Zambia (N. Rhodesia)

Taxonomy

Code

Scope note(s)

  • Northern Rhodesia reveretd to Zambia in 1964.

Source note(s)

Display note(s)

Equivalent terms

Zambia (N. Rhodesia)

  • UF North-Western Rhodesia
  • UF Barotziland-North-Western Rhodesia
  • UF North-Eastern Rhodesia
  • UF Northern Rhodesia
  • UF Republic of Zambia

Associated terms

Zambia (N. Rhodesia)

108 Name results for Zambia (N. Rhodesia)

7 results directly related Exclude narrower terms

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
Final vows: 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
Final Vows: 02 February 1959, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
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 privileged 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).

Booth, Edward, 1917-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/483
  • Person
  • 24 November 1917-12 April 1988

Born: 24 November 1917, Kells, County Kerry
Entered: 14 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1957, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 12 April 1988, St Joseph’s, Kilcroney, County Wicklow

Part of the Belvedere College SJ community, Great Denmark Street, Dublin at the time of death.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 63rd Year No 3 1988

Obituary

Fr Edward Booth (1917-1938-1988)

24th November 1917: born in Kells, near Cahirsiveen, Co. Kerry. Schooled at local national school; Christian Brothers' school, Cahirsiveen; and Mungret College.
14th September 1938: entered SJ. 1938-40 Emo, noviciate. 1940-43 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1943-46 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1946-48 Mungret, Third-club prefect. 1948-52 Milltown Park, theology. 31st July 1951: ordained to priesthood by Archbishop John C McQuaid. 1952-53 Rathfarnham, tertianship, during which he received his assignment to Zambia (then called Northern Rhodesia). During the summer of 1953, along with his fellow-missionaries he received a course of vaccine injections against tropical diseases. (The other members of the group departed for Africa on 11th August, without Ted.)
On or about 6th August 1953: the stroke which changed his life. 1953-55 Milltown Park. 1955-70 Clongowes. 1970-85 Belvedere. 1985-88 Kilcroney nursing-home, Bray, Co Wicklow. 12th April 1988: died.

Fr Ted, or, as he was better known to his family and Jesuit colleagues, simply "Ted", was a true Kerryman, as he delighted in reminding us all. For his regency he was assigned to Mungret College, where he had been schooled and where he had full scope for his down-to earth practical ability.
It was two years after his ordination to the priesthood and five days before his expected departure for Zambia that Ted suffered a very sudden stroke and brain haemorrhage, which caused semi paralysis and effectively deprived him of speech for the remaining thirty-five years of his life. Suddenly and unexpectedly life had radically changed. The strange ways of Providence and the mystery of suffering in the world were exemplified in Ted's life during these thirty-five years. His frustration was intense, and he often expressed it in words soon to become very familiar to us: “Long time”. Heroically he carried his cross during all these years. The will power he manifested in his daily endeavours to overcome his disability was matched by the ingenious ways he devised of coping with it and preserving his limited independence.
The ultimate suffering for Ted came during the last three years of his life, as his condition in 1985 necessitated that he should be moved to the St John of God Brothers' nursing-home in Kilcroney. There he received the most dedicated care and attention of the community and staff. The limited communication which he had was now reduced to mere recognition. Life in a Jesuit house with a Jesuit community had been one of the supports of Ted's life, but now this strong support was removed, and he suffered the corresponding pain of such a loss. He died peacefully and suddenly in the late evening of 12th April. Ted's poignant “Why?” in relation to his suffering is now no longer dependent on our feeble attempts to answer or to clarify.
Ted was always practical and down-to earth, with a no-nonsense approach to all aspects of life. Those who were more at home in abstract speculation and decidedly ill-at-ease and lacking on the practical level could expect a knowing and sympathetic nod from Ted. Back in Milltown, in 1949, he was one of the first to alert the community on the fateful night of the fire. He it was who brought the aged Fr Bill Gwynn to safety on that night. Study was not an indulgence for Ted; it was a laborious and heavy burden, but one he shouldered with great determination and tenacity.
To us in the community, Ted was a very rich presence. He was our brother, who had come through the years of formation with several of us, and could share the jokes about our noviceship under Fr John Neary, Tommy Byrne's philosophy lectures (“stingo”), and all the rest. In his tragic incapacity, his few words and his extraordinary sense of fun, he was like a child in our midst, almost a son to us. But in the unspoken and inexpressible mystery of his vocation to share the Cross of Christ so intimately, he was our father, one who had gone far ahead of us on the path to Cal vary by which we must all walk.
In community, he was always at hand, and always ready to extend a welcome to visitors with his familiar salutation “Hello” or “You are well?”. He was a catalyst at recreation, and where the laughter was, there you might expect to find Ted. He had a great sense of humour, especially when subjected to leg-pulling. Of course you had to give him the opportunity of scoring off his teaser, and this gave him great delight. He thoroughly enjoyed the cut and thrust of an argument, and his “Good, good” left no doubt where his sympathies lay, while “Bad, bad” clearly indicated his strong denunciation.
There was a minimum of self-pity about Ted. He immediately related to anyone he met. His regular fortnightly visit to Mrs Carroll was an important event on his agenda. She gave him devoted medical attention, of which friendship, hospitality and support always formed part. A special gift to Ted was his family, especially his sisters Katty and Peggy, whose love and care for him were very special indeed. How Ted used to look forward to holidays with them in Kerry! In the mutual attention, concern and devotion Ted had for his nieces and they for him, the age gap was completely swept aside. The members of the Clongowes and Belvedere communities, among whom Ted spent almost the entire thirty-five years of his illness, showed him extraordinary consideration, understanding and consistent kindness. The constant caring attention of Fr Jim Lynch in Belvedere was a never-failing source of strength and support for Ted.
Ted was a man of prayer and a very holy man, with the Mass as the centre of his very life. His customary early-morning ritual was to trudge over to Gardiner Street or celebrating Mass in Belvedere. He lived the Cross in his daily life and so could appreciate in the Mass the Sacrifice of the Cross. The gospel read at his funeral Mass said of St Peter: “When you were young you , . . walked where you liked; but when you grow old . . . somebody else will ... lead you where you would rather not go”. St Peter would have grown old before he was led away, but Ted was still a young man, strong and ready for action, when he was led where he would rather not go.

Brangan, Gerald, 1912-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/67
  • Person
  • 24 April 1912-29 September 1978

Born: 24 April 1912, Kells, County Meath
Entered: 26 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1946, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 29 September 1978, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Gerald Brangan was the last of a family of four boys and three girls who grew up in the town of Kells, Co Meath in Ireland. The boys took their secondary school education at Clongowes Wood College and it was there that Gerald's vocation developed. He liked cricket and tennis and played them well. But it was on the golf links of his home town, in the company of his favorite brother Paddy, that his proficiency in the game was most admired.

Gerald had difficulties with the study of humanities even though he was intelligent and endowed with excellent judgment and much common sense. So it was with some relief that he moved on to Tullabeg for philosophy. His years at Tullabeg were happy ones. He was encouraged and guided in his study of philosophy by his former school friend Henry Fay, himself a very talented and kind scholastic. In fact, Gerry (as he was called) read widely in English, French and Spanish.

His regency years were spent at Belvedere College where he taught and had charge of the Junior Rugby and Cricket teams. These duties laid the foundation for many years of outstanding and distinctly priestly work among senior boys and other adults when, after tertianship, he returned to Belvedere as games master. He spent the greater part of his life in that post. During that time he was always approachable and helped many people by his advice and above all by his example.

Two of the three bishops who attended his obsequies had profited by it. Gerry was a priest and the work he did among footballs and cricket bats and referees' whistles was eminently priestly work. By his Christ-like gentleness and quiet winning manner he affected all with whom he dealt. After his time as games master, he returned to the teaching of religious knowledge to junior boys. This work must have been particularly difficult for one whose experience had been gained and talents exercised with much success among the older boys.

At this point in his life, he offered himself for a period of two years on the Zambian mission. Here again his kindness and gentleness won him many friends and endeared him to his parishioners. His work was pastoral, mainly in Roma parish, and a six month stint at the Sacred Heart parish in Kabwe. The warmth with which he was welcomed was a comfort to him. He felt very glad to be where he was wanted.

On his return to Ireland in 1974, he took up work in the diocese of Dublin. He was sent to a parish where the people understood him and he understood them. He also had the appreciation and sympathy of the parish priest. Steadfastly refusing to use a car, he walked every day through his district, visiting schools, making friends with children and teachers, chatting and sympathising with everyone he met. He revived devotions in the parish where they had lapsed, in spite of discouraging beginnings.

But the work took its toll. A heart attack laid him low. Hospital treatment and a rest gave him another year's respite and he struggled on. The end came quickly. At his funeral, a parishioner spoke the thoughts of many, saying "he radiated the gentleness of Christ and we all looked on him as a saintly soul".

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 54th Year No 1 1979

Obituary :

Fr Gerald Brangan (1912-1978)

Gerald Brangan was the last of a family of Clongownian brothers and it was in the Clongowes chapel and during retreats preached there by Fr Frank Browne and Fr Ernest Mackey that his vocation developed. At school he was known as a retiring boy, quiet but determined, and with much independence of character. In class he held a middle place and had to work hard to keep it; at games he showed only average promise, but he liked cricket and tennis and played them well. It was at home in Kells where he lived, the youngest child of a most Christian and affectionate family, that he was seen at his best and it was on the golf-course there that his proficiency in games was most admired.
As the end of school-days approached for him he felt a certain trepidation: he was weak in Irish and knew that a failure in that subject would deprive him of matriculation and so of entrance ot the Society, But Fr Andy O’Reilly, who was then a scholastic teaching in Clongowes, gave him special lessons and as a result Gerald passed without difficulty. This kindness of Fr O’Reilly’s he never forgot.
Difficulties began again at the university. Gerry was an intelligent man endowed with excellent judgement and much common sense, yet he found the humanities difficult. It was probably an extreme diffidence that handicapped him and he proceeded to Tullabeg without taking his degree.
The years of philosophy were happy ones and under the guidance of a great school-friend, Harry Fay (a very brilliant scholastic who died shortly afterwards in Milltown) he read widely in English, French and Spanish. For his colleges he went to Belvedere where he taught and had charge of the Junior Rugby and cricket teams.
After tertianship he returned to Belvedere as games master. He was to spend the greater part of his life in that post. It is easy to dismiss a man's life work in a sentence, and in Gerry's case it could be done, but only in externals. His influence can never be chronicled and the good he did is known to God alone and to those he helped in so many ways by his advice and above all by his example. Two of the three bishops who attended his obsequies had profited by it: the Archbishop and Dr. Dermot O’Mahony. He was a priest and the work he did among footballs and cricket-bats and referees whistles was eminently priestly work. They were the carpenter's tools of his Nazareth; and in plying them, by his Christlike gentleness and quiet winning manner, he affected all with whom he dealt. His powers of organisation were sometimes seen to be weak, but here the loyalty of colleagues helped him. With the boys he was apparently easy-going and tranquil, but when a question of good behaviour or honour or principle arose, all the steel in his character showed. Without this hidden strength he could not have won the respect and affection of so many generations of schoolboys and retained it when they had left school. In representing the school outside, in committees or games organisations, his quiet integrity and kindliness were much appreciated. In these circles he was known as a Jesuit of whom the Society could well be proud.
The circumstances of his change from this office which he had held for so long and in which he wielded so profound an influence were not unattended by humiliation for him, a suffering he had done nothing to deserve. This he accepted in his saintly way in the spirit of the eleventh rule of the Summary, showing that meditation on the third degree of humility is still necessary in these days of renewal.
Paradoxically however, a little consolation came from outside. Only his very closest friends were privileged to see the letters written by games-masters of schools all over Dublin. The warmest of these indeed were from Protestant schools and they showed much appreciation of all he had done to foster a spirit of gentlemanliness, fair play and sportsmanship in both cricket and Rugby. One such letter stated that he had changed the whole atmosphere of the world of schools cricket during his years in Belvedere. And of course, shortly before this change of office, he had been chosen to be one of the principal speakers at the inner to celebrate the centenary of Masonic School - surely a unique tribute to be a priest. The Old Belvedere Rugby and Cricket Clubs also showed their great appreciation of all he had done for them.
He was next entrusted with the teaching of seven classes in religious knowledge in the Junior school. This of course would have been a trial to anyone in the autumn of life; for him, whose experience had been gained and talents exercised with much success among maturer boys, it was particularly difficult. While engaged in this task he may have reflected that in the old Society the teaching of small boys was considered an appropriate preparation for work among the savages of North America. Be that as it may, the missions came to his mind and he offered himself for a period of two years in Zambia. The warmth with which he was welcomed was a comfort to him. He felt very glad to go where he was wanted. Reports that reached home indicated that his gentleness and spirit of hard work endeared him to his parishioners there.
On his return to Ireland he was advised by his friends that work in the Dublin diocese would be most suitable for him and with the approval of superiors he appeared before a diocesan board. When he was asked where he would like to work, his answer was characteristic: “I wish to be sent somewhere I am wanted”. The diocesan authorities chose wisely. He was sent to a parish which he suited in every way. The people were of a kind that understood him and whom he understood and he had the appreciation and sympathy of the parish priest. Yet the work was hard: the pastor was burdened with much diocesan duty and Gerry’s fellow curate was on the point of abandoning his vocation, so a very great deal fell to his lot. “Fr Brangan will be killed by all the work he is doing”, a parishioner remarked, But there were many consolations. He was loved by young and old. Steadily refusing to use a car, he walked every day through his district, visiting schools, making friends with children and teachers, chatting and sympathising with everyone he met. He revived devotions which had lapsed and despite discouraging beginnings persevered doggedly until they again became popular. A new curate, who understood and admired him, arrived and was a great support to him.
But the work took its toll. A heart attack, the first signs of which he had ignored, laid him low. Hospital treatment and a rest gave him another year’s respite and he struggled on. Then the end came very quickly.
His funeral was a most moving ceremony; the words of the parish priest, the evident sense of loss felt by all, especially the young, showed how he had been revered and loved, “I should not like to be the priest who has to take Fr Brangan's place”, one of the clergy remarked to the bishop. A parishioner spoke the thoughts of many, saying: “He radiated the gentleness of Christ and we all looked on him as a saintly soul”. May his noble, gentle soul rest in peace with his loved Master.

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
Final vows: 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 Nursing 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
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambua
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.

Byrne, Davy, 1935-2013, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/805
  • Person
  • 15 January 1935-14 August 2013

Born: 15 January 1935, Dublin
Entered: 14 March 1957, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 02 February 1975, St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street
Died: 14 August 2013, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Iona, Portadown, County Armagh community at the time of death.

by 1971 at Bethnal Green, London, England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/256-goodbey-to-davy-byrne

A uniformed band played ahead of the hearse as they brought Davy Byrne’s body down the Garvaghy Road to be buried. Davy came to Portadown 28 years ago, after working on social services in Gardiner Street.

◆ Interfuse

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/256-goodbey-to-davy-byrne

A uniformed band played ahead of the hearse as they brought Davy Byrne’s body down the Garvaghy Road to be buried.
Davy came to Portadown 28 years ago, after working on social services in Gardiner Street.

Interfuse No 153 : Autumn 2013

Obituary

Br Davy Byrne (1935-2013)

15 January 1935: Born in Dublin.
Early education at the National School, Rialto, and the Kildare Place Training College.
He was in employment from 1949 1956 as a mechanic on duplicating machines before joining the Society.
14 March 1957: Entered Society at Emo
29 March 1959: First Vows at Emo
1959 - 1960: Milltown Park - Cook at Gonzaga
1960 - 1967: Milltown Park - Refectorian
1967 - 1969: St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia - in charge of staff
1969 - 1970: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1970 - 1972: London – Courses in Sociology at Polytechnic, Barking College
1972 - 1974: Milltown Park – Working in Social Service Centre, Gardiner Street
1974 - 1985: North Circular Road - Working in Social Service Centre, Gardiner Street
2 February 1975: Final Vows at Gardiner Street
1985 - 2013: Iona, Portadown;
1985 - 1996: Community Development
1996 - 2004: Community Development and Reconciliation; House Consultor
2004 - 2011: Pastoral Visitation, Bereavement Counselling; Reconciliation
2011 - 2013: Pastoral Visitation, Ministry of Presence, House Consultor

Davy Byrne was born in Dublin on 15th January 1935. His mother died seven weeks later and he knew little about her. One of many things he came to appreciate about his adoptive family was that he got to go to a Protestant school for his early education, despite the protestations of his local parish priest.

He was in employment from fourteen years of age until he joined the Jesuits in 1957, and during that time he developed an enthusiasm for long-distance cycling. He took part in many team races and had one serious fall over the handlebars of his bike.

After the noviceship he worked mainly in the Milltown Park refectory for seven years. From 1967-69 he was in charge of staff at the high school in Lusaka, Zambia. There he experienced the alienation of the manual worker in relation to established Jesuits. He was, nevertheless, convinced of the role of the brother's vocation in the church. It really mattered to him that he was a Jesuit brother. He never had any desire to be a priest. He knew that he could do things as a brother that priests cannot. His friends among the Irish Jesuit brothers contributed wonderful music and prayers to his requiem.

After Tertianship he stayed with a religious community in London while taking courses in sociology at Barking Polytechnic.

Following this, he worked from 1972 to 1985 in the Social Service Centre, Gardiner Street, where he developed a lifelong friendship with his colleague Sister Emmanuel. There he looked after people on the streets who needed food, a wash and a shave. He had great stories about the characters he met. He cared for them, and could understand where they came from.

Being a Jesuit was a deeply important part of his life. Every year he would make the Spiritual Exercises. In these he would hear again the call of Christ to serve his Kingdom. He would also reflect on the experience of God that Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, had at the river Cardoner, near Manresa in Spain. Ignatius never spoke much about what went on in this, other than to say that he experienced God in a completely new way. From then on he was able to see God in all people and in all things. Davy would also remember Ignatius' vision at La Storta in which he saw Christ telling his Father that he wanted Ignatius to follow him. Davy heard that call and responded to it, however much he failed, like the rest of us.

He had a great love of God and of prayer. He used to talk of Holy Cross, the Benedictine monastery in Rostrevor, as his second spiritual home, especially in later years when his health failed. For many years he attended meetings of the European Jesuit Workers' Group. These were Jesuits who worked alongside people in difficult situations in factories and tried to find Christ in their situation. It was important to Davy that these Jesuits came from many different European countries: he knew the Society is an international body.

In 1985, as a fifty-year old true Dub, he took the courageous step of joining the new venture at Iona, Portadown, in the middle of The Troubles. Portadown was to become his home, where he wanted always to be, and he was the first ever Jesuit to be buried in Northern Ireland. There was a Jesuit house in Donard, County Down, in the 19th century with some Jesuit graves, but that was before the creation of Northern Ireland.

The Jesuit work in Churchill Park began with community development, and Davy was part of the setting up of the Drumcree Community Centre. People from there attended his funeral. He developed a more personal mission to people in stress, which was expressed in the Gingerbread group. Many people give testimony to Davy's presence and words of healing wisdom. He said that his real work was being present to people. When he was present and listening to them, God was present.

He made close friends among Protestants, especially in the Corcrain area which is across the peace wall from Garvaghy Road. In Corcrain they paint the kerbstones red and blue and burn foreign flags on enormous bonfires, but on the day of the funeral a woman from there commented on how he was mourned by so many there. It was very important to him that some of his closest friends were Protestants. Building relationships in Portadown between Catholics and Protestants was very important to him. He hated bigotry and sectarianism.

In 2012 he discovered that his mother was buried in Templemichael, near Arklow where she had grown up. He managed two trips to the grave, which meant very much to him. The final trip included a visit to Sr Emmanuel in Co, Wexford. Some months later she preceded him in death. Mutual friends arranged that he was buried with her rosary beads. His friend Gabrielle, of Gabrielle's flower shop, began to send him single red roses for his mother's grave. In the end he sent two for Davy's grave,

He would have loved his own funeral - the uniformed band preceding the hearse, the hosts of neighbours and friends, the sense of a life fulfilled. A fellow Jesuit said it was the happiest funeral he ever attended. The bishop of the diocese, Cardinal Sean Brady, presided over the liturgy, and while Davy may not have been impressed by celebrity, he would in this case have smiled. Fr Thierry OSB was there to represent the Benedictine community of Rostrevor. Davy had very little family but was always close to his nieces and their families in Birmingham. They obviously cherished him, visiting him during his illness and turning out in force for his funeral.

People regretted the passing of a gentleman, a friend, one whose presence was like a timely sent angel. He ambled along, trusting in the right moment, saying it as he felt it, and people got the message and loved it.

Byrne, Thomas, 1904-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/82
  • Person
  • 30 November 1904-03 August 1978

Born: 30 November 1904, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1933, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1941, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Died: 03 August 1978, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

Older brother of Patrick Byrne - RIP 1968

by 1935 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 15 August 1947-30 July 1953.
Mission Superior, Hong Kong, 09 May 1957
Father General's English Assistant (Substitute), at Rome Italy (ROM) 1962

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Thomas Byrne, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Thomas Byrne, Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits from 1957 to 1960, died in Ireland on 3 August 1978, aged 73.
Father Byrne was born in Ireland in 1904. He joined the Jesuits in 1922 and was ordained priest in 1933. In 1934, the Irish Jesuit Province lent him to Hong Kong, where he taught Philosophy (1934-1936) and Dogmatic Theology (1936-1939) at the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen. He returned to Ireland in 1939 to complete his Jesuit training.

After a period as Master of Novices, he was appointed provincial Superior of the Irish Jesuit Province.
He returned to Hong Kong as Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits in 1957. In 1960, he was summoned to Rome to be Assistant to the Jesuit Superior General (1960-1963). In his last years he was assistant priest at St. Ignatius Church, Galway, Ireland.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 11 August 1978

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Educated at O’Connell’s School Dublin, he Entered the Society in 1922 at Tullabeg. He obtained a BSc and MSc and then did Philosophy at Milltown Park. He then went straight from Philosophy to Theology
In 1936 he was sent to the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen as Professor of Dogmatic Theology.
In 1939 he returned to Ireland to make Tertianship and was then sent to Tullabeg to teach Philosophy.
In 1945 he was appointed Master of Novices
In 1947 he was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province
In 1957 he was appointed Superior of the Hong Kong Mission

During his term as Provincial (1947-1953) he sent many Jesuits to Hong Kong, and then in 1951 he started the Irish Jesuit Mission to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). He also saw the needs in Singapore and Malaysia and sent Jesuits to work there - like Kevin O’Dwyer, who built St Ignatius Church in Singapore; Patrick McGovern who built St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, and also Liam Egan, Gerard (Geoffrey?) Murphy and Tom Fitzgerald. He opened the Novitiate in Cheung Chau in 1958, starting with 10 Novices.

In 1960 he was brought the Roman Curia as the English Assistancy Assistant to Father General, and held this role until 1965.
In 1965 he returned to Ireland and teaching Theology at Milltown Park.

He was an intellectual. His social contribution in public committees included the housing Authorities and Discharged Prisoners Society.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 4 1978

Galway
The death of Fr Thomas Byrne on August 3 came as a great shock. He became unwell after dinner on August 2. When the doctor saw him, he ordered him into hospital immediately. His heart condition worsened that evening, and he died on the morning of August 3, R.I.P. The funeral Mass was on August 5. Dr Eamonn Casey, Bishop of Galway, presided. The Provincial, Fr Patrick Doyle, the Rector and Parish Priest, Fr Robert McGoran, and Fr Bernard Murray, were the chief concelebrants. Very many members of the Province travelled to Galway to pay their last respects to Fr Byrne.
Herewith is a tribute by Fr McGoran to Fr Byrne in the September issue of the Parish Newsletter
“Hardly had we recovered from the sense of loss at the death of Fr Jack Kerr, when God took to himself a second member of our Parish team, Fr Tommy Byrne. Although Fr Byrne had had a rather severe operation last February, he appeared to be holding his own in recent months - although everyone noticed that he had slowed down a great deal. However, for a week or two before his death he was visibly failing; yet he remained faithful to his parish duties right up to the eve of his death.
During his eight years here in Galway, Fr Tommy endeared himself to all the parishioners, and many felt his death as the loss of a close friend, and one who felt for them in their cares and difficulties. He was untiring in his visitation of families and utterly devoted in ministering to the sick and the aged. He took a keen personal interest in the families entrusted to this care and had a very special way with children. He was a kindly and encouraging man and seemed able to forget his own ailments in his solicitude for other people”.

Another tribute is paid by Fr Desmond O'Loghlen in the July/August issue of the Jesuits in Zambia News. Sincere thanks to him for it.
“Fr Thomas Byrne did not spend long in Africa, only three months. Nevertheless the occasion of his death calls for grateful remembrance of his lasting contribution of the Jesuit Mission effort in Zambia, To this end we may make use of a report on the Chikuni Mission written in 1967 for the Sociological Survey of the Society. (It should be borne in mind that at that time the Lusaka Mission and the Chikuni Mission had not yet amalgamated to form the Vice Province, but were still separate, attached to the Polish and Irish Provinces respectively).
Fr Thomas Byrne Irish Provincial at the time) arrived to visit Northern Rhodesia (as it then was) in April 1952. He spent about three weeks in Africa, met the Apostolic Administrator (Very Rev Adam Kozlowiecki SJ) and the Regional Superior (Very Rev Marian Folta SJ) and saw all the Irish Jesuits in the country. Fr Byrne was the Provincial, who, in 1950, had taken the generous step of Officially pledging the Irish Province to help the Mission. On his initiative nine new members, (eight priests and one brother) joined the Mission in 1950, and eight more in 1951 (five priests, two scholastics, and one brother) and others followed yearly. From this visit of Fr. Provincial, in consultation with the Apostolic Administrator and the Regional Superior, emerged the main lines of development followed by the Irish Jesuits for the next ten years, through the establishment of the Chikuni Mission in 1956 up to the establishment of the Diocese of Monze in 1962.
Plans were made to continue the pastoral and educational work already built up around Chikuni by Frs Moreau, Zabdyr, Prokoph, and others. Three new stations had been already started at Chivuna, Kasiya, and Fumbo. Plans were also made for pastoral coverage of Mazabuka, Monze, Choma, Kalomo, with an eventual westward thrust to Namwala. Provision was made for Irish Jesuits to work in Lusaka.
Fr Byrne again visited the Mission in 1963, now as Assistant of the English Assistancy, and took deep interest and evident satisfaction in the progress of the work, which owed so much to his earlier initiative. At this time he explored views about the possible union in one Province of the Jesuit Missions in Zambia and Rhodesia. However, this project was halted by the declaration of UDI to the south of us, and subsequent developments.
In December 1969, when the Zambia Vice-Province was established, Fr Thomas Byrne was an honored guest at an informal gathering in Dublin to mark the occasion. We can trust, now that he is in Heaven, his interest and his benign influence will continue to benefit the work in Zambia. May he rest in peace”.

Obituary :

Fr Thomas Byrne (1904-1978)

On August 3rd Father Tom Byrne died at Galway, where for nearly eight years he had been engaged on Parish work. This period in Galway was the peaceful, retired conclusion to an exceptionally active, varied and front-line work as a Jesuit.
Father Tom Byrne was born at Dun Laoire on November 30th 1904. He entered Tullabeg as a novice on August 31st 1922. Having pronounced his First Vows on September 1st 1924 at Tullabeg, he passed through the rest of the scholasticate training in Ireland: from Rathfarnham he studied Science at UCD (1924-1927); 1927 to 1934 were spent studying Philosophy and Theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest on July 31st 1933. He completed his Tertianship at Rathfarnham: 1939-1940.
From the end of his Tertianship in 1940 to his commencement of parish work in Galway in 1970, Father Tom Byrne was a “specialist” in one form or another. He was Lecturer in Sacred Scripture and Dogma in the Regional Seminary, Hong Kong: 1934-1939. He lectured in Philosophy in Tullabeg 1941-1945; 1953-1957. He was Master of Novices in Emo for two years (1945-1947). He was Provincial in Gardiner Street from 1947 to 1953: and it was by his enterprise and decision that the “mission” in what is now part of the Vice-Province of Zambia was begun by the opening of the Irish Mission at Chikuni: eight priests and one brother reached Chikuni from Ireland in August 1950. They began at once to work in the Mission Church at Chikuni, to open “mission stations” further afield, and to staff Canisius College which rapidly developed to become a splendid Secondary School. For many years after our arrival at Chikuni there was only one other Secondary school in “Northern Rhodesia” (now Zambia): the Government Secondary school Munali in Lusaka.
Father Byrne visited us within a few years of 1950 and continued generously to send brothers, scholastics and priests, so that Ireland's commitment in what is now the Vice-Province of Zambia developed rapidly.
After his second period as Lecturer in Tullabeg - after being Provincial - (1953-1957), Father Tom Byrne went to be Superior in the Hong Kong Mission. He remained in this Office until 1960 when he went to Rome for five years as English Assistant, substituting for Father J Swain who was Vicar General (1960-1965).
Father Tom Byrne was Prefect of Studies and Spiritual Father in Milltown Park from 1965 to 1968. There followed two years in Tullabeg as Spiritual Director of the Sisters there (1968 to 1970). In 1970 he moved to take up the parish work in Galway which occupied the last eight years of his work-filled life.

One of his many admirers - Father Harold Naylor, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, writes:
“As a philosopher in Tullabeg I remember being impressed by the vigour of the religious observance of ‘Tommy’ who was then professing Psychology. He was the first at Morning Oblation at 6 am. I met him again in 1977 in Galway and found the same man I had always known, with alert mind and zealous heart. Assistant to the Parish Priest in St Ignatius, he was always ready to hear confessions and take calls at the door to help people. I noticed something else which is not common in Jesuits of over forty - he had great hope in the future of the Church and of the Society. He had well assimilated the thrust of the Second Vatican Council, and made his own the content of the last two General Congregations. He was at home in the new Church, and the modern Society and had no nostalgia for the past. He could appropriate to himself our new life style and see every advantage in it. I sometimes wondered if this was not partly due to what he taught on obedience of the intellect, and to a real self abnegation, seeing the Will of God in everything and having the real spirit of Ignatian indifference ...”
See also the special tributes included in the contributions from Galway, tributes from Galway and Zambia.

Irish Province News 54th Year No 1 1979

Galway

Fr Thomas Byrne RIP
We are greatly indebted to an unnamed contributor to the Hong kong Vice-Province Letter/August, 1978, for the following account of Fr Thomas Byrne's life. Sincere thanks to him. The account arrived too late for inclusion in the October issue of the Province News,
Fr Thomas Byrne, Superior of the Hong Kong Mission from 1957 to 1960, died on 3rd August, after a few hours of illness, aged 73. The following account of his life has been contributed by one who knew him well.
Though he is a major figure in the history of the Hong Kong Jesuits, Fr Thomas Byrne spent in all only eight years here. For information about his pre-Jesuit years, his forty-five Jesuit years in Ireland, and his three years in Rome, I have had to rely on vague memories and hearsay. Much must be left vague, and some details may be inaccurate. .
He was born on 30th November 1904, and was educated at O’Connell’s School, Dublin. In 1922, he entered the novitiate at Tullabeg, where he had as contempararies R Harris, C Daly, and G Casey. As a junior, he did a brilliant BSc. He later - during his philosophy at Milltown Park, I think tried for a travelling studentship (in Philosophy?), but was beaten, to the surprise of many, by the Clonliffe student who, as Fr. Boyland, was to leave the Dublin Archdiocese to become a Carthusian.
Mr. Tommy Byrne, already destined for a professorial chair, did no “colleges”, and went straight from philosophy to theology. He came, I think, to regret this gap in his formation, especially when appointment as a major superior made him responsible for the well being of many schools.
He was ordained priest on St Ignatius Day, 1933. In 1934, the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, found itself critically short of staff. The Irish Provincial, Fr L Kieran, lent Fr Byrne to Hong Kong, on the understanding that, when the Seminary could spare him, he should return to Ireland to do his tertianship and then settle down there as a professor, probably of philosophy. He came to Hong Kong, by ship of course, with Fr H Craig and two scholastics, F Cronin and T Sheridan, and for his first two years taught philosophy in the Seminary.
Since he had not come as a permanent member of the Mission, it was taken for granted that he should not even attempt to learn Cantonese - another gap in his formation that he was to regret in later years.
In 1936, he became professor of dogmatic theology in the Seminary. It was in that year that I first met him. I still feel gratitude for the warmth of the welcome he gave me on my arrival in Hong Kong. By then he had developed to the full his aptitude for giving lengthy analysis of any subject that might turn up - the state of the world, the calling of a bridge-hand, St Jerome’s outlook on bishops, or his own outlook on his duties as minister. This may suggest that he had turned into a bore. The suggestion is false. He was interested in your views as well as in his own, and he was unaffectedly delighted when you knocked him off his perch. This made all the difference.
He went to Ireland for tertianship in 1939, making no secret of his wish to return to Hong Kong if possible. However, when his tertianship ended, the course of World War II had made immediate return impossible. After tertianship, Fr Byrne went to Tullabeg to teach philosophy. In 1945 he was appointed Master of Novices.
He was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province in 1947. By then the world was beginning to settle down after the confusion and frustration of war and its aftermath. The time called for initiative, and Fr Byrne was ready to initiate. In the course of his provincialate the Manresa Retreat house and the Workers' College (now the College of Industrial Relations) were opened, and the Irish Province accepted a new mission in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). Not since the legendary days of Fr Sturzo had any Irish Provincial added so much to the work of the province.
I myself left Ireland soon after Fr Byrne's appointment. I therefore know little about his administration or his dealings with individuals. I do remember an aged fountain of ideas. Fr R Devane,
saying rather sadly: “At last there is a Provincial who will listen to me; but I am too old now". There are rumours that scholastics were put off by Fr Byrne's highly characteristic habit of gazing into the middle distance and musing on the nature of things or giving gnomic advice. Presumably they felt inhibited from knocking him off his perch - unfortunate but inevitable.!
At the end of his term as Provincial, Fr Byrne returned to Tullabeg, and seemed likely to spend the rest of his days there. Then in 1957, to the surprise of the most highly skilled forecasters, he was appointed Superior of the Hong Kong Mission. He returned with delight; an eighteen-year-old dream had come true.
Neither Hong Kong nor Singapore was in great need of initiative. In Hong Kong, the two new Wah Yans had been built shortly before, and it would have been difficult to find staff for new works. In Singapore, the plans laid in the earlier 50s were moving towards fulfilment. In Malaysia, however, things were still tentative. The cancellation of a government invitation to undertake a major work faced the Superior with the decision: to go forward or to retreat. Fr Byrne decided to go forward. Perhaps nothing in his superiorship interested him more deeply than the problems of Petaling Jaya. A grasp of the geography of Kuala Lumpur and its environs became necessary for anyone who wanted to understand his conversation.
In Hong King, Fr Byrne’s main task was to encourage the work that was being done by individuals and institutions. For himself, he took up the work of public committees - the Housing Societry, the Discharged Prisoners Aid Society and so on. In Ricci Hall, where he lived, he quickly made many friends among the students. Equally quickly he made himself a welcome guest in all Jesuit houses. When he had to act as Superior he was unmistakably the Superior. At other times, like a famour duke, “he never remembered his rank unless you forgot it”. In spite of recurring bad health - stomach trouble and phlebitis - he enjoyed life, and he wished others to enjoy life. The brilliant frivolity of Fr J B Wood’s speech of farewell at the end of Fr Byrne’s Superiorship was a tribute to the friendliness and personal equality that he had made characteristic of his period of authority here.
He was Superior for only three years. In 1960 he was summoned to Rome as Substitute Assistant for the English Assistancy. Of what happened at that high level I know nothing except that Fr Byrne seemed to enjoy it.
He returned to Ireland after the 31st General Congregation, but his interest in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia never waned, as returning visitors from these parts will testify.
He spent his last years as curate in St. Ignatius' Church, Galway, and it was there that I last met him. He was unchanged - full of interest in the Vice-Province and better informed about it than I was - ready to speculate about the state of the world and of all things in it, and full of philosophical interest in the future of the Jesuit parish in Galway,
No hint had been received here that his health was failing. The news of his death came as a shock, and to many it meant, not “a former Superior has died”, but “a cherished friend is dead”.

