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Rev. Michael J. Ahern, S.J.




This photograph is of Bellarmine Hall, the south elevation and enclosed garden during the Blessing of Bellarmine Hall on August 5, 1942. Several Jesuits kneel on the back porch at a temporary altar while others kneel on the lawn in front of their chairs.


Bellarmine Hall, formerly known as Hearthstone Hall because of its many fireplaces, was the main mansion of the recently purchased Lashar Estate. It was subsequently renamed Bellarmine Hall in 1942 in honor of St. Robert Bellarmine and became the residence for the Jesuit faculty. On August 5, 1942, His Excellency Bishop Maurice F. McAuliffe of Hartford visited for the official Blessing of Bellarmine Hall. Present on this occasion were the First Rector of Fairfield College Preparatory School, Rev. John J. McEleney, S.J, as well as Rev. James H. Dolan, S.J., Provincial Superior of the New England Jesuit Province. Other invited guests included all members of the faculty, reporters, Rev. Michael J. Ahern, S.J. from Boston who took photographs, and about 37 pastors from various Fairfield parishes. Bellarmine Hall served as the Jesuit residence for Fairfield College Preparatory School until 1981. The empty archway now holds a statue of St. Robert Bellarmine. Early landscape drawings of the Lashar family estate suggest that the garden was originally constructed to hold a massive swimming pool.


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Photographic print; black-and-white; 8 x 10 in.

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