Fr Joe & Jackie O'
The Knock Connection
Much hullabaloo in the papers this last week in connection with a cache of Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis letters found in All Hallow's College, Dublin. Her correspondent in this instance was your fellow past man, Fr. Joseph Leonard CM, who came to us from Sligo in 1892 and was head-boy here at 'Knock in 1895. He also taught here for a spell after his ordination in 1903, but spent the majority of his career teaching at St. Mary's in London before retirement took him back to All Hallow's in Dublin.
The warmth of their relationship, as evidenced in these letters comes as no surprise as was referenced in his 1965 obituary and nor is it a surprise that these letters were safeguarded, for Fr Joseph came from a line of Vincentian 'archivists' that would have understood the importance of such papers. Indeed we remain indebted to these archivists for much of the content on this website and in the College Chronicles would not exist save for their efforts in documenting the history of the Vincentian's in Ireland. The current incumbent of that 'office', Fr Tom Davitt CM. would list his predecessors, all past men of Castleknock College, as: James H Murphy (1917-1981), Jerome Twomey (1912-1979), Joseph Leonard (1877-1964), Patrick Boyle (1849-1933) and Malachy O’Callaghan (1825-1913).
A marker perhaps for older past men to revisit their old correspondence, for these Leonard letters are currently on the auction block with a guide price of €1 million...