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Mulligan, Sylvester, 1875-1950, Capuchin priest

  • IE CA DB/22
  • Personne
  • 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

Brophy, Charles, 1895-1976, Capuchin priest

  • IE CA DB/113
  • Personne
  • 13 October 1895-13 May 1976

Nicholas Brophy was born in Sandymount in Dublin on 13 October 1895. He entered the Capuchin novitiate in Kilkenny in 1917 and took Charles as his religious name. He later attended the Capuchin College in Rochestown in County Cork and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from University College Cork in 1921. He was ordained to the priesthood in June 1925. The entirety of his priestly ministry was spent in Dublin. He was President of Father Mathew Temperance Hall in the capital from 1928 to 1934 and was guardian (local superior) of the Church Street Capuchin community from 1934 to 1940 and from 1946 to 1949. He also served as Provincial Definitor from 1937-40 and from 1946-9. He founded the Retreat House in Raheny in Dublin and became its first director in 1957. He was well-known for his enclosed retreats in Raheny and for his missionary and preaching work particularly in his native Dublin which continued until his health deteriorated in his later years. He died in Jervis Street Hospital on 13 May 1976 and was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.

Baptismal name: Nicholas Brophy
Religious name: Fr. Charles Brophy OFM Cap.
Date of birth: 13 Oct. 1895
Place of birth: Sandymount, Dublin
Name of father: Peter Brophy
Name of mother: Catherine Byrne (née Byrne)
Date of parents’ marriage: 15 Nov. 1894
Date of reception into the Capuchin Order: 17 Sept. 1917
Date of first profession: 29 Sept. 1918
Date of final profession: 29 Sept. 1921
Date of ordination (as priest): 29 June 1925
Educational attainments: BA, 1921
Leadership positions: Provincial Definitor (Councillor), 1937-40, 1946-9; Custos General, 1940-3, 1943-6
Date of death: 13 May 1976
Place of death: Jervis Street Hospital, Dublin
Place of burial: Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin

Roche, Fintan, 1898-1953, Capuchin priest

  • IE CA DB/96
  • Personne
  • 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

Pius Devine

  • AR 4
  • Personne
  • 06-01-1838 - 28-04-1912

In the retreat of our Province dedicated to him, the festival of St Paul of the Cross has been, in two successive years, marked by a death of a son who had served his Congregation through many and devoted years. Last year Father Gregory of St Joseph, this year Father Pius of the Holy Ghost was called to his reward, at Mount Argus, on the Saints Festival.

 Father Pius of the Holy Ghost - in the world James Devine - was at Aclare, Co. Sligo, on the festival of the Epiphany, 1838. He made his classical studies at the seminary of his native diocese, Achonry, and then went to Maynooth where, after four years study, he received Minor Orders. But it pleased Almighty God to bestow upon him the grace of a vocation to the religious life; and soon two things turned his thoughts to the Congregation of the Passion, one was a retreat given at Maynooth by Father Vincent Grotti, the founder of Mount Argus, and the other the chance perusal of the life of Father Paul Mary Packenham, its first Rector, who had died soon after the arduous labours  of a mission given by us in Rathmines Parish  Church. Father Pius entered the Novitiate in the autumn of  1858 and was professed on September 29th of the following year. In 1861 he was ordained priest at St Joseph's, Highgate; and immediately commenced that career of Professor of Theology which he was to pursue so successfully through many years. When, in November, 1867 all the students of the Province were gathered in Dublin, under the presidency of Father Ignatius Paoli, afterwards Archbishop of Bucharest, Father Pius was truly his "right hand," and a guiding spirit in raising our ecclesiastical studies to a very high level. This purpose he was able still more to further by his directorship of the Retreat from 1869 to 1872. During his term of office he was sent as the Visitor - General to our houses in the United States, a high responsibility, successfully discharged. As Rector of Mount Argus, he had felt keenly the inadequacy of the brick chapel first erected, though the old family mansion had been adapted to form one structure with it, and now he generously volunteered to cross again the Atlantic to raise funds for the erection of a suitable church. For this he lectured in many cities of the United States, and afterwards begged in Chile, and, crossing the Andes  on a mule by the old Pioneer Road to lessen expense, also in the Argentine Republic. On his return home, he was elected, in 1875, Rector of Holy Cross,  Belfast, where he commenced the building of the present monastery. At the close of this term of office, he returned to the work most congenial to him, teaching, which, interspersed with missions, and retreats to religious communities, engaged his gifted and active spirit as long as health remained. For it pleased Divine Providence to lay upon him during the last 10 years of his life a trial most heavy, because the crucifixion of his strongest characteristic, the cross of inactivity. Stealthily but surely gout seized upon his strong frame with relentless grip, crippling him so that he could no longer say Mass, and painfully affecting his memory. To his nature, inactivity and helplessness were bitter indeed, and through these years many hours silent and lonely shrunk but did not quell his cheerful spirit. These were the crown of his work, and the purifying of his love for God; in him "patients" had "it's perfect work." The end came without pain, and was in perfect peace. He had received the last sacraments on April 26th, festival of Our Lady of Good Counsel, and on the 29th, comforted by the presence of his brother, Father Arthur, and in full possession of his senses, he calmly resigned his soul to his Maker.

