Cheung Chau

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39 Name results for Cheung Chau

22 results directly related Exclude narrower terms

Barrett, Cyril J, 1917-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/641
  • Person
  • 30 April 1917-02 July 1989

Born: 30 April 1917, Charleville, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1976, Hong Kong
Died: 02 July 1989, St Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Part of the Wah Yan College, Hong Kong community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966
◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Cyril Barrett Died after Long Illness, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Cyril Barrett, SJ, died in St. Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, after a long illness, very bravely on Sunday, 2 July 1989.

The late Father Cyril J. Barrett, SJ. was born in Charleville, Co. Cork Ireland in 30 April 1917. He was educated in Clongowes Wood College and in 1935 he entered the Jesuit Order. He finished his academic studies and professional training in 1951 and in that year came to Hong Kong where he has lived and worked since then.

At first he was assigned to study Chinese (Cantonese) for two years and then went to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong at first as a teacher, then in 1954 became Prefect of Studies, in 1956 he was appointed Rector and Principal. In 1962 he went to Ricci Hall Studies, in 1956 he was appointed Rector and Principal. In 1962 he went to Ricci Hall where he was Warden until 1969 and during this time Ricci Hall, with minimal dislocation to the residents was totally rebuilt, and Father Barrett was very busily engaged in the fund raising for this new project. In 1970 he returned to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, as Principal where he continued until 1982. Since then he has in 1983 received an honorary doctorate “Doctor of Social Science” from the University of Hong Kong, and has busied himself with making contact, either in person or through letters with practically every former Wah Yan Student studying abroad. He made long trips to Australia, the United States and Canada, and the United Kingdom, visiting secondary schools and Universities and other higher educational institutions, and there meeting with the Wah Yan past students.

In the past five years he has known that he has a serious cancer condition and other debilitating illnesses. He has suffered a great deal, but was always trying to lead as normal a life as possible. In summer 1988 he went to Ireland on holiday and returned to Hong Kong even though most of his friends thought the journey would be too much for his greatly weakened condition. Since then he has been almost continually in hospital, getting gradually weaker. Until finally on 2 July 1989 he died.

All through his life he was interested in many other matters besides education. He was a dedicated bird watcher and an occasional helper in archaeological digs in the New Territories. He was a fairly constant writer of letters to the papers on matters connected with education.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 7 July 1989

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was the son of a banker and received his early education in Bagenalstown County Carlow and then at Clongowes Wood College.
In his Jesuit studies he graduated BA at UCD, then spent three years studying Philosophy at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.
He was then sent to teach at Belvedere College SJ for Regency.
He then went to Milltown Park for four years Theology, followed by a year making Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle.

1951-1953 He came to Hong Kong and spent two years at Xavier House, Cheung Chau, studying Cantonese.
1953 He began his long connection with Wah Yan College Hong Kong, as a teacher, educationalist and Principal. In 1983 he was awarded a Doctorate of Social Science by the University of Hong Kong, in recognition of his contribution to Hong Kong society. He set up the Wah Yan Post-Secondary Education Trust Fund, set up to award scholarships to former students wishing to study overseas. At the same time he had a keen interest in the archaeology of the New Territories.
He was a regular contributor to the newspapers and a keen campaigner for the Anti-smoking movement in Hong Kong.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1989

Obituary

Father Cyril Barrett SJ

Those who were in Belvedere between 1943 and 1946 will remember Mr Barrett, as he then was. Cyril spent most of his life working in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, and he leaves behind him golden memories of his exceptional capacity for personal friendship and his enormous commitment to Hong Kong and to Wah Yan in particular. On his retirement from the position of Principal of Wah Yan in 1982, the University of Hong Kong conferred an honorary doctorate on him in recognition of the work he had done for education at all levels. Stricken by cancer, he paid a final visit to Belvedere in the summer of 1988, when he was unfortunately too weak to explore the new buildings which have arisen here since his years as a scholastic forty years ago. Few of his Hong Kong brothers thought he would ever retum but Cyril Barrett had no intention of dying away from the land he had made his own. He died there on 2nd July 1989.

◆ The Clongownian, 1989

Obituary

Father Cyril J Barrett SJ

The late Fr Cyril J Barrett, was born in Charleville, Co Cork, Ireland on 30th April, 1917. He was educated in Clongowes Wood College and in 1935 he entered the Jesuit Order. He finished his academic studies and professional training in 1951 and in that year came to Hong Kong where he has lived and worked since then.

At first he was assigned to study Chinese (Cantonese) for two years and then went to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong at first as a teacher, then in 1954 became Prefect of Studies, in 1956 he was appointed Rector and Principal. In 1962 he went to Ricci Hall where he was Warden until 1969 and during this time Ricci Hall, with minimal dislocation to the residents, was totally rebuilt, and Fr Barrett was very busily engaged in the fundraising for this new project. In 1970 he returned to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, as Principal where he continued until 1982. Since then in 1983 received an honorary doctorate “Doctor of Social Science” from the University of Hong Kong, and busied himself with making contact, either in person or through letters with practically every former Wah Yan student studying abroad. He made long trips to Australia, the United States and Canada, and the United Kingdom, visiting secondary schools and universities and other higher educational institutions, and there meeting with the Wah Yah past students.

All through his life he was interested in many other matters besides education. He was a dedicated bird watcher, and an occasional helper in archaeological digs in the New Territories. He was a fairly constant writer of letters to the papers on matters con nected with education.

Bourke, Edward, 1895-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/64
  • Person
  • 02 January 1895-29 April 1985

Born: 02 January 1895, Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1912, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 08 December 1926, Convent of Mercy, Waterford City
Final vows: 22 April 1977, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Died: 29 April 1985, Xavier Hall, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966
by 1932, fifth wave Hong Kong Missioners.
◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Edward Bourke, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Edward Bourke, SJ, formerly of Hong Kong, died in Kuala Lumpur on 29 April 1985, aged 90.

Father Bourke came to Hong Kong as a young Jesuit priest in 1930 and worked here for the following 25 years. He was one of the first Jesuits to teach in Wah Yan College and he became Rector shortly before the siege of Hong Kong. During the siege he showed outstanding courage in caring for the spiritual and bodily welfare of all in need. After the surrender he had the difficult task of keeping the school in being. As an Irish citizen he was not interned, but he had endless difficulties to meet. With equal fortitude and ingenuity, he overcame countless obstacles, and there was still a Wah Yan Chinese Middle - when liberation came.

After the war he taught in the two Wah Yans for about a decade - first in Hong Kong, later in Kowloon. At the end of that time he moved to Singapore, leaving behind memories, not only of his educational work, but also of much sympathetic and assiduous pastoral work. He was always a man of many friends.

In Singapore and Malaysia over the past thirty years, he devoted himself mainly to pastoral and apostolic work, even in advanced old age.

For his last few months he was feeble in body, but his mind retained all its clarity.

Mass of the “Month’s Mind” will be celebrated in the chapel of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, at 6pm on Wednesday, 29 May.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 17 May 1985

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His early education was at the Presentation Convent National School and St Mary’s National School in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, and then he went to Mungret College SJ in Limerick.

He entered the Society in 1912, did Regency at Belvedere College SJ and made tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales.
He was a teacher at Wah Yan College Hong Kong, and later at Kowloon. He made outstanding contributions in educational and pastoral apostolic works.
He was nicknamed “The Grand Old Man” of the Province.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947
Frs. Bourke and John O'Meara returned from Hong Kong on 25th November for a reşt. Fr. Joseph O'Mara, who had returned to the Mission some time ago after a stay in Ireland, was forced by ill-health to come back to the Province. He reached Dublin on 13th January, and is now teaching philosophy at Tullabeg.

Irish Province News 60th Year No 3 1985

Obituary

Fr Eddie Bourke (1895-1912-1985) (Macau-Hong Kong)

Born on 2nd January 1895 in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary. Baptismal name: Edwardus. Civic official name: Edmond. 1901-10: studied at local Presentation convent first, then at local Christian Brothers' school. 1910-12: studied at Mungret.
7th September 1912: entered S], 1912-14 Tullabeg, noviciate. 1914-18 Rathfarnham, juniorate, specializing in History and Irish. Gained a BA (Hons). As a precaution against being con- scripted, he received minor Orders. 1918-19 Belvedere, teaching. 1919-22 Milltown, philosophy. 1922-24 Mungret, prefecting and teaching, 1924-28 Milltown, theology. Ordained a priest by Bishop Hackett, CSSR, in Convent of Mercy, Waterford, on 8th December 1926. 1928-30 Mungret, prefecting and teaching. 1930-31 St Beuno's, tertianship.
To Far East: 1931-2 Shiuhing, learning Cantonese. 1932-39 Wah Yan Hong Kong, minister and teacher, 1939-'40 Loyola language school, Superior. 1940-48 Wah Yan Hong Kong, Rector. 1948-54 Wah Yan Kowloon, spiritual father, teacher, bursar and assistant to prefect of studies. 1954-57 Cheung Chau, superior, directing Spiritual Exercises. 1957-63 Singapore, directing Spiritual Exercises, spiritual father, Superior. 1963-65 Penang, operarius at Cathedral. 1965-72 Petaling Jaya, Superior, bursar; 1972-78 parish assistant; 1978-84 chaplain to Assunta hospital; 1984-85 praying for Church and SJ. Died on 29th April 1985.
For details of Fr Bourke's assignments and those of many other Hong Kong Jesuits who predeceased him, the present editor is deeply obliged to Fr Joseph Garland, Socius to the Provincial, Hong Kong.

During many of Fr Eddie Bourke's earlier years in the Society I was in community with him: in the noviciate, juniorate, Belvedere, philosophy and the four years of theology. We were very good friends, and were drawn together by certain common interests. We were both vigorous walkers and enjoyed together long tramps over the then unspoiled Dublin mountains. Together with the late Fr Michael Kelly, we formed a preaching club which met on Sunday mornings in the old kitchen of Rathfarnham Castle, and Fr Eddie was my patient tutor in my earliest efforts to master the Irish language.
I therefore knew Fr Eddie very well, and yet I find a certain difficulty in the task of setting down my memories of him and thus leaving for future generations a picture of his early life in the Society, There were no outstanding events in that life. It was just a succession of years spent most perfectly in religion. I can sum it up briefly by saying that Fr Eddie Bourke was one of the holiest and most lovable men whom I have been privileged to know.
When I endeavour to go a little into detail, the first characteristic that recurs to me is his extraordinary charity. He was the kindest of souls: I could not imagine a harsh word coming from his lips. He was always ready to help others in unattractive jobs, I recall in particular with what infinite patience he coached a fellow-theologian who without his help would never have reached ordination. He was what we called "a great community man": a delightful companion on our excursions to the mountains; taking a prominent part in the plays which we produced at Christmas; one of our star players at football and handball; a good pianist, and able to act when needed as substitute organist.
Amidst all these virtues and gifts perhaps the most characteristic was a great simplicity - one might almost say a childlike simplicity. His heart was, in the best sense, always on his sleeve. In conversation with him one always felt at ease. He had no reticences, no strong prejudices. His views were always expressed openly, but with good humour and tolerance. I have no doubt but that this admirable openness and candour contributed largely to that wonderful success as a missionary which
is chronicled below. May God rest his gentle soul.
Fergal McGrath

My earliest recollection of Eddie Bourke is seeing him as a young priest during the Easter vacation marking the tennis courts in Mungret for the summer term. He was First Club Prefect for a year in 1928 or 1929. We were inclined to help him, but found the task of getting four right angles in unison beyond our ability, so we left Fr Bourke to his mathematical calculations but were impressed by his devotion to duty. Though being in the Apostolic School I had no direct contact with Eddie Bourke, I sensed his personal interest in boys and never looked upon him as a disciplinarian.
When I arrived at the language school in Tai Lam Chung in 39, Fr Bourke was our superior. This time our engagements were again on the tennis-court, but in lawn bowls. Eddie was always a very keen competitor in all games, and even in old age was a reckless swimmer. Often we pleaded with him to swim parallel to the coastline, but he preferred to go straight out until he was a speck in the distance. Of his driving it was said that he had caused many of his guardian angels to be sent for psychiatric treatment.
By now Eddie had acquired a reputation as a manipulator of names. Ordinary mortals are stumped when they cannot recall names from the past, Eddie Bourke was never at a loss even when the names of those present escaped him. Influenced by the war bulletins of those days, when he referred to Mr Mannerheim we knew he was talking about Joe McAsey. If he said he was going to Belvedere for lunch we guessed that the distance between Clongowes and Belvedere was about the same as Wah Yan from the language school. For the first of his many jubilees, 50 years in the Society, which he celebrated in Singapore, I wrote a short appreciation which the late Terry Sheridan read at the jubilee dinner. In praise of Eddie I contrasted the skill of Fr Dan Donnelly who claimed that as prefect of studies in Wah Yan he knew every boy in the school by name within three weeks of the beginning of the school year. Within a shorter time, Eddie's charism enabled him to know every boy in the school by another name than the one by which his mother knew him. Yet his influence with boys has been attested by many generations of teachers and pupils of Wah Yan.
During his year in the language school Eddie began his magnum opus, which brought tears to the eyes of its censors and yet went through many editions. He was not gifted with the accuracy of exposition or theological acumen to be the author of a catechism. The result could be said to be a combined effort. The message was Eddie's but the expression of it was produced by those who sweated to revise and clarify. Eddie never lacked courage to undertake a task which he thought could produce fruit for the kingdom of Christ. Years later in Malaysia he was still receiving royalties from new printings of his catechism in Hong Kong. To the great relief of his brethren the plans he entertained to write shorter works on various theological subjects never saw the light. In his later years he was very impressed by a series of tapes by Archbishop Fulton Sheen and made use of them in instructing catechumens.
During the siege of Hong Kong and the looting to which it gave occasion, Eddie like another of the “old guard” Fr George Byrne showed great courage in dangerous situations. Of his moral courage in dealing with the Japanese authorities I leave others to testify. It is worth noting that he was headmaster of Wah Yan before, during and after the occupation, and yet his name was never tainted with any suspicion of “collaboration”. It is a tribute to his sincerity as much as to his ingenuity.
Eddie Bourke had a penchant for dealing with 'free thinkers' in high position and writers who had lapsed from the fold, Such people represented a challenge to him, since he was sure he could convince them of the error of their ways. It did not worry him that some of his brethren thought he was guilty of semi-pelagianism in his approach to possible converts. He was acting according to one arm of St Ignatius' famous dictum, “Work as if everything depends on you”. In the event it was Eddie's goodness that impressed people much more than his syllogisms. Eddie Bourke had a heart of gold but his training was in the era of apologetics and rational arguments, and he never resolved the tension. It may be that he never formulated such a conflict as existing in himself.
My longest association with Eddie Bourke was for a period of 13 years in the parish of St Francis Xavier in Petaling Jaya. When we arrived there in 1965 he was already 70 years of age. Though I was more than 18 years his junior in age I could not keep up with him either at the pace he walked or the amount of work he got through. He had a special interest in the sick and every week brought communion to the elderly and the infirm in their homes. This round took nearly two hours by car and at one point meant climbing to the sixth floor of a block of flats that had no lift, in order to visit a blind lady. Until he was 83 Eddie continued this apostolate and was never questioned about his driving licence which seemed to be able to renew itself like the eagle. His preaching was of the vigorous kind and was more appreciated by the parents and grand parents than by the youth of the parish. Like many of his generation, and indeed those of many generations after him, he lacked familiarity with the bible and there tended to be ignore evidence of Genicot than of the Gospels in his sermons. He recognised the need of family virtues and had a strong devotion to the Holy Family which he frequently referred to as the “University of Nazareth”. In his seventies he had to resurrect the musical talent he had 60 years earlier, when he played the piano. On many occasions he had to play the organ at church weddings. To the satisfaction of all, he gave a competent rendering of "Here comes the bride and the wedding march.
The Spiritual Exercises had a strong appeal for Eddie. He looked back on his early years in Malaysia as the best of his life, as he travelled up and down the country giving retreats, mostly to the Infant Jesus communities. It was a grievous blow to him when a new book, “A modern Scriptural approach to the Spiritual Exercises, proved to be altogether different to what he expected.
He ordered a dozen copies of the book on the recommendation of a review he had seen. When he opened the book he decided he had been cheated. Apparently he had hoped that every meditation of Ignatius would be supported by scripture passages. He wasn't appeased when we told him that the title of the book mentioned an 'approach' to the Exercises. In frustration and disappointment he insisted on writing to Dave Stanley accusing him of giving a title which was not only misleading but deceitful. The brethren, in the meantime, both in P.J. and Singapore, were able to possess a personal copy of the work, owing to Eddie's prodigality and high hopes.
In his last few years Eddie was very proud of the fact that, in terms of years in the Society, he was the senior Irish Jesuit. There were a few Jesuits in Ireland who were older in years but had entered the noviciate later than he. About a year ago he wrote to Zambia to a boyhood friend from Carrick-on-Suir. He received a reply from the superior in Chikuni to say that Fr Tom Cooney was unable to write and that his mind was failing. Tom Cooney's health had never been good, so it was a surprise to Eddie they were in the home stretch together: Eddie was still confident that he would survive his friend from Carrick, but it was not to be.
Up to the end, Eddie was occupied in finding solutions to the problems of salvation. When Fr General visited Petaling Jaya in February, Eddie attended the open session where questions were asked and information exchanged. Knowing that Fr General had spent much of his life in the Middle East, Eddie was keen to explain his conviction in a private interview about the salvation of Muslims. According to Eddie they would all get to Limbo.
When Eddie meets Pat Grogan in the life where time is no longer of any importance, and tales are told about the thousands of pupils they knew in Robinson Road, Eddie will have all the names at his finger-tips. But now Eddie will be just as accurate as Pat. Each boy will have his proper name.
J B Wood

Brosnan, Matthew, 1923-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/643
  • Person
  • 13 December 1923-02 May 1997

Born: 13 December 1923, London, England / St Stephen’s Green, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 02 May 1997, St Paul’s Hospital, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

part of the Wah Yan College, Hong Kong community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to CHN : 1992

by 1951 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Farewell to Father Matthew Brosnan, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Matthew Brosnan, 73, passed away in hospital shortly after midnight on Friday, 2 May 1997.

During a medical check-up it was discovered that he had a serious heart condition that needed immediate treatment. He underwent an operation on Thursday but died a few hours later. Father Brosnan was born of Irish parents in London on 13 December 1923. He received his early education in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland before attending secondary school at the Jesuit-run Belvedere College in Dublin.

On 7 September 1942, Matthew Brosnan entered the Society of Jesus and was sent to the National University of Ireland where he eventually graduated with a first class honours Bachelor of Arts degree. This was followed by three years of Philosophical studies.

In 1950 he was assigned to the Hong Kong mission where he spent his first two years learning Cantonese. Soon afterwards he began teaching in Wah Yan College, Kowloon.

He returned to Ireland to complete his studies and was ordained to the priesthood on 31 July 1956.

Father Brosnan was permanently assigned to Hong Kong in 1958. Except for 6 years as director of the Jesuit Retreat House on Cheung Chau Island, he spent many years teaching, mainly at Wah Yan College on Hong Kong Island. As a gifted retreat master and good linguist it was no wonder that Father Brosnan was sought out as a preacher, confessor, retreat master and spiritual director.

In his almost 40 years of priestly work in Hong Kong he helped countless people come to know, love and follow Jesus Christ in their daily lives.

A funeral Mass for Father Brosnan was held on Monday, 5 May, at St. Paul’s Convent Chapel and was attended by his fellow Jesuits and Cardinal J.B. Wu and Bishops Joseph Zen and John Tong as well as many other Religious, priest and friends.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 9 May 1997

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His early education was in Wicklow and then at Belvedere College SJ Dublin. He got 1st place in French in Ireland in his Leaving Certificate.

He followed the usual course of Jesuit studies graduating with a First Class Honours BA from UCD. He then spent three years studying Philosophy and was elected President of the Sodality Academy.
1950 He was sent to Hong Kong and studied Cantonese
1953-1958 He was back in Ireland studying Theology and making Tertianship at Rathfarnhamn Castle
1959-1962 He was back in Hong Kong and teaching at Wah Yan College Kowloon
1962-1968 He was at the Retreat House at Cheung Chau
1968-1997 he was sen teaching at Wah Yan Hong Kong

He was an experienced teacher of English and Biblical Knowledge at both Wah Yan Colleges. At one time he was Principal at Wahy Yan Hong Kong. he was also an advisor of the “Catholic Society” and a Warden at Ricci Hall

Note from Paddy Finneran Entry
He came to Hong Kong as a young priest with Peter Dunne and 5 Scholastics - Liam Egan, Paddy Cunningham, Matt Brosnan, Tom O’Neill and Tony Farren. He spent two years at the Battery Path Language School learning Cantonese.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1997

Obituary

Father Matthew Brosnan SJ (OB 1942)

Matt was bom in England on 13th December, 1923 and died in Hong Kong on 2nd May, 1997.

Matt is survived by Ethel (85) in New Zealand, Finola (78) and Shena (68) both in the UK. His father was a chiropodist who lived on St Stephen's Green and so Matt went to Belvedere College, 1933-1942. From his earliest days he wanted to be a priest. Being in the Bicycle Club brought him into close contact with Jesuits and he joined the Society of Jesus in 1942.

He was always very serious-minded and got a Gold Medal in French in the Leaving Certifi cate Exams. At UCD he got a First Class Honours Degree and then studied Philosophy seriously.

Assigned to Hong Kong in 1950 he put all he had into the study of Cantonese and so was always fluent in the language. People always wondered at the accuracy of his tones and grammar, He always concentrated on Chinese life for missionary aims.

After ordination to the priesthood in Dublin in 1956, he returned to teach in Wah Yan Col lege, Hong Kong until his retirement in 1993. The boys liked him for his gentleness and seriousness in teaching English and Religious Knowledge. He was zealous in preparing boys for baptism and always urged them in their Catholic activities. Besides thirty years teach ing, six years in Kowloon and the rest in Hong Kong, he was director of the Retreat House in Cheung Chau for six years between 1960-66. He promoted weekend retreats for men in business companies and for students during the week. His devotion and dedication to Christ were appreciated.

His death was unexpected. He had entered St Paul's Hospital for a prostate operation, but the doctors deemed a heart bypass essential first. He never recovered, dying within days...
He had been Spiritual Director of the enclosed Carmelite Sisters at Stanley since 1975 and the Director of the Third Order Carmelites since 1983. These people not only saw to his funeral expenses, but were present in force (fifty in habit) at his wake and funeral.

This was followed by Six Friday night Requiem Masses at 7pm in the Catholic Centre.

The hospital waived its fees, as did the doctors.

Complete dedication to missionary work among the Chinese is Matt’s epitaph. A conservative Jesuit, gentle but retiring, he had an integrity and dedication which ranks him with the martyrs and heroes.

HN SJ

Byrne, Thomas, 1904-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/82
  • Person
  • 30 November 1904-03 August 1978

Born: 30 November 1904, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1933, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1941, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Died: 03 August 1978, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

Older brother of Patrick Byrne - RIP 1968

by 1935 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 15 August 1947-30 July 1953.
Mission Superior, Hong Kong, 09 May 1957
Father General's English Assistant (Substitute), at Rome Italy (ROM) 1962

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Thomas Byrne, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Thomas Byrne, Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits from 1957 to 1960, died in Ireland on 3 August 1978, aged 73.
Father Byrne was born in Ireland in 1904. He joined the Jesuits in 1922 and was ordained priest in 1933. In 1934, the Irish Jesuit Province lent him to Hong Kong, where he taught Philosophy (1934-1936) and Dogmatic Theology (1936-1939) at the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen. He returned to Ireland in 1939 to complete his Jesuit training.

After a period as Master of Novices, he was appointed provincial Superior of the Irish Jesuit Province.
He returned to Hong Kong as Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits in 1957. In 1960, he was summoned to Rome to be Assistant to the Jesuit Superior General (1960-1963). In his last years he was assistant priest at St. Ignatius Church, Galway, Ireland.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 11 August 1978

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Educated at O’Connell’s School Dublin, he Entered the Society in 1922 at Tullabeg. He obtained a BSc and MSc and then did Philosophy at Milltown Park. He then went straight from Philosophy to Theology
In 1936 he was sent to the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen as Professor of Dogmatic Theology.
In 1939 he returned to Ireland to make Tertianship and was then sent to Tullabeg to teach Philosophy.
In 1945 he was appointed Master of Novices
In 1947 he was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province
In 1957 he was appointed Superior of the Hong Kong Mission

During his term as Provincial (1947-1953) he sent many Jesuits to Hong Kong, and then in 1951 he started the Irish Jesuit Mission to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). He also saw the needs in Singapore and Malaysia and sent Jesuits to work there - like Kevin O’Dwyer, who built St Ignatius Church in Singapore; Patrick McGovern who built St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, and also Liam Egan, Gerard (Geoffrey?) Murphy and Tom Fitzgerald. He opened the Novitiate in Cheung Chau in 1958, starting with 10 Novices.

In 1960 he was brought the Roman Curia as the English Assistancy Assistant to Father General, and held this role until 1965.
In 1965 he returned to Ireland and teaching Theology at Milltown Park.

He was an intellectual. His social contribution in public committees included the housing Authorities and Discharged Prisoners Society.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 4 1978

Galway
The death of Fr Thomas Byrne on August 3 came as a great shock. He became unwell after dinner on August 2. When the doctor saw him, he ordered him into hospital immediately. His heart condition worsened that evening, and he died on the morning of August 3, R.I.P. The funeral Mass was on August 5. Dr Eamonn Casey, Bishop of Galway, presided. The Provincial, Fr Patrick Doyle, the Rector and Parish Priest, Fr Robert McGoran, and Fr Bernard Murray, were the chief concelebrants. Very many members of the Province travelled to Galway to pay their last respects to Fr Byrne.
Herewith is a tribute by Fr McGoran to Fr Byrne in the September issue of the Parish Newsletter
“Hardly had we recovered from the sense of loss at the death of Fr Jack Kerr, when God took to himself a second member of our Parish team, Fr Tommy Byrne. Although Fr Byrne had had a rather severe operation last February, he appeared to be holding his own in recent months - although everyone noticed that he had slowed down a great deal. However, for a week or two before his death he was visibly failing; yet he remained faithful to his parish duties right up to the eve of his death.
During his eight years here in Galway, Fr Tommy endeared himself to all the parishioners, and many felt his death as the loss of a close friend, and one who felt for them in their cares and difficulties. He was untiring in his visitation of families and utterly devoted in ministering to the sick and the aged. He took a keen personal interest in the families entrusted to this care and had a very special way with children. He was a kindly and encouraging man and seemed able to forget his own ailments in his solicitude for other people”.

Another tribute is paid by Fr Desmond O'Loghlen in the July/August issue of the Jesuits in Zambia News. Sincere thanks to him for it.
“Fr Thomas Byrne did not spend long in Africa, only three months. Nevertheless the occasion of his death calls for grateful remembrance of his lasting contribution of the Jesuit Mission effort in Zambia, To this end we may make use of a report on the Chikuni Mission written in 1967 for the Sociological Survey of the Society. (It should be borne in mind that at that time the Lusaka Mission and the Chikuni Mission had not yet amalgamated to form the Vice Province, but were still separate, attached to the Polish and Irish Provinces respectively).
Fr Thomas Byrne Irish Provincial at the time) arrived to visit Northern Rhodesia (as it then was) in April 1952. He spent about three weeks in Africa, met the Apostolic Administrator (Very Rev Adam Kozlowiecki SJ) and the Regional Superior (Very Rev Marian Folta SJ) and saw all the Irish Jesuits in the country. Fr Byrne was the Provincial, who, in 1950, had taken the generous step of Officially pledging the Irish Province to help the Mission. On his initiative nine new members, (eight priests and one brother) joined the Mission in 1950, and eight more in 1951 (five priests, two scholastics, and one brother) and others followed yearly. From this visit of Fr. Provincial, in consultation with the Apostolic Administrator and the Regional Superior, emerged the main lines of development followed by the Irish Jesuits for the next ten years, through the establishment of the Chikuni Mission in 1956 up to the establishment of the Diocese of Monze in 1962.
Plans were made to continue the pastoral and educational work already built up around Chikuni by Frs Moreau, Zabdyr, Prokoph, and others. Three new stations had been already started at Chivuna, Kasiya, and Fumbo. Plans were also made for pastoral coverage of Mazabuka, Monze, Choma, Kalomo, with an eventual westward thrust to Namwala. Provision was made for Irish Jesuits to work in Lusaka.
Fr Byrne again visited the Mission in 1963, now as Assistant of the English Assistancy, and took deep interest and evident satisfaction in the progress of the work, which owed so much to his earlier initiative. At this time he explored views about the possible union in one Province of the Jesuit Missions in Zambia and Rhodesia. However, this project was halted by the declaration of UDI to the south of us, and subsequent developments.
In December 1969, when the Zambia Vice-Province was established, Fr Thomas Byrne was an honored guest at an informal gathering in Dublin to mark the occasion. We can trust, now that he is in Heaven, his interest and his benign influence will continue to benefit the work in Zambia. May he rest in peace”.

Obituary :

Fr Thomas Byrne (1904-1978)

On August 3rd Father Tom Byrne died at Galway, where for nearly eight years he had been engaged on Parish work. This period in Galway was the peaceful, retired conclusion to an exceptionally active, varied and front-line work as a Jesuit.
Father Tom Byrne was born at Dun Laoire on November 30th 1904. He entered Tullabeg as a novice on August 31st 1922. Having pronounced his First Vows on September 1st 1924 at Tullabeg, he passed through the rest of the scholasticate training in Ireland: from Rathfarnham he studied Science at UCD (1924-1927); 1927 to 1934 were spent studying Philosophy and Theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest on July 31st 1933. He completed his Tertianship at Rathfarnham: 1939-1940.
From the end of his Tertianship in 1940 to his commencement of parish work in Galway in 1970, Father Tom Byrne was a “specialist” in one form or another. He was Lecturer in Sacred Scripture and Dogma in the Regional Seminary, Hong Kong: 1934-1939. He lectured in Philosophy in Tullabeg 1941-1945; 1953-1957. He was Master of Novices in Emo for two years (1945-1947). He was Provincial in Gardiner Street from 1947 to 1953: and it was by his enterprise and decision that the “mission” in what is now part of the Vice-Province of Zambia was begun by the opening of the Irish Mission at Chikuni: eight priests and one brother reached Chikuni from Ireland in August 1950. They began at once to work in the Mission Church at Chikuni, to open “mission stations” further afield, and to staff Canisius College which rapidly developed to become a splendid Secondary School. For many years after our arrival at Chikuni there was only one other Secondary school in “Northern Rhodesia” (now Zambia): the Government Secondary school Munali in Lusaka.
Father Byrne visited us within a few years of 1950 and continued generously to send brothers, scholastics and priests, so that Ireland's commitment in what is now the Vice-Province of Zambia developed rapidly.
After his second period as Lecturer in Tullabeg - after being Provincial - (1953-1957), Father Tom Byrne went to be Superior in the Hong Kong Mission. He remained in this Office until 1960 when he went to Rome for five years as English Assistant, substituting for Father J Swain who was Vicar General (1960-1965).
Father Tom Byrne was Prefect of Studies and Spiritual Father in Milltown Park from 1965 to 1968. There followed two years in Tullabeg as Spiritual Director of the Sisters there (1968 to 1970). In 1970 he moved to take up the parish work in Galway which occupied the last eight years of his work-filled life.

One of his many admirers - Father Harold Naylor, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, writes:
“As a philosopher in Tullabeg I remember being impressed by the vigour of the religious observance of ‘Tommy’ who was then professing Psychology. He was the first at Morning Oblation at 6 am. I met him again in 1977 in Galway and found the same man I had always known, with alert mind and zealous heart. Assistant to the Parish Priest in St Ignatius, he was always ready to hear confessions and take calls at the door to help people. I noticed something else which is not common in Jesuits of over forty - he had great hope in the future of the Church and of the Society. He had well assimilated the thrust of the Second Vatican Council, and made his own the content of the last two General Congregations. He was at home in the new Church, and the modern Society and had no nostalgia for the past. He could appropriate to himself our new life style and see every advantage in it. I sometimes wondered if this was not partly due to what he taught on obedience of the intellect, and to a real self abnegation, seeing the Will of God in everything and having the real spirit of Ignatian indifference ...”
See also the special tributes included in the contributions from Galway, tributes from Galway and Zambia.

Irish Province News 54th Year No 1 1979

Galway

Fr Thomas Byrne RIP
We are greatly indebted to an unnamed contributor to the Hong kong Vice-Province Letter/August, 1978, for the following account of Fr Thomas Byrne's life. Sincere thanks to him. The account arrived too late for inclusion in the October issue of the Province News,
Fr Thomas Byrne, Superior of the Hong Kong Mission from 1957 to 1960, died on 3rd August, after a few hours of illness, aged 73. The following account of his life has been contributed by one who knew him well.
Though he is a major figure in the history of the Hong Kong Jesuits, Fr Thomas Byrne spent in all only eight years here. For information about his pre-Jesuit years, his forty-five Jesuit years in Ireland, and his three years in Rome, I have had to rely on vague memories and hearsay. Much must be left vague, and some details may be inaccurate. .
He was born on 30th November 1904, and was educated at O’Connell’s School, Dublin. In 1922, he entered the novitiate at Tullabeg, where he had as contempararies R Harris, C Daly, and G Casey. As a junior, he did a brilliant BSc. He later - during his philosophy at Milltown Park, I think tried for a travelling studentship (in Philosophy?), but was beaten, to the surprise of many, by the Clonliffe student who, as Fr. Boyland, was to leave the Dublin Archdiocese to become a Carthusian.
Mr. Tommy Byrne, already destined for a professorial chair, did no “colleges”, and went straight from philosophy to theology. He came, I think, to regret this gap in his formation, especially when appointment as a major superior made him responsible for the well being of many schools.
He was ordained priest on St Ignatius Day, 1933. In 1934, the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, found itself critically short of staff. The Irish Provincial, Fr L Kieran, lent Fr Byrne to Hong Kong, on the understanding that, when the Seminary could spare him, he should return to Ireland to do his tertianship and then settle down there as a professor, probably of philosophy. He came to Hong Kong, by ship of course, with Fr H Craig and two scholastics, F Cronin and T Sheridan, and for his first two years taught philosophy in the Seminary.
Since he had not come as a permanent member of the Mission, it was taken for granted that he should not even attempt to learn Cantonese - another gap in his formation that he was to regret in later years.
In 1936, he became professor of dogmatic theology in the Seminary. It was in that year that I first met him. I still feel gratitude for the warmth of the welcome he gave me on my arrival in Hong Kong. By then he had developed to the full his aptitude for giving lengthy analysis of any subject that might turn up - the state of the world, the calling of a bridge-hand, St Jerome’s outlook on bishops, or his own outlook on his duties as minister. This may suggest that he had turned into a bore. The suggestion is false. He was interested in your views as well as in his own, and he was unaffectedly delighted when you knocked him off his perch. This made all the difference.
He went to Ireland for tertianship in 1939, making no secret of his wish to return to Hong Kong if possible. However, when his tertianship ended, the course of World War II had made immediate return impossible. After tertianship, Fr Byrne went to Tullabeg to teach philosophy. In 1945 he was appointed Master of Novices.
He was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province in 1947. By then the world was beginning to settle down after the confusion and frustration of war and its aftermath. The time called for initiative, and Fr Byrne was ready to initiate. In the course of his provincialate the Manresa Retreat house and the Workers' College (now the College of Industrial Relations) were opened, and the Irish Province accepted a new mission in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). Not since the legendary days of Fr Sturzo had any Irish Provincial added so much to the work of the province.
I myself left Ireland soon after Fr Byrne's appointment. I therefore know little about his administration or his dealings with individuals. I do remember an aged fountain of ideas. Fr R Devane,
saying rather sadly: “At last there is a Provincial who will listen to me; but I am too old now". There are rumours that scholastics were put off by Fr Byrne's highly characteristic habit of gazing into the middle distance and musing on the nature of things or giving gnomic advice. Presumably they felt inhibited from knocking him off his perch - unfortunate but inevitable.!
At the end of his term as Provincial, Fr Byrne returned to Tullabeg, and seemed likely to spend the rest of his days there. Then in 1957, to the surprise of the most highly skilled forecasters, he was appointed Superior of the Hong Kong Mission. He returned with delight; an eighteen-year-old dream had come true.
Neither Hong Kong nor Singapore was in great need of initiative. In Hong Kong, the two new Wah Yans had been built shortly before, and it would have been difficult to find staff for new works. In Singapore, the plans laid in the earlier 50s were moving towards fulfilment. In Malaysia, however, things were still tentative. The cancellation of a government invitation to undertake a major work faced the Superior with the decision: to go forward or to retreat. Fr Byrne decided to go forward. Perhaps nothing in his superiorship interested him more deeply than the problems of Petaling Jaya. A grasp of the geography of Kuala Lumpur and its environs became necessary for anyone who wanted to understand his conversation.
In Hong King, Fr Byrne’s main task was to encourage the work that was being done by individuals and institutions. For himself, he took up the work of public committees - the Housing Societry, the Discharged Prisoners Aid Society and so on. In Ricci Hall, where he lived, he quickly made many friends among the students. Equally quickly he made himself a welcome guest in all Jesuit houses. When he had to act as Superior he was unmistakably the Superior. At other times, like a famour duke, “he never remembered his rank unless you forgot it”. In spite of recurring bad health - stomach trouble and phlebitis - he enjoyed life, and he wished others to enjoy life. The brilliant frivolity of Fr J B Wood’s speech of farewell at the end of Fr Byrne’s Superiorship was a tribute to the friendliness and personal equality that he had made characteristic of his period of authority here.
He was Superior for only three years. In 1960 he was summoned to Rome as Substitute Assistant for the English Assistancy. Of what happened at that high level I know nothing except that Fr Byrne seemed to enjoy it.
He returned to Ireland after the 31st General Congregation, but his interest in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia never waned, as returning visitors from these parts will testify.
He spent his last years as curate in St. Ignatius' Church, Galway, and it was there that I last met him. He was unchanged - full of interest in the Vice-Province and better informed about it than I was - ready to speculate about the state of the world and of all things in it, and full of philosophical interest in the future of the Jesuit parish in Galway,
No hint had been received here that his health was failing. The news of his death came as a shock, and to many it meant, not “a former Superior has died”, but “a cherished friend is dead”.

Carroll, John, 1911-1957, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/87
  • Person
  • 02 April 1911-20 January 1957

Born: 02 April 1911, Geashill, Walsh Island, County Offaly
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 06 January 1945, Sydney, Australia
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 20 January 1957, Mater Hospital, Vulture Street, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Part of the Manresa, Toowong, Brisbane, Australia and Wah Yan, Hong Kong communities at the time of death

Older brother of Denis Carroll - RIP 1992

by 1939 at Loyola Hong Kong - studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He was one of twelve children, eight of whom entered Religion, and a brother of his Denis also became a Jesuit and worked in Zambia (RIP 1992).
His early education was at Mungret College, and he was one of 32 Novices who entered St Mary’s, Emo in 1930.
1932-1935 After First Vows he went to Rathfarnham Castle Dublin, and studied at University College Dublin, where he graduated BA in English and History.
1935-1938 He was sent to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg for Philosophy
1938-1941 He was went for Regency to Hong Kong, including language school at Cheung Chau and teaching at Wah Yan College Hong Kong. he found the Cantonese dialect very difficult, and yet while there he also edited the Wah Yan College Annual “The Star”.
1941-1945 As it was impossible to return to Europe for Theology, he and three other Scholastics were sent to Australia for these studies. he enjoyed his time there and the Australian Jesuits found him pleasant company. While waiting for Theology to began he taught for a bit at St Ignatius College Riverview.
1946-1947 He went to Ireland and Rathfarnham Castle to make Tertianship
1947-1956 He returned to Hong Kong and Wah Yan, where he was assistant Prefect of Studies, and went back to editing “The Star”. he was appointed Vice-Rector in 1951, and Rector a year later in 1952, and was also prefect of Studies. He managed all these tasks very efficiently, even though he was never of robust health. One of his achievements also was the planning of the new Wah Yan College, on Queen’s Road East. By 1955 he was no longer capable of heavy work, and in 1956 underwent a serious operation for intestinal cancer, he suffered many months of pain after this, and he bore it with great fortitude.
1956 By June of this year he had recovered sufficiently to fly to Brisbane for a period of convalescence. By November his condition had worsened, and he required another operation, but died in January 1957

His death at the Mater Hospital Brisbane at an early age, deprived the Hong Kong Mission of a most esteemed and valuable member. He had a deep interest in educational matters, and his thorough understanding of the Hong Kong educational system had established him as a very well informed representative and spokesman of Catholic Schools in Hong Long and their dealings with the government there.

He was a tall man, with a stately and almost stiff bearing and a habitual serious expression. He was a spiritual man and an observant religious, good at English literature and the craft of elaborate lettering of manuscripts, and the poignant epigram. He was meticulous, some would say excessive in the preparation of his classes. he was a hard worker and efficient administrator, strict on himself and a stern judge of those who did not measure up to his own high standards. At time he could appear to be stiff and unbending, but he had a good sense of humour and was able to laugh at himself. Towards his students he was uniformly kind though reserved, and this, combined with his unceasing devotion to duty, made them esteem him highly.

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Fr. John Carroll, S.J.
Former Rector of Wah Yan College

News has been received of the death of Rev. John Carroll, S.J., who was Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, from 1951-1956. It took place in Brisbane, Australia, where he had gone for convalescence after a serious operation at the beginning of last year.

Fr. Carroll, who was forty-six years of age, was born in Leix, in Ireland. He was educated at Mungret College, Limerick, and entered the Society of Jesus in 1930. he continued his studies in the National University of Ireland, where he took the B.A. degree and Higher Diploma of Education.

He came to Hong Kong in 1938, and after two years of Chinese studies was assigned to Wah Yan College, where he taught literature and history and was editor of the college magazine “The Star.” He then went to Australia to study theology, and was ordained by Archbishop (now Cardinal) Gilroy in 1945. At the close of the war he went to Europe and then returned to Hong Kong in 1947.

All the succeeding years were spent in Wah Yan College. After a period of teaching he was appointed Prefect of Studies in 1949, and then Rector. He supervised the building of the new college in Queen’s Road, East, and presided at its inauguration in September, 1955. A few months later his health broke down and he bore a long illness with great fortitude.

Fr. Carroll’s death is a considerable loss to education in Hong Kong. He had conspicuous literary and artistic ability, but the interests of his later years were wholly directed to education. He kept himself well informed on educational developments in many countries and his only regret at his loss of health was that he was unable to put into practice the many plans that he had in mind for the development of the school. He was a member of the Grant Schools Council and of the Board of Control of the Hong Kong School Certificate Examination Syndicate. He was also a member of the Court of the Hong Kong University.
Sunday Examiner, Hong Kong - 25 January 1957

Requiem Mass for Former Wah Yan College Rector

Large Numbers of priests, religious and lay people including some eight hundred pupils and Old Boys of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, attended the Solemn Requiem Mass last Wednesday at St. Margaret’s Church, Happy Valley, for the repose of the soul of Father John Carroll, S.J., former Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong.

His Lordship Bishop Lawrence Bianchi presided at the Mass and gave the Absolution. The present rector of Wah Yan College, Father Cyril Barrett, S.J., was the celebrant. He was assisted by Father Charles Daly, S.J., and Father Kevin O’Dwyer, S.J.

Father Carroll who died on January 20 in Brisbane, Australia, was Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, from 1951 to 1956 when he went to Brisbane for convalescence after a serious operation earlier that year. He was 46 years of age and was born in Leix, Ireland, Educated at Mungret College, Limerick, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1930.
Sunday Examiner, Hong Kong - 1 February 1957

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He came from a large family in Geashill, Walsh Island, County Offaly, 8 of whom entered religious life.
His early education was at Mungret Cllege SJ before he joined the Society of Jesus in 1930.

1938 He was sent to Hong Kong
1941 he was sent to Canisius College Pymble Australia during the war for Theology, and was Ordained there in 1945.
1946 He returned to Ireland to make Tertianship

By September 1955 his dream of the construction of the new Wah Yan College was completed. His health was poor and so he died in 1957.
He was the “architect” on the Wah Yan College, Queen’s Road East campus, Prefect of Studies and then Rector of Wah Yan Hong Kong. Schoolwork was his life, and he gave his classes not mere instruction, but affection and respect. he prepared his classes with as much care as if he had to face a group of post-graduate university students. Although ruthless on himself, it pained him to be hard on students.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Frs. John Carroll, Kevin O'Dwyer and Cyril Peyton, of the Hong Kong Mission, who completed their theology at Pymble recently, left, Sydney on December 9th on the Aquitania for England via the Cape. They hope to be home by the end of January. They are accompanied by Fr. Vincent Conway, an old Mungret boy, member of the Vice Province. All four will make their tertianship in Rathfarnham next autumn.

Fr. John Carroll, on the Aquitania, 13-12-45 :
“We left Sydney on time, at 8 am, on Monday 10th, and expect to be in England by the middle of January. Rumour says Southampton about January 12th. We are travelling as a military transport with some 200 civilian passengers. The total number of persons is said to be 4,700. It is therefore far from being a pleasure cruise, but the food is good and the ship so far is riding beautifully. There is a nice altar specially reserved for Catholics in a curtained recess in the library, and we have the place to ourselves from 6.45 to 7.45. The official chaplain, Church of England, claims the half hour from 8 to 8.30. There are two other priests on board, one of them Fr. Frank Bouchier who was at Mungret with me”.

Irish Province News 32nd Year No 2 1957
Obituary :
Fr John Carroll (1911-1957)
The death of Fr, John Carroll in the Mater Hospital, Brisbane, Australia on the 20th. January last, at the early age of 46, deprived the Hong Kong Mission of one of its most esteemed and valuable members. For Fr. Carroll by his deep interest in educational matters, and his thorough understanding of the Hong Kong educational system, had established himself as the best informed representative and spokesman of the Catholic schools in Hong Kong in all their dealings with the Government. The numerous messages of sympathy which the Superior of Missions (Fr. Harris) received after his death from the principals of the Catholic schools bore eloquent testimony to how deeply they appreciated his advice and assistance, and regretted his untimely death.
Fr. John Carroll was born on the 2nd April, 1911 in Walsh Island, Geashill, Offaly. He was one of twelve children, eight of whom entered religion. He was educated at Mungret College, Limerick, from which he entered the Society on the 3rd September, 1930, being one of the thirty-two first-year novices who began their life in the Society in Emo Park the year that house was established as the Novitiate. In September, 1932, Fr. Carroll went to Rathfarnham Castle for his Juniorate studies, and in 1935 obtained his B.A. degree in English and History. During the following three years, he studied Philosophy in Tullabeg, and in 1938 was assigned to the Hong Kong Mission, where he arrived in the autumn of that year, and proceeded to the Language school, Loyola, Taai Lam Chung, For two years he applied himself most diligently and conscientiously to the study of the language, but in his case, it was very much like watering the dry stick. He had no special gift for languages, especially for Cantonese, and it was with no little relief that in 1940 he passed on to Wah Yan College, then situated in Robinson Road. It was soon clear that teaching and college work generally, were his true vocation in the Society, and though he spent only one year as a scholastic at this work, he proved an excellent teacher from the very beginning. Another task with which he was entrusted that year, and which he found most congenial as it gave scope for his artistic gifts was the production of the College annual, The Star. As it was impossible in July, 1941 to return to Ireland for Theology owing to the war, Fr. Carroll went with three other scholastics to the theologate of the Australian Vice-Province (as it was then) at Pymble, Sydney. His four years there were very happy ones. In later years, he often spoke of them with lively pleasure. His stay in Australia left him with pleasant memories not only of the great kindness which he received from his Australian brethren of the Society, but also of the reunion with many of his brothers and sisters who were already living there. As the scholastic year in Australia does not begin until February, Fr. Carroll spent several months before he began Theology teaching in St. Ignatius College, Riverview. He was ordained priest on 6th January, 1945, an appropriate date for a member of such a large missionary family.
In 1946 he went to Ireland for Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle, and the following year, 1947, he returned by plane to Hong Kong and by September, he was back at his teaching post in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. In rapid succession, he was appointed Assistant Prefect of Studies, Prefect of Studies, Vice-Rector, and finally Rector of the school in 1952. All these tasks he carried out capably and efficiently, in spite of health which was never very robust. His great achievement during his term as Rector, was the planning and building of the new Wah Yan College on Queen's Road East. When that great task was completed, in September, 1955, and Fr. Carroll had the happiness of seeing his dream become a reality, his term of life was drawing to a close, though it was not fully realised then, In the final months of 1955, he was not capable of any heavy work, and in January, 1956 underwent a grave operation for cancer of the intestines. Many months of pain, discomfort, and suffering followed, which he bore with great serenity and fortitude. By June, 1956, he had recovered sufficiently to be able to travel by plane to Brisbane, Australia for convalescence. He was most hospitably welcomed there by the Jesuit community, and it was hoped that during his stay with them, he could help in the parish work. However he grew worse in November, and had to enter the Mater Hospital, where his sister is a nun. Another operation in December brought no relief and after several weeks of intense suffering, he died on 20th January, 1957, a fortnight after the twelfth anniversary of his ordination.
Fr. Carroll was a deeply spiritual man, and a most observant religious, His onerous duties as Prefect of Studies, or Rector of Wah Yan College were never permitted to make any inroads on the time assigned to spiritual duties which he performed most faithfully. He had a very deep love of the Society, and consequently was visibly hurt whenever a word or action on the part of another fell short of the ideals which he felt every Jesuit should live up to. As a Rector he insisted on a high standard of observance, and this taken together with his natural shyness, made him appear stiff and unbending. He had, however, a highly developed sense of humour, and was always ready to laugh at himself. Towards the boys he was uniformly kind though reserved, and it was these qualities, coupled with his unceasing devotion to duty which made them esteem him so highly. It was when he became seriously ill, that the extent of that esteem appeared most, and his death was mourned by both past and present students as that of a true friend. In St. Margaret's Church, within sight of the beautiful school for which he laboured so much and in the presence of the Bishop and a large number of the clergy of the city, and nearly a thousand of our boys, Catholic and pagan, a Solemn Requiem Mass was offered for his soul.
To his brother, Fr. Denis Carroll, Rector of Chikuni College, we offer deepest sympathy. May Fr. John rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Carroll SJ 1911-1957
Fr John Carroll was one of twelve children, eight of whom entered religion. Born at Geashill in 1911, he was educated at Mungret whence he entered the Society in 1930.

To his great delight, he was assigned to our Chinese Mission in 1938. Owing to the outbreak of the World War, he did his Theology in Australia, and often referred to these years as the happiest of his life. After his tertianship he was appointed Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, in 1852. During his term of office the new Wah Yan on Queen’s Road was built.

In January 1956 he was operated on for cancer, and he went back to Australia to recuperate. However, his health further deteriorated and he died on January 20th 1957.

Fr John was a deeply religious man, one of those Jesuits of whom you could say that he never lost the fervour of the noviceship. He never allowed pressure of business or occupation to interfere with his observance of his religious duties. To the casual observer he would have appeared somewhat rigid and austere, but that was because being of a very high ideal himself, he expected th same of others. Nevertheless, like a true religious man, he could, when necessary, make allowances, and his sense of humour and his contribution to community recreation betrayed and understanding as well as an exacting spirit.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1957

Obituary

Father John Carroll SJ

THE death took place in Brisbane Australia on January 20th last of Fr John Carroll. He was born on April 2nd 1911 at Walsh Island Geashill, Offaly, and came to Mungret in 1927. From here he entered the Society of Jesus in 1930. He did his studies at Rathfarnham and Tullabeg, and in 1938 was assigned to the Hong Kong mission where he arrived the folowing Autumn. He studied the language for two years and then went on to Wah Yan College where he found the work more congenial. Here he was editor of the College Annual “The Star”. In 1941 as it was impossible to return to Ireland he went to Australia for Theology where he was ordained in 1945. In 1946 he came to Ireland for Tertianship, and the following year returned to Wah Yan College.

Here in rapid succession he became Prefect of Studies, Vice-Rector, and finally Rector in 1952. His great achievement during his rectorship was the planning and building of the new Wah Yan College at Queens Rd East. Fr John was, however, now a very sick man, and in 1956 underwent an operation for cancer of the intestines. By June 1956 he had recovered sufficiently to go to Australia to recuperate, Here however, he grew progressively worse. Another operation brought no relief, and after weeks of intense suffering died on January 20th.

Fr Carroll was a deeply spiritual man and a most observant religious. He had however, a highly developed sense of humour. Towards boys he was uniformly kind though reserved, and it was these qualities together with a great devotion to duty which made them esteem him so much. His death was mourned by both present and past students as that of a true friend. To his family and to his brother Fr. Denis we offer our deep sympathy. RIP

Coghlan, Seán, 1933-2021, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2354
  • Person
  • 29 October 1933-02 September 2021

Born: 29 October 1933, Farranshone, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1951, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1965, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1970, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 02 September 2021, St Paul’s Hospital, Hong Kong - China Province (CHN)

Part of the Ricci Hall, Hong Kong community at the time of death

1951-1953 St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
1953-1956 Rathfarnham Castle - Studying
1956-1959 St Stanislaus College Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1959-1961 Xavier, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency, studying language
1961-1962 Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Regency, teaching
1962-1966 Milltown Park - studying Theology
1966-1967 Rathfarnham Castle - Tertianship
1967-1978 Wah Yan Kowloon, Hong Kong - teaching; Rector (1972)
1978-1981 Provincial’s Residence, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong
1981-1983 Casa Ricci, Largo de Sto Agostinho, Macau, Hong Kong
1983-1988 Wah Yan Kowloon, Hong Kong
1988-1996 Wah Yan Hong Kong
1996-2021 Provincial’s Residence, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/sean-coughlan-rip/

Remembering Sean Coghlan, SJ (1933-2021)

Sean was born in Limerick in 1833 and was educated at Sacred Heart College, the Crescent. A good student, with a quiet sense of humour and easy manner, he had a keen interest in sport, especially rugby and hurling, though his own slight frame militated against prowess in such games.

Beneath an unassuming exterior, he had a strong will and a deep spiritual sense. He joined the Jesuits on leaving school and followed the usual programme of formation until 1959 when he was appointed to Hong Kong. Returning to Ireland for theology, he was ordained priest in 1965. He returned to Hong Kong two years later and in 1972 was appointed rector of the Wah Yan College, Kowloon. Aged 40 years, he was the youngest of the 46 Irish Jesuits in Hong Kong.

Many years on, marking his golden jubilee in 2001, the General of the Society wrote praising him for his leadership as rector of Wah Yan, Kowloon, 1972-’79, and as principal of Wah Yan, Hong Kong, 1986-1997. There was also a mention of his efforts in support of the rights of seamen (a life-long interest), and his initiatives in the work of street sleepers. The General might have added his service of refugees, and his abiding interest in and care of students, past and present.

In this last area, he and Fr Deignan, as principals of the two Wah Yans, went to Canada in August 1990 as guests of the Past Students Association in Toronto and Vancouver. They received a most warm welcome. Seven years later, during a furlough, Sean had a memorable visit to past students in the United States and Canada. He recalled: ‘Ex-HK people were in tears when they saw me’. He was ‘bewildered and humbled by the gratitude and respect expressed by the alumni’.

