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Robert Whitty

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Born at Pouldarrig near Oylgate, 7 January, 1817; died 1 September, 1895. In 1830 he entered Maynooth College in his fourteenth year. Having added two years on the Dumboyne Establishment to his college course, he was still too young for ordination. He offered his services to Dr. Griffiths, Vicar Apostolic of the London District, who ordained him priest at St. Edmund's, Ware, 19 September, 1840. From the first he showed a warm sympathy with the Oxford converts and formed a friendship with Newman and Oakeley before they had become Catholics. Dr. Wiseman showed his appreciation of his priestly zeal by making him provost of the newly appointed metropolitan chapter and his vicar-general in 1850. In this capacity he was responsible for the publication of the famous pastoral "From the Flaminian Gate", in which English bigotry pretended to discover papal aggression. "The Cardinal never blamed me", he wrote long afterwards, "but others did." In 1857 Father Whitty obtained leave to resign his position, and entered the noviceship of the Society of Jesus at Verona. On his return to England he was appointed professor of canon law in St. Beunos College, North Wales. After labouring for some time in Scotland, he was appointed provincial. Subsequently he was assistant to the Father-General Anderledy. He filled other important offices, and worked until the end, giving ecclesiastical retreats even in the last summer of his life. He died at the age of 78 years, of which he had spent 38 as a Jesuit.

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