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Authority record

Murphy, Nicholas, 1849-1923, Capuchin priest

  • IE CA DB/NM
  • Person
  • 22 October 1849-1 November 1923

Maurice Murphy was born in Kinnagh, County Wexford, on 22 October 1849. He was received into the Capuchin Order in Le Mans, France, on 14 July 1874. He took Nicholas as his religious name upon joining the Order. He continued his studies on the continent and was ordained a priest in Lorient, France, on 13 June 1879. Following his ordination, he returned to Ireland and was attached to Holy Trinity Friary in Cork, where he was appointed guardian (local superior). After a period of three years, he was transferred to the Church Street Friary in Dublin and took up the position of Vicar. In 1890 he was appointed President of Father Mathew Hall, a position he would hold for six years. He was instrumental in the building of both the Third Order Chapel attached to the Church of St. Mary of the Angels and the addition of a new wing to the Church Street Friary. He served as spiritual director of the Third Order of St. Francis sodality in Dublin for many years. He was a vigorous campaigner for the tenement residents of Church Street and petitioned Dublin Corporation on their behalf seeking improvements in housing and social conditions. In the public sphere, Fr. Nicholas served as chaplain to the Lord Mayor of Dublin and was a well-known attendee at numerous civic and religious functions in the city. He died in the Church Street Friary in Dublin on 1 November 1923 and was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

Baptismal name: Maurice Murphy
Religious name: Fr. Nicholas Murphy OFM Cap.
Date of birth: 22 Oct. 1849
Place of birth: Kinnagh, County Wexford (Diocese of Ferns)
Name of father: Patrick Murphy
Name of mother: Anne Murphy (née Stafford)
Date of reception into the Capuchin Order: 14 July 1874
Date of first profession: 12 Nov. 1875
Date of final profession: 26 Nov. 1878
Date of ordination (as priest): 13 June 1879
Leadership positions: Provincial Definitor: 1893-1901; Custos General, 1904
Date of death: 1 Nov. 1923
Place of death: Church Street Friary, Dublin
Place of burial: Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin

Neary, Paul, 1857-1939, Capuchin priest

  • IE CA DB/PN
  • Person
  • 24 May 1857-20 June 1939

William Neary, the son of John Leary and Brigid Neary (née Dowling), was born on 24 May 1857 in Freshford, County Kilkenny. An older brother, Michael, joined the Capuchins in 1875 and took the religious name of Fidelis. William followed in his brother’s footsteps and joined the Order in Kilkenny a year later in May 1876. He took Paul as his religious name was solemnly professed as a friar in October 1881. Following his profession, he was sent to France to continue his studies. He returned to Ireland and was ordained a priest in April 1881. In 1884, the Irish friars succeeded in re-establishing administrative autonomy by reconstituting a canonical Irish Capuchin Province with a Belgian-born friar, Fr. Seraphin Van Damme OSFC (1820-1887), appointed as Provincial Minister (Superior). In January 1887, Fr. Paul was summoned to Rome and was appointed the first Irish-born Provincial Minister of the reconstituted Irish Capuchin Province. Fr. Paul played a key role in the organisation of the celebrations of the centenary of the birth of Fr. Theobald Mathew OSFC (1790-1856) in 1890 and in the campaign to secure funds to complete the church named in his honour (Holy Trinity, or Father Mathew Memorial Church in Cork). As Provincial Minister, and later as Vice-President of Father Mathew Hall in Dublin, he campaigned widely for the promotion of temperance. When the Catholic hierarchy invited the Irish Capuchins to undertake a nationwide crusade for the revival of temperance in 1905, Fr. Paul was the principal organiser and facilitator of this missionary campaign. Plagued by regular bouts of ill-health in his latter years, Fr. Paul Neary died in the Capuchin Friary on Church Street in Dublin on 20 June 1939 and was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

Baptismal name: William Neary
Religious name: Fr. Paul Neary OFM Cap.
Date of birth: 24 May 1857
Place of birth: Freshford, County Kilkenny (Diocese of Ossory)
Name of father: John Neary
Name of mother: Brigid Neary (née Dowling)
Date of reception into the Capuchin Order: 24 May 1876
Date of first profession: 27 May 1877
Date of final profession: 4 Oct. 1880
Date of ordination: 4 Apr. 1881
Date of death: 20 June 1939
Place of death: Capuchin Friary, Church Street, Dublin
Place of burial: Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin
Leadership positions: Provincial Minister, 1887-90, 1890-3, 1904-7; Provincial Definitor, 1885-8, 1895-8, 1901-4, 1913-7.
Note: Fr. Fidelis (Michael) Neary OFM Cap. (1855-1932) was a brother of Fr. Paul Neary OFM Cap.

