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Alphonsus O' Neill

  • AR 3
  • Person
  • 11-10-1830 - 06-10-1899

Scarcely ever in the History of the Anglo-Hibernian Province has an event had to be chronicled which called forth such sentiments of universal regret as the death of Father Alphonsus O'Neill. Though some days have passed since he was laid to rest, it yet seems hardly possible to realize that he is no longer with us. So conspicuous and so prominent was his personality in the Province for over forty years, so intimately was he identified with every good work and undertaking of the Congregation during those years, and so successful in carrying them to a happy issue, that to be all at once bereft of his wise counsel, his eloquent voice, and his strong influence, amounts to little less than a calamity. We can console ourselves however with the reflection that our loss is his gain.

Fr. Alphonsus was born in Stewartstown, Co. Tyrone, on the 11th of October 1830. His early life was spent in commercial pursuits, but never to the exclusion of works of charity and benevolence, in the fulfilment of which he recognised the Christian precept: "Do good, one to another". In those early days he associated himself with the S. Vincent de Paul Society in Belfast, and though years have elapsed since then there are still living some who can testify to the fidelity and devotedness with which he served God in the person of his poor.

It cannot therefore be a matter of surprise that such a start in life would eventually lead to the cloister, and consequently, his fellow-workers in the cause of charity, though they expressed their regret, yet could not withhold their approbation, when in the June of 1852, he made known to them that he had decided on becoming a Passionist. In that year he went to our Novitiate in Broadway, and after his profession, which he made on 13th July 1853, he was sent to Rome to begin his studies for the priesthood. He remained in Rome over four years, and had the happiness of being raised to the priesthood towards the end of 1856 by a Passionist Bishop, Mgr. Joseph Malajoni, who had been for a number of years Bishop in Bulgaria, but who at this time was living retired in our Retreat of Monte Argentaro.

Shortly after his return to these countries, Fr. Alphonsus was appointed Vice Master of novices, but the evidences he gave of successful missionary work, left him very little time to fulfil his duties as Vice Master. From this time till the close of his earthly career, it might be said that the history of his life was identical with the history of the Province. He threw himself heart and soul into every good work which had for its object the wellbeing of the Congregation, and in doing so he knew no fatigue, no personal inconvenience: enough for him that souls were longing for the bread of life, or that their surroundings were such as to place in jeopardy their eternal welfare. It may be truly said that his missionary career was a most successful one. His style was marked with great earnestness and sincerity. He frequently took the part of principal preacher on Missions, but the part in which he was most at home was the Meditations on the Passion of our Lord. The moving and winning words in which he told the sufferings of his Divine Master never failed to draw souls to a greater love of the Crucified, and to a more lively compassion with Him in his sorrows. The Passion was his favourite subject - indeed it might be said to be the theme of his life's preaching.

Though he was frequently employed in preaching charity sermons, whilst he never failed to address himself directly to the cause which he was called upon to advocate, invariably did he embody in his discourse some reference which showed the character of the Passionist.

During his life he filled with care and diligence every office of trust in the Province. He was successively Rector of St. Joseph's, Highgate, S. Paul's, Dublin and S. Ann's, Sutton, and in the Chapter of 1878, he was chosen Provincial, the duties of which he discharged till ‘81. Subsequently when the higher Superiors accepted a new foundation in the far distant Australia, he was appointed Superior of the little band of missionaries who volunteered to preach the Passion under the Southern Cross. For six years he laboured with his usual zeal and energy in those colonies, giving Missions and Retreats and otherwise attending to the various duties with which he was entrusted. After his return to Ireland, he took up his residence in Mt. Argus, where notwithstanding the inroad that years of unbroken labour had made on his constitution, he shared with his younger brethren the several duties peculiar to the Retreat. Indeed it was little more than a week before his lamented death when he occupied the pulpit in St. Paul's, and though it could easily be seen that he was in failing health, there was also evidence that much of the old fire of by-gone days still lived within him.

