BRO. ALOYSIUS (SLATTERY), C.P.
On the morning of Wednesday, April 2nd, to the deep sorrow of his brethren, Brother Aloysius of the Sacred Heart, the senior lay-brother of St. Patrick’s Province, passed quietly into everlasting rest.
Born on March 26th, 1874, at Tinryland, Co. Carlow, James Slattery, as he was known in the world,. entered the Passionist Congregation as a young, man of eighteen, and made his profession on May 28th, 1893. He accompanied the late Mgr. Baumbach, C.P., Bishop of Nicopolis, to Bulgaria, and spent some time at Roustchouk on the banks of the Danube.
On his return home, he was a member of. the Enniskillen community, but in 1916 he again went far afield, this time to Australia. For sixteen years he laboured under the Southern Cross in the Passionist Retreats at Goulburn, Adelaide, and Sydney. Bro. Aloysius always kept the happiest memories of his long sojourn in Australia; the climate suited him, his work was congenial, and he admired the sterling character of the good Australian Catholics.
Returning to Ireland in 1932, he joined the community at St. Paul’s, Mount Argus, Dublin, where for the remainder of his life he attended the door of the monastery. Many visitors will recall his warm greeting, his gentle humour, his kindly manner, and above all, his unfailing patience in dealing with their many requests. In 1943, Bro. Aloysius had the great happiness of celebrating the Golden jubilee of his profession, and occupied a place of honour in the sanctuary at the Solemn Mass of thanksgiving. Amongst the many messages of congratulation was one from the late Cardinal Maglione, Vatican City, conveying the Apostolic Blessing.
FOR more than fifty years Bro. Aloysius lived the hidden and laborious life of a Passionist lay-brother. It was hidden, because the good Brother was of a retiring disposition; and it was certainly laborious, for he was a tireless worker. His nimble fingers were ever occupied with his favourite task, making rosary beads, or repairing damaged beads for their owners. In a busy Dublin monastery, his office as porter of the Retreat was no sinecure, for telephone calls were very frequent, and an endless stream of people came day after day to the door. But the patience and the gentleness of Bro. Aloysius were equal to every call; for there was something essentially gentle and childlike in his disposition, perhaps a reflection of the favourite virtues of his patron.
His piety was deep and sincere, without any shadow of ostentation – how many times daily he slipped quietly into the church to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. His genuine kindliness endeared him to all his brethren, for he was never known to say a sharp word or to utter a harsh judgment – and it is no small praise of any man to be able to say that he excelled in charity.
(The Cross, Vol. XXXVIII, 1947-48; p. 26)