O’Dea, Laurence, 1851-1917, Capuchin priest

  • IE CA DB/LOD
  • Person
  • 1851-4 November 1917

John O’Dea was born to Kieran and Mary O’Dea (née Doyle) of William Street in Kilkenny in 1851. He joined the Capuchin Order in England in 1868 and took Laurence as his religious name. He was ordained a priest by the Bishop of Southwark on 3 May 1874 at the Capuchin Friary in Pantasaph, Flintshire, in North Wales. He joined the Irish Capuchins shortly afterwards and from 1874 to 1881 was Novice Master in Le Mans, France, where the Irish friars studied. He travelled to India in 1881 and was later appointed a chaplain to the British forces stationed there. He assumed responsibility for the construction of the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Joseph in Shimla in 1885. O’Dea returned to Britain in 1891. Having re-joined the British Capuchin Province, he served as guardian (local superior) in several English Capuchin Houses including Olton (Oxford), Erith (London) and Crawley (Sussex). Although advancing in age (he was at this point nearly sixty), he volunteered for further missionary work in Arabia from 1907 to 1909. At the outbreak of the First World War, he again put forward his name for military chaplaincy. His offer was accepted, and he was made chaplain to a large convalescent camp established at Eastbourne on the English Coast for wounded and shell-shocked soldiers of the conflict. At its peak, the main camp had room for 3,500 injured soldiers. Overburdened by the pressures of his work, O’Dea died in the Military Hospital at Palace Green in London on 4 November 1917. He was buried in the cemetery of the Friary Church of St Francis in Crawley, Sussex.

O'Connor, Dominic, 1883-1935, Capuchin priest

  • IE CA DB/47
  • Person
  • 13 February 1883-17 October 1935

John Francis O’Connor was born on 13 Feb. 1883 in County Cork. He was born into a devoutly Catholic family. His father, John O’Connor, a teacher, and his mother, Mary Ann Sheehan, were both tertiaries of the Third Order of St. Francis attached to Holy Trinity Capuchin Church, Cork. A brother of Many Ann Sheehan had already joined the Capuchin Franciscan Order. Fr. Luke Sheehan OFM Cap. was one of the first Catholic missionaries to minister in the American state of Oregon. A good number of John’s siblings also entered religious life. John entered Rochestown College, Cork, in the Autumn of 1897. Having successfully completed his secondary education, he entered the Capuchin novitiate on 1 Oct. 1899 and received the religious name of Dominic. A year later he took his simple vows and in the Autumn of the same year began studying for a philosophy degree in the Royal University, Cork. He was ordained a priest on 17 Mar. 1906 in the Capuchin Friary in Kilkenny. He later enrolled in the Catholic University in Louvain where he obtained a Sacrae Theologiae Baccalaureus (Bachelor of Sacred Theology). In response to a call from Cardinal Michael Logue, Archbishop of Armagh, Fr. Dominic volunteered for chaplaincy work with the British armed forces during the First World War. After spending two months with a Scottish brigade in England, he transferred to a hospital unit bound for Salonika, Greece. After approximately two years of service, Fr. Dominic resigned his post in 1917, returned to Ireland and was appointed to the Capuchin community in Holy Trinity Friary, Cork. Fr. Dominic soon attained notoriety in nationalist circles and was appointed chaplain to the Cork Brigade of IRA Volunteers by Tomas MacCurtain. As chaplain, Fr. Dominic was the first to appear at the MacCurtain home in Blackpool, Cork, on the morning the Sinn Féin Lord Mayor was killed by British forces (20 Mar. 1920). He also served as chaplain to MacCurtain’s successor as Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney, who was arrested on 12 Aug. 1920. Fr. Dominic ministered to MacSwiney throughout his hunger strike in Brixton Prison and was present for his death on 25 Oct. 1920. Soon after his return to Ireland, Fr. Dominic was arrested at the Capuchin Friary on Church Street, Dublin. He was taken to Dublin Castle and in January 1921 was court martialled and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. During his confinement, he became acquainted with two notable republican detainees, Ernie O’Malley and Pádraig Ó Caoimh. Fr. Dominic served about a year of his imprisonment in Parkhurst Prison. Following the Anglo-Irish Treaty in December 1921, there was a general amnesty for prisoners and Fr. Dominic was released in January 1922. On 25 February 1922, he was granted the freedom of Cork ‘as a mark of respect for his valuable services rendered to the first two Republican Lord Mayors of Cork’. With the onset of the Civil War the Capuchins in Church Street were once more involved in ministering to besieged republicans. In June 1922 the Four Courts, located only a couple of hundred meters from the Church Street Friary, was attacked by Free State forces. Fr. Dominic (assisted by Fr. Albert Bibby OFM Cap.) provided spiritual comfort, assisted in the evacuation of the wounded, and later facilitated the surrender of the defeated garrison. Soon afterwards, Fr. Dominic returned to Holy Trinity Friary, Cork. On 26 Nov. 1922 a decision was made by the Provincial Definitory of the Irish Capuchins to have Fr. Dominic transferred to the Province’s Mission in Bend, Oregon, United States. This was the location of Fr. Luke Sheehan’s (Fr. Dominic’s uncle) pioneering missionary work some years before. For the remainder of his life Fr. Dominic performed routine duties associated with the missionary apostolate of a Capuchin friar. He was appointed temporary rector of St. Francis de Sales Cathedral and published the first of a two-volume history of the Diocese of Baker in 1930. In August 1935 he sustained serious injuries in a car accident from which he never fully recovered. He died on 17 Oct. 1935 and was buried in Bend, Oregon. His remains (along with those of Fr. Albert Bibby OFM Cap.) were later repatriated to Ireland and he was buried in the cemetery of Rochestown Capuchin Friary, Cork, on 14 June 1958