Apart from his work for the Congregation, of which he was a faithful member, his time and talents were always at the disposal of anyone outside the order who required his service. This was particularly remarkable in the interest which he took in the Sisters of the Most Holy Cross and Passion. They began life as Sisters of the Holy Family, whose object was to afford instruction and shelter to homeless girls in the large manufacturing towns in England. Later on they took the name of Sisters of the Cross and Passion. Fr. Alphonsus arranged their Rule, got first a pro tem. approval from Rome, and eventually got the Holy See to sanction them in perpetuum.

His last illness was little more than a few hours. A few days before the end came he accompanied an invalid to the North and seemed even then to be in his ordinary good health. After his return to Dublin, on Wednesday the 4th, he complained of weakness and overwork, and on the morning of the 5th, he was attacked with violent haemorrhage. The doctor was called in immediately and at once pronounced his case serious. There were frequent returns of the haemorrhage during the day, and after receiving all the last rites of the church, being perfectly conscious to the end, he calmly slept away at two o'clock on the morning of the sixth of October.

The funeral obsequies took place on Monday the 9th in the presence of a large gathering of clergy and laity, after which the remains were consigned to their last resting place in the little cemetery attached to the Retreat.

It seemed providential that notwithstanding his sojourn in many lands, his mortal remains should repose in the Mount Argus he loved so well and served so long. Green as the grassy sward which each succeeding Spring will renew on his quiet grave be the remembrance of his many virtues and his bright example in the hearts of those who knew and loved him. R.I.P.

Fr. ALPHONSUS of the Blessed Virgin Mary (O'Neill) 6th October, 1899.

The ‘Irish News' (Belfast) on the 20th May 1960 carried an article: "TWO DISTINGUISHED PASSIONISTS OF YESTER-YEAR", the story of two brothers from Co. Tyrone who became Passionists: Frs. DOMINIC and ALPHONSUS O'Neill.

They were the sons of a mixed marriage. When their son Edward was born, the mother met the priest with a torrent of abuse and threats of violence, so the child was baptised secretly. That was Fr. Dominic. (Ironically, he was to be clothed a Passionist on July 12th 1852, 22 years later). The Dad compromised, and it was agreed sons would be baptised Catholics, the daughters Protestants. There was only one daughter Mary Ann. She refused to go to church with her mother, and went off to Mass with her brothers. Later, she was to become a Sister of Mercy, in Birmingham, as Sister Alphonsus of the Passion.

The early years were stirring ones. Daniel O'Connell won a lawsuit preventing his fellow Catholics from being evicted from a quarry, where the church in which the young O'Neills were altar boys was situated in Stewartstown.

It was also the period when the Oxford Movement was having its effects on the Hon. George Spencer and the Hon. Charles Pakenham among many others. The future Fr. Alphonsus was to meet up with both in Broadway. A fellow novice was Cfr. (later Brother) LAWRENCE Carr, who later would be the 1st Passionist Brother in Australia, while Alphonsus was Superior of the founding and pioneer party of CPs.

When he said he wanted to be a priest, his mother told a friend that it was the greatest cross of her life: his first Mass was offered for, and brought about, the conversion of his mother.

One page cannot cover his work as a Passionist. He was known as ‘the Silver-tongued Orator' (another Chrysologus!). He did his studies in John and Paul's, was ordained at Monte Argentaro by a Passionist Bishop, Mgr. Mulajoni.

Fr. Alphonsus was later to be a Vice-Master of novices, a Rector, a Consultor, a Provincial, ... and a great Missioner. He was the Founder of the present Australian Province, in that he led the first band of priests and a brother from St. Joseph's Province there; he returned later to the home Province. So (to quote the I.N. article) ‘afar from the townland of St. Patrick's Bell this great Passionist of yesteryear sleeps his last sleep in the peaceful cemetery beside Mount Argus'.

