File 18 - Letter Book

Postcard from Sister Mary Stella Phelan

Reference code

IE CA CP/3/1/1/18


Letter Book


  • 1947-1950 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

115 pp; 34.5 cm x 22 cm; Bound volume, manuscript, and typescript

Name of creator

(24 November 1900-26 July 1970)

Biographical history

John Moynihan, the son of Thomas and Mary Moynihan, was born on 24 November 1900 in Castlegregory, County Kerry. He was educated at Aughacasla National School (eight years) and at St. Brendan’s Seminary, Killarney (four years) and he matriculated in June 1918. He studied at All Hallows College in Dublin from October 1918 to March 1919. He joined the Irish Capuchin Franciscans in September 1920 taking the religious name of Senan. He took his final vows in 1925 and he was ordained a priest in 1928. Shortly after his ordination in 1928 he was appointed editor of ‘The Father Mathew Record’, a popular monthly publication of the Irish Capuchins which promoted the Order’s overseas’ missions (particularly in Africa) and carried articles supporting the cause of total abstinence. Fr. Senan strove to create a higher grade, more literary publication. He was acquainted with many well-known Irish writers and artists and he secured permission from the Order’s leadership to publish an ‘Annual’ in 1930. ‘The Capuchin Annual’ was published from 1930 to 1977. The publication was very much the work of Fr. Senan and he remained its editor until 1954. In 1955 a decision was made at the Capuchin Provincial Chapter to remove Fr. Senan from the editorship of the ‘Annual’. Soon afterwards he travelled to Perth at the invitation of Archbishop Redmond Prendiville (1900-1968), a fellow Kerry man. Fr. Francis Moynihan, a brother of Fr. Senan, had also been resident in Australia and was parish priest of St. John’s, Clifton Hill, in Melbourne. Fr. Francis was also the editor of ‘The Advocate’, a leading Catholic newspaper in Australia. Fr. Senan arrived in Perth in 1959. He was incardinated into the Perth Archdiocese on 1 April 1959 (as a diocesan priest having left the Capuchin Order). On arrival he took up a position as chaplain to religious sisters at St Anne’s Hospital, Mt Lawley (now Mercy Hospital). He did not, however, act as a chaplain to the patients. Archbishop Redmond Prendiville appointed him the first archivist of the Archdiocese of Perth in July 1962. Fr. Senan died in Perth on 26 July 1970. He is buried in Karrakatta Cemetery, Perth.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Scope and content

A volume containing letters to Fr. Senan Moynihan OFM Cap. The spine is annotated ‘D1’. Contains personal letters and correspondence relating to the Capuchin Publications Office. Includes letters from Fr. Conrad Simonsen Mackey OFM Cap. (Madrid, Spain), D.L. Kelleher, Sophie Raffalovich O'Brien, Joseph O’Connor (Seosamh Ó Conchubhair), Sister Stella Phelan MMM, Frank Gallagher, John Englis & Co. (printers), Aodh de Blacam, Sister M. Bernard (Fribourg, Switzerland), Fr. J.G. McGarry (‘The Furrow’, St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth), Fr. Bosco Lennon OFM Cap. (Ard Mhuire Capuchin Friary, County Donegal), H. Martin Hamilton, Fr. Hilary McDonagh OFM Cap. (Capuchin Friary, Kilkenny), Francis MacManus, Pádraig De Brún, Fr. P.J. Dunning CM (All Hallows College, Dublin), Fr. Flannan Downing OFM Cap., Michael O’Higgins, Br. Colman Butler OFM Cap., Michael Walsh (Lower Patrick Street, Kilkenny), Fr. Patrick Boland TOR (Catholic Mission, Bhagalpur, India), Eleanor Barnes (Lady Yarrow), Monsignor John S. Randall (Secretary, Catholic Press Association of the United States), Fr. Patrick O’Carroll CSSp., Fr. Cyril Kelleher OFM Cap., Fr. D.B. Kennedy, Fr. Otto Richter (Jablonec, Czechoslovakia), Adolf Morath (photographer), Fr. Albert Hayes OFM Cap. (Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia), Fr. Stephen J. Moloney O.Cist. (Mounty Melleray Abbey, County Waterford), Kevin Egan (The Holy Well, Cairns, County Sligo), Helena Concannon, C.J. Woollen, Clement O. Bradley (Manager, ‘The Tablet’), Sister Imelda Cassidy (Loreto College, 43 North Great George’s Street, Dublin), Bishop Daniel Cohalan (John’s Hill, Waterford), Fr. Hugh Morley OFM Cap. (editor, ‘The Cowl / A Capuchin Review’), Gerald Pyne (Harehills, Leeds), Seamus Murphy (Wellington Road, Cork), Séamus Ó Braonáin, Fr. Felix Guihen OFM Cap. (Holy Trinity Capuchin Friary, Cork), Gunning & Son (Ecclesiastical Art Manufacturers, Fleet Street, Dublin), Fr. Donal Herlihy (Pontifical Irish College, Rome), Fr. T.F. Duggan (President, St Finbarr’s College, Farranferris, Cork), Johanna Coakley (508 Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee), Rita McGoldrick, Sister M. Emmanuel (Mater Misericordiae Nursing Home, Eccles Street, Dublin), Kathleen M. Murphy (poet and travel writer), Cathal O’Byrne, Michael Lennon (Healthfield Road, Terenure, Dublin), and Sister M. Kevin (Convent of Mercy, Ardee, County Louth).

Enclosures include a typescript article titled ‘an open letter to Risteárd Ó Maolchatha [Richard Mulcahy] Éamon de Valera, Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha (An Seabhac)’ by Joseph O’Connor, and a typescript titled ‘Dublin, The Octopus / Draft Commentary by the Right Honourable, the Lord Mayor [Cormac Breathnach] on Mr. Peterson’s script’ (1950).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Language of material

  • English
  • Irish

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