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, St Ignatiuis, Lusaka, Zambia
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
Final Vows: 15 August 1971, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
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.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

Obituary

Fr James (Jim) Carroll (1909-2005) : Zambia-Malawi Province

12th February, 1934: Born in Limerick, Ireland
6th September, 1952: Entered in Emo Park, Co. Leix, Ireland
1960 - 1963: Chikuni, Canisius, teaching, regency
28th July, 1966: Ordained in Milltown Park, Dublin
1968 - 1969: Chikuni, Canisius, minister, asst. parish priest
1969 - 1975: Chikuni, Canisius, rector
15th August, 1971: Final Vows in Chikuni
1976 - 1981: Chikuni, Chikuni parish, parish priest
1981 - 1988: Monze, secretary to the Bishop of Monze
1988 - 1991: Monze director of building for the diocese
1991 - 1993: Limerick, pastoral work
1993 - 1998: Chilalantambo, parish priest
1998 - 2000: Ireland, recovering health
2000 - 2006: Dublin, Gardiner Street, assisting in Church
2nd May, 2006: Died in Dublin

Paul Brassil writes:
The death of Fr. James Carroll has come as a shock to all who knew him. The major part of his life was lived out in Zambia where he served from 1960 until 1998. During that time he held inany posts of responsibility in various fields, as well as being a Consultor for both the Province and for the Diocese, a tribute to his ability and adaptability.

There is no doubt that his farming background played a big part in shaping his outlook and apostolate. He was always observant of the natural order, and had a sympathy for those who worked the land. In his pastoral ministry he set an example by planting trees and orchards and getting vegetable gardens under way as soon as he moved into a new parish. For the local farmers he helped organise the provision of ploughs, seeds and fertifiser and assisted them in the marketing of their crops. In this he was very much a faithful follower of Fr. Joseph Moreau the founder of Chikuni Mission back in 1905. Inevitably Fr. Carroll was involved in fighting drought and famine which recurred with dreadful frequency.

Towards the end of his studies in Milltown, consideration was given to sending him on for further studies in Moral/Canon Law. But the need for men back on the mission in Zambia prevailed. With hindsight this was a pity because his practical and down to earth approach to life could have tempered the academic approach more usual in those areas of specialisation.

His talents as organiser were called on to guide the building programme of the Diocese of Monze. In the course of his time in charge of that programme he was responsible for building hospital wards, churches, schools, houses and third level institutions. This meant having three separate teams of builders, carpenters, electricians and drivers. It meant buying, transporting, storing and distributing all necessary supplies. At certain times there were severe shortages due to political instability caused by the war in neighbouring Zimbabwe and the cutting of economic ties with South Africa. In overcoming these difficulties Jim showed great ingenuity.

Among his special interests was St. Mulumba's School for the Handicapped, where he collaborated with Sr. Phillippe in building and supporting various initiatives. It was in connection with St.Mulumba's that he was involved in the Special Olympics. This work was dear to his heart. He was also concerned with the Aids epidemic.

In his pastoral work, especially during his time at Chilala Ntambo, he had warm relations with the local Anglican community, both clergy and laity. At his house the Chief, Chief Mapanza, and other Government officials, could be found enjoying his hospitality and discussing local matters. His voice on these matters was listened to because of his obvious concern for the people. Despite his own poor health, endured for many years, he travelled extensively and regularly on bad roads to bring Mass and services to the far flung out stations of the parish. Jim mixed easily with the people; his fluency in the language greatly helped, as well as his empathy for their rural way of life.

In the course of his missionary life Jim was very interested in the promotion and formation of both diocesan clergy and religious life candidates. Many young seminarians spent extended time with him, getting to know pastoral methods, and learning at first hand parish work. He was very encouraging to the religious Sisters with whom he worked, sympathetic to their efforts and supporting them as best he could

As a young man, Jim was an outstanding rugby player and was considered a loss to Irish Rugby on his entry to the Society of Jesus. He was very athletic, and had a great interest in all kinds of sport. He certainly was a skilled hurler and rode the few horses that came our way bareback. He played many a round of golf and enjoyed the game. He walked the Dublin and Wicklow Hills with verve and energy throughout his time as a student in Rathfarnham and Milltown. He always retained an interest in the horses, and had the occasional flutter. On more than one occasion he mentioned that as a boy he had exercised the greyhounds for his father, In truth he was a real Limerick man in his interests and his skills.

Jim loved a good meal and was no mean cook himself. But for the most part he lived a life of frugality and simplicity especially during the years he spent alone in Chilala Ntambo. This was certainly true during times of famine, when all his available resources were employed for the alleviation of hunger in the area. It speaks volumes for Jim that he found willing allies among the Indian traders in his relief efforts, just another example of his ability to relate well with so many different people.

One special interest that grew with the years was his interest in Scripture. He had the opportunity during his brief stay in Ireland to give a number of retreats to laity and found this work very much to his taste. The role of the laity, as proposed by the Second Vatican Council, was vital for the future of the Church in his opinion. In fact, he was very critical of the institutional Church for its failure to allow and encourage lay participation in the running of the Church.

During a mini-sabbatical he spent some three months in Jerusalem at the Biblicum. This was very special for him; it gave him an abiding interest in the Scriptures and in the Holy Land, which he used with good effect in the various retreats he directed.

It has been a privilege and a blessing for me to have known Jim and experienced his support and kindness. I can only guess at the loss that his family are enduring. For Jim, his family meant so much. He followed their careers with intense interest, especially those of the next generation, and was proud of their achievements. He found in them a source of pride, support and love. May he rest in peace.

Chikuni Mission

  • Corporate body
  • 1905

Founded by a French Jesuit, Joseph Moreau, in 1905. From its beginning, it has a some form of school at its core.

See: Carmody, Brendan. "Secular and Sacred at Chikuni: 1905-1940." Journal of Religion in Africa 21, no. 2 (1991): 130-48.

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
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.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Arthur Clarke (1916-1995)

Arthur Clarke was born on April 11th 1916 in Dublin and went to school in Clongowes, After he left school he entered the Bank of Ireland, but was not fully satisfied. A close friend told me that both he and Arthur considered going to Kenya under a British Government scheme to grow coffee. On a solitary walking holiday in the South of Ireland Arthur stayed in a Trappist monastery and decided that this was what he wanted. A short stay with the monks led to their advising Arthur that “he was too introspective” for their way of life and directed him to the Society of Jesus. There he stayed until he died in the retirement home in Lusaka Zambia on 8th March 1995.

He entered the novitiate in Emo on November 5th 1938 and followed the usual course of formation, doing his regency in the Crescent College Limerick. After Tertianship he was Socius to the Novice Master and then Minister in Clongowes, where he learnt of his appointment to Northern Rhodesia in the normal way, by someone telling him casually on the way into the refectory.

Five of us travelled out by Union Castle to Cape Town. At the Rhodesian border in Bulawayo, Arthur, always a man of integrity, insisted on paying duty on all his new clothes, despite the efforts of the Customs to assure him that as all our goods and chattels were going to Chikuni Mission there was nothing to pay.

This illustrates Arthur's characteristic blend of a keen sense of the ridiculous with a stern sense of duty. When these two clashed, Arthur would resolutely do what he considered was his duty, while muttering the while that it was all a lot of nonsense, but we had to do it. This he applied to his stints as Minister in our communities. He made no secret of his dislike of the job, but laboured might and main to keep the house spotless, and turn out magnificent meals on big occasions, even though he was not at ease in celebrations. From time to time Arthur would recount hilarious incidents of his formation years, normally involving the deflation of some pomposity or affectation. The following morning there would be an attack of conscience resulting in a stern admonition to us scholastics to show more respect in speaking of the very people Arthur had been taking off the previous evening.

Arthur had a difficult time adapting to life in Africa at first, though not through lack of trying. He was of that generation which had done no studies outside Ireland and this must have been his first experience of another culture. He took a long time to shake free of the conventions of the Irish Province, many of which were ill suited to life in the bush.

Arthur became Rector of Chikuni where he ruled with an utterly unbiased if somewhat stern hand. Sean McCarron, in Zambia to build the Teacher Training College, would point out that even he had been taken to task by Arthur for some misdemeanour, leaving us mystified as to why he should consider himself immune to Arthur's sense of what was appropriate behaviour. In the role of Rector, as in the rest of his life, Arthur never once showed the slightest trace of malice, vindictiveness or favouritism.

After his stint as Rector, Arthur went to teach in Namwala Government Secondary School. The Zambian Principal, no doubt in recognition of Arthur's commitment to order and discipline, appointed him Vice-Principal and then allowed him to get on with running the entire school, while he pursued a more leisurely way of life. 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.

While stationed at St. Ignatius parish in Lusaka Arthur showed his compassionate side in his care for Fr. Max Prokoph who was deteriorating in health and required constant care around the house, which Arthur showed him to a remarkable degree of patience. Fr. Dominic Nchete, a Zambian priest, said that if for nothing else, this would assure Arthur's going straight to heaven. Ascetical in his own life, stern towards those for whom he felt responsibility, Arthur was surprisingly indulgent to the various strays and inadequates who quickly detected in him an easy touch and flocked around St. Ignatius.

For someone who led such an organised and full life, it was painful to see him slowly losing touch with the outside world as Alzheimer's took its inevitable toll. Increasingly it was clear that he did not recognise those who had lived with him over the years. At the very end Arthur died quite suddenly. He was never one to vacillate or waffle, and when the time came he took his leave of this life as he had lived it, with despatch and no nonsense.

Frank Keenan

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1937, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
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
Final Vows: 02 February 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
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.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005

Obituary

Bishop James Corboy (1916-2004) : Zambia Malawi Province

Oct. 20th 1916: Born in Caherconlish, Limerick
Early education at The Crescent, Limerick and Clongowes Wood College
Sept. 7th 1935: Entered the Society at Emo
Sept. 8th 1937: First Vows at Emo
1937 - 1941: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1941 - 1944 Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1944 - 1945: Belvedere College - Teaching (Regency)
1945 – 1949: Milltown Park -Studied Theology
July 28th 1948: Ordained at Milltown Park
1949 - 1950: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1950 - 1952: Gregorian, Rome - Studied Fundamental Theology
1952 - 1962: Milltown Park:
1952 - 1959: Lecturing in Theology and in charge of farm
Feb. 2nd 1953: Final Vows
1959 - 1962 Rector; Lecturing in Theology; Prov. Consultor
June 24th 1962: Consecrated Bishop of Monze, Zambia
1962 - 1996: Pastor of Monze Diocese.
1996 - 2003: Retired as bishop; returned to Milltown Park; writer, House Librarian.
2003 - 2004” Cherryfield Lodge.
Nov. 24th, 2004: Died in St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

Bishop James Corboy Pioneer of Catholic Church in Zambia

From: Times of Zambia, 18 Dec. 2004 Written by: James P. McGloin, S.J. (Socius, ZAM Province)

Bishop James Corboy, S.J., the retired bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Monze, died in Dublin, Ireland on 24th November 2004. On 10th December a well-attended memorial Eucharist was held at the Monze Cathedral with Bishop Emilio Patriarca of Monze presiding. Bishop Raymond Mpezele of Livingstone and many clergy from the diocese and elsewhere concelebrated at the Eucharist. Fr. Colm Brophy, S.J., the provincial of the Jesuits, preached.

In 1962 the Diocese of Monze was established from the southern part of the Archdiocese of Lusaka. In March of that year Fr. James Corboy was appointed its first bishop. At the time he was a professor of theology and rector of the Jesuit School of Theology in Dublin. He had never been to Africa before. Looking from our perspective, it seems like a very strange appointment. However, the area of the new diocese was a mission area under the auspices of the Irish Jesuits based in Chikuni. These Jesuits ran the mission, Canisius College and Charles Lwanga Teachers' College in Chikuni along with seven other mission stations in the new diocese. Perhaps the Jesuit missionaries who were already there were thought too independent minded to accept one of their own as bishop. Perhaps it was thought that someone from the outside might bring a new perspective to the work. Whatever the reason, James Corboy, without any experience of Africa, was appointed the first bishop.

Bishop Corboy was born in the small village of Caharconlish in County Limerick, Ireland in 1916. Being from a rural area, he grew up appreciating nature and farming, an appreciation he kept all his life. He did his primary school in the village and got a good basic education. For early secondary school he had to travel to the nearest town. This meant using a bicycle to the train station, then by train to the town, then a walk to school, and back again each day. Since, his travel took so much time each day, his parents later sent him to a Jesuit boarding school to finish his education.

After his secondary school in 1935, he entered the Jesuits and was ordained a priest thirteen years later in Dublin. He went to Rome, then, and studied at the Gregorian University, receiving a doctorate in theology. Returning from Rome, he began his career as a professor in the school of theology, where he eventually was made rector.

At the time of his appointment as bishop, the great reforming council of the Catholic Church, Vatican Council II, began in Rome. Bishop Corboy attend all four sessions of the Council from 1962 to 1965. The Council had an immense influence on him. He was wont to say that, despite his doctoral studies, he never really studied theology until the Council. During the Council he studied and read theology, something that he continued to do passionately throughout his life.

When he was ordained bishop in Monze in June 1962, there were about twenty Jesuit missionaries working in the area, some Religious Sisters of Charity, and one eminent Zambian priest, the late Fr. Dominic Nchete. Bishop Corboy began inviting other missionary groups into the diocese to improve the education and health services of the area. The Holy Rosary Sisters opened Monze Mission Hospital (now District Hospital) and Mazabuka Girls' Secondary School; the Christian Brothers began St. Edmund's Secondary School in Mazabuka and Mawaggali Trades Training Institute in Choma; the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary managed St. Joseph's Secondary School in Chivuna while the Presentation Sisters managed Kasiya Secretarial College; the Sisters of Charity of Milan opened a mission hospital in Chirundu and the John of God Brothers began a rehabilitation centre for the handicapped in Monze. Many lay volunteers came from overseas in these early days to help staff these new institutions.

In the area of development a well-run diocesan office was opened in Monze which, among many projects, offered agricultural advisory services and courses throughout the diocese. The Monze Youth Projects, managed by the Sisters of Mercy, was opened, offering catering, tailoring and carpentry training. In almost every parish in the diocese a homecraft or tailoring centre was begun.

Much of this development took place during the initial, exciting years of Zambian Independence. Bishop Corboy's vision of a better Zambia for all its people went hand in hand with the vision of the newly independent government. His contribution was recognized by President Kenneth Kaunda, who awarded him the honour of Grand Commander of the Order of Distinguished Service in 1991.

The bishop was also concerned with the pastoral development of his diocese. Besides inviting the Spiritans and Fidei Donum priests from other dioceses to open new parishes, he realised the importance of developing a local Zambian clergy. In 1966 he opened Mukasa Minor Seminary in Choma as a secondary school for boys considering a vocation to the priesthood. At present there are nearly 50 ordained priests from the boys who began their schooling in Mukasa. These priests work in the Monze Diocese and in other dioceses that send boys to the seminary. He also saw the need for Zambian Sisters and in 1971 began a diocesan congregation of sisters, called the Sisters of the Holy Spirit. Today the sisters have convents in Chikuni, Choma, Chivuna, Mazabuka and Monze and offer a variety of services in the schools, hospitals and parishes.

From the Vatican Council, Bishop Corboy learned deeply that the Church was not just bishops, priests and sisters. Rather the Church, to use the Council's great image, is the People of God. Bishop Corboy wanted a well informed Catholic laity in his diocese, good Christians who could run parish councils effectively, preach and offer Sunday services when a priest was not available, teach young people the essential truths of their faith and prepare them to receive the sacraments. During his time as bishop, St. Kizito Pastoral Centre outside of Monze was open to offer courses in Christian and pastoral formation for the people of the diocese. Oftentimes, the bishop himself would present much appreciated talks on scripture and on different theological topics.

When Bishop Corboy came to Zambia, he studied Citonga and had a passable knowledge of the language. Whenever he preached in the language he spoke simply but clearly and correctly. Even in English, he always preached simply and sincerely also. Every year when he came to Charles Lwanga Teachers' College, his homily was essentially the same. He remembered still his own primary school teachers, men and women, who were dedicated to their work and concerned about the children. Then, he told the Lwanga students that they had chosen a noble profession and how they could be a force for good in the lives of so many young people.

True to his rural roots, Bishop Corboy loved nature and farming. For a day off he might spend a few hours bird watching at nearby Lochinvar National Park. He always had a small garden behind his house in Monze and would often be found there watering or weeding. It is said that sometimes. visitors who did not know him would be told that he was outside. They would meet the old man working in the garden saying, "Brother, we would like to meet the bishop." He would tell them to go back to the office and the bishop would be there in a few minutes. Shortly, the bishop, out of his garden clothes, would introduce himself to the surprised visitors.

A very shy man, the bishop avoided large social gatherings when he could. Inevitably, after doing a confirmation at one of the colleges or parishes, he would say, “Gosh, I'd love to stay for the celebrations, but I have some important business to get back to in Monze." Although shy, the shyness did not deter him from working well with different organisations and groups of people. He was able to listen, to offer advice and to give his lay and religious colleagues plenty of leeway to do their work without interfering.

Bishop Corboy tried always to defer to the opinions of the Zambian bishops in the Episcopal Conference. Archbishop Mazombwe, in a condolence letter, recalled an event in 1973 when he had just taken over from Bishop Corboy as president of the Zambia Episcopal Conference. Bishop Corboy wrote to him, "I am not coming to the Executive Board Meeting of ZEC and I am not going for the AMECEA (the Bishops of all of Eastern Africa) Plenary Meeting in Nairobi. I am tired, I have been teaching mathematics at Mukasa Seminary and I will be in retreat." The Archbishop, who was then Bishop of Chipata, relates how he interrupted his own retreat and said, "My Lord, I have never chaired a ZEC meeting, this will be my first time. I need you. I have never attended an AMECEA Plenary Meeting, I need you.” Bishop Corboy's response was immediate and to the point. "I will come to the ZEC Executive Board Meeting, but I will not go for the AMECEA Plenary because there are enough African bishops with experience."

Looking forward to the day when a Zambian would replace him, Bishop Corboy had his dream come true in 1992, after thirty years as bishop of Monze. In that year Bishop Paul Lungu, S.J. succeeded him as bishop. From the 8 mission stations at the origin of the diocese, there were 21 parishes when Bishop Lungu took over, Bishop Corboy was able to hand over a well-established diocese with an active and effective body of Zambian clergy, religious and laity.

Bishop Corboy did not leave Zambia immediately on retiring. He moved to St. Ignatius Jesuit Community in Lusaka where he frequently helped in the church and served as librarian at the Jesuit Theological Library in Chelston. In 1996 when his health began to deteriorate, he returned to his native country where he continued his reading and writing until his death.
His nephew, Dr. John Sheehan, who worked for sometime in Monze Hospital, was with him when he was dying. Dr. Sheehan saw his breathing was very bad and asked him if he could give him something for the pain. Bishop Corboy, in his typical way, held out his hand and shook hands with his nephew, saying, “No, thanks very much, I'm all right...and then continued, “Good-by now, God bless you”. Then he died. "Good-by. God bless you”-his final words to his nephew-but also to the people of the Diocese of Monze whom he loved so much and served so well.

Tom McGivern wrote in ZAM Province News, Dec. 2004:

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, was appointed to be the first bishop of the new diocese. This new diocese was three-quarters the size of the whole country of Ireland from which the new bishop came. It has 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. A daunting task ahead for the new bishop!

At the age of 43 he found himself appointed to be the bishop of the newly established diocese of Monze where the Jesuits had been working since 1905. On the 24h of June 1962 he was ordained bishop in Monze.

For 30 years he was the bishop. The daunting task before him was fourfold as he saw it: development, pastoral work, health care, and education. He invited a number of congregations to help him in this task. The Sisters of Charity and the Handmaid Sisters were already in the diocese. The Holy Rosary Sisters, Presentation Sisters, Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary, the Sisters of Charity of Milan and others entered into pastoral work, health care and education. Spiritans, Christian Brothers and John of God Brothers were some of the men 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-vocations from the local people themselves. In 1966 he built Mukasa minor seminary in Choma “to foster and encourage young boys who show interest in the priesthood”. Boys came from the dioceses of Monze, Livingstone, Lusaka and Solwezi. At present there are about 50 of these boys who have been ordained priests and there are numbers in the major seminaries.

Another project very close to his heart was the establishment of a local congregation of sisters, the Sisters of the Holy Spirit. In 1971 the congregation began and the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary helped out in this venture. As the bishop wished, the sisters are now involved in teaching, nursing, pastoral and formation work among the people of the Monze Diocese. The last eight years of his life Bishop James spent in Ireland on the advice of doctors. Whenever anyone visited him from Zambia, the first question invariably was, “How are the Holy Spirit Sisters?”

As bishop, he regularised the 8 mission stations as parishes and set up 13 more. He also set up a development office in Monze, headed for many years by the late Fred Moriarity, S.J. Because of it, Monze became one of the leading dioceses in development in the country.

In Matthew's gospel when Christ sent out the Twelve, he advised them to be as clever as snakes and as simple as doves. Bishop James was extremely clever and yet very simple. To set up hospitals, schools, parishes, churches et al., money and personnel had to be found mostly from overseas. A frequent question on his lips to his secretary, the late Joe Conway, S.J. was, :Joe, has that cheque come through yet?”

When the war in Zimbabwe was raging, the Zambezi Valley was strewn with land mines, yet Bishop James drove down alone to Chirundu to make sure the people there were safe and to encourage them. After the war some government official wanted to close down the hospital there, but unsuccessfully, as he had to deal with Bishop James.

The bishop was a good theologian, and, for any important conference he had to give, he would retire to Chikuni to pray, read and prepare. Once sisters involved in health care had a day's seminar on the Theology of Healing. His phrase, "Healing begins at the door of the hospital” lasted with them for a long time.

People found him approachable, kind, caring and simple. 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. And he was unassuming. Often in a crowd, one would ask, “Which is the bishop?”

From Colm Brophy's homily at a Memorial Mass in Monze:

His nephew, Dr. John Sheehan—who worked here in Monze hospital—was with him when he was dying. John saw his breathing was very bad and asked him if he was in pain and could he give him something for the pain. Bishop James, in his typical way, said: “No, thanks very much, I'm all right”. - and then held out his hand and shook hands with his nephew John and said: “Good-by now, God bless you”. And then he died, That handshake, that “Good-by now, God bless you” was his “Good-by, God bless you” for all of us.

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
Final Vows: 15 August 1959, Charles Lwanga College, Chikuni, Zambia
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, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1926, Chies del Gesù, Rome, Italy
Died: 17 March 1978, Milltown Park, Dublin - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03 December 1969

Unlce of Jimmy McPolin - RIP 2005

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
Final Vows: 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.

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 147 : Spring 2012

Obituary

Fr Richard (Dick) Cremins (1922-2012) : Zambia Malawi Province

24 August 1922: Born in Dublin.
Early education: Blackrock College, UCD and 1 year at King's Inns (legal studies)
1943: Obtained a BA Degree in Legal and Political Science in 1943 from UCD
5 October 1943: Entered Emo
October 1945: First Vows: Emo
1946 - 1949: Tullabeg, studying Philosophy
1949 - 1951: Belvedere - Regency
1951 - 1952: Mungret College, Teaching, Prefecting
1952 - 1955: Milltown Park, studying Theology
28th July 1955: Ordained
1955 - 1956: Milltown Park, 4th Year Theology
1956 - 1957: Rathfarnham, Tertianship
1957 - 1958: Zambia, learning the language
1958: Chikuni, Manager of schools
1959 - 1963: Chikuni, Canisius College, Principal
2 February 1961: Final Vows at Chikuni
3 December 1969: Transcribed to Zambia Province
1964 - 1970: Monze, Parish Priest
1971 - 1975: Monze, Chaplain, lay apostolate
1976: Monze, Nairobi, Dublin, recovering health
1976 - 1983: Lusaka, Catholic Secretariat, Chaplain, Lay Apostolate, Secretary for Development
1983 - 1992; St. Ignatius, Director Family Life Movement St. Ignatius,
1983 - 1990: Superior
1990 - 1993: Luwisha House, Director Family Life Movement
1993 - 2007: Lilongwe (opened the house in 1993) FASU consultancy (later FAMLI)
1999 - 2004: Chaplain Lilongwe International Catholic community
2000 - 2001: Assistant Diocesan Pastoral Coordinator
2007 - 2012: Dublin, Cherryfield Lodge, recovering health. Praying for the Church and the Society
21 February 2012: Died Cherryfield

Obituary : Conall Ó Cuinn
Dick grew up in Dublin and was the last surviving sibling, having been predeceased by his brothers, Pat, Gary and Paul, and by his sister, Nora. Though his education at Blackrock College left a strong mark, unlike his brother he was clear that the Holy Ghost Fathers were not for him. General Richard Mulcahy, his mother's cousin, connected him with the turbulent socio-political situation of post-independence and post civil-war Ireland. So it was not surprising that he studied Law and Politics in UCD, including a year at King's Inns. He was a bright student, a formidable debater with a razor sharp sense of humour tinged with a certain killer instinct, not always appreciated by his adversaries, and which sometimes got him into trouble. Having graduated from UCD and passed his first Bar exam, both with 1st class honours, he joined the Society at the then late age of 21, a late vocation, a man of the world. And all of this during World War II.

Zambia--Monze (1957-1975)
Dick spent 50 years living and working in Zambia (Northern Rhodesia for his first 7 years there). He embraced the new State on independence and became a Zambian citizen, a symbolic statement representing a desire to insert himself into Zambian life and culture. This involved revoking his Irish citizenship so that he required a visa each time he needed to visit Ireland. He put down roots in the Chikuni Mission which was later to become Monze Diocese. He arrived there in 1957, just nine years after the first involvement of the Irish Jesuits. From there he later launched himself nationally, and even internationally.

Learning Tonga for a year was always the first task before being thrown into the apostolate. His first job was that of Manager of Schools at a time when the primary education project of the mission was in full swing. He then became Principal of Chikuni Secondary College in the lead up to Independence (1964). Effectively he was educating what would become the leaders of the new Zambian state. And clearly Dick was seen by his superiors as a man of ability and initiative.

In 1962, as the Second Vatican Council was getting underway, James Corboy, then Rector of Milltown Park and Theology Professor, was appointed Bishop of Monze. The Council changed James, as a person and an ecclesiastic. He embraced it as a process, and ever afterwards claimed that the Council was his introduction to theology, especially the seminars given on the fringe of the Council's formal sessions. On his appointment to Zambia he had a clear vision of the importance of the laity and the involvement of the Church in the development of peoples. With that vision he gathered people of the calibre of Dick Cremins around him to promote the project of Vatican II in the new Diocese of Monze. Dick would be a right-hand man when appointed Parish Priest of Monze in 1964 and also Chaplain to the Lay Apostolate movement.

At the same time and at the invitation of Bishop Corboy, the Holy Rosary Sisters were establishing their hospital next door. Dick became great friends with the sisters, a camaraderie and friendship similar to that of siblings in a family, brothers and sisters who supported each other in deep and practical love. This is an occasion to acknowledge and give public thanks for such support and love, and to thank God for it, not just to the Holy Rosary Şişters, but also to the Sisters of Charity, the RSHM sisters (Ferrybank), and the Holy Spirit Sisters (founded also by Bishop Corboy).

Amid the hardship, labour and struggle of those first years there was much fun and laughter. Dick's humour became legendary in the land. For example, rushing out the door at 9.50 a.m. one morning he declared: “I've got to rush. There is a meeting that was due to start at 8.00 am and I don't want to be late!”

And another, told by Sr. Theresa, a Holy Rosary sister. She arrives in the country, fresh with a sociology degree and some notion of community development. Her first task is to interview the PP to avail of his vast experience and local knowledge. Dick lets her ask her questions and avidly write her notes with that neophyte enthusiasm of the recently arrived. “Sister”, interrupts Dick as she begins to ask another question, “I'd like you to know that I've only arrived here myself 3 days ago. So I'm finding my feet too:. They became friends that moment, a friendship which included Theresa sitting by Dick's bed as he lay dying, 38 years later. Such was the quality of friendship on the Mission that we celebrate and acknowledge today.

Shortly after independence when three of the Sisters were PI'd (declared persona ingrata] by the new, youthful and over-confident government, for refusing the orders of local officials regarding medical matters, Dick went to bat for them with the government officials in Lusaka. The PI order was revoked after hours of palaver. Dick came within a hair's breadth of being PI'd himself, so that Zambia nearly lost this “troublesome priest”, a term used to describe him in a government memo on the events.

Zambia -- Lusaka (1976-1993):
Vatican II had taken place; the Decree on the Laity played a central role in Bishop Corboy's strategy. As a result a huge investment was made in the education and training of lay people. Dick, given his experience in Monze, moved to Lusaka in 1976 to take up an appointment at the Catholic Secretariat (set up by Fr. Colm O'Riordan SJ) as National Chaplain to the Lay Apostolate, and Secretary for Development

He was a trailblazing supporter of the National Council of Catholic Women of Zambia, at a time when women were invisible supernumeraries both in the church and in Zambian society. Dick encouraged them to take a lead and use their power. He campaigned hard for them to have an appropriate place both in the church and in African society, and he saw his job as an enabler, giving them the courage to make the moves themselves; so when they came up with an idea and asked him to act on it, he would say No, yours is the voice that should be heard.

Later in 1983, he became Director of the Family Life Movement which tried to implement the teachings of Vatican II on family life. Dick was very much taken with Humanae Vitae when it was published in 1968, and believed its practical teaching could be put into practice if the vision behind it were understood and assimilated. Of course, this was controversial, and in a sense grist to Dick's mill. With determination and humour he developed and led the organization, Famously, he introduced himself to a somewhat sceptical if not hostile international conference with a statement, that he had practiced natural family planning all his life!

So Dick had many friends, and some enemies. An example of such friendships is the message of Clare Mukolwe, now a graduate student at Fordham University in New York:
“A gentle spirit gone before us marked with a sign of faith. I was introduced to Fr Richard Cremins by my mother Grace Mukolwe. They worked together for the National Council of the Laity. Fr Cremins was also my mother's first spiritual director and he introduced Mum to the Ignatian Spirituality retreats. He gave me my first real job straight after high school. It was fun”.

Malawi --Lilongwe (1993-2007)
As a number of Malawian men had joined the Society, Malawi opened up as a mission possibility in the early 90's. Dick was sent to open a new house in Lilongwe and to develop his Family Life apostolate in that country. He worked there for 14 years, until his stroke in 2007. Like a tree being felled, he was suddenly reduced from full health to a state of great disability, both in his walking and in his speaking. He returned to Ireland via Zambia and moved into Cherryfield Lodge, his last home.

Ireland--Cherryfield (2007-2012)
Dick's approach was not one of self-pity. In his usual manner he confronted the problem head on. Getting himself as mobile as possible, and getting himself to speak with some sort of clarity was now his main goal. And with great determination, never accepting to lie down in the face of difficulty or refusal, he achieved much of what he set out to do. The sharp mind and quick wit never deserted him, even after the stroke in March 2007 which crippled and distressed him --- as with characteristic determination he set himself to recover clarity of speech.

An example of his logic and determination had to do with his wheeled walker: All wheeled walkers have two brakes, literally one on the left hand and one on the right hand. But what if your right hand doesn't work, as was the case for Dick and thousands of other stroke victims? Two-handed breaks do not work. They are positively dangerous. If you asked a car driver to break with two break pedals, he argued, there would be carnage on the roads. Why are stroke victims expected to do with two-handed breaks? Such a break doesn't exist, he was told. Should exist, he insisted, and if you won't locate one, I will do so myself. So using the Internet he located one in Sweden. Expensive, but existent. It was bought and functioned well. But he needed to redesign the right handle to suit his withered hand which design he then sent to Sweden where they made it for him and sent back to Ireland for fitting, Where Dick had a will, there was a way: Dick's way, “No” was not an option for Dick when he saw that something was possible.

And again the humour: Matron Rachel McNeil was the subject to which one of Dick's Ditties was addressed:

    Poem to Rachel
Dick has more problems with his vowels
than with his bowels
And therefore needs more alcohol
than Movicol®

Dick died six months short of his 90th birthday. Even to the end of his days in Cherryfield he was a formidable crusader for a number of causes, often a champion against the authorities, and always on the side of life – whether it was through natural family planning, or organising a draughts championship in Cherryfield for men who'd have thought their gaming days were over. He lived life to the full and to the last. In his last week in hospital he had an article accepted for publication in the Furrow, and one in the Irish Catholic. All he needed was a WiFi modem to send it to the editors. Both articles were controversial, questioning the standard version. Both rocked the boat.

Now the questioning and the rocking and the struggling are over. For those who did not know Dick, remember how a chieftain in Tanzania described him: :I know only one human being who is shaped like the paschal candle: Fr Dick Cremins, tall, thin and luminous”. His light faded for us on 21 February, but shines now in a broader heaven.

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
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
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".

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 93 : Autumn/Winter 1997 & Interfuse No 97 : Special Edition Summer 1998

Obituary

Fr Paul Cullen (1936-1997)

9th Feb. 1936: Born at Clonmel, Co. Tipperary
Early education: Christian Bros. School, Clonmel.
7th Sept. 1954: Entered Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1956: First Vows at Emo
1956 - 1959: Rathfarnham: Arts at UCD
1959 - 1962: Tullabeg: Philosophy
1962 - 1965; Zambia: Canisius College: studying language;
Canisius College: teaching
1965 - 1969: Milltown Park; Theology
10th July 1968: Ordained Priest at Milltown Park
1969 - 1972: Zambia; Fumbo Parish, Director and Minister; Canisius College, Teacher
1972 - 1974: Walkinstown Parish, Curate
1974 - 1975: Tertianship, California
1975 - 1977: Walkinstown Parish, Curate
1977 - 1982: Bonnybrook Parish, Curate
1982 - 1985: Ballymun Parish Curate
1985 - 1991: SFX Parish, Gardiner Street, Curate until 1991
1991 - 1997: SFX Parish, Parish Priest
16th Sept. 1997: Died aged 61

The seriousness of Paul's illness was diagnosed 6 months ago. He fought it with great determination. He was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge following major surgery, where he received six months continuous Palliative care.

When his energy was good, Paul planned to visit Lourdes in September with his sister, but this was not to be. In the last few days, it was evident that death was near. He faced death with great calmness and died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge in the afternoon of 16th September 1997. May he rest in Christ's Peace!

AN APPRECIATION OF PAUL CULLEN SJ

This writing runs the risk of falling into the two great errors of funeral homilies which we are wisely warned against - giving a “curriculum vitae” or being a eulogy. All judgement has to be left to the Almighty - with normally no declaration of a saint or a giant - Who knows? More fittingly it has to be in line with the biblical advice, which presents death as novelty, and suggests that we leave the past behind: “Remember not the events of the past..... See I am doing something new” (Is 43.18; cf Rev). And while it is more appropriate to try to figure out the greatness to which Paul has hopefully advanced, some glimpses of the past bring to light aspects of him that are (or are coming) to the fore in his new existence.

Death was far from our minds, as Paul Cullen and I and another who left after a few years joked and laughed in an innocent way, while hay making many years ago in Emo. Our conversation, then, as frequently afterwards, turned to the thrills of Munster hurling. Still, despite the gaiety and the apparent ease, Paul made me alert to the insecurity of life in that lovely midland scene. Quietly now and again, he kept me informed that the old horse Quare Times' was running again - meaning that someone was about to leave or had left the noviceship. He could read the signs of the times better than me or perhaps had his ear more to the ground.

