RepositoryJesuits in Britain Archives
Ref NoABSI/SJ/168
TitleFr Joseph Sumner SJ (1903-1980)
LevelSub fonds
DescriptionThis collection contains sermons, printed articles, notebooks and missionary papers.
Admin_HistoryFr Joseph Sumner SJ was born in St Helens, Merseyside, 19 March 1903. After receiving a general education from the Catholic Grammar School in West Park, he trained as a teacher in St Mary’s College in Strawberry Hill and then taught for a year in the parish school at Lowe House. He joined the Novitiate at Manresa House, Roehampton 7 September 1928 followed by a two-year Regency at Stamford Hill. In between the years he also studied Philosophy, and later Theology, at Heythrop College, where he developed his skills in applied radio technology. He was ordained priest 6 September 1935. When the Second World War broke out in 1939, he became a curate at St Winefride’s in South Wimbledon and, in 1941, a chaplain in the Royal Air Force. After spending a belated Tertianship year at St Beuno’s in 1946, he briefly returned to teaching at Mount St Mary’s, Spinkhill, near Sheffield.

From 1948 to 1976, Fr Sumner dedicated himself to the British Guyana Mission, working at multiple stations. He spent many years as a priest in a school in Santa Rosa, northern Guyana, where he had a chance to do what he enjoyed doing outside of work, from repairing radios for local people to running a much-appreciated Boy Scout troop. Upon returning to England in 1976, he was appointed to the staff at Lowe House. He died 31 May 1980 at St Helens.
Related MaterialFor archives see:
SJ/82/3/64 - note authorising Fr Britt-Compton to pray for him at Hosororo

For photographs see:
SJ/PH/1170 - 2 black and white photographs
AccessConditionsThe papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to archive material in the Jesuits in Britain Archives.

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