One past student put into writing a tribute to Jesuit education which Sean cherished – “Jesuit education … probes the meaning of human life… Its objective is to assist in the fullest possible development of the God-given talents of each individual person as a member of the human community … Jesuit education insists on individual care and concern for each person.” It reflected Sean’s own care and concern.

Despite the responsibilities of position and office, Sean, though he could be quite assertive when the occasion required it, remained affable, approachable, and kept his sense of fun and humour. This characteristic could lead to unusual situations at times. Notably in 1989 when Father General, Pedro Arrupe, visited Hong Kong.

Sean, as rector, and Paddy McGovern, as his minister, waited at the lift one night for the return of the General from a late dinner. From time to time they used to put in time clowning at bull fighting. On this occasion, after a long wait, they indulged in the pursuit. To the extent, indeed, that they did not hear the lift starting up. Consequently, when the General emerged from the lift he found the Father Minister crouched down with his fingers to his head representing horns and fiercely charging the Rector in trousers and singlet, waving his shirt as a cape and executing a dangerous pass. Fortunately, Fr Arrupe, a Basque gentleman, found the spectacle amusing.

Ten years later, in 1999, there was much concern over an operation for cancer on Fr Freddie Deignan. After the operation, Sean sent a relieved fax message to the Provincial that Fr Deignan had come through the operation very well – ‘Shortly after the operation he asked me if Manchester United had won their match last night’.

In 2005, on the occasion of a visit from the Irish taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, Fr Deignan, in his address, mentioned that the Irish province had sent a total of 105 Jesuits to Hong Kong and that now there were just ten left. The decline in numbers led to a decision to produce a history of the Hong Kong Mission. This was commissioned in 2005 and was published in 2008 as Jesuits in Hong Kong, South China and Beyond (1926-2006), a volume of more than 800 pages and 236 photographs.

In the subsequent years the work of the mission proceeded at a somewhat lesser pace, with Fr Deignan receiving honorary doctorates in recognition of his work for education in Hong Kong, while his friend Sean Coghlan remained a welcoming presence at Ricci Hall and went on with his quiet work for students as warden.

For recreation, he continued his practice of long walks, often accompanied by his friend, a Protestant minister. As the years passed, his health deteriorated gradually, but he still kept an active interest in the fortunes in rugby of his home province and rejoiced at the all-Ireland success of his home county in hurling. He died loved and respected at the age of eighty-eight years. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Thomas Morrissey,

Collins, Edward, 1915-2003, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/647
  • Person
  • 09 August 1915-27 February 2003

Born: 09 August 1915, Clonskeagh, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1951, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 27 February 2003, Canossa Hospital Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

part of the Ricci Hall, Hong Kong community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to CHN : 1992

Middle brother of John (RIP 1997) and Des RIP (1996)

by 1939 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
After a short illness, Father Edward Collins, SJ, went peacefully to the Lord in Canossa Hospital (Caritas) on Thursday evening, 27 February 2003.

He was born into a very devout Catholic family in Dublin, Ireland, on 9 August 1915. At the age of 18 he followed his elder brother, John, into the Society of Jesus; another brother, Desmond later followed their example.

After first vows, he studied for a B.Sc. in maths and physics and complete his philosophical studies, then taught for three years before beginning a four-year course in theology. He was ordained a priest on 30 July 1947.

In 1949, he was sent to Hong Kong where he joined his elder brother John. After two years studying Cantonese, he was assigned to teach moral theology in the Regional Seminary, where he remained until 1964. Father Collins took two years during that time to obtain a doctorate in Rome.

In 1964, the Regional Seminary closed its doors and the building was handed over to the diocese of Hong Kong. Father Collins then devoted much of his time to setting up the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council (CMAC), which was finally gazetted in 1967. At the same time he acted as defender of the marriage bond in the Diocesan Tribunal and became embroiled in the controversy about the legalisation of abortion in Hong Kong.

By 1971, he was back in the chair of moral theology, first in Dalat, Vietnam (1971-1973) and then in the Holy Spirit Seminary in Aberdeen, Hong Kong (1973-1981). He did not confine himself to forming the consciences of seminarians in the classroom. He also made himself available to give retreats and spiritual direction. His friendly manner ensured that he was much sought after as a confessor.

For years he was the spiritual guide of the Catholic doctors’ guild and the Catholic nurses guild. He spent the years from 1986 to 1992 as the master of novices and then as a full-time director of retreats in Xavier Retreat House, Cheung Chau.

Apart from teaching and spirituality, Father Collins took a keen interest in helping the marginalised in Hong Kong. He followed the example of his brother John, who had set up credit unions and fought for the rights of the disabled. The two brothers made a great contribution to giving Hong Kong a human face. Father Collins requested that a photo of his brother be put in his coffin with him.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was born into an ardent Catholic family in Dublin. He followed his older brother John into the Society, and a younger brother Des joined later.

After his Novitiate he studies at UCD, graduating with a BSc in Mathematics and Physics. He then studied Philosophy, and Theology.

He came to Hong Kong where he studied Cantonese and later taught Moral Theology at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen until 1964. He then went to Rome to study for a Doctorate.
When he returned to Hong Kong he was devoted to setting up the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council (HKCMAC) and helping the marginalised in Hong Kong. In this he was following in the footsteps of his older brother John who had set up credit unions, and fought for the rights of the disabled.

According to Freddie Deignan, Ted founded CMAC and was a Member of the Hong Kong Social Service.
In 1969 he took care of the lepers in Hong Kong and wrote many articles on moral questions.

He was a great defender of the marriage bond, and he also served as Spiritual Advisor to the Catholic Doctor’s and Nurses Guilds.

Note from Herbert Dargan Entry
He freed Fr John Collins for full-time social work, set up “Concilium” with Frs Ted Collins, John Foley and Walter Hogan. he also set up CMAC in 1963. He sent Fr John F Jones for special training in Marriage Life. He also sent Fr John Russell to Rome for training in Canon Law. he was involved with rehabilitation of discharged prisoners and he visited prisons.

Note from Paddy Finneran Entry
Ted Collins was with him in Limerick

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 117 : Special Issue November 2003

Obituary

Fr Edward (Ted) Collins (1915-2003) : China Province

Born, Dublin 9 Aug 1915.
Entered Emo, 7th September 1933.
Ordained in Milltown, 20th July 1947.
Joined the Hong Kong Mission, 1950,
Died in Hong Kong, 27th Feb 2003

Harry Naylor writes:

A month previously, Ted had been at a meeting of Spiritual Directors, dressed neatly and colourfully as usual, but with the obvious forgetfulness for which he was well known. A week earlier, he had been hearing confessions at the Catholic Centre as he had done for many years. The Monday before he died, he was at the priests' Day of Recollection.

The day before his operation, Fr Bemard Tohill SDB went to ask his advice and heard him say that he was second oldest Jesuit in Hongkong, after Joe Mallin.

Ted was taken to the Canossa Hospital on Wednesday 26th February for an operation because of a blockage in his intestines but, because of his heart condition, he declined to undergo it. He died at 9 pm in the hospital with Freddie Deignan (Delegate for Hongkong), Robert Ng, Seán Coghlan and Eaodain Hui (a longtime CLC member who had kept vigil by his bedside).

It was a mild dry evening on Monday 3rd March, when the Vigil Liturgy began at 8pm in a small room which could only seat fifty at the North Point Funeral Parlour. Fr Paul Chan conducted the service and spoke of Fr Ted as a real friend to many and a soulfriend to many more. The large crowd present was a clear indication of this. There were up to two hundred people in the corridor, bathed in the Buddhist sutra chants and sounds of cymbals and drums coming from an adjacent room. It was only with the singing of a hymn and later, when Paul Chan led the Glorious Mysteries, that all could participate in a loud voice.

The chief mourners were Freddie Deignan, Sean Coghlan and Sean Ó Cearbhalláin, with about a dozen other Jesuits, including Jimmy Hurley, Ciaran Kane, William Lo, Tom McIntyre, Joe Mallin, Harold Naylor, John Russell, Joe Shields, Simon Wong, There were also six other priests and a Protestant pastor friend, Hans Lutz. Among the Sisters were 6 Missionaries of the Immaculate Conception (MIC), 5 Little Sisters of the Poor, 3 Little Sisters of Jesus, 4 Columban Sisters. There were also lay people from the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council, Caritas HK, from the chapels of our two Jesuit schools and our retreat house. Fr Ted had worked with all these congregations and had spent his final years with the Little Sisters of the Poor, first as chaplain and later as a resident of their home.

On the day of the funeral there was a light drizzle and strong gusts of wind. The funeral Mass was held at the spacious Christ the King Chapel at St Paul's Hospital (Sisters of St Paul de Chartres) in Causeway Bay. The chapel was packed. It was a diocesan and not just a Jesuit funeral. The chief celebrant was Bishop Joseph Zen of Hongkong. Concelebrating in the sanctuary were Auxiliary Bishop John Tong with Msgr Eugene Nuget, Freddie Deignan, Ciaran Kane, Thomas Leung, Anthony Tam and Robert Ng and, in the body of the church, a large number of priests including Jesuits, diocesan priests from the cathedral, the seminary and parishes (17), Dominicans (3), Maryknoll (5), PIME (7) and Salesians (6) - about 60 altogether.

Also in the body of the church were some 300 mourners including representatives from the religious congregations (Little Sisters of the Poor, Canossians, Good Shepherd Sisters, St. Paul de Chartres, Irish Columbans and others). The laity were represented by the Catholic Women's League, the Focolare Movement, prayer groups as well as many elderly people whom Fr Ted had served. The liturgy was entirely in Cantonese.

Fr.Robert Ng spoke in Cantonese of Ted's seventy years as a Jesuit, 50 of which had been spent in were in Hong Kong and 30 teaching moral theology in seminaries. Robert spoke of Ted as being all things to all: poor and rich, Chinese and foreign, sick and healthy. He was a counsellor and an apostolic priest. Often on pilgrimages, he was recently in Shanghai and asked where he would like to make his next pilgrimage, to which he replied, “Eternal Life”.

Freddie Deignan spoke of him as one who loved his own family members, two of whom are still alive in Ireland, along with many nephews and nieces. With a group of dedicated Catholic doctors and nurses, Ted had set up the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council much to the delight of Bishop Bianchi of Hongkong. He made a significant contribution to the Church in Hong Kong and its society for more than fifty years. His life was one of hope in Eternal Life. There was a time to mourn as we do now, but also a time to die.

Ted was laid to rest in the Catholic cemetery in Happy Valley together with those Jesuits who had gone before him.

Arriving in Hongkong in 1950, Ted taught at the South China Regional Seminary and then went to Rome in 1959 for a doctorate in moral theology. On his return Bishop Bianchi asked him to help Catholics after the controversial encyclical Humane Vitae of 1968. Ted remained a loyal member of the CMAC till his death. He was most esteemed as a spiritual counsellor and had dedicated his life to spiritual direction.

After the Regional Seminary became the Hong Kong diocesan seminary, Ted continued to teach there while also being involved in other ministries, such as giving retreats. He also spent two years teaching moral theology at the major seminary in Dalat, South Vietnam. On his return to Hong Kong he became very interested in the plight of the Vietnamese “boat people”, thousands of whom had fled to Hongkong in the 1970s and after.

In later years, he spent a number of years at Xavier Retreat House on Cheung Chau Island but had to leave it in 1992 as a heart condition made the steep climb to the house difficult for him. He then became chaplain to St. Mary's Home for the Aged in Aberdeen, on the south side of Hong Kong Island, until 2000, when he himself became a resident, while still attached to the Ricci Hall community.

Ted was always deeply interested in the evangelisation of China and made spiritual direction his priority. He was also, for many years, a member of the Jesuit Faith and Justice Group and, like his older brother John, very committed to social justice.

Dargan, Herbert J, 1918-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/500
  • Person
  • 20 April 1918-22 June 1993

Born: 20 April 1918, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 22 June 1993, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Peter Faber community, Belfast, County Antrim at the time of death.

Transcribed : HIB to HK; 03/12/1966; MAC-HK to HIB 19/11/1991

Youngest brother of Bill - RIP 1983; Dan - RIP 2007

Great grandnephew of Daniel Murray, 1768-1852, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong Mission: 21 June 1960-1965
Father General's Assistant for East Asia: 1966
Tertian Instructor, Tullabeg: 1978

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966; MAC-HK to HIB: 19 November 1991

by 1956 at Ricci Hall Hong Kong - working
Mission Superior Hong Kong 21 June 1960
by 1966 at Rome, Italy (ROM) Assistant for East Asia
by 1977 at Regis, Toronto ONT, Canada (CAN S) Spiritual year
by 1978 Tertian Instructor

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :

Note from Daniel MacDonald Entry
At the Chapel of Ricci Hall, Catholic Hostel at the University of Hong Kong, a solemn Requiem Mass was offered last Thursday by Father Herbert Dargan, S.J. the present Warden of Ricci Hall, for the repose of the soul of one of his predecessors, Father Daniel McDonald, S.J., whose death occurred in Ireland on 14 May 1957.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was born into the family of a prominent Dublin doctor. Following his education at Clongowes he was a pre-medical student before joining the Society in 1937. His elder brother Bill was already a Jesuit who was for many years procurator of the Irish Province, and his younger brother Dan also became a Jesuit and was head of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association for many years. Yet another brother was a magistrate in Hong Kong.

He did his Regency at Belvedere College SJ and a HDip in Education, and then he was ordained at Milltown Park i 1951. After Tertianship he was assigned to Hong Kong. he began studying Chinese at Cheung Chau and was then appointed Warden at Rici Hall.. Later he was Rector of Wah Yan Hong Kong (1955-1957).
In 1960 he was appointed Mission Superior in Hong Kong (1960-1965).

He was appointed to the Board of Education which produced a white paper “Reorganization of Primary & Secondary Education”. He was Chair of the “Catholic Grant Schools Council”. He freed Fr John Collins for fulltime social work, set up “Concilium” with Frs Ted Collins, John Foley and Walter Hogan. he also set up CMAC in 1963. He sent Fr John F Jones for special training in Marriage Life. He also sent Fr John Russell to Rome for training in Canon Law. he was involved with rehabilitation of discharged prisoners and he visited prisons.
He was also involve din the Executive Committee of the Hong Kong Housing Society, serving on four of its sub-committees.
He was also involved in religious broadcasting and began regular internal Jesuit communication with the “Hong Kong Newsletter”.

At his Golden Jubilee with Fr Séamus Doris, he was contrasted as being “mobile”, whereas Séamus, who had never missed a class in teaching (1954-1982) was said to be “stable”. He served in Rome as Fr General’s East Asian Assistant (1965-1975), was then Tertian Instructor in Tullabeg (1977-1986), and then went to Belfast to work as a spiritual director of priests

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Herbert Dargan (1918-1993)

20th April 1918: Born, Dublin
Early Education: Clongowes Wood College, and pre-medical year at University College Dublin
7th Sept. 1937: Entered the Society at Emo.
1939-1942: Juniorate: Rathfarnham - UCD Degree
1942 - 1945: Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1945 - 1947: Regency: Crescent College, Limerick
1947 - 1948: Regency: Belvedere College (H. Dip. Ed.)
1948 - 1952: Milltown Park - Studying Theology
31st July 1951; Ordained, Milltown Park
1952-1953: Tertianship
1953 - 1955: Cheung Chau - Studying Chinese language
1955 - 1957: Ricci Hall - Superior and Warden
1957 - 1960: Wah Yan College - Rector and Principal
1960 - 1965: Superior, Hong Kong Mission
1965 - 1976; Jesuit Curia, Rome, Regional Assistant for Eastern Asia
1976 - 1977; Sabbatical, Toronto Tullabeg:
1977 - 1986: Tertian Instructor (Superior: 1983-86)
1986 - 1987: Milltown Park - Giving the Spiritual Exercises
1987 - 1989: Manresa - Giving the Spiritual Exercises and Director of NCPI
1989 - 1993: Belfast - Giving the Spiritual Exercises
22nd June 1993: Died in Cherryfield Lodge.

It was in Herbert's last year in Belfast that I arrived there. As a member of the British Province I was soon made to feel at home in Brookvale and this was very much due to his presence. Herbert was first and foremost a member not of the Irish Province but of the world-wide Society of Jesus. It showed in the way that he welcomed Jesuits from any part of the world. His interests too were far from provincial.

During the cricket season he would ask to share my “Guardian”; he would be glued to the TV during the snooker matches, and loved to forecast the next shot. He was at his best when, with a glass of Bushmills in his hand and a cigarette in his mouth, he was telling stories about his friend and hero Pedro Arrupe or encouraging Paddy Doyle in his more extra-terrestrial flights of philosophic fancy.

My most vivid memory of him is at the British Province Assembly the Easter before his death, We invited him to Leeds knowing that it was probably the last time he would be able to visit his many British Province friends. He spoke about his life in Belfast and said that Brookvale was the happiest community he had lived in. He spoke straight from the heart of how the community members prayed with each other and tried to support each other in ministry. It was his best experience of community life. By the many who attended that meeting, his words will long be remembered.

Herbert Dargan was a very warm and loving person. The enlarged photograph that we have hanging in the community room at Brookvale captures something of the freedom and warmth of the man. It was a privilege for me to have lived with him in his last days.

Ron Darwen

Working with Herbert and with Paddy Doyle on his Armagh Priests Survey, I came to appreciate his enormous wisdom. He could listen attentively to a point of view and eventually, without ever claiming to speak from mere authority, he gave his opinion firmly and confidently but without arrogance. His long association with NCPI courses for priests had given him an insight into the lives of diocesan priests as well as a sympathy and understanding which they deeply appreciated.

Over a period of a year we visited nearly every priest in the 60 parishes of the diocese. We met regularly as a threesome and also with the sponsoring committee and it was Herbert who eventually wrote the section on the personal life of the priest. In the light of Pastores dabo vobis and subsequent Roman instructions, Herbert's understandings and insights can be seen to be prophetic. His was a demand for an incarnate spirituality based on a formation and support structure which were firmly based in reality.

All his life experience was drawn on - in Hong Kong and Malaysia, the Far East, Rome and as Tertian Instructor, This reflection went on to the very end.

He drove from Belfast to Milltown Park for the Province Assembly when he was clearly a dying man. The journey back had to be taken in easy stages, but it was a journey he wanted to make. He fulfilled his ambition

Senan Timoney

◆ The Clongownian, 1993

Obituary

Father Herbert Dargan SJ

Death is sad because it is a parting, and partings are painful. But Jesus Christ has promised us that death is only a temporary separation, and that it is the gateway to eternal life. He has told us that this life is a pilgrimage and we are only pilgrims passing through.

We are here this morning to pray for a pilgrim, my brother Herbert, and to ask the Lord in His mercy to grant him eternal happiness.

We are here also to thank God for Herbert and for the good he was able to do throughout his life. He had a very varied life. As a young priest he went overseas to work on the Irish Jesuit Mission in Hong Kong. The first two years he spent in a language school, learning Chinese, which is a very dif ficult language for us in this part of the world. The same sound has a different meaning if spoken on a high, medium or low pitch of tone. I remember Herbert telling me that one morning he said to his Chinese teacher that he wanted to get a haircut that afternoon. So the Chinese teacher told him what to say and patiently got him to repeat it over and over again, so that he would get it absolutely right. That afternoon he went along to a hairdressers, and in his best. Chinese asked for a haircut. The barber looked at him, puzzled, and replied: “Me no speak English”, Herbert felt like coming home on the next boat, but he soldiered on.

The Lord was very good to Herbert, and gave him several gifts, including a level head, an understanding heart and a creative mind.

It was, I suppose, largely due to these gifts that for most of his life he was asked to take on important posts of responsibility. He held the offices of Rector and Principal of Wah Yan College, a large secondary school for Chinese in Hong Kong. He was then made Superior of the Jesuit Mission in Hong Kong, and in 1965 he went as Assistant to our Fr General in Rome where he was based for the next eleven years, with responsibility for the Jesuit Provinces of East Asia and Australia.

On his return to Ireland he became Director of the Tertians. Every Jesuit priest does a third year noviceship after ordination - this is known as his Tertianship, and Herbert was director of the Tertians for nine years.

After that, his main work was giving retreats, and directing twelve-week courses, under the auspices of the National Council of Priests, courses for the pastoral and spiritual life of priests.

When our Jesuit house opened in Belfast in 1988, he was one of the small community. Life in Belfast can be very stressful but he told me that he liked it very much, not only because he was living in a very happy community but also because the bishops, priests and people of Belfast gave the Jesuits such a warm welcome. The Lord also gave Herbert a good sense of humour and an ability to fit in easily with others. He was well-liked and had many friends from all quarters of life.

The first indication of his serious illness occurred when, one Sunday while he was saying Mass for the prisoners in Crumlin Road gaol, he collapsed suddenly. Some days later he received a letter from the prisoners expressing concern about his illness and saying how much they liked him coming to them. He was very touched by this. The day before he died he told me that two good friends of his, Terry and Linda, were coming from the United States to see him, and he added: “I wonder will I be alive”. In fact Fr Paddy Doyle (his colleague in Belfast) phoned them the news of his death. Terry was not able to get away but Linda flew the distance of five thousand miles and arrived at this church just as this Mass was about to begin.

Herbert was a very spiritual person, and several priests and people have told me that he gave them great help with their prayer life, through his talks and spiritual guidance.
With his wide experience and common sense, and his readiness to give encourage ment to others, he was in much demand as a counsellor, and many priests, nuns and lay people used to come to him. Fr Doyle tells me that people were constantly knocking at the door asking to see him.

When he was diagnosed as having a tumour, he accepted the news bravely and with resignation and continued to work for as long as he could. He remained cheerful to the end.

At the moment like this my thoughts naturally turn to my parents, and I feel 'I should say and I know that Herbert would endorse this, that our mother and father, especially as they went on in years, were very grateful to God that three of their six sons became Jesuit priests.

Daniel Dargan SJ (Funeral Homily)

Deignan, Alfred J, 1927-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/817
  • Person
  • 25 March 1927-11 December 2018

Born: 25 March 1927, Mullagh, Kells, County Meath
Entered: 07 September 1945, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1959, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong
Died: 11 December 2018, St Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Part of the Ricci Hall, Hong Kong community at the time of death

Transcribed : HIB to HK 15/08/1970; HK to CHN 1992

Mission Superior, Hong Kong - 1996-2002

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Long time educator to receive honorary doctorate

The Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIED) announced, on September 25, that it will award an honorary doctorate in education to Jesuit Father Alfred J. Deignan, at a ceremony scheduled for November 13.

In a press release, the institute saluted Father Deignan’s more than 50 years of dedication to education in Hong Kong and the region, nurturing young people from all walks of life.

Father Deignan worked at the Wah Yan College campuses in Waterloo Road, Kowloon, and in Queen’s Road East, Hong Kong. The HKIED noted that he “put into practice the pedagogical principles of the Society of Jesus, introduced various education programmes and made both schools two of the most respected” in the territory.

The institute noted his “active participation in social and community service” that has “won the respect of society” and pointed out Father Deignan’s belief that education extends beyond the academic confines of the classroom.

The Jesuit priest worked together with leaders of religious bodies and school principals to push the government to revitalise moral education. This effort bore fruit with the release of the official Guidelines on Moral Education in 1981. In 1997 he teamed with educators, school principals and teachers to start the Hong Kong International Institute of Educational Leadership to promote the holistic development of the person and the learning of positive values.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 19 October 2008

Beloved Jesuit mourned

Father Alfred Deignan of the Society of Jesus died in the early hours of 11 December 2018 at St Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. He was 91-years-old.

Father Deignan was born in Mullagh, County Cavan, Ireland, on 25 March 1927. He entered the society at Emo Park, Portlaoise, Laoise, on 7 September 1945 and was ordained to the priesthood on 31 July 1959 in Dublin. He professed his final vows on 5 November 1977 at Ricci Hall, where he was warden from 1970 to 1978.

He was conferred an honorary doctorate in Social Sciences by Hong Kong University (HKU). His citation on its Honorary Graduates webpage notes that he arrived in the city in August of 1953 and lived for two years on Cheung Chau island where he learned Cantonese.

The citation notes that Father Deignan “experienced at first-hand the struggles of the villagers and boat-people against poverty and hostile natural conditions. But besides their need for help, he also saw and appreciated their inventiveness and resilience, an appreciation which developed, over the years, into strong bonds of affiliation with the young and old who came under his apostolic care. As Father Deignan, he is loved, respected, and revered by many in the Hong Kong community, past and present?

He began a long association with Wah Yan College Hong Kong after he left Cheung Chau and, between 1962 and 1970,served first as vice-principal and then as principal of the school. He was also principal of Wah Yan College Kowloon from 1978 to 1992.

In a 2017 interview with the SCMP, he lamented the state of education and society in Hong Kong, saying, “There is too much about exams and academic achievement and a complete lack of spirituality,” adding that far more work had to be done in schools on the personal development of children.

A final tribute is scheduled to be held at St. Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, from 8.30 to 10.45am. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11.00am followed by burial at St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery, Happy Valley.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 16 December 2018
◆ Adam Schall Residence Catholic Community The Chinese University of Hong Kong 1972-2012

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/alfred-deignan-sj-death-of-a-great-educator/

Alfred Deignan SJ: death of a great educator
Irish Jesuit missionary Fr Alfred Deignan, who spent 65 years in Hong Kong mostly as an educator, passed away on Tuesday 11 December, aged 91. He was superior of the Hong Kong mission from 1996 to 2002.
Originally from Mullagh, Co. Cavan, Alfred was one of thirteen children. Neither he nor anyone in his family had any contact with the Jesuits, but a chance meeting with a Jesuit in the parish church set the course of his life. “Towards the end of my time in the local school a priest came to give a mission,” he recalled some years ago. “I was serving at Mass when he turned round and asked me if I’d ever thought of becoming a Jesuit. I said no. But the strange thing was that at that moment I seemed to be filled with happiness that this was what I wanted to be. So I went home and told my mother and she said: ‘What’s a Jesuit?’ And I said: ‘I don’t know’.”
Thanks to a scholarship to Mungret College in Limerick, Alfred came to know the Jesuits. He entered the novitiate in 1945, and in 1947 he began an Arts degree in University College Dublin. In 1953 he was sent to join the Hong Kong mission. “It was such a complete change,” he said of arriving in Hong Kong after 28 days on board the RMS Carthage. “Everything was strange. It was my first time out of the country.”
It was as an educator that Fr Alfred excelled in Hong Kong. He was at different times principal of both Wah Yan College in Kowloon and Wah Yan College on Hong Kong Island. He also co-founded the Hong Kong International Institute of Educational Leadership (HKIIEL) in 1997. In recognition of his contribution to education in Hong Kong he received honorary doctorates from The University of Hong Kong (2003), The Hong Kong Institute of Education (2008) and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (2012).
Fr Deignan also worked tirelessly to combat the rise of HIV/Aids. He was a member of the Hong Kong Advisory Council on Aids, member and Vice-Chairman of the Hong Kong Aids Foundation, Member of the Council of the Aids Trust Fund, and Chairman, Expert Panel for HIV Infected Health Care Workers. In 1993, he received the Governor’s Commendation for Community Service Award in recognition of his contribution.
In response to news of the death of Fr Deignan, the Irish Minister of State for the Diaspora, Ciarán Cannon, said:
I have learned with sadness of the death of Fr Alfred Deignan. Since his arrival in Hong Kong 65 years ago, Fr Deignan dedicated his life to education and was loved and respected by generations of his pupils. He also played a leading role in tackling the impact of AIDS in Hong Kong. His life is a testament to the untiring and selfless work of Irish missionaries in Hong Kong – and more widely around the world – in the fields of education, health and welfare. I would like to convey my deepest condolences to his family, friends and to all his past pupils who mourn his loss. Ní fheicfimid a leithéid ann arís.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/209-alfred-deignan-missionary-in-hong-kong

What it means to be a missionary in Hong Kong today
Alfred Deignan SJ
One day when talking to a layman friend, he spoke with real appreciation saying, “Father, we admire you missionaries , who have left your country, families, relatives and friends to come to Hong Kong and work among us, learning our difficult language.” This kind of appreciation and gratitude is part of our consolation and encouragement, which we receive from people we meet and work with.
Jesus said “I came not to be served but to serve”. Yes, to serve –this is what it means to me as a missionary in Hong Kong - whether that service is in teaching, preaching, counseling, directing retreats, giving instruction, chaplaincy or parish work, helping the poor or sick.
I am happy that in God’s providence I was assigned to Hong Kong. There is so much service can be given. Even though I am involved in the very important apostolate of education, I always had opportunities of being involved in marriage counselling, in working for Aids patients and the formation of youth and teachers.
The majority of Hong Kong people are Buddhist or Taoists, but the Church is growing in numbers. Imagine 3,000 adult baptisms last year! The Church is a young Church and a Church of the young. The growth is partly due to the number of good Catholic schools in which there is a mixture of Catholic and non-Catholic students, and the vibrant life of the parishes.
Christ’s call “Go and teach all nations “is a call to missionaries and of course to all Catholics. Our answer is “Here I am Lord, send me.” The Irish Jesuits have played an important role in the evangelisation of the Chinese people and they are very grateful. Let us continue to pray for the millions of Chinese people who have yet to know Christ.

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/550-fr-freddy-deignan-sj-in-hong-kong

FR FREDDY DEIGNAN SJ IN HONG KONG
“How did God take me out of that small village and plant me in Hong Kong!” Fr Freddy Deignan SJ laughs when he recalls his little home town of Mullen in County Cavan, Ireland. In an interview with John Guiney SJ, he looks back over his long life as a Jesuit educator.
Go South or go East?
He has been on mission in the metropolis of Hong Kong with a population of almost seven and a half million people for 65 years and admits to have learned a great deal since being sent there in 1953. He has compiled a history of the Irish Jesuits 90th anniversary in Hong Kong, (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/543-90th-anniversary-of-the-arrival-of-the-jesuits-in-hong- kong)celebrated in 2016.
One of his desires was to go to Zambia and when as a young priest his future was being discussed with the Provincial, the reason he gave was that Fr Joe Conway there was in contact: Zambia was tempting. “ You’re not going” said the Provincial, ‘ There’s only one person going to Zambia” and that was Fr Tom McGivern.
What awaited was difference with a capital ‘D’! Language, customs, food, weather— typhoons even—it was a complete change for the young priest. Learning the language wasn’t easy but he persevered over two years and credits his eventual proficiency through his teaching of primary school pupils. He particularly enjoyed the education work.

There and back again
Bringing his Chinese books to continue his learning on the long voyage back to Ireland to study Theology in 1961, was more aspirational than practical. He admits with a smile that he never did actually read them. Having requested another year learning Chinese, he returned to Hong Kong and the language school there with good intentions. The busy life of a Jesuit and work duties intervened however, leaving less time for study.
A sabbatical in 1992 followed the end of his principalship at Wah Yan College, Kowloon allowing him to go to Manresa Retreat House in Dublin. The walks in the beautiful St Anne’s Park nearby are a particularly fond memory. Back to the bustle of crowded Hong Kong then to work as assistant secretary to Jenny Cho for the East Asia Oceania Jesuit Conference of Education, as it was called then.
The position required travelling to Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/534-endings-and-beginnings-in-the-far-east) Thailand, the Philippines and even back to Ireland! He enjoyed giving the workshops on Ignatian pedagogy and staff development, especially in Catholic schools. Eight teams were formed and in one year alone, nearly 200 workshops were given.
Unbelievable generosity of past pupils
“I think it’s unbelievable” says Freddy, “to experience the loyalty, dedication and gratitude of past pupils to us. They are so grateful for the education they have received.” One of the things they have done—because the Jesuits in Hong Kong (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/546-irish-men-behind- the-far-east-jesuit-missions) are ageing and thus more prone to illness—was to establish the Jesuit Nursing Fund to help pay for medical expenses. The goodness and care of his doctors—freely given as old age takes its toll—is also a source of great appreciation.
Another sign of their great generosity was to establish the Wah Yan Family Foundation that has supported the schools for the last 10 years. “It has made such a big difference” he says and means more teachers with smaller classes. It also helped fund activities like athletics, music, swimming and other games. The fund has raised the amazing amount of 120 million in total: Fr Freddy explains its distribution in the interview video.
Fr Deignan retains his deep interest in an ever changing education landscape. “ The dialogue on teaching as a service is still continuing” he says “even to this day”.

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/615-death-of-influential-educator-in-hong-kong

DEATH OF AN INFLUENTIAL EDUCATOR
Fr Alfred (Freddie) Deignan SJ, of the Irish Jesuit community in Hong Kong died, aged 91, on December 11, 2018. As Principal of both Wah Yan Colleges and Chairman of the Jesuit Board of Education he was an influential figure in education whose presence will be greatly missed. RIP.
Fr Deignan was born in 1927 in the village of Mullagh, Co. Cavan. He was from a farming family, and was sixth of 12 children (https://jesuitmissions.ie/news/550-fr-freddy-deignan-sj-in-hong-kong). He won a scholarship to become a boarder at the Jesuit-run Mungret College in Co. Limerick which influenced his decision to become a Jesuit priest. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1945 as a Novice and took his First Vows two years later. A BA degree in UCD in 1950, was followed by three years of philosophy study in Tullabeg College, Co. Offaly. He then set off for Cheung Chau, Hong Kong to study Cantonese for two years before taking up a teaching position in Wah Yan College.
He recalled, in interview, his first impressions of Hong Kong being the heat, the food that was strange to an Irish palate and the poverty that people were living in, after WWII. He said :
"The people were very poor. Of those who could work, some were doing two jobs in order to support the family, and some were doing ‘piecework’; the factory would give them the material to do the work at home. I remember out in Cheung Chau, one family I knew, when I visited, they were just sitting around a basket in the centre, they were making match boxes, each of them was rolling a matchbox. They would send them back to the factory and they would get about 5c for 100 boxes. I met a young fellow in the hospital and asked him if he was working, he said yes and I said how did they pay you? And he said no he wasn’t paid anything, but it gives me a bed space and feeds me, and he seemed happy with that. People lived at the top of buildings and in little shacks on the hillsides, made out of wood or galvanised iron. They were very poor at that time, very poor."
Fr Deignan returned to Ireland in 1956, and was ordained as a priest in 1959. He studied theology in Milltown Park for three years and received a Bachelor of Divinity in 1960. On completion of his Tertianship in Rathfarnham, he returned to Hong Kong in 1961, taking his Final Vows a year later. He also returned to Wah Yan College, as Prefect of Studies in 1962, becoming Principal in 1968 to 1970.
He spent 1970 to '78 involved in the running of Ricci Hall which accommodated Catholic students attending university in Hong Kong. Deignan was Principal of Wah Yan College in Kowloon from 1978 to 1992, and after this used his vast experience who held several key positions within the educational framework of the Society including Assistant Secretary for Jesuit Education in East Asia Oceania Region and Chairman of the Jesuit Board of Education. He was awarded honorary degrees for his life-long contribution to education in Hong Kong, including the Degree of Doctor of Education in 2008 and the Degree of Doctor of Social Science in 2012.
As part of the Society of Jesus community in Hong Kong, Fr Deignan shared his life there with fellow Irish missionaries Joseph Mallin SJ and Harold Naylor SJ, both of whom also died this year. The Irish Jesuit presence there is diminishing but their influence is still felt among the Jesuits from China and other international Provinces, laypeople they have worked alongside and students they have educated. "Hong Kong was blessed with and has been enriched by Father Deignan’s love and visionary contributions, and will miss him dearly" said Alan Leong, Civic Party Chairman.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He came from a large family of 12 children. His early education was at Mungret College SJ, Limerick. When asked there as a boy what he would like to become he said “I want to be a Jesuit priest”.
He Entered at Emo in 1945, and the read History, Irish and English at UCD, followed by Philosophy at Milltown Park.
In 1953 he was sent for Regency to Hong Kong, beginnig with studying the language at Cheung Chau. During this time he also played foorball for Hong Kong FC, and was a good Irish dancer.
He gave courses on self development, love and life. He offered them not only at Wah Yan but other catholic schools. To each of his students who needed help, he was a patient and sympathetic listener, and someone in whom people placed their trust and on whom they could rely on in terms of crisis or everyday disappointments. He brought this experience with him then when he was made Warden at Ricci Hall (1970-1978). Here he was Chaplain and contributed as an active member of the Warden’s Committee and President of the University’s Social Service Group (1972-1978)

His educational philosophy was founded on the firm belief that young people should have faith in themselves and others. The need for a positive self-image was particularly urgent for some of his students from underprivileged backgrounds, others suffering abuse from family members or reacting against parental pressure to compete and succeed.His counsel to both teachers and students was to begin with self-reflection, and through this, to recognise their own good qualities, not to become complete in self-confidence, but to initiate the path to self-reform and better human relations.

He served at Way Yan Hong Kong, first as Vice Principal and then as Principal (162-1970), Under his leadership it became the nurturing ground of young men who not only excelled academically, but also received the holistic education that so well prepared them for personal fulfilment and social distinction. Many more now stand at the apex of Hong Kong society, and some have achieved international renown. His achievements as a teacher and educator were equally evident at Wah Yan Kowloon, where he was Principal (1978-1992). he was much sought after for advice and leadership by those in Catholic eduction and many in the educational field. He taught classes in English and Ethics, and was dearly loved by teachers, students and parents, always encouraging and leading to trust and serve.

His vision of educational reform exemplifies the twin vocations of the Jesuits -teaching and the welfare of the spirit. “Dialogue on teaching as a Service”, a programe which he initiated in Hong Kong in 1980, and this was followed by others such as “Characteristics of Jesuit Education” and “Reflective or Ignatian Pedagogy”. he mapped out for teachers the detailed process of reflection on experience, preparation, sharing and cooperative learning.. This is vocational training with a significant difference, using new pedagogical or presentation skills, teachers lean how to integrate ethical values into their periodical re-examination of themselves, their classroom experiences and their care for students wellbeing as individuals and social members.
He was Assistant Secretary in the Jesuit Conference of East Asia and Oceania (1992-1996), Regional Superior for Jesuits in Macau and Hong Kong (1996-2002), and the Provincial Delegate for Hong Kong from 2003.He was a member of the HK Advisory Council on AIDS, a member and Vice-Chair of the HK AIDS Foundation, a member of the Council for AIDS Trust Fund, and Chair of the Expert Panel for HIV infected healthcare workers. He received the Governors Commendation for Community Service Award in 1993.
In 1997 with a group of educationalists in tertiary and secondary institutions he established the HK International Institute of Educational Leadership, of which he was Chair.The Institute’s vision is “to fister a community which is fair, honest, just, caring, compassionate, responsible, trustworthy, generous and with courage, a community which lives in harmony and sets a high standard of moral behaviour” This statement encapsulates his educational vision and mission

In 2003 he was awarded a Doctor of Social Science by the University of Hong Kong for his social contributions. He was also awarded a Doctorate in Education by the Hong Kong Insttitute of Education in 2008 for his educational contributions, and a further Doctor of Social Science from the Chinese University of Hong Kong for his social contributions.

Doris, Séamus, 1918-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/654
  • Person
  • 27 July 1918-23 March 1988

Born: 27 July 1918, Belfast, Co Antrim / Dublin City
Entered 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 23 March 1988, Our Lady of the Rosary, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Seamus Doris, SJ, assistant parish priest at Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Kennedy Town, died in Queen Mary Hospital on Wednesday 23 March 1988, after a very brief illness, aged 70. He had dined at Wah Yan College, Wanchai, on the previous evening and seemed to be in excellent health. He felt unwell in the tram on his way back to Kennedy Town and collapsed soon after his return. He was brought to hospital, where he was able to receive the Sacrament of the Sick with full attention and was even able to chat a little on Wednesday morning. But he sank rapidly and died shortly after noon.

Father Doris was born in Ireland on 27 July 1918. He joined the Jesuits in 1937, was ordained priest in 1950, and came to Hong Kong in 1952.

After language study, he taught physics and chemistry to the higher forms in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. For about a quarter of a century, combining his educational tasks with zealous pastoral and apostolic work. About seven years ago he turned to whole-time pastoral work, serving in Macau, Cheung Chau and finally in Kennedy Town.

He was a man of conservative bent, and accepted liturgical and other changes stemming from Vatican II with reluctance, but never allowed that reluctance to hinder full acceptance of lawful change. He was an exceptionally devout priest, a very hard worker, and a good companion. A fellow priest in his last parish described him as a man who never said an unkind word about anyone and never said No to a request. That is his just and enviable epitaph.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He joined the Society in 1937 and came to Hong Kong after Ordination in 1951, and he studied Cantonese at Cheung Chau for two years. He was a man who led a simple and austere life, one of dedication and serious work.
He was good friends with Harry Naylor, Joe Mallin and Dan Fitzpatrick.

1954-1982 He taught Physics at Wah Yan College Kowloon and Hong Kong.

According to Harry Naylor “- “He never missed a day or a class, was always teaching seriously, and demanding accurate and careful work. He would have jo new lab equipment or teaching materials or methods. It was the same i his Jesuit life. His real love was to be with simple ordinary people, where his integrity and simplicity was highly revered..

He always helped in parishes. Wang Tau Hom and Diamond Hill (1954-1981) in Macau, and Kennedy Town as an Assistant Pastor in Our Lady of the Rosary Parish from 1985 until he died in 1988

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1965

Sons of Xavier

Father Séamus Doris (1937) is the physics and mathematics Master of the college. University science levels are rising steadily here every year, and the pressure on the schools is very great. Father Doris' pupils have been conspicuously successful, so it was not surprising that when illness struck down the physics master in the Hong Kong College he should be asked to help out there too, in the vital last two months of the year. He did it bravely and the undying gratitude of the science-hungry pupils,

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1988

Obituary

Father Séamus Doris SJ (1937)

Seamus Doris was born in Belfast in 1918. His family moved to Dublin when their house was burned down during the “Troubles” of 1921. Most of his schooling was with the Christian Brothers and he came to Belvedere only for his final year. He obtained first place in the country in Physics in the Leaving, presaging a lifetime spent in teaching the subject of Science in Hong Kong.

He joined the Jesuits on leaving school and, after the ordinary course of formation, was ordained priest in 1950. In 1952 he went to Hong Kong and began his long career as a schoolmaster at Wah Yan in 1954, retiring in 1982. One of the “old school” in this as in much else, it is said of him that he was never sick in all those years, never missed a class and was never absent for a single day. Many of his pupils obtained credits and distinctions; many went on to become teachers at school or university in their turn. He was very committed to his teaching.

Every Sunday for 25 years he said the early Mass at Bishop Walsh Primary School, later Lok Fu parish, He was deeply respected and loved by the people as a frugal, simple, devout and dedicated man. When he retired from the classroom he engaged more extensively in pastoral work, in Macau for two years and in Kennedy Town Parish from 1985 until his sudden death in March.

The six pages of tributes to him from his Jesuit brothers in the March Macau-Hong Kong Province SJ Letter bear eloquent testimony to the regard in which they held him. May he rest in peace.

Doyle, Francis, 1931-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/771
  • Person
  • 04 October 1931-17 March 2011

Born: 04 October 1931, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1949, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 25 March 1963, Wah Yan College, Kowloon
Final Vows: 22 April 1977, St Francis Xavier, Kulala Lumpur, Malaysia
Died: 17 March 2011, Arrupe, Quezon City, Manila, Philippines - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of the Gonzaga College, Dublin community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to CHN : 1992

by 1958 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language
by 1961 at Bellarmine , Baguio City Philippines (ExOr) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Former editor dies

A former editor of the Sunday Examiner and the first Jesuit to be ordained a priest in Hong Kong, Father Frank Doyle, died in Manila, The Philippines, on 17 March 2011, after suffering a stroke on 6 February 2011. He was treated at the Medical City in Manila, but his condition continued to deteriorate.

He was farewelled from the Loyola House of Studies on the campus of Ateneo de Manila University on 23 March 2011, with Father Mark Raper as the main celebrant at his requiem Mass, and buried at the Jesuit novitiate in Quezon City.

Born in Ireland on 4 October 1931, he entered the Society of Jesus on 7 September 1949. His ordination at Wah Yan College Chapel in Kowloon on 25 March 1963 is described as being a big moment in the history of the Jesuits in Hong Kong, receiving headlines in the newspapers and on the radio news.

The newly ordained priest did interviews for the radio and historian, Father Thomas Morrissey, described it “a widespread manifestation of friendliness towards the Church and the society,” in his book, The Jesuits in Hong Kong, South China and Beyond.

He is described by Paul K. B. Chan, as “as a very friendly teacher and a good spiritual director.”

During his years in Hong Kong, Father Doyle was at the forefront of many activities and was particularly active in the push for direct elections from 1988 into the early 1990s. He addressed a forum of 10,000 people, along with the Democratic Party champion of the cause, Martin Lee Chu-ming, and on 21 May 1989 was present at a prayer meeting in St. Margaret’s Happy Valley at the end of a day when an estimated crowd of between 400,000 and one million people walked the streets of Hong Kong in support of the issue.

Father Doyle also worked in the Jesuit Centre of Spirituality at Cheung Chau, as well as among the students at Ricci Hall, and was among the first group to go from Hong Kong to the East Asia Pastoral Institute in Manila to study.

After an initial stint teaching at Wah Yan College, Father Doyle went to Singapore, where his career with newspapers began, working on the diocesan publication, Catholic News. He later became the founding director of the Pastoral Institute in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he stayed for the full 10 years allowed to a foreign resident by the government at that time.

Back in Hong Kong, he continued his writing at UCA News, before coming to the Sunday Examiner. He is remembered from his years at the editor’s desk (1991 to 1993) as an extremely good speaker of Cantonese, as well as a joyful and enthusiastic person.

“He would sing as he worked,” one of the staff said, “adding that he seemed to be able to do almost everything from writing articles to designing advertisements and doing the artwork himself.”

He is also remembered for giving a job to a hearing impaired woman. Staff who go back that far, say that he was patient and took time to teach her how to cut and paste to set out a page for the printers. They say that he continually encouraged her and, gradually her self-confidence grew and she began to speak more freely. Eventually, even, her hearing appeared to improve and in the end, she could talk quite fluently.

Father Ciaran Kane, from Xavier House in Cheung Chau, studied with him in high school in Ireland and they were again together in the Jesuit formation programme, coming to Hong Kong at about the same time.

Father Kane described his old friend as charming and a man who made friends easily, although in many ways he could be called a loner, as he liked to do his own thing in his own way. Father Kane said that something changed in him in later years. In describing him as dapper, he noted that in his later years he become really casual and even grew a beard.

“But he really loved writing,” Father Kane said, “and he was good at it. For many years after he went back to Ireland, he would return to Kuala Lumpur and do a month at the Catholic paper each year. He wrote many things.”

Father Doyle left Hong Kong when he finished at the Sunday Examiner and returned to Ireland where he worked in high school ministry and also retreat work.

Father Kane said, “He never forgot his Cantonese though and kept contact with Chinese people in Ireland and England, as well as in Vancouver and New York for many years.”

Father Doyle finished his days in Manila among the Jesuit scholastics as a spiritual adviser. He is also remembered as an author of prayers and reflections.

He once wrote, “Perhaps I haven’t seen things from this perspective, or have forgotten it, but it is the truth of my life: I am called by name, journeying along a unique path, God with me, God before me, all along the way that is mine.”

Tributes to him have poured in from every country in which he worked. May he rest in peace.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 3 April 2011

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/frank-doyle/

Frank Doyle, an Irish Jesuit priest of the Chinese Province, died on Saint Patrick’s Day 2011. After some years working in Ireland, Frank had returned to Asia in 2010, undertaking
work as a spiritual director in Manila. For many years he wrote the Living Space commentaries – reflections on readings and saints – on the Sacred Space website. His requiem and burial took place in Saint Ignatius Oratory, Loyola House of Studies, Manila on 22 March. Messages sent on news of his illness and other more general comments indicate how meaningful his apostolate had become to so many whom he had helped in their search for the Lord. The text of the homily delivered at his funeral can be read at Living Space, courtesy of Mark Raper SJ, President of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific. The text of the homily (http://sacredspace.ie/livingspace/funeral-homily/)

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/frank-in-sweaty-manila/

Frank Doyle SJ (left in photo) recently exchanged the green and leafy delights of Gonzaga for the humid heats of Manila, where there has been no rain for a long time and it is extremely hot, exceeding 30C and going up to 36, with humidity to match. After years in Hong Kong, Frank served Chinese exiles in many parts of the world, including Dublin. His ease with groups of diverse languages and cultures will stand to him in his new job as spiritual director to Jesuit students from at least twelve different countries. On arrival he joined a team directing the spiritual exercises in an upcountry retreat house. He lives on the large (Belfield-size) campus of the Jesuit university, Ateneo de Manila, and is praying for some cool rain

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :

Note from Paddy Finneran Entry
Among his students were Ciarán Kane and Frank Doyle in Belvedere

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 145 : Summer 2011

Obituary

Fr Frank Doyle (1932-2011) : China Province

Obituary by Myles O'Reilly
Who is Frank Doyle? He had so many lives within one life that no one seems to know the whole Frank. On top of that, he was quite a private person and very self-sufficient. No wonder the editor found it so hard to find someone to write his obituary and the lot falls to me, being his last Rector in Ireland. Outwardly Frank was an exemplary novice like monk who never wasted a minute of his time. He rose at six in the morning, faithfully meditated for an hour, had breakfast in silence on his own, dutifully sat at his desk dealing with emails, researching, reading and writing for his Sacred Space contributions, celebrated Mass once weekly in Gonzaga school, and for the rest of the week at 10 30 a.m. with the Cherryfield community, for whom he had great affection, continued his morning desk-work until lunch to which he went with a certain reluctance (Frank was strongly one-to-one in preference).

After a short friendly chat in the kitchen with Linda the cook, he went to his room for a siesta, continued his reading and writing but interlaced it with listening to the radio, listening to his favourite music, usually jazz, and getting some physical exercise. This brought him to a late supper where he was careful to eat a healthy diet. After this, he played the piano for half an hour, relaxed in the library, having a chat with Kennedy O'Brien, whenever he was there, and then went off to bed. He was usually cheerful, had a great hearty laugh, loved a joke, passed many a one by email to his friends (including blue!!). He wore simple clothes, always wore a ring as a sign of his commitment to Christ, and always kept his room simple and uncluttered.

Yet he was also deeply serious and reflective and could be easily drawn into a theological discussion, usually taking a liberal line but in a gentle, non-aggressive way. Despite being wedded to his routine, he was always ready to drop it at the request for some help of any nature. He was also generous with his time for directees or friends that came to visit him. On Sundays he joined the Dublin Chinese community for Eucharist, after which he would join his brother Philip and his family for lunch, where he was a great hit with his nephews and nieces, and their children, all of whom he baptized and with whom he would watch television (only time in the week he permitted himself such an indulgence!). . For some of his summer, Frank became a curate in an all-Chinese community in New York, In September he offered himself as chaplain to a group that went to Lourdes every year. Occasionally throughout the year he would give a preached retreat, usually to nuns in the Loreto retreat centre in Linsfort, Co Donegal. He also loved to stand in as chaplain in St Vincent's private hospital in Dublin when required. So far this is only a brief external description of Frank in his Gonzaga incarnation

From his outer conformity to routine, you could be forgiven for thinking that Frank could just as easily have been a Cistercian as a Jesuit, but when you read his retreat reflections from the early 90's you realize that nothing could be further from the truth. True to Ignatian spirituality, we are defined by what is our deep heart's core. Even the ancient spirituality of the Upanishads recognized this. “You are what your deepest driving desire is; as your desire is, so is your will, as your will is so is your deed” The following is how Frank expressed his deepest desire.

    “My deepest desire is
to work for the kingdom of God
in whatever place
and in whatever work
to which I believe God is calling me
In the spirit of the beatitudes
especially in companionship with Christ today
in the poor and the discriminated against
even if it means suffering and rejection
using only the weapons of compassion, justice and freedom”.

We can easily hear the call of Christ the King, and the “Two Standards” in this deepest desire. True to it, throughout his reflections in his diary and his retreat notes, Frank is always questioning himself as to whether he is in the right place or doing the right work in terms of promoting God's kingdom. Could he be more effectively employed elsewhere? Even though the Chinese left the deepest imprint in his heart, it did not stop him from wondering whether it would be best for the Hong Kong mission that he leave, as a more indigenous Church would be more acceptable to mainline China when they would take over Hong Kong in 1997. Ought not the Hong Kong Church stand on its own feet, and best evangelize its own people? A combination of external circumstances and internal discernment led Frank to switch his missionary life to Malaysia where he put down fruitful roots for 10 years, enhanced by his willingness to learn the Malay language. He was deeply impressed by the strength of the indigenous church there, which gave him the freedom to consider turning the last quarter of his life to the Western world. The first part of this was spent in Canada where he was confronted with the challenge of making a stand for the gay community on what he saw as a human rights issue. This led to his having to leave ministry there and come back to Ireland as chaplain to Gonzaga school, which he undertook for three years.

Inwardly Frank was always chiding himself for writing just for himself alone. He saw it as too self indulgent. “Did not Ghandhi write solely for the edification of people? And Jesus did not write at all!!” But somehow he knew his vocation was to write. He had been editor of the “Hong Kong Examiner” and he had ambitious writing goals to fulfil. He longed to write about the Eucharist, the Beatitudes, New Testament syllabi for Hong Kong schools, sermon notes, Discernment of Spirits, and the use of “eros”, “philia”, and “agape” in the New Testament.

Late in his life he got his opportunity, a chance to channel all his in-depth reflections over the years on these topics through “Sacred Space”, which had an outreach to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world. He was asked to provide reflections on the liturgical readings of each day in the year and on the lives of the saints. He thrived on this mission and even found time to write a book on “A New Sexual Ethic” in his spare time, that I hope the Jesuits will find in his computer in the Philippines. The quality of the responses that Frank got from all over the world from his readers, when they heard of his stroke, was amazing. Emails came flooding in from Italy, Canada, India, Scotland, Brazil, Norway, USA, England, Portugal, Philippines, Malta, Korea, Honk Kong, Malaysia, Australia, Ireland and Spain in their hundreds. I quote a few just to give the reader a flavour of the remarks.
“You communicate the message of Christ convincingly to contemporary culture”...
“You touch, inspire and challenge me, I relish the Jesuitness that oozes out from your deep integrated life” ...
“On many occasions, I felt like the disciples on the way to Emmaus having the scriptures opened to them”...
“You are like St Paul, Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel” etc

When Frank was riding high apostolically at the age of 77, his deepest desire, the guiding principle of his life, did not leave him. It led him to agreeing to go back to Manila in the Philippines, to where he did his theology as a scholastic, as chaplain to 40 Chinese students. There was a feeling of St Paul leaving one of his missionary communities, never to return, as we said good bye to him on the steps of Gonzaga community two years ago, as he headed off to the East yet again to fittingly die among the people that struck the deepest chord in his heart, the Chinese on, of all days, St Patrick's Day!! St Francis Xavier will surely gladly be among the welcoming party for Frank, but might be a little envious that Frank got to work and live among the Chinese, spoke their language, and travelled his missionary 100,000 miles by plane and train!!! May he rest in peace.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1965

Sons of Xavier

Father Frank Doyle (1949). The only other who belongs to this part of the world and is within it is Father Frank Doyle, who is just now concluding his Tertianship and is due to return in the middle of May. He is to work with the “China News Analysis”, a weekly publication run by Jesuits which sifts the news published in China and is highly respected as an interpreter of current events and trends in Communist China.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1986

News of the Past

Frank Doyle SJ

Frank Doyle SJ (1949) was in Belvedere this summer: I spent seven years in Belvedere, from 1942 to 1949.

