Revisiting the Alma Mater

Revisiting the Alma Mater The Friends of All Hallows (above) and class groups of jubilarians from All Hallows pictured with Bishop Kevin Boland who celebrated the jubilee Mass. Photos: Joe Gavin
Victoria Holthaus & Colm Fitzpatrick

Past attendees of All Hallows seminary in Dublin returned to their beloved campus to celebrate their jubilee anniversaries last week. For most it has been 25, 30, 40 and even 60 years since they have been ordained but attendees still felt quite at home, as they came together to celebrate through Mass, meals and the many stories about their fondest memories throughout the years.

“We were shown great kindness then and we see great kindness now,” said Christy Sheridan, 1962-1965 All Hallows Association Kildare.

Founded in 1842 by Fr John Hand, All Hallows has a rich history in education and serving others. Priests from the college were sought after by dioceses throughout the world and at one point, more than half of all priests in Australia were from All Hallows.

“If you felt you had a vocation and wanted to be a secular priest, you went to All Hallows,” said Fr Patrick Conlon, class of 1957.


While All Hallows is now closed, Dublin City University (DCU) has bought the campus to help preserve its buildings and create a contemporary learning environment for their students. However, former students will continue to travel from across the globe every year for Jubilee Day, to reminiscence with friends and colleagues, some of whom have not talked since their ordination day.

“The comradery of all of us going to different places with diverse backgrounds and homes but yet we’re bringing that diversity out to the ministry and the world. That would be my most significant lesson from here,” said Fr John Waldren, class of 1966.