A host of Rathfarnham memories and events come back to mind, hours of tame adventure and good-humour, handball games (Paul liked to win, and I often proved a weak partner) etc. But there were tensions too, in a world where the psychological vision of developing youth was gravely lacking - faith in a rule being paramount - and where the acquiring of erudition was grossly over-valued. The wounds Paul suffered there left a deep mark on him. Yet for this there was never any personal bitterness in him - he could readily laugh at the characters of the past - just the plain recognition that the “times and seasons” of that period needed to be changed. His and my blatant revulsion at a refusal to be allowed to listen to a Munster hurling final led to a secret “escapada”, with the aid of an accomplice (since left), to the seismograph house, where the unbecoming world outside gave us some cheer. Our quiet defiance was just an indication that something was rotten in the state we were in, and that “aggiornamento” was called for.

I could go on prolonging the drama of light and shade in his noble character over many years. It was the struggle that was part of his existence, and which sprang basically from his goodness. There were great depths of kindness, sympathy, generosity and love in him, which ever longed for fuller expression. He needed his own freedom and the assurance of encouraging affirmation, to allow these to calmly blossom - something Paul did not always experience, since others, alas, are disjointed too. Yet his truest qualities always marked his life and his winning ways, even when the legitimate circumstances and drives of others and their different views curtailed him and did not smooth his path. He found it hard to accept preferences shown to others. He was intuitively shrewd at assessing people, but was, at times, intolerant of their incapacities or limitations. I have never heard him express an idea that was totally wide of the mark!

He had clear views on the role of a priest. He often quoted what a man once said to him: “Your job, Father, is to keep the God dimension alive in my life”. He was a good parish priest - I can vouch for this myself - with a disposition that left him close to ordinary people. His “forte” tended to be in the charismatic, spontaneous sphere. He might have been more at ease as a secular parish priest. Challenged settings did not suit him.

I have not dwelt enough on his sense of humour, his openness towards life, his profound faith, and the serenity and dignity of his end - something those who knew him well would have expected. It has been said, “As a person lives so he dies”. And doesn't the Bible say that the worldly find it hard to die? Paul was very humble, vividly conscious of human frailty, and used to yielding to life's whims.

And so he has gone forward to probably the stretch called purgatory - which we'll all most likely have to go through. There in the words of Dante, the human soul is purged, 'e di salire al ciel diventa degno'. This marvellous writing on the high peaks to be climbed with difficulty, finishes with a moving account of the complete confession of sins made in shame and humility, and with the washing in the river of forgetfulness, and that of renewal, which magnifies the good deeds of the past. And then it's on to eternal glory - to the heaven allotted to each by the Creator - perhaps even to the highest: “al ciel ch'e pura luce, luce intellettual, piena i amore, amor di vero ben, pien di letizia: letizia che trascende ogni dolzore”.

Paul is the first of our novitiate to go. He was never a beadle or a superior - yet what cares the scales of eternity for such honours! - but has been chosen by God for something greater. He is the one who has gone before us, to be our leader, sharing for us in Christ's role of being 'the pioneer and perfecter of our faith'. He has departed to play his part in hopefully bringing the rest of us to glory. The more one ponders over this, the more one gets a glimpse of the wisdom and the originality of God.

It is inspiring to reflect on the wonderful creature that Paul now is. His dying is not sad, being a call and a mission of love. May divine glory shine through him, creating in him his final adornment. He is hopefully at peace in Christ, and remains as he always was, though now to an unimaginable degree augmented, a comforting friend to many.

James Kelly

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 06 January 1978, Milltown Park, Dublin
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.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 105 : Special Edition 2000

Obituary

Fr Shaun Curran (1929-1999)

29th Dec.1924: Born in Dublin.
Early education: St. Vincent's CBS Three years' Projectionist's course at Kevin St. Institute of Technology.
2nd Oct. 1946 Entered the Society at Emo.
3rd Oct. 1948 First vows at Laval, France.
1948 - 1950: Laval, Juniorate.
1950 - 1953: Tullabeg, studying philosophy.
1953 - 1956: Belvedere College, Regency.
1956 - 1960: Milltown Park, Studying theology
31st July 1959: Ordained priest at Milltown Park
1960 - 1961: Rathfarnham, Tertianship
1961 - 1963: Chikuni Mission, Zambia
1963 - 1964: Rathfarnham, Chaplain D.I.T. Rathmines
1964 - 1967: Gardiner St., Minister, Director SFX Hall
1967 - 1968: Mungret College, First Prefect
1968 - 1972: Milltown Park, Minister, Film Work
1972 - 1982: Glencree, Peace work
1982 - 1984: Milltown Park, work for Itinerants
1984 - 1985: Canada, sabbatical year
1985 - 1993: Milltown Park, work at St. Declan's School for Travellers.
1993 - 1999: Cherryfield Lodge, House administration, Treasurer;

Shaun took ill in Clongowes where he was making his retreat and was admitted to Naas hospital on 16th July '99 with heart failure and an acute asthma attack. He returned to Cherryfield Lodge for a short period before admission to St. Vincent's Private Hospital on 3rd August, following a relapse. He died peacefully on the morning of Saturday, 14th August

Paul Leonard writes ...
Shaun Curran's formation in the Province was very routine. The one exception to the normal course was that he was sent to do his juniorate in Laval, France. It was a time he enjoyed and he had a warm admiration for his rector there, Father Roisin, who had written a book on "The Art of Better Government". He always made anything he wanted you to do seem like a compliment to himself, Shaun used always say. He also had Fr Bertrand de Marjoire as his French teacher and he expressed his gratitude for his teaching as "he never let me get away with anything." Probably it was at Laval that he developed his absorbing interest in Formula One car racing.

After his ordination he was posted to a number of different offices, 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 that he would stay there for a few months, make a film of the mission, then go on to Hong Kong, do the same there and return to work from our Irish Jesuit Mission Office. In Zambia he was asked to do the work of a man who had become ill, and remained there for a good time until he was summoned by Provincial Telegram to return to the Province. He was appointed as chaplain to the D.I.T. in Rathmines for a year, then on to Gardiner Street to be Minister and Director of S.F.X. Hall. He initiated the installation of central heating in Gardiner Street. He had one serious confrontation with his Superior whom he reminded that he had never had a Minister for more than one year. That evening his Superior invited him to come to a film with him, an invitation Shaun readily accepted. He was never a man to hold grudges and was grateful that his Superior was the same. From then on the relationship was cordial. After Gardiner Street he spent a year in Mungret as First Prefect and then moved on to Milltown where he was minister and did some lecturing on film work. Milltown was to be the centre of his operations for a number of years. It was from there he went to Glencree to set up the Peace Centre. A new pioneering work, in which for a number of months he lived in a caravan, feeding himself on Corn flakes and orange juice on the cold and desolate mountain side. He had an excellent committee but was short of funds for the centre. He spent a lot of time and travel trying to raise funds.

He visited Northern Ireland often and had many ecumenical contacts and friends. He also did a trip to the States where a journey covering many States was organised for him. One of his memories was of being met at an 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 was praying with a Protestant Minister at a service when the minister collapsed and Shaun had to complete the service himself, which he did as best he could. (There were no canonical reverberations to his obliging adaptability.)

He was helped in his Glencree peace work by a committee, which included Lady Wicklow and Mr Bewley, whom he admired greatly. After his ten years at Glencree, he turned to work for the itinerants, forming a school for them. This was interrupted by a well-deserved Sabbatical year, which he spent in Canada. On his return he continued his work in establishing the school for itinerants. Funds were meagre (much less than when the school was handed over to a Government sponsored body!). Shaun had to beg for money to buy a bus to collect his pupils and deliver them home after school. He liked the work and got on well with his pupils. “The travellers are great”, he used to say, “especially when they see that you trust them”.

His work at the school waas quite wearing and people became concerned about his life-style. He was persuaded to have a health check up where, not surprisingly, they discovered a number of things were wrong with him. They only attempted to remedy the most urgent. Shortly after this he had to face heart surgery from which he recovered well and came to Cherryfield. Father Keelaghan's discerning eye saw how well he fitted in with both patients and staff and he invited him to stay on, which his Superiors allowed. So he remained in Cherryfield and was available to everyone, staff and patients. If there was any crisis Father Curren could cope with it, mending erratic television sets, radios and razors as well as broken dishwashers and washing machines or dryers. He was knowledgeable on mechanical things as well as being patient and skilful in mending them. He got a special happiness in helping the patients, especially if they were disturbed or wanted help. He was particularly kind to Father Frank Chan when he was in the palliative unit in St Mary's, Harold's Cross, visiting him everyday, bringing him anything he needed or thought might help him. He was also attentive to the needs of the staff and often offered to drive them home on wet evenings. He did not make a compliment of this. It was for him the natural thing to do.

The nursing staff at Cherryfield knew he was not as strong as he appeared and watched over him carefully. At times he would be confined to bed, be forbidden his office and have his computer unplugged. The judgement of the nurses was often proved right. A few times when he went away he returned in bad shape, once or twice from his holidays in the sun and finally after his retreat in Clongowes where the journey from the dining room to his living room he found exhausting. He got an asthma attack and was admitted to Naas Hospital with heart failure. He was full of gratitude to Clongowes for the speed with which they got him to hospital and of praise for Naas Hospital “a really democratic hospital”. He was discharged to return to Cherryfield. He remained with us only a few days and then was admitted to St Vincent's Private Hospital for special care. It was thought that his illness might be prolonged. 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 August 14th after his breakfast.

In the ensuing darkness of his absence many of us in Cherryfield were left confused and sad.

May he rest in peace.

Paul Leonard SJ

Delaney, Hubert, 1929-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/557
  • Person
  • 24 October 1929-01 April 2001

Born: 24 October 1929, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1966, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 01 April 2001, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Hubert Delaney was born in Dublin on 24 October 1929. After secondary school at the Christian Brothers in Dublin, Hubert entered the Civil Service for 15 months. However a higher calling brought him to the novitiate at Emo Park in 1948. He did the normal course of studies, B.A., philosophy, regency and then theology at Milltown Park in Dublin and crowned them with his ordination to the priesthood on 1962.

After tertianship, his life was lived in educational work. Up to 1974, secondary education occupied him, first at Belvedere College as prefect of studies of the Junior School followed by a year at Clongowes Wood College as teacher and higher line prefect. This was again followed by a three year stint as Headmaster at Gonzaga College in Dublin.
He moved from this into tertiary education and it was philosophy which absorbed his interests for the rest of his life. He lectured at the Milltown Institute in philosophy for eight years up to 1982. He continued lecturing but also studied for his M.A. in philosophy at Trinity College Dublin. He later obtained a Doctorate at Cork University and then went on a sabbatical 1989/1990. He went back to the Milltown Institute as lecturer and was also Director of the Lonergan Centre. He took a year off lecturing and went to Leeson Street as writer and researcher. For two years, 1993 to 1995, he was a tutor in philosophy at the Milltown Institute.

A complete change of venue brought him to Zambia, Africa, to the University of Zambia in Lusaka, invited by Fr Dillon-Malone, head of philosophy there. He stayed for a year lecturing and returned to Ireland to write but he first moved to Korea to lecture for a semester at Sogang University in Seoul. He was back in Leeson Street in 1997 as writer and doing research work again.

His health had not been good. He developed a serious heart condition and other ailments which hospitalised him several times. A stroke in March 2001 sent him to the Mater Hospital. Cerebral apathy and liver disease were diagnosed. All these led to his death on 1 April 2001.

Spontaneous testimony came from two of his former students who later became members of the staff of the Milltown Institute. Both spoke of him as a wonderful teacher, interesting, stimulating, challenging, but, most significant of all, he invited one to enter into a personal engagement and psychological growth. In his teaching he was not only the educator but also the pastor and the priest.

Friendship and service were two of Hubert's qualities. There were many on-going friendships with his former pupils and their families, as well as in the Jesuit communities in which he lived and in the family of his brother Peter. The Morning Star Hostel for ‘down and outs’, the Patricians, the Cenacle Retreat House were some of the areas where Hubert was of service. He had a love of literature, of classical music and of football. He missed all these when he came to Zambia for a year. After all, he was 66 years of age when he came and it is so difficult to make new friends and to fit into a new culture at that age .However he was of service at UNZA when he did come. Hubert's life was one of developing the talents that God had given him, a life centred on his priesthood and on the Mass.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 108 : Special Edition 2001

Obituary

Fr Hubert Delaney (1929-2001)

24th Oct. 1929: Born in Dublin
Early education in St.Patrick's, Drumcondra and CBS, Richmond Street, Dublin.
1947 - 1948: 15 Months in Civil Service
8th Sept 1948: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept 1950: First vows at Emo
1950 - 1953: Rathfarnham, studying Arts at UCD
1953 - 1956: Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1956 - 1959: Belvedere - Teacher, H.Dip in Ed. at UCD
1959 - 1963: Milltown Park - studying Theology
31 July 1962: Ordained at Milltown Park
1964 - 1964: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1964 - 1965: Crescent College, Limerick - Teacher
1965 -1970: Belvedere College: Prefect of Studies of Junior school
2nd Feb 1966: Final Vows
1970 - 1971: Clongowes: Higher Line Prefect and teacher
1971 - 1974: Gonzaga College: Headmaster
1974 - 1982: Milltown Park - Lecturer in Philosophy at Milltown Institute
1982 - 1985: Lecturing in Philosophy at Milltown Inst. studying for MA in Phil. Ed. at TCD
1985 - 1989: Doctorate studies in Philosophy at UCC
1989 - 1990: Sabbatical
1990 - 1992: Lecturer in Philosophy at Milltown Institute; Director, Lonergan Centre
1992 - 1993: Leeson St; Writer and Research
1993 - 1995: Tutor in Philosophy at Milltown Institute
1995 - 1996: Lecturer in Philosophy at UNZA, Lusaka Writer;
1996 - 1997: Lecturer in Philosophy at Sogang University, Seoul, Korea (Spring semester)
1997 - 2001: Leeson St; Writer & Research; Chair Virgin Mary School Board, Ballymun
1st April 2001: Died in the Mater Hospital, Dublin

In 1997 Hubert developed a serious heart condition, cardio myopathy, for which he was receiving regular medical treatment. Within the past three years he was hospitalised several times - to have an artificial knee joint fitted, a hip joint replaced and multiple skin grafts on his legs.

The state of his health had been declining noticeably since last September and even more so since February of this year. On March 21s he suffered a stroke and was admitted to the Mater Hospital, where cerebral apathy and liver disease were diagnosed. The combination of his many ailments led rapidly to renal failure, which was the immediate cause of his death.

Des. O Grady preached at Hubert's Funeral Mass...

Hubert has us all where he wants us now - gathered together with him as his sisters and brothers in our Father's house. We are brought together here by our love of Hubert and by the faith we share with him, our faith in the power and love of God who is the Father of us all: “the Father from whom every family, whether spiritual or natural, takes its name”.

We are brought together today by our sorrow and our need, by our desire for the support we find in the company of one another and by our need to pray for Hubert, to give thanks for the gift he has been to us, and to surrender him back to the Father. In doing so we echo the faith of Job, which is also the faith of Hubert: “I know that my redeemer lives... These eyes of mine will gaze on him and find him not aloof”.

Jesus lives now for Hubert as the one who has gone before him to prepare a place for him. We pray that Hubert will now hear the words: “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord”.

We need not be in any doubt about Hubert's being welcomed into our Father's house. If we who are so poor in love always had a welcome for Hubert in our homes, how much more will our heavenly Father welcome him into his true home now. Unprofitable servants we may be, but beloved children first and last.

Our confidence for Hubert today is our confidence in the Father's love for him. That love has showered gifts on Hubert in this life, gifts that Hubert has turned to good account for us as our presence here today testifies more eloquently than anything I can say

If one looks through the official record of Hubert's assignments as a Jesuit priest Hubert's commitment to education is what stands out most of all. Hubert has worked at all levels of education - primary, secondary and tertiary, as well as in adult education. He taught in Belvedere, Clongowes, the Crescent, and in Gonzaga. He served as prefect of studies in the junior school in Belvedere and as headmaster in the senior school in Gonzaga.

In 1974 Hubert came to Milltown and began his career in third level education and I had spontaneous testimony to the value of his work there from two of his former students who are now members of the staff of the Milltown Institute. Both spoke of him as a wonderful teacher: interesting, stimulating, challenging, but most significant of all, as inviting one to personal engagement and growth. In his teaching he was not only the educator, but the pastor and the priest.

Hubert was able to teach so well because he himself was a lifelong student. And if we look at the topics of his MA thesis, “Imagination in Aristotle”, and his Ph.D. dissertation, “The Self-correcting Process of Learning”, we will realize that Hubert's study, though enjoyed for itself, was always focussed on the service of others. Hubert, like his Lord and Master, was among us as one who serves, and we have all benefited from the graces that God has given to Hubert.

That, as I said, is the official record. But off the record there is a whole parallel world of friendship and service; the Teams of Our Lady, the Morning Star, the Patricians, the Cenacle Retreat House, to name but some of the ones I know of Added to that there is his on-going friendship with many of his former pupils and their families, and, last but not least, his presence in his Jesuit communities and in the family of his brother Peter.

As we pray for Hubert today we can draw confidence from our faith in God and from the evidence of God's love in the gifts and graces he has showered upon Hubert, gifts Hubert turned to good account in his priestly life. Hubert's priesthood was at the centre of his life. He shared the word of God with us all and he gave of himself unsparingly. And at the heart of his every day and every work was the Mass.

There is so much more that could be said - his love of nature, and the joy and inspiration he drew from it - his doctoral dissertation about human development was entitled “The Tree of Life”. Then there was his love of literature. During the last few months he was reading again the novels of Jane Austen. Then there was music - mainly classical, and, of course, football.

Right up to the end Hubert enjoyed all of these. The day before he went to hospital for the last time, just two weeks ago today, he was, much against my wishes, let it be said, in Ballymun to chair a Board meeting of the Virgin Mary School, and then after than he spent the evening with his friends, Michael and Aileen Hardigan. The following day Hubert was too weak to get himself out of bed in the morning, and had to be taken to the Mater Hospital where, in spite of the best efforts of the doctors and nurses he died on Sunday morning of renal failure.

He died, yet he lives. He lives on in our hearts and our thoughts but also, we confidently trust, in our Father's home where he continues to work for us and bless us.

Diffely, Edward, 1916-1993, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 10 April 1916, Cloonfad, Co Roscommon / Wood Quay, Galway
Entered: 07 September 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1950, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
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.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Eddie Diffley (1916-1993)

10th April 1916: Born, Cloonfad, Roscommon
7th Sept. 1934: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1936: First Vows at Emo
1936 - 1939: Rathfarnham, Arts at UCD
1939 - 1942: Philosophy at Tullabeg, Offaly
1942 - 1944: Clongowes - Regency, Teacher, H.Dip in Ed
1944 - 1948: Milltown Park, Theology
30th July 1947: Ordained by Archbishop J.C. McQuaid at Milltown Park
1948 - 1949; Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1949 - 1954; St. Ignatius, Galway - Teacher
1954 - 1962: Belvedere College - Teacher
1962 - 1964: Tullabeg - Retreats
1964 - 1966: Milltown Park/Rathfarnham - Retreats
1966 - 1968; Zambia - Retreats, Teacher, Minister
1968 - 1971: Manresa - Retreats
1971 - 1993: St. Ignatius, Galway - Minister, Teacher, Rowing Coach
22nd Sept. 1993: Died at St. Ignatius, Galway

In the evening of 22nd of September, 1993, Fr, Eddie Diffely was taken ill suddenly at St. Ignatius, Galway and within a few short minutes, he died in the presence of three or four of his friends in the community. Although Eddie had not been well for some while past, 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.

Eddie Diffely was born in Cloonfad, Co. Roscommon in 1916. Shortly afterwards, the family moved to Wood Quay, Galway. He was educated in St. Joseph's College, run by the Patrician Brothers, for whom he had a lifelong regard, and later in Coláiste Iognáid. He entered the Jesuit novitiate at Emo in 1934 and was ordained at Milltown Park 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 Tognáid 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 influence. He was strong and athletic with a 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. In Galway, he was a co founder of St. Kieran's Gaelic Football club, which flourished for a considerable number of years. His interest in Irish politics continued through life.

His great interest, however, was in rowing. As a schoolboy, he and a few contemporaries organised the first rowing crew to appear on the river for many years, this was in the early thirties and the college rowing club has played a large part in the history of Galway rowing ever since.

Rowing appealed to Eddie for many reasons, its competitiveness, its striving for excellence through regular training, the travel involved to various regattas, its whole social dimension. His immense enthusiasm conveyed itself to the boys and to the many coaches who helped him in the training. Rowing, more than any other activity, widened his range of friends, not only in Ireland - North and South - but in Britain and further afield. 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 contact growing 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, social caste. He had an extraordinary ability for recognising people even after a lapse of many years and recalling not only their names but also many aspects of their lives - their families and relations, especially any who were ill or incapacitated, their careers and way of life. Despite the huge range of his friends, people somehow felt that Eddie had a special regard for them and treasured their friendship.

He loved company and social occasions. He enlivened every one of these, baptisms and weddings, anniversaries and club socials, even funerals, with his sense of fun, his swapping of yarns, his singing - both solo and as part of the general chorus. Consequently he was greatly in demand for all such festivities.

It was not all just fun. There was an aspect of Eddie's friendships known mainly by his closer friends. Many of these can recall times when in the midst of all the conviviality, someone would tap him on the shoulder and Eddie would be asked to see a person - man or woman - who wished to have a word with him. Right away, he would join whoever it was, go off to another room or into a hidden corner and would be away for quite a while. God alone knows the number of people - mostly men - some of whom had not darkened the door of a church for many years, who were brought back to friendship with God and to the practice of their religion through a chance meeting with him at a wedding or regatta. Others undoubtedly unloaded their problems or were consoled in times of bereavement or trial.

The impression might be given from all this activity that this was a disorganised life, each day a round of hectic engagements, carried out in haphazard fashion. In fact, it was exactly the opposite. Eddie was meticulous in fulfilling his engagements and went to great lengths to keep appointments. A close friend who travelled to Belfast with him on the Saturday before he died said that his main concern on the way home was to be in time for the Mass which he had arranged to say for the students in the school on the Sunday.

He was very faithful to the way of life he had undertaken. Number one in Eddie Diffely's book were his priesthood and Jesuit vocation. No one was ever under any illusion about his commitment to these. Where others of the clergy might appear on social occasions in casual dress, he invariably wore the clerical garb. One of his closest friends remembers his first appearance as President of the Irish Rowing Union at a function of the Ulster Branch in Belfast. Rowing in the North is largely the preserve of the various Protestant denominations and it was an unusual experience for them to be addressed by a Jesuit priest in full clericals. They were soon won over by Eddie's friendliness and laid-back manner and many of them became good friends of his over the years.

Another aspect of Eddie's priesthood was his faithfulness to the Mass and the breviary. These were never omitted no matter what other activities were crowded into his day. His Masses were offered sometimes in unusual surroundings - in factories, canteens, club houses and in the open air at regattas. One man I spoke to recalled a Mass offered at Fermoy regatta with the bonnet of a car as the altar near the finish-point of the races. During the Mass, a great cheer went up urging the Jes crew on to greater efforts. “Hold it, hold it for two minutes”, came from Eddie, and the crowd at the finish witnessed the scene of Eddie clad in vestments urging the lads on for a win. For him, Mass was part of daily life. Those who attended those Masses vouch for the fact that quite a number from other clubs joined in the prayers and celebration.

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 off the offender with typical Diffely eloquence. Nor did it always end with mere words.

I remember, soon after I took over from Eddie as games-master in Coláiste lognáid in 1954, we were present at a match in Carraroe, featuring St. Kieran's and the local club. It was a crucial game and the excitement was intense. We were standing near a group of Carraroe supporters including a local business-man named O'Shea and the verbal battle between Eddie and himself got more and more heated. Finally O'Shea roared “If it weren't for the collar, I'd show you....” with various expletives. Eddie tore off his collar, followed by his jacket: they squared up to each other and if the crowd had not intervened, there would have been real damage done.

Such episodes only emphasised the general goodness of his life. Generosity and a desire to help deserving causes were always part of Eddie's apostolate. We were always aware of this but it was only after his death that the extent of his commitment became apparent. He was particularly interested in the Cheshire Homes for disabled people and took an active part in their fund-raising efforts to found a house in Galway. Apart from actual fund-raising, he was always available for Masses and functions of all kinds. After his death, a considerable sum of money was found among his effects and a long list of charities which benefited from his efforts - the Cheshire Homes, Simon, the Samaritans and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

The last few years of Eddie's life saw a serious deterioration in his health, with was a continual source of concern for all his friends. The years of intense activity began to take their toll. Severe arthritis in different parts of his body, but especially in his legs, caused considerable pain which could only be relieved by regular injections, 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 his 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.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Bob Mc Goran

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, Valkenburg, Netherlands
Final vows: 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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 126 : Christmas 2005

MISSIONED TO ZAMBIA : MAURICE DOWLING

Taken from some 50 “portraits” submitted by Tom McGivern, who works in the Archives of the Province of Zambia Malawi.

The family of Fr. Maurice used to spend a month or two of the summer in Skerries, a seaside resort in Co. Dublin. He was a keen, strong swimmer and one morning, as a teenager, 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 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 passage and silently handed the paper to his son. This incident in some way sums up a characteristic of Maurice which developed at that age - modest in his achievements and helpful to others.

He was born in 1896. 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 for their secondary education. At the age of 18, on August 18th 1914, Maurice entered the Jesuits at Tullabeg, and followed the normal course of studies followed by Irish Jesuits of the time. He was ordained on August 27th 1929. In the thirties, he spent some time in the colleges (e.g. the Crescent, Limerick) as teacher and prefect. As a young Jesuit, he learned to speak Irish, spending many a holiday in the Gaeltacht. 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.

Come the Second World War, Maurice 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 travelling. As he lay on the ground in his own blood, he heard one of the rescuers say to another, as he nodded 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 volunteered in 1946, to be followed by two more in 1947 - Maurice and 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, 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 M 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 weekend to say Mass, long before the station was opened there in 1957; also to Kalomo still further south. Then back to the school for another week of teaching. In 1962 he went to the newly built mission in Namwala as the first resident priest, bringing with him some Sisters of Charity. Later, in 1964, he moved to Civuna.

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 had 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.

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.

Dunne, James, 1921-2014, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/845
  • Person
  • 22 May 1921-07 November 2014

Born: 22 May 1921, Kilbeggan, County Westmeath
Entered: 07 November 1949, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final vows: 02 February 1960, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 07 November 2014, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969; ZAM to HIB 1979

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

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
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 Joe McCarthy Entry
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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 158 : Winter 2014

Obituary

Br James (Jim) Dunne (1921-2014)

22 May 1921: Born in Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath.
Early education at Rahugh National School and CBS Tullamore.
Worked in the family business
7 November 1949: Entered the Society at Emo
8 November 1951: First Vows in Zambia
1951 - 1959: Chivunia Mission, Zambia – Teacher in technical and building skills
1959 - 1960: Manresa, Roehampton - Tertianship
1960 - 1974: Bishop's House, Monze - Builder
2 February 1960: Final Vows at Chikuni
1974 - 1981: Belvedere College - Minister
1981 - 1983: CIR - Secretary to the College
1983 - 1985: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street - Minister; Supervisor of staff
1985 - 1987: Tullabeg - Minister
1987 - 1988: Tullabeg - Sabbatical; studying Theology at Milltown Institute
1988 - 1995: Milltown Park - Treasurer
1995 - 1999: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street - Assisted in the church
1999 - 2007: Milltown Park - Assisted in the Community
2007 - 2014: Cherryfield Lodge – Prayed for the Church and the Society

Brother Jim Dunne was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 13th July 2007. He was a happy resident and enjoyed fairly good health over the years. His condition deteriorated over time and he died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

On Friday, 7th November 2014, Brother Jim Dunne, a member of the Milltown Park community, died at Cherryfield Lodge, at the age of 93 years and several months - a monumental age for a man of many monuments. Always a man of few words, Jim became more quiet-spoken as the years advanced. But underneath this quiet exterior lay a deeply spiritual man whose longings and desires were always for the Lord and how he could use his talents to make the love and service of Christ our Lord a reality in his own life, as well as in the lives of his fellow-Jesuits and the many individuals whom he encountered during his many years with us.

From the very beginning of his religious life, Jim was a rock-solid man of God. Very early witness to this was the trust that the Irish Provincial, Fr. Tommy Byrne, placed in him by sending him in his second year as a novice to Northern Rhodesia, to what was then a newly developing world for Irish Jesuits. Jim was just over 30 at the time, mature in years but still grappling with the beginnings of the religious life. However, there was no need for any fear about the depth of his commitment. His solid spirituality stood by him through the long sea and rail journey from London (via Cape Town) to Chisekesi and on to Chikuni, where he arrived early in September 1951, and during the months of learning Chitonga in the somewhat spartan conditions that then prevailed. And it never deserted him after he took vows in Chikuni on the feast of St. Stanislaus Kostka later that year. This gave Jim the remarkable distinction of being the only Irish Jesuit ever to take his First Vows in what today is Zambia. He reaffirmed his Jesuit commitment on 2nd February 1960 when he took his Final Vows, again at Chikuni.

Endowed with great practical intelligence, Jim brought into the Society a wide range of skills developed and exercised in the family's workshop not far from Tullamore. Construction, artistic brick-laying, carpentry, joinery, plumbing, electrical work – he took all of these in his stride, almost as if they were second nature to him, and yet he was always prepared to learn more from those who were more qualified than he was. Jim was also a gifted manager, with a flair for organising and getting the right people, with the right tools and equipment, into the right place at the right time. His ability to give directions simply and effectively, and his own manifest skills, helped greatly in building up confident teams of proficient and well-motivated building workers. Working with and through these, Jim became key to building-development in what was to become the Diocese of Monze. But in addition to the buildings that bear his stamp even today, Jim also left a great monument in the skills that he passed on to the local people with whom he worked. He was very particular that anything he turned his hand to should be of the highest quality and he always tried to make sure that his trainees and workers would also be concerned not just with getting a job done but with getting it done to the highest possible standards.

One of Jim's earliest assignments was to develop and run with Father Joe McCarthy the Civuna Trades Training Institute (TTI). In time, the TTI gave way to a secondary school for girls, but not before, under Jim, it had qualified several hundred first-rate carpenters and brick-layers who fanned out to bring building development across much of the southern part of Zambia. Later, when the Diocese of Monze was established, Jim became in effect its building manager, working closely with Fr. Fred Moriarty and others in the development of Kizito Catechetical Centre, churches, parish houses, schools, and houses for teachers and catechists.

In the strangely coincidental ways in which God's providence works, another Jesuit Brother from the Irish Province came to Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) in 1952, one year after Jim's arrival in Chikuni. This was Pat McElduff who in his younger years had done some of his apprenticeship as a tradesman in Rahugh on the borders of Westmeath and Offaly where, in the years before he joined the Jesuits, Jim himself had been trained. The two knew each other from these early years and now they found themselves working together again, this time on a larger canvas. And almost after the manner of the Apostles Peter and Paul, building responsibilities were assigned to them in different ways: Jim became responsible for all projects that belonged to Monze Diocese, while Pat took on those that belonged to the Jesuits (or Chikuni Mission). As a result of this arrangement, for the last period of his life in Zambia, from 1960 to the time of his return to Ireland in 1974, Jim lived in what was to become the Bishop's house in Monze. While he was happy there and got on very well with Bishop Corboy and the rest of the community, at times he felt almost out of his depth and yearned for more interaction with the fellow-Jesuits he had lived with in earlier days. In the way of many quiet people, things sometimes got through to Jim, making him feel that bit down in himself. However, as a solid religious man, he would not let this interfere with his commitment as a hard working Jesuit but would eventually regain his equilibrium through his prayer, work, community involvement and, sometimes, rest and better physical health.

Jim was a very agreeable companion, one who was easy and enjoyable to live with. He was quiet in his manner but this did not stop him enjoying a game of cards, a good movie or the comradeship of a walk in the evening with one of the community. He was greatly loved by the Batonga people among whom he worked and is particularly remembered for the concern he showed that their marriages be happy and stable and that their children attend school. He showed special kindness and understanding towards Jesuit scholastics newly arrived in the country and was particularly attentive to their health needs; many a young Jesuit received gentle but firm admonitions from him about taking their anti-malaria medicines or wearing a hat until acclimatised to the sun.

Ironically, it was malaria that brought Jim's years in Zambia to a close. He contracted fever in days long before Artemesin or other drugs could provide powerful protection. Though frequently quite unwell, he continued with his work as best he could, but in time developed a recurrent form of malaria that was intractable to treatment. In the circumstances, the Holy Rosary Doctor-Sisters (Lucy O'Brien, Maureen O'Keeffe, Eileen Kane) advised that he return permanently to Ireland, because remaining in Zambia would always mean serious health problems for him.

So it was that after 23 years in Zambia, from 1951 to 1974, Jim returned to Ireland and was re-incorporated into the Irish Province. Until his mid-80s he was busy, a wonderful man to have on your side, practical and resourceful, moving where he was needed, always concerned about those around him; ever seeking perfection in anything undertaken by him or any of those for whom he was responsible; and always, simply always, a solid man of God, devoted and faithful to his religious duties, serving the God he loved through what he could still do, building up others through his sympathetic and understanding nature. Jim, sparing of speech, gentle and perceptive, contributed massively to the smooth running of the five Irish houses in which he served. These were not always the havens of peace one would like to imagine. Belvedere, where he was Minister for seven years, was a settled (I nearly wrote entrenched) community, hard-working but not easy to administer. If Jim was quiet, he was also alert, and concerned about everyone around him. From his sick bed in Cherryfield he would admire and appraise the craft of workmen in the building opposite. His regular greeting of How are you? was no formality. He wanted to know. No wonder he is missed. May God be good to this deeply spiritual Jesuit.

Michael J Kelly

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
Final Vows: 15 August 1966, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
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
Final Vows: 02 February 1953, Southwell House, London, England
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.’

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 147 : Spring 2012

Obituary

Fr John Michael Fitzgerald (1919-2012) : Zambia Malawi Province

29 September 1919: Born in Dublin.
Early education in St. Gerard's, Bray, Clongowes and Trinity College, Dublin
7 September 1937: Entered the Society at Emo
8 September 1939: First Vows at Emo
1939 - 1942: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1942 - 1945: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1945 - 1947: Clongowes - Teacher
1947 - 1951: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31 July 1950: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1951 - 1952: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1952 - 1953: London Institute of Education - Study
2 February 1953: Final Vows
1953 - 1959: Chikuni and Monze – Teacher
1959 - 1960: Charles Lwanga Training College - Teacher
1960 - 1961: SFX Gardiner Street - Church Work and help in Mission Office
1961 - 1970: Sacred Heart Church, Monze -
1962 - 1964: Secretary to Bishop
1964 - 1970: Vice-Superior; Treasurer; teaching in Monze Secondary
1970: Transcribed to Zambia
1972 - 1973: Charles Lwanga – Vice Superior and teaching
1973 - 1976: Australia, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles - Teaching and Pastoral work
1976 - 1978: Chikuni - Teaching
1978 - 1981: Seychelles - Pastoral work
1981 - 1982: Chivuna - Assistant Parish Priest
1982 - 1990: Seychelles – Parish Priest
1992 - 1993: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick - Assisted in Church, Promoter of Missions
1992 - 2001: Seychelles - Pastoral Work
2001 - 2002: Recovering health; Milltown Park - awaiting an assignment
2002 - 2006: Crescent Church, Limerick - Assisted in Church, Promoter of Missions
2006 - 2011; Leeson Street - Chaplain in Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital
2011: Resident in Cherryfield Lodge, praying for the Church and the Society
13th January 2012: Died at Cherryfield

Fr John FitzGerald was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 28th January 2011. He maintained his interest in books and continued to proof-read documents when possible. He was happy in Cherryfield as his condition slowly deteriorated during the year but he remained mentally alert. He died peacefully in the early morning of Friday 13th January 2012. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Obituary : Michael J Kelly
Father John Fitzgerald was born in September 1919, entered the Society in September 1937, was ordained in July 1950, took Final Vows in February 1953, and died in January 2012. On completion of his tertianship and further studies he spent fifty-eight years in active ministry before assuming the ministry of praying for the Church and the Society in Cherryfield Lodge in January 2011. He spent twenty four of these years as a teacher or trainer of teachers in Zambia and thirty-four as a parish priest, pastoral worker and hospital chaplain in the Seychelles, Australia, Papua New Guinea and Ireland.