Sources: Fr. Salvian Nardocci's ‘Register'
Fr. Salvian Nardocci's ‘Annals' Vol. 1, pp. 161, 287,361.
‘Irish News' (Belfast) 1960.05.20 (In our archives).

https://passionistarchives.ie/index.php/alphonsus-o-neill/

Anglin, Henry, 1910-1977, Capuchin priest

  • IE CA DB/170
  • Person
  • 29 April 1910-30 May 1977

Joseph Anglin, the son of John and Julia Anglin, was born in Aherla, County Cork, on 29 April 1910. Andrew Anglin (b. 11 Feb. 1900), an elder half-brother of Joseph, joined the Capuchin Franciscans in 1918 and took Terence as his religious name. He later became a missionary friar, first in the United States (from 1929), and later in Africa (from 1943). He died on 12 September 1947 in Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia (later Zambia), where the Irish Capuchins had established a missionary custody. The Anglin family were devoutly Catholic, and Joseph followed in his elder half-brother’s footsteps by joining the Capuchins in Cork in October 1927, taking Henry as his religious name upon his reception into the Order. He took his final vows and was solemnly professed as a friar in October 1931. By this time, he had obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from University College Cork. Following four additional years of clerical studies at Ard Mhuire Friary in County Donegal, he was ordained to the priesthood in St. Eunan’s Cathedral in Letterkenny on 23 June 1935. In the years following his ordination, Fr. Henry served as an assistant to Fr. Senan Moynihan OFM Cap., the founding-editor of ‘The Capuchin Annual’ periodical. Following the Provincial Chapter of 1955, Fr. Henry was appointed editor of the ‘Annual’ with Fr. Felix Guihen OFM Cap. (1898-1981) taking on the role as manager of the Capuchin Publications Office. The appointment of Fr. Henry as editor of the ‘Annual’ elicited no real change in the ethos of the publication which continued to include an eclectic mix of articles on a wide range of topical, political, historical, artistic, literary, and spiritual subjects. Although the work of collating and editing articles for the yearly publication was strenuous and occasioned frequent bouts of stress-related ill-health, Fr. Henry succeeded in maintaining the scholarly content of the publication. Crippling financial losses brought about the demise of ‘The Capuchin Annual’ in 1977. Fr. Henry died on 30 May 1977 just a few months after completing his work on the final edition of the ‘Annual’. He was buried in the Capuchin plot in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.

Anglin, Terence, 1900-1947, Capuchin priest

  • IE CA DB/122
  • Person
  • 11 February 1900-12 September 1947

Andrew Anglin, the son of John and Nora Anglin, was born in Aherla, County Cork, on 11 February 1900. The Anglin family were devoutly Catholic (Joseph, a younger half-brother of Andrew, also joined the Capuchins and took Henry as his religious name in 1927). Andrew joined the Order in September 1918. He took Terence as his religious name upon entering the Order. Shortly after his ordination in 1927 he volunteered for missionary work in the United States. In 1928 he was an assistant pastor at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Fort Bragg in California and was later appointed to the Sacred Heart parish in Lincoln, Nebraska. He returned to Ireland in 1937. In 1943 he travelled to Northern Rhodesia (later Zambia) where the Irish Capuchins had established a mission custody. He ministered there until his death in Livingstone on 12 September 1947.

Baptismal name: Andrew Anglin
Religious name: Fr. Terence Anglin OFM Cap.
Date of birth: 11 Feb. 1900
Place of birth: Aherla, County Cork
Name of father: John Anglin
Name of mother: Nora Anglin (née Mahony)
Date of parents’ marriage: 24 Feb. 1884
Date of reception into the Capuchin Order: 29 Sept. 1918
Date of first profession: 4 Oct. 1919
Date of final profession: 4 Oct. 1922
Date of ordination (as priest): 29 July 1927
Educational attainments: BA, 1st class honours (1923)
Missionary assignments: Travelled to the United States in 1928 and returned to Ireland in 1937; Travelled to Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) on 12 Nov. 1943
Date of death: 12 Sept. 1947
Place of death: Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia
Place of burial: Livingstone, Zambia

