Guangzhou

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Guangzhou

  • UF Canton
  • UF Kwangchow

Associated terms

Guangzhou

29 Name results for Guangzhou

17 results directly related Exclude narrower terms

Birmingham, Alan, 1911-1991, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/642
  • Person
  • 02 January 1911-03 October 1991

Born: 02 January 1911, Ballinrobe, County Mayo
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1976, Hong Kong
Died: 03 October 1991, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1937 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

Second World War Chaplain

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Alan Birmingham, S.J.
Former editor of “Sunday Examiner” dies in Hong Kong
R.I.P.

Father Alan Birmingham, a long-time editor of the “Sunday Examiner” died here after a brief illness on 3 October 1991.

Father Birmingham, a Jesuit, had lived in Hong Kong for almost 50 years, having first arrived here in November 1936.

Born in Co. Mayo, Ireland, in 1911, he joined the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1928 after secondary school and went on to take an honours degree in mathematics in the National University of Ireland.

After his arrival in Hong Kong in 1936 he studied Cantonese and then taught for a year in Wah Yan College, then in Robinson Road, before returning to Ireland a few months before the outbreak of the Second World War to complete his Jesuit training.

Ordained a priest in Dublin on 13 May 1942, he became a Catholic chaplain, with the rank of Captain, in the wartime British Army, thus delaying his return to Hong Kong.

Having served in England and Northern Ireland, he was assigned to land with the Allied forces sea and air assault on the north coast of France on “D-Day”, 6 June 1944.

He afterwards said that his main task on those fateful first days ashore was burying the dead on the beaches where they had landed.

He stayed with his soldiers in France, Belgium and finally Germany until mid-August 1945.

He was then re-assigned to India from where he was “demobbed” (returned to civilian life) in October 1946.

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.

That summer he moved back to Hong Kong, becoming a professor of Dogmatic Theology and later of Sacred Scripture at the then Regional Seminary in Aberdeen where Chinese priests from many dioceses in South China received their professional training. He held these posts for nine years.

During those years he also lectured briefly on philosophy and English literature at the University of Hong Kong.

In 1957, he was appointed editor of the “Sunday Examiner.” He was by far the longest-serving editor of the paper, remaining in the position for 33 years until his 80th birthday on 2 January this year.

On the death of Father Fergus Cronin SJ, Father Alan took over as rector of the busy Catholic Centre Chapel.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 9 November 1990

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Having graduated from UCD with an Honours degree in Mathematics he was sent to Hong Kong in 1936.
He studied Cantonese in Hong Kong and then did some years of teaching in Wah Yan Hong Kong.

After Ordination in 1942 he was appointed Catholic Chaplain with the rank of Captain in the wartime British Army. He was assigned to land with the Allied force on “D-Day”, June 6th 1944. He remained with his soldiers in France, Belgium and finally Germany until mid August 1945. He was then reassigned to India until October 1946, when he returned to civilian life.

He returned to Hong Kong in February 1948and took up a post as Professor of Dogmatic Theology, and later Scripture at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. He also lectured in Philosophy and English Literature at the University of Hong Kong.

He was the Editor of the “Sunday Examiner” for almost 33 years (1957-1991). For more than twenty years he edited the English writings of László Ladányi in the “China News Analysis”. He also celebrated Mass regularly at St Joseph’s Church on Garden Road for over thirty years.

Byrne, George, 1879-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/708
  • Person
  • 07 February 1879-03 January 1962

Born: 07 February 1879, Blackrock, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1894, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 30 July 1911, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 03 January 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin

Younger brother of William Byrne - RIP 1943

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Came to Australia for Regency 1902
by 1899 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong Mission : 02 December 1926
by 1927 first Hong Kong Missioner with John Neary
by 1931 Hong Kong Mission Superior 02 December 1926

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
1894-1898 After his First Vows at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, he remained there for two further years of Juniorate
1898-1901 He was sent to Valkenburk Netherlands for Philosophy.
1901-1908 He was sent to Australia and St Ignatius College Riverview for Regency, where he taught and was Third Division Prefect. He was also in charge charge of Senior Debating (1905-1908) and in 1904 was elected to the Council of the Teachers Association of New South Wales.
1908-1912 he returned to Ireland and Milltown Park Dublin for Theology
1912-1914 He made Tertianship at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, and the following year appointed Socius to the Novice Master.
1914-1919 He was sent to Australia as Superior and Master of Novices at Loyola College Greenwich. He was also a Consultor of the Sydney Mission and gave Retreats and taught the Juniors. This occurred at a time when it was decided to reopen the Noviceship in Australia. As such he was “lent” to the Australian Mission for three years, but the outbreak of war and some delaying tactics on the part of the Mission Superior William Lockington, he remained longer than expected.
1919-1923 On his return to Ireland he became Novice Master again.
1930 He went to the Irish Mission in Hong Kong and worked there for many years, before returning to Ireland and Milltown Park, where he died.

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father George Byrne
R.I.P.

Father George Byrne, S.J., the first Regional Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits and for many years one of the best Known priests in Hong Kong, died in Ireland on Thursday, 4 January 1962, aged 83.

Father Byrne arrived in Hong Kong from Ireland, with one other Jesuit Father, on 2 December 1926, and at once started to look for work, both for himself and for the Jesuits who would soon follow him to Hong Kong. He found abundant work for both. Within a decade, though always very short of men, he had staffed the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, built and opened Ricci hall, a Catholic hostel for students in the University of Hong Kong, taken over Wah Yan College from its founders, restarted as a monthly the Hong Kong Catholic review, The Rock, which had ceased publication shortly before his arrival, and provided for a time Jesuit teachers for Sacred Heart College, Canton.

These were the works he did through others. His own personal work was infinitely varied, as might have been expected from one of his many-sided character - at once scholarly and practical. At the time of his ordination he had been informed that he was destined a specialist’s life as a professor of theology. This plan was later changed and for the rest of his life he was to be, not a specialist, but one ready for anything. Nevertheless he retained some of the marks of the savant.

He was always a voracious reader, able to pour out an astonishing variety of information on almost any subject at a moment’s notice in English, French, or Latin. This gift, joined to a strong personality, a commanding appearance, and a powerful and very flexible voice, made him an admirable public speaker, whether in the pulpit, at retreats and conferences, at meetings of societies and associations, or in the lecturer’s chair in the University of Hong Kong. Where he readily deputised during the furloughs of the professors of education and of history. As a broadcaster, he had the rare gift of being able to project his personality across the ether and so hold the attention of his unseen audience.

As a writer, and he wrote much, he was primarily a discursive essayist, a member of a literary tribe that seems to have disappeared during World War II. His monthly articles in The Rock and the weekly column that he contributed for years to the South China Morning Post under the title ‘The Student’s Window’ might be in turn grimly earnest, genially informative, and gaily trivial, but they were always written in urbane and rhythmic English that carried the reader unprotestingly to the last full stop.

Despite these numerous public activities, he was probably best known as an adviser. During the many years he spent in Ricci Hall, he was always at home to the great numbers of people of all kinds - lay and cleric, Catholic and non-Catholic, men and women, young and old - who came seeking the solution of intellectual, religious, or personal problems from one who they knew would be both wise and kind.

Father Byrne was in Hong Kong in the early days of the war and displayed remarkable courage and physical energy in defending Ricci Hall against a band of marauders. By this time he was no longer superior, and he was already over 60. He went, therefore, to Dalat, Vietnam, where he spent the rest of the war years, Soon after the war, he went to Ireland for medical treatment and, though still capable of a hard day’s work, was advised on medical grounds that he must not return to the Far East.

This was a blow, but he did not repine. He retained his interest in and affection for Hong Kong, but he quickly set about finding an abundance of work in Ireland. Once again he found it. Not long after his arrival the director of retreats in Ireland was heard to say that if he could cut Father George Byrne in four and sent each part to give a retreat, he would still be unable to satisfy all the convents that were clamouring for him.

He still wrote and he still lectured and he still gave advice. Only very gradually did he allow advancing old age to cut down his work. As he had always wished, he worked to the end.

Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated in Ricci Hall chapel by the warden Father R. Harris, S.J., on Monday, 8 January. In the congregation that filled the chapel, in addition to his fellow Jesuits, there were many who still remember Father Byrne even in the city of short memories. Those present included Father A. Granelli, P.I.M.E., P.P., representing His Lordship the Bishop; Bishop Donahy, M.M., Father McKiernan M.M, Father B. Tohill, S.D.B., Provincial, Father Vircondalet, M.E.M., Brother Felix, F.S.C., Father P. O’Connor, S.S.C., representative groups of Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres of the Maryknoll Sisters, of the Colomban Sisters, and many others. The Mass was served by Dr. George Choa.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 12 January 1962

RICCI Souvenir Record of the Silver Jubilee of Ricci Hall Hong Kong University 1929-1954

Note from John Neary Entry
He has nevertheless his little niche in our history. He was one of the two Jesuits - Father George Byrne was the other - who came here on 2 December 1926, to start Jesuit work in Hong Kong. Their early decisions have influenced all later Jesuit work here.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He could be called the founder of the Irish Jesuits in Hong Kong, as most of the older institutions in Hong Kong were started under him at Ricci (1929), Aberdeen (1931 and Wah Yan Hong Kong (1933).
After his term as Mission Superior (1926-1935) he lectured, preached and wrote. He had a weekly column in the “South China Morning Post” called “The Philosophers Chair”. During the Japanese occupation he went to a French Convent School to teach Philosophy. After 1946 he returned to Ireland and taught Ascetical and Mystical Theology yo Jesuits in Dublin.
Imaginative and versatile, pastoral and intellectual, he gave 20 of his peak years to Hong Kong (1926-1946) after which he returned to Ireland to give another 20 years service.