John was a Jesuit through and through. As a schoolboy in Clongowes he was enormously influenced by the asceticism, Jesuit commitment and joyful holiness of the saintly Father John Sullivan and strove to guide his own life by similar ideals. Throughout his Jesuit training he absorbed the spirit of St. Ignatius to such an extent that he sought always to live according to two of Ignatius' guiding principles: “that in everything God might be glorified” and “go where you see a need”.

And so it was that John threw himself wholeheartedly into whatever teaching or pastoral assignment to which he was missioned, while at the same time showing an almost restless zeal to do more and to respond to the needs and challenges of those in other parts. Like his predecessor Francis Xavier, he lived, as one of his companions in later years put it, “with both feet in mid-air”, always available, always ready to undertake difficult enterprises courageously and cheerfully. In these and so many other ways he was the sort of Jesuit dear to the heart of St. Ignatius.

But Ignatius would not have been alone in this love. In all his diverse assignments John radiated love, gentleness, and kindness and brought out the same qualities in all those with whom he interacted. As the sanctity and mellowness of Father John Sullivan attracted him so strongly from the time of his boyhood, so his own holiness and graciousness attracted others, not just to himself but also to God. In the spirit of one of the hymns for the office of Readings, the Holy Spirit inflamed with love each of his senses so that other souls might kindle thence. For there can be no mistake about it: Father John Fitzgerald was a holy, saintly and very humble man, in the very best sense of each of these words. He sought at all times God's glory, not his own; the well-being and happiness of others in preference to his own. He always wanted that God and others should increase while he himself would decrease, but he strove that this should come about in a way that would give free rein to the Spirit in its work of transforming people.

Long before his death, people spoke of the way they were attracted to John. They spoke of the example of his life, of his generous service, of his uprightness and integrity, of his warm approving manner, of his words of encouragement and understanding, of his generous smiling openness, of his wisdom and gentle humour. It is clear that they found in John a man who in an unselfconscious way shared with all-comers the fruits of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, forbearance, gentleness, faith, courtesy, temperateness, purity”. This then was the man who spent twenty-four years as an apostolic worker in Zambia, twenty in the Seychelles, three in Australia and Papua New Guinea and eleven in Ireland, living and showing in his person the Good News of God's passionate love for every man, woman and child.

On completing his tertianship in 1952, John spent one year at the Institute of Education, University of London, preparing himself for what was to be his initial assignment as a teacher trainer in Zambia (Northern Rhodesia at the time). There he was the right-hand man of Father Bob Thompson (and later of Father John Counihan) in running the training programme, at first within the physical and organisational structures of Canisius College and subsequently at Charles Lwanga Teachers' College when the teacher training was hived off to independent status at this newly established college. During these early years he was closely associated in his work as a trainer of teachers with the “early feminist”, Sister Joseph Helen RSC, who though eleven years John's senior, predeceased him by just four days in her hundred and fourth year.

In one notable respect Charles Lwanga College conferred on John a kind of immortality (his own words), since it was he who advocated that it be called “Charles Lwanga” and not just “Lwanga”. But John's immortality was written more strongly in the many teachers he helped to train, men and women who learned from him not only how to be good teachers but also how to be good people.
The strength of John as a teacher trainer was brought out in a protest from the Zambia Ministry of Education UK-born and Oxford educated inspector for teacher training. When John was redeployed from Charles Lwanga to teach at the government secondary school in Monze, the inspector tartly observed: “You Jesuits are supposed to be great educators. But here you are, taking the best teacher trainer in all Zambia away from the work in which he excels and relegating him to teach in a secondary school”. Characteristically, John's response on being told of this was to deprecate himself and to allege that the inspector had a misguidedly high opinion of him.

John served with great distinction in Monze for several years, and subsequently for short spells in Australia and Papua New Guinea and back again in Zambia at Canisius College. These latter interludes heightened his desire to be engaged in more directly pastoral work, the realisation of which a remarkable intervention of the Spirit set dramatically in train. In 1978, he was requested to accompany an elderly and infirm Jesuit whose condition required that he return to Sri Lanka where he had previously worked. The travel entailed a stopover in the Seychelles where John and his companion were hosted by the local Bishop, the first Seychellois to be appointed to this office. During their brief stay the Bishop painted such a graphic picture of the pastoral needs of his people that on his return to Zambia John felt impelled to seek permission to exercise his apostolic ministry in the Seychelles. The permission was reluctantly given, though at first for only a few years. So began John's apostolic life in the Seychelles where, as the Bishop Emeritus of the islands stated at the time of John's death, “over many years he gave great pastoral and spiritual service to the people of the Seychelle Islands”. There were a few short returns to Zambia, and one on health grounds to Ireland, but for the next twenty-three years John's essential ministry was to the people of the Seychelles whom he heard calling out to him for the Mass, the Sacraments, the Word of God, the compassion of Christ and the presence of the Spirit. Following the footsteps of the Lord whom he loved so wholeheartedly, he saw the people of the Seychelles as sheep without a shepherd, he was filled with pity for them and set out to teach them at length. His ministry extended to every person within the large areas where he served - La Digue, Mont Fleuri (Bon Pasteur parish), Baie Ste Anne and Victoria (the capital city). During these years he also gave greatly appreciated service to the formation of seminarians and to the guidance of members of religious congregations. Well known for his availability and discretion he found himself as the confessor of choice of many religious, including Blessed Teresa of Calcutta at the time she was establishing her congregation in the Seychelles.

Throughout his life, John was an ascetic who lived as poorly as his situation would allow. He had a minimum of personal possessions and could easily pack his few belongings into a single case when moving from one place to another. Although he lived in the idyllic surroundings of the Seychelles, with its enticing sea and beaches, there was never any danger of his becoming a “beach potato”. Indeed, he was almost a decade in the Seychelles before he even walked a beach - and on that occasion he had to get the loan of swim wear before going into the sea.

But John's asceticism took its toll on his health. While in Zambia and Australia, community routines ensured that he was regularly presented with sustaining meals. But living by himself, as he did in the Seychelles, the needs of the poor and the upkeep of the church buildings were a greater priority for him than his body's need for adequate nutritious food. His poor diet gradually led to his becoming physically very run down, necessitating a visit on health grounds to Ireland and eventually to his final departure from the Seychelles and definitive return to Ireland in 2001.

John spent the last decade of his active apostolic life, first in the Crescent Sacred Heart Church in Limerick and, after this was closed, in Leeson Street, Dublin, from where he served as chaplain to the nearby Eye and Ear Hospital. During these years he bore a great deal of physical discomfort, but quietly and without fuss. He was low-key in his presence but always a most gracious helper to colleagues and host to visitors in the Limerick and Leeson Street communities, to those he served from the Sacred Heart Church, and to the patients and staff in the Eye and Ear Hospital. Indeed he was graciousness itself and was noted for his gentle good humour and great smile. These became increasingly more characteristic of him, even as advancing years took their toll. He had the rare gift of being able to listen to others and hear what they were really saying, without letting his own interests, declining health or physical discomfort come between them and him.

Early in 2011, his adverse health condition brought John to his final earthly home, Cherryfield Lodge. Here his gracious and uncomplaining manner, with his gentle and humble disposition, quickly endeared him to the other residents and staff and elicited from them extraordinary care and attention. There are many memories of John's patience and prayerfulness during his last months on earth - his dedication to the Rosary, his wise advice, his graciousness to the almost unending stream of visitors who called to see him, his delight when visited by his brother Julian and members of his family, his generous comments about others, his insightful but ever-gentle humour, his gratitude for any little thing done on his behalf, his reluctance to talk about the pains, bad nights and poor appetite of a man experiencing great physical discomfort, his ability to keep himself abreast of major sporting events, his almost childlike pleasure in the bright skies he could see outside and the flowers that were brought to him in his room.

One memory that endures is very simple. It is of John lifting his pain-filled body to reach towards a nearby vase of roses, allowing the roses to be brought before his face, and his great smile of satisfaction and happiness as he breathed their fragrance and sank back on to his pillow. You could almost hear him say with Simeon of old, “At last, all-powerful Master, you give leave to your servant to go in peace, according to your promise”. Clearly, we had a saint among us and scarcely knew.

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
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
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
Final Vows: 04 April 1962, James Connolly Memorial Hospital, Dublin
Died: 19 April 1962, James Connolly Memorial 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.

Gaffney, David, 1941-2020, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/864
  • Person
  • 23 April 1941-06 May 2020

Born: 23 April 1941, Thomastown, County Kilkenny
Entered: 06 September 1958, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 20 June 1971, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1977, St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia
Died: 06 May 2020, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1963 at Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1974 at Guelph ONT, Canada (CAN S) making tertianship
by 1975 at Lusaka, Zambia (ZAM) working
by 1978 at Pleasanton, CA USA (CAL) studying
by 1981 at Chicago IL, USA (CHG) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/david-gaffney-sj-a-gentle-and-dedicated-jesuit/

David Ga(ney SJ: a gentle and dedicated Jesuit
Irish Jesuit David Gaffney, a native of Thomastown, Kilkenny, passed away in St Vincent’s Hospital on 6 May. He was 79. Due to current government guidelines regarding public gatherings, the funeral is private. A memorial Mass to celebrate David’s life will take place at a later date.

The condolences posted on the RIP.ie website display the high regard and warm affection which people had for him wherever he lived and worked. The same adjectives are used repeatedly: kind, wise, gentle, pleasant, peaceful, caring.

“We joined the Jesuits on the same day, September 6, 1958,” writes Barney McGuckian SJ; “He always edified me with his gentleness but also his tenacity in following the highest ideals of a Jesuit vocation. Gifted intellectually, he placed his God-given talents at the service of ordinary people, both as a writer and as a “hands-on” visitor to their homes.”

In the decades after he joined the Jesuits, David gained a great deal of intellectual and pastoral experience in many parts of the world. After an Arts degree in UCD, he went to Germany to study philosophy, returned to Ireland to study theology, then did further Jesuit formation in Canada before working for three years in a parish in Lusaka, Zambia.

He then worked in the United States in marriage counselling for four years before his definitive return to Ireland in 1982.

In the years since then he worked in marriage and family apostolates and as an editor of various publications. He was a regular columnist at the Kilkenny People and later with The Avondhu for a number of years, writing reflective opinion pieces regularly.

Regarding this work, Conall O’Cuinn, former Jesuit and Rector of Milltown Park, notes that in his articles David wanted to promote truly human values and “worked ceaselessly to ‘vamp up’ in his own mind his writing so that it would be more eye-catching, even if that aspiration was contrary to his retiring personality...”

In all of David’s activities he worked with great grace and devotion.

Read below the appreciation by Conall. He had not known of David’s illness and so says, ” I write this piece as my way of mourning David’s passing, for a passing it is, into the permanent presence of Jesus who leads him into the Joy of the Father.” :

A Gentle Giant
I ‘met’ David first in 1989 when I sent him a letter from Zambia on hearing he had taken over the editorship of Interfuse, an internal Irish Jesuit Province magazine. I had had an article rejected by a previous editor, and, once David took over, I immediately resubmitted it for consideration. By return post, he accepted the article. Since then on he has remained in my good books!

David took his editing and writing seriously, and later, during the years I lived with him in Milltown Park, I witnessed him faithfully send out his articles to provincial newspapers which were still accepting spiritual reflections. He worked ceaselessly to ‘vamp up’ in his own mind his writing so that it would be more eye- catching, even if that aspiration was contrary to his retiring personality, full of a depth that promoted true human values.

His other ‘apostolate’ at that time was Parish Visitation. Day after day he left the comfort of Milltown Park in his legendary anorak, in good, bad, or indifferent weather – “you’d never know, it might rain, or turn cold “- to travel by car across to Cherry Orchard Parish to visit the parishioners in their homes. He went with such dedication that I am sure he had many fans over there who appreciated his sincerity and his unassuming and unimposing manner.

David did not like fuss. He came quietly into a room and left quietly. Ideal for him would be a chat with one or two people in a quiet corner, where his sense of comedy and humour would show. A gathering was enhanced and deepened by his presence, even if he never took centre stage.

Many will remember that driving was not his forte. Smooth transitions from gear to gear eluded him, and he kept the local garage busy in clutch replacement. Eventually, we got an automatic in the community, and he liked that.

David was a member of the Milltown Park Consult. I valued his quite, gently proffered, wisdom. He always looked for the kind step to take, never encouraging harshness, always advising to proceed with gentleness and prudence.

I will always remember him as a gentle giant. He was personable and encouraging, always able to meet you in a way you knew afterwards you had been seen, had been regarded, esteemed, and valued. You felt bigger, never smaller. He did not crush the bruised reed, not extinguish the flickering flame. May he rest gently in the bosom of his Lord.

Conall O’Cuinn 12 May 2020

Early Education at Thomastown NS, Kilkenny; Mungret College SJ

1960-1963 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1963-1966 Pullach, Isartel, Germany - Studying Philosophy at Berchmanskolleg
1966-1968 Belvedere College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying H Dip in Education at UCD
1968-1972 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1972-1973 Manresa House - Socius to Novice Master; Directs Spiritual Exercises
1973-1975 Belvedere College SJ - Teacher
1974 Guelph, ON, Canada - Tertianship at Ignatius Jesuit Centre
1975-1978 Lusaka, Zambia - Assists in Matero Parish
1978-1980 Pleasanton, CA, USA - MA in Counselling at Santa Clara University & Parish work at St Augustine’s Church
1980-1982 Chicago, IL, USA - Marriage Counselling at Our Lady Mount Carmel Church
1982-1987 John Austin House - Marriage & Family Apostolate; Community Co-ordinator; Minister; Bursar
1987-2020 Milltown Park - Parish Assistant, Most Holy Sacrament, Cherry Orchard; Marriage & Family Apostolate
1989 Editor “Interfuse”
1992 Parish Assistant, St Vincent de Paul Parish, Marino
1994 Assistant Editor of “Messenger Booklets”; Family Apostolate
1998 Assistant Editor “Pioneer”
1999 Family Apostolate; Working in “Studies”; Writer
2017 Family Apostolate, Writer

Geoghegan, Anthony J, 1931-2015, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/840
  • Person
  • 31 October 1931-15 November 2015

Born: 31 October 1931, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1949, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1963, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 15 November 2015, John Chula House, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM HIB to ZAM

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 162 : Winter 2015

Obituary

Fr Anthony (Tony) Geoghegan (1931-2015)

Fr. Anthony (Tony) Geoghegan was born and raised in Dublin. There he was educated by the Christian Brothers. In 1949 he entered the Jesuits at Emo Park. He followed the usual course of studies: a degree at UCD (in Irish and English), philosophy in Tullabeg and later theology at Milltown Park. He was ordained in Dublin on 31 July 1963.

Tony spent all his apostolic life in Zambia and Malawi. Coming originally as a scholastic for regency in 1957, he spent time learning Chitonga and then teaching at Canisius Secondary School. When he returned as a priest in 1966, he began a ministry in the classroom that lasted twenty years. He was a teacher and chaplain in a secondary school, a headmaster at a minor seminary, a lecturer in education in a primary teachers' college and later a secondary teachers' college.

In 1987 the bishop in charge of seminarian formation asked that he be appointed spiritual director of the major seminary in Lusaka. While teaching spirituality at the same time, he served in that position for the next five years. In 1992 he went to Malawi to serve the philosophy section of the major seminary in the same position. Tony spent the next 13 years as spiritual director and lecturer in the seminary.

In 2005, his movement began to deteriorate because of osteoporosis. Over the next six years he did pastoral work as well as he could in a number of parishes in Malawi and Zambia. Finally in 2011 the Provincial asked him to move to the Province Infirmary where he began a ministry of prayer.

Apart from his dedicated apostolic work, Tony was a pleasant companion in community. He was a great story teller with an abundance of tales to tell. A welcoming presence, with a warm smile, visitors always felt at home with him. He also could be a support especially to young Jesuits in times of difficulty.

After a few weeks in the hospital, he died on 15 November 2015 following complications from a surgery. May God welcome his faithful servant and missionary into the fullness of life and joy.

Jim McGloin

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

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007

Obituary

Fr Joesph (Joe) Gill (1915-2006)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Irish Jesuit Mission to Zambia, 1946-1969

  • IE IJA MSSN/ZAM
  • Corporate body
  • 1946-1969

Irish Jesuits arrived, in what was then Northern Rhodesia, in 1946. They worked in parish work, education and development, and geographically, this took place in the southern part of the country and in the capital, Lusaka. The impact of the Irish presence is seen especially in Canisius High School and Charles Lwanga College of Education in Chikuni, the parishes in the Monze Diocese, and development projects around the diocese. The Vice-Province of Zambia was formed in 1969 and the Province of Zambia and Malawi was established in 1992. The Irish Jesuits' work in Zambia is complemented by other Jesuit Provinces such as: Canada; Croatia; Oregon; Poland and Slovenia.

Joyce, Patrick, 1937-2007, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 04 July 1937, Shantalla, Galway
Entered: 11 September 1956, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 25 June 1970, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 22 April 1977, Mukasa Seminary, Choma, Zambia
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.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007

Obituary

Fr Patrick (Paddy) Joyce (1937-2007) : Zambia-Malawi Province

Jerry O'Connell writes in the Zambia Province News:
Paddy Joyce was born on the 4th July 1937 in the city of Galway, Ireland and always maintained his allegiance to that county especially where Gaelic games were concerned. He completed his secondary education at St. Ignatius College, Galway in 1956 and entered the Jesuit novitiate, Emo Park on the 114 September of that same year. He followed the usual course of training of novitiate, juniorate (BA at University College, Dublin) and philosophy until the end of first year philosophy when a Visitor from Fr. General to the Irish Province closed the philosophate in 1962. Paddy did his second and third years philosophy in Alcala de Henares, Madrid, Spain. This brought out in him his fascination with foreign languages. But Paddy always retained a deep love of Irish culture. He enjoyed the stories, dances, songs and proverbs of the people. With his compatriots he was quite likely to presume on a continued knowledge of Irish and might similarly rattle off a phrase or proverb in Irish.

In August 1964 he came to then Northern Rhodesia as a Scholastic and witnessed Independence Day on 24 October. He served at Canisius College and studied Chitonga at Chivuna Mission. He was a member of the founding team who opened the doors of Mukasa Minor Seminary to pupils in 1966. From 1967 to 1971 he studied theology at Milltown Park, Dublin and was ordained on 25 June 1970. He returned to Zambia in 1971.

From 1971 to 1980 he served as an assistant pastor in Monze and Choma and completed tertianship in the USA. He took Final Vows in Mukasa on April 22, 1977. From 1980 to 1987 he spent short spells in Nakambala and Itezhi-tezhi and a longer time in Chikuni where he served as parish priest. There was a year's break on sabbatical. This was followed by periods in Mazabuka and Nakambala, and again in Chikuni as parish priest up to 1995. In parish work he had a great love and concern for all those to whom he ministered, especially the poor and disadvantaged and those suffering from AIDS. His family had endowed him with the upbringing and support, which was very apparent in his warm humanity and his love for the extended family.

Over the years Paddy developed a great fluency especially in Chitonga and learnt many proverbs used by the people. In the 1980s he successfully sat for the Grade 12 national exam in Chitonga. He was helped in his mastery of Chitonga by his readiness and desire to help the youth of the parishes, gathering them into clubs especially involving football. He would readily join in the games himself and he is still remembered today for that aspect of his apostolate. Paddy later studied Chinyanja when he moved to Lusaka so that he could continue with pastoral work in parishes. Perhaps it was his being rooted in Irish culture that gave him such openness to other cultures.

In 1995 he was appointed National Director of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, a post he held until his death with one year's absence on sabbatical again, 1999-2000. He firstly moved to the Novitiate in Lusaka, spent a year or two working from Kizito Pastoral Centre, Monze, and in 2002 returned again to the Novitiate. This work suited him admirably because he had been a Pioneer himself from his school days, and he loved the opportunity to be involved in fostering the spirituality of the PTAA, and explaining it to groups. However, he found the annual National Meetings quite a challenge. He wasn't quite at ease about them and one of these may have contributed to his first mild heart attack about ten years ago. But this did not prevent him from doing his work and he was in the process of organising an international gathering of Pioneers in Zambia either next year or the year after it.

While in Lusaka, he offered himself regularly for Sunday supplies and, this past Holy Week, he presided at the ceremonies in Chinyanja in the Nampundwe area. He also presided at the Sunday Mass broadcast by Yatsani Radio. Over many years he was involved in Marriage Encounter and took part in a number of their meetings. As well as this he acted as a priest to his own family members by visiting everybody when at home and being open to all. Paddy valued his priesthood.

I spoke with him about six weeks before he went back to Ireland and he was quite concerned about a pending eye operation. He returned to Ireland for the surgery and while there he suffered a heart attack and underwent by-pass surgery. Unfortunately he did not come through the operation and he died in a Galway hospital on 10th July 2007. Paddy was at home in so many environments that we can be sure that he will feel welcome and at home in the place prepared for him by Jesus who is the way, the Truth and the Life. May his soul rest in peace.

Homily preached by Joe Keaney at Luwisha House, Lusaka:
Years ago, when I was a scholastic in Chikuni, one old Father said of another old Father, “That man is always blowing his own trumpet”. He then told me about yet another old Father who was a lot smarter. This man never blew his own trumpet but, throughout his life, was clever enough to have someone else blow it for him. Fr Paddy Joyce never blew his own trumpet and I think I'd be right to say that few others blew it for him.

I was still a schoolboy when I first met Paddy. He had already been a Jesuit for 10 years before I joined up. I knew his mother and his brothers, all of whom, except for Dominic, have since gone to the Lord. Paddy grew up in an honest, hard working and humble family in the Galway suburb of Shantalla. He attended the same school I did, Coláiste Iognáid, which was the only Irish speaking Jesuit school in Ireland.

Paddy joined the Jesuits in 1956 and brought with him to the novitiate a great love of Ireland and all things Irish. He loved the language, our country's rich folklore, its turbulent history, its sports, its music, its dance, its poetry and prose. Sadly, though, Paddy would have quickly discovered that for the most part these Gaelic interests of his were not shared or highly valued by the majority of his new brothers in the Society of Jesus. His fellow novices from the other Jesuit schools would have been far more interested in rugby and even, God help us, cricket, than in Gaelic football or hurling.

Paddy was blessed by God with average intelligence and, throughout the long years of studies, battled to pass his exams. At the same time, many of his peers would have been earning distinctions, and merits and doctorates, Poor Paddy often felt left out and, I suspect, grew up in the Society with a decided lack of self-confidence and low self esteem. But he stuck it out for 51 years with his learned Jesuit brothers until the Lord called him home this week.

God's call drew Paddy away from his native Galway and eventually away from his beloved Ireland to serve him in the Province of Zambia Malawi. For most of his working life he brought the Word to the Tonga people of the Southern Province before being transferred to Lusaka. They responded enthusiastically to his simplicity and non threatening manner. He was extraordinary successful and really mastered the language of the South.

Paddy Joyce was a simple priest who was never considered for the rank of bishop. He was never a Jesuit provincial, rector or superior. He was never on the news as a spokesman for the Church. He never published learned papers. He was never what we might call the star, never the bride, always the bridesmaid. In the Gospel we heard the invitation of Jesus, “Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give your rest”. Throughout his life as a priest, Paddy responded to that invitation. He was devoted to prayer. God constantly consoled him in prayer, breathing his love and joy and cheering up his gentle soul. Without that consolation there would have been many more cloudy days in Paddy's life.

This week the word of God was spoken to Fr Paddy Joyce more loudly than ever before. As he battled for breath and life after his surgery, the Word was inviting him to let go, to return home and to meet again his beloved parents, his brothers, Thomas McDonagh and Padraic Pearse - Paddy's heroes of the 1916 uprising - and maybe even the legendary Finn McCool and Cuchulan. The voice was whispering the promise of his prayer life, “You will find rest for your soul”.

What a surprise there was in store for Paddy as his heavenly Father gathered him in his arms, kissed him tenderly on the cheek and said well done my lovely little boy, faithful son of St Ignatius. You did an absolutely marvellous job for me. I wish you could have known all the time that your life and contribution are just as precious and important to me as that of Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Fr Peter Hans Kolvenbach or Fr Peter Nathaniel Bwanali. I am so grateful for the way you spread my love amongst the Tonga people. I can't count the number of little ones you helped and lifted up on your journey through Monze, Chikuni, all over the Southern Province, in Lusaka and especially in the home of Mother Theresa in Mtendere. You opened the door to my Sacred Heart for thousands of my children in the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association. You enriched with my love hundreds and hundreds of married couples in Marriage Encounter. My little Paddy, you were a star, an absolute star.

I stand here before you this evening to blow Paddy's trumpet a bit. In the heel of the hunt this quiet nervous little man was, after all, a star. If we look at Paddy's life and assess it by the standards of the Gospel alone, we see he was, for sure, a star, an absolute star. In Matthew's Gospel Jesus beatifies all those who are gentle, the meek, the humble, the peacemakers, all those who mourn. These people are the sait of the earth, the light of the world.

When the disciples were squabbling one time about who was the greatest Jesus told them that to be great one must become the servant of all. Another time Jesus presented them with a little child, suggesting greatness and childlikeness were not far apart.

Paddy was a wonderful Jesuit and lived his three vows of religious life so well. He responded obediently to the wishes of his superiors and went where he was sent. His living of the vow of poverty should be an example to us all. He was never a snappy dresser and without the input of Una, his sister-in-law, would have been a total disaster. And as far as I know he never had any girlfriends. He was a great companion to us in the Society, especially with those willing to enjoy his charming stories and share his enthusiasm for sport. When I think about Paddy this week I realize we had a little saint in our company, the real salt of the earth. I wish now I had blown his trumpet a bit more loudly and a bit more often down the years.

Paddy died back home in Galway. I don't know if he would have wanted that or if he would have cared one way or the other. But I do know that nowhere on this earth did Paddy Joyce feel more at home and accepted than in the home of Dominic, Una and their children, back in the old home of Shantalla. In that house he was always a star.

We give thanks to God for his life, his simplicity, his humility, his compassion for the little ones, his enthusiasm, his stories and his great sense of fun. After his life of prayer he will have no difficulty recognizing the face of God. This week he has finally and fully found rest for his soul. Farewell for now, brother, and enjoy that rest.

Keaney, Joseph, 1948-2021, Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 22 December 1948-20 July 2021

Born: 22 December 1948, Galway City
Entered: 07 September, 1966, St Mary’s Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 23 June 1978, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final Vows: 22 August 1988, Kitwe, Zambia
Died: 20 July 2021, St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia - Southern Africa Province (SAP)

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 22 August 1988

1966-1968 St Mary’s, Emo
1968-1971 Rathfarnham Castle - studying
1971-1973 Milltown Park - studying Philosophy
1973-1975 Canisius College, Chikuni, Zabia - Regency, studying language
1975-1977 Milltown Park - studying Theology
1977-1978 Tabor House - studying Theology at Milltown
1978-1979 Missionary Institute, The Ridgeway, London, England - studying Theology
1979-1980 St Kizito Pastoral Centre, Monze, Zambia
1980-1982 Catholic Church, Namwala, Zambia - Parish Priest
1982-1983 Galway - Chaplain at Coláiste Iognáid
1983-198 Jesuit Residence, Kitwe, Zambia - teaching
1986-1987 Joint HIB/BRI Tertianship - Tullabeg and St Beuno’s
1987-1993 Jesuit Residence, Kitwe, Zambia - teaching
1993-199 St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia

https://jesuitssouthern.africa/2021/07/20/fr-joseph-keaney-sj-rip/
RIP
Fr Joseph Keaney SJ
22 December 1948 – 20 July 2021

The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) mourns the loss of Fr Joseph Keaney SJ.

After a long battle with serious illness he passed away peacefully this afternoon, Tuesday 20 July 2021, at St Ignatius Jesuit Community in Lusaka. Fr Keaney will be remembered for his pastoral care and missionary zeal. He was a friend to many and will be fondly remembered.

We commend Fr Keaney to the Lord, knowing that he is now at peace and has no more pain.

Kearns, Laurence M, 1912-1986, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/199
  • Person
  • 27 June 1912-28 October 1986

Born: 27 June 1912, Cobh, County Cork
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1949, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Died: 28 October 1986, Jervis St Hospital Dublin

Part of St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin, and living at Our Lady of Consolation, Donnycarney, Dublin at time of his death.

Chaplain in the Second World War
by 1970 at Kitwe, Zambia - working in Educational TV

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Lol was born in Cobh, Co Cork on 27 June 1912. After school at Mungret College, he entered the Society at Tullabeg and did the second year noviceship at Emo. The normal studies of the Society brought him to his ordination on 13 May 1942.

Immediately after theology, Lol (as Fr Laurence was known in the Society) became chaplain in the British Army from 1943 to 1947 and served on the European continent. Towards the end of the war his unit was sent to free Belsen concentration camp, “That's how I saw hell on earth” he wrote. He also tells us about his bad car accident: “While driving in convoy on the first stage of our journey to Brussels, my driver ran the car into a tree north of Magdeburg and my head was banged into the glove compartment in the dashboard. I saw Fr Morrison again at CelIe as he bent over my stretcher and formed the opinion that I should never look the same again. Even my mother did not recognise me at once. But a few months in Gloucester under the great “guinea-pig” surgeon, Emlyn Lewis, who grafted a hunk from my arm into my mouth, set me up again.’ After demobilisation, he made his tertianship 1947/48.

Minister, retreat giver, bursar was his lot at Manresa 1948-'54, '62-'65, '68-'69. He taught religion at Bolton Street Technical College, Dublin 1962-'65.

He attended courses at New York University and at the University of California on TV and film production. On returning to Ireland, he was given the job of minister again but felt rather disappointed at having no outlet for the newly acquired skills he was so eager to practice. The Ministry of Education in Zambia at that time was about to launch an Educational TV Unit in Kitwe, so Lol was sent to Zambia and served two tours in the Kitwe TV Unit, six years in all, 1969 to 1976.

These were happy days for Lol in spite of the hardships of living at a long distance from Jesuit companions, the uphill grind of accustoming himself to a new environment, and the conflict arising from his insistence on precision as contrasted with the easy-going ways of the Zambians he was to work with and train. Lol was a perfectionist who demanded exact standards from his students and apprentices. A stray bit of fluff or a human hair would draw from him a devastating diatribe on sloppy standards. The wear and tear of the consequent tension took its toll on Lol's good humour, so that fault-finding could become obsessive with him.

Naturally, as a priest, Lol was not content to confine himself to civil-service hours. He sought out apostolic openings, celebrating Mass at weekends for neglected congregations, acting as Spiritual Father to a novitiate of Sisters, giving lectures on medical ethics to nurses-in-training, all of which he could do through the medium of English. In addition he became sufficiently adept at ciBemba to celebrate Mass in the local vernacular.

In his last year in Zambia, Lol was responsible for the purchase of the first Jesuit residence in Kitwe on Nationalist Way. He had hoped to be employed by the Zambia Episcopal Conference in communications, but this was not to be. Shortly after returning to Ireland he was invited to inaugurate the communications department of the Catholic Secretariat in Lesotho. So for more than two years in Lesotho, in the face of lack of interest, if not actual apathy, he wore out his energies and enthusiasm. The same problems that he had faced in Zambia he found to be deeper, more ingrained and infinitely less tractable in Lesotho.

He returned to Ireland in 1978 where, at the age of 66, he took up more genial work – curate in Donnycarney. He died in Jervis Street Hospital in Dublin on 28 October 1986.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

During the summer Frs. Jas. FitzGerald, Kearns and Scallan helped in the campaign organised by Dr. Heenan, Superior of the Mission House, Hampstead, to contact neglected or lapsed Catholics in Oxfordshire. Writing Fr. Provincial in August, the Superior pays a warm tribute to the zeal and devotion of our three missionaries :
“I hope”, he adds, “that the Fathers will have gained some useful experience in return for the great benefit which their apostolic labours conferred on the isolated Catholics of Oxfordshire. It made a great impression on the non-Catholic public that priests came from Ireland and even from America, looking for lost sheep. That fact was more eloquent than any sermon. The Catholic Church is the only hope for this country. Protestantism is dead...?”

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 benefitted 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 organising 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 62nd Year No 1 1987

Obituary

Fr Laurence Kearns (1912-1928-1986)

27th June 1912: born in Queenstown (now Cobh). 1925-28 schooled at Mungret College.
1st September 1928: entered SJ. 1928-30 Tullabeg and Emo, noviciate. 1930-33 Rathfarnham, juniorate: BA course at UCD. 1933-37 Tullabeg, philosophy (sick for much of his first year, which he repeated). 1937-39 Belvedere, teaching (H.Dip in Ed.). 1939-43 Milltown Park, theology (13th May 1942: ordained priest).
1943-47 chaplaincy in British army, described by himself in Interfuse, no. 41 (Feb. 1986), pp. 19-26. 1947-48 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1948-54 Manresa: minister, retreat giver, bursar. 1954-62 Catholic Workers' College (now CIR): mostly teaching religion in Kevin Street Technical College. 1962-65 Manresa: minister, then bursar. 1965-68 Rathfarnham, spiritual father and librarian. 1968-69 Manresa, minister and retreat-giver.
1969-78 Africa: 1969-76 Kitwe, Zambia: educational television; 1976-8 Maseru, Lesotho: educational television.
1978-86 curate in Donnycarney parish, Dublin 5. 28th October 1986: died in Jervis Street Hospital.

It was sometime in 1968 or thereabouts that I met Lol in Manresa House while I was on leave from Zambia. He spoke to me of the study-course in communications which he had attended in USA, and of his disappointment on his return at being assigned the job of minister, with no outlet for the newly acquired skills he was so eager to practise. W e discussed possibilities, and having cleared the matter with the Provincial, the upshot was that I brought back with me to Zambia photostat copies of Lol's qualifications. I knew that the Permanent Secretary of the Minister of Education was recruiting personnel for the Educational TV Unit about to be launched in Kitwe, so I placed Lol's qualifications before this official. In due course Lol came to Zambia and served two tours in the Kitwe TV Unit, six years in all.
These were happy years for Lol in spite of the hardships of living at a long distance from Jesuit companions, the uphill grind of accustoming himself to a new environment, and the conflict arising from his insistence on precision and he easy-going ways of the Zambians he was to work with and train. Lol was a perfectionist who demanded exact standards of his students and apprentices. A stray bit of fluff or a human hair on a television-camera lens - a nugatory matter to a Zambian novice technician - would draw from him a devastating diatribe on sloppy standards. The wear and tear of the consequent tension took its toll of Lol's good humour, so that fault-finding could become obsessive with him.
Naturally as a priest Lol was not content to confine himself to civil-service hours. He sought out apostolic openings, celebrating Mass at weekends for neglected congregations, acting as spiritual father to a noviciate of sisters, giving lectures on medical ethics to nurses-in-training, all of which he could do through the medium of English. In addition he became sufficiently adept in Cibemba to celebrate Mass in the local at vernacular.
Lol was a man of great certainties, and his range extended far and wide - from godliness to golf. His expositions were models of clarity. He was at his best with a docile, appreciative audience. His affability and interest would however wane in the face of equally strongly-held counter-arguments.
Perhaps it was this perverse adult propensity towards confrontation that turned Lol off: whatever it was, the presence of a child would divert him from such barren tiresome things and would
claim all his attention. It became in time one of the ways to describe Fr Larry: “He had a marvellous way with children”, a phrase that was repeated over and over at his funeral in Donnycarney.
His funeral was a thronged affair, attended by many Jesuits and diocesan clergy, presided over by the Archbishop of Dublin and with Bishop Kavanagh as the main celebrant. At the final
blessing, Archbishop McNamara recalled that as a young priest in Killaloe diocese he had had a retreat from Fr Kearns, memories of which still remained with him. In his last year in
Zambia, Lol was responsible for the purchase of the first Jesuit residence in Kitwe, on Nationalist Way, since vacated in favour of a community of Holy Cross sisters. Coming to the end of his second tour in Government service, Lol had hoped to be employed in communications by the Zambian Episcopal Conference. As this hope remained unfulfilled, he returned to Ireland rather dispirited and disappointed. Shortly after returning he was gratified by being invited to inaugurate the communications department of the Catholic Secretariat in Lesotho. So for two more years, in the face of disinterest if not apathy, he wore out his energies and enthusiasm. Problems he had faced in Zambia he found to be deeper, more ingrained and infinitely less tractable in Lesotho. Eventually, and not without much soul-searching, he decided to return to Ireland, where, at the age of 66, he took up the more congenial work of a parish curate.

