Hayden, Augustine, 1870-1954, Capuchin priest

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Hayden, Augustine, 1870-1954, Capuchin priest

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November 1870-7 February 1954

History

John Hayden was born in November 1870. He was baptised in Gowran, County Kilkenny on 7 Nov. 1870. His parents were William and Mary Hayden (née Morrissey). On 8 Dec. 1884, he was among the first five pupils to be admitted to the recently opened Capuchin Seraphic School at Rochestown, County Cork. He took the religious name of Augustine upon entering the Capuchin Order in November 1885. Towards the end of his clerical studies his health deteriorated and he was forced to spend two years in Switzerland. He was ordained a priest in the Augustinian Church, Thomas Street, Dublin, in November 1893. On 3 August 1896, Fr. Augustine was appointed rector of Rochestown College, replacing Fr. Francis Hayes OFM Cap. He held this position from 1896 to 1907. He later returned to Dublin and was Guardian of the Church Street Friary from 1913-6. He cultivated a strong interest in the Gaelic Revival and in particular preserving the Irish language. He was associated with Shán Ó Cuív (1875-1940) in establishing the Irish Language College at Ballingeary, County Cork in 1904, the first college of its kind. He was also a regular correspondent with Fr. Peadar Ua Laoghaire (1839-1920), a noted figure in Conradh na Gaelige, and for many years conducted missions in Gaeltacht areas of Counties Kerry and Donegal. In the immediate aftermath of the 1916 Rising, Fr. Augustine accompanied Fr. Aloysius Travers OFM Cap. in visiting Patrick Pearse and James Connolly. He was instrumental in securing the surrender of Thomas MacDonagh at the Jacob’s Factory and was present at Ėamonn Ceannt’s surrender at the South Dublin Union. He also ministered to Ceannt in the hours before his execution. Like the other Capuchin friars of the Dublin community, Fr. Augustine later committed his memories of Easter Week to writing (CA IR-1-4-1). In 1917, he was the celebrant at the wedding of Terence MacSwiney to Muriel Murphy and he was also the celebrant at the marriage of McSwiney’s daughter in Cork in 1940. He also authored a number of devotional texts including 'Ireland’s Loyalty to the Mass' (1933) and 'Ireland’s Loyalty to Mary' (1952). Fr. Augustine died on 7 February 1954 at the Bon Secours Home, Cork, and was laid to rest in the cemetery of the Capuchin Friary, Rochestown in County Cork.

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