Note from John Neary Entry
In 1926 Fr John Fahy appointed him and George Byrne to respond to the request from Bishop Valtora of Hong Kong for Jesuit help.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

Fr Pigot attended the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Tokyo as a delegate representing the Australian Commonwealth Government. He was Secretary to the Seismological Section, and read two important papers. On the journey home he spent some time in hospital in Shanghai, and later touched at Hong Kong where he met Frs. Byrne and Neary.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Leeson St :
We were very glad to have several members of the Hong Kong Mission with us for some time: Frs. P. Joy, T. Fitzgerald, and H. O'Brien, while Fr. George Byrne has joined us as one of the community.

Irish Province News 37th Year No 2 1962

Obituary :

Fr George Byrne (1879-1962)

Few men in the history of the Irish Province for the last sixty years have seen so many aspects of the life and development of the Province as did Fr. George Byrne, who died in Dublin on 4th January at the ripe age of 83, of which 67 were spent in the Society. Born in Cork in 1879, he received his early education first at Clongowes (where he was in the Third Line with a boy three years younger than him called James Joyce!) and later at Mungret. He entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1894; made his philosophy at Vals, in France, taught for seven years as a scholastic in Riverview College, Australia; then back to Milltown Park, Dublin, for theology where he was ordained in 1911. His tertianship was made in Tullabeg, and he remained on there in the following year as Socius to the Master of Novices, but after a few months Australia claimed him again.
Early in 1914 he was named Master of Novices of the resuscitated Australian novitiate at Loyola, Sydney, combining this with the office of Superior of the House until 1918. A year later, in 1919, he is on the high seas again, this time returning to be Master of Novices at Tullabeg from 1919 to 1922,
In 1922 he became an operarius at St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, and during the next four years, among his other ministeria, was the first chaplain to the first Governor-General of the newly-established Irish Free State, Mr. Timothy Healy, K.C.
With 1926 came the decision that the Irish Province establish a Jesuit mission in Hong Kong at the invitation of the Vicar Apostolic, Bishop Henry Valtorta. Fr. Byrne, with Fr. John Neary, arrived in Hong Kong on 2nd December of the same year. Shortly afterwards Fr. Byrne became the Superior of the young mission. The years that followed, until his retirement to Ireland for health reasons in 1946, will undoubtedly be the period of Fr. Byrne's life that will establish his important standing in the recent history of the Irish Province. It is therefore fitting that we should allow them to be dealt with from Hong Kong sources. We take the following from The South China Morning Post for 5th January, 1962:
“News has just been received from Dublin, Ireland, of the death there of Fr. George Byrne, S.J., who was well known in Hong Kong for many years. He was the first Superior here of the Irish Jesuits. He was 83.
Fr, Byrne, with one other Jesuit priest, came to Hong Kong in Dec ember 1926. It was under his direction that arrangements were made for the various forms of work undertaken by the Jesuits in the Colony. The first of these was the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen, which was under the direction of the bishops of South China, and was intended for the education and training of candidates for the priesthood in their dioceses. The staffing of it was entrusted to the Jesuits.
Fr. Byrne also arranged for the building of Ricci Hall, a Catholic hostel of the University of Hong Kong. He lived there for many years and always maintained a close contact with the university. He was a member of the Court and deputised, during periods of leave, for the Professor of Education and the Professor of History,
He was prominent in the years before the war as a lecturer and broadcaster and writer. He re-started the publication of the Catholic monthly magazine, The Rock, to which he was a regular contributor. He also for a long time contributed a weekly article, "The Student's Window", to The South China Morning Post.
He took an active part also in cducational matters. He was a member of the Board of Education, and he arranged for the taking over of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, from its original founders. He had many associations with the religious institutions, where he was much in demand for conferences and retreats, He spoke with equal fluency in English, French and Latin.
During the war he was in Dalat, Indo-China, and soon after his return to Hong Kong got into bad health and returned to Europe for medical treatment. His recovery was more complete than was expected, but medical advice was against his return to the East.
During recent years, though old and in failing health, he was still very active as a writer in Catholic periodicals, and he always maintained his interest in Hong Kong. He left here many friends who remember him as a man of great kindness and universal sympathy, who carried lightly his wide scholarship, and who was always unchanged in his urbanity and good humour. Many professional men remember him too for his wise guidance in their student days and they, with a host of others, will always recall him with respect and affection”.
It only remains to say that though medical authorities refused to allow his return to Hong Kong, the years from 1946 until his death were as full of activities as ever. He continued to write and to lecture and to direct souls as of old. He filled the important post of Instructor of Tertians for years at Rathfarnham and from than until his death he was Professor of Ascetical Theology and spiritual director to the theologians at Milltown Park. Only very gradually did he allow advancing years to cut down his work. As he had always wished, he worked to the end.

From the Bishop of Hong Kong

16 Caine Road,
Hong Kong
10th January, 1962.

Dear Fr. O'Conor,
The news of the death of Rev. Fr. George Byrne, S.J., caused deep regret among all the many friends he left in Hong Kong, among whom I am proud to count myself.
His pioneer work here was that of a great missionary and of a far sighted organiser. His memory and the example of his zeal will be cherished in Hong Kong.
While expressing to you, Very Reverend Father, my sympathy for the great loss of your Province and your Society, I wish to take the opportunity of assuring you of tne grateful appreciation by the clergy and laity of Hong Kong for the generous collaboration your Fathers are offering to us in carrying the burden of this diocese.
Asking for the blessing of Our Lord on your apostolic work,
Yours very sincerely in Christ,
+Lawrence Bianchi,
Bishop of Hong Kong.

The Very Rev. Charles O'Conor, S.J.,
Loyola,
87 Eglinton Road,
Ballsbridge,
Dublin,
Ireland.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father George Byrne SJ 1879-1962
Few men in the history of the Province for the last 60 years have seen and contributed to so many aspects of the life and development of our Province than Fr George Byrne, who died in Dublin on January 4th 1962.

He was born in Cork in 1879, educated at Mungret at Clongowes, and he entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1894.

In 1914 he was named Master of Novices to the resusicitated Novitiate at Loyola, Sydney, Australia, returning from that post to take up a similar one at Tullabeg from 1919 to 1922.

On the foundation of the Irish Free State he became chaplain to the first Governor-General, Mr Tim Healy.

When we started our Mission in Hong Kong, Fr Byrne went out as founder and first Superior. These were creative days,. He built Ricci Hall, negotiated the taking over of the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen, and he took over Wah Yan College from its original owners. At the same time he was prominent as a lecturer, broadcaster and writer, as well as part-time Professor in the University. He started the Catholic magazine “The Rock”, and for a long time contributed to the “South China Morning Post”

For health reasons he returned to Ireland in 1946. During the remaining years of his life he was Tertian-Instructor at Rathfarnham and Spiritual Father at Milltown. He continued to write, give retreats, thus keeping in harness till the end, as he himself wished.

Truly a rich life in achievement and of untold spiritual good to many souls. As a religious, he enjoyed gifts of higher prayer and was endowed with the gift of tears.

Casey, Gerard H, 1905-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/488
  • Person
  • 22 August 1905-03 February 1989

Born: 22 August 1905, Dungiven, County Derry
Entered: 31 August 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1940, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong
Died: 03 February 1989, St Mary’s Home, Aberdeen. Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1928 at Eegenhoven, Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1931 fourth wave Hong Kong Missioners - Regency
by 1938 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Following a Noviceship at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg he was sent to UCD where he graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Latin and Greek.
1927-1930 He was then sent to Leuven, Belgium for Philosophy, whilst at the same time writing an MA thesis in Classics for UCD.
1930 he was sent to Hong Kong for Regency, and he was outstanding in his mastery of Cantonese, and he also learned Mandarin.
He then returned to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology, and after Ordination in 1936, he made Tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales

Having come originally come as a scholastic to Hong Kong. he returned after Ordination and became a teacher at Wah Yan College Hong Kong, a Lecturer in Geography at the University of Hong Kong. He had also taught at Belvedere College in Dublin. He was a teacher at Sacred Heart School, Canton. He taught English at United College in The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and also taught Church History at the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen.

He published a Cantonese-English Dictionary and a 100,000 Character Dictionary with basic meanings of characters and their sounds in Mandarin and Cantonese.

He also spent time as a Chaplain at Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong.

Note from Paddy Joy Entry
In late May 1943, along with Fr Gerry Casey he was arrested by the Japanese and interned at Stanley until August 7. According to Fr Casey “The dominate feature in Paddy Joy’s character was his solicitude, primarily for the conversion of pagans Though he couldn’t speak Chinese well, he pointed out one prisoner to me that he thought could be instructed and baptised, and I found he was right...... he had an observant eye and a keen mind. In public debate about moral matters such as birth control, he was quick and effective,”

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

Frs. G. Casey and C. O'Conor represented the Province at the Solem Requiem Mass celebrated at Kikeel Church, Co. Down on 22nd January for the late Fr. John Sloan, S.J., of Patna Mission (Chicago Province) who perished in the Dakota crash outside Karachi on the night of 27th December. Fr. O'Conor was the Celebrant. A brief account of his career appears below.