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
Final Vows: 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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1964, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1953, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 148 : Summer 2012

Obituary

Fr Patrick (Paddy) Kelly (1920-2012)

21 February 1920: Born in Limerick
Early education at Salesian Convent and CBS, Limerick
7 September 1937: Entered Society at Emo
8 September 1939: First Vows at Emo
1939 - 1942: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1942 - 1945: Studied philosophy in Tullabeg
1945 - 1947: Belvedere College - Teacher
1947 - 1951: Studied theology in Milltown Park
31 July 1950: Ordained priest in Milltown Park
1951 - 1952: Tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle
1952 - 1953: Chikuni College, Zambia - Language school
2 February 1953: Final vows at Chikuni College
1953 - 1955: Kasiya Mission
1955 - 1959: Chikuni - Teacher in Secondary School and Teachers' Training College
1959 - 1960: Charles Lwanga - Teacher training
1960 - 1962: Chikuni - Manager of Schools
1962 - 1969: Mungret College - Teacher
1969 - 1985: Crescent College - Teacher
1985 - 1988: New York - Prison Chaplain
1988 - 1992: California - Church of Our Lady of Lourdes
1992 - 1994: SFX, Gardiner Street - Assisted in the Church
1994 - 2002: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick - Assisted in the Church, Librarian
2002 - 2012: Milltown Park - Assisted in the Community
4 May 2012: Died Cherryfield

Fr. Patrick Kelly was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 27th January 2012. He had got unsteady and it was feared he would have a fall. He settled in very well. It was only in the last few weeks that he looked gaunt and passed away quietly on 4 May 2012. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Obituary Liam O'Connell and Michael J. Kelly
Paddy Kelly was born in Limerick in 1920 where his family lived in Patrick Street. He remained steeped in the history and lore and the sporting traditions of his native city. His father manufactured boots and shoes, and also wooden clogs for the large numbers working in the bacon factories in the city, and when Limerick expertise was needed to set up bacon factories in Russia, he exported these clogs as far as Russia, Paddy lived during eventful times.

When he was very young, both the mayor of Limerick and the former mayor were murdered near Patrick Street by Black and Tans, and theIrish civil war deeply divided his native city.

Paddy had two brothers and three sisters, and every year they spent the summer months in a lodge in Kilkee. There is a photograph from one of these outings of Paddy as a four year old, complete with a large sand shovel, surrounded by his parents and family and ready to make his mark on the world. Throughout his life as a Jesuit Paddy returned to spend time at Kilkee with his mother, and his sisters and brothers, and they have happy memories of the life and fun he brought to these holidays.

In his final years in Sexton Street CBC in Limerick Paddy did a retreat with Fr. Mackey SJ, who was famous for encouraging Jesuit vocations. Afterwards they remained in correspondence and four days after the declaration of World War II, on 7th September 1939, Paddy left home at the age of 17 to go to the Novitiate at Emo. The 19 young novices who entered then were to live through a time of emergency and rationing that was to last for several years after the war ended. One of the other novices was Brendan Barry who had been educated with Paddy in Sexton Street CBC. The writer, Benedict Kiely, also belonged to their year, and he recorded his impressions of Emo in his novel There was an Ancient House.

After Emo, Paddy completed an Arts degree in UCD in 1942, and after Philosophy at Tullabeg, Tullamore, he spent two years in Belvedere as a teacher and sports coach and while there he obtained the Higher Diploma in Education. He was ordained in Milltown Park in 1950.

While in Tertianship in 1951-52, Paddy was assigned to the Chikuni Mission, the mission territory in present-day Zambia that Father General had committed to the Irish Province in 1949. When he arrived with others on 31st August 1952, Paddy was a member of the third large contingent from the Irish Province who took up work in the Chikuni Mission and among the first to travel there by air. At that time, the work of the Mission across an area about the size of Ireland was still in its infancy and faced the enormous challenge of a shortage of human resources, not just for strictly evangelical work, but for all those other aspects that constitute life in virtually virgin mission territory. It's no surprise, then, that the records show that on 6th August, less than a week after his arrival, Paddy spent the whole of his first Saturday in Africa loading a lorry with bundles of thatching grass, or that a few weeks later he and Norman MacDonald spent some days building a teacher's house in one of the out-stations. This kind of active involvement with what had to be done on the ground was characteristic of Paddy, who seemed happiest when doing things, developing things, getting his hands dirty, and talking all about it afterwards. Again and again, the records speak of things that Paddy did - shooting a hawk, getting a reluctant grinding mill to work again, celebrating the day of his final vows by being a member of the community football team that scored a 2-1 victory over the boys at Canisius College.

As with other newcomers, Paddy spent a large part of his first months learning the local language, ciTonga, under the able guidance of Bob Kelly. While necessary for all who were working at Chikuni Mission, this was especially important for Paddy who was appointed in August 1953 as Assistant Parish Priest at Kasiya, a mission sub station which had been established about two years earlier some 40 kilometres from the central Chikuni Mission. Here he was to work alongside Fr. Maurice Dowling, one of the earliest Irish Jesuits to go to the Chikuni Mission. The fact that Kasiya is now a well-established parish, with about 15,000 Catholics and ten outstations, is a tribute to .. what Paddy and his successors were able to accomplish there.

On completion of two years of fruitful parochial work, Paddy was transferred to the Mission's central education apostolate - Canisius College which at that time comprised both the full range of secondary schooling and a two-year teacher training programme. Paddy's work was principally in the latter, in the areas of religious education, English and mathematics. That he was moved in this way from a successful and - to him congenial – directly evangelical ministry to that of education bespeaks the tensions that existed in the Chikuni Mission (and indeed throughout the Society in its long history) between educational and other apostolates, with the human resource demands of school provision frequently taking precedence over what many perceived as the more Kingdom-oriented work of direct evangelisation and parochial ministry. But as a true and loyal Jesuit, Paddy threw himself into his new sphere of activities and was to remain in these for the following five years. Being a teacher educator, he was one of those who accompanied John Counihan, John Fitzgerald, Charlie O'Connor and others who moved from Canisius College to the newly established Charles Lwanga Teachers College in 1959.

But just a year later, apostolic needs and the shortage of personnel saw Paddy being moved to another responsibility, this time as Manager of Schools for all the Catholic primary schools that fell under Chikuni Mission. The maintenance and development of these schools, ensuring school supplies, the posting of teachers and their accommodation, and fostering the development of new schools all became part of Paddy's job. And given his nature it was a job in which he revelled. He showed a child-like delight in facing the challenges of long journeys over difficult terrain, of getting building and other supplies to locations where there were no roads or bridges, of being firm but courteous with local headmen about the importance of having their own school, of mobilising community support in making bricks, drawing sand, and maintaining buildings, and of making sure that the appointed teachers actually turned up for duty and did teach.

Throughout the decade in which he so generously served the people within the area of the Chikuni Mission, Paddy remained very true to himself – always good-humoured and good-natured, generous in responding to requests, forthright in manner, sometimes very blunt in approach and expression, and yet always very private about himself as a person and what motivated him. He is well remembered as a loyal and faithful Jesuit, a deeply spiritual man who downplayed what he felt might be extreme expressions of his spirituality, always anxious to do more (though seemingly never concerned about being more) and always a good companion. He served Zambia's people well and they were the losers when circumstances brought about his return to Ireland in 1962 and the commencement there of almost a quarter century of teaching ministry.

In 1962 Paddy returned to Ireland to minister in Mungret College, where he taught History and Geography and was in charge of the Study Hall. Paddy was by nature an optimist, and visiting parents who met Paddy regularly received glowing accounts of how their son was doing. Unfortunately these assessments often had to be revised downwards when the same parents met with other less optimistic teachers. Paddy's nick name in Mungret was Gazebo - a gazebo being an exotic outdoor garden house, a place for resting and shelter, and Paddy lived up to this description, as he was a breath of fresh air in the lives of many of the students.

In 1973 when the closure of Mungret College was announced, Paddy and other teachers from Mungret transferred to the new Jesuit Comprehensive School at Dooradoyle. To this day the Crescent students remember Paddy with a mixture of amazement and affection. In Crescent he was nicknamed 'Ned' after the Australian outlaw, Ned Kelly, who did things his own way, and I think that this was a tribute to Paddy's originality and independence.

At Crescent Paddy became one of the founder members of the new Geography department. At this time when the syllabus was expanded to include more Geology and Human Geography, and Paddy's colleagues at Crescent never ceased to be amazed at the breadth and depth of his knowledge. He pioneered Geography Field

Trips and he became an expert on the Burren region in Co. Clare. He was also a great collector of valuable Geography books and of rocks, and he guarded them well. One day a group of teachers thought that they would build a Sun Dial, and began to wonder how. Paddy left the discussion briefly and returned with a book on 'How to make Sun Dials'. And his name - Paddy Kelly SJ – was written across the front of the book, in big black marker lettering, in case somebody dared not to return it to him.

Everybody he taught remembers Paddy's wonderful turn of phrase. Latecomers were warned not to 'shilly shally. In congested corridors between class periods, to the amusement of all, Paddy encouraged good order by booming out “file fast past fat fools”, or “hurry up you meandering tortoises”,

I have plenty of other pictures of Paddy: setting out on a Saturday morning from Dooradoyle on foot on a 20-mile-round walking trip to the Clare Hills; constructing unusual-looking but very comfortable garden seats; painting everything in sight; planting trees and daffodils, and cutting grass; fixing anything that was broken with carefully guarded tools; nodding during a conversation and saying "you're perfectly right and being positive and encouraging; sitting outside the back door in the evening, smoking his pipe, and looking the picture of contentment.

In 1985, at 65 years of age Paddy retired from teaching at Crescent, and left Limerick to work for a few years in the Prison Service in New York as a Chaplain, and then in a parish in Los Angeles, before returning to Gardiner Street and the Sacred Heart Church in Limerick, and finally to the Community in Milltown Park where he lived happily for ten years. In Gardiner Street some people did not care much for the added prayers and commentary he added to the liturgy, but many people loved the outgoing way in which he celebrated Mass. His Jesuit colleagues remember his optimism. There is a story that one morning in Gardiner Street, at breakfast Paddy was just too optimistic and charitable about everything, and an exasperated brother Jesuit remarked “Paddy you are so positive that you would speak well of the devil”, to which Paddy replied. “Indeed I would - he's a very hard worker”.

Paddy was often great fun, but he was serious too, and serious about things that he did not easily talk about, serious about his faith and his commitment to the Eucharist, nourishment from God for our journey, and especially as we prepare for the journey into the unknown. Two months before he died, Paddy moved to Cherryfield Lodge, and he knew that this part of his joumey was coming close. This was a time of special grace and acceptance for him. He was most thankful to the staff at Cherryfield, to the Rector and Milltown community, and to family and to old friends who stayed in touch. He died peacefully in Cherryfield on 4 May 2012.

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
Final Vows: 02 February 1961, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
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.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

Obituary

Robert (Bob) Kelly (1925-2005)

July 13th 1925: Born in Tullamore, Ireland
September 7th 1943: Entered in Emo Park
July 31st 1957: Ordained in Milltown Park, Dublin
February 2nd 1961: Final Vows in Chikuni
March 8th 2005: Died in Lusaka.

From Newsletter for Zambia-Malawi:
Robert “Bob” Kelly was born in the midlands in Ireland in 1925 into a very devout Catholic family. He had three brothers and three sisters. He attended the Christian Brothers School in Tullamore until he completed his secondary education. He then entered the Jesuits in 1943. Two of his brothers, Michael and Joseph, followed him into the Society.

In 1951, he came to Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) for his regency, the first of the Irish scholastics to come here. He began learning ciTonga, for which he seemed to have a flair, later composing a polycopied codex of the language called, Tonga without Tears. After language studies, he taught at Canisius Secondary School.

In 1959, after theology, ordination and tertianship in Ireland, he returned to Chikuni. For the next ten years, he taught English at Canisius and was Spiritual Father to the boys. Apart from his very clear teaching, Bob developed the school canteen and organized the boys' cinema. When the school began producing annuals, he would be seen prowling around with his camera catching on film the activities in the school. He mixed well with the boys and had their trust and confidence. In 1969 he inoved to the Christian Brothers' school, St. Edmund's, in Mazabuka, where he remained as teacher and spiritual guide until 1978. Here, too, he had a great influence on the students.

When still a young man, Bob joined the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, making a promise to God that he would never drink alcohol. This was a life long sacrifice based on devotion to the Sacred Heart, the symbol of the heart of the human Jesus burning with love for us all. In 1978 he was appointed by the Provincial and the Episcopal Conference as National Director of the Pioneers. He moved to Lusaka and with his usual thoroughness, travelled around the country promoting the Association through talks, retreats, and rallies. He carried on this work, with a few brief interruptions, until 1995.

One of these interruptions happened when he was appointed Parish Priest of St. Ignatius in 1985. This was a job that didn't suit Bob and nearly drove him to an early grave. After a little more than a year at the work, he had to return to Ireland to rest and recover. While in Ireland, he wrote the first of his ten popular spiritual books among which were Planted in Love, Calming the Storm and A Joy so Glorious.

In 1988 he returned to Zambia and was sent to join the Jesuit community in Kitwe. All through his years as Pioneer Director he had been developing a very effective apostolate giving retreats to Religious and secondary school children. From Kitwe he continued this work and helped greatly in the development of the new parish of Our Lady of Africa, in Riverside.

Bob returned to Lusaka as Assistant Parish Priest of St. Ignatius in 1995. Without the responsibility, and shielded from the conflicts of administration, he flourished as a powerful preacher of God's unconditional love, and as a confessor and spiritual companion for many many people.

Towards the end of 2004, because of seriously deteriorating health, he moved to the Jesuit Infirmary, John Chula House, and prayed for us all until his death on 8th March 2005.

From an account for Bob's Family, written by his brother, Michael
Bob experienced at least four strokes, in September 2002, March 2004 September 20th 2004, and on September 22nd/23rd 2004. Although he recovered reasonably well from the earlier episodes, he never really recovered from the second stroke he got in September 2004. With some help, he could still look after himself, but his movements became very limited and he lost much of his ability to carry on a conversation (though at times he could recognise and acknowledge individuals).

With the slow deterioration in his condition he began to develop some aggressiveness which had to be controlled by medication. Throughout January and February he continued to decline, eating less and, because he did not use his glasses, seeing little if anything. But he was not confined to bed and was up each day, sitting in a chair or going to the refectory for his meals. At first he could feed himself, but later he had to be fed with a spoon, although he could manage to drink by himself from a cup or glass. This remained his pattern until Saturday 5th March, So until that day he was mobile, even though he had to be helped to get around.

On Sunday 6th March his breathing became bad (gurgly) and difficult. Next day, the doctor diagnosed pneumonia and prescribed anti-biotics. He also arranged for him to get oxygen, was able to clear one lung of fluids, and used a suction device to clear the chest of whatever Bob was able to cough up. All of this gave him great relief. Those who were with him say that this was the only time that he experienced physical distress and this was for a very short time. Other than this he had no pain whatsoever.

The doctor who looked after Bob on that last day was Dr Francis Kaunda, a former pupil of Bob's and mine and son of former President Kaunda. His arrival at his bedside was providential. Dr Kaunda's car had broken down, so he came into the Jesuit house for the sick and elderly to look for help and while there to look in on Bob. That was around midday. I'm told that he stayed attending to Bob until about 9 o'clock that night. Father Joe Keaney arrived in the afternoon and found him still there, saying the Rosary while keeping an eye on Bob in the bed.

Father Klaus sat with Bob throughout Monday evening and all through Monday night/Tuesday inorning. Bob was quiet and peaceful during the night. About 6.00 a.m. Klaus noticed Bob stirring and asked him if he would like a drink—coffee, a cup of tea, a coke, a fanta? He says that Bob answered loud and clear: “A cup of tea would be nice”. They were his last words. He slipped back into a kind of slumber and went away peacefully and quietly half an hour later, at 6.55 in the morning, Zambian time (4.55 Irish time).

Sister Lucy O'Brien, the great Holy Rosary Sister, Surgeon and helper of people, was always a great friend of Bob's. When she could, she would visit him and last saw him in Chula House some time in February. Because of her own infirmities and advanced years she begins the day later than some others in Zambia. On the morning that Bob died she woke at about ten to seven and then suddenly experienced a joy so glorious that it could not be described. She felt surrounded by joy and happiness, bubbling over with joy and gladness, and everything around her spoke a message of joy and peace and happiness. A very short time later, one of the other Sisters came into her room to tell her that Bob had died - and as it turned out just at the time Lucy had such an experience of wonder and joy. She is convinced that it was Bob's way of telling her that he had gone to heaven.

During that last hour of Bob's life, Father Vincent Cichecki was saying Mass in the Oratory next door. Vincent is an elderly Polish priest, a survivor of Dachau, so very much a realist. He told me that after his Mass, when he came back into the Oratory for a few prayers, he saw something on the ground just in front of the tabernacle, kind of pulsating. When he went up to it, he found a large beautiful butterfly, stranded and flapping its wings on the ground. He said he immediately thought of Bob and the way he was breathing - and that was the very minute that Bob died. When his body was brought into the Oratory later in the day, before being brought to the funeral parlour, the butterfly was still there, but now up in the air and flitting around all the time. But when the body was removed to the funeral parlour, they found the butterfly dead in the oratory and they are drying it out for me as a keepsake). When I heard all that, I thought of Mary and the white butterflies for her Dad. When I told Father Vincent about this, his eyes filled with tears and he told me that in Poland the butterfly is the sign of the resurrection.

After lying for some hours in the Oratory at Chula House, where he died, Bob's body was brought to St. Anne's funeral parlour for embalming and preparation for the funeral. That was on Tuesday evening. It remained in the funeral parlour until Thursday afternoon, by which time I had arrived back in Zambia. A number of us gathered there at about 3.30 and then at 4 o'clock left for St. Ignatius' Church. Quite a large crowd had gathered at St. Ignatius, a couple of hundred, very many of them young people.

Fathers Joe Keaney, John Mwelwa, Charles Chilinda, Clive Dillon-Malone and Jack Doyle were all there in vestments to receive the body. One of the prayers brought out that Bob had been a minister of God's word, and so a large Bible was placed on the coffin. A second prayer spoke of him as a minister of Christ's cross and mission and this was symbolised by placing a large Crucifix. Both Bible and Crucifix remained on the coffin throughout the funeral Mass next day, until it was taken for burial. Following the prayers the coffin was brought to the altar. Instead of being placed length-wise in the church, it was placed on a smaller bier right in front of and parallel to the altar, almost like a small altar lower than the main one. This was because the Novena of Grace was on and they did not want to take up space from the people who would be attending. But it was a lovely homely way to have the coffin.

From 4.30 to 5.30 those who had come for the removal of the remains took part in prayers and hymns. Great singing and many prayers! Then they had to give way to the Novena of Grace, which lasted until about 7.45. From then until close to 10 o'clock there was a vigil and wake for Bob. Coffins here are made in such a way that there is a panel over the head and chest and this can be taken off so that mourners can view the body. So that panel was removed and those who wished could go up and kneel beside him, looking at him and, most of them, talking to him. He looked very peaceful. Mouth firmly closed. No sign of strain or trouble on his face. Eyebrows bushy, but not too much so! Looked very like Paddy and the Sheehys.

The vigil/wake was not tightly organised. There were hymns, some short prayers, and periodically somebody would go to the lectern and share some memories about Bob. I told them of his difficulty in deciding what he wanted to do and then his decision to join the Jesuits, Mammy's great fear that he would not manage the food, but his determination once he had “decided to follow Jesus that there would be no turning back”. I also spoke of how hard it was on him when Mammy died just before he got home for leave in 1972 and the way he cried the time of her burial in Durrow. Finally, I thanked the people on behalf of us all for taking him to their hearts and for being so kind and good and loving to him all through the years, and I mentioned how it was the wish of every one of us that he should remain in Zambia and be with his people until the end.

Among the others who spoke were the two recently ordained Zambian Jesuits who were with him at St. Ignatius'. Finding it very hard to keep the tears back, Father John Mwelwa (gentle John) spoke of the huge influence Bob had on him and prayed that he and all the young Jesuits in Zambia might inherit some share of his spirit. The other, Father Charles Chilinda (cheeky Charles!), who is Minister in the house and in charge of the daily running, spoke of Bob's beautiful obedience - he might refuse to eat if others asked him, but Charles had only to say the word and he would take his food.

One of the lay people who spoke recalled how Bob liad comforted his family when his wife died ten years ago. And he could give every word of what Bob said to them then. Otliers spoke of what his books meant to them and how they knew they would always hear his voice when they turned to their pages. Once again, it was remarkable how many young people there were who wanted to give testimony to their love for him and share their appreciation of his life.

In closing the vigil, Father Clive Dillon-Malone reminded people that Bob's favourite scriptural passage was the parable of the Prodigal Son and invited us all to keep always before our minds the image Bob loved so much, the Father with open arms welcoming his son, just as now he was welcoming Bob.

The funeral Mass was celebrated in St. Ignatius' Church on Friday 11th March. It began at 9 o'clock and ended at 11.15. After that, in keeping with Zambian customs, the coffin was wheeled to the door of the Church, and the panel over the head was opened, to allow for body-viewing. This lasted for about three-quarters of an hour, and then there was the funeral itself to the cemetery, about 12 miles away,

The church was chock full for the Mass. It's hard to know how many priests concelebrated, but there must have been something between 60 and 70. Many were Jesuits, but they came also from the archdiocese of Lusaka, from other dioceses, and from religious congregations across the country. There was a huge number of religious sisters and male religious, crowds of women of all ages, and many past pupils from Chikuni and Mazabuka. The retired Archbishop of Lusaka was present (the current AB had to attend the beginning of a Catholic University, but he spent an hour with the Provincial offering condolences and has asked if he can have a special Mass for Bob when he is free some day soon).

I said the Mass, and Father Joe Keaney gave the homily, an excerpt of which is given below. I will say nothing else about it here except that it was powerful and gripped the attention and approval of people the whole way through. I began by saying that it was hard that this was the third of us who had died in a matter of eight months and that I was the only one of Bob's family who could be here at this time. I explained that much as they would have wanted it, age and poor health made it impossible for Maureen, Oonagh or Joe to be with us, and that they were feeling this very hard but were making the full gift of Bob to his people in Zambia, just as they had always done. I recalled how Mammy used to say that even though she loved having us around, she was happy that we lived far from each other because that way we would always remain close friends. This got a good laugh, but it also gave me a chance to stress how close-knit we are as a family and how that was one of the values that inspired Bob in his work, even though this meant being away so much from those he loved. Then I thanked the people again for taking him to themselves and for allowing him to minister among them, and I expressed the thanks of all the family to the people of the parish, and to those who had helped Bob in his recent years.

Then I went on with the Mass. Not knowing that it was going to be sung, I asked everybody to stand up for the Gloria and to shout it out with arms held aloft, as Bob used do. This went all right, but then a few minutes later the choir started the singing of it and of course the whole church joined in very wholeheartedly, It nearly lifted the roof off!

The first reading was taken by Winnie Nkata, one of the parish office workers and one of Bob's staunchest supporters. It was she who typed up all the material for his last book (and possibly even earlier ones). The second reading was taken by a Jesuit novice who has just returned from speech therapy-prior to this he could not put two words together, so bad was his stammer. But not a sign of it on this occasion! Bob's friend, John Mwelwa (gentle John), read the Gospel. After the homily there were about eight Prayers of the Faithful, but I'm afraid that my memory of them is fuzzy, so I have to leave them there.

Before the Offertory prayers and hymn, I said a few words and explained what I was doing. I said I wanted to put into the coffin a few mementoes of things that were important to Bob in his life, and I said a few words about each of these. First there was a small stand that used be on the altar to the Sacred Heart in Mammy and Daddy's bedroom in Tullamore: it had three small brass images on it, the Sacred Heart, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, and St. Joseph. I said that Bob, like the rest of us, prayed before these as a child while at the same time he developed a strong faith from his great Catholic parents, and how it was his wish that Zambian parents would do as much for their children. Then I showed an old rosary beads of Bob's, well used and with some of the beads missing, a sign that he had used it a lot and of his love for the Mother of God. Next came a Pioneer Pin. Bob became a Pioneer in Tullamore long before he entered the Jesuits and was National Director of the Pioneers here for twenty years, so this was an important symbol of his life. Then I had a crucifix. Each Jesuit receives a crucifix when he takes his first vows. I said I couldn't find Bob's vow crucifix, he had so little left belonging to him that he had probably given it away. But I had my own and I said I was putting it in the coffin as a symbol of Bob's devotion to the Lord and of his commitment to the Jesuits. I also had a prayer leaflet that Joe got printed in 1963 when he was ordained, showing the names of Bob, Joe and myself, each of us ordained on 31st July, but in different years. I said this would be a nice reminder that his two Jesuit brothers were there with Bob all the way in solidarity and love. Next I had some of Bob's books. The first religious book he published was a hymn book, popularly known here as the Red Book; the last was Stories Old and New which was published in March last year. I read his prayer at the end of the Preface to this book: “I pray that this short book may encourage hope, faith and love in your hearts”, and invited the people to let his words become a reality in their lives. Finally I produced a rose. It was fairly bedraggled, but I explained that I had cut it in Luwisha House earlier that morning. But it was not an ordinary rose. Instead it was one that I grew on from a cutting that came from a beautiful yellow rose that is still growing in Maureen's garden. I told the people that Bob would say that if God can make a rose so wonderful, can we have any conception of what he must be like, and I also said that this rose was a symbol of the love of his sisters, what he meant to them, how much they loved him and how greatly they wished they could have been here today.

That probably took more time to read than it did when it took place on the altar! After that the Mass went ahead as usual. I think there were six of us giving out Communion for about a quarter of an hour, so that gives you some idea of the numbers who were there. Incidentally these included Pat Curran, the Irish Ambassador to Zambia, who stayed right to the very end, a great and generous tribute.

At the end of the Mass, the Provincial (Father Colm Brophy) thanked all those who were present and all the people associated with Bob throughout his life, but especially in the years since his health began to decline. The final prayers in the church (the Commendation) were led by Father Tom McGivern, a great old friend of Bob's. When these were concluded, the casket was wheeled to the door of the church for the body viewing. This ended at about midday or shortly afterwards (the service had begun at 9 o'clock). Because there were so many cars, the police had been asked to help direct the traffic and allow the funeral procession get under way. The burial took place in Kasisi, a Jesuit mission about 12 miles outside Lusaka (and this year celebrating its 100 years). All Jesuits who die in or near Lusaka are buried there, while those who die in the south of the country are buried in our cemetery in Chikuni. By the time the majority of the people arrived and the graveside service could get started it was nearly a quarter to one.

The prayers at the graveside were led by the Provincial, Colm Brophy, and he and I together blessed the grave. It was a massive one, about eight feet deep and ten feet long. Room for more than one there! After the prayers, the coffin was lowered slowly into the ground, while everybody kept silence. I was a bit surprised that the beautiful wreath of yellow and white roses and lilies that had been on the coffin since first I saw it on Thursday was left in place and buried. I wondered what would be left to place on the grave when it had been filled in, but I did not know then what was to follow. So the filling in of the grave then began. While the whole ceremony is very decorous and orderly, there is often some laughing and jesting at this part, with people telling the men to show their strength and not to be taking just the soft soil, and not to be putting it all into one place. Several times, new batches of men would take over the shovels, so that everyone could play a part. I took a shovel for a few minutes. I heard somebody behind me expressing misgivings, but then I heard one of the young Zambian Jesuits say "it's all right, he's a gardener!" It was indeed lovely to see these young priests themselves take the shovels, disregarding their shoes and clothes, and piling the earth in.

When the grave was nearly full, the women began singing quietly, and then when it was full and the mound built up to the men's satisfaction, the men drew back and gave way to the women. The women stood three deep all round and as they sang fell to their knees, patting the soil with their hands to flatten and smoothen it, all the time in rhythm with their singing. It was really a very moving to experience all this.

When the women had finished smoothing the soil, the Master of Ceremonies called for the laying of wreaths. The first was from the Jesuit Provincial, the second from myself. These were both huge wreaths, two interwoven large circles of cypress, with magnificent tropical flowers woven in and out. I am not sure, but they may both have been in the form of the letters B O B. Between them they covered the full length of the grave. Then followed wreaths from a number of others. After each one placed the wreath, they were given all the time they wanted for a quiet prayer. There were several hundred red and yellow roses, so after the few formal wreaths, all Jesuits were called. Each was given two or three roses (myself included) and we all stood around the grave, then all together stuck the roses in the soil or the wreaths, and then we stood up and sang in great voice the hymn of Saint Ignatius that Jesuits sing at the time of vows, Take Lord and Receive. This was very moving. After that it was the same with the staff from the Archbishop's office, religious sisters, religious men, the parish council from St. Ignatius', the Catholic Women's Leaguer, the Pioneers, the nurses and others who had helped Bob at Chula House and Saint Ignatius'. After they had placed their flowers or wreaths, each group would say its own prayers or sing its own hymn. Then lastly came myself, this time to place yellow roses on behalf of Maureen, more yellow roses on behalf of Oonagh, and red roses on behalf of Joe. We were all very much together at that lovely moment and all our Zambian friends appreciated it greatly.

People have told me that they never before participated in such a beautiful funeral. Fully Christian and truly Zambian. Fuil of sorrow at the going away of one loved and respected so much, but full of joy at the great accomplishment of a wonderful life and selfless service. And the bottom line of it all: God is love, so let God be God in your life, let love have its way with you always.

From the homily of Joe Keaney:
Most of you gathered here this morning knew Fr Robert Kelly personally. Many of you would say, “I knew him well”. I'm sure it comes as a big surprise when I tell you Bob suffered frequently from depression. I've often heard people say, “But priests shouldn't get depressed”. That's like saying a doctor shouldn't get cancer. Let me assure you some of them do, and share the same problems, diseases and darknesses as anyone else. It is important I tell a little about Bob's darkness if you are to understand the greatness of the man. The Jesuits who lived with him already know this very well.

I came to Zambia in 1973. Bob had been here 22 years by that time. In my early years here I didn't really know him but obviously was very aware of his reputation as an excellent teacher and influential Spiritual Father to successive generations of Zambian boys and girls in the 50's and '60's in Canisius, and with the Christian Brothers in St. Edmunds for most of the '70's.

Towards the end of 1988, when living in the small Jesuit community in Kitwe, we got the word that Bob was being sent to us. He was to help out in the various works of the house and continue his work as National Director of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association. Being a great friend of Mr Mosi and Johnny Walker myself in those days I wasn't overjoyed at the prospect of such a renowned teetotaller in the community.

Very very soon after his arrival, maybe even that same day, Bob and myself had a long chat, for well over an hour, standing outside in the cool of the evening. A couple of years before, he had served briefly as Parish Priest of St Ignatius in Lusaka. It was an assignment that clearly didn't suit Bob - all the problems that go with adıninistration and having to mediate in the strains and tensions of parish life. Bob suffered quite a severe breakdown as a result and spent some time recovering from depression in Ireland. It was during that period of darkness that his first book was born.

He told me about his darkness that first evening in Kitwe. I had left Namwala in 1981. After some surgery I was physically well, but suffered chronic depression for about 18 months afterwards. I knew straight away the darkness Bob was describing. That common experience was the bond, the glue, the Tuff Stuff that formed the strong friendship between the two of us. Many observers would later look on ours as a father/son relationship but that wasn't really true. In Ireland there is a term for a relationship called Anam Cara, - soul friend. That more accurately describes what we meant to each other.

That same evening Bob told me something very profound about my recurring times of darkness. It's too long ago now to remember the exact words but it was something like this. Don't be afraid of the darkness. Resist it, yes, and fight it in so far as you can. But don't run too fast or too hard from it at any cost. Many Jesuits, he told me, live in a kind of natural light. They are very disciplined and ordered in their lives. They say their prayers, do their work and enjoy their leisure. They are healthy, well integrated men. Some of us, though, have to struggle in darkness. But it is the darkness itself that becomes the door for the power of the light and love of God to enter. It was many years later before I began to understand what he was talking about.

Soon though, I began to see Bob's greatness. He had no tolerance whatsoever for legalism, for pettiness, for narrow-minded people. On returning from his trips promoting devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Pioneers, he would often speak with real pain for, maybe, Mrs Mulenga in Mansa, a lifelong pioneer whose marriage failed, who remarried outside the Church, and the subsequent call from some fellow pioneers that she be stripped of her badge and expelled from the Association. Or maybe Mr Phiri in Lusaka being barred from holding high office at national level in the Association, because he worked as an accountant in National Breweries.

Very quickly the doorbell in Jesuit House began to ring. I had a room with a view upstairs and could see the visitors approach. All sorts of people, many from the old days in Canisius or St. Edmunds - like the grey Alex Chiteba or the balding Mark Chona down there on the left. It was so clear, just by observing, that they really loved him. There were also many young ladies. Beautiful young ladies, I might add. I'd rush down to greet these lovely flowers of God's creation only to climb straight back up again. It's for you Bob, again. These were girls from Roma, Chivuna, Fatima, Ndola, Ibenga,... from girls schools all over where Bob had such a powerful ministry giving retreats. I swear they were all in love with him. I used to scratch my head and wonder what all these people saw in this aging specimen of a man. His hair is falling out and he has these coke bottle spectacles. What has he got that I don't. I was even jealous. Not really, but you know what I mean.

The thing is, I'd rarely heard Bob preach. In Kitwe we all went different places for Mass, and I was rarely at a Mass that Bob was saying. Ten years ago, not too long after I'd been transferred to Lusaka, we invited Bob as director of the Novena of Grace, which is going on as we gather today. It was during that Novena of 1995 that my eyes were opened and I began to fully appreciate his greatness. For me, and I say this with great conviction, he was the most inspiring preacher I ever listened to. Soon afterwards he joined us here at St. Ignatius and I heard him very often. My room is just outside the side door there and I could hear his fine eloquent flow without even getting off the bed.

We chose the Story of the Prodigal Son as the gospel for this Mass because it was, without doubt, Bob's all time favourite. One of the first times I heard him preach on the parable he asked the question, “What comes right after the part where the Father sees the boy while he was still a long way off?” Hands went up and the popular answer was, “He ran to meet the boy”. Bob pointed out five important words in between: “He was moved with pity”. He was moved with pity. Moved with compassion. The heart of God the Father himself breaking at the sorry state of his poor ruined son.

If asked to put in a nutshell Bob's spirituality, I'd say it was contained in those five words: "He was moved with pity." Fr. Kelly experienced the gentleness of this compassion over and over again in his own darkness. The heart of tenderness dispelling the gloom in his own soul. The image of God's heart moved with pity for all His poor sons and daughters crippled by guilt, weighed down by troubles, stricken with depression, trapped and burdened by obsession and sin. You know what it feels like when you are deeply touched by the sadness in someone's life, when you really feel pity. It's like your heart is squeezed. Bob's God was a God of the heart not the head, a God whose heart is constantly squeezed as he looks down at us.