In that year, I entered the Society of Jesus with three other classmates, two of whom are still in the Society - Denis Flannery(Zambia) and Percy Winder (Clongowes). There followed two years as a novice in Emo, three years in Rathfarnham studying Classics at UCD. (then in Earlsfort Terrace), and three years of philosophy at St Stanislaus College in Tullabeg, near Tullamore.

In 1957, I went to Hong Kong. The first two years there were spent in our language school and the third year was spent teaching in a Jesuit secondary school, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong (not to be confused with Wah Yan College, Kowloon).

At the end of the third year, I returned to Ireland to begin theology at Milltown Park in Dublin. But after one year, I transferred to Bellarmine College at Baguio City in the Philippines. Studying here also gave me an opportunity to study Mandarin Chinese, the mostly widely spoken form of Chinese. (In Hong Kong I had learnt Cantonese which is spoken by “only 30 million” people.)

In 1963, I was ordained priest at the chapel of Wah Yan College Kowloon in Hong Kong - the first Jesuit to be ordained in Hong Kong.

After completing theology at Baguio in 1964, I went to Chabanel Hall in Manila for tertianship, my final year of formation, “Hall” was really a euphemism for a collection of galvanised metal huts which had in previous years served as a prisoner of war camp for both Americans and Japa nese during the Second World War.

In 1965, I returned to Hong Kong to start my career as a “formed” Jesuit. In the first year, I worked with Fr Ladany, a Hungarian Jesuit, on “China News Analysis”, a weekly newsletter which Fr Ladany single-handedly edited from 1953 to 1982. He has now retired and handed over to a younger generation.

In the following year, I was assigned back to Wah Yan College Hong Kong as “spiritual father” to the boys and minister to the Jesuit community.

In the summer of 1967, I was asked by the superior Fr Fergus Cronin if I would like to spend two months of the holidays in Singapore. I was delighted at the idea.

The day after I arrived in Singapore towards the end of July, I was put in the editor's chair of the local Catholic newspaper although I had no experience whatever of this kind of work. The two months became two years. In 1969 I parted company with the paper. The Archbishop of Singapore was not too happy with my freewheeling editorial policy.

Instead I was transferred to neighbouring Malaysia where I was to spend 10 years (so much for the two months in 1967). I only left after 10 years because the government's policy towards missionaries did not allow me to stay any longer.

My work in Malaysia was very varied. There are not many priests there and one finds oneself doing all kinds of things. So I found myself helping out in parishes at weekends, being chaplain to two universities (at the same time), helping out in a pastoral institute, editing a diocesan newsletter, giving retreats, seminars and talks, teaching religion in schools... In my final year (78-79) I was a parish priest. My time in Malaysia was a very enriching experience.

In 1979, I was back in Hong Kong. My first year back was spent relearning Cantonese, which had. grown rusty from lack of use over 12 years. There followed one year of teaching but since then I have been mostly engaged in editing work of one kind or another. In 1982 I began editing “Correspondence”, a newsletter whose intention was to keep Jesuits informed on what was happening to the Church in China. Also in that year, I began an association with UCAN (Union of Catholic Asian News). UCAN is a Catholic news agency which covers the East and Southeast Asian region. Each week it sends out a dispatch to subscribing newspapers. It has also been preparing a directory of Catholic dioceses in the region of which I was the editor. In more recent years, it began publishing a weekly newsletter of Church news in Asia. I was also involved with this.

On a more directly pastoral level, I have been helping out in a parish at weekends and been spir itual adviser to a Christian Life Community group in one of our schools. There have also been retreats and talks to various groups.

Hong Kong in many ways is an exciting place to be. The Pacific Basin is now probably the fastest growing area economically in the world today and Hong Kong is one of its hubs. The many changes taking place in China and it assumption of sove =reignity over Hong Kong in 1997 also present excit ing challenges. Not least to the Jesuits. I am very happy to be part of that.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1991

Interview

At Home in the World : Talking to Father Frank Doyle SJ

Frank Doyle SJ (1949) has spent most of his time since joining the Jesuits in the Far East and works in Hong Kong, now facing reunification with China in six years' time. On one of his occasional visits home, when he likes to stay in Belvedere, Conor Patten interviewed him for The Belvederian in October 1990.

When did you enter Belvedere?
I joined the Junior House in 1942 at the age of eleven and a year later went on to the Senior School, where I spent all six years of my secondary education.

What are your memories of the school?
Well, I can remember being very happy there, I enjoyed the school a lot. I was very involved with the Vincent de Paul Society - in those days there were terrible slums down in Parell Street and we would visit people there and bring them food tickets, which were worth about five shillings, sometimes ten. That's roughly twenty-five pence nowdays. It was really Sean O'Casey poverty - have you seen Juno and the Paycock? It was just like that. Whole families living in rooms. I was also very keen on the Camera Club. We had a Jesuit (Fr Scantlebury) in charge who was also editor of The Irish Messenger. He was very interested in archeology and every Saturday or Sunday we would head out for some archeological site in the country and photograph it, so combining the two interests. I can remember the bicycles that we used, it was always bicycles. In that way I visited most of the archeological sites in Dublin and the surrounding counties,

Do you think the school has changed since then?
Of course! It has changed a lot! Mostly for the better, I think. I haven't had much exposure to the classroom since I returned and I haven't been in contact with many of the students but I can see changes have taken place. The curriculum has certainly changed: everybody studied Latin up to the Leaving when I was in school and there was a straight choice between Science and Greek in Fifth Year. Society changes and the school changes with it.

Do you think that the Jesuits in Belvedere influenced your decision to become a Jesuit yourself?
Yes, I do. We had nine scholastics in the school during my final year and I got to know the Jesuits well. I think they did influence my decision.

Did you know any of the community back then who are still here today?
I knew quite a lot - Br Coigan [R.I.P.), Fr Reidy, Fr Schrenk, Fr McLaughlin and Fr MacSeumais.

How do you think Ireland as a society has changed in the years that you have been away?
Well, I think that there is a lot of wealth around now that was not there when I was at school. The greatest changes are economic, People seem to have more money, even students have more money. I remember receiving two and sixpence a week, which is about fifteen pence now. Looking back, those days seem a very austere time. Those who were considered the “comfortable middle class” would not be considered middle class today. There also seems to be a much greater split in society - the gap between rich and poor and the haves and have-nots seems to have grown.

Did you join the Jesuits straight after leaving school?
I graduated from Belvedere in 1949 and went straight to Emo Park where I spent two years, then I took my vows and then spent four years studying Classics in UCD, then came my three years of Philosophy.

Why did you volunteer for the missions?
I think that it was because I saw that nobody else from my year was going to apply, and I knew that there was a great need for people out there. They usually send at least one scholastic out every year and it seemed that no one else was interested in going. I think I also wanted to see other parts of the world, I wanted to travel.

How did you feel on arriving at Hong Kong?
It was very exciting - the day I arrived must have been the most exciting day of my life. I can remember being very impressed by Hong Kong, it seemed a very impressive place compared to Ireland's bare existence. For instance, we had a brand new Jesuit school which was very modern. I think I fell in love with Hong Kong. I wasn't homesick at all, as a matter of fact. I found leaving Hong Kong a lot harder than leaving Ireland.

What were your duties while you were there?
I spent two years learning the language, Cantonese Chinese. Although it is a British colony, the work of the Church is in Chinese, and in my third year there I taught in the two Jesuit schools - one on the mainland and the other on the island.

How did you find the students in Hong Kong compared to students in Ireland?
The Chinese are very future-orientated: from a very young age they are talking about their careers and what they want to become. There are always exceptions, just like there are anywhere, but discipline is not a major problem. There seemed to be a very good relationship between the pupils and staff. I found myself so much at home there I didn't want to leave at all!

Your next posting in the Far East brought you to the Philippines: what were your experiences there?
I spent my tertianship, which is a period of renewal before your Final Vows, in Manila. It was suggested that I go out there because I would be able to lean Mandarin Chinese in a theology house that was near the city. After the Communist take-over, there was a lot of pressure on the Jesuits to leave China, so they just moved the whole community from Shanghai to Manila. Of course, they never expected the Communist regime to last so long! After that I spent some time in a place out in the countryside which was called Chabanel Hall of, as it was sometimes called, Chabanel Hell! It was a former prison used by both the US and Japan during the forties and was just a collection of corrugated iron sheeting which, of course, became very, very hot during the day. The only window was a small mosquito-screen which we would leave open to try and cool the place a little.

Did you witness any of the events which led to the elction of Ferdinand Marcos?
Yes, they held the election just before I left in 1965. He was just like any other Filipino politician - presumed corrupt. But he seemed very capable, a very canny and shrewd politician, He was a qualified lawyer, and the most prestigious exams in the Philippines are Law exams that take place every year. To come in the top ten of your class marks you out as an exceptional man, Marcos came first. He was also known to have killed a man, but he defended himself and was acquitted.

I think he probably could have brought the country out of the problems it had, but he got caught up in the political system that exists in the Philippines. It's very feudalistic, the country is iun by the powerful families. Things haven't really changed, even under Aquino. If you can remember back to the revolution when they stormed the palace, there was a lot of talk about “People Power”. “People Power” is a myth! Mrs Aquino is finding it hard to cope with these powerful families, just like he did.

Where did you go after your Final Vows?
I returned to Hong Kong where I expected to spend a lot of time, but things were not to work out as I had expected, I began working with a priest who was a well known expert on China, There is only one paper allowed out of China and that's The People's Daily. Of course, it's just a mouthpiece of the Communist Govertiment, full of propaganda, but by carefully reading between the lines this priest could see some of the power struggles that were taking place in the party. It didn't really work out too well though: he was the sort of man who could only work by himself and after a year I went back to teaching.
'
At the beginning of the summer holidays it was suggested to me that I work in Singapore for a couple of months. A week later, I arrived there, was brought downtown to the headquarters of the Catholic newspaper, shown the editor's chair and told to sit down! So I had to start from scratch and my two months quickly turned into two years. I was eventually fired from my post by the local Archbishop who was not happy with my work.

Was there any particular reason for your dismissal?
Yes, to be honest there was. At the time I was editor, around 1968-69, Humanae Vitae was published and there was a great debate going on inside the Church for and against it. I regarded myself as a serious journalist and set about publishing views for and against the document, and this angered the Archbishop. He didn't mind me publishing articles in favour of Humanae Vitae but he wasn't too happy with me publishing articles against it. I think we had a basic difference of opinion - he felt the paper should have been an organ for teaching the faithful the doctrine of the Church, whereas I felt it should give both sides of the story and let people know what was going on. Anyway, at the end of my second year, it was the general feeling that it would be better for me to leave.

Where did you go?
I volunteered for Malaysia because I know they were very short-handed and Jesuits from Hong Kong were reluctant to go there. As it turned out, I spent almost all of the seventies there, from 1969-79. I was chaplain to two universities and I gave a lot of retreats and things like that. In my last year I was a parish priest.

In 1979 you returned to Hong Kong. How had the colony changed in the years you had been away?
Hong Kong is constantly changing, new buildings are always going up, new property constantly being created. For instance, they had a totally new road system which had been built while I was away. I didn't feel the same excitement that I had felt when I first arrived in the colony, but it is still a very vibrant place. I taught in a school up until 1981 but then I decided that teaching was not my strongest skill so I started to work in a new Catholic newsagency called UCAN. I've been helping to edit and report for the agency from then until now.

What is your opinion of the student demonstrations that took place last year in China and their significance for Hong Kong?
Well, the year that looms larger over the colony is 1997 when Britain hands it back to the Peking government, but I'm optimistic in the long run. : Hong Kong has gone through a lot of crises through the years and its people are very resilient. The people of China are very pragmatic, and I think the crackdown on the students was a setback, not a real change in direction. Two years ago China was regarded as the leading reformer in the Communist world, flow it is the last. Its political struggles are happening at the top, and things will change in the end.

Hong Kong is of colossai importance to China, in terms of economic and political power. It's very small but it is the eleventh largest industrial unit in the world. If China would only unleash the energies of its people it would become a huge power.

Your trip to Ireland is nearly at an end. Where do you think your travels will bring you next?
I could be spending a lot of time in Hong Kong, but you can never know for sure. If there was somewhere else I thought I was needed theri I would go. This is a very exciting period for the whole region - for the whole of the Far East and the Pacific Rim.

After spending most of your life in the Far East, where do you consider home?
I love Ireland, but I think I belong to the whole world rather than a single place. I see the whole

Did you ever think you would have ended up on the other side of the world when you decided to become a Jesuit?
To be honest, I had no idea! My original ambition was to become a teacher in a Jesuit school somewhere in Ireland. I volunteered for Hong Kong because I thought no one else would go.

Any regrets?
None at all.

Dunne, Peter G, 1917-1980, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/131
  • Person
  • 10 June 1917-31 August 1980

Born: 10 June 1917, Clonliffe Road, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1951, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 31 August 1980, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :

Note from Paddy Finneran Entry
He came to Hong Kong as a young priest with Peter Dunne and 5 Scholastics - Liam Egan, Paddy Cunningham, Matt Brosnan, Tom O’Neill and Tony Farren. He spent two years at the Battery Path Language School learning Cantonese.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 55th Year No 4 1980

Obituary

Fr Peter Dunne (1917-1935-1980)

Peter Dunne arrived at the noviciate, Emo Park, on 7th September 1935, slight of build, pink of complexion (the boys in Belvedere later called him “Pinkie”) and with a very thin crop of blond hair that fought a losing battle to survive the years of his studies. He told us, as one of the many stories against himself, that the doctor had said that his hair was only baby hair and there would be no aftercrop.
Peter was pious, coming, as he did from a family that made great sacrifices to let him go. His mother was a widow and his only sister was a Little Sister of the Assumption. Peter was an only son though his mother has quite a number of brothers. Peter's piety was entirely natural and was filled with an active cheerfulness that saw him in the middle of every novitiate project from weeding the lake to exploring the Caves of Killowen. He had a very urban background, yet he took readily to life in the country, and his interest in nature stood him in good stead during his time in the colleges'.
His arrival in Rathfarnham at the end of the novitiate was a real home coming for him, and his three years at UCD were made happy by the many occasions he had to visit doctor, dentist or cross the Liffey to his own territory at Clonliffe Road, Yet he found the university studies hard going, and it was only sheer determination and his own spiritual resources that got him through. Tullabeg was in many ways a rest for him. There was not the rush of concentrated studies or the physical exhaustion that came with the daily ride to the 'Acad' and back that pulled so many down physically. Besides a reasonably slow pace of philosophical studies, there were plays and 'skits' to be performed - and Peter was always somewhere around in the wings or backstage: there was fishing on the river and, above all, there was the Ricci Mission Unit that was so active in those years in Tullabeg. Peter made a great success of its activities, chiefly because he took the trouble to answer personally the many who sent stamps and tinfoil, thanking them and encouraging their work. One sack of stamps arrived from a regular donor, containing besides parcels of stamps a whole roast chicken-alas, too long on the way to be edible.
Though Peter did come to like country life, it was with great joy that he set out again for his beloved Dublin to spend two happy years (1943-45) teaching in Belvedere, only a stone's throw from his home in Clonliffe Road. College life was really his métier, and it was a pity that his later career took a different turning. He was at his best training the under-13s in Jones's Road or leading the Field Club to Bull island or Donabate. He had an infectious cheerfulness, and with him the smallest incident of the day could be turned into a saga worthy of Seán O’Casey or P G Wodehouse. He was very much a man's man, and more often than not his contacts were those he met in 'The Buildings in Foley Street, Gloucester Street, and the places where the families of the Belvedere Newsboys Club members lived.
Peter went to theology after only two years in the colleges, and here his interest in the poor again showed itself. He was put in charge of those who came regularly to Milltown for material help. He had a little but outside the door of the Minister's House with seats where he would serve meals to those who were down and out or in temporary difficulties. Some times they were in need of cash, and Peter was a shrewd judge of the genuine and the bogus, I well remember one irate lady who had asked particularly for financial help. Peter judged that a large plate of sandwiches would be better for her. Having thrown the plate on the ground, she went off down the avenue yelling loudly that she was leaving the Church because the priest would not give her the cash her condition required:
His assignment to Hong Kong must have been a difficult one for his family and for himself. Indeed, he showed nothing but cheerfulness and enthusiasm for the work before him. The Chinese language he found difficult, not being gifted with great facility in academic fields, but he quickly found his niche as minister of the Language School. His duties often took him to the city, and he came to know as many shopkeepers and hawkers as he had known in Dublin. It stunned his contemporaries, as it must have stunned himself, when he was appointed editor of a new project: a weekly magazine for youth in Chinese. Having neither a strong grasp of the language nor a style of life that could stand up to the rigours of meeting a magazine deadline every week, his health declined and he became a prey to anxiety.
One compatible job he did have at that time (the mid 1950s) was that of chaplain to the Hong Kong Volunteers. He really relished the opportunities it offered him, and his return from the annual camp was the occasion of endless uproarious stories of doings in the New Territories during the fortnight. He always had an ear for those in trouble, and I well remember the many cases of Irish soldiers in the British army who were referred to him. He would spend hours with them at the detention centre where they were imprisoned for fighting and other misdemeanours. There were young girls that had got into trouble whom he would visit at the "homes, and he always had a ready ear for the domestic staff when any of them bad problems, financial or otherwise.
He returned to Ireland to visit his ageing mother, and his indifferent health did not allow his return to Hong Kong. It did not however sever his connections with the East and the Chinese. He noted the needs of Chinese students living in Dublin, and gave much of his time to running a hostel for them - he called it Wah Yan House - in Dublin's Waterloo Road.
His motto could have been: “Do what you can and do it with all the strength that is in you”.
Three things impressed me particularly about Peter Dunne. The first was his obedience, which in the best sense of the word was “a blind obedience”. Secondly, his real humility, that made him think little of himself, and finally his great affection for the ordinary people with whom he always identified himself. My last memory of him was one Sunday after he had said Mass in a little country church near Cong. He came out to the churchyard, and going across to a group of young men leaning against the wall and chatting, greeted them with a bright “Goodmorrow, men. What's the fishing like in the lake these days?” He was all things to all men.

On his return from Hong Kong ,Peter spent the remaining 23 years of his life (1957-80) in Ireland as chaplain to the College of Technology, Kevin Street. Among his fellow-chaplains there down those years were Frs Laurence Kearns, Michael Morahan, Edmund O'Keefe and Brendan Murray.
In his early days at Kevin Street he took on a full work-load, teaching from 9 to 5 and even came back for more: from 7 to 9 pm. he attended to his bakery students. (At these late hours he used literally sit on one of the ovens!) This heavy burden of work was increased rather than diminished by the physical expansion of the College in the mid-1960s, when with the large new buildings, the student roll and staff numbers grew. When Peter first came to Kevin Street, it had only 30 whole-time teachers and less than a thousand students. Now (1980) it has about 200 whole-time teachers, and the students number over 2,000.
It is noteworthy that Peter’s heart attacks of c 1970 and 1972 followed this period of the College's growth and expansion, and were no mere coincidence. After these attacks, he had to adapt his life-style, take a less stressful pace of work, and even withdraw from class time-schedules. Instead, while undertaking full responsibility for teaching and chaplaincy work within the Bakery School, he had perforce to adopt a casual, by-the way approach to the students: loitering with intent' he called it, (Incidentally, for the last few years of his life the Bakery School, for both apprentices and student technicians, was running two shifts a day, 9 am-9 pm) Peter had an unusual gift, attested to constantly and appreciated by his Bakery School colleagues: that of being able to relate to the apprentice baker. The Bakers' Union, Dublin No. 1 Branch, sent a note of condolence on his death.
For a long time Peter ambitioned the setting up of a St Vincent de Paul Conference in Kevin Street: this in fact came about last Lent (1980). The “kids”, though not having time for meetings, offered two hours of their leisure time per week and did many a job of repair and renovation in the homes of the old, As regards his apostolic influence, being a fisherman, used to playing his fish for long hours, Peter was not out for a 'quick kill' or instant conversion: goo relations were more important. His philosophy, where students and staff were concerned, could be summed up in the ideal of the happy family.
The newly-elected President of the local Students' Union, at the grave side in Glasnevin, turned to a companion and said: “To me Peter Dunne was a unique priest”. A member of the Kevin Street staff said: “There are some people in this College that you wouldn't like to be seen talking to; there are some you wouldn't talk to, but everyone could talk to Fr Dunne”. May he rest in peace!

Egan, Canice, 1913-1999, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/655
  • Person
  • 11 October 1913-01 February 1999

Born: 11 October 1913, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1932, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 19 March 1946, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Final vows: 19 March 1946
Died: 01 February 1999, Little Sisters of the Poor, Glendalough, Perth, Australia - Sinensis province (CHN)

Part of the Perth University, Crawley, Perth, Australia community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to CHN : 1992

by 1938 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1958 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language
by 1967 at University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, Sussex (ANG) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Early education was at Belvedere College Dublin - he was Secretary of the Debating Society, prominent in school Dramatics, especially Gilbert & Sullivan, and won the James Macken Proze for English Essay, and was an enthusiastic sportsman. He Entered at St Mary’s Emo 1932.

1934-1937 After First Vows he went to University College Dublin graduating with an honours BA in English and History (Later in 1966 he graduated MA in English Literature from the University of Sussex.)
1937-1939 He was sent to St Aloysius College Jersey, Channel Islands and St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg for Philosophy. While in Jersey he organised a Club for the many Irish potato diggers who came to the island for work.
1940 He had been missioned to China but war prevented him from travelling.
1940-1944 He studied Theology at Milltown Park. because he had not made Regency due to war, during his Theology studies he worked on the “Gypsy Guild”, a special guild of the St Vincent de Paul Society that visited gypsy caravans in and around Dublin, mostly in the backyards of the poorest areas of Dublin
1944-1945 He made Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1945-1946 He was sent as Minister to the Novitiate at St Mary’s Emo
1946-1953 He finally arrived in China and he taught Theology in Latin to the Chinese seminarians at Hong Kong and Aberdeen. Before being expelled by the communists, he was Superior of the community, did pastoral work and taught English in a post-secondary College in Guangzhou (Canton), and his companion in the parish was Dominic Tang, who spent 27 years in prison. Canice was present when Tang was secretly consecrated Bishop in the sacristy of Canton Cathedral. (Tang was later made Archbishop of Canton by Pope Joghn Paul II, and so was unable to return to China.) Canice’s former students remember him with affection for his sense of humour and spiritual direction to the Legion of Mary.
He was arrested and sentenced to death, but as a foreigner, the sentence was commuted to deportation.
1954-1961 Back in Hong Kong he taught English, looked after the choir and produced plays at the new language school on Cheung Chau Island or at Wah Yan College in Hong Kong and Kowloon.
The huge influx of refugees from mainland China meant that educational establishments were needed, so several post-secondary schools were established. Canice joined the staff of one of these, Chu Hai College (1958)
1961-1966 He took up full time teaching at New Asia College, the successor of “Yale in China”.
1966-1974 He went to study at the University of Sussex at Guilford, England and when he returned he went back to New Asia College, which in the meantime had become a constituent College of the Chinese University.
Throughout his teaching career he took an active part in dramatics, producing a Passion play “Via Dolorosa” with a cast of teachers and students, which was repeated many times. He was also involved in plays and Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. Whatever he did, he was always loved as the “student’s friend”. Like many of the Jesuits, he also gave Retreats in is spare time.
He was a respected teacher, guide, counsellor and friend to staff and students. he brought many people into the Church, the most notable of whom was the President of the New Asia College, Professor Mui.
1974-1981 When he retired from teaching he decided to engage in pastoral work and thought that Australia might be a suitable place for him to work. he believed that Jesuit parishes there were well staffed and so he got permission to work within a needy diocese. He chose the Geraldton Diocese, the largest in the world, and he was appointed Parish Priest at Dampier, a mining town on the far north coast of Western Australia. He was popular among the people of the town because he was so approachable and visible. He established home Masses and had good rapport with the high school students and the seafarers. He travelled to Panawonica (250 kilometres each way) and to Onslow each week to celebrate Mass. he enjoyed his time there, but eventually sought less stressful work in the Perth Archdiocese.
On his occasional leave from his parishes he would stay with the Redemptorist Fathers at North Perth because he enjoyed the community life they provided. The Jesuits in Perth worked all day and only came together for a short time in the evening. However, when he joined the Jesuits on special occasions his presence was always enjoyable for his charm, wit and many entertaining stories.
1981-1983 He was assigned to the parish of Rockingham with his friend Father Walsh as Parish priest.
1983-1990 As he was always generous, he volunteered for the remote parish of Goomalling and was appointed Parish Priest. Here he produced a popular prayer book “Listening to Silence”, and it eventually had five reprints
1990-1991 As he began to weary he spent a year at Northam.

In all these parishes he was much appreciated for his warm, friendly and welcoming personality, and his good companionship. he was a raconteur possessed of a roguish sense of humour and a twinkle in his eye, a wise pastoral sense and a tranquil faith. he was a happy man who loved literature and music, and a prayerful priest who promoted devotions to the Sacred Heart and to Our Lady. He was particularly interested in St John of the Cross and the French mystics.

1992 His latter days were spent at St John of God hostel, Subiaco and the Little Sisters of the Poor, Glendalough, where he enjoyed his music and books amid much simplicity. Gradually his mind began to wander and he was riddled with arthritis. Eventually he did not recognise people. His funeral Mass was at St Joseph’s Church Subiaco, and he was buried in the Jesuit plot at Karrakatta Cemetery.

He was remembered for being an apostolic Jesuit, devout and spiritually minded, very human, and someone who enjoyed in a bit of harmless teasing.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947
Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong Kong

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1946

Letter from Father Canice Egan SJ

Rise 6:30. Breakfast 7.0; off to aerodrome at 7.30 by bus ; into the plane and then a briefing by the captain of the aircraft. This is done at the beginning of every hop on the flight. When we're seated the skipper arrives, tells us where we're going next, how long it will take, the route to be followed, the weather conditions, the height he intends to fly at, whether we will be using the oxygen masks, etc. After this little speech, the captain answers any questions, and then gives the order for departure. Our departures and arrivals have been very smooth so far. It was at first difficult to perceive when the “lift” occurred, but now we can notice it if we look out for it. After our start the first time, we climbed steadily and quickly to 9,500 or so, and found ourselves above the clouds and in marvellous sunshine; it was a very beautiful sight to see the sun shimmering on the billowy clouds as they piled then selves on top of one another like drifts of virgin snow.

We pushed along with a strong tail-wind at 140 m.p.h., but for all we knew we might have been going at 24. It's only when we come near the ground that we realise that we're travelling fast up here. Speed is impossible to estimate.

We saw very little of the earth until we hit Marseilles, and struck out for Malta, Coming down on the island was very pleasant, both scenically and aeroplanically, as the stone block-built houses look very picturesque and the plane landed without a tremor. A bus brought us to RAF Officers Mess, where we received a ticket entitling us to a free meal in the restaurant. We walked about a bit, and after two hours stop took off for Cairo as darkness fell. This hop was scenically Nil, as you may imagine, till we reached Cairo, which looked like one of those miniature towns all lit up which we used to see at Christmas Bazaars. We again landed gracefully right side up about 11pm by Cairo time (we have to put on our watches one hour at every hop).

Left Cairo 1 am GMT. At 6.15 GMT we landed at Schaibah, Persian Gulf. I happened to wake to see the dawn over the desert on the way down from Cairo. The whole of this run was over uninhabitable land, with occasional patches of brown, savage-looking mountain which had a strange Bedouin beauty of its own. Saibah, itself, is on a flat, sandy plain, stretching away to the horizon.

Nothing remains now for me except to describe interior of plane, Behind pilot and navigator's office is a large compartment for luggage - Ours - and freight. Then our pews, in the next section, very comfortable, adjustable seats (but no bunks), portholes giving a good view, and a small collapsible table at which I write now - very little vibration (much less than train), but a heavy drone from the engines which makes conversation - not difficult - but less easy. Behind us two bathrooms and steward's kitchen.

We reached Karachi about 4 or 5 in afternoon. From the aerodrome we drove to our hotel for the night. Next morning we took off for Delhi about 9 o'clock. The heat in the plane during this and the subsequent hop would have been intense were it not for the cooling system which could be switched on and off at will, I had a novel experience on this flight. The pilot having taken off and brought the plane to its correct altitude (9,500) came down through the passengers compartments to the steward's kitchen in the rear. On the way he chatted for a few moments with the passengers, and during our conversation I asked him would there be any opportunity of looking into the cockpit while the plane was grounded. He said : “Would you like to come now?” and without waiting for a second invitation, I did. He was very kind about it all, told me to sit in his seat beside the co-pilot and explained the works. In the meantime George - the automatic control - was in operation and the co-pilot and myself had nothing to do except look out and check the course in a map. Thus I passed over Jodphur. After half an hour or so I went back to my seat as the heat in the glass-windowed cockpit was terrific.

We remained at the Grand Hotel in Calcutta two nights in the hope that the Hong Kong plane might carry us off soon. Apart from the wire from here the other day, I think my last communication to you was a very flimsy postcard from Bangkok, We left there on Friday, March ist, at 3 pm, and arrived at Saigon, in Fr Indo China, about 5.30, a very short and uneventful run. We were housed in a good hotel in the town, which by the way, had been badly damaged by air-raids. Saturday morning we left the airfield about 9.30 on the six and a half hours run to Hong Kong. We were just congratulating ourselves on the speediness of our departure (planes had been held up at Saigon for a week before we arrived owing to cloudy weather over Hong Kong), when the pilot came back to tell us that HK had just wirelessed to say “Return to Saigon, weather again bad over HK”. We spent the rest of the day meandering round Saigon, and hoping that the morrow would see us off. It did. We were up with the lark, said Mass in the Cathedral, and left the air-field about 9 o'clock. This time we got straight through, and when we reached the vicinity of HK airfield, realised why cloudy weather would keep planes off.

The airfield is a flat strip of land (as one might expect), but immediately and entirely surrounded by mountains. Well, would you believe it?—since we came in, the clouds have settled down and no planes have been able to come in all the week.

Sons of Xavier

Father Canice Egan SJ
With Father Kennedy in those last days in Canton was Father Canice Egan, who was the superior of our language school there. These two Belvederians held the fort alone in the end, holding out till the last moment, though it was very evident that the Communist authorities wanted them to go from the first, and were going to push them out sooner or later. They did not go a minute before the final push.

Father Egan taught in one of the universities, and when the same university was re-established in Taiwan and opened a branch college here he returned to the staff. That is his work now teaching in what is called one of the “Post-Secondary” Colleges, till they are amalgamated to form a new university one in which the medium will be altogether Chinese, as it is in these colleges now. Last year he supervised a production of Barrie's “The Admirable Crichton” in Chinese, put on by his students.

His younger brother, Father Liam Egan, spent his time as a scholastic, after the language study period, in Wah Yan, Kowloon, where Canice lives now, but as a priest he has been working in Singapore. He taught in the Normal College there until it was dissolved, and then continued for a period in the university. Now he is engaged in lecturing and retreat-giving and in work in our church in Singapore. He is best known as a lecturer on questions of apologetics, and in the radio debates on problems of the day which are held periodically, he is always the one to represent the Catholic point of view, which he does most effectively.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1963

Sons of Xavier

Father Canice Egan is occupied, together with three other S.J. priests, in connection with the Post-Secondary Colleges, which are either in the way of being amalgamated into a Chinese University here to begin next year-or are affiliated to Chinese Universities in Taiwan. He is chiefly working in the one that concentrates mostly on Chinese studies. He lectures in that one and has religious and club contacts with the students of the others, All his work is in Chinese, so he puts to good use all that he learned in the difficult days when he was Superior of the house in Canton, before the Communists finally decided to banish him.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1965

Sons of Xavier

In the same church Father Canice Egan directs the choir, and a very good choir it is. The difficulty about church choirs here is that the members who are best able to sing are the most reluctant to attend practices, but somehow his powers of persuasion win them. He produced last Holy Week, as he has done now for three years, a very impressive Passion Play. It was in mime with the gospel narrative spoken and the choir singing between scenes. It is regarded as a regular Holy Week feature now. The actors, men and ladies, were from the Catholic Federation of Students from the Universities and other senior Institutes. He has regular contact with a number of them, and is known to all because he lectures in English in the “New Asia College”, one of the constituent colleges of the Chinese University. This college has only a small proportion of Catholic students but he keeps them together. This University is just starting Extra Mural courses and he has been appointed to the Board to run them.

Egan, Liam A, 1925-1994, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/656
  • Person
  • 13 June 1913-07 April 1994

Born: 13 June 1925, Dublin
Entered: 01 February 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, Kingsmead Hall, Singapore
Died: 07 April 1994, Mount Alvernia Hospital, Singapore - Indonesian Province - Malaysia (MAS)

part of the Kingsmead Hall, Singapore community at the time of death

by 1951 at Hong Kong - Regency
Vice Provincial Hong Kong Vice Province : 02 April 1978
Transcribed HIB to HK 03 December 1966; HK to IDO (MAS) : 1991

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
A brother of Canice Egan - RIP 1999

He was educated at Belvedere College SJ before he entered the Society at Emo in n1942, 10 years after his brother Canice.

He came to Hong Kong in 1950 where he studied Cantonese for two years and then did a year of teaching at Wah Yan Kowloon. He was known there as a popular teacher of English and History.
He then went back to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology, was Ordained there and then made Tertianship.
In 1958 he returned to Cheung Chau, and a year later was sent to Singapore., teaching English at the Teachers Training College and then at Nanyang University.
In 1978 He was appointed Vice-Provincial of Hong Kong, which included Malaysia and Singapore.

He thought that it was imperative that his successor as Vice-Provincial be a Chinese Jesuit. He waited until Fr Robert NG Chi-fun finished his studies in Rome, and then he handed over the leadership of the Hong Kong Vice-Province to him (1985). He then went back to Singapore aged 60 and died suddenly from a heart attack aged 68.

He was known as the man with his pipe, listening and wisely advising. he was welcomed and trusted. he was careful in advising Catholics in terms of controversial teaching on contraception and abortion.

He was also a man who built people up and made them reasonable and peaceful, His carefully reasoned arguments and wise decisions on actions were done with his Irish background and a deep respect for local culture and ways

Note from Tommy Byrne Entry
During his term as Provincial (1947-1963) he sent many Jesuits to Hong Kong, and then in 1951 he started the Irish Jesuit Mission to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). He also saw the needs in Singapore and Malaysia and sent Jesuits to work there - like Kevin O’Dwyer, who built St Ignatius Church in Singapore; Patrick McGovern who built St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, and also Liam Egan, Gerard (Geoffrey?) Murphy and Tom Fitzgerald.

Note from Paddy Finneran Entry
He came to Hong Kong as a young priest with Peter Dunne and 5 Scholastics - Liam Egan, Paddy Cunningham, Matt Brosnan, Tom O’Neill and Tony Farren. He spent two years at the Battery Path Language School learning Cantonese.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1994

Obituary

Father Liam Egan SJ

Fr Liam Anthony Egan, SJ, died in Mount Alvernia Hospital of a heart attack on 7th April. He had been feeling unwell for a week or so and was hospi talised for tests and observation, which revealed that, unnoticed by himself, he had suffered a mild heart attack two weeks earlier. ' He had seemed to be recovering but collapsed at noon on the day of his death, and despite the herculean efforts of doctors and hospital staff he could not be revived. At short notice, this is necessarily only a brief account of his priestly service in Singapore, but those who worked with him in the Archdiocese and the many who experienced his dedication and kindness can surely. add much more.

Fr Egan spent three years in Hong Kong learning Cantonese prior to ordination, but after ordination was posted to Singapore in 1959. He was then lecturer in English in the Teachers Training College, and served on a government committee charged with drawing up an ethics syllabus and courses for schools.

In June 1961, he became Warden of the Kingsmead Hall hostel and - briefly - editor of the hen Malayan Catholic News, until replaced in both posts by Fr Terence Sheridan, sent from Hong Kong to help. For some months later, Fr Egan was lecturer in English to the pre-U classes of Nanyang University, but lacking Mandarin found it extremely difficult to communicate adequately with the staff and students, so found it necessary to resign.

He was concurrently Superior of the Jesuit Community at Kingsmead and assisting in the parish work of St. Ignatius Church.

Fr Egan, after Easter 1978, became Provincial of the Macau-Hong Kong Vice-Provincial of the Jesuit Order, a post which embraced also Singapore and Malaysia, but after seven years was able to return to Singapore in July 1985. Then began the final stage of his zealous life: parish work again, which he enjoyed, Superior in Kingsmead Hall once more and, progressively, bursar of the church and Jesuit finances, and also of the more far-reaching and time-consuming post of bursar of the entire Malaysia-Singapore Region of the Society of Jesus. .

At Archdiocese level, Fr Egan was also active, serving in the Senate of Priests and on many arch diocesan comunittees. He is surely now at peace - with the Father.

Liam Egan was Captain of the school when he was a boy in Belvedere

Foley, Joseph, 1921-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/600
  • Person
  • 24 April 1921-04 September 2006

Born: 24 April 1921, Limerick City
Entered: 07 September 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1956, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 04 September 2006, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Coláiste Iognáid, Galway community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966; HK to HIB: 21 May 1993

by 1948 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1958 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Hong Kong says farewell to a friend and a scholar
Father Neary

Around 500 people gathered at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on 14 September for a memorial Mass, celebrated by the local ordinary, Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, to mourn the passing of a much-loved teacher and creative administrator, who began the process of systemising Catholic education in the diocese.

A revered teacher at both Wah Yan College in Kowloon and in Hong Kong, Jesuit Father Joseph Foley died in his native Ireland at 11pm on 4 September 2006 at a nursing home in Dublin. Born in Limerick on 24 April 1921, Father Foley entered the Society of Jesus at Emo, Ireland, in September 1939, and eight years later was appointed to the China mission, arriving in Canton for language studies in 1947.

Forced to leave the mainland in 1949, he taught as a scholastic in the Hong Kong Wah Yan campus for one year before returning to Ireland to finish his theological studies and final formation for priesthood. He was ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin, on the feast of St. Ignatius, 31 July 1953.

The year 1955 again saw him teaching in Wah Yan, once again at the Hong Kong school. Then after another year studying Cantonese at Xavier House in Cheung Chau, he was back teaching, an activity he continued for the next 13 years, alternating between the Kowloon and Wan Chai schools. He did a stint as principal in Kowloon from 1962-1968, then in 1970 completed a masters’ degree in education at Loyola College in Chicago, the United States of America.

The photograph published with this tribute to the man who is remembered as much for his joviality, good humour and ceaseless care for students as for his excellence in education, is one of fond memory for many alumni of both colleges. “It is how we remember him,” reads a short obituary on the alumni Website.

The tribute comments that the value of a teacher can be measured by the number of past pupils who take the trouble to revisit. “You may be comforted to learn that of late, many old boys have written to the late Father Foley and a few even made the trip (to Ireland) especially to visit him,” the Website tribute reads.

Father Foley spent 1973 and 1974 setting up a junior college of education in Singapore, returning to Hong Kong in 1978 to take up what was maybe his greatest professional challenge, an appointment as the first Episcopal vicar for education in the diocese. His successor, Alice Woo Lo-ming, said that it was a difficult time of “breaking the ice.” She explained that up until then, each school had operated quite independently, but Father Foley persistently wrote to the Education Department on various issues and “worked hard to promote “collaboration” between the different institutions.

“It was difficult work,” she said. “Many were not so willing to move.” However, she said that his legendary sense of humour assisted him to break through deadlocks and “he tried to make central management work and drew up guidelines for the Catholic Board of Education and the diocesan and religious councils.”

Woo said that “he achieved much, even though he was a one man office with only one secretary to assist him.”

Father Foley stepped down in 1991 and returned to Ireland to work in parishes until ill health forced his retirement earlier this year.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 24 September 2006

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He first came to Hong Kong as a Regent in 1947 and went to Guangzhou to learn Cantonese.
1949-1950 He was sent to Wa Yan College Hong Kong teaching
1950-1955 He went back to ireland for Theology and was Ordained in 1953.
1955-1968 He returned to Hong Kong and Wah Yan College Hong Kong. By 1962 he was Proncipal there (1962-1968)
1968-1971 He was sent to Wah Yan Kowloon
1971-1972 He went to the USA to gain a Masters in Education
1972-1973 He was sent to Singapore (Principal of Catholic Junior College)
1973-1977 He was back in Hong Kong at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
1977 He was appointed Episcopal Vicar for Education. His task was to coordinate the work of all Catholic schools in the territory. An educationalist of many years standing, he said in an interview that there were many problems i Hong Kong’s educational system. A particular issue was about education in the vernacular. He believed that each school should form its own policy, but all parties locally must discuss the vernacular issue thoroughly before coming to any decision.

Sermon at the Requiem Mass for Fr Joseph Foley SJ, by Freddie Deignan SJ on 14 September 2006 (excerpts) :
“We gather here this evening to celebrate the Eucharist and to thank God for the gift of the life of Fr Joseph Foley who has passed away and to pray for the repose of his soul. We remember him as he touched the lives of many of us here. Today happens to be the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross.....His death on the Cross has made it possible for us to join him in the eternal happiness of Heaven. Father Foley is now enjoying that happiness......and we should celebrate that he has finally reached his home safely and joyfully after a life of service.......
He was born in Limerick on April 24th 1921. He entered the Society of Jesus when he was 18 years old and went through the usual course of studies. He got an Arts Degree at University College Dublin and this was followed by three years of Philosophy. He first came to Hong Kong in 1947 when he was 26 years old, studied Chinese in Canton for two years and then spent a year teaching at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.
He returned to Ireland to study Theology and was Ordained on 31st July 1953. So, he died having been 53 years a priest. In 1955 he came back to Hong Kog, which was to be his home for 34 years. He first spent a year at Cheung Chau trying to improve his Chinese, and in 1962 he was appointed Rector and Principal of Wah Yan College Kowloon. he held this post until 1968. He was fondly known as “James Bond”, as people thought he looked like Seán Connery, and his office was 007!
I knew him at this period of his life as I worked with him as Prefect of Studies. As a newcomer in education I learned so much from him about education in Hong Kong, about teaching and administration. I was only a raw recruit then.
So, I am very grateful to him. His example of personal care and thoughtfulness for teachers and students and of those he met or worked with was an example and inspiration to me.
So, I am very grateful to him and I owe him a lot.
He loved teaching, was lively and active in class, so no student would fall asleep in his class! He participated in all the school activities, and he particularly loved playing football, and he usually played in goal.
He was always concerned about the character formation of the students and made great efforts to instil in them Christian values. In his concern for the formation of the students, he organised groups of students to do social work for the poor, sick and the elderly during the summer months. He wished them to be willing to serve others. Of course he led them by example.
Students in the school obviously admired him for his care for each one of them, and his generosity, as he often visited them in their homes. In administration he had wonderful analytical abilities and he could sum up the main points of a book, document or article very easily. This was very useful when it came to dealing with documents from the Education Department.
He also had a very good memory. he was very good at cantonese, and in his good humour used love to make fun and joke in the language. His ability to lead was obvious and he earned the trust of teachers, staff and all with whom he worked. he won their cooperation and respect by his dedication, hard work, fairness and his friendship and care for each one. There was a break in his life in Hong Kong when he was sent to study for a Masters Degree in Education at Loyola University Chicago.. This was a preparation for him to take up a post as Principal at a Catholic Junior College in Singapore.. When this project failed to materialise, he returned to Hong Kong in 1973. he again taught in Wah Yan when Father Barrett was principal until 1977, when he was appointed by Bishop John Baptist Wu as the first Bishop’s Delegate for Education, and Chairman of the newly formed Catholic Education Board which replaced the Catholic Schools Council. There were then 309 Catholic schools in Hong Kong. This was a very challenging job. he helped coordinate, unify and improve the system of administration in the Catholic Schools of the Diocese, and helped set up the Central Management Committee of Diocesan schools. He wrote many responses to changes proposed by the Education Department on behalf of the Catholic schools after discussion with the Diocesan Schools Council and Religious Schools Council.
After 14 years of service he resigned his post as Delegate and was succeeded by Sister Marie Remedios, now Mother General of the Canossian Congregation.
Besides Father Foley was a member of the Inter-religious Committee on Religious Broadcasting and later became Chairman. He was a commentator for the broadcast Mass for Radio Hong Kong and often did the job of announcer and commentator in English for the Feast of Christ the King in the Government Stadium. He was Secretary in Hong Kong for the Jesuit Mass Media Apostolate, and was one time Chair if the Grant Schools Council.
He returned to Ireland in 1992 to rest and change his apostolate from education to pastoral work. He served as an Assistant to the Parish priest in S Francis Xavier’s Church in Dublin until 2000, when he took similar work in St Ignatius Galway. Early in 2006 he began to show the effects of terminal cancer and he was moved to Dublin and the Jesuit nursing home. When I was back in Ireland this summer I went to visit him on July 18th, and again before I left on August 7th. I noticed his condition had deteriorated from the time of my first visit. He had little energy but he was very resigned, peaceful and still very humourous. He knew his life on earty was coming to a close. He wanted to know all the news about Hong Kong, about the Church, education and Wah Yan Past Students. He expressed his gratitude to all who wrote to him and sent “get well” cards, and to those especially who came all the way from Hong Kong or Canada to visit him. He knew that I was going to attend the Wah Yan Alumni conference in Vancouver and said “Tell them how I am and thank them for their kind invitation”.
A former teacher in Wah Yan, Helen Lee went to visit him from Toronto and she wrote a letter to the Past Students : “Some of you may cherish fond recollections of Father Foley. Others may remember him by his nickname 007! He taught us the best thigs to choose. Yes I mean us, including myself. As a former colleague in Wah Yan and a friend ever since, I have benefitted much from Father Foley’s teachings, not just his words, but in deeds as well.
When I paid him a brief visit at the end of April this year, I was impressed by his calm disposition in his illness. He was quite frail and lacked energy. Most of the time he stayed in bed. Yet he made quite an effort to entertain visitors. He showed much concern and consideration for others around him. He was very courteous to the staff caregivers. he lived Christ’s teaching of being meek and humble of heart.
The Alumni of ‘62 compiled a book entitled “To Father with Love” for him. It is a collection of photos and writings from them. he showed me this invaluable souvenir. As I read through it, I learned more about the good he had done for his students. It was little wonder that they held him with love and affection”.
What inspired Father Foley was his deep love of Christ who loved him.......
We thank God for him, and I know he would like me to thank all those people who shared their love and care with him, especially during his illness........."

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007

Obituary

Fr Joseph (Joe) Foley (1921-2006)

24th April 1921: Born in Limerick
Early education at Model School, CBS Sexton St. Limerick
7th September 1939: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1941: First Vows at Emo
1941 - 1944: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD.
1944 - 1947: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1947 - 1950: Hong Kong
1947 - 1949: Language studies
1949 - 1950: Wah Yan, HK -Teaching.
1950 - 1954: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1953: Ordained at Milltown Park
1954 - 1955: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
2nd February 1956: Final Vows at Hong Kong
1955 - 1992: Hong Kong
1955 - 1962: Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Teaching
1956 - 1957: Cheung Chau Language School
31st July 1966: Transcribed to Hong Kong
1962 - 1968: Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Rector
1968 - 1970: Wah Yan, Kowloon - Teaching
1970 - 1973: Loyola, Chicago - M.A. in Education
1973 - 1974: Singapore - Junior College of Education
1974 - 1977: Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Teaching
1977 - 1992: Vicar for Religious
1992 - 2000: Gardiner Street -
1992 - 1995: Parish Curate
31st July 1993: Transcribed to Irish Province
1995 - 2000: Assisted in the Church
1998 - 2000: House Consultor
2000 - 2006: Galway Assisted in Church, Spiritual Director (SJ)
4th September 2006: Died in Cherryfield Lodge

Frank Doyle writes:
Two days after his birth, Joe Foley, son of Denis Foley and Alice Gould, was baptised in St Michael's Church in Limerick and at the age of 12 received the Sacrament of Confirmation from Bishop D. Keane in St Joseph's Church, also in Limerick, on the feast of Sts Peter and Paul, 1933. He received his secondary education at the Irish Christian Brothers' School in Sexton Street and completed it by doing' his Leaving Certificate in 1939.

On September 3, 1939, Britain and France declared war on Germany. It was the formal beginning of the Second World War. Four days later, on September 7, Joe entered the Society at Emo Park in Co. Laois. His novice master was Fr John Neary.

There then followed the usual six years of Juniorate in Rathfarnham from 1941-1944 and Philosophy at St Stanislaus' College, Tullabeg, 1944-1947. For his regency he was assigned to the Irish Province's Mission in Hong Kong and spent three years there from 1947 to 1950. As was the custom, he spent the first two years studying the Cantonese dialect, used in Hong Kong, and then taught for one further year in Wah Yan College, Robinson Road, in the Mid-Levels district of Hong Kong Island.

It was during this period that Joe became part of an “incident” which could have had unpleasant consequences. He was with two other scholastics - Donal Taylor and Martin Cryan - in Macau, the Portuguese enclave about 40 miles down the coast from Hong Kong. They passed through an archway on the edge of the territory with the intention of taking photographs on the other side. However, they had unwittingly crossed the border dividing Macau from China. They were arrested by Chinese police and taken into custody. Fortunately, through the good offices of a wealthy Portuguese in Macau, their early release was arranged.

In 1950 Joe returned to Ireland for his theological studies and finished with a Licentiate in Theology. At the end of his third year he was ordained to the priesthood on 31 July 1953. Theology was followed by Tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle in 1954-55 where the directors were Fathers John Neary and Hugo Kelly.

With the completion of his Jesuit formation, Joe returned to the Hong Kong Mission and took up teaching again at Wah Yan College. Just at this time, in 1955, Wah Yan moved from its original location in Robinson Road to a brand new building on Mount Parrish in the Wanchai district of Hong Kong Island. A year after his return, Joe made his Final Vows on 2 February 1956.

In 1957 Joe was made Minister at Xavier House on the offshore island of Cheung Chau and held the post for one year. Xavier House had become the language school for Jesuits arriving for the first time in Hong Kong. It replaced some previous venues - Loyola in the New Territories, which was used up the time of the Second World War, Canton (before the Communists moved in), the Missions Etrangeres de Paris (MEP) house in Battery Path in downtown Hongkong.

In 1957, however, there were plans to open a novitiate at Xavier House and this involved putting up a new building for the novices. The absentee superior of the house was Fr Eddie Bourke, who had been sent down to Singapore to relieve Paddy Joy. The acting superior was Canice Egan, who was to be the new novice master, with Joe Foley as his minister and Socius. There were also three scholastics in the house that year – John Jones, Joseph Shields, and Frank Doyle. It was here that the author first came to know Joe. It turned out to be one of my most enjoyable years in the Society, not least because of Joe's and Canice's constant teasing of each other. We did have a lot of fun together that year.

The original plans, however, were changed. Canice was replaced as novice master by John O'Meara and took up teaching in what were known as post-secondary colleges. Joe Foley, for his part, moved back to Wah Yan College in Wanchai and returned to teaching. In 1958 he was also made Minister at Wah Yan and four years later took over from Cyril Barrett as Rector, a post he held until 1968. It was during this period, in 1966, that the Hong Kong Mission became the Vice-Province of Hong Kong and Joe, with all the other members of the former Mission, was now transcribed to the new Vice-Province.

It was about this time that the Singapore government began implementing a plan to open special “Junior Colleges” for pre university (Form 6) students. The government opened one of its own but also invited other groups including the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, and the Buddhists, to open colleges of their own. In 1972, Joe went to Loyola College in Chicago and spent one year there doing a Master's in Education. The idea behind this move was a proposal that he become the first Director of the new Catholic Junior College in Singapore. However, he never did take up the post. For some reasons – perhaps because he was a European and from Singapore's rival territory of Hong Kong - he was not given the appointment. Instead a local De la Salle Brother was assigned to the post.

In the year 1978, Joe was appointed by the Bishop of Hong Kong as Vicar for Education for the diocese. He held this post for 14 years until he returned to Ireland in 1992. He now had his own office in the Catholic Diocesan Centre, beside the Catholic Cathedral. In this post he was basically responsible for co ordinating all the Catholic diocesan schools in the territory - of which there were many.

After 14 years in the post, Joe was expressing a desire to retire and hand over to someone else. The Bishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal Wu, was, however, reluctant to let him go. Joe then decided that his best recourse was to take a year off and return to Ireland. He was assigned as a curate in St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street. He found this new apostolate so much to his liking that he decided to stay on in Ireland and, and in the following year, was transcribed back to the Irish Province. His assignment as curate was modified to 'assists in the church in 1995. In 1998 he became a consultor in the community.

In the year 2000, he was transferred to St Ignatius Church, Galway, 'assisting in the church and spiritual director of the Jesuit community. He became the house historian in 2004. It was during these years that he began to have problems with cancer and, when it became more serious and without any prospect of a cure, he was moved to Cherryfield Lodge where he spent the last months of his life there. He died there peacefully on 4 September 2006.

In his younger days, Joe would be remembered as a vigorous footballer. Most of his life in Hongkong was devoted to some aspect of education - either as a teacher, a headmaster or the bishop's representative for education. He made no claims to being an intellectual but was competent in the posts he held. He had a good sense of humour and enjoyed teasing and being teased. He is missed by those who knew him.

Eulogy given in late September, 2006, by Helen Chia Chih Lee, former teacher at Wah Yan, Hong Kong, at a memorial Mass in Toronto for a gathering of Wah Yan alumni:
We gather here today to remember Rev. Fr. Joseph Foley, a fine Jesuit, and to celebrate his fruitful life. The last letter Fr. Foley sent me was dated April 12 of this year. Unlike his usual handwritten ones, it was typed, responding to a question I had asked him on prayer. In early June, I was shocked to learn that he was quite sick in the nursing home. It touched me deeply to realize that he still cared so much about me in his illness.

When I visited him some weeks later, I was impressed by his good spirits and quick wit despite suffering from terminal cancer. The concern he showed to those around him was edifying. His command of Cantonese, particularly the slang, was as amazing as ever. When he said 'wuun buun' in Cantonese, looking at the lotus paste bun in Fr. Doyle's hands, I couldn't understand the reason for the remark. It was when he said in English that Fr. Doyle was eating one bun that I got the pun.

I was privileged to have worked with Fr. Foley at Wah Yan HK in the mid 1970's. As a colleague, he was very friendly and helpful. He inspired me to instil moral values through teaching English. Up to this day, I adhere to his idea. As an adult ESL instructor, I often choose topics related to values, particularly Canadian ones, for my immigrant learners. After Father Foley left Wah Yan, he gradually became our family friend. His advice, moral support and prayers were invaluable, especially during the early years of our immigration to Canada,

Most alumni of the two Wah Yans knew Fr. Foley in different capacities, but everybody referred to him by his heroic nickname, “James Bond” or “007”. Students of the 1950's and 60's on the Hong Kong side had Fr. Foley as either their teacher or principal. Later, he served on the teaching staff of either school at different times. In 1978, the late Cardinal Wu appointed Fr. Foley to be the first Episcopal Vicar for Education, a position he held until 1992. Then he returned to Ireland and served the Irish Jesuit Province. In May this year, he was admitted to the Jesuit nursing home in Dublin. On September 4, with close relatives by his side, Fr. Foley passed away peacefully, aged 85.

