ago.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 13 February 1976

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 51st Year No 2 1976

Obituary :

Fr Eugene Ward (1906-1976)

Eugene Ward will always be remembered by his contemporaries and friends as a man of tremendous energy and of boundless zeal for souls. He was a born organiser. He was one of the group of scholastics who were the last to study Philosophy in Milltown Park before the transfer of the Philosophate to Tullabeg in 1930. During that year in Milltown Eugene was treasurer of the Ricci Mission Unit founded a year or so before by Frs C Daly, N Roche and Dick Harris. Needless to say the Unit proved a marvellous springboard for Eugene's organising activities. When our coming departure for Tullabeg was officially announced, the problem of transposing the Ricci Mission Unit and its effects arose. Eugene, of course, had a master plan. I, the secretary, was sent into Gardiner Street to see Fr Provincial to ask leave to go by car (a most unusual and unheard of thing in those days), in two stages, first to Roscrea monastery on Saturday; stop the night there and proceed to Tullabeg on Sunday, I remember well Fr Fahy’s beetling eyebrows moving up and down as he said to me, “You may go, but only on one condition - that you do not stop there”.
Then followed two happy years in the Bog (Tullabeg). Grim according to modern standards but happy, with our sketches on Feast Days and plays at Christmas; great villa days on Thursdays, out in the boats on the canal and rivers, to Pollagh, Three Rivers, Shannon Harbour and further.
At the conclusion of the Philosophical Course, Eugene put his zeal into practice and departed to our foreign mission in Hong Kong, where he had full outlet for his missionary spirit but for reasons of health (he was plagued all his life with stomach trouble though physically of great vigour), he never returned to the mission after his tertianship in Rathfarnham, For the rest of his hard-working life he was assigned to pastoral work, Retreats and Missions. His spell in Rathfarnham as Director of Retreats easily compared with that of Fr Barrett, the founder. He built up into a very effective organisation the Knights of Loyola, a lay group dedicated to help the Retreat House.
For five years he was operarius in St. Francis Xavier’s, Gardiner Street, where he lived up to his reputation for work and drive as preacher, confessor and director of Sodalities. His talents as Retreat House Director were again called upon in Manresa Retreat House, where he refurbished the old stables and made them into rooms, and thereby increased the accommodation for Retreatants. After Manresa he spent the rest of his life on the Retreat Staff, with special attention to the Apostleship of Prayer, Our Lady's Sodality and the Blessed Sacrament Crusade, the latter which he worked up very effectively in colleges, schools and institutions throughout the country. During these years of ceaseless work, he had at various times serious illnesses sometimes involving surgery, but they never seemed to sap his energy, though in appearance he grew rather gaunt and emaciated. Finally, in 1971 he went to the United States to fill a need of the diocese of Springfield, Mass. He served at the Church of Our Lady of Victory, Long Island, and also teaching Philosophy at the College of Our Lady of the Elms, Holyoke, Mass. Before Christmas he grew mortally ill and died on January 20th, 1976. He was 50 years in the Society and 37 years a priest.
Eugene was first, last and foremost an apostolic priest who spent his life working for souls. It is no mere pious cliché to say of him that he passed to his Maker, a Jesuit full of merit leaving behind him in Ireland, England, Hong Kong and the States very very many who thank God for his help and ministrations.
“Euge, euge, serve bone et fidelis, intra in gaudium Domini tui”.