Bibby, Albert, 1877-1925, Capuchin priest

  • IE CA DB/28
  • Person
  • 24 October 1877-14 February 1925

Thomas Bibby was born on 24 October 1877 in Bagenalstown, County Carlow. He was baptised on 28 October 1877. His family were proprietors of a woollen mill at Greensbridge and operated two drapery establishments in Kilkenny City, one in Parliament Street and another on High Street. He entered the Capuchin novitiate at Rochestown on 7 July 1894 and took the religious name of Albert. He was solemnly professed on 8 May 1900 and was ordained a priest at St. Mary of the Angels, Church Street, Dublin, on 23 February 1902. A gifted scholar, Fr. Albert was among the first batch of Capuchin students to receive a BA degree from the Royal University. He later became a professor of philosophy and theology and taught these subjects to Capuchin students for some years after his ordination. One of his first students was Fr. Dominic O’Connor OFM Cap. Fr. Albert was active in the Gaelic revival movement and became a fluent speaker of Irish. He was also engaged in temperance advocacy and gave missions sometimes solely in Irish in Gaeltacht areas. He was also involved in the Columcille branch of Conradh na Gaelige in its early years. Briefly a part of the community of friars in Kilkenny, he moved to Church Street, Dublin, in the early 1900s. In the aftermath of the Easter Rising, Fr. Albert ministered to a number of rebel prisoners in Kilmainham Jail and in other locations. He was present at the execution of Seán Heuston on 8 May 1916 and wrote an account of his final hours. He was later a regular correspondent with prominent republicans and their relations. On 16 December 1920 both Fr. Albert and Fr. Dominic O’Connor OFM Cap. were arrested by British forces during a raid on the friary on Church Street. Fr. Albert was detained for some hours in Dublin Castle but was afterwards released whilst Fr. Dominic was sentence to five years’ penal servitude. When the Four Courts was attacked on 27 June 1922 in the opening engagement of the Civil War, Fr. Albert was present in the building alongside Fr. Dominic. Both priests remained with the Anti-Treaty irregulars until the Four Courts was evacuated. They then proceeded to administer to Cathal Brugha and other IRA men occupying the Hamman Hotel on O’Connell Street. In June 1924, Fr. Albert was sent to the United States and was eventually appointed Pastor of the Capuchin Mission at Santa Inez in California. He immediately set about restoring both the parish and the structures of the old Franciscan Mission. Modern plumbing and electricity systems were installed at Santa Inez and Fr. Albert was joined by Friars Reginald O’Hanlon and Colmcille Cregan. However, Albert’s health deteriorated and he was soon admitted to St. Francis Hospital in Santa Barbara County. He died on 14 February 1925, a mere three months after his arrival in Santa Inez. He was buried just outside the mission’s chapel. His remains (along with those of his former pupil Fr. Dominic O’Connor OFM Cap.) were later repatriated to Ireland and he was buried in the cemetery of Rochestown Capuchin Friary, Cork, on 14 June 1958.

Bourke, Canice, 1890-1969, Capuchin priest

  • IE CA DB/63
  • Person
  • 27 February 1890-2 October 1969

Edward Bourke was born in Kilkenny city on 27 February 1890. He studied at the Seraphic College in Rochestown, County Cork, and joined the Capuchin Franciscan Order in 1906 taking Canice as his religious name. He was ordained to the priesthood in August 1906. He earned a BA degree from University College Cork in 1911. He was appointed guardian (local superior) of Holy Trinity Friary in Cork in 1933. He also served as superior of St. Bonaventure’s Hostel in Cork in 1946 and was instrumental in establishing the Capuchin House of Studies in Raheny in Dublin in the late 1940s. He was elected Provincial Definitor (Councillor) on several occasions. He returned to his native Kilkenny in 1959. Fr. Canice spent much of his ministry giving missions and retreats and was well known for his effective and energetic preaching. For many years, he served as Commissary Provincial of the Third Order of St. Francis confraternity. A fluent Irish speaker, he was also the author of several devotional texts including ‘Mary / A study of the Mother of God’ (1936), ‘Humility / the foundation of spiritual life’ (1951), and ‘Mary’s Rosary / Its devout recital’ (1960). He died in Dublin on 2 October 1969 and was buried on the Feast of St. Francis (4 October) in Glasnevin Cemetery.