Fr. Foley dedicated his whole life to the service of God. In his own words, “to be able to help people” was the most rewarding aspect in his priesthood. Indeed, he enriched innumerable people. Wah Yan students and staff benefited greatly from his words, his deeds and his remarkable personality. He was highly intelligent, full of humour, very caring and most generous. In the 14 long years of his tenure as the Cardinal's delegate for education, Fr. Foley's contribution was more widely felt, influencing the direction of Catholic education in Hong Kong.

Fr. Foley was much respected and loved by his students. Some alumni made special trips to Ireland to visit him. The class of 62 compiled a sentimental souvenir book entitled "To Father with Love" for him. In his illness, he received lots of cards from former students. All these show what a great teacher he was.

Before closing, I'd like to share with you a thought from a homily I heard Fr. Foley deliver when I visited him in Galway, Ireland, back in 2002. It has special relevance to those of us brought up in the traditional Chinese way. We were taught to be humble by declining praise. Fr. Foley said that true humility does not lie in denying or diminishing one's talents or achievements. Instead, when being praised, a humble person realizes his/her strong points and accomplishments are gifts from God and is, therefore, thankful for His blessings.

All of us whose lives have been touched by Fr. Foley are truly blessed. As we mourn the loss of such a fine Jesuit, let us be comforted at the thought that he is enjoying his well-deserved heavenly rewards. Let our fond memories of him prompt us to follow his good example. Let us ask Fr. Foley to intercede for us, especially for Wah Yan which he so loved.

Hurley, James, 1926-2020, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/861
  • Person
  • 01 October 1926-13 April 2020

Born: 01 October 1926, Ardmore, County Waterford
Entered: 11 November 1944, Emo
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1962, St. Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College Kowloon
Died: 13 April 2020, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of the Milltown Park community at the time of death

Younger brother of Michael - RIP 2011

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1952 at Hong Kong - Regency studying language
by 1954 at Way Yan, Kowloon, Hong Kong - Regency
by 1960 at Cheung Chau Hong Kong - studying and teaching
by 1972 at Manila, Philippines (PHI) Studying
by 1973 at Wah Yan, Kowloon (HK) Novice Master
by 2014 at Milltown, Dublin (HIB) Pastoral work

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Today, Sri Lankan-born Basil Fernando plies his legal trade in exile from the offices of the Hong Kong-based human rights watchdog, the Asian Human Rights Commission, in bustling Mong Kok. Chatting with the Sunday Examiner he reminisced about what he terms his “conversion,’’ which is manifest in his long dedication to the difficult and frustrating grind of fighting for human rights among some of the most abused people in the world.

In a time when few giants walk upon the earth, Fernando points to Jesuit Father James Hurley as one who towered head and shoulders above others who influenced his determination to spend his life working for the dignity of people. “I first met Father Hurley in 1969,’’ he said matter-of-factly, “when I was a university student and came as a delegate from my homeland (Sri Lanka) to a conference organised by Pax Romana in Hong Kong.”

Fernando explains it was a time when the excitement of Vatican II still electrified the air and Church reform was an integral part of the discussion. “I suppose we had some radical views,” he noted, “and we were often heavily criticised at home.”

But Fernando says that something solidified inside him when he came into contact with Father Hurley at that conference. “I found that whenever I opened my mouth in front of Father Hurley and the representatives from Hong Kong, I received an immediate, sympathetic and encouraging response,” he recounted.

“This left a lasting impression on me,” he reminisced, “for me this was the first time in my life I had experienced a climate that encouraged freedom of expression and respect for the opinions of individuals, and especially young people.”

Fernando recounted that the meeting selected me as one of the two young people to represent Asia at the first ever Asia-wide bishops’ conference, which was attended by Pope Paul VI and held in Manila the following year. Father Hurley accompanied me and Peter Wong to the meeting, which came at a volatile time in the life of The Philippines.

He noted, “There were fears martial law was going to be declared and we met students in the streets who were highly critical of the Church.”

Fernando related how he saw a demonstration of students holding placards and chanting, “Viva il papa (Long live the pope) and down with Santos” (the archbishop of Manila). He said there were discussions on “how we were going to respond and a short resolution entitled, The Bishops of Asia, was drafted as we thought the bishops had spoken well on the meeting floor, but feared their words may be drowned if not translated into action to identify with the poor.”

Fernando told of how the statement was read out in the inaugural broadcast of Radio Veritas, on the day it was opened and blessed by the pope. “We distributed pamphlets while it was being broadcast,” he explained, “and had the privilege of giving one to the pope. We were picked up by Reuters and made the worldwide news as well.” He remembers with a chuckle that “we were the centre of attention and full of the enthusiasm of youth.”

Fernando said what he really learned to appreciate in Father Hurley was that “he did not obstruct, push orthodoxy or try to warn us. He knew we were speaking our convictions and, as chaplain, encouraged us. I think he himself was touched by the reform of the times.”

Fernando said he kept contact with the Irish priest and he came to Sri Lanka during the middle of what was a difficult and repressive time. “There were insurrections in which 10,000 young people were killed,” he said. “As a young lawyer I had to leave my country in 1989 and I came to Hong Kong. I did not write to Father Hurley, I just came, and we have been close friends since, even during the time I was away in Cambodia.”

The barrister said, “Father Hurley kept encouraging me in my human rights work, encouraging and participating.”

Fernando said that when a Jesuit priest was in trouble in India they all went to bat for him, as we did during the time when the Sri Lankan Father Tissa Balasuriya was excommunicated, until his reinstatement. “Father Hurley never condemned,” he said, “he simply encouraged us to follow our convictions.”

Fernando said that the Church still has a long way to go in the implementation of Vatican II, but his youth was a time that inspired real conversion and brought people to a faith that is described by the theologian, Father Hans Küng, as something that many people did not come to understand, but did create a new generation, which will not easily give up in the face of pressure.

Fernando said that “we learned to go beyond the formal into the substance. We learned from the Anglican Bishop (John A.T.) Robinson, who said ‘to live our relationships as if there is no God,’ in other words, ‘play responsibility in a serious way’.”

He said that the Second Vatican Council brought about a tremendous internal conversion. “I was converted, even at my age and in spite of my limitations. I respect Father Hurley,” he went on, “as someone who understands. One of my mentors was a Dutch priest, Father Henk Schram, he came to Sri Lanka as a worker-priest. He was known to Father Hurley (who was a worker-priest in Hong Kong). He introduced us to the theology long before Vatican II happened.”

Fernando said that many people have stood with him as he has learned to live a life of defiance, defiance of what is corrupt, and he has always been supported by Father Hurley, in his eyes, a giant walking on the earth.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 14 October 2007

Priest of the young and the worker calls it a day

Father James Hurley sj has decided to call it a day in Hong Kong. Just 62 years after he took his first steps on the island soil he took a plane back to his native Ireland at the end of October on a one-way ticket.

However, he did not leave with his presence unacknowledged, as his memory lives on in the hearts of those who were young when he was part of the Pax Romana Chapter in the late 1960s, as well as in his fellow workers at a clothing factory where he stood at the table cutting cloth each day, and the members of the Apostleship of Prayer, of which he was chaplain for many years.

Father Hurley has decided to call it a day in Hong Kong and return to his native Ireland, where he believes that he can still contribute to people’s lives, but at a slower pace and in a more sedate manner, befitting his age.

He left Hong Kong for Mill Town, the Jesuit house of study and prayer, where he hopes he can serve out his days as a spiritual director to working people.

As a man who cut the cloth in Hong Kong factories he is well equipped to guide those who work for their living, as Basil Fernando, the former director of the Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong, says, “He introduced that theology long before even Vatican II happened.”

Fernando recalls that he first met Father Hurley when he came to Hong Kong as a young representative of the Sri Lankan Church in 1969 as part of Pax Romana.

He describes him as a breath of fresh air. Coming from a strictly authoritarian Church in Colombo, Fernando says that Father Hurley surprised him.

“He did not obstruct, push orthodoxy or try to warn us. He knew we were speaking our convictions and, as chaplain, encouraged us,” he recalls.

Speaking to the Sunday Examiner in 2007, Fernando said, “I suppose we had some radical views and we were often heavily criticised at home, but I found that whenever I opened my mouth in front of Father Hurley, I received an immediate, sympathetic and encouraging response.”

Fernando reminisced, “This left a lasting impression on me. For me, this was the first time in my life I had experienced a climate that encouraged freedom of expression and respect for the opinions of individuals, and especially young people.”

Fernando regards Father Hurley as a giant among men, but today the once strident figure moves more slowly and is seeking a life style more in keeping with his ageing body.

As a man dedicated to justice, Father Hurley was also a long time member and past president of the Asian Centre for the Progress of Peoples. He spent his life fighting for what he regarded as the basic rights that should be attributed to each and every individual.

Father Hurley says that he leaves Hong Kong with no regrets and hopes he will find a fulfilling role to play in his native Ireland.

As the prayers of many hearts go with him and the best wishes of many people to whom he brought hope and courage in their lives are with him as well, the Sunday Examiner wishes Father Hurley ad multos annos.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 23 November 2014

Final farewell to Father James Hurley SJ

Jesuit Missionary Father James Hurley, who served the Church in Hong Kong for over five decades, died on 13 April 2020, at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin, Ireland. He was 93-years- old.

Father Hurley was born in Ireland on 1 October 1926. He was ordained to the priesthood on 31 July 1958 in Dublin and professed final vows on 2 February 1962 at St. Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Father Hurley first came to Hong Kong as a scholastic in 1950 and lived in Cheung Chau doing his language studies.

After his ordination in Ireland, he returned to Hong Kong and worked in Chu Hai post-secondary college in Kowloon till 1969. He also became chaplain to the Hong Kong Federation of Post Secondary Students and became closely associated with the student movement in Hong Kong.

He was appointed the Master of the Novices for three years and later lived as a “Worker Priest” during which time he worked as an ordinary labourer in a garment factory for four to five months.

In 1978 he began his parish ministry in Christ the Worker Parish, Ngau Tau Kok, and served the parish till 1989. For the next four years he initiated an experimental parish for Basic Christian Communities in St. Vincent’s Parish in Wong Tai Sin. Later he also served in Star of the Sea Parish, Chai Wan from 1995 to 1998 before moving to the Jesuit Parish of St. Ignatius Church at Wah Yan College.

As his health deteriorated, he left Hong Kong for Ireland in 2014 (Sunday Examiner, 23 November 2014).
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 19 April 2020

Father James Hurley - A gem of a man

Jesuit Father James Hurley, a great man and a humanist, passed away on April 13. I had the privilege of associating with Father Hurley since 1970. He impressed me as a man who was very deeply concerned with individuals as well as on the great social issues of his time.

As a human being, he had the enormous capacity to listen to others, including people who were much younger than him.

I first met him when he was the students’ chaplain for university students at an organisation known as Pax Romana. I attended this meeting as a representative of the Catholic Students’ Federation of Sri Lanka. This meeting left an indelible mark in my memory.

What attracted me most was the tolerance with which students were received and the space that was made available to them to discuss and debate all kinds of very controversial issues.

At the time, the more burning issues amongst the Catholic students were related to the developments of the Second Vatican Council.

Father Hurley had a very ardent interest in the developments within the Church during this time. He had been associated with progressive theologians from Asia over a long period. He was aware of the controversies that were taking place all around Asia on the issues relating to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.

At this pan-Asian conference in 1970, one of the main debates was related to a theme that was very familiar at the time: institutionless Christianity. Several theologians had written about this issue and the critique of institutional limitations to the spread of the message of the gospel was quite a common theme everywhere.

The conference encouraged the students to share their views and Father Hurley, in particular, followed these discussions after the meetings at the dinners.

Once Father Hurley knew somebody, he knew how to sustain a friendship over the years. A short time after this meeting, he was going for a vacation in Ireland and he stopped in Sri Lanka to meet me. He spent a few days there and talked to many people. Going out of his way to keep that sort of close connection was, I think, the way he thought of his duties as a priest.

At the time, he had the idea of being a worker-priest, which meant working at a factory just like any other worker. He wanted to know the life of the workers and the circumstances under which they lived, their difficulties as well as the richer side of them as human beings.

Sometime later he carried out this wish and spent a year or more working in a factory. Later, he would narrate some of his experiences in a very moving manner.

In 1989, 1 had to leave Sri Lanka and I chose to come to Hong Kong, mainly because I knew I had two friends there, Father Hurley and John Clancey, who I also got to know at the students’ meeting mentioned above.

By the time I arrived in Hong Kong, Father Hurley had already left for Ireland for his sabbatical year. However, as soon as he arrived back, he contacted me and, ever since, we had a long friendship.

I used to address him as Father Hurley and then he told me, “Just call me James.” That was his way. There was no trace of clericalism in him. You could discuss anything with him, including things that were happening in countries he had never been to.

For example, he had a keen interest in what happened to Cambodia under the Pol Pot regime, which followed the massive bombing of the country by the United States. He listened to the story of millions of deaths, inquiring a great deal about the details of the results of these times and how far things had improved (or not).

Naturally, one of the conversations we returned to many times was the situation in Sri Lanka itself. He already knew a lot about Sri Lanka because he had friends like, for example, Father Tissa Balasuriya OMI, who was the Asian chaplain for Catholic students. He also knew some bishops, particularly a priest, Father Michael Rodrigo, who was assassinated by the military while he was trying to protect young people in a remote rural area.

I have heard a lot from him about the Irish struggles for freedom. When he came to speak about the killings of some of the fighters whom he knew personally, there were occasions on which he became very emotional, and at least on one occasion, he cried. That was when I one day recorded an interview with him on the issue of the Irish people’s struggles against colonialism.

As he was narrating this story, he began to mention many names of people who he had known, admired and loved very deeply. At this point, he became emotionally very involved, and started to cry. That was the deep love with which he remembered his country, and also the real depth of his feelings about freedom. He was a person who was very committed to struggles for freedom wherever it happened.

One time, after he returned from Ireland after a holiday, he mentioned the use of rubber bullets by the Irish police. He was given one of those bullets by someone. He kept it to remember the kind of problems people are faced with. During his trips to Ireland, he visited people who were involved in these struggles, some of whom had gone to jail for a long time over these matters.

He had a deep love for Hong Kong and the struggle of the students happening at that time. He knew most of these students and told stories about them with affection and admiration.

He was a deeply spiritual man. He associated with the people and often said the rosary; with them when they came to discuss some of their problems with him. I particularly remember one instance when the mother of a convicted prisoner used to visit him on Sundays after the Mass. Father Hurley used to visit this man in the prison often and went out of his way to help the children to have their education despite of the fact that their father was in prison. He always spoke with a deep sense of affection for the prisoner, with that spirit of forgiveness that also made it possible for people to appreciate the good side of people even if they were convicted of crimes.

We used to meet often for lunch or dinner. During these times, he had the capacity to tell many stories, sometimes very humorous ones. He once talked about a Protestant in Ireland who used to be very virulent in his attacks against the Catholics. When this man was dying, he called a Catholic priest to come and admit “him to the Catholic faith. The priest arrived and, just out of curiosity, asked the man why, after being io strongly against them, why he wanted to become a Catholic at the moment of his death. The man replied, “Well, when I die, it will be one of them that died and not one of us.”

When recalling Father Hurley, one remembers that one was meeting at the same time a deeply human person with an enormously deep spirituality and a commitment to his religious beliefs, who was able to bring these into a relationship in the context of the modem world.

Most of the time, he was dressed in trousers and a shirt, and behaved like other people. This way, he befriended people without making them feel that the relationship was one that involved any kind of hierarchy.

He was a democrat to the core and a person who was committed to human rights absolutely.

He reminded me of a definition that a Dutch priest gave of priesthood: a priest is a person who gives gratuitously. Father Hurley certainly was such a priest.

Legacies such as that of Father Hurley will not be erased.
Basil Fernando
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 26 April 2020

Memorial Mass for celebrated for Father James Hurley

The Justice and Peace Commission organised a memorial Mass on April 20 for Jesuit Father James Hurley, its former ecclesiastical advisor, who passed away on April 13 in Ireland, at the age of 93 (Sunday Examiner, April 19). He was confirmed to have contracted the Covid-19 coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

The Mass, which was streamed live online, was concelebrated by Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun and Father Carlos Cheung Sam-yui.

The service began with a sharing from Martin Lee Chu-ming, former legal advisor of the commission. The lawyer and former democratic legislator spoke about incidents mentioned in Father Hurley’s book, Option for the Deprived, written in 2008.

Lee recounted the Irish missionary’s 50 years in Hong Kong since he first arrived in 1952 by boat-a journey which took 30 days. He said he was impressed by Father Hurley’s commitment to social justice, evidenced by the time he spent working in a factory to experience the life of the poor, as well as setting up Amnesty International in Hong Kong.

Lee said that he could find many similarities between Father Hurley’s life and his own. They were both inspired by Father Fergus Cronin in the fight for people’s rights.

In 1969, Father Hurley come to prominence for defending five students who were expelled by Chu Hai College for openly criticising the post-secondary school, where he had been a lecturer for eight years.

Lee recalled how Father Hurley sought clearance before attending a press conference to speak for the students and Father Cronin, the then-Jesuit superior in Hong Kong, told him: “Go James, attend! This is where you must be.” Father Hurley said he could not forget such a clear instruction and was grateful for the support.

Lee recalled that when he started in politics, he also visited Father Cronin, who was then seriously ill, and asked what he could do for the Church. Father Cronin told him to follow his conscience and do what he thought he should do.

A recorded message from humans right lawyer, John Clancey, a close friend of Father Hurley, was then played. Clancey recalled meeting the Jesuit priest in 1969 and since then they met every month for yum cha at different restaurants to talk about their work. He recalled that for several months in 1975, they met in hawker stalls near factories and had a good time with the labourers with whom Father Hurley worked.

He compared Father Hurley to; a saint and a prophet, as he had reflected the love of God to people and helped them to understand the principles of justice and peace. Clancey said Father Hurley often asked about people in Hong Kong after he had returned to Ireland.

He said that if Father Hurley were alive, he would tell him about the arrest of Lee, Albert Ho Chun- yan as well as a number of former pan-democrat legislators for their roles in alleged unlawful protests last year.

In his homily, Cardinal Zen said the memorial Mass should not be a sad occasion as Father Hurley had returned to heaven at Easter and this reminds us of our hope in eternal life.

The cardinal said that as the homily of a memorial Mass should focus on God instead of the life of the departed, he wanted to remind people of Father Hurley’s motto. “I imagine that Father Hurley would smilingly say a simple line... follow Jesus Christ, be a person with kindness and humility so that you can have a peaceful heart,” he said.

Cardinal Zen also expressed his sadness that the Covid-19 corona-virus had not stopped political suppression in Hong Kong.

He thanked God for sending the people of the city an example in the person of Father Hurley who showed how to seek justice and stand with the poor.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 3 May 2020

Jesuit Community offers Mass in memory of Father Hurley

A requiem Mass for Father James Hurley was organised by the Jesuit Community at St. Ignatius Chapel on June 8 and attended by around two hundred people.

Father Hurley passed away on April 13 in Ireland at the age of 93. He was confirmed to have contracted the Covid-19 coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

Father Stephen Chow Sau-yan, Jesuit provincial of the China province, celebrated the memorial Mass. Father Chow said that while Father Hurley pursued social justice, he showed love for everyone and did not bear any hatred, which is one of the reasons why he touched the hearts of many people.

A woman, named Liu, said that she had known the priest since the 1980s when he served at Christ the Worker parish, Ngau Tau Kok. She remembered him as kind, leading a simple life to save money for the church and dedicated to fighting for the rights of parishioners.

Another former parishioner of Christ the Worker parish, Cheng, said Father Hurley treated parishioners with love as he would remember their names and pray for them.

Earlier, on April 20, the Justice and Peace Commission webcast a memorial Mass for Father Hurley, celebrated by Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun to mourn its former spiritual advisor (Sunday Examiner, May 3). The Jesuit community waited for the resumption of public Masses to ensure the participation of the friends and associates, whom Father Hurley loved.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 21 June 2020

◆ Option for the Deprived, by James Hurley SJ, Centre for Catholic Studies CUHK 2008.
https://archives.catholic.org.hk/In%20Memoriam/Clergy-Brother/J-Hurley.pdf

Note from Derek Reid Entry
During the Requiem Mass on 5 December, Father James Hurley SJ, assistant pastor at St Vincent’s Parish, Wongtaisin, and a contemporary of Father Reid, gave the homily in Chinese. Father Hurley pointed out that Father Reid was a man of all-round and exceptional ability. This was recognised soon after he joined the Jesuits and, even before his ordination as a priest, he had been given many responsibilities. After his return to Hong Kong his great qualities were even more clearly seen. Father Hurley gave examples of the help that had been given to himself and others.He was not only a great headmaster, he was also a great priest, said Father Hurley.“We shall never forget him,” said Father Hurley in conclusion.

Early Education at Mount Mellary Abbey, Cappoquin, Co Waterford

1946-1949 Rathfarnham - Studying at UCD
1949-1952 Tullabeg - Studying Theology Philosophy
1952-1954 Faber Community, Hong Kong - Studying Cantonese
1954-1955 Wah Yan Kowloon - Regency : Teaching Religion, English and History; Assistant Prefect; Editor of “The Shield”
1959-1960 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1960-1961 Xavier House, Hong Kong - Studying Cantonese; Teacher; Novitiate Spiritual Father
1961-1962 Wah Yan Kowloon - Spiritual Father; Teaching English and Spiritual Father in “Chu Hai College”, Hong Kong
1964 Chaplain at Chinese University Hong Kong; Chaplain to Hong Kong Federation of Catholic Students; Chaplain to Catholic students at Hong Kong Technical College
1965 Chaplain at Black and Grantham Training Colleges
1966 Chaplain at Baptist College, Kowloon; Director of College Club at McPherson Playground
1966 Transcribed to Chinese Province [CHN] (03/12/1966)
1972 Working in Adam Schall Residence, Chinese University Hong Kong
1972-1973 Manila, Philippines - Studying Pastoral Theology at East Asian Pastoral Institute
1973-2014 Wah Yan, Kowloon - Novice Master
1977 Working in Social Apostolate
1978 Consultor; Parish work & Chaplain to YCW at Christ the Worker Chapel, Kowloon
1983 Parish Priest
1992 Parish Team St Vincent’s; Council of Priests; Ecclesiastical Councelor of Justice and Peace Commission; Consultor at Ricci Hall
1996 Assistant Pastor of St Ignatius Church
2000 Chaplain of St Camillus Society
2002 Consultant to the Delegate for Hong Kong
2005 Apostleship of Prayer Director for Hong Kong; School Chaplain
2009 Assistant Rector St Ignatius Church
2013 Retreat Apostolate
2015-2020 Milltown Park - Pastoral Ministry

◆ Jesuits in Ireland https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-james-hurley-an-exceptional-jesuit/

Fr James Hurley – ‘an exceptional Jesuit’
Fr James (Jimmy) Hurley SJ died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Ranelagh, Dublin, on Easter Monday, April 13, 2020. He was 93 years old.
Due to government guidelines regarding public gatherings, a private funeral service took place on 15 April followed by burial in Ardmore Round Tower Cemetery, County Waterford. You can watch a video of the ceremony here.
It was attended by a small number of his family and Tom Casey SJ of the Milltown Park community who represented all Jesuits. Messages of condolence were sent from Hong Kong where Fr James spent over 50 years as a missionary involved with education and pastoral work. Watch a photo-story tribute to him here made by his friends in Hong Kong. Also read a tribute by the Asian Human Rights Commission ».
Born in Ardmore, County Waterford in 1926, James was educated by the Cistercians at Mount Mellary Abbey and entered the Jesuits at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois, in 1944. He was influenced by his brother Michael (sometimes called the ‘father of Irish ecumenism’) who entered the Jesuits before him. After studying at UCD and Tullabeg, James went to Hong Kong in 1952 to study Cantonese and to do his regency as a secondary school teacher. He studied theology and philosophy at Milltown Park in Dublin, and after ordination and tertianship he returned to Hong Kong in 1960.
James took on many different roles during his years as a Jesuit missionary. He was a secondary school teacher, a spiritual father, a university chaplain, a novice master, a parish priest and spiritual director. He came back to Ireland in 2015 where he engaged in pastoral ministry at Milltown Park, Dublin.
Fr James was much loved wherever he went, and after his return to Dublin he had a steady flow of visitors both from Ardmore and from Hong Kong.
Messages of condolence were sent by the Chinese Jesuit Provincial and Cardinal of Hong Kong, expressing their deep appreciation for the missionary work of Fr James and acknowledging the impact of his legacy on the people of Hong Kong. The messages were read out at the graveside by Irish Jesuit Fr Tom Casey on Wednesday 15 April.
In his letter, Fr Stephen Chow SJ, Chinese Provincial, said: “Jimmy was an exceptional Jesuit who had given so many years of his life to Hong Kong. He was always energetic, curious, daring, caring, and active. Many of us have been awakened by his passion for social justice. And he is dearly remembered for that”.
He continued: “Many have left words and prayers on my Facebook page after I posted the announcement this afternoon. Cardinal Tong of Hong Kong also sent me a condolence message this evening. This has never happened before with Jesuits who had gone before him, and some of them were famous and well- loved priests.”
Cardinal Tong wrote the following: “On behalf of the Diocese, I would like to offer my condolences and sympathy on the death of our dear Fr Jimmy Hurley. Jimmy had served the Diocese in different ministries for many years with much love and dedication to every ministry he was assigned to.
He served as Spiritual Director of the Justice and Peace Commission, Chaplain to students of some universities in Hong Kong, Pastor of St Vincent Church in Wong Tai Sin, Christ the Worker Mass Centre in Ngau Tau Kok, Star of the Sea in Chaiwan, and St Ignatius Chapel in Waterloo Road.
He was a very capable man. He spoke very good Cantonese and was able to reach out to the different sectors of people in Hong Kong. He was well-loved and appreciated by everyone. He was a good example for the priests in our Diocese”.
Both Fr Chow and Cardinal Tong prayed: “May Fr Jimmy now rest in the eternal embrace of our Risen Lord whom he has vowed to follow”.
The Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission of Hong Kong has also created a cartoon image depicting Fr James going to his eternal reward.

Fr Todd Morrissey SJ, historian and author of the book Jesuits in Hong Kong, paid the following tribute to Fr James, his fellow community member in Milltown Park.
“When I visited Hong Kong in 2006 to research the history of the Irish Jesuits there, Jimmy was still full of zeal as a parish priest working directly with the Chinese people. He was very popular, always willing to help people out and was noted for his good sermons and his fluency in Cantonese.
When he came to live in Milltown Park, there were constant visitors from the Chinese. These included young Chinese people who have great respect for the elderly and their wisdom. There were many dinners with our Chinese visitors, several days a week over three years.”
According to Fr Morrissey, even during his last two years at Cherryfield Lodge, Jimmy was always a man who listened to people, interested individually in what they were doing, and very friendly and encouraging. “He was always in good humour and cheerful no matter what complaint. He was a very pleasant man to live with and to know.”
Fr James is deeply missed by his family, his wide circle of friends and his Jesuit communities in Hong Kong and Dublin. He is buried alongside his parents. A memorial Mass in celebration of Fr James’ life will take place at a later date.
Ar dheis De go raibh a hanam dilis.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/358-irish-men-behind-the-missions-fr-james-hurley-s

IRISH MEN BEHIND THE MISSIONS: FR. JAMES HURLEY SJ
Fifty years in Hong Kong: an Irish Jesuit’s tale.
Fr. James Hurley SJ reached the grand old age of 90 this month! Jimmy, as he is affectionately called, has a lifetime of 72 years of service as a missionary with the Society of Jesus. Across the decades, he has met and befriended remarkable men, been inspired by their dynamism and sense of mission and entered wholeheartedly and courageously into the lives of people living in poverty in Hong Kong. He went into the Jesuit organisation on the Feast of St Stanisclaus, November 13th 1944, his ordination taking place on the Feast of St Ignatius July 31st 1958.
Here he shares some of the stories of his mission with humour, grace and insight with the Irish Jesuit Missions.
James was the youngest child born into a family of two boys and two girls at Ardmore, County Waterford in 1926. As a child he spent a lot of time in Church activities and enjoyed assisting at Mass. He was influenced by his brother Fr. Michael Hurley SJ who was a theologian, widely known as the 'father of Irish ecumenism' for his promotion of Christian unity. James studied in Mount Melleray from 1939 – 1944 and at the time, Mellary had a thriving farm producing an abundance of food. But when Foot and Mouth disease struck in 1941, the students were not allowed home for the Easter vacation. They organised a protest demanding “We want a vac!”
And so James, from his youth, prepared for a life of student protest, mobilisation and critical engagement that was to continue for most of his lifetime.

It was 1952. Four years had been spent in Milltown for study and pastoral work in preparation for the Far Eastern missionary life to come. At last, it was time to set sail by boat for Hong Kong! The long voyage took about 30 days and James was grateful for the companionship of a priest and three fellow seminarians on board.
Ten years passed in Hong Kong before James began working with students as the acting Head of Foreign Languages Department at a post-secondary College. He also became Chaplain to the Hong Kong Federation of Post Secondary Students from 1965 to 1972. Students at that time were against colonialism and many forms of injustice and were concerned with, for example, the colonial status of Hong Kong and the fact that Chinese wasn’t a recognised official language. Two of them wrote an article 'From Hope to Despair', an all-round and penetrating analysis of the College that was not well received by the authorities. Twelve students were subsequently expelled — one of whom was a Buddhist monk — and thus began the student movement in Hong Kong with which James was closely associated.
It was an era of student mobilisation and protest: similar movements were gathering momentum on the US campuses regarding the attainment of civil rights and the ending of the Vietnam War.
James, Jack and the Bishop
Jack Clancy, a close friend and Maryknoll missionary, was very involved with the anti-Vietnam War movement and was not in favour with Bishop Francis Hsu who had been born in Shanghai and was then Bishop of Hong Kong. When James’ name was mentioned in the public press in relation to the student movement, the Bishop was quite angry and requested a meeting with him. James recalls his trepidation at that very formal meeting with Bishop Hsu and others while he explained himself and his actions. He was exonerated and the two men became very good friends despite the dramatic beginning to their relationship.
But there remained misunderstanding between Jack and the Bishop. James helped to build a relationship between them by asking the students if they would like Jack Clancy as their Chaplin. The vote was a resounding YES! Armed with that mandate, James went to the Bishop and brought both men together. Jack was appointed Chaplin.
It was the early 1970s and James felt that the time was ripe for a European priest to pass the reins on to a Chinese priest. Three seminarians were encouraged to become involved with the student movement and one, Stephen Tam, was selected. Then the Bishop put Jack Clancy and another in place to assist Stephen – who meanwhile had become a priest – in covering James’ former workload.
James’ and Jack’s relationship continues and to this day, they are very close friends. Jack is now married and a very prominent lawyer practising in Hong Kong. Unfortunately and much to his great sorrow, James sheds a quiet tear as he recalls Bishop Hsu’s untimely death as a result of a heart attack suffered in his 50’s.
On Sabbatical in the Philippines
“Speak out, speak strongly, criticise while remaining loyal!”, was a message that resounded for James while on Sabbatical at the East Asia Pastoral Institute in Manila in 1972. Bishop Cisco Claver gave a course there in September of that year: it was the beginning of Martial Law in the Philippines.
James remembers Cisco as being very casual, he played basketball with the students to win. He was an utterly fearless, exceptionally dynamic man with a sharp, penetrating intellect with whom James became well acquainted. While spending Christmas at Cisco’s residence and office, he would often drive with the Bishop in his jeep through the mountains. He laughs when he recalls the occasion they visited a convent while the Bishop stayed at the wheel: “Bring your driver in for a cuppa tea”, said the Reverend Mother!
Ed Delatorre (Edicio de Latore) an SVD priest, was politically active in Manila and on the run at the time while James was there. He took the opportunity to hear Ed speak at a meeting held in secrecy (Ed still lives in Manila although contact with him has been lost).
When Martial Law was declared by Marcos, it was discussed by the Filipino Bishops who used to meet bi-annually. Should they issue a statement? The laity was waiting for guidance...the clergy were for and against. Some Jesuits were close to Marcos while others like John Doherty — a sociologist and a Jesuit at the time — were highly critical of Martial Law and it was he who wrote its first analysis. It was 1975 before it was issued as a statement.
But in 1972, the Bishops decided to say nothing. “We bishops have no conscience“, Cisco subsequently declared.
The inspiration of remarkable men
Bishop Perez left a deep impression on James when he announced: ‘You students are the prophets of the 20th Century!”. He compared them to Amos in the Old Testament. Amos was called by God to preach social justice and was rusticated i.e. sent to live in the remote countryside. It was an enlightening moment for James! He was inspired to write a paper on the concept of 'prophecy' and intends to expand on his ideas in his retirement. 'Prophecy' in today’s Church carries great meaning for him.
James recalls Fr Dan Berrigan SJ, a social activist and now in his 90s, who suffered the same fate i.e. rustication, in the US. But eventually Dan was fully accepted and loved by all.
Pope Francis is tending towards the same social activism, James adds, although in the past was not obviously political when based in Bueno Aires, Argentina. Michael Campbell Johnson, an elderly Jesuit in the UK, was in charge of the Social Apostolate based in Rome at the time. Seemingly, he was sent to Francis (then Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio SJ) to hold discussions with him. Long conversations ensued but Michael deemed them 'inconclusive'. Bergoglio then travelled to Europe to research his doctorate and spent a short time in Milltown Park, Dublin. On his return to Argentina, he was 'rusticated' to Cordoba. He led a simple life there, supporting the priests working in the slums and when he came back to Bueno Aires in 1998 as Archbishop, he was a different man.
An unanswered question often comes into James’ thoughts. One day he was in conversation with a priest based in Japan who had been a staff member in the Vatican financial department. A just, living wage was being strongly recommended at the time by the Church and when James enquired as to how the Vatican was implementing it amongst lay staff, there was silence. The priest replied that concessions, such as petrol allowances, were given to staff. James hesitatingly concludes that the Vatican was not practising what it preached on the issue. However, he is of the opinion that the Vatican would benefit from opening up and prays for Pope Francis' efforts in trying to bring change about.
Blessed Franz Jägerstätter the Austrian has also been a lifelong inspirational figure. He was a conscientious objector who refused to take up arms during World War 2 and was subsequently executed as a result. He was later declared a martyr and beatified by the Church.
James recalls another inspirational man, the Very Rev. Pedro Arrupe SJ, and the story Pedro would tell about assisting at Mass when he was Father General of the Society of Jesus. Pedro liked to pray in the small simple rooms of St Ignatius and one day, a visiting American Jesuit prepared to say Mass there for his group of American visitors. The sacristan was absent so Pedro performed the duties required. One of the group remarked afterwards to Pedro: “That Mass was a bit strange, but valid.” When he realised to whom he was speaking, he shot off!
On the factory floor
After the Sabbatical and not wishing to take up a full time position, the Hong Kong students wanted James to become Asian Chaplin to the Secretariat of Pax Romano, which he did. In addition, he was invited to become Master of Novices in Hong Kong. Although it was quite a change, he accepted but eventually when the student number dropped, it was time once again to take another direction.
James quotes Canon John Hayes (founder of Muntir na Tíre in 1937), who was told by his ordaining Bishop on the occasion of his ordination, that he would: “Prefer to see you drunk with your people rather than sober without them”. James has tried to be with his people experiencing their realities throughout his ministry. And so it was that he became a factory worker in Hong Kong.
It was a clothes factory where James cut cloth endlessly for four mind-numbing months. It wasn’t easy getting a job there, as a foreigner. Although offered a supervisory role, he refused wanting to experience life as an ordinary worker. He prayed daily for social justice and read Karl Marx’ Communist Manifesto, sitting on the factory floor. Although read previously, the difference of his understanding from the factory floor was immense. He carries a great respect for Marx and treasures pictures taken at his graveside.
James laughs when he recalls the first time he meet the owner of the factory where he was employed. They recognised each other immediately. He was a graduate of a Hong Kong Jesuit college! They were both fixed to the floor. Here was the priest talking to the student who was the boss talking to the worker! Who was to make the first move... suddenly, a voice called out to the boss: “You’re wanted on the phone”. Thank God! James breathed a sigh of relief.
He spent four months in two different factories and although he got used to it, standing continuously was hard. Having said that, conditions were better then; hours were nine to five and there was no overtime. James got to know his co-workers well and often had discussions with them. Two young workers would remind him; “You’re a priest; you are free to come and go”.
Life with the Sisters and Brothers of Charity
While working at the factory, James lived with the Missionary Sisters and Brothers of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa. They were a cheerful group of young men, one of whom was an Australian, Brother Andrew, and a former Jesuit. Andrew, who later became General of the Brothers, also worked there and shared a room with him, sleeping on the floor, living in poverty and depending on charity. James recalls the evening when there was nothing to eat for dinner but tea and bread. Then there was a knock on the door. Two big chickens were handed in! The community dined in style the following evening.
James went on a 'Discernment' retreat in a Silesian retreat house. It afforded him a period of reflective time based on St. Ignatius’ observations of one’s feelings: to understand God’s will for us in our lives. He recalled the advice of the famous Fr. Tommy Ryan SJ given to him as a seminarian, “Stay in touch with poor people”. Three parishes in almost 30 years
James went on to serve in his new parish of Christ the Worker for 11 years, being Parish Priest for eight of them. It was a very happy, active period in James’ life. He began a Faith and Justice group and a Labour group amongst the communities in the parish. He was a founding member of the Hong Kong Amnesty International group there, informal at first and then having sought government approval, on a formal basis. The founder of Amnesty, Peter Benenson, became a friend and colleague. Amnesty is thriving in Hong Kong, as it is all around the world, to this day.
It is usual for a Jesuit to spend five to 10 years in one place before relocating. A Sabbatical taken in Dublin was followed by over a decade at St. Vincent’s Parish in a poor area of Hong Kong. It was the happiest period in James life. There a basic Christian community and Legion of Mary movement was flourishing. He worked towards collaboration with the Lutheran and Anglican communities, with the pastors sometimes giving homilies at each other’s churches. Nearby was the famous temple of Wong Tai Sin where thousands would gather regularly, especially for the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Interfaith relationships were built up and a new one with the neighbouring Buddhist monks was in the making, when James was requested to move to the Star of the Sea Parish. He was very regretful to leave at this point as so much progress was being made.
There were two other Jesuits along with James at the new parish. It was before the Hong Kong changeover of 1997 and no one knew what to expect. The transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to China — referred to as "the Handover" internationally or "the Return" in China — took place on 1st July 1997 and marked the end of British rule in Hong Kong. Having spent over five years there, he returned to the Jesuit Parish of St. Ignatius Church at Wah Yan College.
Leaps of faith: Johnny’s and A Wong’s stories
It was common knowledge that James was in touch with families that were in financial need. Friends and colleagues often donated money to be used where required.
One day a woman called to ask for help for her son Johnny. He was the eldest of a family of five and on remand in prison for shooting another man; his brother awaited trial in another courtroom for rape and robbery. Johnny was found guilty of Triad membership and manslaughter. He received a sentence of 15 years and was freed after 12, during which time James visited him regularly and was very impressed by his intelligence. Thus began a long friendship that is still enjoyed by both.
Later on Fr. James married Johnny to Jovita and the couple went on to parent a son and daughter, now both young adults. Johnny's children’s educational expenses being very large, James contacted a wealthy friend who then supported the son’s second and third level education. He has done very well in his exams and has a choice between Oxford and Cambridge Universities for the 2015 academic year. Johnny’s daughter got top marks in her University Finals and her intention is to work with prisoners. Another of James’ friends, who is a graduate of the Jesuit school in Hong Kong and a well- known lawyer practising there, is also highly supportive of the family.
Johnny himself works as a lorry driver and takes care of his widowed father. His prison record goes against him unfortunately when he applies for a job, and he has been unable to progress in a career.
And then there was A Wong. He worked as a cook in the school where James lived. He was a gambler and although he borrowed from the teaching staff, no one reported him. He owed a great deal of money to the Triad and was constantly under pressure from them. His wife had divorced him, for legal reasons. He lost his job and was at rock bottom when he attempted suicide.
But James had faith in A Wong and knew him well. He helped the man to pay his debts and stop gambling. A Wong rebuilt his life and although they remain legally divorced, is still with his wife.
Homeward bound
In 2012, James travelled to Ireland thinking it would be his last time to visit his homeland. However, upon returning to Hong Kong, his health began to fail and when he was offered the chance to live permanently in Ireland, he decided to return. That was in October 2014 and he is now, he says, adjusting himself to a new life situation. Living a quiet life in Dublin is very different from the bustling, thronged streets of Hong Kong with its seven and a half million people!
James is looking for an appropriate apostolate to continue his life of Jesuit service in the country of his birth. He would like to direct “retreats in daily life” as he has done over the last two years. This is a month long program of daily prayer, reflection and spiritual direction that is conducted in the course of a person’s ordinary responsibilities. It has become the most common way of making a retreat based on the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius.
He would like to become involved with Amnesty International Ireland and continue the human rights activities that have characterised James’s lived experience and lifelong ministry in the service of people living in poverty.
Compiled by Irish Jesuit Missions Communications from a series of interviews with Fr James, 3rd March 2015. Updated 17th October 2016

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He first came to Hong Kong in 1952 and learned Cantonese and then taught for a year at Wah Yan College Kowloon.

After Ordination he returned to Hong Kong in 1960 and from 1961-1967 taught at Chu Hoi College.

He had great sympathy for the Cantonese people and their nationalistic feelings. He was a chaplain with the Catholic Tertiary students from 1965-1975, including Chung Chi College of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and he was also the Spiritual Director of the Hong Kong Federation of Catholic students.
From about 1977 he served in the parishes of Ngau Tau Tok, Wong Tai Sin and Chai Wan until 1997 when he retired to Wah Yan College Kowloon.

He was involved in SELA - the Jesuit inter-provincial grou focused on socio-economic life in Asia. In 1977 he went to a SELA meeting in Bangkok and was especially happy with the living arrangements there which involved living with the poor and marginalised. There he met with some Thai students and SELA made a commitment to setting up some Basic Christian Communities in Thailand, where members would live together and carry on with their normal lives. He became the Hong Kong SELA representative in 1979, succeeding Patrick McGovern. he was then involved in compiling a report on Faith and Ideology, and this 9.000 word report also covered the issue of nationalism in Hong Kong, Marxism and the Church’s response.

In Hong Kong he was also involved in some intensive group Retreats at Cheung Chau. The emphasis of these retreats was on spiritual development and social awareness.
1980 He was officially appointed by the Bishop as Chaplain to the Young Christian Workers movement.

He was loved by his students as he was so approachable.

Kane, Ciarán, 1932-2013, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/852
  • Person
  • 28 December 1932-05 February 2013

Born: 28 December 1932, Clontarf, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1964, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 25 March 1968
Died: 05 February 2013, Eastern Hospital, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of the Xavier House, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to HK: 25 March 1968; HK to CHN 1992

by 1958 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language
by 1967 at Mount Street London (ANG) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
A dignified missionary presence lost
A quiet, but dignified missionary presence was lost to Hong Kong on 5 February 2013 with the death of Jesuit Father Ciaran Finbarr Kane. He was 80 years old.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1932, he joined the Society of Jesus in 1950, graduating from the University College Dublin, now known as the National University of Ireland, before coming to Hong Kong in 1958. He was ordained a priest at the Jesuit house of Milltown Park, Ireland, on the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, on 31 July 1964. A talented and adaptable man, he taught at both Wah Yan Colleges, in Kowloon and Hong Kong, but in 1971 he became the founding chaplain at the Adam Schall Residence of the United College at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he forged good relationships with both the administration and teaching staff until the university took over management of residence in 1994. A tribute from the current management of the college notes, “Throughout his distinguished affiliation with United College in the past decades, Father Kane has given invaluable advice and guidance to the development of the college. He was loved and respected by the college community; his dedication will be forever cherished.” During his time in Hong Kong, Father Kane was also on the staff of Star of the Sea parish in Chai Wan, but in 2004 he moved to the society’s retreat centre, Xavier House, in Cheung Chau, where he lived quietly as a spiritual director until 2012, touching the atmosphere within the walls and grounds with the serenity of a man of God. His other great love was music and he became the well-known voice of RTHK4 (Radio Television Hong Kong) presenting sacred music for its programme, Gloria.
The director of the Hong Kong City Chamber Orchestra paid tribute to Father Kane’s appreciation of the religious dimension of music last year, when he took part in a presentation of Johann Sebastian Bach by cellist, Artem Konstantinov. The musical presentation was interspersed with the words of Christ, read by Father Kane.
“It has been a pleasure to develop the idea of combining Bach’s unaccompanied cello suites with passages from the bible with both Father Ciaran Kane and Artem,” the director wrote at the time. “It has also been a thought-provoking task, for such a combination of scripture readings and unaccompanied music has never been done before worldwide, I imagine,” she continued. The newsletter also pays tribute to the artistic suggestions of Father Kane in creating a suitable atmosphere in the small chapel of St. Stephen’s College in Stanley, with candlelight and shadows. His broadcasting career saw him presenting both Catholic and ecumenical programmes, including Morning Prayers and a twice-weekly Midday Prayers, together with live broadcasts of Sunday religious services on a monthly basis. He is especially remembered for his tribute to fathers on a Fathers’ Day programme, featuring the music of Eric Clapton. He was a member of the Religious Broadcasting and Television Advisory Committee at RTHK and made the move to free-to-air television, taking part in discussions on the infant TVB on matters as diverse as Christmas and Easter, coverage of the visit of Pope Paul VI to Hong Kong in December 1970 and the opening of the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome to usher in the Jubilee Year in 2000. His sister, Eileen Kane, said on 13 February at a vigil Mass in St. Margaret’s, Happy Valley, the evening before his funeral, that her brother had no other dream than to join the Jesuits. She related how she accompanied him to a talk given by a Jesuit priest when he was a young man, saying that from that day on, he was quite convinced he had found his true vocation and road in life. Father Kane died peacefully after being hospitalised for three weeks in Eastern Hospital. He was buried from St. Margaret’s on 14 February in St. Michael’s Happy Valley Cemetery.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 24 February 2013

Note from Frank Doyle Entry
Father Ciaran Kane, from Xavier House in Cheung Chau, studied with him in high school in Ireland and they were again together in the Jesuit formation programme, coming to Hong Kong at about the same time. Father Kane described his old friend as charming and a man who made friends easily, although in many ways he could be called a loner, as he liked to do his own thing in his own way. Father Kane said that something changed in him in later years. In describing him as dapper, he noted that in his later years he become really casual and even grew a beard. “But he really loved writing,” Father Kane said, “and he was good at it. For many years after he went back to Ireland, he would return to Kuala Lumpur and do a month at the Catholic paper each year. He wrote many things.” Father Kane said, “He never forgot his Cantonese though and kept contact with Chinese people in Ireland and England, as well as in Vancouver and New York for many years.”

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/213-missionary-in-hong-kong-2012

Missionary in Hong Kong 2012
Ciaran Kane, SJ
Being a missionary anywhere today is very different from what it was 50 years ago, when I first arrived in Hong Kong. Both the world and the church have changed so much in the meantime. For the church, a richer understanding of what ‘mission’ means, and that the idea of ‘mission’ is a call to all Christians. For the world, the onset of globalisation bringing peoples and cultures into closer contact and mutual influence and interdependence.
In the past, more than today, being a missionary implied coming from a faraway place bringing a set of beliefs, practices and values that were ‘foreign’ to the people you came to serve. Whether admired or reviled, the missionary had a distinctive status with his/her people. But global communications, international travel, studying and service abroad, and the shrinking of our world have now levelled the ground, and, I think, integrated the missionary more into the local church and society.
So, for me being a missionary today is a consciousness of serving the universal church, the international body of Christ, people of many races and places. As a Jesuit my specific mission is a ministry that involves me with Catholics and other Christians, local Chinese and foreign residents, working with men and women, young and old, religious and lay, married and single --- in short a microcosm of the universal church. But it’s also important for me as a citizen of this city to be concerned about society as a whole, about the social milieu in which I live and work, and to give witness to a Christian presence in civic and cultural life. I hope I can be a useful instrument in the Lord’s vineyard.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was born in Dublin and was educated at Belvedere College SJ, and he then joined the Society in 1950.

1958-1961 He came to Hong Kong for Regency where he learned Cantonese and taught at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.
1967 After Ordination he returned to Hong Kog with a mission to focus on communications.
1972-1994 With the opening of the Adam Schall Residence at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, he became its founding Warden serving students and faculty.

He was known to be always friendly and approachable and had a keen interest in Church music. His sister taught Organ Music and Music History at University College Dublin. He became involved in Radio Hong Kong (RTHK Radio 4), and was greatly appreciated by them for his religious broadcasts and religious music programmes from 1967. That year he was appointed as a Member of the Advisory Committee on Religious Broadcasting nd Television, an ecumenical committee, and in 1969 was appointed Chairman.

When he retired he went to Cheung Chau helping in the Parish and as an advisor on Spirituality at the Centre.

Note from Paddy Finneran Entry
Among his students were Ciarán Kane and Frank Doyle in Belvedere

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 152 : Summer 2013

Obituary

Fr Ciarán Kane (1932-2013)

Fr. Ciarán F. Kane S.J. died in Hong Kong on 5 February 2013, at the Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital. During the final weeks of his long illness, and in the days around his funeral, the structural lines and the wide outreach of his ministry were brought into focus. Visitors came to the hospital from United College, in the Chinese University of Hong Kong, from RTHK's Radio 4, from the Star of the Sea parish in Chai Wan, and from Cheung Chau. Some were past pupils of the Wah Yan Colleges, others alumni of United College. There were broadcasters and people who had come to know Ciarán through his work on radio, friends at whose marriages he had officiated and whose children he had baptized, people who had come to him for spiritual direction. Other friends telephoned from the United States, Canada, England, Malasia and Ireland as well as from Hong Kong. All showed a real affection for him, as well as great appreciation of all he had accomplished in fifty years of ministry in Hong Kong.

Ciarán was born in Dublin on 28th December 1932. He attended school, first locally in Clontarf, and then at Belvedere College, which had a decisive influence on him. There, his intelligence and his giftedness were fostered. Not only did he shine academically, but his fine singing voice was recognised, and he was given leading roles in the annual Gilbert and Sullivan operas that were a feature of those years. It was also at Belvedere that he came to know about the work of Irish Jesuits in Hong Kong.

Ciarán entered the Jesuit Noviciate at Emo, on 7 September 1950. There followed, from 1952 to 1955, three years of studies in Latin and French for a B.A. at University College Dublin, and three years of Philosophy at Tullabeg, at the end of which, in the Summer of 1958, he was assigned to Hong Kong. His parents had no need to ask whether Ciarán was happy about being sent to Hong Kong - nothing could have been more evident. For two years, based in Xavier House, in Cheung Chau, he studied Cantonese, and then spent a year teaching Mathematics, English and Religion in Wah Yan College, Kowloon.

Back in Ireland, after three years of Theology, Ciarán was ordained a priest at Milltown Park on 31st July, 1964. Then, having completed the Tertianship year, also in Dublin, he embarked upon courses in media studies, in order to train as a broadcaster on radio and television. These courses took him to England, to work at the B.B.C. with the well-known broadcaster of religious programmes, the Franciscan Fr. Agnellus Andrew. He also went to Paris, to the French broadcasting station, ORTF, and worked in Dublin at the Catholic Communications Centre in Booterstown. Thus equipped, he returned to Hong Kong in the summer of 1967. In due course he became a member of the Chinese Province.

Ciarán's first assignment as a priest was at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, teaching English and Religion, but right from the start, he was also scripting and presenting religious programmes on radio. Not long after his arrival, in 1967, he was asked to take over the twice weekly programme called 'Midday Prayers', and from then on, for the next twenty-something years, he was heard each week by a growing and ever more appreciative audience. When Ciarán's mother visited Hong Kong, in 1970, she was introduced to a lady who said she loved to listen to Midday Prayers. “I'm not a Catholic”, she said, “but I asked my Pastor, and he said it was all right to listen to Fr Kane”. Forty-three years later, at Ciarán's funeral, a gentleman came to say that he had listened regularly for twenty-two years, and that, spiritually, the prayers had helped him greatly. He had taken notes from them, which he still used, he said, and he spoke of the programmes as part of “Fr. Kane's spiritual legacy”. His one regret was that he had missed the first few years, because he had not known about the broadcasts then, but he had got in touch with Ciarán personally, and, over the years, had met him regularly to talk about spiritual matters. Another of Ciarán's friends, and a former colleague, expressed a keen interest in helping to publish those programmes, or a selection from them, either in book form or on disk. It is hoped that this may indeed be possible. In the course of time, “Midday Prayers” became “Morning Prayers”, and by August 1994, Ciarán had presented these programmes more than 2700 times.

There were other broadcasts, too. Still in the 1960s, he broadcast a series of programmes on English cathedrals, called “Sounds in Stone”. Later, in the series he called “Kyrie” he introduced sacred music, as well as the spoken word. “Kyrie” was hugely successful, and reached the highest audience ratings of any English-language programmes on Radio 4. Another popular series was called “Gloria”, and he also, for a number of years, presented sacred music for Advent and Christmas. Besides all this, in 1969, he was elected Chairman of the Religious Broadcasting and Television Advisory Committee for Radio-Television Hong Kong - RTHK He was also a member of the Sacred Music Commission in the Diocese of Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the Jesuits, along with the Maryknoll Sisters, had taken the initiative of providing a new Student Hostel, Adam Schall Residence, in United College, in the Chinese University of Hong Kong, at Shatin in the New Territories. The residence opened in 1971 with Ciarán as its first Director. That new position brought with it new possibilities, and also new tasks, in liaising with people on various levels, whether students, administrators, academics or higher management. The tiny Jesuit community at Adam Schall was international, consisting of at most three men of as many different nationalities. Ciarán enjoyed his work there, and created an atmosphere in which the students' work flourished. Ciaran celebrated Mass each morning, and found himself acting as what he himself termed "the unofficial Catholic Chaplain' at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

At Adam Schall, he also kept up his interest in music. He sang with the Hong Kong Philharmonic chorus and with the Bach Choir. His voice had an unusually wide range, so that he could sing with the basses as well as with the baritones and the tenors. He even discovered, though, as he said himself, it was a bit too late to be useful, that he could sing falsetto.