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.

Chan, Albert, 1915-2005, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/701
  • Person
  • 25 January 1915-10 March 2005

Born: 25 January 1915, Pacasmayo, Peru
Entered: 30 July 1934, Rizal, Philippines (MARNEB for HIB)
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977
Died: 10 March 2005, Los Gatos, California, USA - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

by 1938 at Loyola, Hong Kong - studying

◆ 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 brought him back from Peru at the age of 7 and he went to the Sacred Heart School in Canton. He joined the Society for Hong Kong because of his admiration for the Irish Jesuits he had met at Sacred Heart (1928-1934). Fr Dan Finn was the focus of his admiration.
He began his novitiate in Manila, and then he studied Latin and Greek.
1939 He came to Hong Kong and spent a year studying Calligraphy and Chinese Literature.
1940-1942 He taught at Wah Yan College Hong Kong
1942-1947 He was sent to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology, and he was Ordained there with Dominic Tang Yi-Ming (later Archbishop).
He was then sent to Harvard University in Cambridge MA for a PhD in the History of Ming China, which he finished c 1954/5
1955-1985 He returned to live at Wah Yan College Kowloon
1985-2005 He went to the USA

He was essentially a Historian of Chinese History. He was the author of many books, articles, writings and collections including :
“The Glory and the Fall of the Ming Dynasty” (1982); “Peking under the Ming Dynasty”; “Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome - a Descriptive Catalogue.

Fr Freddie Deignan says : “He contributed many articles to the “New Catholic Encyclopaedia” (1967) and the “Dictionary of Ming Biography (1368-1644). He left behind an unpublished book “Peking under the Ming Dynasty”. He was well respected for his historical and academic contributions. He had built up a library of more than 70,000 books in his field (some very rare which he bought from used bookstores).

In his later days he concentrated on the Archives of the Jesuits in Rome. Then in 1985 he finally moved to the Ricci Institute for Chinese History and Culture at the University of San Francisco as a researcher, poet, calligrapher and writer.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 132 : Summer 2007

FIRST CHINESE TO JOIN THE IRISH PROVINCE : FR ALBERT CHAN (1915-2005)

Alfred J Deignan

I was in Emo Park as a novice in July 1947 when the newly ordained Father Albert Chan came from Milltown Park to celebrate his first Mass with us novices. We thought that he was crying with joy right through the Mass until we discovered afterwards that his normal voice was very high pitched, like a wailing sound. This was my first encounter with Fr. Albert. I was to meet him many times afterwards in Hong Kong and in San Francisco.

He was born in Peru in 1915. His father was Chinese and his mother a Peruvian. They came to live in Canton and he studied in the Sacred Heart High School where he came into contact with a few Jesuits who were teaching in the school at that time. The Jesuit who impressed him most and who influenced him was the famous Fr. Dan Finn. Fr. Finn became the Professor of Geography in Hong Kong University and as an archaeologist found some important historical sites in Hong Kong. He was also a wonderful linguist. Albert often accompanied him in his diggings and like him, became an extraordinary linguist as he could read Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, German, French and some Russian. He could speak fluently in six languages.

Fr. Dan Finn guided him in his process of discernment and in his application to the Society of Jesus when he graduated from High School in 1932. He always remembered with great affection Father Finn and carried with him until the end, his photo and some photos taken at the excavation sites. When he heard of the sudden death of Fr. Finn on 15 November 1936 while he was in London, aged 50, he was moved to write his first extant Chinese poem in his honour. He was then 20 years old. He composed many beautiful poems in Chinese later in life.

Albert entered the novitiate in Manila in July 1934 and took his first vows two years later. It is interesting that Fr. John Fahy, former Provincial of the Irish Province, and then Provincial of Australia, took his vows. After studying for his B.A. and a Master's degrees in the Sacred Heart College, Manila, he graduated and came back to Hong Kong for his regency in 1941. He was assigned to teach in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, until 1945. Then he left for Shanghai to study theology, but this was disrupted because of the communist revolution in the north and all the scholastics had to move from Shanghai. He was sent to Milltown Park in Ireland and was ordained there in 1947.

Fr. Albert was always very grateful to the Irish Jesuits for their warm welcome, their kindness to him and for their encouragement during these formative years. The Superiors recognized his talents, and he was sent to Fordham University for advanced studies in history, and later to Harvard where he obtained his Ph.D. in Chinese History in 1954. He returned to Hong Kong with his Ph.D. and humbly taught in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, 1954 58, and in Wah Yan College, Kowloon, 1958–60 while continuing to do some research.

In Wah Yan College, Kowloon, he discovered a kindred soul, a Chinese teacher of Literature and History who was an expert on rare Chinese books, Mr. Lau Kai Yip. They became great friends. While in Hong Kong, Fr. Albert went out each day to visit all the second-hand bookshops around and always returned in triumph and joy with some rare books which he had found and bought at a bargain price. Soon there were books everywhere - in his room, in the shower, and under the bed. Eventually they overflowed into the next room until it too was full. Some community members were very afraid that the floors would collapse under the weight! His intention was to build up a library of Chinese books for the use of future young Jesuits in China, a dream which, up to now, has not been fulfilled.

What has happened to his books? Fr. Albert was afraid that with the take-over of Hong Kong in 1997 his books would fall into the hands of the communist government, and all the books, which he so lovingly and carefully collected over the years would be lost. So they were packed into boxes and shipped to San Francisco. There were 80,000 volumes and they were housed in the University of San Francisco Ricci Institute. It is rated as one of the top 15 collections of Chinese History in the USA. Apart from these, he continued to collect books after going to San Francisco, and these ended up in 200 boxes in a friend's basement.

After 1960 he really devoted himself to research and attended many conferences at which he presented papers on Chinese history, especially on the Ming and Qing dynasties, and the history of the Jesuits in China. His doctoral thesis was published in 1982 - “The Glory and Fall of the Ming Dynasty”. And in 1969-76 he did a marvellous job on the Jesuit Chinese archives in Rome, cataloguing and writing a description of each book or document for the future benefit of researchers. This was published in 2002 entitled “Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome”. This was the work of a great scholar and perfectionist. He also did research in the Jesuit archives in Portugal, Spain, France and England on Chinese and European relations in the 16th and 17th centuries. He contributed many articles to the New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967) and the “Dictionary of Ming Biography (1368-1644)”. He left behind a book which has yet to be published - “Peking under the Ming Dynasty”.

Fr. Albert was a poet and we have a collection of his poems. He was also a calligrapher of Chinese script and a connoisseur of Chinese tea. In 1985, when he went with his beloved books to San Francisco, he was appointed to the post of Senior Research Fellow of the Ricci Institute. As he got older his health declined and from 2002 he suffered from cancer and died on March 10h 2005 having reached his 90th year.

He loved people and had many friends. Whenever anyone visited him in San Francisco he gave them a great welcome and invited them to his favourite Chinese restaurant. Besides being an academic he was an expert cook, and so several cooking books can be found in his collection. I remember during Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, when the staff were on holidays, he was delighted to take over the kitchen and cook our meals, providing us with some beautiful and tasty dishes.

He was a humble and holy man who has left us with a wonderful legacy after his quiet, patient research on Jesuits in China and Chinese history for the help of future generations. We are indebted to him and are proud of him as one who began his life as a member of the Irish Province. There are now 18 scholarships set up in his honour in each of the Wah Yan Colleges, promoting Chinese literature and history. And a very good friend of his in San Francisco sent a donation to the Irish Province of $100,000 as an expression of his gratitude to the Irish Jesuits.

Daly, Pierre Charles, 1904-1991, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/652
  • Person
  • 19 September 1904-06 August 1991

Born: 19 September 1904, Kanturk, County Cork
Entered: 31 August 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1940, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 06 August 1991, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1930 third wave Hong Kong Missioners - Regency
by 1937 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1938 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
by 1944 at Xavier, Park St, Calcutta, West Bengal, India (BEL M)

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Charles Daly S.J.
(1904-1991)
R.I.P.

Father Charles Daly, SJ, died suddenly on the evening of Monday, 6 August 1991, at Wah Yan College, Wanchai.

He was born in Kanturk, Ireland, in 1904.

Father Daly, who was 87 at the time of his death, was best known as a teacher and an instructor of those preparing for Baptism. He taught for 51 years, almost all of the time in one school, Wah Yan College Hong Kong.

Having first arrived in Hong Kong in October 1929, he belonged to the pioneer group of Jesuits who first arrived here. When he arrived no Jesuit institutions had yet been set up.

While still a scholastic, he set about learning Cantonese, first in Canton and then in Shiuhing, which was part of the Portuguese Jesuit mission and a city associated with Father Matteo Ricci.

He returned to his native Ireland for theology and ordination and on his return to Hong Kong as a priest in 1937 he was assigned to teach Church history and philosophy at the South China Regional Seminary in Aberdeen.

During the following two years, 1939-1941, while in charge of the Jesuit language school at Tailamchung in the New Territories, Father Daly found time to compile and publish a Cantonese Missionary Handbook. It later went into a second edition.

