Finding Aid Date
Biographical Sketch: Paul A. Nash was born on July 25, 1918 in Dorchester, MA, the son of Philmore Alvin Nash and Katherine Cuddihy Nash. Raised in Somerville, Rev. Nash graduated from Somerville High School in 1936. He studied at Boston College for three years before entering the Society of Jesus at Shadowbrook in 1939 where he completed his novitiate and juniorate in 1943. He then attended Weston College from 1943-1946, studying philosophy. He also earning a Master’s Degree in mathematics from Boston College. Then, he was sent to teach mathematics, English and religion at Baghdad College from 1946 to 1949. Rev. Nash returned to Weston College and studied theology from 1949 to 1953. He was ordained at Weston College in 1952 by Richard Cardinal Cushing. He then did tertianship at Pomfret, CT in 1953-54. In the latter year he went again to Baghdad to pursue Arabic studies and serve as superior at St. Joseph Jesuit Residence there. In 1956 he returned to Baghdad College to teach English, math, and religion until 1962, when he was assigned to teach at the Jesuit University, Al Hikma, where he taught philosophy, English, and theology, and served as director of admissions. In the fall of 1968 when Al-Hikma University in Baghdad was undergoing “Iraqicization” or nationalization, and ultimately the Jesuits were expelled from the school and the country. Fr. Nash was re-located to Beirut because he had been detained and questioned for spying the prior year by the Iraqi government and there was concern for his safety. When in 1968 the American Jesuits were expelled from Iraq by a new government in the aftermath of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Fr. Nash went to the mission in Brazil and served in pastoral ministry there for a year, 1968-1969. He spent the following year, 1969-1970, teaching religion at our St. George’s College in Jamaica. In 1970 he returned to the U.S. to serve until 1984 as assistant to the academic vice-president at Boston College and as prefect of studies. His international background suited him to direct the college’s Junior Year Abroad program as well as its graduate fellowships. From 1984 until his death, apart from some months at Campion Health center, he served as assistant treasurer for the Jesuit Community at Boston College.
Scope and Content: The collection consists of biographical materials, letters, reports, a diary and a photograph album. The bulk of this material is from 1968 and document Fr. Nash’s time in Beirut, Lebanon in the fall of 1968 when Al-Hikma University in Baghdad was undergoing “Iraqicization” or nationalization, and ultimately the Jesuits were expelled from the school and the country. Fr. Nash had been re-located to Beirut because he had been detained and questioned for spying the prior year by the Iraqi government and there was concern for his safety.
New England Jesuit Province Archives; New England Province of the Society of Jesus; and Nash, Paul A. SJ, "Paul A. Nash, SJ Papers" (2015). Finding Aids, Special Collections. 20.