In 1994, at the close of the academic year, Ciarán retired from United College. He took a sabbatical year, which he spent, for the first semester, at Boston College, and then in spiritual renewal at St. Beuno's in Wales. On his return to Hong Kong, in 1995, Ciarán was assigned, as assistant to the Parish Priest, to the new parish church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in the district of Chai Wan, which the Jesuits had undertaken to run. Again, it was a new sphere of work, with new possibilities, especially where the Liturgy was concerned. Typically, he embraced the task, and quickly made an impact, as well as many new friends. This assignment was also an opportunity for him to get to know better some of his Irish Jesuit confrères, from whom he had been somewhat isolated during his twenty-two years in Shatin. After six years of parish work in Chai Wan, Ciarán returned to Cheung Chau, and Xavier House, where his life in Hong Kong had begun. Tasked with heading up a renewed Centre of Ignatian Spirituality there, he had first to undertake extensive renovation and rebuilding of part of the house itself. This meant that he had also to fund-raise, a task which brought him back into contact with at least one Old Belvederian, who had 'made it good' globally, and visited Hong Kong on a regular basis. In the task of renovating Xavier House, he also had scope for using his artistic flair, and he enjoyed collaborating with the project's architect, in creating and furnishing new spaces for prayer, both indoors and in the gardens, as well as ensuring that the rooms for retreatants and staff were more than just basically fit for purpose.

Ciarán's return to Cheung Chau coincided with the onset of illness. This began with a heart attack in Manila, in the year 2000, a degenerative condition in the spine about two years later, which made walking somewhat difficult, a diagnosis of prostate cancer in 2006 and leukaemia in 2007. Characteristically, he took it all in his stride – literally, it might be said, because he continued to come and go, up the steps or by the longer pathway between the ferry-port and Xavier House, sometimes more than once in the day. He was meticulous about taking his medicines at the correct times and the correct intervals, but otherwise, he did not allow his condition to interfere with his life, and would not even speak of it except in response to a direct question. He continued to broadcast on RTHK Radio 4, and to participate in the musical life of Hong Kong. In his last series of programmes on Radio, entitled “Oratorio”, he presented extracts from most of the best-known titles, as well as many that had scarcely been noticed before.

In 2010, he was presented with a 'Veteran Broadcaster award, and he continued to plan and work on new ideas for programmes for Radio, the medium he liked best. His last stage appearance was in January 2012, when he read excerpts from the gospels of Luke and Mark, in a performance over two evenings of Bach's solo cello concertos, entitled “Words of Christ in the music of Bach”.

In recent years Ciarán was able to return to Dublin for one month in the Summer, usually June. It was a break to which he looked forward eagerly, because it gave him the opportunity to meet and catch up with news of his friends, Old Belvederians, colleagues and cousins. He particularly looked forward to meeting for an annual lunch with the men who had entered the Noviciate with him. He also made sure that he met up with all his many cousins, and was delighted to have an excuse to travel to Cork or to Connemara. Travelling, going on pilgrimage - to Japan or to Spain - were the mature version, in his later years, of the cycling trips that had taken him, in his youth, over every possible road - or so it seemed to his family - that could be traversed in either Dublin or Wicklow

On his last visit to Dublin, in June 2012, it was obvious that Ciarán's health was relentlessly deteriorating. In September, he was airlifted from Cheung Chau to hospital in Hong Kong. There were tests, and more tests, in four different hospitals, over the months of October and November, in between which he stayed at Ricci Hall. Finally, on 17th December, he was admitted to the PYN Eastern Hospital. He celebrated his 80th birthday in hospital, on 28th December. That week, which included Christmas, he was undergoing radiation treatment daily for pain relief, but he still smiled for the cameras of all those who came to visit him, and they were many.

Towards the end of the eight weeks of his final stay in hospital, Ciarán was not always able to respond to visitors, but they continued to come. Some simply came and went. One group, and one individual friend, sang to him. Some came and wept, and went away again. As his sister, there was nowhere else I wanted to be other than by his bedside, in those last weeks. “I know that the Lord is calling me”, he told me, “and I want to go, but I can't. It is all a great mystery”. He received Holy Communion for the last time on Monday 4th February. Next day, peacefully, serenely, he was able to answer the Lord's call.

Eileen Kane

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2013

A Missionary in Hong Kong

The following is an article written by Fr Ciaran Kane RIP (OB 1950) in 2012 :

Being a missionary anywhere today is very different from what it was 50 years ago, when I first arrived in Hong Kong. Both the world and the church have changed so much. For the church, a richer understanding of what 'mission' means, and that the idea of 'mission' is a call to all Christians. For the world, the onset of globalization has brought peoples and cultures into closer contact and mutual influence and interdependence.

In the past, more than today, being a missionary implied coming from a faraway place bringing a set of beliefs, practices and values that were 'foreign' to the people you came to serve. Whether admired or reviled, the missionary had a distinctive status with his or her people. But global communications, international travel, studying and service abroad, and the shrinking of our world have now levelled the ground, and, I think, integrated the missionary more into the local church and society.

So, for me being a missionary today is a consciousness of serving the universal church, the international body of Christ, people of many races and places. As a Jesuit my specific mission is a ministry that involves me with Catholics and other Christians, local Chinese and foreign residents, working with men and women, young and old, religious and lay, married and single - in short a microcosm of the universal church. But it's also important for me as a citizen of this city to be concerned about society as a whole, about the social milieu in which I live and work, and to give witness to a Christian presence in civic and cultural life. I hope I can be a useful instrument in the Lord's vineyard.

Fr Ciaran Kane SJ

Kelly, James, 1921-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/626
  • Person
  • 07 September 1921-07 April 2000

Born: 07 September 1921, Geashill, County Offaly
Entered: 07 September 1940, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1954, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1958, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 07 April 2000, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03/12/1966; HK to CHN : 1992; CHN to HIB : 1993

by 1949 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1963 at Rome, Italy (ROM) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father James Kelly, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father James Kelly, SJ, died in Dublin on 7 April 2000 after a long illness.

Born in Ireland in 1921, Father Kelly came to Hong Kong in 1948. After studying the Cantonese language first in Guangzhou and then in Hong Kong, he spent one year teaching in Wah Yan College, Robinson Road before returning to Ireland to complete his ecclesiastical studies.

Ordained a priest in 1954, Father Kelly returned to Hong Kong in 1956 and was first assigned to teach in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. In 1958 he began to teach theology in the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen.

From 1962 to 1964 he did further studies in Rome and then taught theology for a short time in the Philippines before being recalled to heavy administrative responsibilities in Hong Kong. However, he gave theology courses when invited in Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen until 1982. Owing to ill health he returned to Ireland in 1995 where he remained until his death.

Father Kelly had a keen interest in Scripture the subject he taught most frequently and his courses were much appreciated by his students. He also had a practical turn of mind and undertook many administrative tasks in a competent way. He had a lively inquiring mind and was a man of many interests. He was a devoted priest and a kind and understanding guide to all who looked to him for spiritual direction.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 30 April 2000

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Casey G., Grogan and Sullivan leave England for Hong Kong on 2nd July on the ‘Canton’. On the following day Fr. Kevin O'Dwyer hopes to sail with Fr. Albert Cooney from San Francisco on the ‘General Gordon’ for the same destination.
The following will be going to Hong Kong in August : Frs. Joseph Mallin and Merritt, Messrs. James Kelly, McGaley, Michael McLoughlin and Geoffrey Murphy.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 105 : Special Edition 2000

Obituary

Fr James J (Jimmy) Kelly (1921-2000) - Honk Kong Province

1921, Sept 7: Born in Geashill, Offaly
Early education: St Columba's, Tullamore

1940, Sept 7: Entered the Society at Emo
1942, Sept 8: First vows at Emo
1942 - 1945: B.A. studies at UCD
1945 - 1948: Tullabeg, studying philosophy
1948 - 1950: Hong Kong, studying Cantonese
1950 - 1951: Wah Yan College, teaching
1951 - 1955: Milltown Park, studying theology
July 29th 1954: Ordained priest at Milltown Park
1955 - 1956; Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1956 - 1958: Wah Yan College, teaching
1958 - 1962: Regional Seminary, teaching Scripture
1962 - 1964: Gregorian, Rome, studying Dogmatic Theology
1964 - 1965: Philippines, teaching Scripture
1965 - 1995: During this long period he held various posts:
Regional Treasurer, Professor of Sacred Scripture, taught Church History in Seminary, Assistant Warden, Ricci Hall, Province Revisor.
1995 - 2000: Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

While in Hong Kong, Fr. Kelly suffered from arthritis and the start of Parkinson's Disease. Jimmy lived his mission to Pray for the Church and the Society deeply and, up to a week before he died, he could be found praying at 5.30 a.m. In his last days he was relieved to be dispensed from praying the Prayer of the Church. He went quickly downhill and died as he had lived, quietly and without drawing attention to himself.

Joe Foley writes ...

Jimmy Kelly was born into a strongly nationalist family in Geashill, Offaly on 7th September, 1921. He was always proud of the fact that he came from a nationalist background and that he was of rural origin.

Most of Jimmy's life was spent in Hong Kong, but even before he went on the missions, he had an interesting time in Ireland. He was completely at home in the bogs of the midlands and while studying philosophy in Tullabeg he thoroughly enjoyed joining the late Fr Frank Shaw, SJ on shooting expeditions in the bogs, with which he was very familiar. Jimmy could be described as a handyman and was very much in demand as a stage-hand when we put on our amateur productions in Tullabeg. I suspect that one of his most enjoyable moments was when, in one play - it was Seán O Casey, I think - the script called for “gunfire, off stage”, and Jimmy proudly produced gunfire that was not only realistic, but was actually real!

He went to Guangzhou (Canton) China in 1948. The plan was that he would spend two years studying Cantonese. However, the change of government in China changed all that. Jimmy, together with the other seven scholastics who were studying Cantonese, went to Hong Kong in the summer of 1949 to continue his language studies. The following year he taught in the afternoon section of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, then in Robinson Road. He returned to Ireland for theology in 1951, was ordained priest in Milltown Park and did his tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle, He was back in Hong Kong in 1956. He taught and was Prefect of Studies in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He was then assigned to teach scripture in the Regional Seminary for South China in Aberdeen, Hong Kong.

Scripture became one of Jimmy's main interests, which stayed with him all his life. From 1962 - 1964 he did doctoral studies in Rome. Those were the early days of the Second Vatican Council and Jimmy struck up a friendship with Robert Kaiser, one of the chief English-speaking correspondents of the Council. He also renewed acquaintance with Fr Malachy Martin, SJ whom he already knew well, since Malachy was one year ahead of him in the Society. Jimmy thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in all the “goings-on” at the Council and had a grandstand view of what was happening. At the same time negotiations were under way for the transference of the Diocese of Hong Kong from the Italians (the PIME) to the Chinese Diocesan Clergy. We in Hong Kong knew nothing of this at the time, but Jimmy must have kept a close and very discreet eye on the situation - with very great enjoyment.

Once again the change of government in China impacted on Jimmy's life. The flow of seminarians from South China came to an end and what had been the Regional Seminary for South China now became the Hong Kong Diocesan Seminary, staffed by local Chinese Clergy. Thus, on his return from Rome in 1964, instead of continuing teaching scripture, he returned to Hong Kong in 1965 and for the next 30 years he was engaged in a great variety of ministries: Secretary to the Superior of the Mission; Socius to the Provincial of the Vice-Province; Assistant Warden in Ricci Hall (The University Hostel); Professor of Scripture in the Seminary College. However, his main work was as Treasurer of the Vice-Province, a job he devoted himself to, with apparently endless energy. Those who are expert in financial matters testify that Jimmy did an outstandingly good job as Treasurer, He got the finances into excellent shape, and to this day tributes are paid to the very fine job he did.

While making the finances of the Vice-Province (and later Province) of Hong Kong his first priority, Jimmy also found time to engage in much pastoral work. He taught scripture in the Seminary College, and was also "ordinary confessor" for many years to a group of Irish Columban Sisters. Their appreciation of his many years of faithful service was shown by the attendance of a large number of the Sisters at his funeral in Gardiner St. Jimmy also said Mass regularly in the Catholic Centre, in downtown Hong Kong. He was also available to a number of people who came to him for advice and counselling. His sympathy and understanding were much appreciated by those who turned to him for help.

Thus, Jimmy led a very full, active life, in spite of poor health. Many years ago he underwent major surgery for cancer and subsequently was troubled by many different aliments, including diverticulitis and Parkinson's. When he felt it was wise to do so, he returned to Ireland and spent the last five years of his life in Cherryfield Lodge. He often spoke to me of how grateful he was for the great personal care and attention he received during those years.

Jimmy has now gone to his well-deserved rest, leaving behind memories of a very quiet, unassuming, hard-working, devoted Jesuit. He did not wear his heart on his sleeve, but deep devotion to the Lord was abundantly evident, and a source of inspiration to all who knew him. May he rest in peace.
JG Foley, SJ

-oOo-

Harold Naylor writes ...

Jimmy is a man to whom the HK Jesuits owe much. For nearly three decades he looked after the HK finances carefully, prudently and successfully. He built up a fund for the aged and sick, and brought all financial matters up to date with the latest of the decrees of the General Congregations on Religious Poverty.

In 1993, he felt his days in Hong Kong were up and he returned to Ireland, where he lived at Cherryfield Lodge. He kept abreast of life in Hong Kong, and the financial world. Since he took over as Procurator, after Fr. Howatson's stroke in 1964, he had made himself ready in all matters of investment and world finance.

He came to Hong Kong with a distinguished group of scholastics, like Hal McLoughlin and Frank McGaley who are still with us. Desmond Reid in Singapore is also a strict contemporary. It was 1948 when he with three other scholastics and two priests went to Canton to learn Cantonese. With the communist advances in 1949, they came to Hong Kong and continued their language studies as guests of the French MEP priests at Battery Path. He then taught a year at Wah Yan, and he returned to Wah Yan, Kowloon, for two years from 1958 when he was Form Master in Form Five to George Zee, and also Prefect of Studies,

Called to teach at the Regional Seminary, he put himself to New Testament Studies, and then went to Rome for his Biennium at the Biblical, which he finished in 1963. Jesuit withdrawal from the Aberdeen Seminary in Feb 1964 then saw him at the Theologate in Baguio, but this only lasted a few months. The summons came to be Procurator at Ricci Hall.

He continued to teach courses at the Aberdeen Seminary for some years. His health was bad. He was a cautious and accurate man, but also compassionate and warm, and approachable when in a good mood. He kept up serious reading, especially in Scriptural studies, and had a clear and well founded theological opinions, which tended to be conservative.

We offer sympathy to his sisters Mary (O'Sullivan) and Bridie (Comiskey), many nephews, nieces and friends, not to speak of those who knew him so well in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Harold Naylor SJ

MacDonald, Daniel, 1891-1957, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/284
  • Person
  • 19 June 1891-14 May 1957

Born: 19 June 1891, Carrickmore, County Tyrone
Entered: 07 September 1909, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1928, Shiuhing, China
Died: 14 May 1957, Regional Hospital (University Hospital) Limerick

part of the Mungret College, County Limerick community at the time of death

Studied for BSc at UCD;

by 1915 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1917 in Australia - Regency at St Aloysius College, Sydney
1926-1927 Tertianship at Tullabeg
by 1928 second batch Hong Kong Missioners

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Requiem Mass at Ricci Hall Chapel
Father Daniel McDonald, S.J.

At the Chapel of Ricci Hall, Catholic Hostel at the University of Hong Kong, a solemn Requiem Mass was offered last Thursday by Father Herbert Dargan, S.J. the present Warden of Ricci Hall, for the repose of the soul of one of his predecessors, Father Daniel McDonald, S.J., whose death occurred in Ireland on 14 May 1957. He was 66 years of age.

Fr. McDonald, a native of Tyrone in Northern Ireland, was educated in Armagh, and was a student of the diocesan seminary in that city before he entered the Society of Jesus. He did his university studies in the National University, Dublin, where he took his degree in science. He spent some years in Australia before his ordination, and was one of the second group of Irish Jesuits who came to Hong Kong, in 1927.

After a period of Chinese studies in Shiu Hing, Kwangtung, he was attached to the Sacred Heart College, Canton, but on the opening of Ricci Hall as a Catholic Hostel of the Hong Kong University he was appointed its first Warden. He held this position from 1929 to 1936.

During the war in China, when the Japanese occupied Canton, a relief party was sent form Hong Kong and Fr. McDonald was put in charge of one of the welfare sections. He remained in Canton under difficult conditions as long as it was possible to continue the work.

After his return to Hong Kong it was clear that the strain had seriously affected his health, and he was sent to Ireland to recuperate. In spite of his hope of one day returning to Hong Kong this was never possible, though his interest in China and in Chinese studies continued to the end. His last appointment was Director of the Apostolic School in Mungret College, Limerick. The news of his death came as a complete surprise, as he was known to be in his usual health up to a few weeks ago.
Sunday Examiner Hong Konh - 24 May 1957

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Daniel MacDonald entered the Society at Tullabeg, 7 September 1909, a time when there were sixteen novices and 23 juniors. The place was drab and the life was stern. There was a Trappist touch everywhere. Father Michael Browne was the ascetical novice master. MacDonald was small, well proportioned, with a dark, swarthy, Spanish complexion, slightly aquiline nose, and a smile always around the corner of his mouth. He had a likeness to Ignatius Loyola. He enjoyed the noviciate, it gave him idealism, perfection and the means to attain them,
MacDonald began his juniorate studies, showing much dedication and hard work, at the National University 1911-14, gaining a BSc in mathematics and experimental physics. Philosophy studies were at Stonyhurst, 1914-16, and then he was a most popular teacher of science and mathematics, sports master, director of cadets and prefect of discipline, at St Aloysius' College, Milsons Point, 1916-22. He was considered an outstanding teacher of mathematics and also taught science part time at Riverview. MacDonald entered into school life with tremendous zest. He was well spoken about in the Aloysian, and he loved Australia.
He returned to Milltown Park, Dublin, for theology, 1922-26, and to Tullabeg for tertianship the following year. Then he began a twelve year ministry on the China Mission, which had just begun. They were hard times. He began language study during the first six months of 1928 at the Portuguese Mission of Shiuhing. Later he helped set up a language school at Taal Lam Chung and was its first superior. He showed special aptitude for the Chinese language. In response to an appeal from the harassed bishop of Canton, the Irish Jesuits undertook the temporary management of the Sacred Heart School in that city in September 1928, and MacDonald and Dan Finn were the first to bear the hardships of that ministry.
When the Irish withdrew from Canton at the end of 1929, MacDonald became the first superior of Ricci Hall in Hong Kong, a residence for university students. The following year he was acting superior of the mission. He remained at this work until July 1936. During these years he continued to study Chinese, unfortunately with a more than prudent zeal and intensity. He worked from early morning to late at night, deaf to all the remonstrances of those who saw clearly that such concentration must undermine his health. He became quite outstanding at the spoken and written Chinese. But his health so suffered in the process that he was sent back to Ireland to recuperate.
Back in Hong Kong early in 1937, he spent some months on the staff of the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, while the new language school was being built at Tool Lam Chung in the
New Territories. When the language school opened in July 1937, MacDonald became its first superior. lt was another challenge to get suitable teachers, draw up programmes of study and provide for the new missionaries arriving fresh from Ireland.
In November 1938 Japan invaded South China and captured Canton. MacDonald went with other Jesuits to help the suffering people of the city. His knowledge of Chinese was of immense value to the joint Protestant and Catholic committee, which was sent from Hong Kong.
Unfortunately, the strain of this work once more undermined his health. Finally, in July 1939, he had to withdraw from the Hong Kong Mission and returned to Ireland, still working on a Chinese dictionary, which eventually had to be abandoned.
MacDonald developed a great love of the Chinese language and for the Chinese people. They understood that “Mok San Foo” understood them, and many came to consult him over the years. He was truly inculturated into the Chinese culture.
Upon his return to Ireland he was stationed at Emo from 1940-45, and in the latter year was transferred to Mungret College, Limerick, where he remained for the rest of his life. He had good control of a class, would punish irregularities but never with undue severity. He showed great diligence in preparation of classes, leaving volumes of notes on all his subjects. As at St Aloysius' College during regency, he entered into the life of the students, showing interest in all that concerned them, particularly sports.
After ten years on the teaching staff during which he was spiritual father to the Apostolics, he was appointed superior of the Apostolic School. It seemed an office eminently suited to his gifts of nature and grace and an outlet for his zeal for the missions He was a good community man with a quiet sense of humor and an appealing smile. All enjoyed his company He seemed to be always occupied, yet found time for everyone He worked to the end of his life. No one had any suspicion that he was not well - he kept his troubles to himself. For at least twelve months he had been unwell. but the end came quickly, after two days of considerable pain and suffering resulting from a heart attack.
MacDonald was an idealist who sought perfection. He had an amazing capacity for hard work, was kindly, and had unfailing good humor. This gave him a great capacity for making friends and keeping them.

Irish Province News 32nd Year No 3 1957

St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, Dublin
The recent death of Fr. Daniel MacDonald, at Mungret, was a big loss to Gardiner Street as well as to his own Community. For the past six years he had spent most of the summer doing Church work with us when one or other of the Community was away on retreat or Villa. His wide experience and quiet gentle manner made him very well-fitted for the many calls the “Domi” man can receive, while his zeal and patience meant that he was at the disposal of Father. Minister for any assignment at the shortest notice. May he rest in peace!

Obituary :

Fr Daniel MacDonald (1891-1957)

On Thursday, 9th May Fr. MacDonald had this concluding paragraph in a letter :
“With regard to vacation I think I should not plan anything yet, until I see how things will work out. I am very tired just now, but please God that will pass as this term is not heavy. So we shall see later, perhaps”.
This letter was answered on Saturday, 11th May, and due in Mungret on Monday, 13th May. On that Monday Fr. Dan had a severe heart attack and died next day, Tuesday, 14th May, just one month short of his 66th birthday. That was how things worked out, and there was almost a prescience of it in Fr. Dan's words - “I think I should not plan anything yet”. He felt very tired, and his friends and relatives saw the fatigue when he was in Dublin for the Provincial Congregation at Easter. Moreover, he just casually referred to pains in his chest, and waived aside any idea of their serious nature or of seeing a doctor.
The remains of Fr. Dan were laid to rest in the new cemetery at Mungret, where he had spent the last twelve years of his life. The respect in which he and his family were held was obvious from the number of very representative clergy of the archdiocese of Armagh who made the long journey to Mungret. For many years unto a ripe old age, Fr. Dan's eldest brother was P.P. of Dungannon and Dean and V.G. of the archdiocese. Another brother died as a C.C. many years ago. A nephew is Adm in Dundalk. One of his sisters, Mother Brigid, practically founded the Mercy Convent in Perth, Western Australia. There are two nieces-one Mother Provincial in the Loreto nuns. So Fr. Dan was one of a family that gave much to the Church and to its missions.
Dan MacDonald and the writer of these lines were among the nine who entered the novitiate in Tullabeg in the autumn of 1909. There were sixteen Novices and twenty-three Juniors. The place was drab, the life was stern. There was a Trappist touch everywhere. Fr. Michael Browne was the Baptist proclaiming the way of the Lord, a saintly ascetic figure. Not far behind him on the narrow path that leads to life was the Socius, Fr. Charles Doyle. The latter was more down to earth, and kept the novices hardy with long and tiring manual works. There is no doubt about it, but that Dan MacDonald, right from the start, was just as solid as a rock, as good as gold and as genuine a colleague as could be found. Small, well proportioned, dark swarthy Spanish complexion, slightly aquiline nose, a smile always round the corner of his mouth, Dan was a miniature Ignatius. Let there be no mistake about it, the sterling qualities he showed all through life were there from the beginning. Whatever he was given to do he put everything into it. The noviceship suited Dan, and Dan suited the Jesuit noviceship. There were no frills and side-shows in that novitiate. It gave this solid lad of the North what he wanted-idealism, perfection, and the means to attain them.
Proceeding from Tullabeg in the autumn of 1911, Dan began his University course at Milltown Park, and concluded it in Rathfarnham Castle in 1914, with the B.Sc. degree. Now this course in Mathematical and Experimental Physics made great demands on him. Coming as he did from a classical seminary and with First Arts in his pocket, he set about his new subjects with zest, At that time our courses were arranged by the late Rev. Dr. Timothy Corcoran. He set many of us along the scientific path because the Colleges and the needs of the modern world were calling out for Science. These courses were tough and meant long hours in the University laboratories. It was a great achievement for Dan and we all admired his tremendous capacity for study. The same spirit of hard concentrated work saw him through his abridged course of philosophy in Stonyhurst. World War I broke out in 1914 and several who were destined for philosophy on the continent were disappointed. The loss of a modern language like French or German is of no small consequence to a student of the calibre of Dan MacDonald.
On his return to Ireland in 1916 Dan set out for Australia and spent six years as a most successful teacher of science and mathematics in St. Aloysius School, Sydney. He entered into school life in Australia with tremendous zest. He mastered the games that were all new to him and won the affection of the boys. As in England so in Australia Dan kept his patriotism in its proper place. Ireland was aflame those years (1916-1922), but happenings at home either in his family or in his native land, were never allowed to interfere with his work for souls anywhere. He loved Australia because it was the mission field of the Irish Province. When in the normal course of events he would have returned for theology after five years teaching, he readily volunteered to remain. In that last year after his day's teaching in St. Aloysius he used to go up river to give Science classes at Riverview College. Having come home ir 1922 he was thoroughly equipped for his return to the mission as a priest in 1927.
Theology and tertianship concluded, Fr. Dan did not return to Australia, but set out for the newly founded mission in Hong Kong. There he laboured for twelve years with one very brief period at home due to health. This heroic pioneering work is best described by the Jesuit colleague who witnessed it.

China (1927-37)
“As I look back over Fr. MacDonald's twelve years in the Hong Kong Mission the outstanding impression is that he had an exceptionally large portion of the hardships of the mission's beginnings. He, with Fr. Gallagher, was to make our first experiments in formal language study during the first six months of 1928 at the Portuguese mission of Shiuhing. The experience then gained was later valuable when we set up our language school at Taai Lam Chung and Fr. MacDonald became its first Superior.
Though from the start he showed a quite exceptional aptitude for the Chinese language, he could not be allowed more than six months of formal study. By September; 1928, in response to the appeal of the harassed Bishop of Canton, the Irish Jesuits undertook the temporary management of the Sacred Heart School in that city. Fr. MacDonald and Fr. Finn were the first to bear the physical hardships, frustrations, and almost daily humiliations involved in that venture. (It was certainly the most trying work that Ours have undertaken in the thirty years of the Hong Kong Mission, and it was largely due to the extraordinary devotedness of these two Fathers that the Hong Kong Mission continued to administer the school for four years, in the teeth of every difficulty, relinquishing it only after the tragic deaths of Frs. Saul and McCullough which took place a few weeks before the date set for our withdrawal from the work.)
Fr. MacDonald had scarcely completed one year of the beginnings in Canton when he was called to face the beginnings of Ricci Hall, He became its first Superior when it was opened to students on 16th December, 1929 and for the next year he also acted as Mission Superior during Fr. George Byrne's absence in Ireland. It was another difficult beginning because he had to create the traditions of discipline among University students who up to then had known no hostels where rules and discipline were taken very seriously. He won the battle by winning the students' affection and Ricci Hall came quickly to be known as the outstanding hostel of the University.
Fr. MacDonald continued as Superior (or Warden') of Ricci Hall until July, 1936. During all these years he continued to study Chinese with, unfortunately, a more than prudent zeal and intensity. He was at it from early morning to late at night, deaf to al the remonstrances of those who saw clearly that such concentration must undermine his health. He became a quite outstanding adept at spoken and written Chinese. But his health so suffered in the process that in 1936, Fr. Kelly had to replace him as Superior of Ricci and he himself was sent back to Ireland to recuperate.
Back in Hong Kong early in 1937, he spent some months on the staff of the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, while the new Language School was being built at Taai Lam Chung in the New Territories. When the Language School opened in July, 1937, Fr. MacDonald became its first Superior. It was another beginning and he had to face all the problems of getting suitable teachers, drawing up programmes of study and horaria for our young missionaries coming fresh from Ireland to begin what from that on became the necessary two years' language study preliminary to missionary work. He also took several classes each day so as to help our young missionaries to profit by the work they had to do under the far-from-expert Chinese teachers.
In November, 1938 the Japanese invaded South China and captured Canton. The sufferings and misery in the city were very great and Fr. MacDonald with Fr. G. Kennedy spent several months in Canton on work for the relief of the suffering. His knowledge of Chinese was of immense value to the joint Protestant and Catholic committee which was sent from Hong Kong for that work.
Unfortunately, it was only too clear that the strain of all this work, together with the unceasing concentration all day long on language study at this time he had several secretaries working with him in the composition of a Chinese dictionary - had once more undermined his health. Finally, in July, 1939 he had to withdraw from the Hong Kong Mission and though at home, he continued to work on his Chinese dictionary, that work also had finally to be abandoned.
With his love of the Chinese language, Fr. MacDonald imbibed also a very great love for the Chinese people, and something of their innate courtesy and even modes of thought. They felt that ‘Mok San Foo’ understood them and even those who spoke not a word of English, and who looked on Europeans generally as unpredictable people, were to be seen coming to Ricci or Taai Chung to consult him in their troubles. As you saw him bow, Chinese-fashion, with beautiful courtesy to even the poorest who came to him, and as you listened to him address them in their own language, even with their own peculiar (shall I call them) mannerisms, you felt that here was one who really had made China, its language, its thoughts, its people, his very own”.

Mungret
Fr. MacDonald on his return to Ireland was stationed at Emo from 1940 to 1945 and in the latter year was transferred to Mungret College, Limerick. Of his life in Mungret a colleague, who had been a fellow novice, writes :
“Fr. MacDonald spent the last twelve years of his life in Mungret. Whether he realised it or not, when coming in 1945 that return to his great work in China was not to be, he certainly lost no time in settling down to the life of an ordinary member of the teaching staff. He had taught for six years as a Scholastic in Australia, and during twelve years in the East he had well noted the zeal of Chinese boys, when given the opportunity of a secondary education. It is to be feared that the Irish boy did not always measure up to full standard in that respect, but that did not take Fr. Dan by surprise nor depress him unduly, Pretending to be shocked at their lack of zeal, he would tell them very seriously how different things were in the Orient, how the Chinese lad disliked the end of school term and approaching holidays. It was not for holidays they had come to school, It was for education and more education that was what they were paying for. How different!
In the class room he was not what one would call a driver, but he knew the art of good control and could punish for an offence or irregularity in his own effective way, never with undue severity. His diligence in preparation for classes. was truly extraordinary, as witness the volumes of notes, which he left behind, all written with extreme care in his own delightfully legible handwriting. At the end of the year he would contrive to acquire a store of cast off, half used, exercise books. These would supply the material for the notes of the next year.
But it was not only in the boys' studies that he was interested; he was interested in everything concerning them, particularly in their games. In all Weathers he was a constant spectator of the Sunday outmatch - it was one of the few recreations he allowed himself - and he would be sure to be at Thomond Park to cheer the team on. His experience in Australia had given him a keen interest in several games and no little facility in the important work of training teams.
After ten years on the teaching staff, during which he was Spiritual Father to the Apostolics, he was appointed Superior of the Apostolic School. It seemed an office eminently suited to his gifts of nature and grace, an outlet for his zeal for the foreign mission field. In the second year of his regime the School increased to the record number of 81.
No terms of praise would be too high for Fr. MacDonald's contribution to community life. Though most indulgent as regards others, he seemed to have set himself against any exemption from common life. His quiet sense of humour could see the bright side of most situations, and a little turn of phrase accompanied with his own genial smile left a very pleasant memory, Recreation in his company was pleasant indeed. He was always occupied and yet he had time for everybody-time, as some one said, to suffer fools gladly.
He literally worked to the end. No one in the community had any suspicion that all was not well with him. He kept his troubles to himself. It is now under stood that he had suffered a good deal for at least twelve months, but through it all he had a smile and a helping hand for everybody. Only on 13th May, when he sent for Father Rector and asked to be anointed, was it realised how serious was his condition. The end came quickly. After two days of considerable pain and suffering, patiently and silently borne, he passed to his eternal reward. May he rest in peace”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Dan MacDonald 1891-1957
Fr Dan MacDonald in the words of his contemporaries, was a miniature St Ignatius, both in appearance and character.

Born in the Archdiocese of Armagh, he was educated at the Seminary there by the Vincentians. His family gave many members to the Church. His brother was Vicar and Dean of the Archdiocese, his nephew became Administrator of Dundalk.

For the greater portion of his priestly life he laboured in China, being one of the founder members of the Hong Kong Mission. He became a thorough master in the language, and he was engaged in producing a dictionary in Chinese. So intense was his application, both in schools and on the dictionary, that his health broke down and he returned to Ireland. At his death he was in charge of the Apostolic School at Mungret.

He died in harness, asking to be anointed on the 13th May 1957, and he passed to his reward the following day.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1957

Obituary

Father Daniel MacDonald SJ

It is with great regret we announce the death of Fr Dan MacDonald which took place at the Regional Hospital on May 14th. Fr MacDonald had spent some time both in Australia and Hong Kong both as administrator and teacher and so was well qualified when he came to Mungret College in 1945. He excelled as a teacher particularly in mathematics. Last summer twelve months he was appointed Superior of the Apostolic School to which work he devoted all his energy.

He had the boys welfare very much at heart, and took a deep interest in their games. Affable and genial in manner he had many friends among both the Past and Present, and there are many both inside the College and outside it who will mourn his passing. To his relatives we offer our deep sympathy. RIP

Mallin, Joseph, 1913-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/853
  • Person
  • 13 September 1913-01 April 2018

Born: 13 September 1913, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1932, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1946, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 08 December 1976, Hong Kong
Died: 01 April 2018, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Son of Michael Mallin - executed following he 1916 Irish Rising
Brother of Seán Ó Mealláin - RIP 1977

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Easter farewell to long-serving Jesuit

Father Joseph Mallin (連民安神父), of the Society of Jesus, returned to the Lord he served on 1 April 2018, Easter Sunday. He was 104-years-old.

Born in Ireland on 13 September 1913, he joined the Jesuits on 7 September 1932 and was ordained on 31 July 1946. He made his final vows on 8 December 1976.

He arrived in Hong Kong and proceeded to Canton (Guangzhou) in 1948, returning to the then-British colony in 1949.

Between 1950 and 1968, Father Mallin taught at Wah Yan College Hong Kong and Wah Yan College Kowloon, then served as the principal of Pun U Association Wah Yan Primary School, Stubbs Road, from 1971-1977 and subsequently as the school’s supervisor from 1977 to 2002.

He was chaplain of Pun U from 2009 to 2103, formally retiring when he reached 100-years-old.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated for Father Mallin at 10am on 14 April at St. Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College Kowloon.
Sunday Examiner Hong Konh - 8 April 2018

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/child-of-two-revolutions/

Child of two revolutions
When Father Joseph Mallin celebrated his 100th birthday in Hong Kong on 13 September, he was hailed in Ireland’s newspapers as the oldest Irish priest in the world. Sitting in Wah Yan College, he gave a lively interview to Fionnuala McHugh of the Irish Times, who pointed to the two revolutions that Joe has survived: the Easter Rising of 1916, which claimed his father’s life; and the coup which made Sun Yat Sen the first president of the Republic of China, the year before Joe’s birth.
Joe’s father was Michael Mallin, who left home on Easter Monday 1916 to take command of the fighting in St Stephen’s Green, and never came home; he was shot in Kilmainham along with Connolly, Pearse and the other leaders. The night before the execution, 3-year-old Joseph was taken by his mother (then pregnant with her fifth child) to visit Michael in his cell. Though Joseph has no memory of that goodbye, he heeded the plea in Michael’s last letter: “Joseph, my little man, be a priest if you can.” His brother Sean had preceded him into the Jesuits, and both brothers were assigned to the Hong Kong mission.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/featured-news/fior-eireannach-gan-dabht/

‘Fīor Eireannach gan dabht’
President Michael D Higgins and the Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál MacDonnacha are among the dignitaries who will attend Fr Joe Mallins SJ’s Memorial Mass on Sat 21 April, 2018 at 11:00am in St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner St. Fr Joe Mallin was the son of Commandant Michael Mallin, who was executed for his role in the Easter Rising. He died peacefully and fittingly, on Easter Sunday morning, 1 April 2018, in Hong Kong. He was 104 years old. The funeral Mass for Fr Joe, presided over by the Bishop of Hong Kong, took place at 10am on Saturday, 14 April, at St Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College Kowloon. The burial was in St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley.
In his homily at the funeral Mass, Fr Joe Russell SJ, commenting on Fr Joe’s longevity said, “It is easy to understand why the people of the Old Testament were sure that a long life was the sign of God’s blessing, and explains why extraordinary life-spans were credited to their great men.” He added, “Joe was a private person. He seldom if ever spoke about himself. Which of us knew what his likes and dislikes were? More remarkably he never spoke unkindly about others. I never remember him ever speaking disparagingly about another. He never complained. With a family background like his and proficiency in the Irish language, another might have baulked at being assigned to Hong Kong. But not Joe. This is what God was asking of him; there was nothing more to be said.”
Concluding his short homily which you can read in full below, Fr Russell commented, ”As Joe comes before his judge his good life will speak eloquently for him, not only his service to the community at large but also, as the poet puts it, that best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love. These have not been forgotten, they have been indelibly recorded in the book of life. Now, there is a special difficulty in speaking on the occasion of the death of someone esteemed and admired, that in recalling their virtues we may deprive them of the prayers they need for their soul’s repose.”
He was born in 1914, just two years before his father was executed by firing squad, leaving a wife and five small children. One of Fr Joseph’s brothers, Seán, also became a Jesuit priest, and his sister Úna entered the Loreto order in 1925. She was sent to a convent in Spain, where she spent the rest of her life. Commandant Mallin would have been proud of his children. In his last letter he wrote: : “Úna, my little one, be a nun; Joseph, my little man, be a priest if you can ...” Fr Joe joined the Jesuits, and in 1948 he went to Hong Kong and China as part of the Irish Jesuit mission to China. He spent over 70 years of his life there.
Fr Joe entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1932, the same year as the Eucharistic Congress and after his ordination, he was sent on the Jesuit mission to China, where he would spend 70 years of his life. His first posting was in Canton (Guangzhou) in China in 1948. This was the era of Mao Tse Tsung’s and as his Communist Red Army advanced on the city, he and other missionaries had to move to Hong Kong.
According to Fr Alfred Deignan, another Irish Jesuit missionary there, this mission was a new challenge to the Irish Province, “and a new experience for the Jesuits who went there to work among poor people speaking a different language, the Cantonese dialect, with different food, customs and weather, often very hot and humid.” Fr Joe was mission bursar for a time there, and was Director of a social centre before working as a secondary school teacher in a Jesuit-run school. He was appointed Headmaster of their primary school and Principal of Ricci College, a kindergarten in Macau, which was a Portuguese colony until 1999. He was still holding teaching duties there when he returned to Ireland in 2006 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising in 2006.
Fr. Joseph, a freeman of Dublin, received an invitation from the Taoiseach’s Office to attend the 90th commemoration, as the child of Commandant Michael Mallin, who was chief-of-staff of the Irish Citizen’s Army and commander of the St. Stephen’s Green garrison during the Easter Rising. Commdt. Mallin was executed in the Stonebreakers’ Yard, Kilmainham Gaol, along with the other leaders of the revolt, and buried in Arbour Hill.
His visit at that time attracted a great deal of media attention. The late Gerald Barry interviewed him for the Easter Sunday edition of ‘This Week’ (RTE 1, 1.00pm), and he also spoke to Joe Little for RTE News and to a Sky News correspondent. “I will attend the parade on Easter Sunday, as the Government was good enough to invite me, but what I am most looking forward to is being able to go to the grave of my father in Arbour Hill, with the other families of those executed, for a ceremony in early May,” he said.
Fr Joe was also musical and played the very flute which his father’s had played in Liberty Hall as a member of the Workers’ Orchestra on the eve of the 1916 Rising. The flute and his father’s watch are on exhibition in the National Museum of Ireland.
Coming up to Fr Joe’s 100th birthday, he was asked if he regretted anything about leaving Ireland 65 years earlier. He replied that he would have liked to have spent some more time working as a priest in his home country and that he “missed the rain”.
In a moving statement on his death, Fr Joe’s family in Ireland said, “Fr. Joseph Mallin SJ was the last direct living link with that period of our history... He served for more than 70 years as a missionary and educator in mainland China and Hong Kong... and like most teachers, he often talked with pride of the pupils educated at that college, many of whom went on to become leaders in their various walks of life.”
They also spoke of the kind of man Fr Joseph was to them, singling out his humility and spirituality. “He had a deeply held Christian faith and love for his fellow man and woman. His was a practical faith with a strong base in social justice and equality; not unlike his father who as a trade union activist fought for social justice and workers’ rights and who gave his young life for such a cause.”
Referencing his communication skills they said, “Fr. Joseph was... a prolific letter writer, just like his father, and he wrote letters to his family members on a regular basis and also to many other correspondents, never failing to respond to a letter when anyone wrote to him, be it a young school child from Donegal or an academic historian from the University, they would receive a thoughtful reply.” And they spoke of his love of the Irish language – “His command of the Irish language, written and oral, was unbelievable considering he was out of the country since 1948. He wrote to family members and others as Gaeilge – always, san sean-cló, in the old Irish script, and he was delighted to speak Irish to anybody from Ireland who visited him, Fīor Eireannach gan dabht. He had numerous friends in Ireland and around the world. He kept in contact with them all and whenever he was home in Ireland he would make sure to visit them.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Homily at Funeral of Father Joseph Mallin SJ Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong 14 April 2018
When Father Mallin was two and a half years old, his mother took him to the prison cell where his father was awaiting execution by firing squad the following day at dawn for the part he played in his country’s struggle for independence. As his father embraced his then youngest child for the last time he said to his wife: he’ll make a fine priest.
Wish and prophecy splendidly fulfilled in the life we are remembering this morning.
Father Mallin – he was always Joe to us – was born in Dublin 104 years ago. In him it is easy to understand why the people of the Old Testament were sure that a long life was the sign of God’s blessing, and explains why extraordinary life-spans were credited to their great men.
Joe became a Jesuit in 1932, was ordained priest in 1946. In 1948 he arrived in Hong Kong, where – with the exception of a stint in Macau as principal of Colegio Ricci, he spent the rest of his life.
As we gather together in this chapel to commend him to the Lord’s tender mercy, we have wanted prayers offered, God’s praises sung, the scriptures read, the Eucharist celebrated. It is our way of saying thank you to almighty God for the gift of Joe, and to thank him for sharing his life with us, to thank him too for all the good he accomplished with God’s grace in a long life of service of others. His pilgrim journey came to an end on Easter Sunday – on what better day could one choose to die? – and those who were privileged to have walked some part of that journey with him are left to mourn his loss.
Our Mass this morning then is an act of thanksgiving, it is a last public act of love, an opportunity to surrender Joe into the loving embrace of the God he so faithfully served. Our Mass is also the joyful assertion of our Christian belief that we – that all of us – are called to share Christ’s resurrection. We are asserting that we have been created, not for death but for life, that death has not the last word. Because of Christ’s resurrection death, from being final and immediately destructive has become fruitful and triumphant, has become the beginning of something magnificent rather than the end of everything. Though Joe has died he still lives on, in the thoughts of those who knew and loved him, and he lives on, we confidently believe, in our Father’s house, experiencing now the truth of those lovely words of St Augustine: You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.
Joe was a private person. He seldom if ever spoke about himself. Which of us knew what his likes and dislikes were? More remarkably he never spoke unkindly about others. I never remember him ever speaking disparagingly about another. He never complained. With a family background like his and proficiency in the Irish language, another might have baulked at being assigned to Hong Kong. But not Joe. This is what God was asking of him; there was nothing more to be said. Joe was a man of many parts. Though most of his time was given to education, he was called on to fill many and varied roles. Because of his good judgement and attention to detail he was asked to supervise the construction of both Wah Yan Colleges as well as the Adam Shall student hostel on the campus of the Chinese University. For a time he was in charge of a Caritas social service centre. He was bursar for the communities where he was stationed. And when the Jesuits took on the running of the Pun U Association primary school, it was he who was called on to be its principal and then its supervisor. The Provincial who assigned him to this new venture gave as the reason for his choice: Joe seems to succeed in whatever he undertakes.
His was a life without frills. His hobbies were few: he was a lover of nature and delighted in treks up and down the hills and dales of the New Territories. He also played the recorder. Living in the room next to his I can vouch for this. He had a phenomenal, computer-like memory which remained with him until the end. He took the trouble to remember the name of every boy in Pun U school. The boys’ names were written in a little book which he carried around with. For him to make this effort to know the names of his students was a mark of his respect for them.
This morning we are a guard of honour escorting Joe home to meet his Lord, to that presence where each of us will one day just as surely go. We are outriders accompanying him on his final journey. As Joe comes before his judge his good life will speak eloquently for him, not only his service to the community at large but also, as the poet puts it, that best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love. These have not been forgotten, they have been indelibly recorded in the book of life. Now, there is a special difficulty in speaking on the occasion of the death of someone esteemed and admired, that in recalling their virtues we may deprive them of the prayers they need for their soul’s repose.
As we hand Joe over to the mercy and compassion of his Saviour and ours, we bid him a fond good-bye, conscious that we are saying au revoir and not farewell. As we salute him with pride and affection, we turn to God in prayer for ourselves who are left behind: that the Lord may support us, all the day long, till the shadows lengthen and the evening comes and the busy world is hushed and the fever of life is over and our work is done. Then in his mercy may he give us too a safe lodging, a holy rest and peace at the last.
Fr John Russell SJ

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/memorial-mass-for-joe-mallin-sj/

Memorial Mass for Joe Mallin SJ
President Michael D. Higgins was among the dignitaries at the Memorial Mass for Irish Jesuit missionary Fr Joseph Mallin SJ at Gardiner Street Church on 21 April, 2018. Fr Mallin’s funeral was previously held in Hong Kong where he had lived and worked for the last 70 years.
The service was a celebration of his remarkable life, which had both historical and spiritual significance and offered his family, friends and fellow Jesuits the opportunity to mark his passing in his home town.
The packed congregation in St Francis Xavier Church also included the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mícheál Mac Donncha, the Taoiseach’s aide-de-camp Commandant Caroline Burke, Councillor Cormac Devlin, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD and Senator Mark Daly, who were in attendance due to Fr Mallin’s stature as the last surviving child of an executed 1916 leader and as a Freeman of Dublin.
A book of condolence was signed by mourners as they entered the church. The book sat on a table against a backdrop of photographs of Fr Joseph’s parents. The portrait of his father Michael Mallin sits beside a photo of his mother Agnes who is captured sitting with her five small children Séamas, Seosamh, Séan, Maura, and Úna at Maura’s baptism in 1916 – the year her husband was executed.
Fr Joseph’s cousin, Fr Ray Warren OMI, was the main celebrant at the Mass and delivered a heartfelt homily in which he said that his cousin was a man who was ‘blessed indeed with understanding, wisdom, and knowledge’ and noted his ‘encyclopaedic memory’.
The Mass was a bilingual celebration in honour of Fr Joseph’s lifelong love of the Irish language and of course his heritage. It was also an event in which both his biological and Jesuit family came together. Fr Gerry Clarke SJ, the Gardiner Street parish priest welcomed the congregation and was joined on the altar by many other Jesuits including Ashley Evans SJ, James Hurley SJ and the Provincial, Leonard Moloney SJ. John Guiney SJ, Director of the Jesuit Missions Office, accompanied the President, Michael D. Higgins throughout the ceremony.
Fr Joseph’s niece, Una Ni Challanáin, did the first reading and his cousin, Fr Ray Warren OMI, read the Gospel on ‘The Beatitudes’. Other members of the Mallin-Hickey family read prayers of the faithful and sang at the event.
An offertory procession that presented symbols of Fr Joseph’s life were presented at the altar during Mass. The items chosen were a flag, a flute, and his rosary beads and also his pen and glasses. Fr Joseph didn’t return home very often from the time his mission in Hong Kong began but he was a prolific letter-writer who corresponded with many people in Ireland and around the world. A letter to his nephew arrived in Ireland five days after his death and added a poignant touch to the collection.
Seán Tapley is a nephew of Fr Mallin’s who corresponded with him right up until his death and worked closely with him on the document that revealed new evidence about his father Michael Mallin’s court martial and execution. He gave a moving eulogy which gave tribute to Fr Mallin’s legacy of education and pastoral work in Hong Kong, and his love of his adopted home. He also noted that in spite of the many letters that Fr Mallin wrote, he was essentially ‘a thoughtful man with a droll sense of humour’ who was economical with words.
The Jesuit tribute to the deceased missionary was delivered by Fr Leonard Moloney SJ, the current Provincial of the Society of Jesus. In it he emphasised Fr Mallin’s dedication to his mission in Hong Kong, and his reputation for never speaking ill of anybody over his long life (see the full speech below).
After the ceremony, the congregation stayed for refreshments and conversation in Gardiner Street Jesuit community, to celebrate the life and achievements of this remarkable man.
Photo: Accompanying the President are John K. Guiney SJ and Yanira Romero of Irish Jesuit Missions.

Reflection by Irish Jesuit Provincial Leonard Moloney SJ
In the second last letter to his wife Agnes, written literally on the back of an envelope, Commandant Mallin, Joe’s father, wrote, “All is lost, my love to all my children. No matter what my fate I have done my duty to my beloved Ireland, to you, and to my darling children.”
Joe’s father was one of those Irish men with a deep Catholic faith and a sense of sacrifice, who were prepared to give their lives for what ‘was right and just’, as Joe himself has said.
Ireland has that tradition of self-sacrifice for the good of others, and it’s also expressed in another vein – that of our missionary tradition. We have the monks of old like St Columcille, St Columbanus and St Gall who left their native land to spread the good news of Christ and his vision of justice and peace.
When Fr Joe became a Jesuit, he joined an order whose early founders, like Francis Xavier, began the European missionary journey to the East. Indeed, Francis wanted to go to China but died on the island of Shangchuan, in sight of the mainland.
So like the early Jesuit Fathers, Fr Joe become a part of the Jesuit tradition of mission, going where the need is greatest, obeying orders! And following in the sacrificial tradition of his own Father, (and Irish missionaries) he gave his life – over 70 years of it – working for and with the people of China and Hong Kong.
As he said in an interview a short while ago, the men and women of the Rising, like his father “had a vision of what was right and just, and they wanted to do what they could to build a better Ireland free from poverty and oppression.”
That too was Fr Joe’s motivation as a missionary and as a Jesuit. In the words of Pedro Arrupe, a former Fr General of the Jesuits and himself a European missionary to Asia, Jesuits are men called to live ‘a faith that does justice.’
And that was the faith that Joe lived out, teaching those he was sent to, and in the best missionary tradition, allowing them to teach him. In that same interview, he quoted a Chinese saying that summed up what life was about: “It’s not about ‘ourselves alone’, (now there’s a resonant phrase!) “it’s about what the Chinese call ‘sharing with others’.”
Joe certainly shared his long life with others, be it as teacher, construction supervisor, bursar, headmaster, or director of a social services centre. He found himself in those various roles because, “of his sound judgement and attention to detail” to quote his fellow Jesuits in China.
That word attention is key. For as 20th century mystic Simone Weil points out, “Taken to its highest degree, attention is the same thing as prayer. It presupposes faith and love”. And what else would you call it when someone takes the trouble to remember the name of every boy in his school, as Father Joe did.
The Jesuits in his community also attest to his goodness – ‘He never complained’, fellow Jesuit community member Fr Joe Russell tells us. And in fact, as Fr Ray has pointed out, Fr Joe was a great communicator, and he was very careful with words.
This is something that Pope Francis singles out for attention in his recent apostolic letter Gaudete et Exultate. He tells us that resisting the temptation to gossip or engage in back biting is a holy thing.
And Fr Russell also adds, “Remarkably, he never spoke unkindly about others. I never remember him ever speaking disparagingly about another”. 104 years and never an unkind word about another person – remarkable indeed!
In that letter on the envelope that Commandant Mallin wrote to Joe’s mother he started by saying, “All is lost”. He ended by qualifying that statement saying, “All is lost, Agnes, except honor and courage”.
Those qualities were certainly not lost in his son whom we remember today. Fr Joe Mallin, a man of courage and honour, a good and holy Jesuit.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-rebel-stock/

JESUITICA: Rebel stock
A curious bond links the first scholastic of the restored Irish Mission with the oldest Jesuit in our Chinese mission: both lost their fathers to execution by the British. Bartholomew Esmonde returned from his studies in Sicily in 1814 to join the staff of the new college of Clongowes. Some ten years earlier his father, Dr John Esmonde of Sallins, Kildare, had been publicly hanged on O’Connell Bridge in Dublin for his part in the 1798 rebellion. William Aylmer of Kilcock, whose Jesuit brother founded Belvedere, was convicted of treason for the same reason, but escaped execution. Michael Mallin, a leader in the 1916 rising, called his family to Kilmainham Gaol on the eve of his execution, and prayed that his little son Joseph would be a priest. 94-year-old Joseph SJ, pictured here on the steps of Kilmainham Gaol, is still ministering in Hong Kong. Despite stereotypes, many Jesuits are of rebel stock.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/242-fr-joe-mallin-sj-a-life-of-service and https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/587-fr-joe-mallin-sj-a-life-of-service-2

FR. JOE MALLIN SJ - A LIFE OF SERVICE
The last eighty years have seen momentous changes and Fr. Joe Mallin SJ has been a witness to many, during his years of service in China. Clearly a life of service to others was not unknown in his own family - his brother Sean entered the Society a few years before him and his father was Commandant Michael Mallin, executed by the British for his part in the Easter Rising of 1916.
Fr. Mallin was only two and a half years old and therefore has no memories of his father but was very moved by an article about him written in 1917 by an American Jesuit. Fr. Mallin remembers his mother as a wise woman, who tried to let them experience as normal a family life as possible. At the time of his execution she had four children and was expecting their fifth. In a final letter to her, her husband wrote "to pray for all the souls who fell in this fight, Irish and English".

Eucharistic Congress 1932
Shortly before he entered the Irish Jesuit Novitiate, in September 1932, Joe was an active participant in the Eucharistic Congress, remembering the huge crowds in Phoenix Park, the relief that the weather held, and the excellent marshalling by General O'Duffy, Garda Commissioner. Joe had been in contact with the Jesuits whilst at St Enda's Rathfarnham and met Fr. Ernest Mackey at Knockbeg College.

China
On the ship out to Hong Kong the Catholic cargo supervisor died and Fr. Joe was asked to conduct the burial service at sea. It was a very moving experience he remembers and the captain was most helpful. Fr. Mallin arrived in Guangzhou (Canton) in early September 1948. But in May 1949, the Jesuits had to leave the city for Hong Kong due to the advance of the Chinese Communist army. Hong Kong in the late 1940s was not in good shape due to the Japanese occupation and the Allied bombing but it recovered very quickly.
Fr. Mallin didn't have much time to explore his new home but got to work straight away. He had to take over the top floor of the Paris Foreign Mission Society house which had kindly been handed over to the Jesuits. Joe had no difficulty adapting to the new life and culture. He pitched in head first into dealing with all kinds of people – architects, builders and suppliers, cooks and cleaners. He supervised several construction or building conversion jobs and had to arrange for the temporary accommodation of many Jesuits expelled from Mainland China after the Communist takeover.
An incident he recalls clearly was when a phone call came one night, very late, from the Queen Mary Hospital asking for a priest to come to attend a dying patient. He went down to the street and stopped a taxi. The taxi driver got him to the hospital very quickly. When he thanked him, the driver replied "I am a Muslim, and my father told me that if a Catholic mission priest ever stopped me in the middle of the night to go to a hospital I should drive like the wind because it was very important."

