St. Francis Xavier Church, Dublin

Scott 1184
IRELAND, 1999, the centenary of the founding of the Pioneers, Scott 1184

St. Francis Xavier Church on Gardiner Street, in Dublin, Ireland is a Jesuit church, a place where Venerable Matt Talbot attended daily Mass. The foundation stone was laid on July 11, 1829 and finished in time for the first Mass, celebrated by Archbishop Daniel Murray, in May of 1832. The church in Hardwicke Street (where the Jesuits had been since the 1730s) had opened in 1821, but by 1829 had become too small for the congregation. It was one of the first churches built after the Catholic Emancipation and is the site of Jesuit labors in North Dublin. It the location of the tomb of the Servant of God, John Sullivan, SJ, which receives a steady stream of people seeking his intercession, and the place where in 1898 Fr. James A. Cullen, SJ and his lady associates founded the Pioneers Total Abstinence Association. The badge of the Association appears behind Fr. Cullen on this 1999 stamp of Ireland. Fr. Frank Browne, SJ, the renown photographer, worked in this church from 1922-1924.

The church was also mentioned a couple of times by James Joyce:

"On Newcomen bridge the very reverend John Conmee S. J. of saint Francis Xavier's church, upper Gardiner street, stepped on to an outward bound tram. . . ." (from Episode X of Ulysses, the Wandering Rocks. The original Father Conmee had been the rector of this church and had arranged scholarships for Joyce and his brother to attend Belvedere College.)

"[Stephen Daedalus] was passing at that moment before the Jesuit house in Gardiner Street and wondered vaguely which window would be his if he ever joined the order." (Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Chapter 4)