Rev. Thomas Curran (1865-1940)
Thomas Curran was born on 12 June 1864 to Mary Mooney and Francis Curran in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. He was baptised on 16 October 1864 by Rev. A.Z. Trudelle.
Thomas had nine siblings: Robert, Peter, Margaret, Frances, John, Ann Jane, Catherine, Bridget, and Mary Isabella.
He attended Baldwin’s Road School and Prince of Wales College. After attending Prince of Wales, Thomas taught for a few years at Bear River, St. George’s, and Elliotvale, Prince Edward Island.
Thomas then attended Ottawa University in 1888 and remained here for two years, in which he then went to Rome in 1890 and attended Pontifical Urban University (also known as the Propaganda) for six years. He graduated from Propaganda with his Doctor’s degree in Philosophy and Theology, and was ordained the same year while in Rome.
The UPEI Provenance collection houses a book from Thomas’ time in Rome. In the book, Gli Antichi Cimiteri Cristiani de Roma e d'Italia, by Mariano Armellini, Thomas has signed his name and dated it Nov. 7th 1895. He also wrote “Propaganda” alongside the signature.
When Thomas returned from Rome, he became part of the teaching staff at Saint Dunstan’s. It is unclear when Thomas returned, however, in the 1901 Census of Canada, Thomas was backing living in Charlottetown with four other priests. Four years later, Thomas became Rector of Saint Dunstan’s College. He was the Rector for nine years when in 1909, he became the pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish, Kelly’s Cross.
According to the 1921 Census of Canada, Thomas was living with his niece and nephew.
He was the pastor at St. Joseph’s until 1925 when he went back to St. Dunstan’s and joined the teaching staff. Thomas remained at St. Dunstan’s for fourteen years until he retired to Sacred Heart Home in Charlottetown.
During his time at St. Dunstan’s, Thomas made a lasting impression on both the students and the institution itself. He devoted much of his time to teaching students, but when he was not instructing, Thomas was improving the grounds of the College. He spent much time planting trees and fixing the lawn.
In the summer of 1929, Thomas travelled to Quebec with Mr. Urias McDonald to accompany him for a surgery McDonald was having.
Dr. Rev. Thomas Curran died on 5 September 1940. He was 76 years old. His obituary in St. Dunstan’s Red and White describes Thomas as “a courageous man, a man of character… His charity was universal...charity was freely given, regardless of persons, to all who needed it.”
Other Books in the UPEI Provenance Collection:
David, Thomas. The Poems of Thomas Davis. New York : P. J. Kenedy, 1846.
Duffy, Sir Charles Gavan. Young Ireland: A Fragment of Irish History 1840-1845. Dublin : M. H. McGill & Son, 1884.
Hoadley, George A. Essentials of Physics. New York ; American Book Company, c1921.
1881 Census of Canada. Census Place: Lot 51, Kings, Prince Edward Island; Roll: C_13164; Page: 32; Family No: 124.
1901 Census of Canada. Census Place: Charlottetown (City/Cité), Queen's (west/ouest), Prince Edward Island; Page: 10; Family No: 92.
1921 Census of Canada. Reference Number: RG 31; Folder Number: 104; Census Place: Westmoreland, Queens, Prince Edward Island; Page Number: 6.
Baptismal Records of Prince Edward Island. Year: 1864. Church Location: Charlottetown. Record Book No: 2. Record Book Pg.: 37.
“Condition Favorable.” The Charlottetown Guardian. 03 August 1929, p. 13. Accessed through Island Newspapers.
Death Records of Prince Edward Island. Year: 1940. Entry No. 864. Source: RG19/s2/ss6: Death registration books, 1940.
St. Dunstan’s University. “The Late Reverend Thomas Curran.” Red & White, 1940. Identifier: vre:rw-batch2-1540. Accessed through UPEI’s Digitized Red & White Collection.
Photo from St. Dunstan's Class of 1904 photo. Available at SDU Digital Archive.