Few words, but many loving actions
He had a very varied apostolic life, successfully doing the job of minister in the community, Mission Bursar, Director of a Social Centre, secondary teacher, Headmaster of Pun Yu Primary School in Hong Kong, Principal of Ricci College in Macao, among other things. He was known as a man of few words, but of many loving actions.

National Museum Dublin
Fr. Mallin played the flute, which had belonged to his father. Indeed his father had played it in Liberty Hall in the Workers' Orchestra on the eve of the 1916 Rising. The flute and his father's watch are now in the National Museum in Dublin.
When asked if he regretted anything about leaving Ireland, he said that he would like to have had some more time working as a priest in Ireland. He said that he also missed the rain! Fr. Joe Mallin has been a Jesuit for over 80 years and will celebrate his 100th birthday next September! He is viewed with almost incredulous amazement for all he does at his age. He is deeply respected by all those who know him.

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/460-fr-joseph-mallin-sj-looking-back-2016-1916

FR JOSEPH MALLIN SJ: LOOKING BACK 2016-1916
Fr Joseph Mallin SJ received the freedom of the city (https://www.thejournal.ie/joseph- mallin-freedom-of-dublin-hong-kong-2671842-Mar2016/) award from the Lord Mayor of Dublin Críona Ní Dhálaigh who flew to Hong Kong to meet him on the 21st March. An Irish concert was enjoyed by all, including Fr Mallin's visiting niece Una, and the two conversed "as Gaeilge" all evening. The award was a tribute to his life’s service through his ministry to the people of Hong Kong and Macau and in recognition of his status as the child of Commandant Michael Mallin, one of the executed leaders of the Irish 1916 Easter Rising.

Oldest Irish Jesuit missionary priest
Joe Mallin was born in 1913. At age 102 (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/416-happy- 102nd-birthday-to-fr-joe-mallin-sj), he is the oldest Irish Jesuit missionary priest, living in Hong Kong.
His father Michael Mallin commanded the fighting at St Stephen’s Green on Easter (https://jesuitmissions.ie/news/459-celebrating-easter-2016) Monday 1916 with Countess Markievicz as his deputy. The Commandant paid the ultimate price for his part in the Irish Easter Rising and was shot in Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin on May 8th, 1916.
The night before his father’s execution, Joseph was taken to Kilmainham Gaol by his mother, then pregnant with their fifth child, to say goodbye. He was only two and a half years old and does not remember the occasion. Michael Mallin wrote to his little boy in the last letter to his family: “Joseph, my little man, be a priest if you can.”
Portrait of Michael Mallin by David Rooney from 1916 Portraits and Lives(Royal Irish Academy)
Fr Mallin often played the flute that his father used in the Workers’ Orchestra, in Liberty Hall, Dublin on the eve of the 1916 Rising. The flute and his father’s watch are now in the National Museum in Dublin.

The ultimate price
In a greeting on Fr Mallin’s 100th birthday, Senator Mark Daly wrote:
“As a nation we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the sacrifice made by many men and women through the generations.
“The price paid by your father in laying down his life, the price paid by your mother who lost her husband, the price paid by you and your siblings who grew up without their father is a debt un- repayable by any nation.
“The proclamation whose ideals they tried to fulfill contains concepts that are both timeless and universal. Those aims are as relevant to people struggling for rights all over the world today as much as they were for the people of Ireland in 1916.”

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/588-‘fīor-eireannach-gan-dabht

‘FĪOR EIREANNACH GAN DABHT’
Joe Mallin SJ, son of Commdt. Michael Mallin, who was executed for his role in the Easter Rising, died
peacefully and fittingly, on Easter Sunday morning, 1 April 2018, in Hong Kong. He was 104 years old.
He was born in 1914, just two years before his father was executed by firing squad, leaving a wife and five small children. One of Fr Joseph’s brothers, Seán, also became a Jesuit priest, and his sister Úna entered the Loreto order in 1925. She was sent to a convent in Spain, where she spent the rest of her life. Commdt. Mallin would have been proud of his children. In his last letter he wrote: : “Úna, my little one, be a nun; Joseph, my little man, be a priest if you can ...” Fr Joe joined the Jesuits, and in 1948 he went to Hong Kong and China (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/587-fr-joe-mallin-sj-a-life-of- service-2) as part of the Irish Jesuit mission to China. He spent over 70 years of his life there.
According to Fr Alfred Deignan, another Irish Jesuit missionary there, this mission was a new challenge to the Irish Province (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/543-90th-anniversary-of-the-arrival-of-the- jesuits-in-hong-kong), “and a new experience for the Jesuits who went there to work among poor people speaking a different language, the Cantonese dialect, with different food, customs and weather, often very hot and humid.” Fr Joe taught in a a Jesuit-run secondary school and was still holding teaching duties there when he returned to Ireland in 2006 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising in 2006.
Fr. Joseph, a freeman of Dublin, received an invitation from the Taoiseach’s Office to attend the 90th commemoration, as the child of Commandant Michael Mallin, who was chief-of-staff of the Irish Citizen’s Army and commander of the St. Stephen’s Green garrison during the Easter Rising. Commdt. Mallin was executed in the Stonebreakers’ Yard, Kilmainham Gaol, along with the other leaders of the revolt, and buried in Arbour Hill.
His visit at that time attracted a great deal of media attention. The late Gerald Barry interviewed him for the Easter Sunday edition of ‘This Week’ (RTE 1, 1.00pm), and he also spoke to Joe Little for RTE News and to a Sky News correspondent. “I will attend the parade on Easter Sunday, as the Government was good enough to invite me, but what I am most looking forward to is being able to go to the grave of my father in Arbour Hill, with the other families of those executed, for a ceremony in early May,” he said.
In a moving statement on his death, Fr Joe’s family in Ireland said, “Fr. Joseph Mallin SJ was the last direct living link with that period of our history... He served for more than 70 years as a missionary and educator in mainland China and Hong Kong... and like most teachers, he often talked with pride of the pupils educated at that college, many of whom went on to become leaders in their various walks of life.”
They also spoke of the kind of man Fr Joseph was to them, singling out his humility and spirituality. “He had a deeply held Christian faith and love for his fellow man and woman. His was a practical faith with a strong base in social justice and equality; not unlike his father who as a trade union activist fought for social justice and workers’ rights and who gave his young life for such a cause.”
They spoke also of his communication skills – “Fr. Joseph was... a prolific letter writer, just like his father, and he wrote letters to his family members on a regular basis and also to many other correspondents, never failing to respond to a letter when anyone wrote to him, be it a young school child from Donegal or an academic historian from the University, they would receive a thoughtful reply.” And of his love of the Irish language – “His command of the Irish language, written and oral, was unbelievable considering he was out of the country since 1948. He wrote to family members and others as Gaeilge – always, san sean-cló, in the old Irish script, and he was delighted to speak Irish to anybody from Ireland who visited him, Fīor Eireannach gan dabht. He had numerous friends in Ireland and around the world. He kept in contact with them all and whenever he was home in Ireland he would make sure to visit them. (Read their full statement below).
The funeral Mass for Fr Joe will take place at 10am on Saturday, 14 April, at St Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College Kowloon.The burial will take place after the Mass at St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley, Hong Kong. The Mass will be presided by the Bishop of Hong Kong.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Statement from the Mallin/Hickey Family on the death of Fr Joe
It is with great personal sadness that we learned from Hong Kong this Easter morning of the death of Fr. Joseph Mallin SJ, and just as we were about to commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the Easter Rising. We always knew this day was near but it came as a shock all the same to know that Fr. Joseph is gone to his heavenly reward. What a poignant day to complete his earthly life. And what a good and long life in the service of God it was and he lived it well. May he rest in peace. We will miss him. Solas na bhflaitheas dó agus ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.
Joseph Michael Mallin was born in September 1913. He was the youngest son of Agnes Hickey and Michael Mallin. His mother was the daughter of Joseph Hickey, a Fenian man who was deported from Ireland for 11 years for his part in the Fenian Rising of 1867, and the granddaughter of John Francis Nugent a United Irishman, a printer & publisher from Cookstown Co. Tyrone. Agnes was born in Liverpool in 1870 during the deportation. Joseph was just a young boy when his father, Michael Mallin, Commandant and Chief-of-Staff of the Irish Citizen Army was executed at Kilmainham Gaol in 1916.
Fr. Joseph Mallin SJ was the last direct living link with that period of our history. His siblings, brothers Séamus and Fr. Seán, sisters Sr. Agnes, a Nun with the Loreto Community in Seville, Spain, and Maura Phillips have all predeceased him.
He served for more than 70 years as a missionary and educator in mainland China and Hong Kong with the Jesuit community there. He was ordained in 1946 and two years later was sent to the Jesuit Mission in China. He worked tirelessly for the people there. He loved that community and they loved him and it is there where he will be laid to rest. With others he played a significant part in the ongoing development of education and progress of Wah Yan School and college in Hong Kong and Kowloon. He managed Wah Yan College for a number of years and, like most teachers, he often talked with pride of the pupils educated at that college, many of whom went on to become leaders in their various walks of life.
Fr. Joseph was a very spiritual and humble man. He had a deeply held Christian faith and love for his fellow man and woman. His was a practical faith with a strong base in social justice and equality; not unlike his father who as a trade union activist fought for social justice and workers’ rights and who gave his young life for such a cause.
Fr. Joseph lived to be 104. He was given more time than most on this earth and he used that time wisely. His parents, Michael and Agnes Mallin would be very proud of their son’s achievements and the way he lived his life.
Fr. Joseph was a great communicator all his life, a prolific letter writer, just like his father. He was an inveterate letter-writer and he wrote letters to his family members on a regular basis and also to many other correspondents, never failing to respond to a letter when anyone wrote to him, be it a young school child from Donegal or an academic historian from the University, they would receive a thoughtful reply. His command of the Irish language, written and oral, was unbelievable considering he was out of the country since 1948. He wrote to family members and others as Gaeilge – always, san sean-cló, in the old Irish script, and he was delighted to speak Irish to anybody from Ireland who visited him, Fīor Eireannach gan dabht. He had numerous friends in Ireland and around the world. He kept in contact with them all and whenever he was home in Ireland he would make sure to visit them.
Fr. Joseph Mallin SJ was proud to be honoured with the Freedom of the City of Dublin during the 1916 Centenary Commemorations. An honour presented for his service to education and his family’s connection to the Easter 1916 Rising and the struggle for Irish Independence.
One of his last official acts was his major historical contribution to the memory of his father, Commandant Michael Mallin. This historical document was published last year and it presents new insights and facts about the record of his father’s court martial. This document is now available in the archives of Kilmainham Gaol Museum and the National Library of Ireland. It was Fr. Joseph’s wish that historians would be cognisant of this work.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His father was a martyr for Irish Independance. He was born in 1913. His father was shot in 1916 for his part in the insurrection against the British, and so his father was considered a martyr.After his father’s death his family were cared for, he was sent to a special Irish Primary School and then to a Jesuit one.

He joined the Society in 1932, was Ordained in 1946 and came to Hong Kong in 1948, going to Guangzhou for language studies until he was forced to leave in 1949.

He was highly respected among Jesuits as a holy man of charity and practical work. The Jesuits in Hong Kong owe much to him in maming the buildings on Cheung Chau typhoon proof (Typhoon Mary had killd 30 people there in 1930)
He was in charge of building Wah Yan College Hong Kong 1954-1955.
He was also in charge of the School Chapel at Wah Yan Kowloon and the extension over the avenue in 1969. He was also responsible for the construction of the Adam Schall Residence at the The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
He spent four years in Macau, one as teacher and three as Proncipal, until he was recalled to Hong Kong to be Principal of the Pun U Wah Yan Primary School when the Society took over the management of that school. He later became Supervisor there.
He was sent back to Macau to work at the Jesuit school there, and was recalled to Hong Kong as Supervisor of the Primary School again, He knew the teachers there so swell and they all loved him. He was interested in people and kind.
According to Mr Wallace Yu, and alumnus of Wah Yan Hong Kong, he is keen to point out that Joe Mallin was “Headmaster” rather than “Principal” at Pun U, and that the Wah Yan was only added later in 1971 between his two periods at Pun U he was in Macau at Collegio Ricci.

Note from Séamus Doris Entry
He was good friends with Harry Naylor, Joe Mallin and Dan Fitzpatrick.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - St Enda’s Rathfarnham student

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948
Frs. Casey G., Grogan and Sullivan leave England for Hong Kong on 2nd July on the ‘Canton’. On the following day Fr. Kevin O'Dwyer hopes to sail with Fr. Albert Cooney from San Francisco on the ‘General Gordon’ for the same destination.
The following will be going to Hong Kong in August : Frs. Joseph Mallin and Merritt, Messrs. James Kelly, McGaley, Michael McLoughlin and Geoffrey Murphy.

McCarthy, Jeremias, 1894-1968, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/728
  • Person
  • 30 April 1894-27 July 1968

Born: 30 April 1894, Stourport, Worcestershire, England
Entered: 07 September 1910, Roehampton, London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 31 July 1926, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1930
Died: 27 July 1968, St Joseph’s, Robinson Road, Hong Kong - Angliae Province (ANG)

by 1926 came to Milltown (HIB) studying
by 1940 came to Hong Kong (HIB) working 1940-1967

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father McCARTHY Jeremias
R.I.P.

At noon every Saturday for the past eleven years the Editor of this paper lifted the phone and spoke for a few minutes to a voice coming from a flat in Robinson Road. On the following Monday morning with unfailing regularity a typewritten page was delivered to the Sunday Examiner office; the weekly editorial had arrived.

To the deep regret of the staff of the Sunday Examiner and of its readers this time-honoured procedure will never be repeated: for Father Jeremiah McCarthy, S.J. our editorial writer died at 2:45pm last Saturday afternoon at the age of seventy-four.

Father McCarthy was a man of many talents; a distinguished theologian, he began his missionary work in Hong Kong twenty-nine years ago as Professor of Dogmatic Theology in the Regional Seminary for South China at Aberdeen; he held a Master’s Degree in Chemistry from Oxford University and as a war-time refugee in Macao he turned his knowledge to good use by devising substitute fuels to keep the local power supply in operation.

When the war was over Father McCarthy returned to his post at the Seminary and began his connection with the Agricultural and Fisheries Department with whom he developed a method of drying and preserving fish and experimented in the increased use of natural and artificial fertilisers.

After some years in Cheung Chau Island as Superior of the Jesuit Language School he returned to Hong Kong, joined the staff of the China News Analysis and began the long association with the editorial page of this paper which despite declining health continued up to the week of his death.

Father McCarthy wrote over five hundred editorials for this paper; and as we look through the files at the variety of subjects covered we can only marvel at the range of intelligent interest of which this one man’s mind was capable. Moral, liturgical, social, political, international and local problems were subjected in turn to his keen analysis and the conclusions recorded in the elegant, economical prose of which he was a master. Freshness of approach, clarity of though and expression, and a deeply-felt sympathy for the poor, the suffering and the oppressed - these are the marks of the writer, as well as of the man and the priest, whose comments on the passing scene stamped this page with a character of its own.

The staff of the Sunday Examiner, and of the Kung Kao Po where Father McCarthy’s editorials appeared in translation, has lost a most valued and faithful collaborator and friend.

May God reward his earthly labours with the blessing of eternal refreshment, light and peace.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 2 August 1968

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He arrived in Hong Kong from the English Province in 1939 and went to teach Dogmatic Theology at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen.

During WWII, as a refugee in Macau, his Masters Degree in Chemistry enabled him to devise substitute fuels to maintain the local power and water supplies going.
After the War he returned to Aberdeen and began an association with the Agriculture and Fisheries Department, developing methods of drying and preserving fish.
Later he joined “China News Analysis”, enhancing its reputation. During these years he also wrote weekly editorials for the “Sunday Examiner”, over 500 of them, on a wide range of topics. His comments on local affairs especially were often quoted at length in the Hong Kong daily press.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947
Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong Kong

◆ Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Fr. Jeremiah McCarthy of the Hong Kong Mission writes from the U.S.A, where he is examining possibilities of setting up an Institute of Industrial Chemistry in Hong Kong :
New York, 23rd September :
“I have spent some time at Buffalo and Boston and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Professors there were most kind, and I learnt a good deal. I expect to be here for a month or six weeks, visiting factories and Colleges in New York. I met Fr. Ingram at Boston. He was doing some work at Harvard. I have heard from several sources that he had a great reputation at Johns Hopkins. I went yesterday to the Reception for Mr. Costello at Fordham and the conferring of an Honorary Degree. Cardinal Spellman was there. In his speech Mr. Costello avoided politics, except to say that the Government would stop emigration altogether, save that they would still send priests and nuns wherever they might be required. Most of the speech was taken up with a very graceful tribute to the Society and its work. He referred to the debt of Ireland to the Society in times of persecution, and again in modern times, and hoped to see an extension of our work in schools and Colleges in Ireland. The address was broadcast”.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949
Fr. Jeremiah McCarthy arrived at Cobh from New York on 7th December and is spending some time in the Province, before resuming in England, his study of technological institutes, prior to his return to Hong Kong.

Irish Province News 43rd Year No 4 1968
Obituary :
Fr Jeremias McCarthy SJ (1893-1968)
Fr. Jeremias McCarthy, a member of the English Province who to the joy and lasting advantage of all Jesuits working in Hong Kong was ascribed to the Irish Province in 1939 for work in Hong Kong, died in Hong Kong on 27th July, aged 74.
He was born on 3rd April 1893 at Stourford, Worcestershire, where his father, a civil servant, was then stationed. Some of his early years were spent in Co. Cork, Ireland, but he returned to England and was educated at St. Francis Xavier College, Liverpool. He entered the English Province noviciate in 1910. (Two of sisters later became Columban Sisters.) After philosophy in Stonyhurst, he taught for four fondly remembered years in Beaumont. He also spent three years at Oxford, taking an M.A. degree in Chemistry and thus equipping himself for unforeseeable work, valuable but bizarre. After two years of theology in St. Bueno's, he transferred to Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained on 31st July 1926. After his tertianship he taught in various schools in the English Province for eleven years and was solemnly professed in 1930. In 1939 he applied to the General for work in a mission country and Fr. Ledochowski ascribed him to the still small Hong Kong mission in April of that year. He was warmly welcomed in Hong Kong, where several of the little band of Jesuits had known him in his scholasticate days. His unmistakable intellectual distinction and originality made him a very valuable addition to the mission; but he looked so frail that many must have wondered how long he could stand up to the strain imposed by the Hong Kong summers. He was thin, looked older than his years and was bent forward by a spinal affliction. Time was to show that this apparent physical frailty was largely an illusion. He may have suffered but he made no show of it. For almost three decades he was to labour at an astonishing variety of tasks, defying not only the Hong Kong summer, but the hardships of the Japanese capture and occupation of the colony and, in his last years, a complication of organic ills. Three days before his death he was still vigorously doing work that would have appalled many a younger man. For his first three years in Hong Kong he taught dogmatic theology in the Regional Seminary for South China. In 1942 he went to Macao, where the Hong Kong Jesuits were opening a school for Portuguese boys whose families had fled from occupied Hong Kong. This school won a special place in Fr. McCarthy's affection : the boys were, and have always remained, grateful for the help given them in a time of great hardship. The school did not occupy all his energies. Macao, cut off from the rest of the world, was short of nearly everything, so Fr. McCarthy, the best qualified and most ingenious chemist in the territory, quickly set about providing ersatz substitutes for the ungettable imports - everything from petrol to cosmetics. As a mark of appreciation, the Governor of Macao decreed that vehicles using the evil-smelling McCarthy substitute for petrol should not pass within nose-shot of the Jesuit school. In later years new arrivals in Hong Kong would be shown a lump of the McCarthy soap substitute, hard and gritty but beyond price in days when no other soap was to be had. Morale had to be kept up in Macao, so Fr. McCarthy and the other Jesuits joined the more vigorous citizens in organising debates and lectures and helping to provide through the local press a substitute for the intellectual sustenance normally fetched from abroad. Macao in those years of isolation was a little world on its own where every local crisis and dispute was avidly discussed by the whole population. In post-war years Fr. McCarthy had an inexhaustible fund of stories of the strange doings of those days including the great debate on the use of Chinese or Western style in the rebuilding of a church lavatory, and his own five-minute suspension for publishing an article expounding the views on evolution later contained in Humani Generis - as he was leaving the episcopal chamber the bishop said “I lift the suspension”. After the war he returned for a year to his work in the seminary, after which he went to Europe for a much needed rest. He was next asked to explore the possibility of setting up an institute of industrial chemistry in Hong Kong. This scheme proved abortive, but his next venture was fruitful. At the request of the government of Hong Kong he toured Europe and America investigating methods for making compost from what is politely described as night soil. It is scarcely necessary to say that the more ribald Jesuits of the many countries he visited were less mealy-mouthed in describing this novel form of apostolate. Fr. McCarthy's rather donnish appearance and fastidious diction added to the joke.
Having completed his work on nightsoil, he was asked by the government to act as technical adviser on fish-drying part of a large-scale reorganisation of fisheries, which was one of the most valuable works undertaken by the government in its post-war effort to rebuild and enrich the life of the colony. This work brought him into close contact with probably the ablest young government servant in Hong Kong, Mr. Jack Cater, who became one of Fr. McCarthy's closest friends, visited him frequently, sought his advice on such matters as the organisation of co-operatives, and was to rank almost as chief mourner at Fr, McCarthy's funeral.
About this time Fr. McCarthy was appointed rector of the language school. Surprisingly enough this appointment did not prove altogether happy. It was known that he had been an independent minded scholastic and, though in his late fifties (and looking older), he was on terms of unforced equality with most of the younger priests in the mission; yet he found himself unable to make easy contact with those in their twenties. There was relief on both sides when his rectorship was terminated after a couple of years. On their return to Hong Kong after ordination, those who had failed to understand him in their scholastic years came to cherish his rewarding friendship.
From his earliest days in Hong Kong, he had been known as a writer of concise, lucid and pointed English. Bishop Bianchi of Hong Kong was always eager to make use of this gift, frequently asking him to draft pastorals, messages to his diocese and other important documents. The bishop always showed great trust in Fr. McCarthy's judgment knowing that this faithful scribe would nearly always convey his ideas exactly and in a form palatable to and easily assimilated by the recipients. The bishop also had the happy certainty that Fr. McCarthy would not repine if on occasion his drafts were not used.
Another seeker of his pen was Fr. (now Mgr.) C. H. Vath, then editor of the Sunday Examiner, the Hong Kong diocesan weekly. At Fr. Vath's request, Fr. McCarthy wrote a long series of articles on Christian doctrine, which were studied eagerly by teachers of religious knowledge. Fr. Vath also invited Fr. McCarthy to become the regular leader writer for the Sunday Examiner. This task out lasted Fr. Vath's editorship. For over a dozen years-right up to the last week of his life-Fr. McCarthy wrote a weekly editorial, often pungent, always carefully pondered and lucidly expressed. The secular papers frequently reproduced and commented on leaders dealing with economic or sociological topics, and echoes of these leaders could often be discerned in later discussions or in government action. At least one was quoted in the House of Commons, These leaders gave the paper an influence out of all proportion to its circulation. The McCarthy touch will be sadly missed. It will probably be impossible to find anyone able to combine the patience, readiness, skill and erudition that went into his leaders week after week, year after year.
For the last eleven years of his life he was mainly engaged in work for the China News Analysis, (the authoritative and highly expensive) weekly analysis of the Chinese Communist press and radio published by Fr. L. Ladany, a Hungarian member of the Hong Kong Vice-Province. Fr. McCarthy acted as procurator, relieved the editor of the difficulties inseparable from writing in a foreign tongue, and wrote articles based on the editor's research. This was not glamorous work - the days of the nightsoil apostolate were over but it was essential work and was done with unfailing exactness and punctuality.
The large number of religious at his funeral was a tribute to spiritual help given by Fr. McCarthy. In community life he was not ostentatiously pious, but he was exact in religious observance, as in all other things, and he was notably kind. His admirable book Heaven and his domestic exhortations were the most striking manifestations of spirituality that his fundamental reserve allowed him to make. These exhortations were revealing, deeply interesting, full, original without striving for originality and provocative of further thought. He was frequently urged to publish them, a suggestion that he seldom or never accepted. Enthusiasm for one's domestic exhortations is a tribute rarely paid in the Society. It was paid to Fr. McCarthy.
Frail as he looked, he was very seldom ill. Early this year, however, he had to go to hospital and was found to be suffering from grave heart trouble and certain other ills. He resumed work as soon as possible. On Thursday, 25th July, having completed a day's work, he fell and broke a thigh while saying his Rosary in his room, and it was some hours before he was able to call the attention of another member of the small community in which he lived. He was suffering grievously and an immediate operation had to be carried out, despite the precarious state of his heart. He never recovered consciousness and he died on Saturday, 27th July.
The funeral Mass was concelebrated by his Provincial, Fr. F. Cronin, his Superior, Fr. Ladany, and one of his closest friends.

McGaley, Francis, 1922-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/683
  • Person
  • 11 February 1922-23 May 2000

Born: 11 February 1922, Dublin
Entered: 07 February 1940, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1954, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977
Died: 23 May 2000, St Paul's Hospital, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of the Wah Yan College, Hong Kong community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03/12/1966; HK to CHN : 1992

by 1949 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1966 at Hornchurch, Essex (ANG) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Francis McGaley, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Francis McGaley died in St. Paul’s Hospital on 23 May 2000 after a long illness. He was 78.

Father McGaley came to Hong Kong in 1948 and studied Cantonese in Guangzhou and Hong Kong. He taught in Wah Yan College, Robinson Road for one year before returning to Ireland in 1951 to study theology. In 1956 he returned as a priest to teach in the new Wah Yan on Queen’s Road East where with the exception of one year (1959-60) in Cheung Chau studying Cantonese and another (1956-66) in London University studying Modern History, he lived until his last illness. He taught History, English and Religion, was the Spiritual Father to the senior students and also had charge of the Christian Life Community and the Apostleship of Prayer. He was a good teacher and appreciated by the students as a person interested and devoted to them. As Spiritual Father he was much sought after by Catholics and others and many Wah Yan old boys kept in contact with him.

Father McGaley was well-known to the parishioners at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Wanchai, where for over 30 years he said Sunday Mass and heard confessions. His pastoral work among religious and lay people included Mass, talks and religious retreats. He led a very full life in the service of God.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 4 June 2000

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Casey G., Grogan and Sullivan leave England for Hong Kong on 2nd July on the ‘Canton’. On the following day Fr. Kevin O'Dwyer hopes to sail with Fr. Albert Cooney from San Francisco on the ‘General Gordon’ for the same destination.
The following will be going to Hong Kong in August : Frs. Joseph Mallin and Merritt, Messrs. James Kelly, McGaley, Michael McLoughlin and Geoffrey Murphy.

McGovern, Patrick, 1920-1984, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/288
  • Person
  • 28 October 1920-30 September 1984

Born: 28 October 1920, Iona Road, Glasnevin, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1980
Died: 30 September 1984, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1948 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father McGovern, S.J.
Happiness through Love of All
R.I.P.

Father Patrick Terence McGovern, SJ, member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, died almost suddenly after a heart attack in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, in the morning of Sunday, 30 September 1984, aged 64.

He was born in Dublin, Ireland, on 28 October 1920. At the end of his secondary schooldays he felt himself internally called to the priesthood and the religious life. The call was not altogether welcome. He was enjoying the freedoms of early manhood to the full and had no wish to exchange them for the restraints of noviceship and scholastic life. After a severe struggle he listened to God’s call and entered the Irish Jesuit novitiate on 7 September 1938. He need not have worried. He accepted the foreseen restraints and duties of Jesuit life, but within these limits, he was to enjoy life to the full to the end of his days.

The happiness of a consecrated life is founded ultimately on love of God, trust in Him and zeal for His glory. There can, however, be supplementary helps. Father McGovern’s supplementary help was an ability to like very deeply the people he worked with or for. He liked the young men who came to him for temporary help and remained his friends for life. He made many lasting friends in his few years in Malaysia. He liked the soldiers he met as an acting chaplain in Malaysia and remained always rather prosodies. He liked, quite exceptionally, the young men with whose aid he founded the Industrial Relations Institute. When he was appointed to the Legislative Council he expected to be a fish out of water, but he soon found himself in the swim; he valued the immediate and continuing friendliness of his reception and he soon came to have a high regard for the hard work done by his fellow members and their devotion to the welfare of Hong Kong.

The early years of what was to be an usual life for an Irish Jesuit were notable in only two ways: he came to Hong Kong in 1947; then, instead of doing the customary period of teaching after language study, he received permission to go to North America for social studies - strong aspirations were already stirring.

He was ordained priest in Ireland on 31 July 1953, and returned to Hong Kong in 1955. The following decade was devoted to school work, with a few years of pastoral work and army chaplaincy in Malaysia. His interest in social work, however, remained keen. He worked for various voluntary agencies and in 1965 he became director of the Caritas Social Centre, Kennedy Town.

In 1968, with the help of a group of workers, he founded the Industrial Relations Institute (IRI) to train workers “for participation in free, strong responsible trade unionism” and to help them to recognize the dignity of their work. He remained director of the IRI for only a few years. As soon as the workers themselves were ready to take over, he resigned the directorship, but he retained a deep interest in the work of the IRI and a deep affection for those who were running it.

Meanwhile he had become a regular broadcaster of five-minute social comments on Radio Hong Kong. These comments were listened to, for he had no objection to being provocative.

One of his listeners apparently was Sir Murray Maclehose, then Governor of Hong Kong. Sir Murray invited Father McGovern to transfer his provocative comments to the chamber of the Legislative Council. Before long, Father McGovern made minor history by arriving on a motor bicycle for his first attendance as a Legislative Councilor.

He and Mr. Andrew So, appointed at the same time, were generally recognised as unofficial spokesmen for the workers and the underdogs of Hong Kong. Their speeches at open sessions bore this out fully.

Father McGovern was an exact observer of confidentiality. Even his closest friends knew nothing of what went on at closed sessions and preparatory meetings, or of what modifications he succeeded in introducing into legislation. His friends did know, however, that he was happy in his work and that he was not a man to be satisfied unless he was accomplishing something.

The high point of his official work came when, valiantly but unavailingly, he led the opposition to the amendment of the Abortion Bill.

In his last days, Father McGovern was deeply involved in the heavy round of official duties attendant upon the initialing of the Sino-British Declaration. Did this heavy work shorten his life? No one can say.

Yet these were not his last public acts. On the evening before his death he was asked to open the new premises of the IRI, and he came home that evening full of happy confidence that this was the beginning of expansion for his favourite work. Next morning he was dead.

At all the Sunday Masses celebrated that morning, before and after his death, prayer was offered that we may “wake up to our social responsibility.” It was a fitting accompaniment to the death of one who had devoted his life and his energies to accomplishing that awakening.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 5 October 1984

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His early education was at Belvedere College SJ in Dublin before he entered the Society.

During the 1950s he was sent to the USA to study Trade Union Movements. So, in 1968 in Hong Kong he set up an Institute for trade union leaders, so that when McLehose became Governor, he was appointed an unofficial member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong. Among other things he brought in compulsory holidays for workers, and also on some public holidays.

He was the founder of the Industrial Relations Institute - a training and information Centre for trade union workers. he was also Director of Caritas Social centre in Kennedy Town. His most notable interventions were on housing policy, workers protection, taxation, abortion and education.

He was awarded an OBE for his contribution to his work in Hong Kong.

Note from Tommy Byrne Entry
During his term as Provincial (1947-1963) he sent many Jesuits to Hong Kong, and then in 1951 he started the Irish Jesuit Mission to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). He also saw the needs in Singapore and Malaysia and sent Jesuits to work there - like Kevin O’Dwyer, who built St Ignatius Church in Singapore; Patrick McGovern who built St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, and also Liam Egan, Gerard (Geoffrey?) Murphy and Tom Fitzgerald.

Note from Paddy Joy Entry
According to Fr Patrick McGovern “Fr Joy was a great man..... his virtue was that although he was an intellectual heavyweight, he stepped so lightly through this morass of problems that no toe was trod on. On the contrary, wounds and hurts, both personal and canonical were bound up so deftly that the cured patients not only improved relations with one another, but in the process of being helped gave their universal and unstinting respect to the man who did the helping. He became the focus of a vast diversity, and from all sides won confidence, respect and affection”.

Note from Thomas Ryan Entry
He sent young Jesuits to work on social activities there - Patrick McGovern and Kevin O’Dwyer

Note from Jimmy Hurley Entry
He became the Hong Kong SELA representative in 1979, succeeding Patrick McGovern.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 59th Year No 4 1984

Obituary

Fr Patrick McGovern (1920-1938-1984) (Macau-Hong Kong)

(Notes from material supplied by Fr Socius, Macau-Hong Kong:)

Fr McGovern died in Wah Yan College, 281 Queen's road East, Hong Kong, at 8.30 am on Sunday, 20th September. He had been coughing during the night, and at 7.30 called Fr Richard McCarthy to say that he was not feeling well and would like to see Irish Columban Sr Gabriel, a medical doctor attached to the Ruttonjee sanatorium. She came promptly with another doctor, Sr Aquinas. They saw that Fr McGovern's condition was serious and called an ambulance. Fr McGovern was anointed by Fr McGaley, but by the time the ambulance arrived he was already dead. He had had a heart attack some months earlier, and since then had twice been operated on for a growth in his left arm.
The newspapers, radio and television reported the death, and on the Tuesday morning (2nd October) the two English-language newspapers, South China Morning Post and Standard, carried editorials on Fr McGovern. The funeral Mass was celebrated in St Margaret's Church, Broadwood Road, Happy Valley. The chief celebrant was the Provincial, Fr Liam Egan, assisted by Archbishop Tang of Canton and Fr Enaudi, one of the Hong Kong Vicars General (the Bishop was away attending a meeting in Rome). Fr Enaudi gave the blessing after the Mass and Archbishop Tang recited the prayers at the graveside. Among the were the acting Chief Secretary, Mr Dennis Bray; the Attorney-General, Mr Michael Thomas; and the and Secretary for Security, Mr David Jeaffreson.
Fr Patrick McGovern: born in Dublin, 28th October 1920, 1926-32 primary school St Patrick's, Drumcondra. 1932-38 secondary school Belvedere. 1938-40 Emo, noviciate. 1940-43 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1943-46 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1946-47 Milltown, completing academic studies (BA from NUI). 1947-49 Canton, learning Cantonese, 1949-50 Los Angeles (Loyola University) studying sociology and industrial relations. 1950-54 Milltown, theology. 1954-'5 Rathfarnham, tertianship. To Hong Kong.
Of the 29 remaining years in which he served the Hong Kong mission, four he spent overseeing and raising funds for the building of the church and hostel in Petaling Jaya. The remainder he spent in Ricci Hall (11 years), Wah Yan, Hong nearby Kong (9 years). Wah Yan, Kowloon (4 up years), and Cheung Chau (1 year). From the catalogues his most frequent assignments seem to have been with the Industrial Relations Institute, as promoter/director/counsellor (for 16 years); minister, and teacher/lecturer especially in sociology. About 1977 he became a member of Hong Kong's Legislative Council (abbreviated to Legco), and about 1980 also of the Executive Council (abbreviated to Exco). These two bodies advise the Governor in his work of ruling the territory. About 1982 he ceased to be a member of Exco but continued as a member of Legco till his death.

South China Morning Post editorial, 2nd October 1984:
Good and faithful servant
The Roman Catholic Church has in mourners recent years often found itself in a dilemma in pursuing the rights of the common man. That it has been in the fray of social activism is unquestioned and while many a politician may have had cause to wish, like Henry II, to be rid of some turbulent priest, the state has learned to accept the Church's more militant stance. Hong Kong heard on Sunday with profound sadness of the death of Father Patrick McGovern, an Irishman of deep sensitivity, with a fine sense of social justice and a gift for rhetoric and wit that seems to be a mark of divine approval in those who hail from the emerald isle. Remarkably, it took a churchman to shake the conscience of the Government and Legislative Council on occasions far too numerous to recall, and it is fair to say that Legco would not have been the same without him. It is worth adding, that he and another cleric, the Rev Joyce Bennett, between them, provided the sharpest edges to the Unofficials criticisms in recent years, And in doing so, they gave a good example to younger members.
Father McGovern was ever the champion of the underdog and the working man. And his Irish background no doubt stood him in good stead, for no nation felt the yoke of its neighbour's domination and the bitterness of poverty and hardship like the Irish.
Yet Father McGovern was ever the gentle and courteous rebel who carried his convictions with a mixture of tolerance and tenacity that enabled him to win friends at every level of society. He was not averse to riding a motor scooter to Lower Albert Road, proudly displaying a Legco badge, though he graduated to a small Japanese car in later years.
Not content with sitting in Legco he was elevated for a time to Executive Council where no doubt he played the part of Devil's Advocate with relish. He will be sorely missed and certainly the pages of Hong Kong's last years will be embellished by some of his deft and darting prose. Many in Hong Kong will join in saying, well done, good and faithful servant.

Irish Province News 60th Year No 1 2 1985

Obituary

Fr Patrick McGovern (M-HK)
(† 30th September 1984)

(Cf. IPN, October 1984, where the date of Fr McG's death was wrongly transcribed as 20th. The following appreciation was copied from Macau-Hong Province Letter no. 263 (10: 1984), which devotes almost six pages to him:)
Paddy was a very remarkable Jesuit for the diversity of his interests and the range of his activities in very different fields.
It would be hard to find a priest who was more devoted to the defence of the church and the spread of the Kingdom than he was. He liked preaching and his hearers liked his sermons which were eloquent, instructive and interesting without being too long. Most Sundays he celebrated Mass in one or other of the parish churches or convents in the neighbourhood and usually heard confessions also. One of the last things that he did on the Sunday when God called him to Himself was to ensure that somebody stood in for him to celebrate the Mass he was to have said in a nearby church. He often said that the most fruitful and enjoyable years of his life were those he spent in Malaysia in pastoral work and where he collected the greater part of the money that went to build our parish church in Petaling Jaya. During this time he was also a part-time chaplain to the armed forces which had suppressed the communist insurrection in that country.
His work among the soldiers made him sympathetic and understanding, and led him to see the basic goodness of men who are not remarkable for their piety: he often spoke about this.
Paddy was deeply attached to the Society and had a healthy interest in all its apostolates. When he concelebrated with the brethren (something he did whenever he could) he seldom failed to pray for the welfare of the Society and for vocations. On his appointment to the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, which he accepted in the hope that as a member he would have greater scope to work for the under-privileged and workers, he said openly that without the support of the Society he could never have taken office.
He cherished community life and many of us during recreation enjoyed his presence as much as we miss his wit and good humour now. There were two things that he detested: cynicism and isolation. He seldom spoke harshly to others or of others but did not suffer fools gladly. A favourite topic of his during recreation was theology, and though he tended to
be conservative without being dogmatic, he was keenly interested in new movements in that field. He often said that when he "retired" and had the time to do so he had a great amount of reading to catch up with. During recreation while he listened carefully to what others had to say about the government and its policies, he was always very scrupulous not to divulge any confidential knowledge he might have had. Paddy had very varied interests. He could cook well when occasion required his doing so, and during his last year he would often
spend the better part of the late evening baking brown bread for the community; the result wasn't at all bad. But his dearest hobby was gardening and the cultivation of flowers and flowering shrubs. In his earlier years in the Society a member of the team of he was scholastics which constructed and planted beautiful rock gardens in Tullabeg and Milltown park. The bank of azaleas which now forms a pleasant contrast to the nauseating green exterior of Ricci Hall is the work of his hands - his also was the choice of colour for the exterior of Ricci Hall: 'spring green' he called it. The verandah outside his room in Wah Yan, the room in which he died, was a veritable shrubbery so many were the potted plants it housed. All these things go to show how he loved nature and its creator.
The Society expects its members to be well acquainted with the social teaching of the Church. Paddy made a study of the social encyclicals in some depth and used them extensively in his speeches in the Legislative Council, without giving explicit quotations. In his economic think-ing he had as little time for the Manchester School as he had for Marxism, and he was more than sceptical of the method of Marxist social analysis. His great interest was the betterment of the living conditions of the little man which he envisaged as his role in government by way of promoting faith and justice. This he will be remembered for by all who knew him.
There are numerous other things that could be said about him but there is one last remark that cannot be omitted. The Society in Hong Kong has traditionally set great store by hospitality, and during the years that he was Minister in three different communities Paddy always went out of his way to make guests feel welcome and at home. Not only that, but whenever he had the time he would take visitors on a sight-seeing tour of the territory by car and enjoy the outing as much as his guests. May the good Lord give him eternal rest.
JJK

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 35 : Christmas 1984

Letter : Harold Naylor

Dear Editor,

When the sudden death of Fr. Patrick McGovern was announced on the morning of Sunday the 30th of September, two visiting Jesuits (from Manila and London) showed uneasiness, when they heard he had been a legislative councillor. No doubt they were thinking of the case of Ferdinand Cardenale in Nicaragua, and other cases of Jesuits being asked to step down from politics. I would like to give my opinion on the matter.

The spokesman of the Hong Kong Diocese, Fr. Michael Yeung, was quoted in the press as saying that Fr. McGovern “had been dedicated to social service throughout his life. There had never been an imbalance between his social service and his missionary work”. The Bishop was pleased with this work, as was the Provincial and the other Jesuits in Hong Kong. At his funeral, there were forty Jesuits priests, together with a great number of other priests: Italian PIME, American Maryknollers, French MEP, Salesians, Vincentians, Franciscans and Chinese Diocesans.

Fr. Liam Egan presided at the Requiem Mass, Fr. Einaudi (Vicar General) at the Last Absolution, and Archbishop Tang, S.J. at the Last Blessing at the graveside. All felt that the Church had lost a strong voice in civic matters and a powerful force in social and educational work. Some of his peers were at the funeral - people with whom he had worked for years in the legislative chamber and the back room. They included the Chief of Police and the heads of the Education, Legal Affairs and Economic Services Departments, as well as other civic leaders from the manufacturing, banking, legal and other professions.

John Swaine, an unofficial councillor, said: “He was able to inject a sense of conscience into our discussions, so that we looked beyond the mere text of policies and legislature to the human realities underneath”. That could sum up the thrust of his life: the use of his verbal skills to put the case of the common man before the executive and legislative branches of the administration.

Social issues and labour were his field. Since he was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1978, by the then Governor, Sir Murray MacLehose, he had systematically brought in labour legislature. “Paid Holidays” were first introduced through him, then rules on working conditions and compensation benefits. He was largely responsible for defeating the government's move to shelve the Llewelynn Report on fundamental education reform, and made history in 1983 by being the first “unofficial” to reverse a government decision.

He scored his first major success in settling the threatened strike of prison warders in 1975, much to the delight of the warders. After the riots of '76, he set up his Industrial Relations Institute (IRI) and actually died the day after being present at the opening of its new premises. He had served on the Government Salaries Revision Commission and on innumerable commissions against corruption, narcotics and many other issues of daily life in Hong Kong. His last contribution was the inclusion in the Sino-British Agreement (Sept. 1984) of the freedom of association of workers and of their right to strike.

How did all this happen? Well, it could be traced back to Fr. T.F. Ryan, who, when Superior of the Mission in 1948, decided that Paddy, who had been studying Cantonese in Canton till then, should not teach in the Colleges, but rather go to the USA to study the Labour Movement and social questions. He did so in 1949 and then went to Milltown for Theology. Returned as a priest in 1955, he taught English, History and Religious Knowledge in Wah Yan Hong Kong for two years, before going to Malaysia for two years. It was there that he felt the realisation of the ideals of his priesthood. Part-time Armed Forces Chaplain, he was always saying Mass for young adults, instructing young men in the Faith and helping to build the church in Petaling Jaya. He returned to Hong Kong to be Spiritual Father to the boys in Wah Yan until he became Director of the Caritas Social Service Centre in Kennedy Town in 1965. He stayed there until he founded the Industrial Relations Institute.

He had the distinction of being taken off the air" by the Governor, David Trench, who took offence at his provocative social comments on radio in 1965.

An unconventional man, he made history by turning up at the Legislative Council on his Vespa whilst the other councillors arrived in their chauffeur-driven cars. Later he used a small Japanese car. He dressed casually in an open-necked shirt, though he wore clericals on formal occasions.

In June 1984, Fr. Paddy was the only one to speak in Council against the lifting of rent controls: “Speculators are nursing their burnt fingers in kid gloves, but they are a hardy lot and have proved before that they can make a quick recovery at the sight of a possible cure or another quick buck”.

St. Ignatius recommended that we adapt ourselves to “time, place and person”. Hong Kong is a unique place and stands at a crucial moment in its history. It has just lost a brilliant spokesman for the worker and the ordinary person. He died without an enemy, even after eight years of public life. I feel that his death was like that of a singer at the last bar of his song.

Yours etc.,

Harold Naylor, S.J., 56 Waterloo Road, Hong Kong.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1985

Obituary

Father Paddy McGovern SJ

“The hard nut from Iona Road”, was how we first heard of him. For the lively nature of Fr Patrick Terence McGovern SJ had caused his fame to spread in the Irish Province even before he was ordained. The ripples spread fore and aft, up and down the age groups. Evidently Ireland's loss was Hong Kong's gain. The following tribute from Harold Naylor SJ draws heavily on comments made by the Hong Kong media.

“UNDERDOG CHAMPION MCGOVERN DIES” was the headline on the front page of SCM Post. On the following day, the day of burial, this daily of 300,000 circulation had an editorial : “GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT”

The coverage in radio and press in English and Chinese showed how much he was appreciated. He had always been good copy for newsmen, for his speeches in the Legislative Council, and comments on social affairs, were striking and 'of great human interest.

He died at the peak of his involvement in civic affairs. The sentence in the Sino-British Agreement, which was signed just a week before he died, had a phrase to the effect “workers will have freedom of association, and also the right to strike”. He had urged for that. However, in the two years that led to the step, he kept silent on the matter.

At his funeral in St Margaret's Church, Fr Foley had spoken of him as the mouth of the voiceless. He had consistently spoken out on the welfare of workers and the people of Hong Kong.

Sir Murray MacLehose had appointed him to the Legislative Council in 1976, for a three year period, The occasion was his hearing him make a provocative social comment on the radio. Some years previously, a former Governor had him taken off Radio Hong Kong, for his social comments during Morning Prayers.

John Swaine, also a civic leader, spoke of his injecting a sense of conscience into our discussions: so that we looked beyond the mere text of policies and legislation, to the human relaties underneath.

Fr. Michael Yeung, spokesman for the Diocese, spoke of him as fulfilling the responsibilities of a Catholic, being throughout his life dedicated to social service. ‘But there had never been an imbalance between his social work and missionary work’.

Enjoying the freedom of early manhood as a schoolboy in Belvedere, he had no wish to exchange them for the restraints of religious life. After a severe struggle, he listened to God's call and became a Jesuit in 1938,

Coming to Hongkong in 1974, he studied Cantonese in Canton. Instead of teaching in Wah Yan, Fr T Ryan sent him to the USA to study the labour movement and social questions. Returned to Hongkong as a priest in 1953, he taught English, History and Religion in Wah Yan College, Hongkong. After two years of priestly work in Kuala Lumpur, which he looked back as his ideal, he returned to Wah Yan College, but became director of Caritas Social Centre, Kennedy Town in 1965.

In 1967, he started the Industrial Relations Institute, and the night before he died, he opened its new premises.

Most of the new labour laws could be traced to his endeavours. The introduction of paid holidays for workers was one of his first acheivements.

He was always speaking and his deft and darting prose was well remembered, usually causing titters of laughter in the solemn debates of the legislative chambers.

In June 1984, he opposed the abolition of rent controls: ‘new speculators are nursing their burnt fingers in kid gloves, but they are a hardy lot and have proved that they can make a quick recovery at the sight of a possible cure of another quick buck’.

A man simple of tastes, he tended his indoor plants and sang simple tunes, He regaled his fellow civic leaders at their dinners with renditions of songs from My Fair Lady, with lyrics changed to reflect social themes.

‘We will miss him’ said the Governor. May his absence make more fully present his ability to like very deeply the people we work with and for, and heighten our social responsibility.

His life was based on a love and trust of God, and zeal for his glory. His training did not lead him to spend his time reading or writing, but rather to speak - and to speak splendidly - about what he saw possible for the welfare of the people of Hongkong. And that started with the common man, the worker and his family. And he did it splendidly, and died without a single enemy,

Harry Naylor SJ

McIntyre, Thomas, 1926-2016, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/837
  • Person
  • 06 February 1926-04 August 2016

Born: 06 February 1926, Knocksaxon, Balla, County Mayo
Entered: 08 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1959, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1966, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 04 August 2016, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966

Son of James McIntyre ad Ellen Clarke.

by 1954 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1962 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death Notice
Father Thomas McIntyre SJ died peacefully on 4 August 2016 at Ricci Hall, Hong Kong, at 2:30pm. Born in Knocksaxon, Balla, Country Mayo, Ireland, on 6 February 1926, Father McIntyre entered the Society Jesus at Emo Park, Portlaoise, Laoise, on 7 September 1948. He was ordained to the priesthood on the feast of St. Ignatius, 31 July 1959, in Milltown Park, Dublin, and professed his final Vows on 2 February 1966 at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. A requiem Mass was celebrated at Wah Yan College in Wan Chai on 13 August, followed by burial at Happy Valley Cemetery. May he rest in peace. Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 21 August 2016

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He entered the Society in 1948 and came to Hong Kong as a Regent in 1955, where he learned Cantonese in Cheung Chau.
He studied Theology at Milltown Park and was Ordained there in 1959.
He returned to Hong Kong in 1962 and was teaching at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. After that he taught Collegio Rici in Macau for 13 years, during which time he spent two years in Germany studying Catechetics. He eventually returned to Hong Kong and spent 6 years at Xavier House giving directed Retreats. He then moved to do the same work at Ricci Hall.
He is described as a careful and accurate man, keen on details and scrupulous about facts. He was very keen on social justice - inspired by “Rerum Novarum”, and worked hard for social change.

McLoughlin, Michael, 1922-2002, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/723
  • Person
  • 08 December 1922-07 December 2002

Born: 08 December 1922, Portrush, County Antrim
Entered: 07 September 1940, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1954, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1958, Holy SpiritSeminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 07 December 2002, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to CHN : 1992

by 1949 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1966 at Bellarmine, Baguio City Philippines (PHI) teaching

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Michael McLoughlin, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Michael McLoughlin, SJ, passed away peacefully on 7 December 2002. It was the eve of his 80th birthday when the Lord came unexpectedly like a thief (2 Pet. 3:10) to call him to himself.

In 1984 he was completing his philosophical studies in Ireland when the Jesuit Provincial assigned him to Hong Kong. This was to be a life commitment so two years were spent in learning Cantonese, the first year in Guangzhou and the second in Hong Kong. Another year was spent teaching in Wah Yan College, then on Robinson Road.

By the autumn of 1951, he was back again in Ireland, once more in the students’ benches studying theology in preparation for his ordination to the priesthood.

Five years passed (1956) before he headed for Hong Kong once again. This time he was given a permanent assignment, to teach theology in the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. Except for a two year absence in Rome (1958-1960), where he obtained a doctorate in dogmatic theology, he taught theology in this part of the world for over 30 years.

He remained a professor of theology in the Regional Seminary until it became the “Holy Spirit Seminary” in 1964. For the next two years he carried on the same work in Baguio City, Philippines. In 1966, he returned to Hong Kong to continue his work in the Holy Spirit Seminary until his retirement in 1989.

Although he spent the greater part of his life wrestling with abstract theological concepts, he did manage to find time to carry out the duties attached to several posts, including that of being rector of Wah Yan Jesuit community (1980-1986).

In 1994 he moved from Wah Yan College to Ricci Hall; it was from there that the Lord called him home.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 22 December 2002

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Casey G., Grogan and Sullivan leave England for Hong Kong on 2nd July on the ‘Canton’. On the following day Fr. Kevin O'Dwyer hopes to sail with Fr. Albert Cooney from San Francisco on the ‘General Gordon’ for the same destination.
The following will be going to Hong Kong in August : Frs. Joseph Mallin and Merritt, Messrs. James Kelly, McGaley, Michael McLoughlin and Geoffrey Murphy.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 117 : Special Issue November 2003

Obituary

Fr Michael (Hal) McLoughlin (1922-2002) : China Province

Born Newry, Co. Armagh, Dec. 8 1922;
Entered Emo Sept 7, 1940;
Joined the Hong Kong Mission, 1948
Ordained Milltown Park, July 29, 1954;
Professed 4 vows, Feb 3, 1958;
Died Hong Kong, Dec. 7 2002.

Frank Doyle writes:

Michael McLoughlin passed away peacefully on 7th December 2002. It was the eve of his 80th birthday when the Lord came “like a thief“ (2 Pet. 3:10) to call him to Himself.
He was completing his philosophical studies in Tullabeg in 1948 when the Jesuit Provincial assigned him to Hong Kong. This was to be a life commitment. As was normal in those days, his first two years of regency were spent learning Cantonese. For the first year he was in Canton (now Guangzhou), where the Irish Jesuits were working before the Communists took over in 1949. Hal (rhymes with “Hall”) - as he was always known - did his second year of language in Hongkong. His third year of regency was spent teaching in Wah Yan College, at that time on Robinson Road.

By the Autumn of 1951, he was back again in Ireland, once more in the students' benches studying theology in preparation for his ordination to the priesthood. He was ordained in 1954 and, following Tertianship in Rathfarnham, returned to Hongkong.

He was assigned to teach theology in the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. From the beginning it had been staffed by the Irish Jesuits, although there were also non-Irish Jesuits on the faculty. Except for a two year absence in Rome (1958-60), where he obtained a doctorate in dogmatic theology, Hal taught theology in that part of the world for over 30 years.

He remained professor of theology in the Regional Seminary until 1964. In that year, with the supply of seminarians from the Chinese mainland cut off, the seminary was handed over by the Jesuits to the Hongkong Diocese which converted it to a diocesan seminary.

For the next two years Hal, together with Jimmy Kelly who had also been in the Regional Seminary, taught theology at Bellarmine College in Baguio City in the northern Philippines. Bellarmine College was in fact the continuation of the Jesuit theologate in Zikawei, Shanghai, which, after the Communist takeover, had found temporary accommodation in the villa house of the Philippine Province. The scholastics studying there were all destined to work in the Far East Province. Frank Doyle, Harry Naylor and Matty Barrett all did their theology there. (The Filipino scholastics at that time were going to Woodstock for their theology.) Following his two years in Baguio, Hal returned to Hongkong to teach in the Holy Spirit Seminary, as the former Regional Seminary was now known. He finally retired in 1989.

Although he spent the greater part of his life wrestling with abstract theological concepts he did manage to find time to carry out the duties attached to several posts, including that of being rector of the Wah Yan Hong Kong Jesuit Community (1980-86). In 1994 he moved from Wah Yan College to Ricci Hall, which is a residential hostel for university students. Here he led a very reclusive life. Some of his closest friends in the Society had gone before him. He was diagnosed with cancer and had been responding well to treatment, even being able to drive his car again. But, quite unexpectedly, he died one night in his sleep. May he rest in peace.