This was Bob's message, always variations on the same theme. The Father who created us to be joyful and happy is broken hearted at the sight of so many of his little children living in misery and darkness. It was the constancy and conviction of this recurring message that brought so much light and hope to us, his listeners. The God of the head is entirely different. Any suggestion that the Creator was aloof, a tough judge, a harsh punisher like with AIDS or the tsunami was blasphemy to his ears. He saw people preaching such a God as guilty of worshipping false images, guilty of idolatry....

I want to tell you about an elderly lady called Sarah in England who read one of his books several years ago. She loved it, got in touch with Bob and asked for more and more to distribute amongst her friends.... Since his recent strokes and diminished health, I've been keeping Sara informed. She is quite a lady. She raves about Bob's books and about the huge influence they are having in the ever widening circle she is giving them to. She told me that her project for Lent was to type out Be Still and know and put it on the Internet. She has already another of his books completed and up there.

..... The last attack about 6 months ago left Bob totally helpless and with hardly any awareness or capacity for friendship. At the time of that stroke John Chula house, the retirement home, was under reconstruction. The good Fr. Klaus was away and we had to mind Bob right here. People often said to me, “You are so good and kind to Bob”. I didn't feel that way. Some days I found it very hard just to sit with him. I simply hated seeing him in that dehumanised state and some days wanted to slap his face, shake him and say, “Come on Bob. Fight this, Come back to us”. I'm the youngest of the Irish Jesuits left in Zambia and in my days of darkness I sometimes wonder if I will be able to stay, grow old and die here. Will there be anyone left to love me or care? That was another of the great signs. I witnessed such kindness for Bob given by Fr. Mwelwa and Fr. Chilinda. They sat with him for hours, holding his hand, feeding him, cleaning up after him. All this from two men who never really knew him in his prime. When I think of such love from the young generation of Jesuits now taking over from the old I am consoled. I know now that if I have the companionship of Jesuit brothers like Gentle John and Cheeky Chilinda in my old age I will be truly blessed. I know that the Jesuit Province of Zambia/Malawi will be ok.

I was brought up thinking that holiness was to do with the number of hours one spent in front of the Blessed Sacrament, or how hard ones knees got from praying. Now I think it is much more to do with compassion. Having sympathy and empathy. Feeling for and feeling with. Be holy, as your Father is holy. Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Bob was that kind of holy man. All the destruction of the past year has been made new. He is enjoying the embrace of His loving Father whose heart has been moved with pity for Bob's plight all this time.

Kilbride, Edward, 1912-1998, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/605
  • Person
  • 03 June 1912-13 April 1998

Born: 03 June 1912, Galway City
Entered: 31 October 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1946, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 13 April 1998, St. John's Hospital, New Road, Limerick

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1971 at Lusaka, Zambia (ZAM) working

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Edward (Ted), though born in Galway on 3 June 1912, came from a family whose origins were on the Laois-Kildare borderlands near Athy. In the post-famine days, they had suffered eviction from a very good property and the fact that his father had been a pupil of the famous Tullabeg school showed that they were part of the post-emancipation Catholic middle classes.

Ted went to school with the Christian Brothers in Cork and then on to Clongowes Wood College. After philosophy, he went to his old school as teacher and Lower Line and 3rd Line prefect, work which he liked and he would have loved to remain in education for life. That was not to be. His care for others, his ability to organise and his welcoming approach as guest master made him almost tailor-made for the job of minister. He was minister for almost 30 years in five of the Jesuit houses, not just in Ireland but also in Zambia where he worked for nine years as Minister in St lgnatius, Lusaka. Retreat work was another aspect of his ability, at Manresa and Rathfarnham Retreat Houses and at Tullabeg. A part of this so varied and versatile life was his work on the mission staff when he preached all over Ireland and England and was most helpful to Irish emigrants. His unfailing humanity to pupils and people in trouble was a part of his large, strong personality.
Ted was given to duty and generous work in the church and in the house where he lived. His affable and interesting presence made people feel welcome and at home.

He was a great man to converse on all subjects of the day and of the past, for he had a ready and cultured mind. This was enriched by the variety of his interests. He was a member of the Bird Watchers Society, collected stamps very successfully and had a keen interest in rugby and hurling. All things artistic – poetry, painting and music –were important in his life. The staff working in the houses loved and respected him as a true Christian gentleman. He had a noblesse of great natural and spiritual conviction – never one to be a time server. Loyalty, almost to a fault, was most marked in him. In his later years he showed an openness to new, valid developments which was quite remarkable.

People always felt comfortable in his presence and he was always ready to serve. He died in St. John's Hospital, Limerick on 13 April 1998 at the age of 86.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 97 : Special Edition Summer 1998

Obituary

Fr Edward (Ted) KilBride (1912-1998)

3rd June 1912: Born in Galway
Early education: Christian Brothers, Cork, and Clongowes Wood College
31st Oct. 1929: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
1st Nov. 1931: First Vows at Emo
1931 - 1934: Rathfarnham, Arts at University College Dublin
1934 - 1937: Tullabeg: Philosophy
1937 - 1940: Clongowes: Lower line and 3rd line Prefect/Teacher
1940 - 1944: Milltown Park: Theology
29th July 1943: Ordained Priest at Milltown Park
1944 - 1945: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1945 - 1951: Mungret College, Prefect and Teacher
1951 - 1953: Manresa, Minister, Asstd. Director Retreat House
1953 - 1956: Rathfarnham, Director Retreat House
1956 - 1958: Emo, Mission Staff, Retreats
1958 - 1959: Galway, Minister, Church work
1959 - 1965: Clongowes, Minister, Prefect, Spiritual Director
1965 - 1966 Manresa, Retreat work
1966 - 1969: Tullabeg, Minister, Retreat work
1969 - 1978: Zambia, Minister, St. Ignatius, Lusaka
1978 - 1987: Galway, Minister
1987 - 1998: Crescent Church, Limerick, Church work
13th Apr. 1998: Died at Limerick aged 86.

On 10th March Ted returned to his Community after some weeks in Cherryfield with pneumonia. He took ill suddenly in early April and was admitted to St. John's Hospital, Limerick, where he died a few days later on 13th April 1998. May he rest in the Peace of Christ!

Ted KilBride, though bom in Galway, came from a family whose origins were in the Laois-Kildare borderlands near Athy. In the post famine days they had suffered eviction from very good property, and the fact that his father had been a pupil of the famous Tullabeg school showed they were part of the post emancipation Catholic middle classes. His father was to be judge in the then regime, while an uncle became a very well established doctor in Athy.

When Ted entered the society in 1929, the new state was well under-way. After the usual training he was ordained priest in 1943. Though he had an early desire to be engaged in education for life, he in fact worked in a variety of works and places. He worked in Mungret and Clongowes, in the retreat houses in Rathfarnham and Tullabeg and Manresa, in our churches in Galway and the Crescent. As well as being pastorally engaged, he was a minister in several places, an outstanding prefect of students in Clongowes and Mungret, and eventually bursar in the Crescent. Nine years of his life (1969-78) were spent as minister and pastor in St. Ignatius, Lusaka. A part of this so varied and versatile life was his work on the mission staff, when he preached all over Ireland and England and was most helpful to our emigrants. His unfailing humanity to pupils and people in trouble was a part of his large, strong personality.

When Ted died a great gap was left in the Crescent, not only because of the loss of his ever dutiful and generous work in the church and house, but because of the loss of his affable and interesting presence. A great man to converse on all subjects of the day and of the past, he had a ready and cultured mind. This was enriched by the variety of his interests. He was a
amber of the Bird Watchers Society, collected stamps very successfully and had a keen interest in rugby and hurling. All things artistic, poetry, painting and music were important in his life. As guest master in Galway und Lusaka, the staff who took care of him there loved and respected him as a true Christian gentleman. He had a noblesse of great natural and spiritual conviction - never one to be a time server. Loyalty, almost to a fault was was most marked in him. In his later years he showed an openness to new valid developments which was quite memorable. His presence is greatly missed in the Crescent community. His shrewd humor and oracious maturity remains a very happy memory with us. The sense that he went straight into the presence of his Maker was unique and inescapable. He will nobly and surely look after us from this position of advantage. The spirit of this great hearted man lives on faithfully; his love is eternal for his friends, the young and old he helped, for his family and the Society, and for all who were dear to him.

Dermot Cassidy, SJ

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
Final Vows: 02 February 1967, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
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.

Lawler, Raymond,1921-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/627
  • Person
  • 28 May 1921-14 April 2001

Born: 28 May 1921, Bunclody, County Wexford
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1956, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 14 April 2001, Clongowes Wood College, Naas, Co Kildare

Youngest Brother of Brendan - RIP 1993 and Donald - RIP 1984

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1982 at Regis Toronto, Canada (CAN S) Sabbatical

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Raymond Lawler was born in Co. Wexford, Ireland on 28 May 1921. Fr Raymond (Ray) came to Clongowes Wood College, a Jesuit boarding school, as a small boy of eleven years. Little did he realise that he would spend almost half of his life there as teacher, prefect of studies, higher line prefect, and finally as third line Spiritual Father which he was when he died at the age of 80. Clongowes (CWC) was the love of his life (apart from golf) and it was a mutual relationship between him and the successive generations of boys – always a difficult and critical body, who held him in high esteem. After the funeral Mass, members of his family and students of the school carried his coffin along the Third Line gallery where he had passed so often in the final six years of his ministry. A guard of honour was formed by present and past pupils in a moving tribute to someone who had come to mean so much to so many young people over so many years.

Ray followed the normal formation of the Society: humanities (BA honours in Latin and French), philosophy, regency in Crescent, Limerick and CWC, and theology in Milltown Park where he was ordained on the feast of St Ignatius in 1952. After tertianship, he was posted to CWC as teacher and then prefect of studies for eight years. An official visitor from Rome to the Province did some shuffling of personnel and Ray found himself changed to Belvedere College for two years. He returned quietly to CWC in 1964 again as higher line prefect (1964 - 68) and teacher from 1968 to 1981.

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! But this was ideal for Ray to ferry himself and his clubs to the nearby golf course. He had a passion for birds and was appreciative of anyone who helped him add to his beautiful collection of Zambian bird stamps.

When he returned to Ireland he worked in Tullabeg as Director of the Spiritual Exercises for a year followed by ten years at Gardiner Street Church as parish chaplain. Like a captain viewing the horizon from the bridge of his ship, Ray looked south to his beloved CWC and at the age 74 moved there to be third line spiritual Father.

He enjoyed good health to the end. He preached on Holy Thursday to the past pupils who were on retreat in CWC and played golf all Good Friday afternoon. He died in his room on Holy Saturday following a massive heart attack, on the 14 April 2001 at the age of 80.

Ray was a man who found God in all things whether playing cards, scrabble, chess, whether on the golf course, whether teaching, whatever he was doing he was never far from God. Before he left for Zambia, the school made him a presentation of a set of golf clubs. The school secretary said in his speech, ‘If there were a university degree for gentleness, I think that Father Lawler would have a PhD’. His character was summed up in the phrase “a lovable and loving person”.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 108 : Special Edition 2001

Obituary

Fr Raymond (Ray) Lawler (1921-2001)

28th May 1921: Born in Bunclody
Early education at Clongowes Wood College
7th Sept 1938: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept 1940: First Vows at Emo
1940 - 1943: Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1943 - 1946: Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1946 - 1948: Crescent College - Regency
1948 - 1949: Clongowes Wood College - Regency
1949 - 1953: Milltown - Studying Theology
31 July 1952: Ordained at Milltown
1953 - 1954: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1954 - 1962: Clongowes Wood College - Teacher
2nd Feb 1956: Final Vows
1956 - 1962: Clongowes - Prefect of Studies
1962 - 1964: Belvedere - Teacher
1964 - 1968: Clongowes - Higher Line Prefect
1968 - 1981: Clongowes - Teacher
1981 - 1982: Sabbatical Year
1982 - 1984: Zambia
1984 - 1985: Tullabeg - Director of Spiritual Exercises
1985 - 1995: Gardiner Street - Parish Chaplain
1995 - 2001: Clongowes - Third Line Spiritual Father; Assisted in Cherryfield
14th April 2001: Died Clongowes Wood College

Ray enjoyed good health to the end. He preached on Holy Thursday to the Past Pupils, who were on Retreat in Clongowes, and played golf on Good Friday afternoon. He died in his room on Holy Saturday following a massive heart attack. He will be greatly missed by all, but particularly by his beloved Third Liners.

Michael Sheil writes

When Ray Lawler came to Clongowes as a young boy of 11 in 1932, he had already spent 7 years in boarding school. At the tender age of 4 he had started his academic career in Dominican Convent, Wicklow. When he died suddenly in Clongowes at Easter, he had experienced over three-quarters of a century of institutional living.

He once described his birthplace, Bunclody, as the back of beyond (he was preaching at the funeral Mass of his neighbour and friend Dr Tom Murphy, former President of UCD, who lived “a bit beyond that”!) But he was always loyal to Wexford and rejoiced when good fortune came the way of their teams,

After leaving Clongowes, where he figured prominently at cricket and rugby, Ray followed the usual pattern of Jesuit formation in the 40s and 50s, studying Arts at UCD, philosophy in Tullabeg. He did his regency in Crescent College and Clongowes and was ordained on 31 July 1952. Afterwards Tertianship in Rathfarnham followed and then began his long association with his beloved Clongowes.

He filled a number of posts there, beginning as a Teacher for 5 years and then as Prefect of Studies for a further 3, until in the general mass migrations which signalled Fr Visitor's (McMahon) passage through the Province in 1962, Ray moved to Belvedere,

My own memories of him go way back to 1949 when, in my first year in the Third Line in Clongowes, we used to hear everyone talking about the marvellous Mr Lawler, who had left the year before. For he had just finished his regency there. In my last two years, I had him for Latin and French and Religion - and was able to realize for myself just why he had been held in such high esteem by that most discerning - if not downright difficult, critical body - the students themselves!

After two short years in Belvedere, Ray returned for what was to be his longest stint in Clongowes - 17 years, until 1981. He began as Higher Line Prefect ( 4 years) and rejoined the teaching staff for the remainder of that time. He was an excellent teacher of French and duly coached rugby and cricket (he played cricket regularly for the local club, North Kildare.) But it was during this time that he fell in love...he discovered the joys of golf! He became a regular sight on the College's golf course and competed frequently in competitions in Naas Golf Club. One year he came home with no less than 5 turkeys won there. And the school's S.R.P.A. (The Society for the Relief of the Poor and Aged - founded by Fr Brian Cullen) was the happy beneficiary.

He was still here when I returned as Higher Line Prefect in 1975 and was a marvellous companion in Community .... and I don't ever remember getting the better of him in a game of golf! Before the golf course was as good as it is today, he used to practise hitting golf bails from the Third Line rugby pitches on to the cricket oval - in all kinds of weather. I remember one day taking a Senior Rugby Practice in miserable, coid, sleety weather. After a while the Captain dared to suggest that we were only wasting our time, for it was too cold to do anything really useful. But I insisted that we might have to play a Cup match in such conditions (as indeed turned out to be the case - it even snowed!). So we battled on. However, after a while, the Captain approached me again and said, “Look, Fr Lawler has gone in!” “All right”, I said, “if it's too cold for Fr Lawler, then it's too cold for us!” And so in we went!

Six years ago we both returned together for what was to be such a wonderful Indian summer of his life. The story is told of how a fellow-Jesuit, on meeting Ray shortly after that change to CWC was announced, said that he had heard that it had taken him only 5 minutes to accept to come back here as Spiritual Father to the Third Line. The story goes that Ray got quite angry at the suggestion and protested that that was an awful thing to say about him. His companion - unused to see the usually placid Ray showing anger - back-pedalled a bit and said that it was only what he had heard from someone else. But Ray was only having him on - and to put him out his agony explained that 5 minutes was a gross exaggeration - it had taken him only 5 seconds! Just after he died, someone said: Surely he is in beaven - to which the reply came back: Sure he arrived in heaven when he came back to Clongowes! That speaks wonders for the spirit which he helped to encourage. It also means that the boys themselves had a part to play in making him so happy - in making him what he was - a lovable and loving person.

When he left CWC in 1981 to go to Zambia - the school made Fr Lawler a presentation of - surprise, surprise! - a set of clubs ... for that, even then, was his great pastime love. In his speech in the Concourse, the School Secretary said something which I never forgot - and which summed Ray up to perfection. “If there were a University degree for gentleness - I think that Fr Lawler would have a PhD.!” For that was indeed one of his great qualities.

On his return to Clongowes in 1995 he became Spiritual Father (or, as some used to say, Spiritual Grandfather!) and he became a central figure in the lives of very many young boys - some of them desperately homesick - and of their parents. The testimony of the great number of letters of sympathy written to the Community bears witness to this. His night prayer with Third Line was spiritual and deeply thought out - informal and always interesting - relevant and touching the lives of Third Liners where they were. How appropriate was it - however much it brought a lump to the throat - to see him on the recent RTE programme, leading this year's Opening Assembly last September, for what was to be the last time - reminding the assembled school of the importance of what really brought the school community together - when they gather to give thanks and glory to God.

St Ignatius of Loyola wanted his companions to be able to find God in all things. And, surely, didn't Ray do just that?! Whether playing cards - scrabble - chess - whether on the golf-course (as he was on the very day before he died) - whether teaching the yoyo (the very first online purchase made by CWC on the internet was yoyo string!) whatever Ray was doing - wherever he was - he was never far from God. For God was never far from him. Psalm 138 (139) was his favourite and he often quoted the lines: “It was you who created my being... ...I thank you for the wonder of my being, for the wonders of all your creation”. The Psalm ends with the words: “See that I follow not the wrong path and lead me in the path of life eternal”.

And so God did come to lead Ray home - as quietly as he had lived - in the silence of a Holy Saturday morning. As the Church waited to celebrate again the great Feast of Christ's Resurrection Ray left for a better place. Although his funeral took place during the school holidays at Easter, the College Chapel was full for Mass. Afterwards, members of his family and students of the school carried his coffin along the Third Line gallery (where he had passed so often in the final six years of his ministry.) A guard of honour was formed by present and past pupils in a moving tribute to someone who had come to mean so much to so many young people over so many years. In Clongowes Ray continues to be an inspiration to his Brethren who remember with gratitude and affection his pleasant companionship. And his memory will long be held in reverence in the school where he spent nearly half of his long and full life.

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
Final Vows: 02 February 1978, Mazabuka, Seminary, Choma, Zambia
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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1950, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
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.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 75 : Christmas 1993 & Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Bill Lee (1915-1992)

7th Dec. 1915: Born, Waterford
Early education: Christian Bros. Schools, Waterford up to Matriculation
9th Oct. 1934: Entered the Society at Emo
1936 - 1939: Juniorate, Rathfarnham
1939 - 1942: Philosophy at Tullabeg
1942 - 1943: Teaching at Clongowes
1944 - 1948; Theology at Milltown Park
1947: Ordained
1948 - 1949: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1950 - 1957: Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). Having studied the language, he served in Kasia, Fumbo, Chikuni, etc.
1957 - 1987: Gonzaga, teaching Physics, etc. (In 1981 he took a sabbatical in the U.S.A.)
1987 - 1989: University Hall - adj. Prefect; also keeper of Records, Milltown Institute
1989 - 1991: 35 Lower Leeson Street, Minister in 1990. Assistant Registrar at Milltown Institute and teaching Latin
4th June 1992: Died at St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

William Lee, known to his family as Willie and to his Jesuit brethren as Bill, was bom in 1916 in Waterford where he spent most of his youth. He was one of ten children of whom Sheila, Teddy and Peggy survive and to them we offer our sincerest sympathy. They will miss him terribly. Our sympathy also to his nephews, nieces and other relatives amongst whom he was greatly beloved and in whom he took a keen and warm avuncular interest. Within the family he is remembered as being distinctive: he alone of the ten children greeted all orders with “Why?”, all information with “How do you know?” and enjoyed an argument as other children enjoyed a party. He endearingly retained these characteristics to the end. He was educated in Waterpark College by the Christian Brothers whom he held in the highest esteem and of whom he had the happiest memories. As a student, he was most capable, a voracious reader and utterly stubborn in refusing to leam or study any thing that did not capture his interest. Attempts to break this habit by carrot and stick proved fruitless.

He had little or no contact with Jesuits until a Fr. Mackey descended on Waterpark College to give the boys a retreat. It appears that this man was a famous recruiting sergeant for the Jesuits in the '20s and '30s and he added Bill to his list. Bill's par ents received the news that he was to join the Jesuits as a sign of lamentable judgement. After all he had acquired a good position in the bank, and if he was thinking of the priesthood or religious life, did he not know the Franciscans, the diocesan priests and the Christian Brothers? So why join the Jesuits of whom he knew nothing? Characteristically, the more his parents opposed it, the more Bill warmed to the idea. He cut the argument short one day, by getting on his bike in Waterford ad cycling to Dublin. He arrived at Leeson Street to meet Fr. Mackey. Just as the good father was extolling the virtues of the religious life in general and those of the Jesuits in particular, Bill, tired out by his joumey, fell fast asleep. When the startled priest discovered the reason for this, he was suitably impressed and sent Bill to the Provincial with a strong recommendation. By the time Bill returned to Waterford, he had, more or less, signed on. The family's disappointment at his decision was mitigated by the conviction that he would soon be sent home from the Jesuit novitiate. They did not put a tooth in it: they told him that the Jesuits, of all people, would not put up with his incessantly asking, “Why?”, “Wherefore?” and “How do you know?”. However, Bill proved not to be one of nature's natural martyrs. He reserved his taste for robust debate for his fellow novices, one of whom reported that going out with Br. Lee for a discussion was like walking across a mine field. However, if Bill made his mark as a lover of debate and discussion, his kindness, good humour and generosity were no less noticed and appreciated.

After the novitiate, he began his studies that he greatly enjoyed, obtaining a good honours degree in Arts, and then in Philosophy in Tullabeg, and completed what was then known as the long or higher course in Theology. He was ordained in 1947, Between Philosophy and Theology he showed great promise as a teacher in Clongowes and The Crescent. His theological studies left him with an abiding interest in the subject. For him, theology was not merely an academic or intellectual interest. He read it seriously as a means of making sense of his beliefs and convictions. If in latter years his reading tended to concentrate on Schillebeeckx, Kung and the more unorthodox theologians, this reflected his moderate esteem for orthodoxy. He completed his formation with tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle. Plans were afoot to send some Irish Jesuits to what was then Northern Rhodesia. Bill conceived a keen desire NOT to go there, was greatly relieved not to be sent and in these circumstances found a posting in Limerick quite attractive. He was just settling down comfortably to life in the Crescent when he received a note from the Provincial's assistant telling him to get a medical check with a view to going to Northem Rhodesia.

He went in 1950. He was one of the pioneering group, and experienced all the difficulties of establishing the mission. He built a mission station physically with one or two others, taught, spent some time as secretary to the Bishop and picked up a touch of malaria.

He returned to Ireland in 1957 to teach in Gonzaga, which was founded as he was leaving for Africa. He joined a gifted staff that was conscious that the school was doing something new in Irish education. He appreciated the refreshing and innovative ethos of the place but was critical of the role of science in the curriculum. He rightly considered that it did not enjoy a sufficiently central place in the new school and that science should be at the heart of 20th century liberal education. He persuaded the authorities to permit him to go to the USA for six summers to obtain a degree in Physics. He set up the science department in Gonzaga, initially in a loft over converted stables, and introduced a demonstration course in science. This was hardly ideal but was all that resources allowed. Over the years he was joined by excellent teachers and science gradually assumed a central place in the curriculum but by the time the splendid new science wing was built he had retired. However, he was certainly the founding father of the now flourishing science department in Gonzaga.

He was a very good teacher, albeit with a short fuse at times and with less than an unerring way with experiments. He had a marvellous rapport with his students by whom he was much beloved. He was deeply interested in his subject, and had broad intellectual interests that enabled him not merely to teach but to educate.

Bill, however, was appreciated for what he was, rather than for what he did: humane, kindly, tolerant and unpretentious. There was about him something difficult to define but palpable to experience; one did not relate to him as a teacher or a cleric. He did not, as many clerics do, give the impression that he was fulfilling a role or assuming a function. He was very much the human face of the clerical and religious life. He was immensely popular in the staff room and was a colourful member of the community life. He was clubable, enjoying and contributing much to community life. He had his own style. He seemed to “sniff” the general drift of conversation and then assume a position against the commonly held view. The more vigorous the argument, the more pleased he seemed to be. While some found his style more attractive than others, it was salutary for those who took themselves too seriously.

He left Gonzaga in 1987 after 30 years and moved to University Hall and then to Leeson Street while working in The Milltown Institute as Bursar, Assistant Registrar and teacher of Latin, To his colleagues in Milltown he was a popular and lively companion. He was Minister for a year in Leeson Street in addition to his tasks in Milltown and was always ready and happy to supply in the Barrett Cheshire Home where he had the affection and respect of the residents.

In pastoral work he was most successful, if somewhat diffident. He was not one for passing on certainties. Indeed, he was suspi cious 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. He was keen to help them to make sense of their lives in their own way and to give their own meaning to those lives. He never enter tained the idea that he could solve peoples' problems but he did try to help people to live more easily with those human and reli gious problems that we all have and that are beyond solution in this life. He related well to the dedicated and practising Christians in the Teams of Our Lady who so much appreciated him. The presence of the residents of the Barrett Cheshire Home, who went to so much trouble to be at his funeral, reflects their appreci ation of a man who unostentatiously and uncondescendingly con veyed his understanding of those whom providence left gravely disadvantaged. He was especially good with those whose faith was fragile, whose link with the Church was tenuous or whose practice was spasmodic. He was helped in dealing with such peo ple by his awareness that Faith and its consequences are a gift and so he tended to be more surprised by their presence than by their absence. He himself lived happily with questions unan swered and problems unsolved but with the absolute certainty that the day would come - and for him it has - when he would get his answers and solutions. However, should they turn out to be the orthodox ones, he will, I suspect, be bitterly disappointed.

About a year ago, the pulmonary fibrosis that was to prove fatal was diagnosed. This restricted his activity greatly, and consider able damaged his quality of life. The signs were there for all to see. The work in Milltown became a little too much for him. He frequently and uncharacteristically absented himself from community recreation. He went to his sisters on Fridays and Sundays armed with a video as the effort to keep up his usual rate of conversation waned. But he retained his spark and interest in life. He had acquired a second hand computer shortly before going into hospital and was happily working on it when he got his fatal attack. He had planned to visit Zambia this Autumn with his sister Peggy and generally was looking forward rather than looking back.

We will miss his colourful manner, kindly personality, and gen uine goodness but he has left us the happiest memories of a good life lived to the full.

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
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
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
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
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.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 124 : Summer 2005

MISSIONED TO ZAMBIA

Brian MacMahon

Taken from some 50 “portraits” submitted by Tom McGivern, who works in the Archives of the Province of Zambia Malawi. Brian MacMahon was one of the first group assigned to Zambia in 1950. He died in 1960, the first Irish Jesuit in Zambia to die.

At an early stage of his life 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 Mac Mahon”, almost immediately reduced to its homely form of "The Bish". Brian was born in London, England, in 1907, and educated at Clongowes Wood College. After vows, he studied for his B.Sc. and then his M.Sc, at UCD, also obtaining a Travelling 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, or summa cum laude. 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 at Tullabeg and Professor of Cosmology and Biology 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 he departed for Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) with the first batch of Irish Jesuits that were assigned there in 1950. For several years he was Rector and Principal of Canisius Secondary School. In 1959, he moved to Lusaka as Education Secretary to the Bishops' Conference. Serious illness brought him back to Ireland where he died of cancer on August 15, 1960, at 53 years of age, and 20 years as a priest.

What of the man himself? He was a big man. Fr. Dominic Nchete preached at the Funeral 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”. “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 airmail 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!”

As schoolboy, as novice and as 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 Maths and Political Economy (under Fr. Tom Finlay) but obedience took him down a different path of studies. 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 interest 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. And in simple faith and acceptance, he answered the call to eternity.

Maguire, John, 1933-2020, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/862
  • Person
  • 15 June 1933-16 April 2020

Born: 15 June 1933, Glenfarne, County Leitrim
Entered: 01 July 1968, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Professed: 02 February 1981, Lusaka, Zambia
Died: 16 April 2020, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1980 at Lusaka Zambia (ZAM) working

Early Education as Grocer in Ireland and England; Rathmines Tech, Dublin; Catholic Workers College, Dublin

1970-1974 Milltown Park - Secretary to Provincial; Studying
1974-1975 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Studying Theology at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co Kildare
1975-1980 Milltown Park - Secretary to Provincial
1977 Studying Theology at Milltown Institute; Assistant Secretary to Provincial
1978 Tertianship in Tullabeg
1979 Member of Special Secretariat
1980-1984 Lusaka, Zambia - Secretary to Rector of St Dominic’s Major Seminary
1984-1987 Loyola House - Minister; Province Secretary
1985 Editor of Province Newsletter
1987-2020 Milltown Park - Province Secretary
1993 Canterbury, Kent, UK - Sabbatical at Franciscan Study Centre
1994 Administration in Provincial’s Office
2017 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/br-john-maguire-sj-one-of-leitrims-treasures/

Br John Maguire SJ – ‘One of Leitrim’s treasures’
Brother John Maguire SJ died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Ranelagh, Dublin, on 16 April 2020. Due to government guidelines regarding public gatherings, a private funeral took place on 18 April, followed by burial in Glasnevin Cemetery. A small number of relatives attended. Fr Bill Callanan SJ and Fr John K Guiney SJ represented the Jesuits. Around 100 messages were left on the online Condolences Book (RIP.ie), such was Brother John’s influence on the lives of lay people and religious over many decades. Many remember him for his quiet reassuring presence and for his wise judgement and administrative skills while working for the Irish Jesuit Province.
Brother John was born in Glenfarne, County Leitrim, in 1933. Before entering the Jesuits at 35 years old, he worked as a grocer in Ireland and England and attended Rathmines Tech and Catholic Workers College in Dublin. After his novitiate at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois, he worked as secretary to the Provincial and studied at Milltown Park, Dublin, followed by theology studies at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. He continued his studies and administrative work in Milltown Park and did his tertianship in Tullabeg, County Offaly.
From 1980 to 1984, Brother John was a missionary in Lusaka, Zambia, where he was secretary to the rector of St Dominic’s Major Seminary. He also took his final vows there.
Upon his return to Ireland, he worked as minister for the Loyola House community in Dublin, acted as Province secretary and editor of the Province newsletter. He continued his work as Province secretary, took a sabbatical at the Franciscan Study Centre in Canterbury, England, in 1993, and was involved with administration in the Provincial’s office right up until 2017. In recent years, he lived in Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, where he prayed for the Church and the Society of Jesus.
The private funeral which took place on 18 April was officiated by Fr Bill Callanan SJ and assisted by Fr John K Guiney SJ. Fr Guiney, director of Irish Jesuit Missions, thanked the four members of Brother John’s family who travelled from Leitrim on the morning of the funeral. He was grateful for their presence in the difficult circumstances where it was not possible to do a normal Jesuit funeral and to fully celebrate Brother John’s wonderful life as a Jesuit companion.
Fr Guiney thanked the Maguire family for giving Brother John to the Society and for his service of so many in Zambia and Ireland. He said that his gracious, gentle, dedicated and humble service touched the lives of so many down through the years. His sister Peggy was unable to attend because of government constraints, but she was well represented by her family. Brother John occupies the last place available in the old graveyard at Glasnevin Cemetery and the next Jesuit burial will take place in the new one.
A number of other Jesuits have expressed their condolences for the loss of their dear brother in the Lord. Tom Layden SJ, former Irish Provincial, commented:
“May John rest in the peace of the Risen Lord and may the hope of the resurrection bring comfort to his family and friends. I thank the Lord for John and his gifts of kindness, quiet competence and friendliness.”
Kevin O’Higgins SJ, Director of Jesuit University Support and Training (JUST) in Ballymun, said:
“It is lovely to see so many tributes to John. Like St Peter Faber, one of the first Jesuits, John was a ‘quiet companion’, always courteous, anxious to help, unfailingly kind and generous. After a lifetime of dedicated service, may he now rest peacefully in God’s love.”
Paddy Carberry SJ, former novice director and editor of Messenger magazine, commented:
“I have known John for many years, and worked closely with him at one time. He was always kind, obliging, gentle and good-humoured. I will miss him. I have offered Mass for him. My condolences to his family and to all who miss him.”
The Provincialate staff in Milltown Park remember him as a great colleague. They said:
“Brother John helped new staff settle into their jobs in so many little ways and was welcoming and good humoured to all who came into the office.
“We have memories of him loving the fun at coffee breaks, for his gifts of homemade biscuits and for his tin whistle playing.
“He was a gentleman in every sense with a lovely simplicity, albeit with a touch of delicious roguery! He was one of Leitrim’s treasures. May he rest in endless peace.”
Paddy Moloney, who used to visit Brother John in Cherryfield Lodge, also paid tribute to him.
“John was gentle, and was particular about any job he did. He liked the garden, flowers, was a player of the tin whistle and played in bands in his hometown. He was in a small 3 piece Irish music group in Dublin.
The other two remained his friends for life. My wife Aline worked as a receptionist in the Curia and knew him when he was well and said he was interested in people and she always found him helpful.”
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Mangan, Denis, 1927-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1670
  • Person
  • 12 March 1927-08 August 1988

Born: 12 March 1927, Enfield, London, England
Entered: 07 September 1943, Roehampton London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 31 July 1957
Final vows: 02 February 1960
Died: 08 August 1988, Chinhoyi (Sinoia), Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe Province (ZIM)

by 1964 came to St Ignatius Lusaka N Rhodesia (HIB) working

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Denis Mangan was born in Enfield, Middlesex, England 12 March 1927. He was educated at St. Ignatius College, Stamford Hill and St. Peter’s, Southbourne. He entered the novitiate at St. Beuno’s in 1943 but his course was interrupted due to military service and so he took his first vows only in October 1948 at Roehampton. He had a year’s teaching at St. John, Beaumont and then he went for philosophy to Heythrop from 1950-53. He taught at Stonyhurst for a year before going on to theology in Heythrop again in 1954. He was ordained in 1957. He did his tertianship at Gandia from 1958 to 1959.

His first assignment was to work for the Apostleship of Prayer in the central curia in Rome from 1963-64. He was responsible for the AoP for English speaking Africa. When he arrived in Rhodesia in 1965 he was in charge of the AoP as well as the Sodality of our Blessed Lady. He did a short spell in Zambia doing this work in 1963-64. He operated from Prestage House from 1965-68 and from Campion House from 1968-69.

He then moved into vocation promotion (1969-84) and was responsible for the pre-novitiate. He was parish priest at Umvuk. He was in the Cathedral parish at Campion House and was superior and parish priest from 1977-84. He always kept his attention on the needs of the youth. He was available for the Study Group at St. Peter’s, Mbare and in his time at Chinhoyi started up a study group there. He was the prime mover of “Ministers Fraternal”. Originally this was to have been a group of Catholics who were senior people in Government and in business, to discuss subjects concerning the ministers present, including the then Prime Minister, Cde Mugabe and later Dr Bernard Chidzero, the Minister of Finance.

He worked with Fr Paul Crane, S.J. at Claver House in London for a short while from 1984-85. When he came back to Zimbabwe he was parish priest at Corpus Christi, Chinhoyi and local superior. He died from a weak heart at the relatively early age of 61 in 1988.

