Hampson Brothers Rev. Frs.
These Brothers from Mayo served their Ministry in several different locations. Fr. Anthony served as President of Blackrock College while Fr. John Joe ministered in Africa also U. S. A,
The birth occurred of these brothers; Anthony on February 22nd 1907: John Joe on November 16th 1910 at the family farm in Louisbourgh, Co. Mayo. Anthony worked on the farm prior to the families move to Ballymahon, Co. Longford; he was employed in the family business there. Their two uncles Frs. Seán and Anthony Little CSSp also joined the priesthood.
Anthony entered the Juniorate at Blackrock College, Dublin during 1923, his brother John Joe followed in 1924. The eldest brother completed his studies at the Novitiate in Kimmage, Dublin. The profession of the brothers occurred: Anthony during 1927 followed by John Joe in 1932.
Rev. Fr. Anthony
He returned to Blackrock which then had senior Scholasticate at Willow Park and the Castle. Following a year’s ‘home’ philosophy he attended UCD, securing a B.A. in Philosophy in 1931 with First Class Honours. He won the Pierce Malone Scholarship in Mental and Moral Science. He prefected at Blackrock from 1931-33 while he studied for the H. Dip.Ed. During 1933 the Theologate moved from the Castle to Kimmage when he began his first year; the following year along with three other students Anthony was sent by Dr. Dan Murphy to the International Theologate in Fribourg to study for their Licentiate plus Doctorate.
Fr Hampson was ordained priest during 1936, he took the Doctorate in 1939 when he presented his thesis on a study of the spiritual teaching of Libermann. He was appointed to Blackrock where over the years he filled every post – some of them several times ie: Director of the Juniorate, 1939-40; Dean of Discipline, 1940-46, also from 1948-52: Dean of Studies, 1946-8, plus from 1952-5; Dean of the Castle, 1955-56 also on two occasions from 1962-3. From 1956 to 1962 he served as President. Aged fifty – six years Fr. Anthony was called to serve, devote his energy plus expertise to the formation of students doing Theology, first at Kimmage; then from 1965 to 1969 as Director of the Holy Ghost International Scholasticate at Rome. During 1969 he returned to Blackrock then his last assignment in 1971 was as Dean of Studies in Willow Park.
As a young student at Blackrock College he played rugby for the Blackrock RFC First XV. From 1940 to 1959 as a tutor in Blackrock College Fr. Hampson coached the Senior Schools Rugby Team; it was stated that because of his coaching the team was so successful; particularly in back-play. During those years; his students won the Leinster senior cup eleven times – an unparalleled record.
It was quoted that he said that all that was necessary for success in life was ‘a quick heel and the grace of God’. Rev. Fr. Anthony Hampson’s demise occurred on April 6th 1976 in Willow Park when he suffered a heart attack. He was interred in Kimmage.
It was reported that Fr. Hampson was ‘A humble soul, a man of prayer, he was always ready for any call to serve in the Lord’s vineyard.’ In his dealings with the students he was always high principled, yet understanding, firm, demanding yet scrupulously fair. His free time and holidays were provided to Sisters in the surrounding convents with his Retreats.
The International Theologate in Fribourg, Germany was part of Dr Murphy’s new deal for the Irish province, bringing some of the future teachers etc. into contact with European thought and the representatives of the other provinces of the Congregation. There were in fact representatives from Poland, the USA, Switzerland, and France as well as the Irish; it was advantageous for young Irish students to study there for their Licentiate plus Doctorate.
Rev. Fr. John Joe
While a student at Blackrock College he was elected Prefect for the years 1934 – 36 where he was commended for his ‘considerable talent for controlling young boys and men, he showed judgement and skill in all the arts of a school-master during his period of work as a prefect. Good humour and energy, especially in training rugby teams, were part of his gift.’
Following his ordination during 1939 Fr. John Joe was appointed to Nigeria for 28 years. He served in the parishes of Urualla and Adazi until 1951, also in the region later called the diocese of Umuahia. He was especially associated with the parishes of Ubuoma and Aba, plus he was deeply involved in youth work, especially in athletics and football. He became a fine organiser and referee. Due to illness he returned to Ireland during 1968. Following his recovery he undertook parish work in the USA. He spent two years in Buffalo, New York, then from 1971 in Jacksonville, Florida.
The people he served appreciated his hard work on their behalf and his kind heart, and his confrères found in him a good neighbour and an entertaining companion.
Fr John Joe Hampson died 18 December 1984 aged 74 years.