Murphy, Geoffrey C, 1922-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/264
  • Person
  • 30 September 1922-12 October 1985

Born: 30 September 1922, Bray, County Wicklow
Entered: 07 September 1940, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1954, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 22 April 1977
Died: 12 October 1985, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of Loyola community, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia at time of his death.

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1949 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Geoffrey Murphy, S.J.
R.I.P.
Father Geoffrey Murphy, the first Jesuit novice master in Malaysia, died of cancer of the liver in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland, on 13 October 1985, aged 63. He had gone to Ireland for further diagnosis, but he died within a month of his return.

Father Murphy was born in Ireland in 1922. He worked in Hong Kong as a scholastic form 1949 to 1951 and as a priest from 1956 to 1958 he asked for work in Malaysia and remained there till his last days.

For a long time the Jesuits had very few locally born members in Malaysia. However, when visa restrictions had reduced the expatriate Jesuits to a very small handful the number of local applications began to rise.

Father Murphy, after many years of pastoral and counselling work in Penang, became master of novices for the Jesuit region of Malaysia and Singapore, and moved to Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, where the Jesuits have a thriving parish and a hostel for university students.

A steady stream of candidates passed through Father Murphy’s hands: there are now more Malaysian Jesuits in formation than ordained Jesuits - a decidedly unusual situation in these days of scarce vocations.

Father Murphy had given himself whole-heartedly to the work of formation. His last thoughts and his last words were all about the novices.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 8 November 1985

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :

Note from Tommy Byrne Entry
During his term as Provincial (1947-1963) he sent many Jesuits to Hong Kong, and then in 1951 he started the Irish Jesuit Mission to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). He also saw the needs in Singapore and Malaysia and sent Jesuits to work there - like Kevin O'Dwyer, who built St Ignatius Church in Singapore; Patrick McGovern who built St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, and also Liam Egan, Gerard (Geoffrey?) Murphy and Tom Fitzgerald.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948
Frs. Casey G., Grogan and Sullivan leave England for Hong Kong on 2nd July on the ‘Canton’. On the following day Fr. Kevin O'Dwyer hopes to sail with Fr. Albert Cooney from San Francisco on the ‘General Gordon’ for the same destination.
The following will be going to Hong Kong in August : Frs. Joseph Mallin and Merritt, Messrs. James Kelly, McGaley, Michael McLoughlin and Geoffrey Murphy.

Irish Province News 61st Year No 1 1986

Obituary

Fr Geoffrey Murphy (1922-1940-1985) (Macau-Hong Kong)

The following appreciations have been borrowed from Macau-Hongkong Province Letter no. 276, with a few adaptations made.

An appreciation from Hong Kong:

Geoff was born on 30th September 1922 in Bray, Co. Wicklow, and educated in Belvedere College, He entered Emo Park as a novice in 1940, under Fr John Neary as novicemaster. There three years (1942-45) in Rathfarnham, followed where Geoff did an Honours degree in Ancient Classics from UCD; and philosophy in Tullabeg (1945-48).
In 1948, together with Hal McLoughlin, Jimmy Kelly and Frank McGaley, he was selected for the China mission. He spent one year (1948-'9) in Canton at our language school. We had classes at the YMCA in the centre of the city. Geoff made a good fist of the language. He also got on very well with the other students, who were of all kinds: protestant missionaries from Sweden, USA and England, businessmen from various countries, and the rest. Many Chinese students used to come to our house, some for games, some for English, some for instruction. Here again Geoff mixed very easily with them. In 1949, because of the communist army's approach to Canton (which was taken in October that year), the scholastics were ordered back to Hong Kong, The Second year of language study was held in Battery Path, then belonging to the MEP (Paris Foreign Missionaries, now the Victoria district court), Geoff then taught for a year (1950-51) in the Wah Yan afternoon school, being very successful and well-liked
Four years (1951-5) of theology in Milltown Park, Dublin followed. Geoff was ordained a priest on 29th July 1954. He spent his tertianship (1955-56) in Rathfarnham.
On his return to Hong Kong he was assigned to Cheung Chau, as minister, for another year of language study. In 1957 he moved to Wah Yan Kowloon and began teaching in Chu Hai post secondary college. This college had been in Canton before the communists took over: Fr Ned Sullivan († 1980) had taught in it there. Geoff also became editor of Tsing Nin Man Yau, a magazine in English and Chinese aimed at Chinese students and originally established some years before by Fr Terry Sheridan († 1970). In 1958 Geoff was posted to Kuala Lumpur, and for the rest of his life was based in Malaysia. There he faced a new challenge: to build St Francis Xavier's church and the university hostel in Petaling Jaya, near “KL”. He had the help of Fr Paddy McGovern († 1984), had arrived in Kuala Lumpur in 1957. The task was accomplished successfully, and the church and hostel opened in 1961. Geoff became parish and superior of the house (1961-65).
In 1965 he was transferred to Penang, where he was stationed until 1980, first at the Cathedral, then, from 1972, in the centre for university students which he founded at Minden Heights. Incidentally, from 1978 to 1982 he was listed as co-ordinator of the apostolate of Ours in Malaysia and Singapore, as well as being delegate for formation (from 1980) for the same area.
In 1980 he returned to Petaling Jaya as minister and bursar, as well as promoter of vocations in Malaysia. His responsibilities for formation and the promotion of vocations paved the way for his appointment in 1982 as novice master and superior of the new noviciate. (The opening of the Malaysian noviciate was described in a letter from Geoffrey himself, published in the Jesuit IPN, October 1982, pp. 264-'5.)
When Geoff was in Hong Kong in August last year on his way back to Ireland, he came to visit the Wah Yan community. We were shocked at his appearance: he had lost so much weight, so different from the Geoff we knew of old. Still, none of us thought that six weeks later Geoff would be dead.
Since 1958 I rarely met Geoff, but during the years we were together I found him an excellent religious and a very pleasant companion. I always found it easy to talk to him, and he was always even-tempered and good humoured. He was an excellent person to go to for advice, paternal in the good of the word. During all the years of formation, he was beadle in every house he lived in, and always did a fine job. As a priest, he was a superior for many years, had a very pastoral outlook and real concern for both his fellow-Jesuits and those for whom and with whom he worked. It is not surprising who that he was a great success as master of novices and as advisor for many years to the priests in Penang.
So the poem of Geoff's life has been priest finished and its last line written. ...

patience and his ability to listen endlessly to anyone in trouble, occasionally encouraging the flow of conversation with his special trade-mark, “Sure, sure. Sure, sure!”
Once a month Geoffrey and I used to meet in Taiping as we both had diocesan meetings to attend, and in the evening we always had dinner together and long conversations about the problems of the world and maybe especially the diocese. I am wondering now how much all of that was due to his qualities as a listener. Certainly Geoffrey's death has meant the loss not just of an excellent and priest but also of a very close friend. I at least used to complain sometimes that we could never be sure he would turn up on time for an appointment - he once kept me waiting for two hours. You could be sure his explanation would be that he had met someone who wanted to weep on his shoulder. He took it for granted that I, as a priest, would understand that in such a case there was no real need for apology. It always took the wind out of my sails. ...
Geoff's notable calm seemed to be ruffled only when he came across cases of injustice, illness, all cases in fact where the weak and defenceless were involved: his heart was then always engaged.
Not only the Jesuits miss him. In the days after his death I was flooded with telephone calls of sympathy from bishops, priests, sisters, brothers and laypeople. The bishops promised public Masses in their cathedrals (and I believe Bishop Selvanayagam is arranging for a requiem Mass for Geoff in Penang cathedral in November when all the priests of the diocese will be present). Sympathetic messages have been too numerous to quote, except perhaps this one:
“Jeff was such a good man, so full heart, especially to our orphans in Penang and elsewhere, and very understanding of the Sisters who came from their ranks. He was very intimately concerned with the sick - Sr Rosario Lee the doctor, and Sr M. Christine were among those who received special spiritual comfort from him; also Mother Monica before she died. He helped these three cancer cases when they really needed him, and I am sure that from heaven they obtained for him the comfort of not suffering too long from the same sickness as they had”.
In view of the above, it was no surprise that Geoffrey was appointed master of Jesuit novices, the first in the region. His interest always lay in the direction of souls, as many Brothers and
Sisters gratefully acknowledge. Perhaps he was not gifted with eloquence, but his he was not gifted with eloquence, but his spiritual direction was valued, and no one ever felt he had not been given sufficient opportunity to express himself properly.
I have heard that when he was first told of his cancer, his first wish was to return to the noviciate in Malaysia, which of course was forbidden by the doctors. Fr Joe Dargan tells us that it was when he was told that Fr Paul Tan knew of the situation and could cope, that he peacefully awaited his death.
A final word from an elderly Sister:
“He was a holy man: he will look after your problems now he is in heaven, and will also draw novices to you”.

News of the death of Fr Geoff Murphy at St Vincent's hospital, Dublin, on the night of 12th October came as a great shock to his colleagues in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. News of the seriousness of his illness had already been a surprise: before leaving Malaysia for Ireland ... he had been seen by a doctor who'd told him he definitely did not have cancer, and his loss of weight at that time was of attributed to the diet he'd been put on. . It was only at the beginning of October that the final diagnosis of liver cancer was made and Fr Geoff told about it by the doctor who thought he might survive two to three months at that stage. But Geoff was already deteriorating quickly, in no pain but very weak. He was peaceful and calm, worried at first about what might happen his novices in Kuala Lumpur, and very edifying to those who visited him. The Irish Provincial, Fr Joe Dargan, was at his bedside when he died. Geoffrey had just passed his 63rd birthday.
Some 30 Jesuits attended the removal of Fr Geoff's remains from the hospital to St Francis Xavier's church, Gardiner street, ... and 54 concelebrated the requiem the following morning (15th October). Fr Paul Andrews (whose sister is married to a brother of Geoff) was the principal celebrant and gave the homily, in the course of which he said:
“In his last days he talked above all of his novices. Since he started the noviceship he had already seen 8 Malaysians through to their first vows as Jesuits, and our special sympathies go out to the three novices whom he left in September, planning to return to them in late November.
St Ignatius urged us to die well. We can only guess what was in Geoffrey's mind when he started for home last month in a sick state. Did he hanker for the proverbial blessing of bás in Éirinn? - to die on his own soil, close to his own large family of sisters and brothers and cousins and relations? He always managed things well, did complicated jobs unobtrusively and efficiently; and it took some planning and effort to route his journey so that he could greet his two brothers and their families in Canada, and his sister Mary with her family in England. When he landed in Dublin, clearly exhausted and ill, he said happily: “I made it”. He had come half-way around the world to say his good byes. That done, he did not hang on to life but died quickly, his eyes still on the future and the wider world”

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1986

Obituary

Father Geoffrey Murphy SJ (1940)

Some 30 Jesuits attended the removal of Fr Geoff's remains from the hospital to St Francis Xavier's church, Gardiner St., on the Monday evening; and 54 concelebrated the Requiem the following morning, 15th. Fr Paul Andrews (whose sister is married to a brother of Geoff) was the principal celebrant and gave the homily. Among the concelebrants were the Irish provincial and the novice-master, and Frs John Wood and Herbert Dargan, and Missions procurator Fr Vincent Murphy. At the suggestion of the Provincial, the Irish novices played a prominent role in the ceremony, being responsible for the music and carrying the coffin from the church. Fr Geoffrey was laid to rest in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery.

In “his own” church of St. Francis Xavier in Petaling Jaya, the Mass of the Resurrection for him was marked, in the words of a participant, by “a white display broad in front of the main altar, with one large white flower arrangement at the side. On this board were photos of Fr Murphy taken more recently and a few of the early Petaling Jaya days with SJ confreres of the 60s. In the centre was a huge red heart, fringed with lace, on which was written ‘He is risen indeed, Alleluia’, the theme of the Mass. So, when there was a complete power failure from the 1st Reading until all the ceremony was completed, a very romantic, quiet, peaceful atmosphere prevailed. Fr Paul Tan says the Chinese would have taken it as a sure sign his spirit was with us. All here are still a little shocked by the sudden death...” Another sister writing in condolence from Penang said: “There is grief and shock all over Penang, and his requiem at the Cathedral last Saturday evening was crowded, as well it might be. One lady said to me, ‘I never saw him but I heard how good he was and I felt I should come’.”

In the course of his homily at the funeral Mass Fr Paul Andrews said: “What he did (in the Far East) has become especially clear in the last few days from the chorus of shock and grief in the messages that have come from Malaysia, from friends, students, parishioners, sisters, brothers, fellow Jesuits, and bishops. We get a sense of what Geoffrey meant for them, a man of strength and stability and wisdom, someone you could lean and rely on, a father. Over these 29 years he has been the effective founder of the Jesuit mission in Malaysia, and we can feel with their bereavement and shock, that someone who meant so much to them should have died so suddenly, and so far away .... In his last days he talked ... above all of his novices. Since he started the noviceship he had already seen 8 Malaysians through their first vows as Jesuits, and our special sympathies go out to the three novices whom he left last month, planning to return to them in late November. St Ignatius .... urged us to die well. We can only guess what was in Geoffrey's mind when he started for home last month in a sick state. Did he hanker for the proverbial blessing of ‘bas in Eireann’? - to die on his own soil, close to his own large family of sisters and brothers and cousins and relations ... He always managed things well, did complicated jobs unobtrusively and efficiently; and it took some planning and effort to route his journey so that he could greet his two brothers and their families in Canada, and his sister Mary with her family in England. When he landed in Dublin, clearly exhausted and ill, he said happily: ‘I made it’ ... He had come half way. around the world to say his goodbyes. That done, he did not hang on to life but died quickly, his eyes still on the future and the wider world.”

Naylor, Harold, 1931-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/821
  • Person
  • 03 November 1931-04 October 2018

Born: 03 November 1931, Damascus, Syria
Entered: 07 September 1951, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 15 May 1965, Saint Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Final Vows: 03 January 1971, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 04 October 2018, Kwong Wah Hospital, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 January 1971; HK to CHN : 1992

by 1961 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language
by 1962 at Bellarmine, Baguio City Philippines (ExOr) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
The four members of the Diocesan Ecumenical Commission; Theresa Kung, Father Stephen Tam, Sister Laura Watt and myself, had the opportunity to make a follow up visit to the Studium Biblicum run by the Hong Kong Bible Society on June 12. We had already been able to look at the books of bible stories, which are presented in beautifully printed and strikingly attractive cartoons, but on this occasion, the topic under discussion revolved around what type of cooperation the Studium Biblicum could offer to the commission in terms of enhancing ecumenical relations in the diocese.

Father Placid Wong Kwok-wah spoke of the decades it took the staff at the Studium Biblicum to translate the scriptures into Chinese and the endless hours that went into producing the first, one-volume Catholic Chinese Bible, which was published in 1968. On the wall of the conference room, portraits of seven Franciscans, who had laboured over the production of that historic publication and now have been called to their eternal reward, are hung. Father Placid is the last of the team still alive.

However, he noted that a translation of the bible is never finished and requires constant updates, as in the past decades, there have been changes in both the written and spoken language.

“People just write and speak differently from what they did 50 years ago,” he told the visiting ecumenical commission. He explained the ins and outs of the extensive revision necessary to update the four gospels, as well as the Old Testament, which he described as long and meticulous work, probably taking at least 10 years.

Periodic checking is also necessary and suggested updates are sent to Catholic scholars in Taiwan and more recently in southern China for comment. Material is also sent to the Orthodox authorities for double checking on the accuracy in the translation.

However, even with limited resources in both personnel and computing, efforts still continue to make the Chinese translations faithful to the original texts, as well as comprehensible and acceptable to modern readers. Father Wong also had high praise for the quality of downloading of texts onto MP3, which he described as being common today and acceptable.

For me it was a worthwhile day out, as the last time I was there was to visit Father Theobald Deiderick in 1979!
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 27 June 2010

Wah Yan mourns the death of teacher par excellence

A Jesuit educator par excellence and one of the most endearing figures of the Jesuit Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Father Harold Cosmatos Naylor passed away on October. 4. As a dedicated educator, he has inspired generations of students at the Wah Yan College with his innovative teaching methods.

According to Father Stephen Chow Sau-yan, head of the Chinese Province of the Society of Jesus in Hong Kong, Father Naylor will be remembered for his commitment to ecological education and Christian Ecumenism. “His creative pedagogy was way ahead of his time. Father Naylor was very committed to a simple lifestyle, caring for the poor, protecting the environment, and fostering Christian ecumenical dialogue,” said Father Chow.

Father Naylor was born in Damascus, Syria on 3 November 1931 and was baptised in the Anglican Church in Jerusalem. After the elementary education in Jerusalem his parents moved to Dublin in 1942. After becoming a Catholic at the age of 18, in 1951 he entered the Society of Jesus in Ireland.

Father Naylor came to Hong Kong in 1960 and studied Cantonese while staying in Cheung Chau for two years. He then moved to the Philippines for his Theology studies at Bellarmine College, Baguio and returned to Hong Kong in 1965 and was ordained a priest on May 15 at St. Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College by Bishop Laurence Bianchi, late Bishop of Hong Kong.

Father Naylor had his illustrious career as an educator and a champion of green movement at the Wah Yan College from 1967 to 2016. In the meantime, in 1968, he co-founded Hong Kong’s first conservation group, together with Lindsay Ride, former vice chancellor the University of Hong Kong, and vice-president of Chung Chi College Robert Rayne. During this period, he also served as a promoter and member of Diocesan Ecumenical Commission, and a chaplain at Kwong Wah Hospital.

His Autobiography, No Regrets ends with these words:

What then could be my last word? It is of gratitude to the students whom I have taught, thanks to the teachers who have put up with me, and indebtedness to Hong Kong, which has given me such a wonderful life.

I have lived in the same room in Wah Yan College for forty years. My fellow Jesuits have been supportive and friendly. I have enjoyed living in the greenery and good air in ten acres of King’s Park. No wonder I have no regrets, but only happiness and joy in my heart.

Then I have to add all those I have known as a priest outside the school, and they are in the hundreds. And all this happens in my adopted home of Hong Kong, so thanks to Hong Kong and all its people who have harboured me and made my life so happy.

A Funeral Mass for Father Naylor was celebrated on October 11 by Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-Cheung, Bishop of Hong Kong at St. Ignatius Chapel, where Father Naylor was ordained a priest 53 years ago.

He had donated his remains to Hong Kong University (HKU) for medical studies. HKU received his remains on October 12.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 14 October 2018

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/harold-naylor-sj-a-wonderful-life-in-hong-kong/

Harold Naylor SJ: A “wonderful life” in Hong Kong
Fr Harold Naylor SJ died peacefully in Hong Kong on 4 October, 2018 at the age of 87. He is the third Irish Jesuit missionary to have passed away this year. His funeral takes place at Saint Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College secondary school in Hong Kong on 11 October, 2018.

Background
Fr Naylor was not born in Ireland; it was his adopted homeland and, he said, “the only place I ever felt welcome and wanted”. He spent the first 19 years of his life in the Middle East, in cities including Damascus, Cairo, and Jerusalem, and attended boarding school in Beirut. He felt out of place in these places, because of his unusual heritage. His mother was from a Greek family who lived in Egypt and his father was an Englishman who arrived in the country as a dispatch rider for the army at the start of World War I. His parents married in 1929. They lived a happy life in the Middle East, but things changed in 1948 when his father died. His mother became engaged to an Irish man who was in the Palestinian police, and when the Jewish state of Israel came into being he brought the family to his homeland, Ireland.

Joining the Society of Jesus
Fr Naylor attended Trinity College Dublin as a medical student but he knew that he wanted a spiritual life, and left after a year. In January 1950 he knocked at the door of the Jesuit Superior at St Francis Xavier’s Church, Dublin and this interview was the first step to join the Jesuits. He was accepted and so began his journey with the Society of Jesus. The Irish Jesuits planned to send many men to develop Jesuit service in what was then known as Northern Rhodesia – Zambia – to expand missionary work. Fr Naylor was excited to become a missionary, but felt that his lifelong delicate constitution prevented him being of best service in the harsh environment of Africa. He was asked to become a missionary to China, and the thought of following Jesuits Francis Xavier and Matteo Ricci gave him great joy.
In an interview with Maurice O’Keeffe from Irish Life and Lore, Fr Naylor stated: “So, after a year in college my mother took me away”. “I can see where your heart is. Go ahead,” she said. “And I became a Jesuit... It took me two years to make the decision”. He also spoke about his early days in the Society: “When I joined the Jesuits, I didn’t feel Irish. I’m an Englishman... I was the only foreigner in the Jesuit house.” He commented that many of the Jesuits were pro-nationalist who only spoke in Irish. However, when he got the call later to go to Hong Kong, he was told it was better to be English.

Wah Yan College, Kowloon
He first travelled to Hong Kong in 1960 to begin his mission, and spent an interim four years (1962 – 1967) in the Philippines to better prepare him for his work in China. He recalls these years as among the happiest of his life. He took a post in the Jesuit-run Wah Yan College in Kowloon in 1967, and remained there for more than forty years. Fr Naylor was a year-three English and Biology teacher, but his commitment to the students of the college was in more than just teaching.
In 1968 he took over from fellow Irish Jesuit Fr Joseph Mallin SJ (who died earlier this year) as the Director of the Wah Yan Poor Boys’ Club and was delighted to have the opportunity to help young boys who had no opportunity of schooling. The club members were living in huts or on rooftops. Some of them were apprentices. He attributed the idea behind the club as coming from Belvedere College, where he had studied in Dublin. There was a Newsboys Club for young boys who sold newspapers and were not able to go to school. The club became, after several years, the Wah Yan Childrens’ Club and Fr Naylor remained as Director from 1968 to 1994.
Speaking with The Shield about teaching ethics at Wah Yan College, Fr Naylor noted: “A teacher is to help a person to grow and develop”. It’s not only biological growth. It’s also emotional growth; it’s intellectual growth; it’s imagination growth; and it’s moral growth.
In the South China Morning Post, Civic Party chairman Alan Leong Kah-kit, who studied at Wah Yan College from 1971 to 1978, said Father Naylor was an unconventional teacher who conducted a lot of field trips even in the 1970s. “He was well liked by his students and I am sure he will be remembered as an enlightening mentor to many,” Leong said. The long list of Naylor’s pupils at the college includes Leong, lawmaker James To Kun-sun, Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu and Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung.

Conservancy and ecology
In 1968 Fr Naylor received a letter from Chung Chi College, Hong Kong inviting him to join its prestigious Conservancy Association. Botany and ecology were lifelong interests of his and after joining the association he began the Secondary School Conservancy Clubs and studied Ecology at the University of Hong Kong.
His involvement in ecology attracted the attention of the South China Morning Post and he wrote a column on environmental matters for over two years. Environmental news was a hot topic in the 1970s, and Fr Naylor went on to become a delegate representing Hong Kong at the United Nations Conference on The Human Environment, in Stockholm, June 1972. He had a commitment to what is now known as sustainable living and enjoyed living a simple life. Wah Yan College Kowloon is an ideal of sustainable living and is unusual in having vast areas of greenery in low-density building, where parts of Hong Kong have the highest residential population per square kilometre in the world.
Reflection on his life
In a 2007 interview, Fr Naylor reflected on his decades in Hong Kong and concluded that his life there had been a happy and fulfilling one.
“What then could be my last word? It is of gratitude to the students whom I have taught, thanks to the teachers who have put up with me, and indebtedness to Hong Kong, which has given me such a wonderful life. I have lived in the same room in Wah Yan College for forty years. My fellow Jesuits have been supportive and friendly. I have enjoyed living in the greenery and good air in ten acres of King’s Park. No wonder I have no regrets, but only happiness and joy in my heart. Then I have to add all those I have known as a priest outside the school, and they are in the hundreds. And all this happens in my adopted home of Hong Kong, so thanks to Hong Kong and all its people who have harboured me and made my life so happy.”

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was at school with Ciarán Kane in Belvedere College Dublin, but joined the Society two years after him. He joined after four years of deliberation.

After First Vows he was sent to University College Dublin where he graduated BSc in Natural History, Geology, Botany and Zoology, intending that this would be helpful in understanding the relationship between Christianity and Science.
After this he was sent to study Philosophy for three years, and he was encouraged to consider the issues of handing the faith to non-believers.
He was sent to teach Science at Mungret College SJ Limerick for Regency.
1960 In August he was in Hong Kong and spent two years at Cheung Chau with a private tutor learning Cantonese.
1962-1966 He was in the Philippines at Bellarmine College, Baguio, along with 65 other Jesuits destined for work in China. The College was mandarin speaking, and so he had chosen to go there deliberately with mainland China in mind. By 1964 there were 15 Jesuits who had learned Vietnamese and knew no Chinese, and the young Chinese were gravitating towards Taiwan
1966-1967 He made Tertianship in Dublin
1967 He was back in Hong Kong teaching at Wah Yan College Kowloon, and encouraged to also work with Alumni. He engaged in ecumenical work and was active in the environmental movement. he also spent the weekends on priestly ministries.
1981 He was offered a sabbatical at the age of 50, but he declined it as he was convinced of the value of teaching and wanted to keep his work commitments.
1991 He retired from the salary scale, but he opted to keep teaching, seeing it as the vehicle for his Jesuit life.

Note from Séamus Doris Entry
He was good friends with Harry Naylor, Joe Mallin and Dan Fitzpatrick.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1966

Our Past

Father Harry Naylor SJ

Fr Harry Naylor SJ was ordained by the Bishop of Hong Kong in the chapel of Wah Yan, Kowloon, on 15th May, 1965. He said his first Mass in the chapel of the Hong Kong College.

Fr Naylor was born in Damascus in 1931, of a Greek mother and an Irish father, He finished his secondary education in Dublin, to which his family returned after the war. He then studied medicine, but after two years entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1951. He did a science degree in University College, Dublin, and after a year's teaching in Mungret went to Hong Kong in 1960.
Greetings and all best wishes to Fr Harry from his friends at Mungret.

O'Meara, John, 1898-1991, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/582
  • Person
  • 23 February 1898-14 November 1991

Born: 23 February 1898, Mallow, County Cork
Entered: 31 August 1915, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 August 1930, Leuven, Belgium
Professed: 08 December 1976
Died: 14 November 1991, St Joseph’s Home, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Part of the Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong community at the time of death.

Eldest brother of Michael - RIP 1998; Tommy - RIP 1993

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966

by 1928 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1932 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1934 at Catholic Mission, Ngau-Pei-Lan, Shiuhing (Zhaoqing), Guandong, China (LUS) - language
by 1935 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
by 1943 at Campion Hall, Oxford, England (ANG) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives & ◆ The Clongownian, 1992

Father John O’Meara S.J. R.I.P.

Father John O’Meara SJ, Hong Kong’s oldest priest, who did missionary work in Hong Kong and southern China for almost 60 years, died on 14 November 1991 after a brief illness.

Father O'Meara was born in Mallow, Ireland, on 23 February 1898, into a large family. He was educated by the Irish Christian Brothers and later by the Jesuits.

He join the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1915 and followed the usual course of studies of the time, which, in his case, included an honours degree in history at the National University of Ireland.

He did his philosophical studies in Dublin and went to Louvain in Belgium for theology. He was ordained priest in 1930.

Father O’Meara arrived in Hong Kong for the first time in September 1933 with four companions. Within three days of landing here he was told to proceed to Zhaoqing (Shiu Hing), the Portuguese Jesuit mission on the West River, to study Chinese.

In the following year he moved to the river island mission station of Tianshuisha (Tin Shui Sha), where he gained an intimate knowledge of working in a rural mission.

Later in 1934 he was recalled to Hong Kong and began an important period of his life at the then South China Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. He was first named Vice-Rector, a post he held until 1937 when he was appointed Rector.

In 1935 the seminarians from Fujian Province left Aberdeen when a new regional seminary was opened by the bishops of that region. Their loss was more than compensated for by a large influx of students from Guangdong and Guangxi, as the minor seminaries of those two provinces began to show the results of 10 years patient labour.

With the Japanese invasion of South China, travel to and from Hong Kong became difficult and from 1940 no new students came to Aberdeen.

With the Japanese attack on Hong Kong in December 1941, a very difficult period began for the seminary and for its Rector, Father O’Meara.

The building was shelled and bombed for three days during the siege of Hong Kong and so severe was the firing that the students and some refugees who had gathered there for shelter were forced to leave on Christmas morning. (Hong Kong surrendered on Christmas day).

During the succeeding three and a half years the seminary teaching staff, under Father O’Meara’s leadership, continued to train priests in spite of persistent visits from suspicious gendarmes.

The feeding of such a large community was a problem solved only by repeated interventions of Divine Providence.

For months there was no wheeled traffic other than military on the only road leading to the city. Food supplies had to be brought by hand, on battered bicycles.

In May 1945, Father O’Meara decided that the seminarians who had not finished their studies should go with their professors to neighbouring Macau, which, being Portuguese, was considered neutral.

The main reason was that it had become impossible to find food. Father O’Meara himself remained with an ex-seminarian and a servant to guard the seminary building from looters.

The war came to an end on 15 August 1945, and in November of that year Father O’Meara welcomed the first new students to arrive since 1940 and those in Macau were recalled.

In October 1947, Father O’Meara was relieved of the heavy burden he had carried for 12 years. He was sent to the newly-founded Jesuit mission in Guangzhou (Canton). There he taught at the Sacred Heart School and did missionary work in Dongshan (Tung Shan) as well as being director of the Legion of Mary in the diocese.

In 1953, four years after the establishment of the People’s Republic, he and the other Jesuits were forced to leave the country.

Back in Hong Kong, he taught at Wah Yan College, Kowloon, for five years until his appointment as Master of Novices in 1958 at the newly opened Jesuit novitiate at Xavier House in Cheung Chau.

He was extremely pleased to have been given such a responsible post in forming new Jesuits at the age of 60. He held the position for 10 years when, in 1968, he began a period of parish ministry.

He was first assigned to the Holy Rosary Parish in Kennedy Town and, four years later, transferred to Christ the Worker parish in Ngautaukok.

He was still vigorous in his 80s when he became chaplain to the St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged in Ngauchiwan. In the final years of his life, when he could no longer continue this ministry, he became himself one of the old folk in the home.

Father O’Meara had one final ambition, which he did not get to see - to live until the year 2000 and say he had touched three centuries.

The funeral Mass, presided over by Cardinal John Baptist Wu, Bishop of Hong Kong, and assisted by Archbishop Dominic Tang of Canton (Where Father O’Meara spent some of the happiest years of his life), was held at St. Ignatius Chapel, Kowloon, on 18 November at 11am.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 22 November 1991

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :

Note from Tommy Martin Entry
He first arrived as a Scholastic for regency in Hong Kong in 1933. He was accompanied by Frs Jack O’Meara and Thomas Ryan, and by two other Scholastics, John Foley and Dick Kennedy.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Frs. Bourke and John O'Meara returned from Hong Kong on 25th November for a rest. Fr. Joseph O'Mara, who had returned to the Mission some time ago after a stay in Ireland, was forced by ill-health to come back to the Province. He reached Dublin on 13th January, and is now teaching philosophy at Tullabeg.

O'Neill, Thomas Aidan, 1924-2009, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/724
  • Person
  • 30 January 1924-30 July 2009

Born: 30 January 1924, Dungarvan, County Waterford
Entered: 06 September 1941, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1958, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 30 July 2009, Kingsmead Hall, Singapore - Indonesia Province -Malaysia (MAS)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to IDO (MAS) : 1991

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1950 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1958 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-tom-oneill-sj/

Fr Tom O’Neill SJ
Fr Tom O’Neill (centre in photo), who died on 30 July, had spent all his priestly life in the Far East, including ten years in Hong Kong and Manila, and the last forty in Singapore. He was a fine musician, and had specialised in matters liturgical, both in editing and teaching (at the Pastoral Institute, Manila), and then in the pastoral work of the Jesuit parish in Singapore. A correspondent in Hong Kong gathered the reactions to his death of men whom Tom had taught in the 1960s in Wah Yan. They remembered him vividly, and as one of them put it: “That seems to be the way with some Jesuit fathers. They do not realise the full impact of their influence on us.”

We will remember him as our church choir master when we were in P. 6, when my voice changed from soprano to alto. I can still sing many of the hymns, and several voice parts of the Ave Verum, Languen tibus, O Lord I am not worthy, When all moral flesh keeps silence, and of course, Christmas carols and Easter songs. We had special practices for Christmas eves, Holy Saturdays and Easter Sundays, where I had the adrenalin flows, and special treats of tea, cake and sandwich. But my best treat was when the Vienna Choir came to town in 1962 or 1963. They were looking for a special hall for rehearsal, and they picked the hall of Wah Yan Kowloon. As church choir members, Fr. O’Neill invited us to listen to the rehearsal. To this day, I still seem to hear German soprano Elizabeth Schwarzkopf crescendo to the high notes of Voices of Spring that still echo in the auditorium whenever I walked into the hall in my recent visits. Fr. O’Neill became my F2D form-master (1957-1958) during the latter part of the academic year. He was then very young and very energetic. (See attached photos.) He was extremely well-liked by all of our classmates. I remember we invited him on our class picnics and he always went with us. And he was a very fast walker, a lot faster than I. After Form 5, I lost touch with Fr. O’Neill. It was some time after 2002 when I was lucky to get hold of his phone number and home address in Singapore. I phoned him one day and talked to him for almost half an hour. He was very kind-hearted and was concerned about my health and constant muscle pain. He was a great encouragement to me. During the last few years, I always sent him Christmas greeting cards on behalf of the 61 grads. He always sent Christmas cards in return to all of us.I remember Fr O’Neill as a kind and gentle man, universally well-liked and respected. I will always be sensitive of my debt to him and to all my other teachers at WYK, and I hope that they will in some way sense that their efforts and dedication were not entirely in vain. I had great fond memories of Father O’Neill who was my F4B Class-master. He went out to picnic with us a few times. He appreciated my class-work efforts. He was always so gentle, dedicated teacher and priest, handsome, educated, patient, and a great tenor. I wished to have known him better. I’m sure God is with him always. I am sure all of us will miss Fr. O’Neill. Despite his short tenure at WYK, he was especially dear to our class of 1962, having served as the form master of Form 4A (1960-1961). I had planned on a reunion in Singapore so we could see both Fr. Tseng and Fr. O’Neill again. Now that’s not going to happen. Fr. O’Neill was my form-master at 2D. His manner was exceptionally gentle and calm. There was such a peaceful feeling whenever he was around. He was such a inspiring gentleman! I can remember him so well as it was only yesterday! I am sure he has lived a contented and happy life!

Ah, yes. Fr O’Neill was my form master in F. 2D. I believe at that time he just arrived at WYK. I always remember him more than a classroom teacher. He was a musician who played well on the piano. Besides, his mannerism stands out vividly on my mind. He had an air of dignity around him which inspired me a lot. I was struck by his extraordinarily handsome appearance which was matched only by his gentleness. I thought some George Montgomery had decided to join the priesthood. Fr O’Neill was one of the kindest men that I had ever known, although he was frank enough to turn me away from the junior choir on the first practice session, as he told me straight in the face that I could not sing; and he was correct, for I have been told the same thing umpteen times by persons who know me well. My friend Dolly told us that once she offered to buy Fr O’Neill a pair of shoes because she could tell that they were no longer in good condition. He said, “No need. Father Woods is dying and when he dies, I’ll have his shoes.” He was a happy man. One good thing is that he worked until the last moment and went to join the chorus of heaven quietly and comfortably. God must have rewarded him with a peaceful delivery to the other world. You know, the word ‘delivery’ always puts me into deep thought. When we came to this world, we were ‘delivered’ by a doctor or a midwife. When we leave, in what way will God ‘deliver’ us? Has it got anything to do with what we have done? In Fr O’Neill’s case, it was Thursday and he was seen all right in the morning. He was supposed to appear in the place of gathering to rehearse a church wedding to be held on Saturday. He was not there. Nobody suspected anything as they thought he must be tired and resting in his room (silly of them because Fr O’Neill never missed any rehearsal). Dinner came and he was still missing, so they went to his room in the priests’ quarters. There they found him leaving us to join the kingdom of God.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was in Hong Kong 1957-1968 and promoted local Liturgy there.
He lived at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen and then went to Manila for liturgy studies.
He then went to Singapore for almost 40 years.

Note from Paddy Finneran Entry
He came to Hong Kong as a young priest with Peter Dunne and 5 Scholastics - Liam Egan, Paddy Cunningham, Matt Brosnan, Tom O’Neill and Tony Farren. He spent two years at the Battery Path Language School learning Cantonese.

O'Rourke, Patrick, 1924-2003, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/692
  • Person
  • 22 May 1924-17 December 2003

Born: 22 May 1924, Kildimo, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1982, Hong Kong
Died: 17 December 2003, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to HIB : 15 September 1992

by 1951 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Patrick O’Rourke, SJ
R.I.P.

Father Patrick O’Rourke, SJ died rather suddenly but peacefully on 17 December 2003, aged 79 years.

He died, appropriately, in Wah Yan College Hong Kong, where he had lived and taught for 45 years, and in the college chapel, of which he was the prefect in recent years.

In many ways a quiet-spoken man of simple tastes, but coming from a farming background in his native Ireland, he was also shrewd and somewhat skeptical by nature, not suffering fools gladly. He lived very simply, his room was left almost bare.

He possessed a well-developed sense of humour and enjoyed having a good laugh and also causing a good laugh.

A keen sportsman in earlier days, he enjoyed football, playing left-wing and, like many of his students, was a keen fan of Manchester United and latterly played a useful game of tennis in the school yard.

In his 45 years of teaching in Wah Yan College, he certainly taught hundreds, perhaps thousands of boys, in successive generations.

Many of his students returned to their mother school for his funeral Mass on 21 December 2003, presided over by Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun SDB and Bishop John Tong Hon and followed by burial in the Catholic cemetery in Happy Valley.

Just as his patron, St. Patrick, was called by God from being a shepherd boy to bring the Gospel of Christ to the pagan Irish in the 5th century AD, his 20th century namesake, a farmer’s son from Limerick, was also called to devote his long life to offering a sound education and the same Gospel to the Chinese youth of this sophisticated city with its age-old culture and yearnings for the infinite.

May God richly reward this latter day “Mr. Chips” and bring him quickly to Heaven, if he is not already there.

May Father Patrick O’Rourke have many Hong Kong Jesuit successors to continue the Wah Yan tradition into the future. May his gentle soul rest in the peace of Christ!
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 11 January 2004

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He first came to Hong Kong as a Regent in 1952 to study Cantonese at Cheung Chau. He then returned to Ireland for Theology

1958-1989 He returned to Hong Kong to teach English and religious Knowledge at Wah Yan College Hong Kong and lived there for over 40 years. During this time he also helped with pastoral work on weekends with Sunday Masses, and he was Chaplain to the Hong Kong Volunteers for 20 years.

He was known for his humour and was very popular with his fellow Jesuits.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005

Obituary

Fr Patrick (Paddy) O’Rourke (1924-2003)

May 22nd 1924: Born in Kildimo, Co. Limerick
Early education at Kildimo National School and Sacred Heart College, The Crescent, Co. Limerick
Sept. 7th 1942: Entered the Society at Emo
1944 - 1947: Studied Arts UCD
1947 - 1950: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1950 - 1952: Hong Kong - Language School
1952 - 1953: Wah Yan College - Regency
1953 - 1957: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
July 31st 1956: Ordained at Milltown Park
1958 - 1959: Tertianship at Rathfamham
1959 - 2003: Wah Yan , Hong Kong - Prefect of the church, Spiritual Director (SJ), Treasurer, Teacher.
Feb. 2nd 1982: Final Vows in Hong Kong
Dec.17th 2003: Died in Hong Kong.

Fr Paddy O'Rourke died in the chapel in his community at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. His death was completely unexpected. The cause of his death is believed to have been a heart attack. He had been in fair health right to the end. Another member of the community spoke to him on the phone an hour before he died.

Homily preached by Fr. Seán Coghlan on December 21st at a Vigil Mass, the night before his funeral:

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, instead of speaking about Advent or the fast approaching feast of Christmas I want to share with you some thoughts about Fr. Paddy O'Rourke who died last Wednesday in this chapel and who will be buried from here tomorrow.

Wah Yan College moved from Robinson Road to this site on Mount Parrish in 1955. Fr. O'Rourke took up residence here in August or September 1958 and has lived here ever since. Before his ordination in Ireland he taught for one year in Robinson Road after two years of Cantonese studies in Battery Path. 48 years of Fr. O'Rourke's nearly 80 years of life were spent in Hong Kong, 46 of them in Wah Yan.

He will be remembered by generations of Wah Yan students. Many of you will remember him too. For the last few years of his life his health made it impossible for him to go out for Mass on Sundays. Instead, he looked after this chapel with great care. He was always standing down there at the back of the chapel or hearing Confessions and then he would come up to the altar to help the celebrant distribute Holy Communion.

Fr. O'Rourke taught for most of his life, and even after his retirement he assisted the teachers and students in a wide variety of extra curricular activities. He was Minister of the community for many years. That is, he looked after the material needs of his fellow Jesuits.

He knew where every pipe in the building was. He did the jobs that needed to be done. He was that essential person in a religious community who can be relied on to be around, keeping an eye on things.

Fr. O'Rourke was chaplain to the Hong Kong Regiment (”The Volunteers”). Until quite recently he would offer Sunday Mass and preach in St. Margaret's and St. Jude's Parishes and Christ the King Chapel. Fr. O'Rourke was a good footballer in his younger days and played tennis on Sunday afternoons on the court beside the chapel, just a few yards away from where we are now. His partners were Mr. Frank Yung, Mr. Anthony Ip and Fr. Derek Reid.

He was a simple man but shrewd and somewhat skeptical by nature. He did not get wildly enthusiastic about new ideas but was absolutely reliable in all his commitments. He lived very simply. His room was almost bare. It will be very easy to clean up. Some Jesuit rooms take much time and energy to clean up after the occupant has left us for the Lord. Remember Fr. O' Rourke was 45 years in the some room!

Fr. Deignan was speaking to Fr. O'Rourke's nephew on the phone last Thursday. His nephew said too that he was a very simple man. He was quite content to stay around the old home, wandering about the farm and cycling on the bicycle which is still there. Fr. O'Rourke was very interested in local history. On holidays in Ireland he would visit the local parish churches and look up the publicly available marriage and baptismal registers. He would go to the local government offices and study the title deeds to the local farms and properties. These records stretched back many years.

On one occasion I asked him to look up some details about my family. When I asked him about his findings he said with a twinkle in his eyes. “If I were you I wouldn't look too deeply into the matter, some of the dates are a bit difficult to reconcile”. Fr. O'Rourke was very humorous and enjoyed having a good laugh and causing a good laugh.

Fr. O'Rourke lived in the country. His home was nine or ten miles from the nearest town where there was a Jesuit school, He cycled to school and back home in all kinds of weather. That was hard at times.

When Fr. O' Rourke was in school, Ireland was going through difficult years. It had recently become independent. The economy, nationally and internationally, was bad. Farmers in particular faced difficult problems. But Ireland was a Catholic country. It had a tremendous missionary tradition. Young women and young men like Fr. O' Rourke became priests and nuns and went to bring God's light to many different parts of the would. Fr. O' Rourke was one of those who, despite very difficult economic conditions, received a good education. He was available for God's work.

Now life is very different in Ireland. The economy is booming. But Ireland has not adapted well to prosperity. There is a crisis in the religious life of the people. The number of practicing Catholics has dropped drastically. Vocations to the priesthood and religious life have diminished correspondingly. It has to be said, too, that the Church has not coped well with the crisis. It is a very different scene from the one Fr. O' Rourke was familiar with. I would ask you to pray that God will recall his people to a richer and more mature faith.

I think that Ireland is at one with the rest of the Western world in a certain tiredness and sickness. It seems to lack creativity and imagination in finding spiritual and humane answers to the challenges of a new world.

If one reads the financial and business pages of our newspapers and journals one finds that the experts are divided as to whether India or China will be the great economic force of the world in the not too distant future. Are the countries of the East emerging as the power houses of the world?

Prosperity and a spiritual outlook on life do not always go hand in hand. However, a general awakening and growth in one area of life may be accompanied by a growth in other areas. There is a hunger for spiritual meaning in many Eastern countries. Religious novitiates in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, India and Korea have many candidates. In China there are many young men and women preparing for the priesthood and religious life.

Lay Christians are active and confident. Recently I met a young Hong Kong woman who has already spent seven years with a Catholic refugee service in South East Asia. She is now preparing to commit herself for life to the work. She is one among many lay people from Hong Kong and other parts of Asia who are “on mission” to the world. In God's loving plan the Western world brought his light to the world for many centuries. Could it not now be the tum of the Eastern world to bring spiritual values to a world which thirsts for meaning?

Fr. O'Rourke came from a farming community, fields stretching down to the River Shannon, the hills of Clare rising from the fields on the other side of the river. Now it may be the time for a young man or woman from the green fields of Korea or from one of the immense bustling cities of China to bring God's light to those who long for it.

-oOo-

Homily preached at the Requiem Mass for Fr. O'Rourke by Fr. Robert Ng Chi-fan:

My dear Wah Yan friends,

We have gathered here today to celebrate a Requiem Mass for Fr. Paddy O'Rourke who died last Wednesday. For most of you he was either a teacher, a colleague or a good friend.... Hong Kong people appreciate stability greatly. Fr. O' Rourke was a very stable person indeed! He believed that things shouldn't be changed if they were good, so he stayed in Wah Yan for 45 years and never left it. He lived in the same room for those 45 years and every morning had his breakfast at 6:45. Then he started his day's work. His main responsibility was teaching, especially teaching English. He had his own special way of teaching. For the first few minutes of each class he asked his students to repeat again and again words which could be easily mispelt. Then he would ask them to memorize some proverbs. Fr, O'Rourke was the teacher who helped me most to improve my English. If a student couldn't answer his questions he would poke him with his finger until the right answer came. But he didn't confine himself to helping the students in class. He trained them to take part in English debates and verse-speaking competitions. He continued to do so almost to the very end of his life. Shortly before he died he acted as judge in one of the competitions. It can truly be said that he worked humbly and simply until his death.

Many people can be good teachers but, as a Jesuit and priest, Fr. O'Rourke came to Hong Kong from Ireland to fulfil a further mission. He wanted people to know God. He liked teaching English but he liked teaching religion even more. He gave religious instruction and was spiritual director of a Catholic society. He was very happy when a student was baptized. His apostolate extended beyond the school. He was chaplain to the locally enlisted Hong Kong Regiment (”The Volunteers”) On Sundays he went for many years to St Margaret's Parish and Christ the King Chapel to offer Mass.

As a Jesuit and missionary he was a traditional type. He followed the rules carefully. He was obedient. He led a simple life and was generous in sharing with others. When I was a student I used to see poor people coming up to Wah Yan every Saturday to look for help. It was always Fr. O'Rourke who came downstairs to talk to them and give them some money. For many years he was the Minister of the Jesuit community and as Minister was very willing to share with those in need. In St. Mathew's Gospel Jesus speaks of the criteria for judgment on the Last Day. The criteria are almost exclusively concerned with helping those who need our help. Fr, O'Rourke will get high marks in this area.

Those who know Fr, O'Rourke were well aware of how much he liked football. He played football when he was young. In the 60's, the "Fathers' team" always beat the students' team. A few of the Fathers played for the Hong Kong Football Club. Fr. O'Rourke played on the left wing and the students found it very hard to block his very accurate centering of the ball. When football was mentioned, one could see a big smile on his face. Friends know that the Fathers liked football so they generously installed Cable TV for them. This gave Fr, O'Rourke the entertainment he loved. His favourite team was Manchester United, probably because there were always Irish players on the Manchester United team. The reason why I mention his love of football is to show that Fr. O'Rourke was not a rather remote, distant priest and missionary. On the contrary, he mixed with ordinary people and shared their likes and interests. He insisted, however that entertainment should be healthy. This reflects his character. He was an upright man, but a humorous one too.

Since Fr. O'Rourke loved games and sporting activities it would be appropriate and the truth to quote of him St. Paul's words. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith, Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing”. (2 Tim 4:7 & 8)

When Jesuits die, they wish to go to the Lord quickly. They envy those who manage not to delay on their way to Him! Fr. Corbally died while eating his breakfast, Fr. Doody while offering Mass. Last year Fr. McLoughlin died in his sleep. The Lord was merciful to Fr. O'Rourke. At noon on Wednesday 17th Fr. O' Rourke arranged with a colleague to have some Masses offered. Before 5:00 p.m. he died while praying in the chapel.

We chose to have Fr. O'Rourke's Requiem Mass in the school chapel because it has a special meaning for him and for us. He served Wah Yan for 45 years. This is the chapel he loved and looked after. Here he offered numerous Masses. Here he prayed for the students. I am sure he will be happy to say “good bye” to the teachers and students in this place. He must be happy to have two Bishops and many priests offering Mass for him, his student to preach about him, and so many teachers and students, past and present, to pray for him.

Those who spoke to him recently must feel a little sad at his passing. But for a Jesuit to die in the bosom of the Lord is a consoling thing. Let us unite in praying for him who offered his life to God by his work of education among the students of Wah Van. May he hear the words of to-days Gospel being addressed to him by Our Lord himself. “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Mt. 11:28)

Redmond, Stephen B, 1919-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/833
  • Person
  • 26 December 1919-14 January 2017

Born: 26 December 1919, Ballsbridge, Dublin
Entered: 28 September 1940, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1958, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Died: 14 January 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park, Dublin community at the time of death.

Early Education at Holy Faith, Haddington Road, Dublin; Synge St CBS, Dublin; UCD

1942-1945 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1945-1947 Belvedere College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying H Dip in Education at UCD (45-46)
1947-1951 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1951-1952 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1952-1971 Gonzaga College SJ - Teacher
1971-1979 Lusaka, Zambia - Assistant to Novice Master; Teaching Theology; Writer; Music Apostolate at Jesuit Educational Institute, Xavier House, Chelston
1979-2010 John Austin House - Music Apostolate; Writer
1989 Assistant Province Archivist; Librarian; Directs Spiritual Exercises
2010-2016 Milltown Park - Music Apostolate; Writer; Spiritual Director; Spiritual Director in Legion of Mary and St Joseph’s Young Priests Society
2013 Music Apostolate; Writer; Spiritual Director in Legion of Mary
2014 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/podcasts/stephen-redmond-sj-looks-back-life-jesuit/

Always young in heart
Stephen Redmond SJ spent his life writing, teaching and composing music, including a song for the Eurovision in 1969. He died on Saturday, aged ninety-seven. In this interview with Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications when he was 93, he talks about his childhood and his life as a Jesuit.
In ‘the good old days’ when Stephen Redmond SJ was teaching English and History in Gonzaga, he was also writing music. In 1968 his Irish song Gleann na Smól was in the final few from which Ireland’s entry to the Eurovision Song Contest was chosen. Over the years – many years – he has written many other songs both in Ireland and later in Zambia, where he ran a weekly radio programme.
He published a selection in a CD called Wonder World: Songs for Children and the Young in Heart. The lyrics are by various poets, including four poems by Stephen himself. He wrote and performed (piano and voice) all the music. Proceeds from the sale of the CD goes to Third World charities.

Reid, Derek, 1921-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/693
  • Person
  • 01 March 1921-30 November 1992

Born: 01 March 1921, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1962, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 30 November 1992, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Sinensis province (CHN)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1953 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Derek Reid S.J.
(1927-1992)
R.I.P.

As reported in our last issue and also in the daily press, Father Derek Reid SJ died in mysterious circumstances at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, on 29 November 1992.

Cardinal Wu was the chief concelebrant at a Requiem Mass attended by a packed church in Causeway Bay on 5 December and burial followed immediately afterwards at Happy Valley.

Father Derek Reid was born in Dublin, Ireland, on 1 March 1927. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in Emo, Ireland, on 7 September 1944, and went through what was then the normal course of formation for Irish Jesuits.

After two years of novitiate, he studied for a B.A. degree at University College, Dublin, a constituent college of the National University of Ireland. This was followed by three years’ study of philosophy in St. Stanislaus College, situated in the Irish midlands.

Father Reid came to Hong Kong in 1952. His first two years were spent in the study of Cantonese. For the first year he stayed at the MEP House, 1 Battery Path. This building was later used for law courts and now houses part of the Government Information Services. In the second year, he transferred to the newly-acquired Xavier House in Cheung Chau.

From 1954-55, Father Reid, still a scholastic, spent one year teaching at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, then situated in Robinson Road.

He returned to Ireland in 1955 for four years of theology at Milltown Park, in Dublin, At the end of the third year he was ordained priest on 31 July 1958. Theological studies were followed by a final year of spiritual formation in Rathfarnham Castle, also in Dublin.

In 1960 Father Reid returned to Hong Kong where he was to spend the rest of his life and went back to teaching in Wah Yan Hong Kong. The college had in the meantime moved to its present site in Wanchai. During those first years he is listed as teaching religion, history and English Language. He was also the spiritual director of the boys and in charge of the night school (since discontinued).

In 1966, he became principal and supervisor of Wah Yan College in Waterloo Road, Kowloon. He held this post for 12 years and was largely instrumental in maintaining the high standards for the which the school is known.

In 1978 he returned to Wah Yan Hong Kong as a teacher in the ranks but in 1983 he was appointed principal and supervisor of the college.

In 1985, he stepped down as principal but continued part-time teaching. In 1989 he became superior of the Wah Yan Hong Kong Jesuit community, a post he held until this year, when Father John Russell assumed the post.

During the Requiem Mass on 5 December, Father James Hurley SJ, assistant pastor at St Vincent’s Parish, Wongtaisin, and a contemporary of Father Reid, gave the homily in Chinese.

Father Hurley pointed out that Father Reid was a man of all-round and exceptional ability. This was recognised soon after he joined the Jesuits and, even before his ordination as a priest, he had been given many responsibilities. After his return to Hong Kong his great qualities were even more clearly seen.

Whatever work was entrusted to him, he took seriously, worked hard at it, did it competently, undeterred by difficulties, and never gave up until it was completed.

He had a deep sense of responsibility and people naturally had great confidence in him, He was always very ready to help people and Father Hurley gave examples of the help that had been given to himself and others.

Father Reid made an outstanding contribution to the education of young people in Hong Kong and one that was greatly appreciated. He not only encouraged students to study hard, he urged them to take part in a wide range of extracurricular activities, to broaden their outlook, and show their concern for people and for society.

He had great confidence in young people, and while some urged him to act with greater caution, he proceeded to give great freedom to the students of Wah Yan Kowloon in organizing and building up a Students’ Association, something which they did very successfully.

In a pastoral letter in 1989 Cardinal John Baptist Wu urged Catholic school authorities to raise the level of education in democracy in schools. Father Reid had already anticipated the Cardinal’s recommendations more than a decade previously.

Father Reid had many interests. For example, he was a very good football player and, in his later years, he regularly played tennis. Indeed, he had played a game on the day of his death.

Besides his educational work Father Reid did a good deal of pastoral work both in school and in the many churches where he regularly said Mass, preached and administered the sacraments. He was not only a great headmaster, he was also a great priest, said Father Hurley.

