William Ronan SJ (1825 - 1907):
William Ronan, as a British army chaplain in the Crimean War of 1854, became one of the first Roman Catholic chaplains to be given official Army status since the reign of James II.
He was born in Clonduff parish, near Newry, County Down, educated at St Patrick's College, Maynooth and ordained a priest in 1848; he was admitted to the Society of Jesus in 1850. He studied philosophy for several years in France, at Saint-Acheul and Amiens, before travelling to the Crimea at the end of 1854, with the specific brief of looking after the welfare of the Irish Sisters of Mercy. After confrontation with the legendary Florence Nightingale, he was able to improve their living and working conditions which he had found unacceptable. He returned to Ireland at the end of 1855.
He spent the rest of his life in southern Ireland, much of this at Mungret College near Limerick, where he was sometime rector; he spent some periods abroad, in Jersey, the south of France, and fund-raising in the United States. He died at Mungret and was interred there.
|Born:||13 July 1825|
|Died:||10 December 1907|
Dictionary of Irish Biography; www.catholic.org/encyclopedia
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