RepositoryJesuits in Britain Archives
Ref NoABSI/SJ/158
TitleFr Noel Stephenson SJ (1905-1981)
LevelSub fonds
DescriptionThis collection contains spiritual notes, personal documents and correspondence.
Admin_HistoryFr Noel Stephenson SJ was born on the 15 December 1905 into an Irish Roman Catholic family and was brought up in Ireland. The family moved to Wimbledon, London during his teenage years. He and his sister Joan (later a Sacred Heart Nun) entered Wimbledon College in 1918.

He entered the Novitiate at Manresa House, Roehampton in 1923 at the age of seventeen. His Noviceship, Juniorate and Philosophy was followed by a fourth year at Heythrop College completing a degree in Mathematics and Classics. Following this, he taught at Stonyhurst College overseeing a year in Lower Grammar and two years in Upper Rudiments. He was ordained a Priest on the 24 June 1937. This was followed by a Tertianship at St Beuno’s in North Wales.

Fr Stephenson was appointed to Preston in 1939, but as World War II loomed he was instructed as a military chaplain. He was one of two English Province Jesuits who landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944. Following the War he was appointed to Osterley House in 1946, teaching English, Latin and French. After two years, he went to Mount St Mary’s School in Spinkhill near Sheffield as priest-schoolmaster for twenty-five years. He was also the senior Classics master before transferring to become senior Physics master. Fr Stephenson was reportedly knowledgeable and competent in both disciplines. During his tenure at the school, he involved himself in the building of an astronomical observatory with the aid of senior boys, which was very well received by the school community.

As Fr Stephenson grew older he took on fewer teaching responsibilities at Mount St Mary's. He turned his attention to the pastoral and spiritual well-being of students, and was reported to be assisting with boys’confessions in the early 1970s. Similarly, Fr Peter Harrison SJ recounted that his work in the Mount community included holding mass at the local parishes of Clowne, Whitwell, Eckington and Kiveton Park.

In 1974 Fr Stephenson was made Chaplain at the Convent of St. Clotilde in Lechlade, Oxfordshire on a permanent basis in succession to Fr Borrett SJ (Fr Stephenson had been confessor to the convent from 1961). He was reportedly happy in this semi-retired position, and would visit the Mount community for his annual retreat until 1980 when he became too unwell. He died on 17 November 1981.
FormatPrinted document
AccessConditionsThe papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to archive material in the Jesuits in Britain Archives.
DS/UK/1767Stephenson; Noel (1905-1981); Jesuit Priest1905-1981

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