Father Reid was highly respected by those who had dealings with him, He had very many friends. All of them, Jesuits, co-workers, students, Catholics and non-Catholics, will miss him greatly. “We shall never forget him,” said Father Hurley in conclusion.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 18 December 1992

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was born in Dublin in 1927. He first came to Hong Kong as a Regent in 1953, and then returned as a Priest in 1960. He was a modest man of simple tastes and ordinary interests, who worked hard and go along well as a gentleman.

He was a highly respected Principal from 1967 until his untimely death in 192. He was open yet cautious and inspired great confidence in others. Many past students of Wah Yan feel they owe him much.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 72 : Easter 1993

Respected teacher and Educational Administrator : Fr Derek Reid

Harold Naylor

Now six weeks after his death, the “Agatha Christie: mystery of it all remains. A few hypotheses from the accompanying letter have been interpolated into this account (penned on 28th December, 1992) after the paragraph that ends, There is still no police report of the cause of death.

Referring to the 29th November, the Chinese Province News says, “He was last seen at around 8.00 pm on Sunday evening. On his table was found the missal opened at the read ings for the Mass for the morning of the 30th”.

To say that many felt the grief of loss for the example of a Confucian gentleman would be an understatement. The large numbers at the HK Funeral Parlour on the night of 4th Dec., and the great funeral Requiem Mass in the Chapel of Christ the King (where he often said the English Sunday Mass), St. Paul's Convent, Causeway Bay, showed not only the respect of priests (over a hundred concelebrating) and Religious, but also the few hundred past students who made up the majority of mourners at the 10 am Requiem Mass on Saturday December 6th. At the interment later, which Cardinal Wu officiated at, there was an unusual crowd of people who felt they had lost a good friend.

I first met Derek as my examiner for the De Universa in Tullabeg in 1959. He was discreet and retiring, as he always was. In August 1960 we travelled from Naples to Hong Kong, in company with a fellow scholastic Brendan James, and priests returning: James Hurley, Peadar Brady, Gerry Keane. The talk among us was that Derek would be Principal of Wah Yan College. In fact he was an ordinary teacher of English and European History, until six years later when he became Principal in Kowloon Wah Yan. In his twelve years as Principal, he earned the deep respect of the teachers for his gentle manner, which never confronted anyone, but rather gave each a feeling that he had good plans for many years ahead.

The senior students found him very supportive. Under him the new Students Association became the most prominent in the whole of Hong Kong, It was at the time of cultural revolution in China, and of strong student movements. He gave the students much autonomy and support, and they in return gave not only full cooperation but made the school known as the freest and most democratic in Hong Kong. He not only wrote good testimonial let ters for students leaving the school, but continued to take a per sonal interest in them in later years.

A good footballer until the early seventies, he took a keen inter est in school sports. This gave him an added contact with stu dents. By about 1975, he had an operation for varicose veins in his leg and so gave up football. He took up tennis. In fact, the very afternoon he died he was playing a spot of tennis with Paddy O'Rourke and two lay teachers, as was his Sunday afternoon custom.

Leaving Kowloon as Principal, he went to Hong Kong Wah Yan as an ordinary teacher, He preferred this, and had started there in 1954. Being a teacher did not prevent him being an advisor to many educators outside. He had been chairman of the Grants School Council (72-74) and earned the respect of many heads of schools. He was conservative in an intelligent way, and also very human, but in a very retiring way. He was a man of regular habits and settled tastes. He liked a game of bridge. He used to keep up contact with Donny Reynolds, after he left the Society in '76 by playing bridge with him once a month or so. Donny went to his reward and Derek was at his funeral - about four weeks before his own. In fact, Derek was playing bridge with his brother Desmond, along with Joseph Garland and Robert Ng, two nights before he died.

I appreciated Derek for fully supporting the Education Department request to take in two extra classes to enable the policy of compulsory free education for all to the age of fifteen, which was introduced in 1972 after the Governor, MacLehose's, speech. As a teacher under him, he gave me all the freedoms took, and supported my strange methods and deep involvement outside the school in ecumenical and social movements. I think most of the other teachers felt that they had a friend in the shy and cool man, who kept much to his office, and yet knew every thing that was going on.

Now six weeks after his death, the “Agatha Christie” mystery of it all remains. On the morning of Monday 30th November, the Canteen staff knocked loudly at the room of Seán Coghlan (Principal) at 6.15. There was panic, and mutters of the body of Joe Mallin in a rubbish container in the school canteen. John Russell (Rector) had also been stirred. Fortunately, Joe Mallin was seen on the stairs, and the three went to the canteen. The police were already there and nothing could be touched. They saw the body of an old grey haired caucasian in a 1.3m oil barrel which was used for refuse. The head was bowed. He was not recognised! Seán had a quick breakfast foreseeing difficulties with the students already arriving. The Vice-Principal came. Soon the boys came looking for Fr. Reid, who was to say the 7.45 Boys Mass. There was a search made for him, and when his room was entered, there was every evidence that he had not used it at night. Gradually the tragedy dawned. That body in the canteen, with shoes neatly by the barrel and glasses neatly on the table, was Derek's! The Police report was of no marks of violence on the body. The detective in charge later said, that he had taken the barrel away and tried to get into it, but failed. There is still no police report of the cause of death.

He certainly did not commit suicide, and there could be no one who could have anything against him. there is not only grief in his community, but also fear. It is not know how he died. It is a mystery, We await a police report on cause of death... If it says by suffocation - then could it be robbers? But there is nothing to steal! There are reports of the canteen having been burgled of money from the soft drinks dispensing machine in the past, about £30 or $40 which only teenagers might be interested in - But how did Derek get there? There is talk of Derek missing his tennis cap and going down to the canteen, next to the tennis court - Two tennis caps were found in his tennis bag in is room! Could he have recognised some boys, did something go terribly wrong? - I dread to hear the end for the sake of stupid boys. Was it some mad man? - But could he do it alone? and why bring the body there? It is a mystery, which had better be forgotten. Let us remember this good man.

Several days after, I met Francis Chen, one of his close friends. They liked each other's company and watched the golf champi onships every year. Francis had met him in very strange circumstances. A few weeks after Derek came here as Principal, the eldest son, then a senior student in the school, was found hanging in the bathroom at home. The mother had a Master's degree in counselling from Cornell Uni, N.Y. Francis found in Derek a sympathy and understanding which made them friends evermore. Then Mabel Chou is another, whom he baptised when her son was a senior student here. It could be said that she saved his life seven years ago, when she visited him in hospital with her husband, a cardiac specialist. Derek's medication was changed and he survived as a frail man with Parkinson's disease. He retired as Principal of HK Wah Yan in 1988. He became Rector in 1989 but resigned for health reasons in July 1992. A holiday in Ireland brought him back with more vigour and absence of shaking of the hand and head. I met him on the feast of Christ the King, when he brought his brother Des (Singapore) from the airport, Des was to preach at his funeral three weeks later!

Regularly saying English Sunday Mass in a parish or Wah Yan, he was a good religious Jesuit, calm and regular. May we remember him as a respected teacher and gentleman. And may his gentle prayers help his past students and friends to be more like him!

Shields, Bernard Joseph, 1931-2005, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/722
  • Person
  • 25 March 1931-03 April 2005

Born: 25 March 1931, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February1966, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome, Italy
Died: 03 April 2005, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to CHN : 1992

by 1957 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language
by 1965 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Bernard Joseph Shields S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Joseph Shields of the Society of Jesus, died in his sleep on 3 April 2005, he was 74.

Father Shields was born on 25 March 1931 in Dublin, Ireland and was a much-loved volunteer staff member of the Sunday Examiner. He will be sorely missed. He was ordained a priest on 31 July 1962 in Dublin.

There will be a Requiem Mass to be celebrated by Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun at Christ the King Chapel, Causeway Bay, on 16 April at 10am with vigil prayers on the previous evening at the Hong Kong Funeral parlor, North Point. The Jesuit community will welcome visitors from 5:30pm. He will be buried at St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery, Happy Valley.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 10 April 2005

Mourning a quiet Jesuit

“I first met ‘Father Joe’, as we fondly called him, in the early 1980s at Holy Spirit College,” reminisced Chan Sui-jeung. “I was looking for research materials on Judaism and he directed me to Matteo Ricci’s dairy, a copy of which was in the college library.” Chan said that their common interest in classics and Chinese history led them into the first of many long conversations.

Chan related that he next came into contact with the Irish-born Jesuit, Father Bernard J. Shields, about 10 years later at the office of the Sunday Examiner. Father Joe did the proofreading and I came as a volunteer,” said Chan. “Office space was at a premium. At times we even shared the same desk!” He said that the always thorough and meticulous “gentle priest with the unusual turn of phrase” was a great asset to the editorial staff, especially when the chase was on for the “right turn of phrase.”

Chan said their quiet moments together produced stories about Father Joe’s student days under the late Father Edward Collins SJ, how he had assisted in sorting Father Turner’s manuscript on Tang Dynasty poetry and his three or so years in Taiwan at the Fu Jen University, where he had met distinguished Jesuit scholars like Father Fang Chi Yung and Father Simon Chin. Chan also noted that he learned to complement his Cantonese language skills with a “quite acceptable Putonghua.”

His long-time friend pointed out a little known fact about Father Joe. “He was a considerable authority on history and the works of Giuseppe Castiglione. When one of the animal heads of the Yang Ming Garden in Beijing went on sale in Hong Kong, it was Father Shields who informed the auctioneer that their historical write up was inaccurate.”

Born on 25 March 1931, he attended Christian Brothers and Jesuit schools in Ireland and joined the society in 1948, taking first vows in 1950. Three years at University College Dublin gave him a first class honours degree in Latin, Greek and ancient history. He came to Hong Kong in 1956 and returned home for theology studies and later ordination in Milltown, Dublin, on the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, 31 July 1962. He then studied Sacred Scripture in Rome and returned to Hong Kong in 1973. He taught at the diocesan seminary in Aberdeen, the Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Anglican Theological Seminary.

He was also a mentor in Hebrew at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and took students to visit the synagogue in the Mid-Levels on more than one occasion. Chan said,

“I had plans to introduce him to the well-stocked library at the Jewish Community Centre.”

He recalls him as humble, soft-spoken with a gentle smile, popular and loved. Shy and retiring by nature, Father Shields nevertheless stood up and spoke boldly when interviewed on television while participating in a street rally in Hong Kong, on 11 April last year, in defence of his much loved brother and sister Catholics on the mainland.

Chan has fond memories of wine, beers and cheese in the newspaper office at the end of a hard day, when the then editor, Maryknoll Father John Casey, would jokingly accuse Father Shields of being “un-Irish” for taking “water only” during the sacred office ritual.

Father Bernard Joseph Shields died in his sleep on Sunday, 3 April. His three sisters came from Ireland to attend his funeral, celebrated by Bishops Joseph Zen Ze-kiun and John Tong Hon with some 35 priests, at Christ the King Chapel, Causeway Bay, on 16 April. Approximately 400 people came to celebrate his life and mourn his passing. Fellow Jesuits, Fathers Robert Ng and John Russell paid tribute to him at the Mass. He was buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery in Happy Valley.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 24 April 2005

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was born in Dublin in 1931 and educated at Belvedere College SJ. His father was Professor of Economics at University College Dublin, bequeathing to his son a love of scholarship and books.

He joined the Society in 1948 and followed the usual course of studies, including a Degree in Classical Latin and Greek, and he was sent to Hong Kong for Regency in 1956.

He wanted to master Cantonese spending two years at Cheung Chau and was then sent to Wah Yan College Hong Kong, teaching for a year before returning to Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park, and he was Ordained by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid in 1962. He then made Tertianship, and after that was sent to Rome for a Doctorate in Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute.

The intention was that he would remain in Rome to teach, but then he was invited by the Chinese Provincial Frank Borkhardt to teach instead at the Theology Faculty of Fujen Catholic University in Taiwan. To prepare for this he undertook Mandarin studies at the Jesuit language school of Hsinchu for 18 months.

1973 He returned to Hong Kong teaching Scripture at the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen, and he also became its librarian for many years. On return he was also briefly Master of Novices in Cheung Chau.
1977 He was invited to teach Theology at Chung Chi College where he taught New Testament Greek and Studies.

Over his time in Hong Kong he also taught at Lutheran Theological Seminary, Shatin, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, SKH Ming Hua Anglican Theological College.

He also served as Socius to the Regional Secretary for Macau-Hong Kong, William Lo (1991-1996).

Light-hearted and willing to help in any way he could, he also proof-read the Sunday Examiner, as well as normal priestly ministries, such as the Adam Shcall residence once a month.

He was scholarly and keen on accurate information. He was also modest and well mannered, eschewing argument or controversy, preferring to be a conciliator, seeking understanding and peace.

He was especially dedicated to the Church’s Mission in China and its people.

Tai Yu-kuk, Joseph, 1929-2004, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2170
  • Person
  • 25 April 1929-15 October 2004

Born: 25 April 1929, Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia
Entered: 13 December 1950, Rizal, Philippines (Neo-Eboracensis Province for HIB)
Ordained: 31 July 1964, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 November 1977
Died: 15 October 2004, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Part of the Fatima Residence, Macau community at the time of death

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Joseph Tai SJ
RIP
Father Joseph Tai Yu-kuk SJ, passed away on 5 October 2004, after a long battle with cancer. He was 75.
Father Tai, was born on 25 April 1929 in Sabah, Malaysia to a large Chinese Catholic family.
He was a teenager in Hong Kong when the Japanese invaded in December 1941. He had joined a group of a dozen Catholics who, it was hoped, might one day become priests, under the charge of Father Dan Donnelly SJ.

Father Tai completed his education in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, which was then in Robinson Road, before joining the order of the Society of Jesus in the Philippines in December 1950 when he was 21.

After completing his university education - including training in philosophy in 1959, Father Tai taught at Wah Yan College from 1959 to 1961. He read theology in Ireland from 1961 to 1965 and was ordained in Ireland on 31 July 1964.

Father Tai subsequently returned to Hong Kong where he became the assistant to the master of novices at the Xavier Retreat House, Cheung Chau from 1966 to 1979. He then served as parish priest at Our Lady of Fatima Church, Cheung Chau from 1979 to 1985, before being appointed parish priest of Ss. Peter and Paul Church, Yuen Long, from 1985 to 1991.

From 1992 to 2003, he was the parish priest of St. Augustine’s Church in Macau and also served as the principal of the Escola Caritas de Macau. He was fro many years director of the Apostleship of Prayer.

During his long years of service, Father Tai made friends easily and everywhere, giving spiritual direction to many sisters and finding time of quite a few Filipino domestic workers.

The Society of Jesus held a vigil at the Hong Kong Funeral Home on 8 October. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at the Christ the King Chapel the following day after which Father Tai was buried at St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 24 October 2004

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005

Obituary

Joseph (Joe) Tai Y-kuk (1929-2004) : Chinese Province

Remembering Joe Tai SJ

Harry Naylor

Joe Tai died on October 4th, 2004. He had been in Dublin to visit an Irish family as recently as August, 2004. This family had befriended him when he was studying Theology in Milltown (1961-1965), and from then on was his benefactor. He always had warm thoughts of Ireland. He then went to London, where there was another family that had befriended and supported his works since early days. But there he collapsed and after some weeks in hospital returned to Hong Kong, where he immediately went to the Queen Mary Hospital. He had been there since October last year for treatment of a lymph "disorder" (cancer), but had been let go home in June. For his recuperation his friends arranged for him to take a Mediterranean cruise. He took that opportunity to go to Dublin.

He is first mentioned in Jesuit records in 1945. Fr. Dan Donnelly, who came to Hong Kong as a priest in 1932, wrote to the Irish Provincial mentioning Joe Tai as a young student with great potential to be a Jesuit. Fr. Donnelly was in charge of Loyola Language House on Castle Peak Road. With the 1939 war, no new Jesuits came to Hong Kong, so he used the facilities as a kind of “minor seminary”. He recruited young altar boys from the parishes and started with twenty in Sept 1940, when Joe was twelve years old. After the Japanese invasion in Dec 1941, Fr. Donnelly gathered 18 of them and took them into Free China and finally to Bombay, India. Of these, 11 returned with him to Hong Kong, and it was in this context that Fr. Donnelly's letter to the Irish Provincial mentioned Joe Tai as the most promising, and he was the only one who made it to Jesuit Vows in Manila. Joe retained a love and respect for Fr. Donnelly, a genius at mathematics and engineering, a pioneer enthusiast, who in 1950 finally retumed to work successfully around Bombay for another two decades of apostolic work. Joe inherited his optimism and enthusiasm, apostolic zeal and initiative.

His funeral was on October 9th in St. Paul's Convent at Christ the King Chapel, which is a vast stone church. At the Mass, there were over three hundred people, about fifty in dress of women religious, and over two dozen concelebrating priests. It was somewhat of a diocesan funeral, as Joe had been parish priest in Cheung Chau for five years, and again for the same length in Yuen Long. Bishop John Tong officiated, with Frs. Deignan, Russell and Leung in the sanctuary. Besides those on the altar, the following Irish Jesuits were concelebrating at his funeral: Frs. Tom McIntyre, Joe Mallin, Bernard Shields, Ciaran Kane, Jimmy Hurley, and myself. There were eight Jesuits of his community in Macau, where he had been since 1992 as pastor of St Agostinho Church and Director of the Caritas School for mentally handicapped, and as a retreat giver. He had helped with funds to build four primary schools in nearby mainland China. Fr. Thomas Leung, who had known Joe as a Regent in Wah Yan, HK, and later took over the Cheung Chau retreat house from him in 1979, preached the homily which traced their warm relations through the years. There were a dozen diocesan and other religious priests also concelebrating. He had been director of the Apostleship of Prayer for over thirty years, inheriting it from Fr Charlie Daly, and Spiritual Director of the Catholic Nurses Guild for twenty years until 1990. He was known by many Women Religious for his retreats, and especially for his direction at our retreat house in Cheung Chau, where he was in charge for more than a dozen years. He gave spiritual direction, and also used Asian forms of prayer.

He is missed by the Hong Kong Jesuits. We, Jesuits, are here to serve the local church and our Society, and have in mind to do all we can for the rest of China.

Tarpey, James, 1924-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/617
  • Person
  • 05 May 1924-21 March 2001

Born: 05 May 1924, Kilkelly, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 21 March 2001, Mater Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park, Dublin community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to HIB : 1976

by 1952 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1980 at Richmond Fellowship London (BRI) studying

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 108 : Special Edition 2001

Obituary

Fr James (Jim) Tarpey (1924-2001)

5th May 1924: Born in Kilkelly, Co. Mayo
Early Education at Mungret College
7th Sept 1942: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1944: First Vows at Emo
1944 - 1948: Rathfarnham - studying Arts at UCD
1948 - 1951: Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1951 - 1954: Hong Kong- 2 years language School / 1 year Wah Yan College
1954 - 1958: Milltown Park - studying Theology
31st July 1957: Ordained at Milltown
1958 - 1959: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1959 - 1969: Hong Kong (Wah Yan, Queen's Road; Wah Yan, Waterloo Road; Cheung Chau) - various capacities: Rector, Minister Prefect of the Church, Teaching English
2nd Feb. 1960: Final Vows in Hong Kong
1969 - 1973: Tullabeg - 1 year Mission staff, 3 years Retreat House staff
1973 - 1976: Rathfarnham - Retreat House staff
1976 - 1978: Betagh House, 9 Temple Villas - Superior
1978 - 1979: Rathfarnham - Director Spiritual Exercises
1979 - 1980: London - Studying practical psychology
1980 - 1981: Rathfarnham - Director Spiritual Exercises
1981 - 1984: Tullabeg - Director Spiritual Exercises
1984 - 1986: Manresa - Director Spiritual Exercises
1986 - 1988: Milltown Park - Director Spiritual Exercises; Lay Retreat Association
1988 - 1991: Arrupe, Ballymun - Parish Curate
1991 - 1996: Manresa - Director Spiritual Exercises
1996 - 1997: Milltown Park - Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Director Spiritual Exercises
1997 - 1998: Sandford Lodge - Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Director Spiritual Exercises
1998 - 2001: Milltown Park - Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Director Spiritual Exercises
21st March 2001: Died in Dublin

Some ten years ago, Jim was very seriously ill with a heart condition. He made a remarkable recovery and continued to live a very energetic life, giving retreats and novenas, besides his main job as Co-ordinator of Cherryfield Lodge. He was greatly appreciated for his apostolates, as retreat-giver and homilist. The suddenness of his passing took us all by surprise, since only the day before he died he had said the prayers at the removal of the remains of Fr. Tony Baggot. He was attending a meeting when he collapsed. He was taken to the Mater Hospital, having had a massive heart attack, from which he passed away.

Noel Barber writes....

Jim Tarpey died suddenly at an AA meeting on Wednesday, March 21st. The sudden death left his family and Jesuit community stunned, but it must have been a delightful surprise for Jim. One moment he was attending a meeting on a dank cold March day and then in a blink of an eyelid he was facing the Lord he loved so well and served so faithfully.

He was born 77 years ago in Kilkelly, Co Mayo, He was one of 8 children. All but his sister, Sr. Simeon, survive him. He was educated at Mungret College, Limerick where he performed weil in studies and games. He excelled at rugby and won a Munster Senior School's Rugby medal. On leaving school he entered the Society and followed the usual course of studies, After seven years the possibility of going on the missions arose. He opted for Zambia, then known as Northern Rhodesia, but was sent to Hong Kong, where he spent two years learning the language and one year teaching in a secondary school. He returned to Ireland in 1954 to study theology and was ordained in 1957 at Milltown Park.

During the years as a student his colleagues appreciated his wisdom, balance, good humour and good judgement. His piety was unobtrusive and dutiful. On the side, he acquired a formidable reputation as quite an outstanding Bridge player. He returned to Hong Kong in 1959 for 10 years. It was there that he developed his talent as a preacher.

On coming back to Ireland in 1969 he devoted the rest of his life to pastoral ministry of all shades and types with an interlude of two years when he was Superior of a Scholasticate. He was an outstanding preacher to priests, nuns, laity, to the young and the old. Father Donal Neary tells that Jim was in constant demand to return to wherever he gave the Novena of Grace. One could multiply such accounts in all sorts of areas.

He was greatly beloved by patients and staff in Cherryfield Lodge, similarly in the Royal Hospital, Donnybrook, where he spent an afternoon every week, having heard that the hospital required volunteers to visit patients. He had a large apostolate within the AA. He travelled the length and breadth of the country giving retreats and missions. He had exceptional gifts as a confessor and spiritual director, as many can testify, not least his Jesuit brothers.

The ingredients that made him so successful in pastoral ministry were many. The card player was dealt a good hand. And like the good Bridge player he was, he exploited that hand to the full, capitalising on his long suits and maximising his short ones. He was a fine speaker and a gifted storyteller. He was amiable, unpretentious, and simple, of sound judgement and eminent common sense. He had the precious ability to learn from experience and convey what he learned to others.

He might well be embarrassed to hear himself described as a theologian. He was, however, a very good one. His theology was not speculative or philosophical. He thought about the Christian message in stories, created or drawn from experience, and he conveyed the message in the same way, simply, concretely and vividly. He was in good company in communicating the message in this way. He shared this style of communication with people we know as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These were important elements in his make-up.

But above all he was a man of prayer. He loved prayer: to love prayer is to love the one to whom one prays and with whom one journeys. One would find him regularly in the early hours of the morning in the little community oratory.

As a card player, he could maximise his short suit, so too in life. He discovered painfully that he suffered from alcoholism. In some ways that was the defining experience in his life. He battled the sickness, at times with little success, but ultimately conquered it. His own family, his Jesuit brothers and his friends are all proud of the way he accepted the sickness, spoke about it, overcame it, and helped so generously so many who suffered in the same way. That illness impressed on him a sense of his own fragility and from that sense so many of his qualities came. It gave him an enormous capacity to help others, to feel for them in their weakness and to accept them as he accepted himself.

Through his sickness he became humble in the true sense of the term. It did not blind him to his strengths, nor did he use it to protest that he was not up to this, that or the other. In fact he was always ready to take on whatever he was asked to do and to volunteer for any pastoral work, quietly confident that he could do successfully whatever he was called to do.

In his account of the last Supper, St. John leaves out the institution of the Eucharist, and where the other evangelists recount that scene, John puts in the washing of the feet. This is, of course, John's commentary on the Eucharist. And, Tarpey like, the evangelist makes his point in a story. He is saying that the Eucharist is pointless unless it leads us to serve others in humble tasks. Someone has said that the sign of a good Christian community would be if after lining up for communion, the congregation then lined up to serve others. Jim Tarpey was always in line, ready to serve others.

Taylor, Donal, 1923-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/725
  • Person
  • 06 November 1923-10 October 2006

Born: 06 November 1923, Portumna, County Galway
Entered: 06 September 1941, Emo
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 09 January 1982, Hong Kong
Died: 10 October 2006, Wahroonga, NSW, Australia - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of the Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney Australia community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to CHN : 1992

by 1950 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was a Jesuit for 65 years, joining the Society in Ireland and coming first to Hong Kong in 1957.

His life in Hong Kong was divided into two phases, firstly working at the retreat House in Cheung Chau for seven years, and then as an English teacher for 25 years at Wah Yan College Kowloon. he published many textbooks on English teaching, composition, writing and colloquial English. He showed great interest in drama and stage production for stage plays, and he was very influential in the Hong Kong Speech Festivals. During his teaching years at Wah Yan College Kowloon, he was active every Sunday in parishes as well as leading Catholic students at Wah Yan to develop in Catholic leadership.

He decided to work in Australia as a pastoral priest when he left Wah Yan Kowloon in 1983 as he reached the retiring age of 60. he continued his missionary work in Australia, being actively involved in the parish at Lavender Bay in Sydney and also at Neutral Bay. he also had outreach work with prostitutes' and drug addicts.

His personal life was simple and ordinary. It was said with a smile, that he was very Irish (with a Galway accent), loyal to his country and its customs, always asserting that he was “not British”! He admired the balance and beauty of Chinese culture and its skills in resolving conflicts, and he made every effort to adapt to Chinese ways.

He wrote a Sonnet about himself :
When I am dead think only this of me,
He was a man, take him for all in all,
Awkward and shy, timid in company
Who never thought of himself as ten feet tall.
Dry wit and puckish slant on life he saved
For those foibles lingered o’er his trail
Oft saw the funny side of fold and misbehaved
In what he said, sometimes beyond the pale.
Of years a scorned and chalk-facing in Hong Kong
The classroom’s daily grind long his chore.
Retired in Austral shores, time seemed for long,
had no regrets, his home for evermore.
At the end of the day let this be said
Tough his sins were as scarlet, what he wrote was red.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Donal Taylor, one of five children, desired to become a priest from an early age, and after an earlier education at the Cistercian College, Roscrea, he entered the Society of Jesus at Emo Park, Ireland, 6 September 1941. He graduated in 1946 with a BA from University College, Dublin. Three years of philosophy studies followed at St Stanislaus' College, Tullabeg. He was assigned to the Hong Kong Mission for regency, 1949-52, during which he learned Chinese for two years and taught in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, for a year. In 1950 the communists detained him and two other Jesuit scholastics for two weeks after they accidentally entered Chinese territory from Macau, and were suspected of being spies as they had a camera. He returned to Ireland for theology 1952-56, and tertianship at Rathfarnham before returning to Hong Kong.
He started his teaching career at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, 1957-58, but believing that he needed to improve his Chinese he went back to Xavier House, Cheung Chou, where he not only studied Chinese, but was also given charge of the Retreat House as director and minister. During this time he established a successful parish network of retreat promoters.
Taylor's next assignment for nearly twenty years was teaching in Wah Yan College, Kowloon, from 1963, where he was also spiritual father to the junior boys. During this time he had two short breaks, 1967-68, studying “Teaching of English as a Second Language”, and, 1980-81, studying pastoral ministry.
He was a good teacher, serious in class, demanding attention and a high commitment from himself and his students. This often led to frustration and impatience. As spiritual father he
arranged an exhibition on Jesuits and their vocation for the Diocesan Vocation Exhibition organised by the Serra Club. He obtained material from all over the world, with the result that the Jesuit exhibition was the largest and most attractive.
Taylor loved teaching and his students won prizes each year for recitation, poetry reading and drama in the Hong Kong Schools Speech Festival. He produced “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, and directed “Pygmalion”, which was well acclaimed. To help his students he produced a series of books called “Living English” for the middle school years. He read widely, loved music and was an interesting companion in conversation. He was good at the Chinese language that made him welcome in Chinese company and especially with past students whom he had taught.
He suffered one setback in 1978 when he found it difficult to keep his balance when walking. He underwent an operation in America for inner ear balance malfunction, but afterward had to learn to walk again. As a result of this, and because he had grown tried of teaching, his heart not being in it, he thought it best to change his career, and went to England for a course in pastoral ministry before applying to the Australian province to work in a parish. He was aged 60. During his time in Hong Kong he was experienced as a faithful and committed Jesuit who served others with great generosity and responsibility.
He arrived in Australia and the Lavender Bay parish in November 1983, and found the contrast with his former life startling. No bells or order of time, his time was largely his own. He soon found that he received better feedback in the parish than in the school, and he enjoyed celebrating the sacraments other than the Mass. He had only celebrated two weddings during his time in Hong Kong, and now he had many more, learning that instruction of adults was different from children. People enjoyed his liturgies, and he prepared his Sunday homily with great care believing that it insulted people to preach without preparation. He tried to make his Mass as devotional and sacred as possible. He drew inner strength and fulfilment from his engagement with the people he met, admiring their faith, unselfishness, holiness and forbearance. A special ministry he undertook was to write to priests in prison convicted of sexual abuse. He believed that they needed to be befriended.
Taylor moved to the parish of St Canice's, Elizabeth Bay, 1990-96, as superior, and then St Joseph's, Neutral Bay, 1997-2001, and finally St Mary's, North Sydney, 2002-06.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007

Obituary

Fr Donal Taylor (1923-2006) : China Province

26th November 1923: Born at Portumna, Co. Galway.
6th September 1941: Entered the Society at Emo Park.
8th September 1943: First Vows at Emo
1943 - 1946: Rathfarnham - Studies Arts at UCD.
1946 - 1949: Tullabeg - studied philosophy.
1949 - 1951: Chinese Language Studies in Hong Kong.
1951 - 1952: Regency, teaching in Wah Yan, Hong Kong.
1952 - 1956: Milltown Park – studied theology
28th July, 1955: Ordained at Milltown Park
1956 - 1957: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1957 - 1958: Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - teaching.
1958 - 1962: Cheung Chau, H.K., Language Studies, Retreats.
1962 - 1978: Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - teaching
1979 - 1980: Teaching at Wah Yan College, Kowloon.
1980 - 1981: Studies in London, England
1981 - 1983: Teaching in Wah Yan College, Kowloon
1984 - 2006: Australia - Parish ministry
1984 - 1989: St. Francis Xavier's, Lavender Bay, Sydney.
1990 - 1996: St. Canice's, Elizabeth Bay, Sydney.
1997 - 2001: St. Joseph's Neutral Bay, Sydney
2002 - 2006: St. Mary's, North Sydney
September 2006: Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney
October 10th, 2006: Died at Wahroonga, New South Wales

Homily preached October 16", 2006 by Richard Leonard, S.J. at Requiem Mass, St Mary's Church, North Sydney.

For those of us who knew and loved Fr Donal Taylor, it comes as no surprise to discover that he planned his funeral. Donal liked good order, especially good liturgical order, and he was very clear about what he DIDN'T want.

Donal always thought the post-mortem double-guessing about readings, hymns and ministers was to be avoided. Preparing this liturgy was one of the ways he wrestled with his own mortality, and one of the ways he wanted to care for us. Some months ago he asked me to preach. My riding instructions were clear: “Eulogize me, don't canonize me”.

The readings he chose revolve around two themes: love and empathy. In the First Letter of John we are reminded that our love of each other is a response to God's initiative in loving us first. The Gospel, like our processional hymn, applies this idea still more clearly. Jesus tells us that the only law worth worrying about is the law of love, from which should flow at home-ness, joy, friendship and a passion for inission - to go out and bear the fruit of what we have been privileged to receive from Christ. And I know that Donal liked the Letter to the Hebrews not just because it focuses on Christ as priest, but because of the nature of the priesthood described therein: empathetic, tested, hospitable and sacrificial. And in the midst of hearing these words, Donal asks us, who grieve his passing, to sing WITH him, “Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord”.

Donal's life fell into three uneven chapters, each of them bestowing on him a rich legacy. For most of the first thirty years he was in Ireland. Donal's fierce loyalty for those he loved, his wicked and self-deprecating humour, the tendency to see the world as black or white, his deep love of literature and music, and his culinary palate for meat and potatoes, never left him.

Apart from the gentle lilt of his Galway accent, Donal's Irishness came into its own during the Australian republican debate. He was all for it. When I suggested that he should become an Australian citizen so he could vote in the referendum, he told me that he would first have to swear allegiance to the Queen. By whatever title the House of Windsor went in this country, the monarchy was British, and he was Irish, and that was that until an Australian was elected President.

For over twenty years Donal lived and worked in Hong Kong. It was a demanding mission, and apart from the obvious ways in which he was a foreigner, he never settled as easily nor as well as he had hoped. Still, he loved his students, and appreciated the way some of them stayed in contact with him over the years. He admired the balance and beauty of the best of Chinese culture, and also thought that the saving of face was a generous way to resolve conflict. When I visited him last week in hospital, it was no surprise to see that he been listening to a book in Mandarin.

Then, in 1984, he came to Australia. Moving out of teaching into pastoral ministry, for the next 18 years Donal was on “bay watch”, ministering at Lavender Bay, Elizabeth Bay and Neutral Bay, until coming here to North Sydney in 2002.

I first met Donal when, as a novice, I was sent to Lavender Bay. He seemed crotchety to me, and I was far too confident. So it was with mutual trepidation that we came together again at the end of 1992 at St Canice's.

I was a lot little less sure of myself at Kings Cross, and I noticed that Donal had changed too. With Elizabeth Clarke as the pastoral associate and in community with Frank Brennan and Peter Hosking for all of his time there, Donal was more vulnerable. He could be a difficult man to get to know, but, boy, was it worth it!

I was the luckiest pastoral assistant in Sydney because Donal never said “No” to any of my ideas. He would simply say, “I'd be slow on that one”. One Friday before Trinity Sunday I told Donal that I was going to preach that while Father, Son and Holy Spirit were privileged names for God, they did not exhaust the possibilities, and that God could helpfully be styled as our mother. Doubling-over in the chair he said, “I'd be slow on that one”.

At the Vigil Mass, Con, the most famous homeless person in Kings Cross, was in the front pew. During my advocacy for the maternity of God, Con jumped up and expressed what was probably a majority position in the church, “God's not our mother, Mary's our mother, God's our father”. Turning to Donal, he said, “Father Donal, this young bloke hasn't got a clue”. And marched out of the church. I looked at Donal, and then the congregation and said, “In the Name of the Father...” and sat down. And as I did Donal turned to his unteachable deacon and laughed, “I told you to be slow on that one”. Later, over dinner, he told me to give the same homily at the other Masses, “Because, while it's not my cup of tea, there are people who need to hear that Father is not the only name for God”. What a pastor! What a friend!

As we come to commend our dear brother into the arms of God, we will miss so many things: the limericks and the prose that marked our special days. He thus introduced the last verse he wrote:

“An attempt at a sonnet about myself that ends on a wobbly note”

When I am dead, think only this of me,
He was a man, take him for all in all,
Awkward and shy, timid in company,
Who never thought of self as ten feet tall.
Dry wit and puckish slant on life he saved
For those whose foibles lingered o'er his trail.
Oft saw the funny side of folk and misbehaved
In what he said, sometimes beyond the pale.
Of years a score and more chalk-facing in Hong Kong,
The classroom's daily grind for long his chore.
Retired to Austral shores, time seemed not long,
Had no regrets, his home for evermore.
At the end of the day let this be said
Though his sins were as scarlet, what he wrote was read.

We will also miss the elegant turn of phrase and sharp wit in the Province's Fortnightly Report; and the unfussy friendship, but constant encouragement and care, he lavished upon us. Like the Lord he so faithfully served, Donal was loving and empathetic.

Last Tuesday, on the vigil of the feast of St Canice, he heard the Lord speak into his ear, “Do not be afraid I am with you. I have called you by your name, you are mine. I have called you by your name. You are mine”. And with that Donal went rejoicing to the house of Lord. “Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen."

Donal's niece, Mairead, visited him at Easter, 2006. She and her husband, Fintan, came to pay their final respects to him on behalf of his Irish family. Richard extracted a promise from her that she would write something about her uncle. The following, read at the funeral, is taken from her tribute:

Donal was a gentle mannered child and from a young age always wanted to be a priest. well, maybe not always, he thought that he should be a bishop first and was known in the family and by his circle of friends as “the Bishop”, The Taylor's were renowned for the funerals of the family pets, of which there were a number. Donal would not attend these services unless he could be “The Bishop”. These occasions were always a great source of amusement for the neighbours - The Sisters of Mercy! Being a diplomatic individual, Donal would often try to break up a disagreement between his brothers but would invariably come out worse. This was the version that Donal himself would tell but his brother Brendan may tell a different story!! During the month of May Donal would have an altar with candles and it would be his pride and joy, until his older brother John would always blow out the candles and then the prayers were very quickly forgotten,

After 27 years of living and teaching in Hong Kong, Donal decided to retire from teaching and moved to Australia. When asked why he didn't move back to Ireland he simply stated that it was too cold. When his niece was getting married in March of 1996 Donal came home to officiate at the ceremony, but only after he gave his opinion that she should get married in August as it would be warmer!!!

Donal made regular trips to Ireland and England to see his family. He was chief celebrant at his brother John's funeral in 1996 and came home to christen his grandniece Alison in 2001. His most recent trip was in 2005 to celebrate the golden anniversary of his ordination which he celebrated in Milltown with a number of other priests that he had studied with.

Donal was a quiet gentle-spoken man with a good sense of humour and a very loyal friend and relative. He spoke openly about various matters of the church. When he was asked once about the subject of the marital debate for priests his opinion was that it really was not for him as he was very happy to reside at the parochial house but a number of women would not share the same kitchen!!!

Donal was a priest for 51 years, an extremely happy union. He had a very strong faith, which he had grown up with, and, although he never made Bishop, he had a much fulfilled life. He was as happy saying Mass in a crowded church as he was saying it in the dining room of his family home. He was a kind and gentle individual who remembered Birthdays and Christmas and when he came home to Ireland he was great at travelling around and seeing everyone. Donal was a gentle man. It was wonderful to see him at Easter, to see his churches, his home and the chalice that his parents gave him on his ordination. It is truly a beautiful piece with a little bit of Ireland engraved into it. He brought it with him wherever he was based and he told me that it would remain in this church.

He really loved this parish. And let me tell you, why wouldn't he, everyone was so kind to him. But the icing on the cake was that his brother Brendan lived close, although I'm not sure who was looking out for whom. When you remember Donal, remember him with a smile and his gentle voice. For us in Ireland, we will remember him as a brother, brother-in-law, uncle and grand-uncle. Donal is survived by his brother, Brendan, sisters Mary and Eleanor, sister-in-law Eilish, brother-in-law John, niece Mairead, nephew-in law Fintan, grand-niece Alison, and grand-nephews John and Karl.

Thoo Fook, Lawrence, 1938-2011, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2183
  • Person
  • 26 September 1938-22 February 2011

Born: 26 September 1938, Penang, Malaysia
Entered: 02 December 1958, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong (HIB)
Final vows: 07 November 1971
Died: 22 February 2011, San José CA, USA - Californiae Province (CAL)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to CAL

by 1965 at Bombay, India (BOM) studying

Tok, Andrew, 1925-1993, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2186
  • Person
  • 08 July 1925-23 November 1993

Born: 08 July 1925, Singapore
Entered: 07 September 1963, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong (HIB)
Final vows: 29 November 1974
Died: 23 November 1993, Kingsmead Hall, Singapore - Indonesianae Province (IDO) Malaysia Singapore Region (MAS)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to IDO 1991

Turner, Seán, 1909-1971, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/468
  • Person
  • 17 May 1909-21 December 1971

Born: 17 May 1909, Dublin
Entered 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1945, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 21 December 1971, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Hong Kong Province (HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Early education at Belvedere College SJ

by 1936 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency
by 1958 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Turner
R.I.P.

Father John Turner, S.J., scholar and poet, died suddenly on Tuesday, 21 December 1971, at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, aged 62.

Father Turner first came to Hong Kong in 1935, already a ripe classical scholar. From the time of his arrival here he took the study of Chinese language and literature as his main task in life. Apart from two periods in Ireland, a couple of years as professor of English at Chung San University, Canton, and about a year in Taiwan, the last thirty-six years of his life were spent in Hong Kong. In recent years, bad health, crippling arthritis, and, most of all, ever-increasing immersion in Chinese studies cut him off from easy contact with the general public. Outside his own community, he was known chiefly to fellow poets and fellow Sinologues.

He will, nevertheless, be grievously missed by many who are neither Sinologues nor poets, including the editor of this paper.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 24 December 1971

Note from Alan Birmingham Entry
After returning to Hong Kong in February 1948, he was sent for some months to Canton (Guangzhou) where a Jesuit colleague, Father John Turner, was lecturing at Chung Shan University.

Note from Joe Shields Entry
How he had assisted in sorting Father Turner’s manuscript on Tang Dynasty poetry

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814

Note from Joseph Howatson Entry
He came to Hong Kong as Regent with Seán Turner who was a different personality and whose whole world was words and ideas. Travelling with them was Fr Cooney who was bringing the Markee telescope

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong Kong

Irish Province News 47th Year No 1 1972

Obituary :

Fr Seán Turner SJ (1909-1971)

We are largely indebted to Fr. Alan Birmingham for the following appreciation:
“Your only chance of being remembered in a hundred years is that you may be mentioned in a footnote of Seán Turner”. That remark was made some years ago by a perceptive European Jesuit to a startled Superior of what was then the Mission of Hong Kong.
When Father John Turner - “Seán” to everyone - died suddenly on 21 December he had achieved no fame outside a small circle of students of Chinese; but he left a vast disarray of paper. Many expect that it will be possible to extract from these disordered literary remains at least one volume that will be treasured a century from now. For about two decades he had been translating Chinese poetry into English poetry. Only a few of his translations have appeared in print, but many of his friends have read large numbers of them in manuscript. Those who could judge them only as English poetry have been uniformly enthusiastic about them as English poetry; but a Chinese savant has told me that to him they are remarkable chiefly on account of their wonderful accuracy as translations. Every character, he said, is translated with scrupulous fidelity; the Chinese original has never been sacrificed to the exigencies of English prosody.
Seán was born in Dublin on 17 May, 1909. My own memories of him go back to Belvedere in the mid-1920s. He was a couple of years ahead of me and I did not know him, but there was an air of vitality about him that caught attention, and no one could ignore his mop of black curls with a startling white plume in the middle of them. Scholastic eminence was no way to fame in those days, but even his juniors knew that Seán Turner and his close friend Denis Devlin had won what glory there was to be won, including, I think, the first and second places in French and English in the Leaving Certificate.
While still young he enjoyed the friendship of Jack Yeats, probably the best painter in Ireland. Yeats recognised Seán's talent and stimulated his artistic energies. To the end of his life Seán regarded and spoke of this friendship as a cherished memory. His decision to offer himself for the Society probably bemused some of his teachers and still more his school friends, most of whom would have considered that his enthusiasms could hardly abide the disciplines of the religious life for long; they did abide it and at no time could it be asserted that he felt restless “under the yoke”; a delicate sense of humour, ever at hand, enabled him to triumph over the most trying contretemps.
He left the noviciate for Rathfarnham as I entered Tullabeg as a novice; during the next two years the tradition of Seán's passages formed part of the themes of the lighter side of life; streams he had fallen into, places he had been when he should have been elsewhere, his efforts to have riding breeches accepted as conventional noviceship wear; they seem trivial but indicate the humorous independence that accompanied him through life.
In Rathfarnham he devoted himself to his studies - no difficulty for him - with a like bonhomie; his cartoons in Broken Delf under the editorship of Terry Sheridan, illustrated critical situations with point. We suppose Fr Rector, Fr John Keane, had an occasional peep, though without external reaction.
He merited an extra year in the Castle which concluded with an honours MA degree in Classics.
The pattern of life at Rathfarnham was repeated at Philosophy; he did not always work to schedule.
Study went on perpetually, though there were changes of subject. For his first two and a half years of Philosophy, Irish was his passion, Then a few months before his De Universa Philosophia examination, he became a violent Suarezian and made a valiant but unsuccessful effort to convert Father E Coyne, professor of cosmology, to his new enthusiasm.
In 1935 he went to Hong Kong and his remaining 36 years were given to Chinese studies - the language itself, written and spoken, Chinese literature, a brief flirtation with Mandarin followed by dexterous advocacy of Cantonese as a fully developed medium for thought and expression, work on the preparation of a dictionary of Cantonese, and above all translation of major Chinese poems into English.
Constant application of his great gifts made him a savant, much admired by many of his fellow savants. He was for some years a member of a government examination board on Chinese studies. For several years he was in communication with the Oxford University Press about the publication of a representative anthology of his translations; but he could never be persuaded to hand in a complete manuscript; there was always some fine point to be added, always something to be polished. In the end the publisher broke off negotiations. With all his work, he had published little. Those who knew him best decided years ago that posthumous publication was all that could be hoped for. He himself would have been quite content: he valued the good opinion of the few whose judgment he respected, but he had little interest in public fame and seemed to believe that all that really mattered was to do first-class work and communicate it to the few that could appreciate it. To superiors who wanted to see him put his great talent to good use, this scholar's detachment was at times frustrating, though they usually showed understanding or resignation when faced with a man whom they themselves, or at least others whose judgement they could not ignore, recognised as a genius.
People did apply the word “genius” to Seán. I have never known it applied seriously to any other man I have met, Jesuit or non Jesuit. Genius does not always make life easy for the man who possesses it, or for those he lives with. It did not always make life easy for Seán. He seemed capable of attaining everything, except mediocracy. He could succeed gloriously or fail hideously, Mediocrity was out of his reach, yet a great deal of the ordinary enjoyment of life demands mediocrity. Seán could be the most brilliant and most entertaining of talkers; in his pedantic moods, he could be a crashing bore. Desultory conversation about nothing in particular makes up the greater part of most human talk, and often the most enjoyable part: Sean was incapable of it. He seemed conscious of this lack, and occasionally tried to overcome it. These attempts were embarrassing failures and would end in an outburst of strained dialectics or a lecture on some obscure point of esoteric learning, or a baffled departure for his room.
A few days after his death an unprejudiced questioner asked me if Seán had had any close friends. The answer was a decided Yes. Perhaps because of his knowledge that there were many who could not offer him easy friendship, he treasured those who could. He could exude pleasure on seeing one of them, and without a word of welcome make them conscious of being welcome. His friends were a motley group, including every variety of intelligence, social position, education and interests.
Though primarily a man of study, he carried on a direct apostolate that, like everything else about him, was highly characteristic. He had very little power of dealing with the ordinary men and women to whom any priest could minister, and his habit of forgetting all about time made him unsuitable for ordinary supplies and sermons. But with those with whom the ordinary priest was completely ineffective - the self-centred eccentric, the self-conscious intellectual, the drunken failed artist, the man with an obscure grievance, and the like - he had the touch that was needed. Both in Ireland and in Hong Kong, he brought the vision of the faith to many such people who would have laughed off more humdrum approaches.
In recent years, poor health and in particular the agonies of rheumatoid arthritis had hampered his contact with the outside world and even his most trivial movements; but he never allowed such inconveniences to damp his zest for knowledge and for life. Not long before his death I visited him in hospital. He was partly drugged and his talk was lethargic till he began to speak about the nurses and wardsmaids. He promptly threw off the effects of the drugs and was all animation as he explained that he was at least learning true Cantonese. Till then it had all been either scholar's Cantonese or labourer's Cantonese: at last he was learn ing how ordinary people spoke.
He died suddenly one night, without any preliminary period of exceptionally bad health. The striking diversity of the mourners at his funeral was a tribute to the scope of his friendship. The most noticeable figure was a rather leftish intellectual in Hong Kong - piously kneeling for perhaps the first time in his life. Seán would have been glad to know that this man would attend, but he would probably have cared more for the presence of some of the utterly undistinguished old ladies whose grief would have touched him deeply.
It may be that posthumous fame will come to him. It may be that in a mood of perfectionism he destroyed all his papers and was preparing to begin again. Time will tell. Meanwhile, there are many whose lament for his passing forms a tribute that he would have valued above anything that fame could have offered. RIP

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1939

The Past

Lastly, we have decided to fulfil a promise made last year and enable our readers to see for themselves how Seán Turner SJ, has evolved what appears to be a new aspect of a very old art. The four pictures we print will be unfamiliar, but grow upon the taste. They require, however, some study and knowledge to grasp, and we have no hesitation in printing the explanations of the scrolls which he vouchsafed to: send us in reply to a request for enlightenment

Dear Father Editor,

In the February of last year I had the good fortune to meet Mr. Lo Chan Waan, a distinguished artist from Canton, These four scrolls are the best of a series of studies which I did under his direction during the few months before I left China. The style of painting I learnt from him is that of the virile northern school under the Sung dynasty.

They are not entirely original. One, which show & boat being carried down-stream in a misty gorge at morning, is almost a copy of a scroll by Mr Lo. The others are, like musical exercises, elaborations of a slight theme. The picture of two litterati seated under willow trees is almost altogether my own, the theme being just a pair of willow-trees, and, unlike the rest, was uncorrected by Mr Lo.

To some these pictures may not seem characteristically Chineso. Yet my chief aim was to ape the Chinese manner, though how far I acliieved it I cannot say. Incidentally, I wished to test by experiment my suspicion that “East is East, etc” is untrue in art as in other matters. Having examined the conventions of Chinese painting and wearied my teachers with questions on its underlying principles, I found that the latter are indeed not different from those of Western art, that often what I had taken for conventions were not such at all, but true representation of local phenomena, and that the most of the real conventions were determined by materials used. The tops of mountains clearer than their bases, dark specks for foliage on the summits, are strange until one begins to observe that mountains in China actually do look so. Lines more or less conventionalised, and shapes rather hinted at than portrayed, suggest affectation or indolence on the part of the painter, until by experience he learns that the very method of painting - with lamp-black ink on silk or porous paper spread flat - makes quick work imperative, ordinarily precludes painting from nature, and so compels one to draw from memory and to seize on what is essential. Other peculiarities, such as the zig-zag shading for mountain hollows and patterned opalescent rocks, are instances of a selection (of forms indeed discernible in nature) which is prompted by the aesthetic exigencies of Chinese brush-work,

This brush-work proves a stumbling block to strangers. For in China painting is a sister - or rather a daughter - art to calligraphy. The same materials, the same brush and ink handled in the same manner, are employed in each. It would be impossible to describe in brief the graces of Chinese writing. But the Chinese people appraise them keenly. Hence the inter-play of curving, angular, knobbed and rounded strokes is integral to their painting: and colouring, though long tradition has furnished an array of most harmonious pigments, tends to be subsidiary. For my part, if I had not already dabbled in Chinese brush-writing I would never have attempted painting.

Skill in brush-work and much more, the vivid expression of idea, or inspiration, or intelligence, by whatever name one may call that indefinable which the Chinese denoted by the phrase “spirit-rhythm-life movement”, these are the excellencies chiefly sought for. Because memory and speedy execution count for so much, the Chinese artists will be disposed to grapple with the soul or spirit (as they will tell you) of a subject. Therefore, apart from the calligraphic bias, I would say that they differ from the European, if at all, in their being more artistic, more spiritual. They discard the irrelevant and accidental and are intolerant of the yoke of actuality, and so will regard attention to such things as linear perspective as a pedantic foible, So, too, odd dispositions of light and shadow are infrequent in their work (they will hardly paint a reflexion in water unless to illustrate a story).

And yet by their well-worn traditional methods, provided that the dæmon inspiration is not too far away, they will often bring about a suggestion of reality more vivid than accurate imitation could create.

There is another quality, especially in the older tradition, a certain noble hardness or ruggedness in design, which the Chinese designate by the one word “strength”. There is nothing like it, I believe, in European painting, except in that of Spain, although Cubism might be called a travesty of it. It corresponds to the objectivity (stark and cynical, some would say) of Chinese classical poetry.

Springing from a Wordsworthian recollection and spurning what is material, being normally suffused with that light that never was on sea or land, naturally Chinese paintng is poetical, or pointed with fine emotion. This is the sense of the old saying that a painter must travel ten thousand miles and read ten thousand books - not as though he should be of encyclopædic knowledge, but for the sake of range of choice and refinement of feeling. So usually a painter is also a poet and every scroll is capped by a line or two of verse.

I am ashamed to return now to my poor daubs. As you see, I have balked at the poetic lines Even if I could find some appropriate tag, I should fear to mar an indifferent picture with execrable brush character. Even in the simpler art of painting, easy control of the brush would be too much to expect. I think, however, that the subjects are in the right Chinese spirit. The gentleman swaying on the bridge might be a poet returning from a tavern. I was thinking of Lei Paak, the Shakespeare of China, who was drowned, so they say, as he tried to embrace the moon's reflection, his mind being “thunder-struck with wine”. Chinese love of contrast and of unity resulting from opposing stresses I tried to embody in the two men gossiping, the squat dogmatic and the thin supercilious, both alike complacent and pedantic, with the trees and mountains not minding at all. The picture of the old man and boy with the tall gnarled tree and the low green one, although ornamental, also shows a contrast and if it were well done, should make one reflect wistfully that beauty fades; it would improved if the boy were glancing at a kingfisher hurrying by.

Some obvious errors have been corrected by Mr Lo. Thus the picture of the jolly poet is touched up considerably. My pine tree on the left-hand side was much too geometrical, and was parallel to a tree on the other side. So both were blotted into respectability with rocks and foliage, which made the ravine look less perilous. The water swirling in the picture of the high-walled pass was too informal, so part of it was obscured and a new pattern completed with brushes. And of courae there are other quite evident mistakes.

Seán Turner SJ

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1972

Obituary

Father Seán Turner SJ (’26)

After leaving Belvedere in 1926, Fr Turner entered the Society and went through the ordinary training until 1935 when he was assigned to the Hong Kong Mission. From then on most of his life was spent in the Far East. There was an interlude when he returned to Ireland for theology and had to prolong his stay until World War II came to an end.

Highly gifted intellectually and artistically Fr Seán was fascinated by the language, literature and culture of China and became proficeint in Chinese calligraphy and painting. When editor of the Belvederian he reproduced in the magazine some very attractive examples of his art. But his main interest was the Chinese language on which he was an acknowledged expert. His circle of intellectual and literary friends was almost entirely Chinese and with them the constant subject of discussion was the trans lation and interpretation of the language.

Unfortunately he was mentally undisciplined and left behind him little written work. He blamed this on the Oxford University Press for whom he was for a long time engaged in producing a book of translations of Chinese poems which in the end they rejected.

Things were never dull in a community when Fr Seán was about. He loved to take up an impossible position and defend it against all comers, witness his translation of the word Gaedhealachas as boorishness to the intense indignation of Irish scholars.

For many years before his death he suffered from crippling arthritis which he bore in silence. The end came unexpectedly during his sleep on the morning of December 21st 1971. May he rest in peace.