On Thursday, January 29th, Jim Culliton SJ and Brendan Comerford SJ, attended the funeral Mass of the late Ron Darwen SJ in Preston, Lancashire, England. Both Jim and Brendan had been former tertians (Jesuits in final year of formation) of Ron’s, as had many other Irish Jesuits, including Irish Jesuit Provincial, Tom Layden SJ, in the last decade.
During his Jesuit life, Ron held many diverse posts within the Society of Jesus – school teacher, parish priest, local superior, worker in ecumenism, missionary in South Africa, novice director, Socius to the British Provincial, and tertian director (not necessarily in that order!).
Ron became tertian director along with the late Fr. Paddy Doyle SJ in the late 1990s. Together, they devised a tertianship based in Northern Ireland where the tertians lived in small inserted communities in Belfast, Coleraine and Derry. The three groups met for conferences three days a week in the pastoral centre in Maghera. After Paddy Doyle became ill, the late Senan Timoney, SJ became co-tertian director with Ron.
According to Brendan Comerford SJ, “They complemented each other beautifully”. He added, “Ron was a fine Jesuit. His common sense, obvious love for the Society, broad experience of Jesuit life over the years, and his sense of humour, made Ron an ideal tertian director. We, his former tertians, owe him a great deal. May the Lord reward him for his generous service to the Society and to so many other people unknown to us!”