After the Japanese attack on Hong Kong in December 1941, Father Daly first worked at the Precious Blood Convent in Shamshuipo, Kowloon. A shell struck the hospital, killing many people and doing great damage.

In March 1942, Father Daly crossed over to the mainland and worked with Maryknoll missionaries in Guangxi (Kuangsai) Province, walking 300 miles to get there. Later he moved on to India and taught for a time at the Jesuit Theologate at Kurseong, in northeast India.

When the Pacific War ended in 1945, he was recalled to Hong Kong and in 1946 began his long association with Wah Yan College. There, with the exception of one year at the Sacred Heart School in Canton, he continued to teach until almost the end of his long life.

In addition, up to only a few years ago, he crossed the harbour every Sunday for a full morning of pastoral work in a parish.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 16 August 1991

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Charles first arrived as a Regent in Hong Kong in October 1929. he belonged to the pioneer group of Irish Jesuits who arrived there in the late 1920s. he learnedCantonese first in Canton and then in Shiuhing.

After his Regency he returned to Ireland for Theology and was Ordained there.
He returned to Hong Kong in 1937 and was sent to teach Church History and Philosophy at the regional Seminary in Aberdeen.
1939-1941 He was in charge oft the Jesuit Language School at Tai Lam Chung in the Northern territories, ad he compiled and published a Cantonese Missionary Handbook.
After the Japanese attack on Hong Kong in December 1941, he first worked at the Precious Blood Convent in Sham Shui Po. In March 1942 he crossed over to mainland China and worked with the Maryknoll Missionaries in Guangxi Province. He later moved to India, where he taught at the Jesuit Theologate at Kurseong. In 1946 he returned to Hong Kong and began his long association with Wah Yan Colleg Hong Kong.
He was noted for not only getting the weaker students through their examinations, but also for the large number he instructed for baptism. In later years he also taught at St Luke’s College nearby, where he prepared even more students for baptism. Interestingly he never performed the baptism ceremonies himself.

He taught English and Religious Knowledge for 51 years at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.

Note from Mattie Corbally Entry
By 1939 he was sent to Hong Kong for Regency and studied Cantonese under Fr Charles Daly (who authored a Dictionary of Cantonese Chinese).

Donnelly, Daniel, 1898-1975, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/126
  • Person
  • 18 October 1898-12 June 1975

Born: 18 October 1898, Dublin
Entered: 30 September 1919, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1929, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1936, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 12 June 1975, Vinayalaya Novitiate, Mumbai, India

Part of the Campion School, Mumbai, Marharashtra, India community at the time of death

Older brother of D Leo Donnelly - RIP 1999

by 1922 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1927 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1932 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1933 at Hong Kong
by 1934 at Catholic Mission, Ngau-Pei-Lan, Shiuhing (Zhaoqing), Guandong, China (LUS) - Language
by 1935 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
by 1946 at St Mary’s, Kurseong, Darjeeling & Himalaya Railway (DH Ry), Darjeeling, West Bengal, India - teaching
by 1944 at Xavier, Park St, Kolkata, West Bengal, India (BEL M)
by 1951 at St Stanislaus, Bandra, Mumbai, India (TARR) teaching
by 1957 at St Xavier’s Mumbai, India (BOM) teaching
by 1963 at St Mary’s High School, Mumbai, India (BOM) teaching
by 1964 at De Nobili Pune (PUN) teaching
by 1968 at St Xavier’s, Mumbai, India (BOM) teaching
by 1973 at Campion School Mumbai, India (BOM)

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :

Note from Joseph TaiYu-kuk Entry
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.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
In his early years he had a brilliant academic career in the Sciences, and he produced a theory in ballistics which engineer’s used refer to as “Donnelly’s Theory”. he later lost interest in Science, but he did retain a fantastic memory for the pedigree of horses, and in India he became a national expert in field hockey.

Always unpredictable, he was remembered with affection by many in the Province for his engaging - if at time exasperating - eccentricities. He originally came to Hong Kong in 1932 as one of the early pioneers of the Irish Province’s new Mission, having already spent a year in Rome as sub-Secretary for Missions. After two years in Shiuhing studying Chinese and doing some teaching there, he was sent to Wah Yan College Hong Kong in 1935, and he was Prefect of Studies there until 1939. In 1940 he began a small Jesuit Apostolic School at Tai Lam Chung which was intended to encourage vocations to the Society.

He spent 12 years in Hong Kong before heading to India on a mission of mercy with 12 Chinese boys towards the end of WWII in late 1944. He enjoyed India and they liked him there, so after a short return to Canton and Hong Kong after the war, he went to Mumbai in 1949 and spent the rest of his life there.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 10th Year No 3 1935
Works by Father Donal Donnelly SJ :

  1. “A Prisoner of Japan” - (Sheed & Ward).
  2. “Life of B. Charles Spinola, S.J.”
  3. “A Nobleman of Italy” - Sands & Co.
  4. “Life of St. AIoysius”
  5. “A Gallant Conquistador” - Browne & Nolan
  6. “Life ofB. Rudolf Acquaviva and Companions” - MS

Irish Province News 21st Year No 2 1946

IN ALIIS PROVINCIIS DEGENTES :

India :
Fr. D. Donnelly gave a series of Lenten Conferences to the men's sodality there on The Authority of the State, Obedience to Law. The Catholic in the Municipality, The Catholic in the State.

Fr. Donnelly to Province News, 20-3-46 :
“A batch of Chinese Navy men passed through Bombay on the way to England for training in December-January last. The Naval Chaplain brought me along to hunt up the Catholics among them. There proved to be very few Catholics, but two of the pagans were old Wah Yan boys, and they gave me a tremendous welcome. I got a big batch to Midnight Mass at Christmas. I also had one of the Wah Yan boys and three others under instruction, but they left for England before I could finish. However, I gave them a letter to the nearest Parish Priest in England.

Irish Province News 37th Year No 2 1962

Fr. Daniel Donnelly, St. Mary's High School, Bombay 10, writes :
I am at present in practically sole charge (one Brother to collect fees, one Father to teach Hindi) of a grand school of 1,100 boys, more than half of them Catholics. We get quite a few vocations every year; this year I am praying for half-a-dozen. The boys are mostly Goans, grand people. The non-Catholic boys are Parsees, Moslems and Hindus; and while very, very few are ever converted, they are wonderfully responsive to moral instruction, easily the most consoling classes which I teach. These young Indians are like no other boys whom I have taught in this : that once they take to you they give you their heart and are astonishingly loyal and friendly.
Retiring age over here is 65, so I have only another year to run as Principal. Then I hope to get away to “real” mission work in the districts. I'd have to learn Marathi, of course, but I learn languages easily, T.G.
We shall see.

Irish Province News 50th Year No 3 and 4 1975

Obituary :

Fr Don Donnelly (1896-1975)

