History

Adolfo Nicholas SJ (right) with Pope Francis
The next superior general of the Society of Jesus, the thirtieth successor of St Ignatius, will be elected by the General Congregation convening in Rome on 2 October. It is just the thirty-sixth in our 476-year history and will include provincials and elected representatives from each province, the number depending on its size. For the first time, brothers, who are not ordained, will participate in the election. From Britain, the provincial, Father Dermot Preston, is joined by Father Damian...
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Saint Ignatius Loyola didn’t like meetings. More accurately, living in an age of slow and dangerous travel, he felt that frequent international meetings risked disrupting the work that Jesuits would be doing more locally. So rather than having regular general chapters, like the older religious orders, he stipulated that the Society of Jesus would only summon a General Congregation when a General Superior had died, and it was necessary to elect his successor, or “when it is necessary...
Until 31 March next year, the St John Paul II National Shrine in Washington is hosting a unique exhibition, God’s Servant First: The Life and Legacy of Thomas More, which will showcase over 60 artefacts, most of which come from Stonyhurst College. The objects on display include a first folio by William Shakespeare, a hat owned by More, a chasuble embroidered by Katherine of Aragon, and relics of More and John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, who was executed for treason 2...
Photo of Will Man in office
On the final day of my year as Archives Assistant at the Jesuits in Britain Archives I would like to give a brief review of the experience, the projects and tasks undertaken, what I’ve learnt and gained from the experience.At the outset of my time at the Jesuit Archives I was asked to undertake the calendaring of a number of bound volumes of correspondence and other documents relating to the Church of the Immaculate Conception, also known as Farm Street Church, from its construction in...
  This September marks the 150th anniversary of St Aloysius' College at Garnethill, Glasgow. The Society of Jesus was first approached with the idea of running a parish and establishing a school for the education of boys in Glasgow in 1859. In that same year, they took over the running of the parish of St Joseph in North Woodside Road and were also offered a house on Charlotte Street in the Bridgetown area of the city which would serve as the intended school. However in the...
Black and white photograph showing five young men in clerical dress
From a family of 10 children, five brothers became Jesuits at the turn of the last century. In order of age they were Louis (1877-1969), Denis (1880-1942), Bernard (1882-1962), Austin (1883-1965) and Philip (1885-1974) Whiteside. They were all born in Blackpool and had received a Jesuit education.In the obituary for Bernard, the second of the brothers to die, one of the others wrote:“The chief influence in our vocations was our father-we lost our mother in 1895-who was a very pious man...
Black and white photograph of Fr Augustus Law SJ
This year marks the 140th anniversary of the completion of St Aidan’s College in South Africa. At its opening, 31 January 1867, the community consisted of three Jesuit priests and three Jesuit brothers. In this blog post we remember the life of Fr Augustus Law, one of those founding Fathers.  Augustus Law was born 21 October 1833 and entered the Society 15 January 1854 after a career in the navy, during which he converted to Catholicism. In the ten years between entering the...
Black and white photograph showing young men in matching shorts and t-shirt standing in a row outside in a field. One holds a football.
 In the lead up to the start of the Olympic Games in Rio on 5 August 2016 we would like to share some old photographs that are held in the Jesuits in Britain Archives showing Jesuits enjoying various sporting activities.  
Fr Denis Doyle, Army Chaplain. Killed in the War, Aug. 19, 1916.
To commemorate 100 years since the start of the Battle of the Somme on the 1st July 1916, the Archives of the Jesuits in Britain remember a Jesuit Chaplain, Fr Denis Doyle SJ (1878-1916), who as part of the 2nd Battalion, Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment served and died there.Fr Doyle had been the Minister at Manresa before joining the Leinster Regiment in November 1915, and a number of his letters home appeared in issues of Letters & Notices from early 1916, alongside those of...
Statue by Kathe Kollwitz: parents in mourning
“God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself,not holding people’s faults against them,and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled.”2 Corinthians 5:19A century ago Europe was in the middle of one of the bloodiest wars in its history, with a line of trenches that ran from the English Channel to the border of Switzerland: that line was the ‘Western Front’ that marked out the edges of a conflict that scythed also across the northern, southern...

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