The funeral Mass was in the Cathedral which was packed by a congregation that was made up of a good cross-section of the Catholic community: clergy, brothers, sisters, lay people of all ways of life, very many chita women, a busload of parishioners from Chinhoyi, with 75 priests concelebrating (Jesuit, Franciscan, Carmelite and diocesan). The cathedral rarely sees a funeral Mass like this. The way people made the effort to be present was a great tribute to Fr Mangan’s touch with people.

McAuley, John, 1923-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/787
  • Person
  • 17 June 1923-02 January 2012

Born: 17 June 1923, Bargeddie, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Entered: 07 September 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 25 May 1986, Rome, Italy
Final Vows: 10 May 1995
Died: 02 January 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1952 at Rome Italy (ROM) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 147 : Spring 2012

Obituary

Fr John McAuley (1923-2011) : Zambia Malawi Province

17 June 1923: Born in Glasgow, Scotland
7 September 1946: Entered Society in Emo Park, Ireland
25 May1986: Ordained in Rome by Pope John Paul II
2 February 1957: Final Vows at the Gesu, Rome
2 January 2012: Died in Dublin

Apostolic Life
1948 - 1951: Ireland. Rector's secretary
1951 - 1969: Rome, General Curia , receptionist
1969 - 1970: Chikuni. Learning Tonga
1972 - 1973: Chikuni, Canisius, teaching
1974 - 1981: Namwala, teaching at Namwala Sec. Sch
1981 - 2002: Kabwe, Bwacha
1981 - 1992: Lecturer, chaplain, Nkrumah Teacher Training College
1992 - 1996: Chaplain, Nkrumah, lecturing at Mpima Seminary
1985 - 1986: Rome, Bellarmino, Studies for priesthood
1996 - 2002: Chaplaincy work, formation of young Religious
2002 - 2004: Dublin, Milltown Park, recovering health
2004 - 2006: Kabwe, Bwacha, assisting in parish
2006 - 2007: Dublin, Milltown Park, recovering health Dublin,
2007 - 2011: Cherryfield Lodge, praying for Church and Society

Obituary : Michael J Kelly
John McAuley spent 66 of his 89 years in the Society: as a novice and brother from 1946 to 1986 and as a priest from 1986 to his death on 2nd January 2012. He was a true Jesuit in whom there was no guile. Integrity, determination to pursue a spiritual life as he understood it, and zeal for the apostolate characterized him all through life. No obstacle or difficulty could deter him from making these qualities manifest in his life. At times his strength of purpose seemed daunting, but to John this was his way of finding God and showing how much God loves us. A small incident in the novitiate brings this out. When standing for grace after dinner one day, John shook his leg as if something was itching him but continued with the grace. Afterwards he told his companions that when he was sitting at the table a mouse had run up the leg of his trousers, but he thought it was his duty as a novice not to make any fuss but to wait until he could dispose of his visitor in the least perceptible way. No one but John could have been so calm, collected and yet very funny about such an experience.

John took his first vows on 8th September 1948. Ever afterwards he remained very loyal to those who had taken vows with him, making sure that each of them had the “vow photo” of the thirteen men who took vows on that day, taken by the internationally acclaimed photographer, Father Frank Browne, S.J. Like his fellow vow-men, John did his novitiate under two novice-masters, Father Tommy Byrne and Donal O'Sullivan, and like his colleagues he benefitted from the richness that came from two different approaches to the spiritual life and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. But John was a man of few words who did not speak easily about things personal to himself. Before entering the novitiate he had completed two years of a science degree at Glasgow University. But he never revealed this to his fellow-novices, most of whom were several years his junior and far behind him in academic attainments. Even less did he speak about his own spiritual life. He was a private man, one who enjoyed companionship but did not depend on it.

After a few years as refectorian in Tullabeg and secretary to the Rector in Clongowes, John moved to Rome where he spent several years as receptionist for the Curia. Because of his reticence in speaking about himself we do not know much about John's life during this period. But the few things we do know are very striking. He was outstanding for the generosity of his hospitality to Irish Jesuits who happened to be passing through Rome, going out of his way to ensure that they were able to visit church and historical sites. The fact that he took Final Vows in 1957, just eleven years after he had entered the Society, speaks volumes for the dedicated religious life he lived when in Rome. And during this period, John succeeded in doing what Hitler had been unable to do- he stopped General Montgomery in his tracks.

What happened was this. One day, when John was receptionist at the Curia, a tall man came in and said he wanted to see the General. John asked to see his ID, but the visitor said he was not carrying one. John retorted that in that case he could not admit him, to which the visitor replied that he had an appointment with the General. John looked at the day's documents detailing appointments and said he had no information on that, but the man insisted. So John asked him his name and then rang the General to tell him that a man called Montgomery was at the desk, saying he had an appointment - “send him in at once" was the reply, “I am waiting for him, he is also a General”.

But stopping high-ranking generals and the humdrum duties of receptionist at the Curia did not give John sufficient outlet for his apostolic zeal. Like every good Jesuit, he sought the Magis, he wanted to do more. And so it was that he undertook part-time studies at the Gregorian University, a move that would accelerate his transition to the priesthood in later life. The same zeal led to his being assigned in 1969 to the newly established Zambian Province where, after some time spent in learning a local language, he served as a secondary school teacher, first at Canisius, the Jesuit school, and then for several years at the government school in Namwala. In addition to his teaching duties, John also served as chaplain at Namwala School, a ministry that gave him much scope for his apostolic zeal.

From Namwala, John transferred for a short period to the Jesuit Teacher Training College, Charles Lwanga, and from there to the Government training college for secondary teachers, Nkrumah College in Kabwe, where he lectured in religious studies and served as chaplain. It was while he was in Kabwe that John's desire to be ordained as a priest came very strongly to the fore, leading to studies at the Bellarmino in Rome in 1985 and 1986 and ordination in June 1986 by Blessed John Paul II. On his return to Zambia John was again posted to Kabwe, where he served in the parish and lectured and was chaplain at Nkrumah College. As if these responsibilities were not enough, he also took on a heavy load of formation work for young religious. For a time he lectured at the national seminary in Mpima, but is probably better remembered for his catechetical work with postulants and novices for the Sisters of Charity and for the Little Servants of Mary.

Although physically very wiry, John always suffered from bad sight, attributable in great measure to his being an albino. This prevented him from ever driving a car on any of his apostolic journeys. Instead he undertook these on a Honda 110 motor-cycle. The image of John endures, sitting very straight-backed on his Honda, looking straight ahead and “put-putting” along miles of tarred and dirt roads. But the Honda eventually became John's undoing, leading to serious accidents as he hit unseen potholes or had brushes with passing cars. One of these accidents necessitated his return to Ireland in 2002 to recover from his injuries. When he retumed to Zambia two years later, the Provincial felt obliged to refuse his request that he could ride his Honda again and advised him that he would have to rely on the mistresses of novices in the various congregations to get him to and from his work with postulants and novices.

Nothing daunted, John set about this but the injuries he had previously sustained had weakened him so badly that it was again necessary for him to return to Ireland, this time in 2006. At first he was assigned to Milltown Park, but a year later it became necessary for him to transfer to the Jesuit Nursing Home, Cherryfield Lodge. He settled in well and was content. He greatly enjoyed visits from members of his family who came from Scotland a few times each year to spend some time with him. But his condition steadily deteriorated; he was confined to a wheelchair; his eyesight failed almost completely; and his hearing became quite poor. But he always remained patient and now seemed more than ever concentrated on his new apostolate, to pray for the Church and the Society. Every morning, on being wheeled in for Mass, he would say “Put me near the altar”. In many ways this sums up his life, to be near the altar - “nearer my God to thee, even though it be a cross that raiseth me”. In this spirit, John died peacefully on 2nd January 2012.

The prayers of commendation, before John's body was taken from Cherryfield to Milltown Park for his funeral Mass, included the reflection: “Rather than his body, we are left with the name of John which we speak now with reverence and affection, and pray: Lord God, remember this namewhich he was given by his parents, and by which he is known even though he is dead; the namethat you have written on the palm of your hand”. In the Society, in Ireland and in Zambia, he was known as John. But his family always called him “Jackie”. In keeping with his much-loved privacy, John preferred that this name be reserved for family use only and could be offended if it was used by any non-family member. But whether “Jackie” or “John”, we speak his name with reverence and affection because he was a sign of God's living presence with us, because he strained himself always to do more for the coming of God's kingdom among us, and because we are certain that his name - be it Jackie or John - is written on the palm of God's hand.

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, Clongowes Wood College SJ
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
Final Vows: 02 February 1946, Clongowes Wood College SJ
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
Final Vows: 02 February 1954, Milltown Park, Dublin
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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 76 : Christmas 1993 & Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Frank McDonagh (1915-1993)

My first memory of Frank McDonagh is from Tullabeg. I had been there just one year, straight from Emo, still a “post-novice” amidst scholastics, seasoned or even wounded by the Rathfarnham experience of those days, when he arrived; and he took me under his kindly wing to ease me into a life-style that he considered was more balanced and more in keeping with what Fr Neary would have called “the pooled wisdom of four centuries”. I doubt if I was a very docile pupil and at times he must have regarded me with mild exasperation; but his friendliness was indomitable.

I have always remembered his thanks at his first Mass reception to those who had prayed for him along the way: he had, he said, been often conscious of their help. Indeed for a man like him, older than his confreres and with wider secular experience, the scholastic years must have been quite difficult at times.

We met again in Zambia. For some time he was on the nunciature staff as “collaborator localis”. His Vatican masters, he remarked to me with some heat, were either oblivious or unboth ered that the Nazis had made "collaborator" a very bad word. He also served as Rector of Chikuni: I have a memory of him presiding with modest magnificence at an outdoor evening showing of O'Toole and Hepburn's Lion in Winter: honesta recreatio for tired missionaries.

He had already presided at Belvedere, A member of the com munity recalls him as a kind, thoughtful and humane Rector; that would surely be echoed by others who knew him then. I rather suspect that he privately enjoyed the fact that the rector of the great college was a “local” from around the corner in the less augustan Dorset Street.

He did two stints in Gardiner Street. He is remembered as an efficient and humane bursar, a good preacher with “good stuff”, a well-informed man you would listen to with respect.

He was an urbane man with a sure sense of humour and the ability to tell a story well. Not an ascetic in the physical sense: he liked his drink and smoke and music. But there was in him the essential ascesis of devoted service and of deep sympathy and concern for people. It is good to know that he considered his time in Cherryfield the happiest time of his life: felicitas in fine, pax in pascuo. Requiescat.

Stephen Redmond

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
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Canisius College, Chikuni Zambia
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.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 129 : Autumn 2006

MISSIONED TO ZAMBIA : JOSEPH M MCDONALD

Taken from some 50 “portraits” submitted by Tom McGivern, who works in the Archives of the Province of Zambia Malawi.

Fr, Joe finished school 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 19th 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 31st 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 travelled by boat to Cape Town and then by train to Chisekesi Siding, six miles from Chikuni, the only mission station at the time, described as a place “of pit latrines, oil-lamps and candles”.

Building was just beginning at Fumbo, Kaşiya and Chivuna 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, for the spiritually hungry. He preached the good news in his own inimitable way, 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 love 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 (provider) in Chikuni and Chivuna at times, it was parish work all the time, 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 to both his Superiors and 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!"

-oOo-

When you have met a legendary character, you are not the first to attempt to have your own sketch of him. I first met Fr. Joe on the escarpment that leads down to Fumbo, from the Chikuni area in Southern Zambia in 1959. He was in his heyday at the time - busy, shy, frail in build, and with a wonderful smile. On that particular day he was going up to Chikuni and four of us were going down to see his house in Fumbo.

Having walked through his kitchen we looked in the fridge' and all that was found was a frozen can of beer! As Joe was a strict Pioneer it was obviously not for himself. The British flag was blowing in the breeze at his school or "university" - as he would call it. To myself I wondered how long would that flag be flying in what was then Northern Rhodesia. From his front door one could see cars and lorries coming down the twisting escarpment towards the Mission and on to Munyumbae or Chipepo at the river Zambezi - before Lake Karita had finally settled down. That particular area, Fumbo, is part of the great and hot Zambezi Valley, where the first Jesuit missionaries had come to from the South in the early 1880's. Fr, Terorde, the first man to die after about a month, now lies under the waters of Lake Kariba.

Fumbo Mission had been founded in 1951 and was then part of the Archdiocese of Lusaka. In the late fifties and early sixties Joe was Master of his own mission area; the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes had been built and a new house for the Fathers; the water problem had been solved; local schools had been built where the missionary would go and visit people and say Mass occasionally. One of Joe's favourite places was Bbondo - not too easy to reach, but Joe's zeal and consistency made little of all this. His Tonga was not great but the people knew their own Cure D'Ars when they met and got to know him. He was a "natural" missionary, bringing people up and down to hospital and always on call - up at all hours of the morning before Vincent or I appeared! We were there for six months getting to grips with the Tonga language. A missionary driving a big car or one who was not "a real pastor" would not be that welcome! But, of course, Joe would always be cordial.

As manager of schools he would tell us sometimes he "had blown the boots" off some poor teacher who was performing below standard and had come to report on his needs and worries. But the people saw Joe had their interests at heart, answering their requests for help or lifts. He would sometimes be called out at night to go up to Chikuni hospital with a very sick person.

One morning we had a visit from Lord and Lady Dalhousie, when he was Governor of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1960). Lady Dalhousie had gone over to pay a visit to our church. As I looked out of the kusilikwa (medicine room) I saw himself standing outside. Having recognised them, I brought them both up to meet Joe and he gave them a great welcome. Later he often got Christmas cards from them.

He could flare up at times, but the lasting impression remains of one close to God, who put his flock before his own needs and was not too worked up about the trials of the moment. "Quid ad aeternitatem?" would be his comment on ventures that to him made little sense! Later having come back up to the Tonga plateau he spent some years in Chikuni parish visiting the sick in the hospital and saying Mass in some of the stations.

In his sermons in Tonga he would often speak about the time of our death and of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. At the time of his own death (1999) he was living in our community house and was suffering from malaria. On the actual day of his death he left his room to say an early Mass and was going along the corridor leading to the chapel when he collapsed. He was brought back to his room and complained about being "very tired". Later in the morning the Good Lord called him to Himself. It was the feast day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 06 April 2000, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambia-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
Final Vows: 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

McGoran, Robert, 1920-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/633
  • Person
  • 30 May 1920-01 October 2007

Born: 30 May 1920, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 04 October 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955
Died: 01 October 2007, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 135 : Spring 2008

Obituary

Fr Robert (Bob) McGoran (1920-2007)

30th May 1920: Born in Belfast
Early education at St. Patrick's N.S., Drumcondra, and Coláiste Mhuire, Dublin
4th October 1937: Entered the Society at Emo
5th October 1939: First Vows at Emo
1939 - 1943: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1943 - 1946: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy,
1946 - 1949: St. Ignatius College, Galway - Teacher
1949 - 1953: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1952: Ordained at Milltown Park
1953 - 1954: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1954 - 1961: St. Ignatius, Galway - Teacher
2nd February 1955: Final Vows at St. Ignatius, Galway
1961 - 1968: St. Ignatius, Galway - Prefect of Studies
1968 - 1973: Belvedere College - Prefect of Studies
1971 - 1973: Headmaster
1973 - 1984: St. Ignatius, Galway - Rector
1978 - 1984: Parish Priest; Parish Treasurer
1984-1990: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street - Parish Priest
1986-1990 Parish Priest Parish Treasurer; Prefect of the Church; Director Social Services Centre
1990 May-July: Zambia - Musaka Minor Seminary, Choma
1990 - 1993: Campion House - Promoted Apostleship of Prayer and Messenger; Assistant Editor of An Timire
1993 - 2003: Galway
1993 - 1994: Rector; Promoter A of P and Messenger
1994 - 2002: Parish Curate; Promoter A of P and Messenger
2000 - 2003: House Historian
2003 - 2007: Cherryfield Lodge - Prayed for Church and Society
1st October 2007: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin.

Bruce Bradley writes:
Bob McGoran was born in Belfast on 306 May 1920, and had County Down connections, but he was brought up in Dublin and educated first at St Patrick's NS, Drumcondra, and later at Coláiste Mhuire in Parnell Square. He was only 17 when he joined the Society at Emo in 1937. His long association with Galway, where he spent a total of 36 years after ordination, began, as a scholastic, when he taught there from 1946 to 1949. He was an immediate success, in the classroom, where he showed himself a naturally gifted teacher, and in the co curricular activities, which he threw himself into with characteristic generosity and enthusiasm. He had a great way with people, not least with the boys -- of all ages – in his care, but his humanity and unforced spirituality made a big impact on everyone who had contact with him.

It was no surprise that, after ordination in 1954 and tertianship, he came back to Coláiste Iognáid two years later, first as teacher and later as prefect of studies. It has been suggested that he was possibly the most versatile teacher in the Province, teaching almost every subject except modern continental languages. When a science teacher was needed, he enrolled in UCG for a course, so that he could fill the gap. He took over the games from Eddie Diffely and, in just one year, the college eight won the Anderson Trophy at Galway Regatta for the first time - a feat Eddie had greatly desired but never achieved. It was typical of him that, although not knowing much about rowing when he arrived, he effortlessly mastered his brief with the perfect result. All through his life he would do the same, taking on a diversity of new tasks, however unfamiliar to start with, and acquiring the necessary mastery without seeming to exert himself. Besides being prefect of studies, and subsequently headmaster, he ran choirs, produced operas, and raised funds for the construction of the Griffin Building. In those years, too, he led the school into the just-introduced (free education scheme. It was all taken in his stride.

Those who worked with him in those years recalled his way of getting others to work for him, his warmth and his marvellous smile bringing you along with him even against your better judgment. At the same time he had the steel to go above the Tertian Master's head when he badly needed one of the Tertians as an emergency replacement after Jack Hutchinson's heart attack at a Province meeting. When Michael Connolly refused, Bob appealed to the Assistant and duly got his man. He rarely took “no” for an answer, while managing to give no offence in the process.

In 1968, before the new building in Galway, on which he had worked so hard, was finished, he was transferred to Belvedere and served as first headmaster for five years. It is no surprise that he quickly commended himself to a new community of pupils and staff, as well as the Jesuit community, and he left many warm memories behind him when he returned to Galway. These were the years of student protest and the transition was not always easy. He wasn't above sending scholastics he trusted to do disciplinary battle on his behalf, which sometimes involved tricky assignments, but Bob's smile and innate decency disarmed any fleeting resentment felt by his subordinate and he was universally regarded as easy to work for .. and easy to live with. He brought the school through difficult
times of change in curriculum and discipline, restoring an ethos of personal care and approachability and re-establishing trust in authority after what some at least considered dark days that had gone before. A born teacher himself, his professionalism impressed his colleagues and he was an invaluable support to new teachers. He was respected by the boys for his good humour and his scrupulous sense of justice. Someone said of him: “He was fair to everyone and had no favourites”.

He returned to Galway for another eleven years in 1973, this time as rector and then parish priest. This represented a major transition into pastoral work and away from the school, although his continuing involvement with music and choirs formed a kind of continuity. In 1984 it was back to the centre of Dublin once more, first to raise £1 million for the new roof in Gardiner Street Church, then becoming parish priest and, latterly, working as director of social services, along with various other tasks, all assumed with Bob's steadiness and good humour. He is remembered as someone who brought the church and the parish through difficult times in the eighties, judging shrewdly what would work well, sympathetic to the traditional, but also keen to introduce innovation. The measure of how he was regarded was the warmth with which he was always greeted by parishioners and community alike, whenever he reappeared in Gardiner St after returning once more to the west.

Before returning to Galway for the last time in 1993, he worked in the promotion of the Apostleship of Prayer and the Messenger and was Assistant Editor of An Timire for three years. He continued that work in Galway for a few years as rector before becoming involved again in the parish full-time, as curate. He involved himself in everything in the parish - Parish Renewal, Marriage Encounter, the choir, neighbourhood liturgies, and a variety of other activities. In June 2004 he had a swimming accident when getting out of the water on a stormy day at Blackrock. This necessitated him being brought to Cherryfield, which, to his dismay, he was destined never to leave. He would fret about this, especially early on, asking those who came to see him: “When can I go home? I want to go home. Can you arrange for me to go home?' He died on 1st October 2007, a few days before he would have celebrated seventy years in the Society.

In his moving homily at the funeral in Galway, Conall O'Cuinn welcomed him back to what was certainly his true home on this earth. “God's grace”, he said, “was at work in Bob's life and, through him, at work in all of our lives”. He graced the Province and everywhere he worked with his great human gifts and, even more profoundly, with the profound spirituality which seemed so entirely part of who he was.

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1973, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 24 June 1948, Collège Sainte Famille, Cairo, Egypt
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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1968, Sacred Heart, Monze, Zambia
Died: 14 April 1980, Mater Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya - Zambia Province (ZAM)

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

Older brother of Paddy - RIP 2005

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
Final Vows: 02 February 1949, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
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

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

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

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

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 16 May 1990

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-brownes-polymath-partner/

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

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/death-of-a-botanist/

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

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/211-john-moore-sj-mission-in-zambia

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

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/508-irish-men-behind-the-missions-fr-john-moore-sj

IRISH MEN BEHIND THE MISSIONS: FR JOHN MOORE SJ

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

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

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

A ‘road to Damascus’ moment
John returned to UCD in time to organise things for the new academic year. It was while making his annual retreat in the Jesuit retreat-house, Manresa in Dublin that it happened.
John had been 23 years in the Botany Department of UCD. He was unexpectedly overcome with a very strong feeling that he should relocate to Zambia! Having prayed over the matter, he sent a letter to the Provincial requesting to be sent to the Zambian mission. He was quite late going onto the missions at 56 years of age.
The answer he wanted arrived with one condition – that he remain working within third-level education. Fr Michael Kelly SJ (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/494-a-museum-piece-or-a-hero) set about arranging a position for him at the University of Zambia and John prepared for this new phase in his life. Then with only two days to go before departure, a telegram arrived from Michael: “SOMETHING GONE WRONG WITH JOB. STOP. COME ANYWAY. STOP.”
“What should I do Fr Provincial?”. The Provincial’s consultants had all been very clear in their requirement that John remain at third level teaching. He consulted Bishop Corboy of Monze, Zambia, who was in Dublin at that time for medical treatment. “You can trust Michael Kelly’s good judgement” he advised. And, with that assurance, John set out for Zambia and a new chapter in the book of his life.

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

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

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

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

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

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
Final Vows: 02 February 1973, Canisius College, Chi9kuni, Zambia
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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 100 : Spring 1999

I MISS FRED (FRED MORIARTY)

Cletus Mwilla - Monze

I sit down to mourn Fr. Fred Moriarty. As many people have missed and miss Fred, I miss him for many reasons.

The memories of my childhood miss Fred as my Parish Priest in Chikuni. I miss a fast driver both on a Bike and in a Car. As children we fancied seeing Fred past our villages as Pastor. It was during his time in Chikuni that I received first Communion after he gave me Conditional Baptism. He led me to the Eucharistic Christ. I was his Altar Boy too.

I miss Fred as a family member. We lived together for almost five years in the community. I remember him as one who was humble enough to accept his Altar Boy as his Parish Priest. I miss Fred's generosity - always ready to assist. He went about the whole Parish celebrating Masses. Even when I left out his name for Sunday deliberately, so that he would get a rest, Fred knocked even almost at midnight to take his assignment.

I miss Fred's spiritual and chronicle generosity. I miss Fred's inclination to community life. Though late for meals, Fred always came to join. Hence his nickname: “The Late Fr. Moriarty”. He is indeed late now. “Pray for us, Fred”. I miss Fred and his love for eggs - another nickname in Tonga: “Njanda obile”. He always wanted two eggs.

I miss Fred for his commitment to duty, within and without time. A hot aftemoon. He has just arrived from an outstation, drenched in the sweat and he finds someone waiting for him. Fred does not rush to the table. He attends to the one waiting. I miss his generosity.

I miss Fred's continued desire to walk with the poor, the needy. “I was hungry, you fed me”. I miss his love for justice.

Fred loved his dance. I miss Fred's Irish dance.

The opening line in his book “The Road less traveled” Scott Peck says “Life is difficult”. That is how much I remember and miss Fred. “You have run the race Fred; you have finished. Remember us to Jesus. Remember the needs of the poor and do not forget Southern Province for rain”.

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, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final Vows 29 December 1980, Tabor House, Milltown Park, Dublin
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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 66 : September 1991

JUNE 1991 - 1491 TO 1991

Jim O’Higgins

A memorial, sent to the host of the Province Day, by Jim O'Higgins, brother-in-law of the late David Murphy, S.J.

This is the best day of my life he said
Dougie in the dining hall
Where sacerdotal homburg hat had just been
recorded as a rarity
Yet welcomed by the sweaters and the jeans
All synthesising with the greys, the garbs
The collars of the brothers
Vested in the clothes
of ordinary people
As Inigo on the path to Monserrat

First Salmeron and Brouet from Romes perspective
Strove to understand the lapsing unbelief of chiefs
Of Northern Donegal
And the Celts invective almost quenched
Their spirit but for the epistle from
the Basque
Now from Northwest of Ireland the Companions
They have sent their own emissary
To Rome to reach to unbelievers with good news

This is 'effective effective as the infiltration
Of Peter Kenny and his confreres
To prepare a people for emancipation
Through Castle Browne and Galway

Urging and creating a new “energy”
And support for ancient classicists and young feminists

For Arrupe, Peter-Hans G.C. 32
For Kostka and Columbiere

In 1991 in June they gathered
A great day in my life said Dougie
Quincentennial day for comrades
For the men for others.

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1951, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
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

◆ 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.”

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 160 : Summer 2015

Obituary

Br Martin Murphy (1934-2015)

7 August 1934: Born in Dublin.
Early Education at National School; Ringsend Vocational School
1961 - 1965: NCIR. Socio-Economics Study (Diploma)
10 August 1966: Entered Society at St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
15 August 1968: First Vows at St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
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
15 August 1985: Final Vows at Luwisha House, Lusaka, Zambia
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 - 2014: Hospital visitation; Studying at Priory Institute, Tallaght
2014 - 2015: Residing at Cherryfield Lodge

In October 2014, Martin was admitted to hospital after a fall. He had many health problems, which meant treatment in four hospitals. He moved to Cherryfield Lodge on 25th February 2015. He was happy to be in Cherryfield again, where he died peacefully on 12th March. May he rest in the peace of Christ.

After a mighty struggle, death finally got the better of Martin Murphy on March 12, 2015. His sisters had prayed to St Francis Xavier that the Lord would spare him further suffering, and in response he died on the final day of the Novena. His funeral was delayed because an autopsy was required, and so he was finally laid to rest on March 19, the Feast of St Joseph. Martin had had a strong devotion to Joseph the Worker, so things fitted in nicely at the end of his life.

Like Joseph, Martin was a great worker: before he joined the Jesuits, he worked for Cramptons, the builders. His grandfather had been in the same trade, and had helped to build the Titanic! This came to light only when Martin showed up in Youghal in 2012 for the launch of Eddie O'Donnell's book on Fr Browne and the Titanic! Sadly, Martin's building work, so helpful to many people, carried the seeds of his own death, because as we now know, he died of asbestos poisoning.

His early education was in the National and Vocational Schools in Ringsend, where he was born. He then began his building career, From 1961-65 he did a Diploma in Socio-Economics at the Jesuit-run NCIR. It appears that he was so impressed by the Jesuit teachers there that he decided to join them in 1966, at age 32. He waited till his mother died to do this, as he was one of her carers.

Martin was a perfectionist, took pride in his work, and always did a great job. He could turn his hand to anything, including leatherwork. He was also a great teacher of his crafts and skills. I had the good fortune to discover him early on, and we became lifelong friends, even if not without some awkward moments! In 1967 I wanted to build a back wall to the handball alley in Milltown and got his help, though he was a novice at the time. It was very definitely his wall, not mine, but he never emphasised the fact. We worked in the early mornings before my classes began, and he would then continue through the day, while I dug academic furrows. One dull morning Martin looked up with an innocent smile at the Milltown buildings and asked, 'Why is it that the scholastics mostly pray in the dark'? Later Martin built the bindery which still stands at the back of the Library. And when a Le Brocquy mosaic of the Madonna and Child came our way mysteriously in the late seventies, he put it up single handed, though it weighed three quarters of a ton. It is now in the Milltown Community foyer. He was, as one of the Brothers said admiringly, “a mighty man”.

He liked philosophy, and especially the ideas of Bernard Lonergan. He could get so animated about these that when driving in Zambia he would slow down to get his point across, which lengthened journeys considerably. At the age of 73 he embarked on a 5-year course in theology in the Priory Institute in Tallaght. 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 I don't know what it's like”. He enjoyed the phrase “the hermeneutic of suspicion” because it gave him the leeway he needed to be devastatingly honest.

Africa
He went to Zambia in 1969, and worked there and in Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique, with occasional breaks, for 25 years. He built churches and schools, dug wells and cultivated a huge garden. He practised or taught motor mechanics, building maintenance, construction, irrigation. He also engaged in pastoral care of refugees. He was well loved by those who worked with him. He delighted in planning and carrying projects through. He loved the moment when he could hand over a set of keys of a new building and say: 'The job is done’. But he had time for soccer also. I have it on reliable authority that when he was playing in Dublin for Transport FC, he was considered to be of international standard. And the Zambians used watch him admiringly: Kalango mulilo! they'd shout - “Look at his fire!”

The Acting Provincial of Zambia, Jim McGloin, said in his message of condolence: “The hidden nature of the work is often the case for the Jesuit Brother. Although Brother Martin did the actual building of the Church in Chikuni Mission in the 1970's, it was the parish priest who received the credit. The serving tables in Luwisha House are still used today, thirty years later, but no one remembers that it was Brother Martin who built them.... While the workmanship was appreciated, the worker often went unnoticed. Yet the professional workmanship of Br Martin itself stands as its own monument. And those who saw his effort and dedication were grateful.'

Martin had used his many talents 'to help others' in simple ways, as Ignatius would have wished. But by 1995, the outer job was done: he had to retire because for the remaining twenty years of his life, ill health dogged him -- glaucoma, diabetes, arthritis, lung problems. But even when exiled from Zambia he always kept in contact and retained a deep love for his 'first mission'.

The inner side
Martin had his own unique relationship with God - his secret scripture. He prayed. He loved his time in the Holy Land. He lived simply. But like the rest of us, he had his own fixed attitudes, his weaker points, his awkwardnesses. A mature man by the time he joined the Jesuits, he had, not surprisingly, something of a Trade Union perspective on things. This included a keen sense of what he perceived as injustice, foot dragging, and so on. The Jesuit way of proceeding, he felt, was not always the most efficient. With his critical mind, he found it hard to be asked to do things by people who, he felt, didn't know what they were talking about. He had little time for eloquence that was not matched by action. “They can talk the talk” he'd say “but can they walk the walk?”

Martin would tell it like he thought it was, and his craggy style disconcerted more than a few, and left people feeling uncomfortable. He was, one might say, of the warrior class. Critical of many in authority, at the same time he was a great defender of the small and the poor. He volunteered for Tanzania because it was one of the twenty poorest countries in the world. He was both admirer and critic of Julius Nyerere, founder of the state of Tanzania. But his mischievous humour carried him a long way. He would say outrageous things just to get a reaction: often he didn't want to be taken too seriously. And he could get caught out himself on occasion, as when he had an appointment with a consultant about his glaucoma: the great man was late and eventually came into the waiting room to apologise, only to find Martin reading the Irish Times. And he would smile and laugh at himself. A stern commentator on the foibles of humankind, he also had a great and welcoming smile.

Stay Clear! God at Work
God was steadily at work in him, as in us all. That work is to make us grow in love', to bring out the best in us. In the final phase of his life, a deep mellowing took place while he endured enormous discomfort, especially in his breathing. He carried his oxygen supply as he walked the pavements round Gardiner Street. He did not complain. His time and energy were taken up with coping with his own illnesses. He made the rounds of many hospitals and consultants, and his reports of medical encounters were never dull. To one man who wasn't measuring up, Martin said: “Take a good look at my face!” “Why?” said the consultant. “Because”, said Martin, “you won't see it again!” His humour never deserted him, and he would get great joy out of recounting such incidents. He told me how grateful he was to his family for all their care and love; and to the Cherryfield staff for looking after him so well. In turn, they enjoyed his company; he had a word - often funny - to say about everything. They loved him. And he became a grateful man.

So when the moment of death came, and Martin met the Lord face to face, the “inner job” was substantially done. Like Peter in the Gospel, he jumped out of the safety of his life's boat and struggled to the shore where Jesus was waiting, watching. Surely like Peter, Martin heard Jesus say, “Bring the fish you've caught, and come, let's have breakfast!”

Then, we may surmise, came the one-to-one chat with Jesus, who now could safely ask him: Martin, do you love me more than these others do? There would have been no digging-up of the failures of the past. No comparisons and contrasts with others. The present state of his heart was all that mattered. He would have answered like Peter: Lord, “You know everything, you know I love you”. That would be enough. Because in the evening of life we will be examined in love.

It so happened that when the news came to me that Martin had died, I was reading a book titled Love is Stronger than Death, by Cynthia Bourgeault. It tells of a Trappist monk in Colorado who had a turbulent personality and was awkward in his relationships. Community life fell short for him, and so he moved out and became a hermit. He wrestled much of his life with God and others. But at the end he became liberated and happy. I felt this man's life and Martin's had parallels! In our final conversation a week before he died, he had told me he had been struggling, not with the problem that others were not measuring up, but that he wasn't measuring up. He found it consoling to hear Pope Francis' remark from The Joy of the Gospel, “When everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved”. Perhaps, then, he felt, all would be well at the end, because God's love is stronger than our failings or our death.

And so, off he went, happily, into eternal glory. He is now fully alive, radiant with his best self, supporting us on our pilgrim way, looking forward to the great reunion when all will be made well.