In his letters to various Jesuits in Ireland and Bombay, Don's brother, Fr Leo SJ, St Albert's College, Ranchi, wrote as follows:
“You will have been informed by cable of my brother’s death. He suffered a severe stroke in March and was paralysed on his left side. He became progressively weaker as he was unable to retain solid food. I was with him during the summer holidays, but started back on 10th June. After my return here I received a telegram announcing his death on 12th June, It was, in fact, a merciful release, as it was painful to see so active a man reduced to helplessness. Still, it makes me feel rather lonely.
Donal (latinised in the Society to Daniel) had a very full and happy life. For his early life I can supply a few details. He had an exceptionally brilliant academic record. Under the old ‘Intermediate’ system he won a 1st Class Exhibition in each Grade, and at least one Gold Medal (first place in all Ireland in a given subject) each year (details in the Belvederian). At UCD his record is still, I think, unsurpassed. He took seven subjects in his first year, doing First Arts and First Science simultaneously, and got 1st Honours in all seven and 1st place in five, plus the Delaney Scholarship (this could be checked by reference to the files in UCD). He scored very high marks in the BSc, and MSc (equivalent to a PhD today as it involved research) He produced a theory of ballistics which engineers used to refer to as ‘Donnelly's Theory’. He was also enrolled as a student in Trinity College (his father's university) and won some prizes there - in particular a Foundation Scholarship. He entered the Society still under 21.
He inherited his love of and knowledge of horses from his father, who was an excellent judge. Don had a fantastic memory for the pedigree of horses. I think he carried the whole Stud Book in his head, and knew the breeding of every horse running at that time. When he entered the Society he put all that completely aside, never 'talking horses'. It was only in 1963, when age compelled his retirement from headmastership and he was sent as Minister to our scholasticate in Pune (Poona), that he took it up again. There he discovered a number of stud farms in the neighbourhood, and seemed to take it as a hint from the Lord that it was permissible to use his talent in this field of apostolate. If you really know horses, you are accepted in the horsey confraternity, and so he moved with ease in that circle. At least he saw apostolic opportunities in meeting managers, owners and jockeys on their own ground. He liked to meet Irish jockeys who came to Bombay to ride, and he did them good. Ask Johnny Roe about that.
Don spent so little time in Ireland that he is not well known in the Province - now probably only by those whom he taught in Clongowes from 1923 to 26. But I know that he remained somewhat in touch with the Brutons of Kildare.
It would be difficult to discover the number of priestly vocations he fostered wherever he happened to be. During all his extremely successful career as Prefect of Studies he was above all interested in boys, rather than studies as such. The way he took up hockey in Bombay is an indication of that. It gave him a beneficial influence over a very large number of young people.
Naturally I am a bit prejudiced. All my life he has been an immense inspiration to me, and I still can't quite realise that he is gone. One would like to think that his influence will continue to do good, at least through his publications.
In spite of the amazing amount of work he managed to fit into the day, he always said two rosaries in addition to his Divine Office. Here is a quotation from a letter from a Hindu friend of his: ‘I was very grieved to learn that your dear brother, my good friend, passed away on 12th June. For the past many years we used to meet in Bombay during the annual bloodstock sales, and I used to look forward to the pleasure of seating him by my side and inviting comments on my lots for sale. In the process I learnt a great deal and valued his advice which was always unbiassed. I shall miss him sadly’.
From a letter of one of the boys Don brought from China to India, who entered the novitiate but was advised to leave on account of scruples (apparently Don and he corresponded for 25 years): ‘He was, I think, my ideal man. As a small boy, I was afraid of him, and then I grew to have an extraordinary respect for him both as a priest and for his intelligence; and all the time I had a sincere affection for him. My wife often says I have two fathers, my own and Father Donnelly. Now I certainly know that is true’. (The writer is now an artist and schoolmaster in England).
In case you have not got it otherwise, a short account of Don’s coming to India. In 1939, with no more scholastics coming from Ireland, the Language School in Hong Kong was turned into an Apostolic School. Don and Ned Sullivan were in charge of about 30 boys. When the Japanese invaded Hong Kong, the School had to be abandoned. Don and some other Fathers made their way into Free China. Don went to an Apostolic School run by the Maryknoll Fathers, where twelve of his boys joined him. In 1943 the Japs made a drive to eliminate some air-fields used by the Americans, so Don, his boys and some Fathers had to move west. They ended up in Kunming in the south-west corner of China, nearest India. Eventually they were air-lifted to India ‘over the hump’ by RAF planes returning to India after having brought military supplies to China. In Calcutta he met Fr Conget, Superior of Bombay, who advised him to bring the boys to Bandra, the only boys' school which has an almost entirely Catholic pupil intake. Don remained there even after the end of the war to let the senior boys finish their matric exam. Then in 1947 he returned by sea to Hong Kong. The authorities there were not so keen on a large number of Chinese candidates, so most of the boys were ‘brushed off’. Only three were accepted, One left in the novitiate (scruples), one left in philosophy (lack of grey matter), one has been ordained - Fr Joseph Tai SJ.
Don went up to Canton, where he took charge of the Sacred Heart School (formerly run by the de la Salle Brothers for the Archbishop). When the Commies came in he was pushed out, and asked to return to India rather than remain in Hong Kong.
While learning Chinese in 1932, after some months with a teacher in Shiuhing, Don went to a village on the West river to to get practice by acting as assistant priest. Returning to the presbytery one day, he found a man chained to the railing of the church. The man was a leper, caught stealing and condemned to death. He was to be shot the following morning. Entering into conversation, Don discovered that the unfortunate man's mother had been a Catholic, though of course unable to practise her - religion once she had been engulfed in her husband's 'extended family'. Helped by the PP, Don instructed the man, gave him some food, and went back to supper, On an impulse the PP decided to baptise the man that evening - very fortunately, as the man was shot so early in the morning that they had no opportunity to speak to him again. The man was christened ‘Dismas?’

In Bombay, 1944-1975 (from the Bombay Province newsletter Samachar, July 1975):
Father Daniel Donnelly, after having laboured in Hong Kong and China for 12 years, came to Bombay on a mission of mercy with 15 Chinese boys. He liked us and we liked him, and after safely depositing his boys in their native land, he returned to Bombay for good and worked like a Trojan here for the next 25 years and more until he was struck by partial paralysis.
During these years he had time to work in most of our Bombay City houses, generally in the capacity of Rector and/or Principal and/or Minister and/or Parish Priest. He was never at the Institute of Education, Sodality House or Diocesan Seminary. At Vinayalaya he was only for some weeks as a sick man. De Nobili College, Poona, too had him for a couple of years as Minister and treasurer, and his last community was the one of the Christian Brothers in Bassein.
Barring the last three months, which he spent at the Holy Spirit Hospital or in the novitiate infirmary, he had always been in excellent health. He believed in brisk walking, light meals, early rising and hard quick work. Since childhood he loved horses, and from the day he landed in India he loved hockey.
His hobbies were solving a daily cross-word puzzle (for a time he composed one daily), an occasional game of patience, reading novels and also other more serious stuff (including science magazines - he was an MSc); and writing articles (by the dozen, and keeping two or three series abreast) for the Messenger and other papers. Many an author did not know (?) who had censored his book; Fr Donnelly knew at least one of the censors. Organizing school hockey leagues and tournaments and watching the games he considered not a hobby but part and parcel of his work in the all-round education of the boys.
As Rector and School Principal he could not be accused of curtailing the freedom of his subordinates or unduly interfering in their spheres of action. He expected every Jesuit, teacher or boy to do his duty. Even in the days of greater regimentation in schools, he could not pass as a disciplinarian.
He trusted boys, even when he knew some would take advantage of his kindness and liberality. Few did more than he did, chiefly in Bandra days, to foster vocations to the Society (for Bombay, Hazaribagh, Jamshedpur). Yet it was well known that in his optimism he was inclined to count his candidates before they were hatched. Yet, in later years, he could count quite a few Jesuits whom he had encouraged to break the egg-shell. Some will remember the vocational booklets he wrote and the Bombay Vocation Exhibition (for the Seminary and for religious orders of men and women) he organized in Bandra.
He loved the Society and found it hard to reconcile his loyalty to the Jesuit spirit with some of the changes introduced in the last decade. In his lovable frankness and literary wit he showed what he thought of some modern trends in his devastating piece of satire - which he called parable or vision - whereby he regaled(?) the ears of scores of fellow Jesuits assembled on the terrace of St Xavier's High School one evening in 1969 to celebrate his 50 years in the Society.
Although his speech in ordinary conversation was at times difficult to follow there were some stories too about the legibility of his handwriting even when in block capitals), hardly anyone could miss a word when he spoke in public, which he did often. For a couple of years he was entrusted with the monthly domestic exhortation (you may recall that ancient custom) at St Xavier’s High School. He was always original, even if not to everybody's taste. Many a Catholic in Bandra, St Mary's and St Xavier's made it a point to attend Fr Donnelly's Sunday Mass to hear his sermons. You could never predict the subject of the homily, but most people found it interesting and profitable. On a certain Sunday he spoke on some changes in the Liturgy. The following Sunday he read out from the ambo two letters on the subject he had received from the pews during the week.
His last months in a sick bed must have been a severe trial. Fortunately he had most of the time his younger brother Leo from Ranchi with him. Many others of the Vinayalaya community helped him in his hour of need. He mellowed during those last 100 days. Illness bridged for him the generation gap that had opened before him.
Unshorn novices in mufti watched over him day and night. He was grateful to them. For him they were a concrete token of the motherly love of the Society he had joined in far-away Ireland when the century (though no longer he) was in its teens.
After a Eucharistic concelebration at St Peter’s, Bandra, he was buried on June 13, in the porch of the church and beside the school that had been his first centre of apostolate in India.
Fr Don Donnelly’s curriculum vitae shows the man's adaptability to varying circumstances: 1898 - born in Dublin; 1919 - Jesuit novitiate in Tullabeg; 1925 - philosophy in Valkenburg; 1927 - theology in Innsbruck; 1929 - ordained in Dublin; 1930 - Subsecr, of Missions, Rome; 1931 - tertianship; 1932 - arrival in China, teaching in Shiuhing; 1933 - studying Chinese language; 1934 - Wah Yan, Hong Kong, teaching in Regional Seminary; 1935 - Prefect of Studies, Wah Yan; 1936 - final vows; 1940 - director of Minor Seminary, Hong Kong; 1944 - arrival in Bandra (India) with Chinese boys, teaching; 1947 · back to Canton (China), teaching; 1949 - back in India, studying Hindi in Ranchi; 1950 - Rector of St Stanislaus High School, Bandra; 1956 - Minister, St Xavier's College; 1957 - Principal and Minister, St Mary's High School; 1963 · de Nobili College, Minister and Treasurer; 1965 - Minister and Treasurer, St Xavier's College; 1972 - Principal and Superior, Campion School, Bhopal; 1974 - chaplain to Christian Brothers, Bassein road; 1975 - death at Vinayalaya, 12th June; burial in Bandra, 13th.