Father Pius's gifts were great and many, and had received from earliest years effective training. His knowledge of the classics was that of the old school, delighting to fit occasion with apt quotation. He spoke several modern languages: in Gaelic he was a foremost scholar and authority, it was the tongue of his childhood and that in which his last earthly prayers were breathed to God. In the sacred sciences he had the large and accurate knowledge that comes with years of teaching. His outlook on all things was broad; on all men was kindly. To his ready pen we owe several works of great interest, notably the "Life of Father Ignatius Spencer," "Eutropia," or instructions for converts, and the "Life of St Paul of the Cross." He had been present in the great basilica at the canonisation of St Paul not as a spectator, but with the assistant clergy as a torch - bearer, and his description not only is of a thing seen in the glow of faith, but rises to a high order of literary excellence.

His early years in the Congregation were spent with the first fathers of our Province, men who had much and hard work to do and who, as true leaders, did it thoughtless of themselves, and reliant upon God: he had their spirit: his going is the breaking of a link with the past: a past that cannot altogether fade from our vision, for their memories are happily with us, while themselves and their reward are with God.

(CROSS, Vol. III, p.77f.)

McNamara CM, Thomas, 1809-1892, Provincial of Irish Vincentian Province

  • Personne
  • 1809-1892

Thomas McNamara was Provincial of the Irish Vincentian Province 1864-1867. He was President of Castleknock College for the same three years.
Here is an article which was published by Gary Culliton in the Irish Medical Times about Father McNamara's being 'solely or partly responsible for the founding of a large number of Dublin medical institutions': https://www.knockunion.ie/news/thomas-mcnamara-cm-svc-president-1864-67-9763

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

  • IE CA DB/47
  • Personne
  • 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

Kavanagh, Stanislaus, 1876-1965, Capuchin priest

  • IE CA DB/24
  • Personne
  • 12 June 1876-16 May 1965

John Kavanagh was born in Mountmellick in Queen’s County (later County Laois) on 12 June 1876. Having spent some years in the Capuchin College in Rochestown, County Cork, he was received into the Capuchin Order in March 1893. He was ordained a priest in Dublin on 23 February 1902. Soon after his ordination he was stationed in Kilkenny as a Professor of Philosophy, but most of his life as a priest was spent in Dublin and in Cork. An accomplished scholar, Kavanagh spent many years in libraries and archives in England, France, Italy, Spain and Belgium, transcribing thousands of documents in a very clear hand, recording everything relating to the Irish Capuchins which could be discovered overseas. His work in transcribing the seventeenth-century Latin text, the ‘Commentarius Rinuccinianus’, published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission in six volumes between 1932 and 1949, is well known. His extremely important corpus of manuscripts, surrogate copies and transcribed materials for early Capuchin history are now extant in the Irish Capuchin Archives. He served as Provincial Archivist for the Capuchin Order in Ireland from 1919 to 1958. In 1918 he was appointed to investigate the cause of two seventeenth century Irish Capuchin martyrs, Fr. Fiacre Tobin OSFC (d. 1856) and Fr. John Baptist Dowdall OSFC (d. 1710). Kavanagh also had a life-long interest in Fr. Theobald Mathew OSFC (1790-1856) and amassed a huge quantity of research and documentary material relating to his life and nineteenth-century temperance campaign. In recognition of his contribution to Irish historical scholarship, the National University of Ireland awarded him an honorary Doctor of Literature (D. Litt.) in 1947. Outside of academia, Kavanagh was a well-known preacher, missionary, and retreat-giver. In 1924 he was asked to travel to the United States where he spent several months assisting Irish Capuchin friars in missionary and preaching work. He was also a long-time incumbent of the position of Secretary of the Irish Capuchin Province (1922-31; 1937-55) and was elected Provincial Deifintor (Councillor) in 1931. His later years were blighted by dementia and he died on 16 May 1965 in the Bon Secours Hospital in Dublin. He was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

