Jesuit Chaplains in the Second World War

Repository: Irish Jesuit Archives

Identity Statement

TitleJesuit Chaplains in the Second World War
Archive ReferenceIE IJA/CHP2
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1939-1946
Extent Medium2 boxes


Creator(s): Irish Jesuits

  • Administrative History ↴

    21 Irish Jesuit chaplains served as chaplains in the Second World War in the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. Fr. John Hayes, SJ, who died of typhus on 28th December 1944, was the single casualty to the Irish Jesuit Province.
  • Archival History ↴

    Material sent back by Jesuits to the Irish Province.
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴

    Official Transfer

Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Irish Jesuits ↴

    The papers of the Irish Jesuit Chaplains in the Second World War consist mainly of letters and telegrams from individual chaplains to the Irish Jesuit Provincial – Fr. Laurence J. Kieran SJ was the Irish Provincial at the outbreak of the War and on 8 September 1941, Fr. John McMahon SJ became Provincial. Also includes letters to Father Provincial Laurence J. Kieran SJ from various Jesuits volunteering to become military chaplains (1 September 1939-7 April 1941); letters and telegrams from Monsignor J.M. Coghlan (Principal Chaplain (R.C.) and Vicar General, British Army, War Office) seeking chaplains to serve in the forces and thanking Father Provincial for those he has offered (1941-1944); memoranda and lists (1942); volunteers’ letters (April 1941-July 1942); correspondence with the Royal Air Force (1941-1945); letters from newly appointed chaplains (1941); miscellaneous letters to Provincial (1941-1945).

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    All items retained permanently
  • Accruals ↴

  • Arrangement ↴

    Material was catalogued in 1998, with some additions in 2007 and 2010.

    Papers of individual chaplains
    i. Alan Birmingham, S.J. (1911-1991)
    ii. Matthias Bodkin, S.J. (1896-1973)
    iii. John Burden, S.J. (1907-1974)
    iv. Fergus Cronin, S.J. (1909-1990)
    v. Leo Donnelly, S.J. (1903-1999)
    vi. Maurice Dowling, S.J. (1896-1965)
    vii. Gerard Guinane, S.J. (1900-1971)
    viii. John Hayes, S.J. (1909-1945)
    ix. Laurence Kearns, S.J. (1912-1986)
    x. Richard Kennedy, S.J. (1906-1986)
    xi. Sydney Lennon, S.J. (1906-1979)
    xii. John Anthony MacSeumais, S.J. (1910-1989)
    xiii. Joseph MacSweeney, S.J. (1909-1982)
    xiv. Thomas J. Martin, S.J. (1907-1978)
    xv. Michael Morrison, S.J. (1908-1973)
    xvi. Conal Murphy, S.J. (1902-1979)
    xvii. Conor Naughton, S.J. (1907-1992)
    xviii. Michael O’Meara, S.J. (1909-1998)
    xix. Michael Pelly, S.J. (1907-1990)
    xx. Cyril Perrott, S.J. (1904-1952)
    xxi. Daniel Shields, S.J. (1898-1986)

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions The Irish Jesuit Archives are open only to bona fide researchers. Access by advance appointment. Further details:
Conditions Governing ReproductionNo material may be reproduced without the written permission of the Archivist. Copyright restrictions apply. Photocopying is not available. Digital photography is at the discretion of the Archivist.
Creation Dates1939-1946
Extent Medium2 boxes
Finding Aids Descriptive List Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

Related MaterialIndividual Jesuit files, for example, IE IJA/J6 - Fr. Matthias Bodkin, SJ (1896-1973) may contain further material. The National Archives, UK. Archives of the British Jesuit Province
Publication NoteIrish Province News. 1925-1992 O'Connor, Steven. “Irish officers in the British armed forces, 1921 -1950', PhD Thesis, University College Dublin, 2012. Ryan, Fr. Thomas SJ. “Jesuits Under Fire in the Siege of Hong Kong, 1941”. Dublin: Burns, Oates & Washbourne Ltd., 1944.

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NoteDamien Burke
Rules/ConventionsIGAD: Irish Guidelines for Archival Description. Dublin: Society of Archivists, Ireland, 2009. ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottowa: International Council on Archives, 2000. National Council on Archives: Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names. Chippenham: National Council on Archives, 1997. Irish Guidelines for Indexing Archives. Dublin: Archives and Records Association, Ireland, 2013.
Date of Descriptions41671