Document Type

Finding Aid

Collection Date


Finding Aid Date



MS McCarthyRJ


All physical materials associated with the New England Province Archive are currently held by the Jesuit Archives in St. Louis, MO. Any inquiries about these materials should be directed to Jesuit Archives. Electronic versions of some items and the descriptions and finding aids to the Archives, which are hosted in CrossWorks, are provided only as a courtesy.

Richard J. McCarthy was born in Chicopee,MA on March 19, 1913 to Michael J. and Eva (Baron) McCarthy. His early education was at Cathedral High School,Springfield,MA and the College of the Holy Cross,Worcester,MA. He entered into the Society of Jesus at Shadowbrook on September 7, 1933. His novitiate was from 1933 until 1935 and his juniorate from 1935 until 1936. From 1936 until 1938, he studied Philosophy at Weston College, Weston, MA. His regency was spent studying Arabic at Baghdad College,Baghdad,Iraq from 1938-41. In 1941, he returned to Weston College to study Theology until 1945, where he also was ordained on June 17, 1944 by Bp. Thomas Emmet, SJ. His tertianship was at St. Robert’s Hall,Pomfret,CT from 1945-46. From 1946 until 1947, he studied Arabic at Gregorian University in Rome. From 1947 until 1951, he studied Arabic and Semitic languages at Oxford University,England, receiving his doctorate in 1951.

He returned to Baghdad College where he remained from 1951 until 1959, teaching Religion, Philosophy, and English and serving as Director of Arabic Studies. From 1952 until 1959, he also taught Arabic Studies and Philosophy at the Iraqi state-run school. From 1959 until 1968 he was a tAl-Hikma University, Baghdad,Iraq, teaching Ethics and Scripture the first year and was Director of Arabic Studies for the Mission. From 1960 until 1962 he was Director of Studies regarding Arabic affairs in the Mission. From 1962 until 1965, he was the Assistant Director in Arabic Studies in the Mission and Writer, as well as Professor of Islamic Philosophy. From 1965 until 1968 he was Rector of Al-Hikma and he also retained his position as Writer and Director of Islamic Studies and Language in Mission. On November 15, 1968, the Jesuits serving the Al-Hikma community were expelled from Iraq.

From November, 1968 until the September, 1969, he researched and investigated other Middle East apostolate possibilities. From 1969 until 1977, he was a Lecturer in Islamic Affairs at Oxford University and continued his work translating Arabic texts. The first semester of the 1971-72 scholastic year was spent at College of the Holy Cross, and during the first semester of the 1974-75 school year he was a pastor at the Immaculate Conception Church,Boston. From 1977 until 1979, he taught Theology at Weston School of Theology,Cambridge,MA until he suffered a stroke. He died on January 24, 1981atCampionCenter,Weston,MA.

The collection consists of papers, photographs and eight audio-cassette tapes. The bulk of the papers are not dated but are from the 1950s through the 1970s. The bulk of the papers are academic writings in Islamic Studies and translations of Arabic texts. Also included are sermons, novenas and prayers in Arabic. Most of the photographs are snapshots with the exception of one formal group portrait taken at Oxford, England in the 1970s. Two of the audio-cassette tapes are brief readings in Arabic. Four other tapes are discussions, in French, of Fr. Provincial Francis Hours, who was then father provincial of the Vice-Province de Proche-Orient (near East—mid-east), and Frs. Michael Allard, Louis Pouzet, Paul Nwyic and McCarthy, held in March 1969, after the Jesuits had been expelled from Iraq, regarding the continuation of the Mission to Islam and the planning for ICO (Institut de letters Orientales). Fr. McCarthy made a written outline of the content of this series of tapes.

Pubs Held by NEJA.pdf (9 kB)
Publications held by New England Jesuit Province Archives



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