Obituary :

Fr Don Donnelly (1896-1975)

More about Fr Don Donnelly († 12th June 1975)

When the last number of the Province News had gone to press, the editor discovered fifteen pages of notepaper which Fr Fergus Cronin, Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, had filled with this account of Fr Don:
For one who was so well known in the countries in which he worked, Fr Daniel Donnelly, who died last June in Bombay, was relatively little known in Ireland. This was largely due to the fact that apart from his noviceship and his period in the Colleges, all his life in the Society was spent abroad,
He came from a Dublin family. His father was a doctor practising in Parnell square, and he went to school at Belvedere.
He entered the Society in 1919, having already obtained a Master of Science degree. My recollection may be at fault, but I think I remember him telling me that he had got a scholarship to Trinity College, Dublin, and that he attended lectures there, in order to fulfil the conditions of the cash grant, and also studied for a degree at University College, Dublin.
Having finished his novitiate, he studied philosophy in Valkenburg, came back for his Colleges to Clongowes and then did his theology in Innsbruck.
After tertianship he spent a year in the Curia in Rome as assistant to the Secretary of the Missions, and from there he went to work in the Missions - in Hong Kong.
He studied Chinese (Cantonese) in the Portuguese Mission at Shiuhing and then came to teach in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, which had just been given to the Society by its founders. Again my memory may be at fault, but I believe I heard that while the negotiations regarding our taking over the College were in progress, Fr Donnelly dropped several Miraculous Medals into the grounds!
After a few years he was made Prefect of Studies in Wah Yan College and was in this position until just before the beginning of World War II. He was extremely well known in Hong Kong because of his position in the world of education. He had very positive ideas on most subjects, and in education he believed in being very firm, but he was also very approachable. A recently published book by Fr P O'Connor of the Columban Fathers, under the title Buddhists find Christ, gives a number of accounts, written by the persons themselves, of their conversion to Christianity. One of these was Dr Lert Srichandra, a Thai doctor educated in Wah Yan College and later in UCD. The book recounts many very amusing conversations, often held late at night in Wah Yan, between Dr Lert and Fr Donnelly. In his account, Dr Lert gives a great deal of credit for his finding the answers to his problems to the very direct, frank and friendly handling by Fr Donnelly of a young student's fumbling approaches to the mysteries of our faith. Dr Lert has many pages of such interchange, all very revealing of the mentality of both of these men.
Just before World War II struck Hong Kong, Fr Donnelly had collected a group of teenagers, who had shown some signs of a possible vocation to the priesthood or to the Society. These were known to all of Ours in Hong Kong by Don's name for them, “the little lads”. They were in his care in the Language School in Tai Lam Chung, and when the war came, Don succeeded, first in getting these lads out of Hong Kong to the port of Kwang Chow Wan, and then to the part of South China not occupied by the Japanese. Finally he got them flown over “The Hump” from Kunming in Yunnan province to Calcutta in India. From Calcutta he brought them by train across India to Bombay and finally was able to house them in St Stanislaus College in Bandra, just outside Bombay. Many years later, Don was to be Rector of this college.
After World War II, Don brought the group of young men back safely to Hong Kong. Of them Fr Joseph Tai is the only one in the Society, but many of the others grew into pillars of the Church and of the community in other walks of life.
Returning after this tremendous odyssey to Hong Kong, Don was able to arrange the future of these young men, and then was himself assigned to Canton. There he was a teacher in the Sacred Heart School, but was also concerned with the planning of a Jesuit secondary school which was to be built there. Fr Thomas Ryan was the Superior of the Hong Kong Mission, and his idea of a Jesuit college was one which would in every way make its own impression on all, not only for its standards of excellence in teaching, but also as being a building such as to do us credit. Don was always a man whose idealism was to be realised in a very practical form, and at one time he brought a brick down from Canton to show Fr Ryan what a suitable material it could be from which to build the proposed college. Fr Ryan’s reaction, it is believed, was to throw it back to him in disgust!
Don was in Canton until the communists came to take over South China. He was fairly sure that they would also take over Hong Kong, and in any case, since for the foreseeable future we had no work in Canton, he in his practical way wanted to go elsewhere. To Fr Ryan, leaving China at such a time was not to be thought of - it betrayed a lack of faith in the future of our work in China, a thing he refused even to think of. To Don, it was just being practical to find some other field in which to labour. Fr Ryan rather hurt Don by the manner in which he viewed Don’s desire to go to India, where he was assured he would be very welcome and much needed. But Don was never a man to be discouraged or even much affected by what others thought of him or his actions, so, about 1950, off he went to start a new life in India.
In India he later became Rector (as mentioned above) and Principal of St Stanislaus, Bandra. He was also Principal in several other Jesuit colleges, ending his teaching career as Superior and Principal of Campion High School in Bombay.
During these long years he developed many new interests. Most of those who knew him remember him, apart from his great ability in the scholastic field, as the man who produced the standard book on hockey (for which, I have been told, he was decorated by the Indian government). He is remembered also as an incessant writer of verse. Every school annual of the colleges where he was Principal (or Superior, or both) contains many poems, some as short as sonnets, some quite long narrative poems on current or on spiritual themes.
When finally he retired as a teacher he went to St Augustine’s High School, Bassein, a school run by the Christian Brothers (to quote his own words from one of his last letters) ‘where I act as chaplain, teach a little, and make myself generally useful’.
He enjoyed really good health until April 1975, when he suffered a severe stroke which left him paralysed on the left side. He was moved to the Jesuit novitiate of Vinayalaya, Andheri, Bombay, where he was cared for until a second stroke caused his death.
His death leaves the Society the poorer by the loss of one of its most loyal sons. In his later years, by all accounts, he had become rather critical of many of the changes taking place in the Society, particularly in the life-style of its members, but this was largely due to the high standards he had set himself, and which he believed he should see everywhere.
His love of the Society is seen in all of his writings. He was a man who studied the theory of anything in which he was concerned. This is seen in his writing his book on hockey. He saw everything as the carrying into reality of the theory which he had formulated about that particular subject. This too is seen in his writings about Society subjects, eg, his pamphlet on the Spiritual Exercises and his short Life of Blessed Charles Spinola. This latter was an adaptation of an Italian life which had attracted his attention. This tendency to take over the work of others is seen when later he produced a catechism in Chinese and English which was largely based on My Catholic faith by Bishop Morrow. Don was always practical, and if someone else had written something that he thought well expressed what he wanted to say, he felt free to use this material in a way that some of his fellow Jesuits felt was a little too close to the original without sufficient acknowledgement.
He was a man of tremendous energy, who faced without any self-consciousness any situation which arose. He was a man of great and strong convictions. Above all, he was a really observant religious whose love for the Society came through in everything he did or wrote. He had thousands of friends and admirers, and I think it is true that of this great number of men of all kinds who admired him for one or other of his many gifts, all saw him first and foremost as a man of God

Irish Province News 52nd Year No 2 1977

Calcutta Province

Extract from a letter from a Jesuit of Calcutta Province, Darjeeling Region (Fr. Edward Hayden, St. Joseph's College, North Point, Darjeeling, Western Bengal)

I was one of the old “Intermediate” boys of the Christian Brothers, Carlow. I left off in 1910, 67 years ago, at the end of June. Yes, we learnt the Gaeilge. The Brothers - or some I met, one in particular, a Brother Doyle, was very keen on it. The others didn't teach it as it was only in the “Academy” that they began with languages: French, Gaeilge, Algebra, Euclid and of course English. (5th Book - Senior Elementary Class - was followed by the “Academy”). The Brothers had dropped Latin just before I joined the “Academy”. We were living at a distance of 5 Irish miles from Carlow, and I was delicate, so I often fell a victim of 'flu, which didn't help me to make progress in studies - made it very hard: but at that time the rule was “do or die”. There was only one excuse for not having home work done – you were dead! That was the training we had: it stood me in good stead through life; it is the one thing I am grateful for.
We had a number of Irishmen here, a handful: Fr Jos Shiel, Mayo, died in Patna. Fr James Comerford, Queen's County, died in Bihar. I met the Donnelly brothers, they were Dubliners. The one who died (Don) was Editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger. Many of his stories were about horse-racing - he must have read plenty of Nat Gould when he was a boy! (Nat wrote a number of horse-racing stories supposed to have been in Australia). There are three Irishmen in Ranchi: Frs Donnelly, Phelan and Lawlor. Fr Phelan has spent nearly his whole life in India. As a boy he was in North Point, and after his Senior Cambridge he joined the Society. At that time there was only the Missio Maior Bengalensis of the Belgian Province. The Mission took in half or more of north-east India - Patna, Ranchi and south of it, Assam, Bhutan and Sikkim - an area four or five times that of Ireland! Needless to say, there were parts of it which had no SJ within a hundred miles ...Down here in the Terai where I am “hibernating” out of the cold of Darjeeling, some forty-five years ago there was no priest. One or two of the professors of theology from Kurseong, some 40 miles away, used to visit this district at Christmas and Easter. It was very malarious. Catholics from Ranchi came here to work on the tea plantations. Then a Jesuit was sent to reside in it. Now the district has schools and Jesuits galore, also non-Jesuits. Great progress has been made. The Salesians took up Assam, the American SJs took over Patna. The Northern Belgians took over Ranchi and the Southern Belgians took Calcutta. (The Belgian Province grew till its numbers reached 1400. Then, about 1935, Belgian separated into Flemings - North - and Walloons - South). Ranchi was given to the North and Calcutta to the South. On the 15th August last year (1976) Calcutta was raised from being a Vice Province to be a full-blown Province. 100% of those joining the SJ now are sons of India. Madura in the south has been a Province for years. Nearly all the Europeans are dead: no more are allowed to come permanently unless for a very, very special reason, India has begun to send her sons to East Africa in recent years.
Fr Lawlor is Irish-born but somehow joined the Australian Province about the time it started a half-century or so ago.
Brother Carl Kruil is at present in charge of an ashram: a place for destitutes, in Siliguri. Silguri is a city which grew up in the last forty years around the terminus of the broad gauge railway and the narrow (two-foot) toy railway joining the plains with Darjeeling - one of the most wonderful lines in the world, rising from 300 feet above sea-level, 7,200 feet in about 50 miles and then dropping down to about 5,500 feet in another ten. Three times it loops the loop and three times climbs up by zig-zags. I seem to remember having met Fr Conor Naughton during the war. Quite a number of wartime chaplains came to Darjeeling. The mention of Siliguri set me off rambling. Br Krull remembers his visit to Limerick. (He stayed at the Crescent, 11th 13th June, 1969). He is a born mechanic. Anything in the line of machinery captivates him. He has to repair all the motors and oil engines – some places like this have small diesel generators which have to be seen to from time to time and all other kinds of machinery: cameras, typewriters etc. At present he comes here to do spot welding (electric welding of iron instead of bolts and nuts.
The PP, here is replacing an old simple shed with a corrugated iron roof by a very fine one with brick walls and asbestos-cement roof. Two years ago or so, the roof was lifted by a sudden whirlwind clean off the wooden pillars on which it rested. Since then he has been saying the Sunday Masses on the veranda of a primary school. In this school 235 children receive daily lessons and a small mid-day meal. The Sisters are those of St. Joseph of Cluny – all from South India. They are really heroines: no work is too difficult for them. They do all their own work and cook for us. Their Vice-Provincial is from somewhere in the centre of the “Emerald Gem”. They are growing in numbers and do great work, running a dispensary amongst other things. The church is very broad, approximately 90 by 60 feet. As no benches are used - people sit on the floor - it will hold nearly 450 people at a time. The altar is in one corner. :
Fr Robert Phelan (Ranchi Province) had a visit one night from dacoits (armed robbers), but with help managed to beat them off.
Ranchi had several of these raids last year. In nearly every case the dacoits managed to get some cash.
One night about two weeks ago a rogue elephant (one that is wild and roaming away from the herd) came to a small group of houses close by. A man heard the noise and came out. The elephant caught him by the leg and threw him on to a corn stack - fortunately. The corn stack of rice waiting to be thrashed was quite broad and flat on top! He was very little the worse for the experience. And that is the end of the news.
One more item: please ask the new Editor of the Irish Province News to let me have copies as (?) and send them by overland (surface mail). Even if they are three months coming, they will be news. God bless you and reward you handsomely.
Yours in our Lord,
Edward Hayden, SJ (born 15th October 1893, entered S.J. Ist February 1925, ordained 21st November 1933, took final vows on 2nd February 1936. Now conf. dom. et alumn. and script. hist. dom. at the above address).