Presentation Brothers

  • PB
  • Corporate body
  • 1795-2020

The Presentation Brothers are an international, Catholic congregation of religious brothers, founded in 1802 by Blessed Edmund Rice in Waterford, Ireland. The expressed mission of the Presentation Brothers is to "form Christ in the Young" and traditionally they have worked to achieve this through education.

Edmund Rice was born in the townland of Westcourt near the village of Callan in County Kilkenny on 1 June 1762. His parents, Robert Rice and Margaret Tierney Murphy, were prosperous farmers. At the age of 17, Rice was apprenticed to his uncle, Michael Rice, in Waterford city. Several years later, Edmund’s uncle signed the business over to him and Edmund began to invest his growing fortune in land and property. At the age of 25, Edmund married Mary Elliott but, sadly, Mary died in January 1789 following a horse-riding accident. Edmund and Mary had a daughter who was also called Mary.

After his wife’s death, Rice became more religious and he developed a devotion to St. Teresa of Avila. He also became involved in charitable works and regularly visited the poor of Waterford providing financial assistance to those in need. In 1798, Edmund helped the Presentation Sisters open a convent and school for girls in Waterford. Rice decided to try something similar for young boys, and in 1800 he began to teach youngsters at his business premises in Barronstrand Street with the assistance of some volunteers. The following year, Rice converted some stables on New Street into a makeshift school. His friends and colleagues described it as an act of "mad folly". Two men, Patrick Grosvenor and Patrick Finn, arrived to help. The three men lived above the school where they prayed together and shared their possessions. This school would go on to be known as Mount Sion Primary School which exists to this day.

Between 1802, when he opened his first school and 1808, Rice gathered around him a group of companions to help him in his work. These first Brothers took their vows on 15th August 1808 in the chapel of the Presentation Convent, Waterford, and together they became known as the Society of the Presentation. They lived their religious life based on the Rule of the Presentation Sisters (founded by the Venerable Nano Nagle in 1775), adapted for men. The Presentation Rule defined the new institute as a diocesan institute. This meant that, initially in Waterford, and later on in other dioceses where the Brothers worked, the local Bishop was their Superior. Unlike institutes of pontifical rite, the new religious institute had no Superior General of its own.

As the work of Edmund Rice expanded to Dublin, Cork and other Irish cities and towns, a need for central planning and direction emerged in the developing educational mission of the Brothers. From 1817 onwards, Edmund Rice began to consider adopting a constitution along the lines of that used by the Brothers of the Christian Schools in France. The De La Salle Brothers were an institute of pontifical rite, and had their own Superior General and elected administration. They were, to a great extent, independent of local bishops and this gave them great freedom in the development and expansion of their work. Rice felt that the Presentation Rule had served the group well in its early years, but Rome would only grant his group pontifical status if they adopted a pontifical rule already in existence. He decided to propose to his Brothers that the group should adopt a new De La Salle style rule. Controversy and debate ensued over a number of years and ultimately led to a division within the group. The vast majority of the Brothers ultimately accepted the adoption of a rule along the lines of that used by the Brothers of the Christian Schools in France. A minority of two continued to live the Presentation Rule and remained under the jurisdiction of their local bishops. The majority, known as the Christian Brothers since 1822, elected Edmund Rice as their first Superior General. The group experienced considerable expansion and development during the following decades.

