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Authority record

Mulligan, Sylvester, 1875-1950, Capuchin priest

  • IE CA DB/22
  • Person
  • 12 March 1875-23 October 1950

Patrick Mulligan, the son of John Mulligan and Brigid Mulligan (née Brennan), was born in County Monaghan on 12 March 1875. His family had a long association with the Capuchin Franciscan Order as five of his maternal uncles were among the first to join the Capuchins after the return of the friars to England in 1850. Following the completion of his preliminary studies at the Seraphic College in Rochestown, County Cork, Patrick Mulligan was received into the Capuchin Order on 30 March 1892. Upon joining the Order, he took Sylvester as his religious name. He was ordained a priest in Dublin on 21 September 1901. He was one of the first friars of the Irish Capuchin Province to pursue a course a higher course in theology in a continental university. Soon after his ordination, he enrolled in the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium where he was awarded a degree of Doctor of Divinity (‘Doctor Divinitatis’). On his return to Ireland, he was appointed a lector in sacred theology in Rochestown. In 1913 he was appointed director of the Total Abstinence sodality on Church Street in Dublin and President of Father Mathew Hall. He also assumed the editorship of ‘The Father Mathew Record’ periodical. In 1919 he resumed his role as professor of theology in Rochestown. Fr. Sylvester held several senior administrative positions in the Irish Capuchin Province. He was first elected Definitor at the chapter held in 1907 and was re-elected to this position at subsequent chapters. In 1925 he was elected Provincial Minister. The following year he attended the General Chapter of the Capuchin Order in Rome and was elected Definitor General, the first member of the Irish Province to hold such office. He was re-elected at the next General Chapter held in 1932. On 13 April 1937 he was appointed Archbishop of Delhi and Simla in India, receiving his episcopal consecration (23 May 1937) from Cardinal Pietro Fumasoni Biondi, assisted by Patriarch Luca Ermenegildo Pasetto OFM Cap., and Bishop Giovanni Giuseppe Santini OFM Cap. At the time, there was only one Catholic priest in Delhi and the newly appointed Archbishop was forced to reside in a house attached to a school located on the grounds of the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Joseph. Despite the disruption caused by the Second World War, Archbishop Mulligan worked assiduously in a challenging missionary environment. After being taken seriously ill during a Holy Year pilgrimage to Rome in June 1950, he returned to Ireland and underwent an operation in Dublin. Continuing ill-health forced his resignation as Archbishop on 12 August 1950. He died in Dublin on 23 October 1950. He was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

Baptismal name: Patrick Mulligan
Religious name: Fr. Sylvester Mulligan OFM Cap.
Date of birth: 12 Mar. 1875
Place of birth: Tasson, Clontibret, County Monaghan (Diocese of Clogher)
Name of father: John Mulligan
Name of mother: Brigid Mulligan (née Brennan)
Date of reception into the Capuchin Order: 30 Mar. 1892
Date of first profession: 2 Apr. 1893
Date of final profession: 25 Dec. 1897
Date of ordination (as priest): 21 Sept. 1901
Educational attainments: Licentiate of Sacred Theology (STL), Louvain; Doctor of Divinity (DD), Louvain
Missionary activities/Leadership positions: Provincial Definitor: 1907-10, 1916-9, 1922-5; Provincial Minister, 1925; Definitor General, 1926-9, 1932-7; Consecrated Archbishop of Delhi and Simla (India) on 23 May 1937. Resigned on 12 Aug. 1950.
Date of death: 23 Oct. 1950
Place of death: Dublin
Place of burial: Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin

Murphy, Bonaventure, 1880-1968, Capuchin priest

  • IE CA DB/46
  • Person
  • 7 February 1880-26 April 1968

A native of Cork, Fr. Bonaventure Murphy OFM Cap. had a long association with the Capuchin College in Rochestown in the county and served as rector of the school for twenty-one years. While rector, he gave refuge to Captain Robert Monteith (1879-1956) who had accompanied Roger Casement to Ireland in a failed attempt to deliver German arms to be used by republican insurgents in the 1916 Rising. Monteith remained at Rochestown until arrangements could be made for his escape to the United States. Fr. Bonaventure was acquainted with many prominent republicans including Terence MacSwiney and Michael Collins and he reportedly sheltered Liam Mellows during the War of Independence. In 1934 he was appointed guardian (local superior) of the Capuchin Friary in Kilkenny, a position he held until 1940. He continued to reside in Kilkenny until his death.

Baptismal name: Martin Murphy
Name (in religion): Fr. Bonaventure Murphy OFM Cap.
Date of birth: 7 Feb. 1880
Place of birth: Glanmire, County Cork
Name of father: Michael Murphy
Name of mother: Mary Murphy (née Hegarty)
Date of reception into the Capuchin Order: 1 Oct. 1899
Date of first profession: 4 Oct. 1900
Date of final profession: 25 Sept. 1904
Date of ordination (as priest): 16 Mar. 1907
Date of death: 26 Apr. 1968
Place of death: St. Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny
Place of burial: Foulkstown Cemetery, Kilkenny

Murphy, Columbus, 1881-1962, Capuchin priest

  • IE CA DB/42
  • Person
  • 17 June 1881-20 Feb. 1962

Daniel Murphy was born on 17 June 1881 in Cork. He was baptised in St. Finbarr’s Church on 19 June 1881. His parents were James and Sarah Murphy (née Flynn) of Ethelville, Western Road, Cork. He was a student of Presentation College and later Rochestown College in Cork. He applied for entrance to the Capuchin novitiate in August 1898 taking the religious name of Columbus. He was ordained a priest in 1906. He subsequently studied at the Catholic University of Louvain and obtained a Bachelor of Divinity in 1909. His life as a friar was mostly devoted to missionary and retreat work. At the outbreak of the 1916 Rising Fr. Columbus was a member of the Church Street community in Dublin. He would go on to play an important role in bringing about a cessation of hostilities. The day after the surrender of the Four Courts garrison on 29 April there was still confusion in North King Street and in other locations as to whether this was a truce or a complete surrender. To clarify, Fr. Columbus went to the Four Courts to retrieve Patrick Pearse’s note which had led to the surrender of Commandant Edward Daly. He later negotiated with the British military to arrange a personal meeting with Pearse in Arbour Hill and brought a copy of his surrender order to Commandant Patrick Holohan at North Brunswick Street. Between 30 April and 4 May Fr. Columbus was called upon to minister to prisoners in Kilmainham Jail prior to their executions. He later compiled a memoir recording his experiences of ministering to various rebel leaders awaiting their court martials and sentencing (IE CA IR-1-2-6). Fr. Columbus later acted as President of Father Mathew Hall, Church Street, Dublin, from 1925-8. He died on 20 February 1962.

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

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