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, Aberdeed, Hong Kong
Professed: 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

Finn, Daniel J, 1886-1936, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/150
  • Person
  • 24 March 1886-01 November 1936

Born: 24 March 1886, Cork City
Entered: 06 September 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 January 1919, Zakopane, Poland
Final Vows: 02 February 1924, St Ignatius College Riverview, Sydney, Australia
Died: 01 November 1936, London, England

Part of the Holy Spirit Seminary community, Aberdeen, Hong Kong at time of his death.

by 1910 at Oxford, England (ANG) studying
by 1914 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1919 at Zakopane, Poland (GALI) working
by 1920 at Petworth, Sussex (ANG) health
by 1928 second batch Hong Kong Missioners

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at Presentation Brothers College Cork. While still underage he won first place in Ireland in the Preparatory Grade, 1896, against over 2.600 competitors, securing 90% all round in his subjects. He was presented with a large gold medal and chaired through the College by his school fellows. Two years later he came second in the Junior Grade, winning four first composition prizes in Latin, French, German and Italian. He obtained a First Class Exhibition in his Middle and Senior Grades, while still underage, and in the Middle Grade, a gold medal for first place in three modern languages. During these years he also showed special devotion to Our Lady, and was noted for a certain gravity and cheerfulness of disposition, which he never lost.

He Entered the Society under Michael Browne in 1902 at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg
1904-1907 He remained at Tullabeg for his Juniorate.
1907-1909 He was sent to Rathfarnham Castle and University College Dublin gaining a BA in Archaeology.
1909-1910 He taught the Juniors at Tullabeg and went to St John’s College Oxford, where he gained a Diploma in Archaeology, and working under Sir Percy Gardner.
1910-1913 He was sent to Clongowes for regency, teaching Bookkeeping, Latin and Greek. His lectures to the community at this time on the great works of painting and sculpture were much appreciated.
1913-1917 He was sent to Innsbruck for Philosophy, and while there he learned Hungarian and some Slavic languages. His first sermon was in Irish on St Brigid, and while there he continued his interest in art and archaeology. Then because of the Italian entry into the war he was banished from the Tyrol and went to Kollegium Kalksberg close to Vienna, and he began Theology there in private, and gaining a sound knowledge of Hebrew.
1917-1920 He joined the Polish Theologate at Dzieddzice in Prussian Silesia. As a result of a severe cold here he contracted TB and was sent to the Jesuit residence at Zakopane, a famous health resort. He was Ordained there on 24 January 1919, in order to have consolation of dying a Priest. However, he was able to return to Ireland at the end of June that year, after spending the winder of 1919-1920 at Petworth Sussex in England.
1920-1922 He was sent to Australia and completed his Theology studies there and made Tertianship at Loyola Greenwich, whilst at the same time teaching the Juniors.
1922-1926 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview as a Teacher and Prefect of Studies. Here he was remembered for swimming in the baths, rowing on the river in the Gladstone skiff of a four, or throwing himself into a production of the Passion Play. Meanwhile, he taught one boy Japanese. During his time in Riverview he volunteered for the Japanese Mission, but he was diverted by Superiors to the Hong Kong Mission.
1926-1928 He resided in Hong Kong, engaged with the language and was employed at the University as a lecturer in pedagogy
1928-1931 He was in Canton in charge of the studied at Bishop Fourquet’s Sacred Heart School. There he also began the study of Chinese archaeology. He also translated several volumes of “Researches into Chinese Superstition” written by Fr Henri Doré SJ.
1931 He returned to Hong Kong he was appointed Spiritual Director of the Seminarians, Professor of Church History, and also a Lecturer in Geography at the University. In addition he found time for the research for which he would be chiefly remembered - his archaeological research in Lamma Island and other regions around Hong Kong which greatly enhanced the reputation of the Church in the Far East.
He represented the University and the Government at an International Congress in Manila and Oslo in 1936. His paper at Oslo was entitles “Crucial Doubts about the Most Important Finds in the Hong Kong Region”. At this same time he also managed to have published thirteen articles in the Hong Kong “Naturalist” entitled “Archaeological Finds on Lamma Island 1932-1936”
1936 he left Dublin for the British Museum on October 05, to continue his reading and discussion of the prehistoric specimens he had brought home with him. He was engaged in this work up to the 10th when he developed a carbuncle which indicated a general blood infection. He was transferred to hospital on the 16th, where despite expert treatment he failed to respond and he died.

He carried his learning lightly, and he laughed amusedly at the pedantic and ponderous. He was extremely humble, unassuming and simple, though a man of intense intellectual concentration and power for work. He was gifted with a strong robust character that knew no temporising or equivocation. His literary gifts were of a high order, as appeared from the little that was left in the way of letters written during his first years in China. He was an extraordinarily fine linguist, speaking Chinese, Irish, Latin, Greek, French, German, Polish and Japanese.

His early death saddened both his Jesuit and scientific colleagues.

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Daniel Finn, S.J.
(1886-1936)
By Thomas. F. Ryan SJ

The news of Father Finn’s death came as a shock to all who knew him even by name, and it was a painful blow to those who knew him personally. He was one of those rare characters that are equally conspicuous for qualities of heart and of head, and among all who came in contact with him his genial disposition will be as well remembered as his brilliant intellect. His death is a loss to science and especially to Hong Kong, and it is particularly tragic that he should have died abroad while on a scientific mission, representing both the Government and the University of Hong Kong.

It is close on forty years since I first met Father Finn, and I can still remember the first occasion on which I heard his name. It was at the first distribution of prizes which I attended at school. As a new boy and a very diminutive member of the lowest class, I listened with awe to the Headmaster’s account of the successes of the year, and I can recall his attitude and the tone of his voice as he told how one Daniel Finn found himself in a very enviable dilemma after his first public examination - he had to choose which of two gold medals he would accept. He had qualified for two, one for being first in Ireland in whole examination, and the other for being first in modern languages, but even in those amazing nineties when gold medals were awarded so liberally, no student in this examination could receive more than one. I forget which he chose, but I remember that the Headmaster fully approved of it - as headmasters always do on such occasions.

It was not long before the “Daniel” of the Headmaster’s speech gave place to “Dan.” Three years is a considerable gap between school-boy ages and to me Dan Finn was one of the Olympians, but he was a very cheerful divinity and was as much a hero to the smaller boys as if he were a proud athlete who never passed an examination. He never changed much in appearance from what he was as a boy. He was of the same build then as later, short and sturdy, with the same quizzical look about his eyes, and the same pucker of the lips, and the same odd angle of the head when he was hesitating about something. He grew careless about his clothes as the years went on, but as a boy in Cork forty years ago he was neatness itself, and the wide white collar above the Norfolk coat of those days was always spotless. He took no active part in games, but his best friend was a prominent athlete, and at school football-matches he was constantly to be seen on the touchline, leaning on the shoulder of some companion, and talking incessantly.

