“Dear Pat,You have walked into a minefield with your focus on the Jesuits.The Irish Province of Jesuits are a group of bachelors who lead a charmed life.They get off on commentating on everyone else’s life while living in comfort in one of their “Ashford Castle” type communities or getting “permission” to live on their own and do their own thing. They overstate their importance and involvement in issues whether its ecumenism, academics, social justice, pretending to be deep and thoughtful and nuanced about issues, when really they are institutional men who will back the status quo to the end and dont have an original thought between them. They insist on passing comments on everyone else and yet never allow the light to be shone on them.

Peter McVerry gets great kudos for his work, much of it deserved. However, there is a darker side to it all too. He gets to live on his own in a lovely apartment as no one would be able to put up with him. There are also serious issues with him not letting go the reins of the Peter McVerry Trust even though the company has a full complement of staff including a CEO. He continues to control the Trust rather than allowing it to develop and grow without the need to have him front and centre.

Kevin O’Higgins SJ spends most of his time on Twitter passing comments and judgements on Irish society after spending years on the missions (so what, it suited him). He presents himself as a “wise old man” type with great wisdom and insight. Yet it’s clear to see that he actually has a lot of time on his hands and a great set up – living on his own, nice sun patio, dog and no one to bother him. So, no wonder he has all the time in the world to pontificate but please, give the rest of us a break as we struggle to make ends meet and get through the day.

The Jesuits canvass a certain type of lay person.

Regarding their Safeguarding Officer, Saoirse Fox she has generated a nice little industry for herself out of safeguarding. While having a mediocre professional work record, not going anywhere, she landed a plum job with the Jesuits. She is one of these “woke” types ‘ into climate change, social justice, lgbt, craft beer, music festivals, but really when it comes down to it she, along with her Jesuit colleagues, have a rigid world view dressed up as “woke” She is very blinkered in her approach and has no understanding of the pastoral care of the perpetrator.

Then the Jesuits have Pat Coyle, journalist, who is almost like Twink for RTE. The Jesuits see Pat Coyle as their Lord and Saviour as she presents them in a modern and “woke” way through media. She manages their image very carefully.

However, the Jesuit Sli Eile Ministry for young people (based on Gardiner Street Dublin) fell out of favour when it became too independent thinking. So, it was sidelined and eventually closed down.

The Jesuits breed a new generation of people who think and act their way through their Spiritual Direction programme in Manresa. It attracts a certain type again but that’s another days work. The Manresa Community also have a fine view of the gay cruising area on Dollymount Strand.

Provincial Leonard Maloney SJ was the last Jesuit headmaster of Belvedere College in Dublin. He will not only be remembered for that but also remembered for the student he disciplined who then killed himself as a result.

The Jesuits had no choice but to hand over Belvedere (2003) to a hay head master. But the Jesuits hold on to the bitter end before they hand over the reins even though its 2020 and there are plenty competent lay people to do those jobs – the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice is another example.

And Pat, there is plenty to say about the Jesuits in Ireland, not very flattering though. And yes, plenty of abuse cases in there too. However, the Jesuits are probably a few steps ahead of you in anticipating and facing off media attention before it gets too will be interesting to see how far you get with your current enquiries.

Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam”.


This was a very unexpected communication.

It is interesting.

I’ve never had much to do with the Jesuits before – apart from a few retreats earlier in life.

The Father Prior thing brought me to them this time.I am watching what they will do.

Why would any religious, with a vow of poverty, live in a private apartment instead of living in community?

A Jesuit friend of mine used to always recite the following verse about the J’s

“They join the order without knowing each other.

They live together without loving each other.

They die together without mourning each other”.

What do readers think of the critique above?