Baptismal name: Edward Bourke
Religious name: Fr. Canice Bourke OFM Cap.
Date of birth: 27 Feb. 1890
Place of birth: High Street, Kilkenny (Diocese of Ossory)
Name of father: James Walsh (Draper)
Name of mother: Catherine Walsh
Date of reception into the Capuchin Order: 26 Aug. 1906
Date of first profession: 17 Sept. 1907
Date of final profession: 21 Jan. 1912
Date of ordination (as priest): 5 July 1914
Educational attainments: BA (NUI), 1911
Leadership positions: Provincial Definitor: 1928-31, 1937-41, 1943-6, 1946-9, 1949-51, 1952-5; Custos General: 1940-3, 1955-8.
Date of death: 2 Oct. 1969
Place of death: St. Michael’s Hospital, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Place of burial: Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin

Bowe, Peter, 1856-1926, Capuchin priest

  • IE CA DB/PB
  • Person
  • 19 September 1856-25 November 1926

Baptismal name: Edward Bowe
Religious name: Fr. Peter Bowe OFM Cap.
Date of birth: 19 Sept. 1856
Place of birth: Tullaroan, County Kilkenny
Name of father: Thomas Bowe (b. 3 Nov. 1816)
Name of mother: Ellen Bowe (née Maher) (b. 1815)
Date of reception into the Capuchin Order: 8 Apr. 1877
Date of first profession: 21 Apr. 1878
Date of final profession: 8 Sept. 1881
Date of ordination (as priest): 27 Aug. 1882
Leadership positions: Provincial Minister: 1901-4, 1907-10, 1916-9, 1922-5; Provincial Definitor (Councillor): 1887-90, 1890-3, 1893-6, 1895-8, 1898-1901, 1913-6; Custos: 1904, 1910, 1919, 1925
Date of death: 25 Nov. 1926
Place of death: Church Street Friary, Dublin
Place of burial: Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin

Brady, Conor, 1923-1993, Capuchin priest

  • IE CA DB/CB
  • Person
  • 21 August 1923-20 April 1993

Baptismal name: James Brady
Religious name: Fr. Conor Brady OFM Cap.
Date of birth: 21 Aug. 1923
Place of birth: Crosskeys, County Cavan (Diocese of Kilmore)
Name of father: Eugene Brady
Name of mother: Mary Brady (née Finnegan)
Date of reception into the Capuchin Order: 3 Oct. 1942
Date of first profession: 4 Oct. 1943
Date of final profession: 4 Oct. 1946
Date of ordination: 8 June 1950
Educational attainments: BA (1946)
Missionary activities: Travelled to Barotseland, Northern Rhodesia (later Zambia), on 26 Dec. 1993
Date of death: 20 Apr. 1993
Place of death: Kaoma, Zambia
Place of burial: Kaoma, Zambia

Brennan, Crispin, 1871-1949, Capuchin brother

  • IE CA DB/32
  • Person
  • 20 December 1871-3 July 1949

Baptismal name: Thomas Brennan
Religious name: Br. Crispin Brennan OFM Cap.
Date of birth: 19 Dec. 1871
Place of birth: Carlow (Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin)
Name of father: John Brennan (Labourer)
Name of mother: Margaret Brennan (née Dowling)
Date of reception into the Capuchin Order: 29 June 1896
Date of first profession: 29 June 1897
Date of final profession: 17 Sept. 1900
Date of death: 3 July 1949
Place of death: Bon Secours Home, Cork
Place of burial: Cemetery, Rochestown Capuchin Friary, County Cork

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