Spiritan News

Irish Spiritan Province. Quarterly Information Bulletin. N°4 (October – December) 2014


Kimmage Development Studies Centre Celebrates its Fortieth Anniversary

8th November marked a special day in the 40th anniversary celebrations of Kimmage Development Studies Centre (KDSC) which was set up by the Spiritans in 1974.

The day focused on the stories of alumni over the 4 decades which had been collected over several months. 90 current and former students and staff enjoyed workshops, presentations, music and refreshments.

See http://www.kimmagedsc.ie/download/Kimmage-40.pdf

Visit to Pakistan

Provincial Marc Whelan C.S.Sp. returned from a two-week visit to Pakistan in December 2014 where he met the Spiritan group there. The group of 5 includes Dubliners John O'Brien C.S.Sp. and Jim O'Connell C.S.Sp. who are in Sindh Province and Co. Limerick man Michael Liston C.S.Sp. who is in Punjab on the edge of the Tahar desert near the border with India. The three have an average of some 30 years of mission service each in Pakistan.

Spiritans, including Fr. O'Brien, first went to Pakistan in December, 1977 partly as a response to a request from the Episcopal Conference of Pakistan.  They were asked to minister to tribal people of Hindu culture who, though isolated from the mainstream of Hinduism and culturally apart from the Muslim majority among whom they lived, remained in Pakistan after its independence from India. Today the mission of the Congregation is mainly in the area of supporting the Christian community and working with tribal minorities.

Spiritan Mission Volunteers in Kenya

Michael-Harrington-at-construction-siteMr. Michael Harrington (pictured, at a construction site) celebrated his second Christmas as a Spiritan Mission Volunteer in Kenya. A Cork man, whose previous overseas experience includes assignments in Cameroon and Tanzania, Michael teaches a Practical Skills class and is bursar in the new Spiritan secondary school of Sultan Hamud which is about 20km from Kwakakulu.

Mr. Dermot Donaghy completed his volunteer assignment training committee members of the Kwakakulu Orphans' Project in management and setting up a computer facility at Springhill Polytechnic. This is now under the aegis of the Kenyan Ministry of Youth Affairs.

A new volunteer is scheduled to take up a role in 2015 accompanying the leaders of the Orphans' Project and the community of Kwakakulu.

Appointed to Rome

The Congregation has appointed John Flavin C.S.Sp. to the Rome-based role of Assistant Secretary for Canonical Affairs with effect from 1st January, 2015. From Bantry, Fr. John, who is a former Secretary General of the Congregation, has spent much of his ministry in education.

Other members of the Province in Rome are Fr. John Fogarty (the Superior General),
Fr. Michael Kilkenny and Fr. Maurice Shortall.

From overseas mission to ministry in home city

From Ard Na Gréine in Waterford, Seán de Léis C.S.Sp. has returned to his native city to minister in St. Paul's Parish.
Ordained in Kimmage Manor in 1981, Fr. Seán had already spent a year in Sierra Leone in the 1970s while a student. He returned to West Africa in 1982, this time to Ghana. He subsequently served in Ireland and England before being appointed to the US in 1989 where his ministry included pastoral roles at St. Mark's, Fort Pierce and in Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, Palm City Florida.


Niall Greene C.S.Sp. is currently home on sabbatical leave.

After secondary school and a year of further study in his native Fermanagh, Niall moved to Dublin in 1991 to begin his studies for the priesthood. Ordained in Kimmage Manor in June 2000 and having already spent two years in Brazil while a seminarian, he was appointed to the Latin American country in 2001. Initially in pastoral ministry in Rio de Janeiro, he more recently served in formation of the next generation of Spiritans in Brazil.

Brazil currently has over a dozen Irish Spiritans including five who have served in the Latin American country for over 40 years each. The first Irish Spiritans arrived in Brazil in 1963, after a 2-week journey from Tilbury Docks on a Belfast-built ship!

New Education Officer

Ms Vivienne Dunne has taken up her role as Education Officer with the DEA, the trust body for Spiritan schools and colleges in Ireland. ( http://www.desplaces.ie/ )

Vivienne, who has a B. Comm from UCD and an M. Sc. in Education Management from TCD, worked as an Education Officer with the Trustees of the Faithful Companions of Jesus and Christian Brother schools and had previously been the Principal of Holy Faith Secondary School, Haddington Road in Dublin.

Gone to their reward

Three Spiritans, whose combined priestly ministry totalled some 180 years, have died.


John-Chisholm-CSSpFr. John Chisholm, who was aged 92 at his death, was appointed to Kimmage in 1950 where he would teach philosophy and theology to many future missionaries. He led the Kimmage choir, adding ancient Irish sacred music to its repertoire and developing a close relationship with RTÉ's religious programming section.

A writer, researcher and academic, Fr. Chisholm's teaching career included more than 2 decades in UCD. Already holder of many academic qualifications, he was awarded a doctorate by the NUI in 1978. Though he retired in 1988, the Dublin northsider was active until his death which occurred while he was on one of his many pilgrimages to Medjugorje.


Jim-Hurley-CSSpFr. Jim Hurley was born in Bandon, Co. Cork in 1930. As a young priest, he was appointed in 1959 to Rockwell College, where he had done his secondary studies in the previous decade. He went on to spend much of the 1970s as headmaster in St. Mary's College, Rathmines, another of his congregation's schools in Ireland.

Fr. Hurley later returned to his beloved Rockwell as headmaster of what became a co-educational school. He subsequently spent six years as Secretary General of the Congregation in Rome, where he had been ordained in 1957 while studying theology at the Gregorian University. He also ministered in Australia before returning to Ireland in 2002.


John-MoriartyRaised in Co. Meath, Kerry-born Fr. John Moriarty died in Kimmage at the age of 86. Like Fr. Chisholm ahead of him, his secondary schooling had been in O'Connell CBS in Dublin. While training for the priesthood, he spent three years as a prefect in Trinidad.

Fr. Moriarty's first appointment was to Nigeria in 1957 where he combined teaching, school administration and pastoral ministry. In the late 1960s he went to Britain where he taught and did chaplaincy for 6 years. Returning to Africa in the mid-1970s, he combined teaching and chaplaincy roles in Ghana before serving as Superior there. He later moved to South Africa where he was Director of the Spiritan Formation House in Pietermaritzburg.