Of the two Brothers who chose to remain with the Presentation Rule, Brother John Ignatius Mulcahy taught at a school in Cappoquin, County Waterford until his death in 1845. He was not joined by any followers. The second Brother, Michael Augustine Riordan of Cork, was joined by a number of followers and continued to follow the Presentation rule.

Brother Michael Augustine Riordan had entered the North Monastery in Cork in 1814 (there had been a community of Brothers in Cork since 1811; Brother Jerome O'Connor and Brother John Baptist Leonard founded the Peacock Lane Monastery, also known as the North Presentation Monastery, and were given charge of the Cork Charitable Society’s North School off Chapel Lane by the Bishop of Cork, Dr Francis Moylan). There had been considerable division in the North Monastery concerning the acceptance of the new rule over a number of years. An architect by profession, Riordan had helped in the building of many Cork churches before his entrance to the Brothers. His personal sense of loyalty to the then Bishop of Cork, John Murphy, greatly influenced his decision to remain with the Presentation Rule. In 1827, with the support of Bishop Murphy, he left the North Monastery and was given a house in Douglas Street, on the south side of the city. This became known as the South Monastery and Brother Riordan was joined there by some companions who lived as Presentation Brothers under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Cork.

The Brothers began to conduct two schools in the city, one in the South Monastery itself, another a Lancasterian School on Great George's Street, today known as Washington Street. Thus, Brother Riordan played a pivotal role in the survival of the Institute of Presentation Brothers who would continue to live the original rule chosen by Edmund Rice and his early companions.

The Presentation Brothers continued their work in the Cork schools and expanded to Kerry in 1838. A foundation was made in Deptford, England in 1876 and in Birr, Co. Offaly, in 1879. By the 1870s however, a new younger group of Brothers began to address the issue of diocesan versus central control. As various types of schools were founded in diverse places, it became obvious that the Presentation Congregation should develop from its present diocesan status to being an institute of pontifical rite. In 1874, the Bishops of Cork and Kerry, on behalf of the Brothers, requested Rome to grant pontifical approval to the Presentation Institute. A Decree was received from Rome in the same year granting temporary approvaI. In 1885, the Presentation Brothers submitted a petition to Rome requesting its approval for a central government for the Presentation Institute under its own Superior General. By 1889, Rome granted temporary approval and final approbation came ten years later in 1899.

Throughout these developments, the Brothers retained the original Presentation Rule. Changes were inserted however to allow for a central government under a superior general and council. The first formal general chapter of the Brothers of the Presentation Institute was held in the South Monastery Cork in July 1889. Brother Patrick Shine was elected superior general and with him four assistants to help in the government of the Congregation.

The number of communities and schools established and managed by the Presentation Brothers greatly increased in the subsequent decades, both in Ireland (including Cork, Cobh, Kinsale, Bray, Dungannon, Enniskillen, Carrick-on-Shannon, Boyle, Letterkenny) and overseas (including Canada, USA, Ghana, Nigeria, Barbados, Grenada, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Peru, and Slovakia).

The Presentation Brothers have a presence in a number of these locations to the present day, and continue to work in the area of education as well as a wider range of ministries including with the homeless, elderly, disadvantaged youth and the Roma people.


Much of this history of the Presentation Brothers was sourced from 'The Contribution of the Presentation Brothers to Irish Education 1960-1998: A Study of a Roman Catholic Religious Teaching Institute in a Time of Change and Transition', a PhD thesis written and submitted to the University of Hull by Br Michael Martin Kenneally.

