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This was some party

emocourt_01Fifty years ago the Noviciate in Emo opened its doors to 31 new novices. Last month John Humphreys organised a head-count and a reunion, locating all but two of the original group, and gathering 21 souls for the party. Five of the original group are Jesuit priests, three are dead, and the rest are marching to the beat of a different drum – but not all that different. People ventured that it was a great event, way beyond their expectations. All were touched by the occasion in a happy but indefinable way, not just as a rekindling of old friendships. “Perhaps the Spiritual Exercises, even though we did them in non-ideal conditions, left an imprint, a kind of trust or interiority.” Read more

Thirty-one young men entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Emo Park in 1961, the vast majority of them aged eighteen. Fourteen of that number made vows, so seventeen left during the Novitiate years. Of the fourteen who made vows, five celebrated their Golden Jubilee in the Society in September 2011, namely Peter Carroll, Michael Gallagher, Michael Paul Gallagher, John Humphreys and Liam O’Connell. Philip Harnett died at Christmas time in 1996 and the other eight departed from the Society along the way. Two of those who departed were Brothers. Leading up to the Jubilee we decided to celebrate with as many of the thirty-one who entered with us as possible. Three had died, Philip Harnett, Tommy Hynes and Brendan Grincell. We succeeded in contacting all but two of the remaining twenty-eight. On the night of the celebration, September 29th, 2011, twenty-one people showed up, two sent apologies, and no word was heard from only three. We gathered in 35 Lower Leeson Street. Liam O’Connell was main celebrant at a Mass and Michael Paul said words that both touched all present and added greatly to the quality of the evening. Michael Paul used Keats’, “Ode to Autumn” and the Gospel of the day, Nathaniel’s call and moment of recognition by the Lord, to weave us all together in the joyful mystery of God’s love for an recognition of each one of us. After Mass, some of the Leeson Street Community joined us for drinks in their new community room before we departed for Dobbins’ Bistro in Stephen’s Lane. While each one paid for himself, a generous member of the group sponsored the wine and another generous member sponsored the five Jesuits. The response to the evening was overwhelmingly positive. People ventured that it was a great event, way beyond their expectations, which were not low but just ordinary. A reflection on the quality of the night was that, ‘perhaps the Spiritual Exercises, even though we did them in non-ideal conditions, left an imprint, a kind of trust or interiority’. Whatever the reason the night was a great success and there is no doubt that a few friendships were rekindled and that we will see more of one another in the future. One of our number has taken to bee-keeping in his retirement and he and his wife gifted ‘everybody in the audience’ with a jar of honey.

Who was at the event?
1. Ray Byrne
2. Peter Carroll
3. Donal Clarke
4. Jim Cradock
5. Kevin Cunnane
6. Jim Farrelly
7. Ivor Faulkner
8. Aiden Feerick
9. Michael Gallagher
10. Michael Paul Gallagher
11. Tom Galvin
12. John Humphreys
13. Seamus Mac Eoin
14. Eamon Murphy
15. Pat Nolan
16. Liam O’Connell
17. John O’Mahony
18. Owen O’Sullivan
19. Liam Trundle
20. Brogan Whittle [A Brother] 21. Charlie Yeates [A Brother]

Who couldn’t make it?
• Paddy Boyle – traced to Kent, England; written to him but no response.
• Jim Courtney – written to but no response.
• Mr. Cronin – never tracked him down.
• Donal Griffin – Sent regards and apologies to all – away in France.
• Tim Griffin – Spoke to him, not well and unable to come. Sent regards and apologies to all.
• Brendan Grincell – RIP
• Philip Harnett – RIP
• Tommy Hynes – RIP
• Ladislaus Kamata – Living in Zambia.
• Fintan Lawless – A Legionary of Christ in Brazil.