A new Provincial for the Jesuits in Ireland

Fr Leonard Moloney SJ
Fr Leonard Moloney SJ

The former Headmaster of Clongowes Wood College in Co. Kildare has been appointed as the new Jesuit Provincial in Ireland. Fr Leonard Moloney SJ (61) will replace Fr Tom Layden SJ who has been the Provincial of the Jesuits in Ireland since 2010. Fr Moloney’s appointment was announced by Fr General Arturo Sosa SJ at the 36th General Congregation that is taking place in Rome.

Father Moloney served as Headmaster at Clongowes Wood College for almost 11 years. Originally from Limerick, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1973 at the age of 18 and was ordained in 1985. Most of his Jesuit life has been spent in education; prior to Clongowes Wood, he was headmaster of Belvedere College.

On announcing the appointment of his successor as Irish Provincial, Fr Layden wrote: “On behalf of all of us I would like … to wish him every grace and blessing as he prepares to take up this new mission. I know that we will keep him very much in our thoughts and prayers at this time of transition.”

The Jesuits in Britain and Ireland work closely together, with men from both provinces collaborating in many areas of ministry; British Jesuit Fr Tom McGuinness SJ, for instance, is a member of the team at the Manresa Spirituality Centre in Dollymont, Dublin, and Fr Michael Bingham SJ works in the ‘Dialogue for Diversity’ Prison and Reconciliation Ministry in Portadown. Manresa House in Harborne, Birmingham, is the home of the novitiate for the Provinces of Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands and North Belgium; at present there are four novices from Ireland in formation there, three in their second year and one who joined in September 2016.

Other appointments made by Fr General on 7 November were Fr Boguslaw Steczek SJ (Regional Superior of the Russian Region), Fr Vidmantas Šimkunas SJ (Provincial of Lithuania), Fr Elemér Vizi SJ (Hungary) and Fr Johannes Siebner SJ (the new Provincial of Germany).