Quinn, Raphael, 1888-1940, Capuchin priest

  • IE CA DB/64
  • Person
  • 3 December 1888-6 February 1940

Peter Quinn, the son of Thomas and Teresa Quinn, was born in Rhode, King’s County (Offaly), on 3 December 1888. He joined the Capuchin Order in the novitiate at Rochestown, County Cork, in August 1906, taking Raphael as his religious name. His degrees were taken at the National University of Ireland, and he also spent some time studying in the Gregorian University in Rome. Following the completion of his ecclesiastical studies in Rochestown, he was ordained to the priesthood in Holy Trinity Church, Cork, on 5 July 1914. After working for some years in Kilkenny, he travelled to the United States in 1919. He was appointed Pastor in Ukiah, California, in 1922. Here his energy was devoted to the building of St. Mary’s Church and supervising improvements to the adjoining presbytery. The church was opened and blessed by the Most Rev. Edward J. Hanna, Archbishop of San Francisco, on 25 March 1924. Fr. Quinn was also responsible for the building of St. Anthony’s Parish Church in Willits (just north of Ukiah) in Mendocino County, California. Aside from his parochial duties, he was also well known for his ministry to Native Americans (most notably the Pomo Indians of California). In 1925 he was elected Pastor and Superior of Sacred Heart Parish in Lincoln, Nebraska. He remained in Lincoln for nine years, building a new parish church and school. He was also responsible for bringing the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary from Dubuque (Iowa) to teach in the local parochial school and served as chaplain in the state penitentiary. In 1932 a fire (caused by a faulty radio) engulfed the Lincoln parish rectory building. Adam Sassenberger, the parish caretaker who was staying at the house at the time, perished in the blaze. Raphael Quinn suffered serious injuries in the incident from which he never fully recovered. He returned to Ukiah in 1934 and remained there until his death (following a long illness) on 6 February 1940. He was buried in the Catholic Cemetery in Ukiah.

Baptismal name: Peter Quinn
Religious name: Fr. Raphael Quinn OFM Cap.
Date of birth: 3 Dec. 1888
Place of birth: Rhode, County Offaly (Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin)
Name of father: Thomas Quinn
Name of mother: Teresa Quinn (née Dunne)
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, 1911
Missionary assignments: Travelled to the United States in Nov. 1919
Date of death: 6 Feb. 1940
Place of death: Ukiah, California

Roche, Fintan, 1898-1953, Capuchin priest

  • IE CA DB/96
  • Person
  • 30 July 1898-9 May 1953

Daniel Roche was born in Newcastle West in County Limerick on 30 July 1898. He was educated in the local primary school in Newcastle West and later at the Capuchin College in Rochestown, County Cork. He entered the Capuchin Order in August 1914 and took Fintan as his religious name. He made his solemn profession as a friar in 1920. He graduated with a philosophy degree from University College Cork and studied theology at Rochestown. He was ordained a priest by Bishop Daniel Cohalan in Holy Trinity Church, Cork, on 29 June 1923. Shortly after his ordination, in October 1923, he travelled to the United States as a missionary friar. Ten years later, he became one of the pioneering missionaries in the newly established Capuchin mission territory in Barotseland in Northern Rhodesia. While in Africa, he contributed regularly to ‘The Father Mathew Record’, a popular monthly publication of the Irish Capuchins which promoted the Order’s overseas’ missions (particularly in Africa). He returned to Ireland in 1940 to engage in fundraising activities to support the Order’s missionary endeavours. A decision was made to send Fr. Fintan back to the United States in January 1944. However, he suffered a serious accident during his transatlantic passage when the ship he was travelling on encountered a severe storm. He continued to suffer from ill-health in the years following his return to America. He spent some years as Pastor in McKenzie Bridge, a picturesque if isolated region located about halfway between Roseburg and Bend in Oregon on the American Pacific coast. In 1950, he described his life in McKenzie Bridge as ‘nothing strange, weeding and Mass every day and peace’. However, his health continued to decline and following several heart attacks he left his remote rural abode in Oregon to reside in California. He died in the Capuchin Friary in Flintridge, north of Los Angeles in California on 9 May 1953.

Baptismal name: Daniel Roche
Religious name: Fr. Fintan Roche OFM Cap.
Date of birth: 30 July 1898
Place of birth: Newcastle West, County Limerick
Name of father: James Roche (Shopkeeper)
Name of mother: Anne Roche (née Downey)
Date of reception into the Capuchin Order: 27 Aug. 1914
Date of first profession: 8 Sept. 1915
Date of final profession: 21 Mar. 1920
Date of ordination: 29 June 1923
Educational attainments: BA, 1919
Missionary activities: Travelled to the United States on 14 Oct. 1923; Travelled to Africa in 1933; Returned to Ireland in 1940; Travelled to the United States in January 1944
Date of death: 9 May 1953
Place of death: Flintridge, California

Shine, William Patrick, 1843-1905, Presentation Brother

  • IE PB P/1
  • Person
  • 20 July 1843-20 April 1905

Born: 20 July 1843 in Kilbaha, Moyvane, County Kerry
Entered: 10 February 1868, South Monastery, Cork
Reception: [?August] 1868
Professed: 27 August 1870
Died: 20 April 1905, Mount St Joseph, Cork
Interred: Blessed Edmund Rice Cemetery, Mount St Joseph, Cork

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