Baptismal name: John Kavanagh
Religious name: Fr. Stanislaus Kavanagh OFM Cap.
Date of birth: 12 June 1876
Place of birth: Mountmellick, Queen’s County (County Laois), Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin
Name of father: Edward Kavanagh
Name of mother: Joanna Kavanagh (née Costello)
Date of reception into the Capuchin Order: 20 Mar. 1893
Date of first profession: 2 July 1894
Date of final profession: 25 Dec. 1897
Date of ordination (as priest): 23 Feb. 1902
Educational attainments: Doctor of Literature (D. Litt.), 1947
Leadership positions: Provincial Definitor, 1931-4; Provincial Secretary, 1922-31, 1937-55; Provincial Archivist, 1919-1958
Date of death: 16 May 1965
Place of death: Bon Secours Hospital, Glasnevin, Dublin
Place of burial: Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin

Butler, John, 1873-1950, Capuchin priest

  • IE CA DB/17
  • Personne
  • 6 February 1873-3 October 1950

Patrick Butler was born in Sheastown, County Kilkenny, on 6 February 1873. He joined the Capuchins in 1890 (taking John as his religious name) and was ordained a priest in January 1899. For the following three years he worked as a science teacher in the Capuchin College in Rochestown, County Cork. He subsequently joined the missionary staff and was involved in giving missions and retreats throughout Ireland. In 1914, he travelled to Harrisburg in Pennsylvania. He spent nearly two years in the United States assisting Irish Capuchin missionaries in preaching activities. Following the outbreak of the First World War, he returned to Ireland, and in April 1916 was appointed a chaplain in the British Army with the rank of Captain. He served for a short time with the home garrisons in Canterbury and in Blackpool. He was later sent to the Middle East and Palestine as part of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF), an Allied military formation which fought the Ottoman Turks for control of this strategically important region. He was present at the Battle of Gaza (March 1917), and at the capture of Jerusalem (December 1917), and later acted as chaplain in a casualty clearing station in Damascus. Fr. John returned to Ireland in 1919 and spent the following eleven years in the Capuchin Friary on Church Street in Dublin. In 1930 he moved to Cork and was attached to the community at Holy Trinity Friary. He remained in Cork until his death on 3 October 1950.

Baptismal name: John Butler
Religious name: Fr. John Butler OFM Cap.
Date of birth: 6 February 1873
Place of birth: Sheastown, County Kilkenny (Diocese of Ossory)
Name of father: Tobias Butler
Name of mother: Catherine Butler (née Murphy)
Date of reception into the Capuchin Order: 23 June 1890
Date of first profession: 15 Aug. 1891
Date of final profession: 11 Oct. 1896
Date of ordination (as priest): 8 Jan. 1899
Missionary activity: Travelled to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States on 18 May 1914; Returned to Ireland on 25 Mar. 1916.
Educational attainments: BA (RUI)
Date of death: 3 Oct. 1950
Place of death: Cork
Place of burial: Cemetery, Rochestown Capuchin Friary, Cork
Note: Fr. Casimir Butler OFM Cap. (1876-1958) was a younger brother of Fr. John Butler OFM Cap.

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