Introduction to The Father Mathew Record

A Machine Readable Version

Susan Schreibman

Original Source: Introduction to The Father Mathew Record. Original text created for The Thomas MacGreevy Archive by Susan Schreibman © 1999.

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Introduction to The Father Mathew Record

The Father Mathew Record, like its sister publication, The Capuchin Annual, was published by the Capuchin order in Ireland. The Record (as it was commonly called) began publication in January 1908 and was edited by Father Aloysius Travers O.F.M. Cap, who, as The Irish Capuchins: Record of a Century, 1885-1985 states

hoped that its pages would "afford opportunity of recording month by month, the efforts made by the Father Mathew Total Abstinence Association and the Father Mathew Hall to advance the sacred cause."The Irish Capuchins: Record of a Century, 1885-1985. Edited by Fr. Nessan Shaw O.F.M. Cap.Dublin: Capuchin Publications, 1985, 42 N

In March 1930 Father Senan Moynihan, O.F.M. Cap. was appointed editor. Under Father Senan, The Record increased the amount of coverage from the Capuchin missions, and by 1934 circulation had increased to 12,000 copies a month (at 2p a copy — up one pence from the original price). No longer was it predominately geared towards promoting temperance, rather it served as a channel of communication between the Capuchin Order and its readership: both lay and clergy in Ireland and abroad. By the time MacGreevy began writing for The Record in 1941, Father Gerald McCann was editing the publication. Since the outbreak of the Second World War, foreign reportage had been curtailed, and in its place was a greater emphasis on Irish culture, art and literature.

MacGreevy's writing was ideal for this new shift in emphasis. From 1941-1949 he had articles in nearly every issue of The Record. In keeping with the spirit of the publication, his articles were, by and large, written from a catholic point of view, such as his first article, 'The Franciscan Spirit' (November 1941), or his June 1943 piece, 'Saint Francis de Sales'. He was also, however, provided with the opportunity of writing widely on Irish culture, literature, music and art. Many of these pieces were about somewhat marginalised individuals who had died many years earlier, such as Edward Martyn (April 1943) and Patrick Tuohy (July 1943), others on the more recently deceased, such as Bernard Shaw (March 1951) and Maude Gonne MacBride (June 1943). MacGreevy also wrote several articles on artists, such as Botticelli (January 1945), Murillo (February 1945), and Michelangelo (April 1945).

MacGreevy served as an assistant editor on The Record, but it is unclear when his responsibilities increased. As with MacGreevy's work for The Connoisseur, he quite possibly contributed more than his bylines suggest. For example, he wrote several music articles and reviews under the pseudonym Cantor , and there is evidence of several unsigned articles written by MacGreevy in his Father Mathew Record cuttings file at Trinity College Dublin.