RepositoryJesuits in Britain Archives
Ref NoABSI/SJ/171
TitleFr Francis Courtney SJ (1905-1982)
LevelSub fonds
DescriptionThis collection contains correspondence, personal papers, his writing, and records relating to his courses and lectures.
Admin_HistoryFr Francis Courtney SJ was born 9 April 1909, Wrexham. He was brought up in Liverpool and educated at St Francis Xavier’s. He entered the Novitiate straight from school on 7 September 1922 and studied Philosophy at Heythrop Colllege. He taught for three years at his old school, St Francis Xavier’s. After his ordination on 9 September 1936 he taught there for a further two years; after this he taught at Heythrop where he became a ‘Professor Extraordinary’ in 1940 and took his Final Vows that same year on 2 February. Fr Courtney also taught alternate terms at the English College in Rome, by then in ‘exile’ at St Mary’s Hall, Stonyhurst, for the duration of the war.

During the war he secured the doctorate (STD) of the Gregorian University. His thesis was on Robert Pullen, and he later brought out a book with the Gregorian University Press on Pullen’s life and theology in 1954. In 1964 he published a book with Burns and Oates on a translation of Bernard Poschmann’s Penance and the Anointing of the Sick. He wrote many reviews for the Heythrop Journal in its formative years.

Fr Courtney became librarian of the Heythrop collection in the early 1940s. He oversaw the design and building of the new library on the Oxfordshire site. He was responsible for creating the annotated Book List, which was compiled from the British National Bibliography. The whole College and the collection moved to Cavendish Square, where Fr Courtney continued to work for two years until he reached the retirement age, 67, of London University in 1972. At this time he began work in the Preston parish and community, where he was made librarian. He remained in this role for ten years. The Bishop appointed him a judge due to his expert service on matrimonial tribunal work.

Fr Courtney became Port Chaplain in 1975. He died in hospital in Blackburn, Lancashire on 29 May 1982.
Related MaterialFor archives see:
SJ/114/1 - Appreciation of Br James McCann SJ
SJ/71/2/7/6 - Letter from Francis Courtney SJ

For photographs see:
SJ/PH/260 - 8 black and white photographs of Fr Francis Courtney SJ

For library see:
Cardinal Robert Pullen, an English theologian of the 12 century (Analecta Gregoriana vol. LXIV, Series facultatis theologiae section A (n.10). Rome, 1964.
Poschemann, Bernhard: Penance and the Annointing of the Sick. Translated and revised by Francis Courtney, SJ. 1962.
AccessConditionsThe papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to archive material in the Jesuits in Britain Archives.

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