Brian Grogan

Murphy, Vincent, 1929-2016, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/834
  • Person
  • 19 April 1929-28 November 2016

Born: 19 April 1929, Ranelagh, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1964, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1972, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Died: 28 November 2016, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Clongowes Wood College SJ, Naas, County Kildare community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to ZAM: 03 December 1969; ZAM to HIB : 1989

by 1960 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

Early Education at CBS Synge Street; Bolton Street DIT

1956-1959 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1959-1961 Monze, Zambia - Regency : Bursar at Charles Lwanga Teachers’ Training College; Learning CiTonga
1961-1965 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1965-1966 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1966-1972 Mazabuka, Zambia - Parish work in BMV Assumption Parish & Nakambala Sugar Estate
1972-1987 Gardiner St - Director of Mission Office; + Province Vocations Task Force
1972 Transcribed to Zambian Province [ZAM] (02/02/1972)
1977 Assists in Church
1987-1988 Sabbatical
1988-1994 Crescent Church, Limerick - Superior ; Prefect of the Church; BVM & St Joseph Sodalities; Promoting Zambian Missions
1989 President “Cecilians Musical Society”
1989 Transcribed to Irish Province [HIB] (05/12/1989)
1994-1996 Gardiner St - Promotes Apostleship of Prayer and Messenger; Ministers in Church
1996-2016 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Treasurer and Administrator; Ministers in People’s Church; 2000 Assistant Chaplain in St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Dublin
2007 Assistant Guestmaster; Assistant Community Treasurer
2010 Ministers in People’s Church: Assistant Community Librarian
2014 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
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.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/rip-vincent-murphy-sj/

RIP: Vincent Murphy SJ
Irish Jesuit Fr Vincent Murphy passed away peacefully on the morning of Monday 28 November at Cherryfield Lodge, Milltown Park. A native of Ranelagh, Dublin, Fr Vincent qualified as a Quantity Surveyor and played for Shamrock Rovers FC prior to joining the Jesuits in September 1954. He was ordained ten years later, in 1964.
Vincent spent a number of years on mission work in Zambia, then returned to Dublin, where he was in charge of the Mission Office in Gardiner Street and was Chaplain in St. Vincent’s Hospital. In 1996, Vincent moved to Clongowes Community, and he remained there until 2014, when a stroke required that he move to Cherryfield.
His last few weeks were spent very peacefully, and he told his Rector that Cherryfield was a great preparation for heaven because of the care he was receiving there from the Staff who came to love him dearly.
Below is the homily given by Fr Michael Shiel SJ at the funeral Mass :
“This I know, that my redeemer lives, and, after my awaking, He will set me close to Him. And from my flesh I will look on God.”
As we gather to celebrate the long and full life of Vincent – rich in years and bearing much fruit – the above words are very appropriate to sum up the depth of faith of this follower of Ignatius Loyola and his ‘Friends in the Lord’. For if ever anyone was prepared to meet His Lord it was Vincent.
Some time last year, when I visited him in Cherryfield, he told me that his consultant had promised that he would live to see the new RWC Champions crowned. After the final, I asked him what his next deadline was. He said: “Now, I’m just waiting for Godot!” To which all I could say was: “Well, I hope you’ll have more luck than the other pair – Vladimir and Estragon!
Today we, as Christians, believe that he has. For we believe in the promise of Jesus just heard in the Gospel: “I am going to prepare a place for you, and I shall return to take you with me”.
Vincent was born in the year of the Great Depression. He went to school in Synge Street – and how proud he was of his Christian Brothers’ education there! He joined the Jesuits in 1954 as a late vocation, having qualified as a quantity surveyor in Bolton Street, DIT. Outside his professional life, he made his mark in (as he put it) the glory-days of Shamrock Rovers! His contemporaries in the Society used to recount how frustrated Vincent could become as they tried to find an approach to the beautiful game other than a Jack Charlton-like Garryowen-type hoof and follow!
The Irish Province’s mission to Zambia was still developing, and Vincent joined the growing band of Irish Jesuits for his regency there in 1959. After theology and ordination here in Milltown, and a final year of study in Rathfarnham, Vincent returned to Africa where he ministered in parish work before coming back again to Ireland to head up the Mission Office in Gardiner Street. His generous care of returning missionaries knew no limits and was greatly appreciated. He also helped out in the Church, and he was Vocations Director as well.
est of his apostolic life was spent in Dublin and Limerick, before he joined our Community in Clongowes just 20 years ago. He followed in the footsteps of Fr John Sullivan as he served in the People’s Church and then ministered as Chaplain in St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin. And lastly, as failing health brought him to Cherryfield Lodge, his final – and very important – mission was to pray for the Church and the Society of Jesus, for his Companions who continue to carry on God’s work in many different fields.
Such, in very few lines, is the life of Fr Vincent Murphy SJ. He was unsung and unheralded in the world at large, but so too was he rewarding and fruitful in doing good and in enriching the lives of very many people and families to whom he brought the Good News of God’s saving power, as he lived it in his own life. God’s love was indeed inscribed with iron chisel (his faith) and engraving tool (his generosity) cut into the rock of people’s lives as they experienced his ministering zeal. Nowhere was this seen to greater effect than in his years as Hospital chaplain, where his patience and care for both the sick and the hospital staff bore much fruit and brought comfort and hope to those who were facing an uncertain future.
In later years, first of all in Clongowes Wood College and more recently in Cherryfield, God continued to give Vincent as a special gift to others, this time as someone in need of their love and care. It is only right, at a time like this, to pay tribute to the CWC Infirmary Nurses and Community Staff whose care allowed him bonus-years there.
For someone who, as I said at the start, was surely prepared to meet his Lord, Vincent seemed simply not to want to let go of his Cherryfield carer-friends, as I was to witness during the past week. It began for me as a simple overnight stay, and it ended as an extraordinary and privileged experience of seeing at first hand – behind-the-scenes, early mornings and late nights – the care of every single one of the staff, both nursing and support. It was fitting that the former dispenser of God’s caring love as a hospital chaplain should himself be the receiver of a quite extraordinary outpouring of care and love by the team in Cherryfield. On behalf of the CWC Community, and of the Irish Jesuits, I can only say a deep-down thanks to each and every one of you.
“I am going to prepare a place for you – and, after I have gone and prepared a place for you – I shall return to take you with me, so that, where I am, you may be too.”
It is our Christian faith which brings us to the Eucharist this morning – our Faith that Christ did indeed return to call His disciple home, when just two days ago, accompanied by George Fallon and myself, Vincent came to the end of his long and faith-filled journey. It was his dies natalis, his heavenly birthday, as the Roman martyrology called it, as his tent that we live in on earth was folded up, and he moved to the everlasting home, not made by human hands, in the heavens. Now, in his turn, Vincent has gone ahead of us to help prepare a place for us and he will be on hand to welcome each one of us to Our Father’s home.
So often in life we say good-bye. It comes from the ancient wish or prayer ‘May God be with you’. And today we say it to Vincent at this, his last Mass.
And so we pray: “May Christ enfold you in His Love, and bring you to eternal life; may God and Mary be with you.”
Be assured that we will pray for you, Vincent. May you also pray for us. And so we say farewell, and, until we meet again, good-bye.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :

Note from Tommy Martin Entry
1974 He retired from this work of Missions Procurator and handed over to Vincent Murphy.

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
Final Vows: 15 August 1947, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
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.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 135 : Spring 2008

Obituary

Br Christopher (Christy) Murray (1912-2007)

Homily preached by Barney McGuckian at the Funeral Mass at St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner St., on Jan. 11th, 2008
On a headstone in one of the catacombs of Rome, where Brother Christopher Murray spent a number of challenging years, there is an inscription which reads “He has completed his baptism”. This short statement reveals something of how the early Christians understood Baptism. For them it was not a simple rite of passage or a brief passing ceremony. It was the first step in a process that would only end with death. Just as in show business it takes a life-time to become an over-night success, so it takes a whole life time to become a fully baptized Christian. This completion came for our Brother Christy two days ago in the Nursing Home at Cherryfield Lodge. He was holding the hand of Rachel McNeill, and, evidently, was quite conscious right up until the end. I, exceptionally, was among the concelebrants at Mass in the chapel across the corridor. As we had been told that Christy was very low, we commended his soul to the Lord. We do so again today strengthened by the encouraging text from the book of Maccabees that it is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead, including even those “who make a pious end” that they may be released from their sins. cf II Maccabees 12:43-45.

Jesus Himself was baptised in the River Jordan at the beginning of his public life as we will hear at Mass on Sunday next. But this was only the first of many Baptisms that he would undergo. When Jesus referred to Baptism he seemed to become tense. “There is a baptism I must receive, and what a constraint I am under until it is completed” (Luke, 12:50). His complete Baptism came on Calvary when he finally gave up the ghost, after taking the vinegar, surely symbolic of everything distasteful in life and bowing his head in acceptance. (Cf John 19, 29-30). As his followers, who have been baptized into Christ Jesus, as St Paul puts it, we are all called to follow a similar path.

If Brother Christopher, known to his fellow Jesuits as Christy, but always to his family as Kit, had lived until February 296 of this year he would have been 96. He was always ready for a joke or wisecrack about the fact that he was still only in his 23 year while in Cherryfield. 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. 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. On arrival, he was in time to see Mussolini declare war. However, when in 1963 he went to join Bishop Corboy in the Diocese of Monze in Zambia, it was to the relative stability of the newly-won independence of the country. While there he was a most conscientious worker. As assistant secretary for education at Canisius Secondary School in Chikuni, he is still remembered as someone dedicated to his work, carrying it out meticulously to the last detail.

Christy won a scholarship to Bolton Street College of Technology on leaving primary school and became a French Polisher. Many of us still remember the beautiful finish of the doors in the Chapel at Emo, a testimony to the quality of his workmanship. Before entering the Jesuits he was active in the Trade Unions. Those who knew him will not be surprised to know that he led at least two strikes! After working for seven years at his trade he decided to embrace religious life. He may have been influenced in this by the example of two of his elder sisters who had joined the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, and headed off for Australia and New Zealand respectively. One of them, Sister Lua is still alive at 98 in New Zealand.

Christy took his first vows on April 1st, 1939 at Emo. Realizing that he had “turned pro" that day he took the implications of what he had done with the utmost seriousness for the rest of his life. His commitment, particularly his obedience, was sorely tried very shortly afterwards. He had only arrived a few days in Rome when he was told to type an important letter in Latin. Not only did he not know the basics of Latin, he had never ever typed a word in any language in his life! The kindness of Fr, General Ledochowski, one of his great heroes, helped him survive this and other trials. While he was in Rome the food shortages became desperate. 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 travelled 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. Another of his friends was Mrs Thomas Kiernan, wife of the Irish Ambassador to the Holy See, better known for her renderings of "If I were a blackbird" and “The three lovely lassies from Banyon" as Delia Murphy. Her relationship with non-Nazi German officers through the Irish Embassy, the only English-speaking Embassy in Rome after the U.S. entered the war, proved a life-saver for many endangered young Italians. Christy remembered her arriving at the Borgo Santo Spirito with the gift for the starving community of a much appreciated pig in the boot of the ambassadorial car,

Christy was gifted with a high IQ. This 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 pronouncement “the facts of the matter are”. Naturally, this ensured lively and occasionally heated discussions on a variety of topics. However once he entered the chapel he moved into a different mode. His recollection and silence here was very evident. Most of his life in religion was spent either in finances or in the sacristy of our churches. He is still remembered with great affection in Limerick, where he was sacristan for 12 years from 1946-58.

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 he had to give it up. Shortly afterwards, we heard that he had moved to Cherryfield. He was remarkably regular in both his religious observance and his physical exercise right up until he was confined to a wheel-chair in Cherryfield.

As a disciple of Ignatius of Loyola, Christy would have learned to begin his daily prayer with the same formula; that all my intentions, actions and operations may be directed solely to the service and praise of the divine majesty. This is a prayer for holiness and one that is only fully answered at the hour of death. Indeed it could be described as a prayer for the fullness of baptism into Christ Jesus. We hope that it was fully answered for our brother Christy when the time came. Like Ignatius he was a man small in stature and, indeed, in death his features reminded me very much of the death-mask of our Holy Founder that has come down to us. As we pray today for the repose of Christy's soul there is nothing to prevent us also praying to him.

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
Final Vows: 02 February 1978, Mazabuka, Seminary, Choma, Zambia
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.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 137 : Autumn 2008

Obituary

Fr Seán (Max) Murray (1922-2008)

2nd May 1922: Born in Carrigaholt, Co. Clare
Early education at Crescent College, Limerick.
7th September 1940: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1942: First Vows at Emo
1942 - 1945: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1945 - 1948: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1948 - 1949: Crescent College, Limerick - Teacher
1949 - 1951: Clongowes - 1949-1950 Teacher
1950 - 1951: Prefect
1951 - 1955: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
29th July 1954: Ordained at Milltown Park
1955 - 1956: Emo - Treasurer
1956 - 1957: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1957 - 1958: Emo - Treasurer; Assistant Socius to Novice Director
1958 - 1971: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick - Minister; Prefect
1971 - 1980: Zambia - Parish Ministry
2nd May 1978: Final Vows at Mazabuka, Zambia
1980 - 1983: SFX, Gardiner Street - Minister; Assisted in Church
1983 - 1986: Zambia- Parish Ministry
1986 - 2007: SFX, Gardiner Street -
1986 - 1995: Assisted in the Church
1995 - 1997: Ministers in Church; Superior's Admonitor;
1997 - 1998: Vice-Superior; Assisted in the Church; Superior's Admonitor;Assisted in Cherryfield Lodge
1998 - 2007: Assisted in the Church
2007 - 2008: Cherryfield Lodge - Prayed for Church and Society
21st July 2008: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Homily preached at Funeral Mass by Barney McGuckian on July 24th, 2008 in St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner St., Dublin
“Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light” (Mt 11:25)

These final words of our Gospel passage must have proved challenging to the faith of Fr Seán Murray over the last years of his life. The Lord's yoke may be easy and the burden light but to those of us looking on that's not how it appeared in Seán's case. His ordinary daily round entailed much labour with the overburdening of chronic arthritis and diabetes. Here in Gardiner Street we were conscious of the painfully slow movements, the unappetizing, indeed, bizarre diet and the self administered injections. It was truly a way of the Cross entailing several falls leading to broken limbs and on one occasion serious facial injuries. When I saw him after one fall I could not but think of Isaiah's Suffering Servant. “He had no form or charm to attract us, no beauty to win our hearts; he was despised, the lowest of men, a man of sorrows, familiar with the suffering, one from whom, as it were, we averted our gaze”. Isaiah 53: 2-3.We were blessed to be in a position to entrust him to the tender care of the staff at Cherryfield Lodge.

None of these vicissitudes, however, could wipe away that benign smile which was so much a part of him since any of us ever knew him. I'm sure that same smile was there during his boyhood in Co Clare where he was born on 2 May, 1922 just as our tragic Civil War was about to break out. Seán did not let his sufferings get him down. In his case God certainly fitted the back for the burden. During his last years it struck me that he lived out a spiritual maxim attributed to St John of the Cross, the Carmelite saint, who in his early years like Sean, also received a Jesuit education. “Adjust your cross to yourself, not yourself to your cross”. In other words don't let difficult things get you down. Stay on top of them. Seán did. Growing old gracefully isn't too demanding when we enjoy on-going good health. To do so, as Seán did, in his situation, was an indication of no small degree of virtue.

I kept a diary during a visit to Zambia over thirty years ago in 1978. The entry for January 28th refers to a journey from Chivuna to Mazabuka with the late, kindly Fr Robert Kelly. It reads “Breakfast with Joe, Frank and Bob. Said goodbye to the Ferrybank Sisters and set out. Made it without mishap to the Holy Rosary's, after having a coke with Max Murray, a photo with Vinny Murphy's roses and a meeting with Dinny O'Connell en route though the Sugar Plantation to a great rally in the afternoon at Mazabuka”. Of the six Jesuits mentioned two are still happily with us, Frank O'Neill and Vinny Murphy. The other two have gone on the slí na firinne. I mention this because it was the first time in my life that I had met Sean. He was to become a great support and anam chara to me as he was to so many others during his priestly life. Members of the family may be puzzled by the name Max Murray. So was I. It was a nickname so commonly used that I did not know that his name was Seán. When he entered the novitiate in 1940, his co-novices called him Maximus, Latin for big and strong because of his towering presence as a formidable back at football. Others have told me that that is putting it too mildly. Apparently he was anything but gentle on a football field. The two remaining novices from his own year, Michael Hurley and Stephen Redmond are still happily with us. It was Michael who has just read the Gospel for us.

What may have been characteristic of his football persona was in no way reflected in his religious and priestly life. There, he shared in the gentleness and humility of the Sacred Heart to which he was greatly devoted. Some little prayer to the Sacred Heart often featured in the penance he prescribed in the Confessional, a place where many people were touched by his kindness. It would be no exaggeration to say that he was a man who was universally loved. This would be admitted even by those who considered him to be gentle to a fault. They thought that he would do anything to avoid conflict even where a little bit of it was required. He was strongly influenced by the idea of St Francis de Sales, known as the Gentle Doctor, that you catch more flies with a little pot of honey than a big barrel of vinegar. Only God alone knows the number of souls he influenced for their good.

One of the last things I did for him after a visit to our Nursing Home in Cherryfield was to bring back to Gardiner Street the stipends he had received for the Masses he had offered for the donors' intentions. This prompted the choice of the reading from the Book of Maccabees where there is a distinct emphasis on the importance of sacrifice and atonement for sin, both for the living and the dead. Sean never wavered in his love for his daily Mass and always started his day with it. He tended to do this at such an unearthly hour that his congregations tended to be small. However those who did join him could detect the sincerity behind the somewhat mournful cadence he adopted when on the altar.

He never asked for concessions on the grounds of his health and made himself available all day for priestly duties. He is remembered affectionately for this in all the placed he served; Limerick, Clongowes, Zambia and in more recent years here in Gardiner Street. He always had a concern for the poor and the under-dog expressed in the work he has done over the years as a most conscientious Spiritual Director of the parish Conference of St Vincent de Paul. In his personal life he showed a marked detachment from the goods of this world. I have been told by one of the community with a direct interest in the matter that clearing the personal belongings from his room will take about five minutes, it is so sparse. Sean was deeply committed to religious life with all that he signed up to when he took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience upwards of sixty year ago.

He was a delightful person to have in a community. He encouraged others and believed in praising them during their lifetime. He kept abreast of events, read widely in spirituality and current affairs, spoke kindly of others and always made an interesting contribution to conversation. His very hearty laugh did not leave him even in his debilitating illness. I remember especially one story that he enjoyed telling, even using the actual French words used. In one of the French-speaking Jesuit houses on the continent, where there was a large community, two of the priests had the same name, let's call them Duval. One had a reputation for well-authenticated holiness. The gifts of the second one seem to have lain in some other direction. During dinner one of the staff came into the refectory and called out that the Père Duval was wanted at reception. “Lequel?” (Which of them?). “Le Saint” (the Saint). “Oh, j'arrive” (I'm coming), said the truly holy man as he stood up. There is a touching simplicity about goodness, a more ordinary word for holiness, something that all of us recognise.

The Gospel read today provides us with an opportunity to eavesdrop on Jesus as He prays to His Father. It provides us with a window into the ongoing conversation between Father and Son that we have been invited to join in forever. “No one knows the Son but the Father and no one knows the Father but the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him”. Seán spent his life as a Jesuit praying that the Son would reveal the Father to him. Now that it has come to an end he can appreciate better than ever the wisdom of the words of St Bernard. “Life is for love and time is for searching for God”.

Just as the young man came to the refectory door to ask for one of those in that French-speaking house, so Someone came a couple of days ago on a similar errand to Seán's door. “Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest." Eternal rest. Sean may have been surprised to hear himself numbered among the saints with an invitation to remain in their number forever. The rest of us would not.

Additional note: An t-athair Prionsias O Fionnagáin vouched for the authenticity of the anecdote about the two Jesuits with the same name. His source was Fr John Ryan. The “saint” in question was, in fact, Fr. Alphonse Petit, a celebrated Tertian Master in the South Belgian province, whose cause for canonisation is in process. Among his Tertians was Fr James Cullen, S.J.

Taken from an obit written in Zambia by Tom McGivern:
In 1971 there came change of life and of lifestyle for Fr. Seán. He came out to Africa, to Zambia. His first assignment was secretary to the Bishop of the Diocese for six months. Then off to Malawi to the Language Centre at Lilongwe to learn this new language called CiNyania, followed by a few months in a parish in the Chipata diocese to practice what he had learned. Returning to Zarnbia, he was posted to Nakambala to the Sugar Estate in Mazaabuka, where he spent the rest of his time in Zambia doing parochial work among the people on the Estate, workers who came from various parts of Zambia with their different languages. For this, the C:iNycl.nia he had learned, was ideal as it is a sort of lingua franca in Zambia though its location is the Eastern Province.

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 1942 he had hoped to come back again to Nakambala, as he wrote 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 welcoming all who sought his services. The qualities - shall I call them virtues? - which he brought to his priestly life in the Crescent in Limerick, hc brought to Nakambala and he brought back with him to Gardiner Street in Dublin. He died in Cherryfield Lodge in Dublin on 21st July 2008

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 (living in other houses) 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.

Ready for the Call - July 2008
Our members dwindle as the days go by
And one by one the Father calls His sons.
Seán Murray was the very last to die -
We knew that he was one of our weaker ones.

“Oh world, O life. O time
on whose last steps we climb”
Why should we mourn our friends' decease
When our faith assures us they are in peace?

How will it be with me when my time has come,
Who should have been a true son of Ignatius?
With all my sins, shortcomings, I'll stand dumb
Before our God, forgiving and most gracious.

And may he join me to my better brothers;
I lived with them in this life, after all.
I know I am not worthy as those others,
Yet be I cleansed and ready for the call.

Thomas MacMahon

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
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
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
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
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.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007

Obituary

Fr Desmond Francis (Des) O’Brien (1936-2007) : Zambia-Malawi Province

Jim McGloin writes:
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 University College Dublin in 1959. Philosophy studies followed at Tullabeg from which Des obtained a licentiate in 1962.

For his regency Des was sent to 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 a priest on 10 July 1968. Tertianship in Dublin followed his fourth year of theology. In 1970 he went to Swansea in the UK and studied at the University College there obtaining 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 at the parish, he began a strong youth club called the Red Arrows which was well known for its football success. After his fruitful time in the parish, Des was appointed the chaplain of the lay apostolate for the Diocese of Monze, living in Kizito Pastoral Centre from 1976 to 1980 and then at the Charles Lwanga Jesuit Community from 1980 to 1984. As chaplain, Des initiated many different formation and renewal programmes 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 in the renewal.

Des had a sabbatical in the United States in 1984, working in the area of spiritual direction. On his return to Zambia he was appointed national chaplain of the YCS, living at Luwisha House. In 1986 he was appointed rector of Xavier House while continuing his work with YCS. Des was a dynamic powerhouse in dealing with young people. He would take his YCS national team around the country in the minibus, offering workshops in all the dioceses of the country. As rector of Xavier House, he was able to provide care for the older members of the community and offer support to the novice director without interfering in his work. The late Paul Lungu often commented on how much he depended on Des's support in carrying out his work with the novices.

In 1992 Des completed his term as rector and started winding up as chaplain of YCS. The Episcopal Conference asked him to serve as national secretary for the laity and the Provincial had appointed him delegate of formation. He moved to Matero and lived there for a year, later moving to Luwisha House which was more central for his work. In 1998 he was appointed superior of Luwisha House. Always doing the work assigned to him diligently, Des threw himself into the work of the lay apostolate and the work of formation. However, he found that he could not do both adequately; he withdrew from the work with the laity to spend more time as delegate of formation.

From the men in formation who experienced Des as their delegate, you often hear that he was a great listener, that he could be tough and challenging, but that he was always fair and supportive. He managed to blend a concern for the well being of the individual and a concern for the well being of the Society, both of which were important for the delegate's job.

During his years in Lusaka, Des also offered regular courses, mostly on prayer and spiritual direction, to the novice groups at Kalemba Hall and to the sisters' formation programme at Kalundu Centre. He was a fine teacher, entertaining yet substantial in the material he offered. During those years many sisters, priests and lay people came to him for counseling and spiritual direction. His welcoming attitude and compassionate listening provided many with new strength and direction.

In 2000 Des moved back to the Diocese of Monze where he had begun his apostolic work and took over as director of Kizito Pastoral Centre. Once again he took on the work with great enthusiasm, offering retreats and seminars, renewing the physical structure and adding new facilities to the centre. The Bishop of Monze found in him a wise counselor and would often seek advice from him. The Bishop also asked him to take care of the young priests of the diocese (the under-fives), offering them spiritual direction, regular meetings as a group and other care. Des was also chairperson of the organizing committees for the celebration of the centenary of the Jesuit arrival in the Monze Diocese. In his usual well-organized and efficient manner, Des kept the different committees at their tasks and was able to organization a wonderful celebration of the centenary. Towards the time of the big celebration at Chikuni, however, Des was quite ill with constant bronchial problems. He did not want to move up his home leave until after the celebrations.

Although Des worked hard and was very efficient, he also gave time and enjoyed his community. He was welcoming and hospitable. He spent time with the members of the community at prayer, meals and recreation. He had a way of engaging and a sense of humour that were much appreciated. He also an ability to mimic others in their way of talking and acting that was never hurtful, but very true to life. Father General in a letter written to Des for his golden jubilee in 2004 said, “They (his fellow Jesuits) better than I can witness to the inner life that you nourished in prayer, for you could not have lived and served as you have done without a close relationship with Jesus”. Des did have a close relationship with Jesus, nourished by prayer and the Eucharist, a relationship he deeply desired and was willing to share with others.

When Des did finally go on his home leave in September 2005, it was discovered that his health problems stemmed not from bronchial infection but from an inoperable malignant growth in the upper part of his left lung. He underwent chemo and later radiotherapy to reduce the tumour. The treatment left him weakened and caused him to lose most of his vocal functions, but he was accepting of his condition and at peace with it.

In an e-mail in May, Des wrote: “The picture is not too 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 also reflected on his life as a priest with limited ability to function as a priest in a recent issue of Interfuse (Summer 2007, No.132), in which he expressed the frustration he had in not being able to exercise his priesthood in the active way he had been used to. He relates this incident:

“One Sunday morning, having concelebrated a parish Mass, I walked down the aisle with my companion to the end of the Church to greet the congregation as is the custom. As we shook hands and greeted people, an elderly lady made a beeline for me and grabbing my hand, said, ‘Thanks, Father, for those words”. Surprised by this comment, I replied, ‘But I didn't say anything, my voice is too weak’. Learning over, she whispered in my ear, ‘Being up there silent on the altar with us every day is a powerful homily’.”

Des was very consoled by this. He had made a pilgrimage to Lourdes in September 2006 seeking healing but there was no physical change in his condition. However, he wrote: “I was much more at peace and much more accepting of what had happened to me. I am stiil substantially at peace as I pray daily, 'O God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”.

Des then reflected in his article, “These few simple words connected me in an extraordinary way with the deeper mystery underlying my present circumstances which I had begun to sense but was resisting, how to be a priest without any normal or visible ministry”. That deeper Mystery guided Des throughout his life, in his active priestly ministry and finally in his silent priestly ministry. Des entered the fullness of that Mystery on 17 July 2007.

From a homily delivered by Clive Dillon-Malone on 25th July, 2007, at St. Ignatius Church, Lusaka:
There's a popular saying that "good goods appear in small packages". Well, this is certainly true of Fr. Des O'Brien, He was small in stature but, like our founder, St. Ignatius, or St. Paul - who were also short in stature - Des was tall in spiritual riches.

Des was always conscious of his height. He once told me how embarrassed he was in having to go into the children's section of shoe shops as the shoes in the adult's section were all too large for him! The late Fr. Bill Lane was a very good friend of Des and they used to joke one another about their height as Bill was also quite short. There was an occasion when, on his 50+ birthday, Des approached Bill in a jovial mood and said proudly, “I'm 50 today”. Bill replied: “Is that in centimetres or in inches?” On another occasion for a concelebrated Mass, Bill took an impish delight in handing Des an alb which was about six feet long! However, Des learned to joke about his height and he was quite capable to giving back as much as he got in good humour. He always had a great sense of humour and a gift for turning the simplest of happenings into amusing incidents. His ability to mimic others contributed to this and he was always good fun in a group.

Des was born in 1936 and he entered the Jesuits in 1954 at the age of 18. After two years of novitiate at Emo in Portarlington, he went to University College Dublin where he spent three years doing a pass B.A. degree from 1956-1959. I mention "pass degree" because, although Des was always a very hard worker, he was not intellectually gifted in the way that so many of his fellow Jesuits in his year were, who were taking honours degrees. Although he never showed any sign of resenting others, his lack of high-powered academic potential accompanied by his small stature left him with an inferiority complex against which he struggled throughout his life. After his university degree, he spent three years in Tullabeg in Ireland from 1959-1962 studying philosophy which he also found difficult. But it was when he came to Zambia in 1962 that his real talents began to emerge and, from then on, he continued to grow in self-confidence and in pastoral achievements.

Des had a great way of relating with children and he would laugh and joke with them at his ease. When he began learning ciTonga in Chivuna on his arrival in Zambia, he quickly became proficient at speaking the language on account of his relating with children. Although they would make fun of mistakes he would make, he learned from them and he could laugh at himself. During vacations, he would enjoy joining Fr. Joe McDonald down in the valley in Fumbo where he increased his ability to speak ciTonga.

In 1963, he moved into Canisius College where he taught for a year and where his ability to relate with young people shone, and where, he was in charge of the medical needs of the pupils. He told me once an amusing incident. When a transfusion group came to Canisius to collect blood, the boys were very scared of giving blood. In order to put them at ease, he told them to come and watch as he gave blood. There were all crowded around the window looking in, but just after giving blood, he fainted. The boys just ran!

In 1964, he moved to Lusaka where he taught for a year at Munali Secondary School before returning to Ireland where he studied theology for four years from 1965-1969 at Milltown Park. He was ordained a priest in 1968. After finishing theology, he went to the University of Swansea in Wales where he obtained a diploma in social policy and administration. The topic of his dissertation was, “The Primary School Leaver Crisis in Zambia”.

On returning to Zambia in 1971, he was appointed as parish priest in Monze, a ministry which he continued for five years, and during which his ability to converse fluently in ciTonga grew. Then from 1976 to 1980, while living at Kizito Pastoral Centre, he was appointed as Director of the Lay Apostolate in the diocese of Monze, and was also involved with the on-going formation of Zambian priests there. A further item that needs to be mentioned is that Des played an important role in the charismatic renewal in Zambia. He had set in motion the Charismatic Movement in the diocese of Monze, at Musaka Secondary School in Choma, and later in Lusaka.

From Kizito, he moved to Charles Lwanga Teacher Trainer College, where he remained for four years from 1980 to 1984. He had already become diocesan lay apostolate chaplain in 1976 and he continued with this work while at Charles Lwanga. He then went on sabbatical for a year in 1984 to Berkeley in California and, on his return, he resided at Luwisha House for a year during which time he was appointed as National Chaplain to Zambian Young Christian Students (ZYCS), a position he held from 1985 to 1993.

After his sabbatical, Des told me of a rather frustrating experience he had. Before going on sabbatical, he had burnt all of his retreat notes so that he might have a clean start with new material when he returned. Just after returning, however, he was asked to give a retreat which he accepted - but then, he suddenly remembered that he had destroyed all his notes and hadn't yet produced new ones! Needless to say, he regretted his earlier action.

By this time, Des' many talents relating to pastoral concerns, spirituality, managerial skills, and ability to assume authoritative positions were noted. In 1986, he was appointed Rector of our Novitiate, a position he held until 1992, and which he fulfilled with great success. He then moved to Matero for a year where he acted as Secretary for the Laity Section of the Zambian Episcopal Conference (ZEC). He held this position for three years until 1995.

In 1993, he moved from Matero to Luwisha House where he remained for seven years during which time he was also appointed Delegate for Formation of Jesuit scholastics. This is not only a very important position to have but a very difficult one as well - as the current Delegate for Formation, Fr. Charles Chilinda, will tell you. Des came to this position at a time when much suspicion and distrust had developed among young scholastics from a previous era, and it took a lot of skill and prudence to do away with built up resentment and bitterness, and restore a feeling of trust and confidence. He managed to do this very successfully. Indeed, it was noted that departures from the Society diminished during this period. He also did a lot to open up more flexible opportunities for different kinds of studies which was much appreciated.

Des was appointed as Superior of the Luwisha House community from 1998 to 2000. After that, he was appointed as Director and Superior of Kizito Pastoral Centre outside Monze where he remained until 2005. While there, he was not only totally dedicated to the development of spirituality programmes but he did immense work in planning and overseeing renovation and building extensions. In this respect, he was very talented in getting funding for different projects. He was also noted for his care and concern for his workers, and more particularly for those affected by HIV and AIDS for whom he obtained ARVs. During this time, Bishop Patriarca gave him the task of visiting his priests throughout the year which he did willingly, although he found it quite burdensome.

Des had become well known as a capable spiritual director and retreat giver over the years and he gave spirituality courses each year for many years at Kalundu Study Centre in Lusaka. The material of these courses was later published in book form under the title, “Lord, Teach us to Pray”. He gave courses in spirituality for many years in Kalemba Hall to religious in formation.

Des had always made himself available when asked to do anything. He found it very difficult to say 'no' to any request. However, he later admitted that he had to learn to say 'no' at times, as he was burning himself out. He was very conscientious and he put great preparation into anything he was asked to do. The negative outcome of this was that he ended up becoming so tense at times that he became sick just before an event.

Des had smoked a lot during his early years and he was aware of lung problems which he had developed. However, although he knew that he should have paid more attention to seeking medical diagnosis and treatment earlier, he left it too late. In September 2005, he went into hospital in Ireland where his condition was diagnosed as “malignant growth in the upper part of the left lung” and “inoperable cancer” for which chemo and radiation treatment were administered. For almost two years, Des underwent this treatment which was very painful and weakening. His response to his suffering was acknowledged by all in Ireland as truly admirable. He never lost his sense of humour and expressed his readiness to die once it became clear that this was inevitable within a relatively short period of time. I had visited him on a number of occasions while in Ireland in 2005 and, like so many others, I was truly edified by his positive resignation to the possibility of an early death. He soon lost his hair and wore a head cap for heat. He also became quite bloated as a result of medication. Up the end, he was determined to keep as active as possible but his energy was becoming less and less, and his ability to speak was seriously affected.

He was finally moved into the Mater Hospital for more on-the spot observation with the intention of moving him to a hospice for the terminally ill. He died more quickly than expected on the 17th July, 2007.

I've been told that Des loved looking after pigeons or doves when he was a young boy. Is it too fanciful to suggest that the Holy Spirit might have been among them in choosing Des even at this early stage for the Lord's work! May the Lord now welcome him home and reward him for his priestly ministry, and for the manner in which he has touched so many lives with his love and service. Amen.

Interfuse No 134 : Christmas 2007

IN MEMORY OF FR DESMOND O’BRIEN

An obituary from Zambia was published in Interfuse, September 2007

As an exact contemporary of Des O'Brien, standing humbly and powerlessly at the door of Gardiner St church, as his coffin was being carried out, it seemed to me that an era had passed away. It was a very different situation from that when first we met in 1954. I have vivid memories of him, while we handed in our belongings to the Socius, smiling greatly as a half-smoked cigarette was being abandoned. From then on he was part of our lives, and was diligent and cheerful, in a period that Fr Bill Johnston describes as “remote, strict, austere”. I would add the word “demanding”. Some time in his 2nd year, Donal O'Sullivan told him that he would give him vows and this assured him.

Later, he proved bright enough, but without a strong line of interest or the personal freedom to be an academic. He liked the study of history, and in class he and Paul Cullen became very friendly with a then corpulent young lady, later to acquire fame, Maeve Binchy. I wonder has she forgotten them! He liked greatly being “bird man”, and learned much about these creatures.

I don't think philosophy was his line of country. He looked after the altar boys and was very kind to them. Amidst a busy life, he may have remembered these now and again, especially the young Cantwell who died. He liked working with young people and the marginalized. (His achievements in Africa have been noted elsewhere).

His humour and liveliness were always in our background - which was something we took for granted. He enlivened many a scene for us. He was witty, a great mimic at least of certain people, and had wonderful acting ability. But he was also very shrewd and sharp. I recall several observations he made to me about myself, and they were correct. Similar remarks made to at least one other caused me some strain, though they were beneficial to the other. His judgement was good, and he had a sharp eye for traits in others that I never averted to.

He was always very true to himself. He could readily banter and give as good as he got. Sometimes some minor plans of his did not work out, but he could laugh at his misfortune. He could be serious and demanding with others, and behind the scenes smile at it all.

He developed an open, liberal train of thought, and some years ago swept me off my feet with his progressive thinking. How deep this was I don't know - it wasn't tested in any discussion. But then, people's attitudes come very much from their reading - from the people they rely on -, from their background and inclinations.

Some years ago, I said to him, “You never come to see us”, and he answered, “You never invited me”. Perhaps we are not as welcoming, as we should! We may feel too much that people like to be left alone.

I don't know what personal difficulties he had to cope with, as he tried to discover his deepest self. However there was a firm, unwavering core to his priestly commitment. His life could simply and profoundly be summed up by saying, “He served the Lord”. He was committed to Jesus, which was very evident in his final illness.

Since his return sick to Ireland, I met him fairly frequently. He was very friendly and we were at great ease - with a mutual looking up to each other. I admired his missionary experience and his ability to give. Whenever I said - many times - to him, “You've a severe blow to face up to”, he agreed, and added that he was ready for all. He added: “I never complained, and I'm not going to do so now”. Physically he resisted his cancer as long as he could, but eventually had to yield and nobly went away.

It is good for the rest of us that he has departed - to hopefully help prepare a place for us. It will be hard to find his leithéid arís.

James Kelly