He had many family sorrows during his school-days, but they left no scars, and his good-humoured disposition never varied. His success in studies was phenomenal. It was commonly said of him in our school-days that he got first in every examination for which he sat. I am sure that this was an exaggeration, but it cannot have been very far from the truth. He was the only boy I remember whose photograph was hung in the school immediately after he left it. It was put over the fireplace in my classroom, and as we sat around the fire before class or during recess, remarks were often made about him.
“Where is he now?” someone asked one day.
“He is gone to be a Jesuit,” someone else answered.
That was the first time that I heard of anyone I knew becoming a Jesuit.

After a few years he began his University studies in Dublin, and before long the name of Rev. D. Finn, S.J., began to head the lists of examination results. As a boy he had taken up modern languages - French, German and Italian - for no other reason than that the school which we both attended cultivated them particularly. At the University he took up classics, and it was classics that formed the basis of the wide culture that was afterwards his. His entrance into classical studies was almost sensational, for after six months study of Greek he won a scholarship and first place in Greek and Latin in the University entrance examination. First with first-class honours in every examination, and every scholarship within reach, would be a correct summing up of this university career.

Recording examination successes is a monotonous thing, and in the case of Father Finn the less said about examinations the better if a proper estimate of him is to be given. He hated examinations. The humdrum work which they demanded was nauseating to him, and it was fortunate that preparation for them demanded such little effort on his part. He was always at his best when off the beaten track. I remember once meeting him in a country place when he was resting after a bout of examinations. He had a geologist’s hammer in his hand and was off to a railway cutting to look for fossils. The byways of the classics soon interested him. He stopped his first reading of Homer to make a model of a trireme, and a very ingenious model it was, with the oars made to scale and of a much more reasonable length than some antiquarians suggested. A year later he had developed a new theory for completing the friezes of the Parthenon, and he beguiled a number of people into adopting statuesque poses and allowing themselves to be photographed to demonstrate his theory. I have a vivid recollection of the sheepish look of a village shoe-maker who found himself dressed in a trousers and a long red curtain, standing on one leg and holding his arms at unnatural angles.

Whenever he seemed on the point of demanding a return to modern clothes and village dignity, Father Finn used tactfully to interject a remark about his splendid muscles, and so secure a continuance of the pose for another photograph.

On being awarded a Travelling Studentship from the University in Ireland, Father Finn went to Oxford, and from his time his classical studies were carried on more and more in museums rather than from books. His reading indeed was then as at all times, enormous, but he was by nature an explorer in unusual spheres and henceforth his reading was mainly a background for his explorations. In Oxford he devoted himself to the writing of a thesis on the colouring of Greek sculpture. It won him the highest praise, and one of the professors excused himself from the usual examination on the plea that the reading of the thesis showed that the writer know more about it than he did. When he returned to Ireland the first thing that he did was to look up the Greek professor in Dublin who had whetted his interest in archaeology and suggest to him that they should start some excavations on the hill of Tara.

A few years teaching classics in a secondary school followed. These were undistinguished years, for preparing boys for examinations was emphatically not Father Finn’s strong point. But he interested some of his cleverer pupils in all kinds of strange branches of study, and years later many men acknowledged their indebtedness to him for an interest in intellectual pursuits which they would otherwise never have had.

When it was time for him to go abroad to do further studies I received a letter from him. I was then in Italy and he wanted to know if it would be good for him to go to study in Rome, as was suggested. His idea was that an alternation of lectures in philosophy and visits to museums would be better than whole-time philosophical studies. But before my reply reached him it was decided that residence in a German-speaking house would be most useful for his future studies in the classics. So he was sent to Innsbruck, in the Tyrol. This decision, with which he was delighted, was to prove a fateful one for him.

In the December before the war broke out I was passing through Austria and met him in Innsbruck. I was bewildered by the number of new interests that engrossed him. Munich was near enough for an occasional visit to its museums and picture-galleries, but now the social movements in Germany and Austria had begun to attract him, and Austrian folk-lore was tugging at his attention too. He had always been a student of art, and his special leaning was towards Gothic architecture and Gothic sculpture, and he found time to give considerable time to it in Innsbruck. There was a problem here, too, to attract him, and I was not many hours in the town before he had me standing beside the Emperor Maximilan’s tomb while he expounded his theories about the identity of the famous figures surrounding it.

In the following summer the war broke out and Fr. Finn, from being among friends, became a stranger in a hostile land. Though the Austrians treated the alien residents with all that courtesy in which they excel, yet war is war and conditions were hard. At first things were not so bad, he was allowed to continue his studies, and all that was demanded was that he should report regularly to the police authorities. Then he had to do hospital work; then supplies began to run low - then his health gave out. The remaining years were difficult ones. An effort to get permission for him to leave the country did not succeed. But within the possibilities of wartime conditions he was treated with every consideration. He was moved from place to place, to countries that have since changed their names, and after some time in Lower Austria, in Hungary and in Czechoslovakia he was sent finally to Poland, where he could continue his studies. He was fond of Poland, and spoke more of it than of any of the other countries in which he lived. He learned the Polish language and a certain amount of Russian. It was in Poland that he was ordained to the priesthood.

After the war he returned to Ireland sadly broken in health. He had developed tuberculosis, and the only hope of saving his life was to go to a drier climate. He went to Australia and there he made a rapid recovery. To anyone who knew him in Hong Kong it would seem fantastic to suggest that he was a delicate man, but it is true that his health was never the same after the period of semi-starvation which he had gone through in the last years of the war, and it was only by adopting a special diet that he could keep going. The diet was not an attractive one, but he certainly kept going.

In Australia he became Prefect of Studies in Riverview College, near Sydney, and there as usual he continued his interest in all kinds of side issues. It was one of these latter that eventually brought him to the East. There were some Japanese pupils in this College, and in order to be able to help them in their studies Father Finn began to study Japanese - a language more or less never worried him. Inevitably he soon became interested in Japanese antiquities, and before long he was in communication with some fellow-Jesuits in Japan.

There is a Jesuit University in Tokyo, directed by German Fathers, and when they found that a man of Father Finn’s standing was interested in things Japanese, they declared at once that the place for him was Tokyo, and they made demarches to get him there. After some negotiations everything was arranged, and he left Australia on a boat that was to bring him to Japan. That was in the beginning of 1927.

Then happened one of those things that people say happen only to Jesuits. When the ship was on the high seas and Father Finn was immersed in his Japanese studies, a wireless message came to him, telling him that he was not to go to Japan after all, but that he was to get off at Hong Kong and go no further. It had happened that between the time that arrangements were made for him to go to Tokyo and the end of the Australian school year, when it would be possible for him to start, it had been decided that some Irish Jesuits were to come to Hong Kong, and it was felt that this colony had first claim on the services of Father Finn. So, a little bewildered by the unexpected change that blew all his plans sky-high, Father Finn landed in Hong Kong in February, 1927. He was then forty-one years old.

It happened that during his years in Australia his position as Prefect of Studies in a large college had brought him a good deal into educational circles and aroused his interest in pedagogical matters. As interest for him found expression in deep study, he set to work to master the theory of education. In a few years whatever he had to say on matters connected with education was listened to with respect, and when he was leaving Sydney there was public expression of regret that New South Wales was losing a leading authority on education. Hong Kong at that time was looking for a substitute for Professor Forster, to take his place as Professor of Education in the University while he was on leave, and the result was that Father Finn was only a few days in the Colony when he was asked to take the position, So his connection with the Hong Kong University began.

Always a conscientious worker, Father Finn took the greatest care to do his work in the University in a way that was worthy of his position, and this was little short of heroic on his part, for, having come to China, his one desire was to go as deeply and as quickly as possible into the new field of antiquities that was open to him. He found time to begin the study of Chinese, however, but it was not until his temporary occupancy of the professorship was at an end that he was able to devote himself with all the intensity that he desired to his new studies. But he was not long free, and his next move was to Canton, where he taught, and later directed, the studies in the Sacred Heart College. Here his colleagues had an opportunity of seeing the way in which he worked, for, while most of his day was given to work in the classroom, he managed at the same time to give from five to seven hours each day to the study of Chinese. He made rapid strides in the language and, though he never acquired a good pronunciation, he learned to speak fluently Cantonese and some other local dialects and to read Chinese with such ease as is rarely acquired by a foreigner.

From that time forward Chinese antiquities occupied every moment that was free from his regular duties. When he spent some time in Shanghai, part of it was given to translating some of the Recherches sur les Superstitions en Chine, by P. Doré, S.J., and in whatever house he lived in Hong Kong his room soon took on the appearance of a museum. There was never any such thing as leisure time in his programme-study of one kind or another filled every available moment. He worked with great rapidity. He got to the “inside” of a book in a very short time, and every book that he read was a work of reference to him ever after, for at a moment’s notice he seemed to be able to trace any passage or any illustration in any book that he had read. In the few years that he had it was remarkable how much ground he covered in Chinese antiquities. On this subject his reading extended to practically every work of note in English, German and French, and to a considerable number of books also in Chinese and Japanese-for he had worked hard at Japanese when he realized that it was necessary for his antiquarian studies. His appointment as Lecturer in Geography in the Hong Kong University revealed another side of his interests, for it was only when his name came up in connection with the position that it was realised how fully abreast he was of modern methods of geographical study, and how detailed, in particular, was his knowledge of the geography of China.

His interest was gradually converging on archaeological research in Hong Kong when an accidental circumstance threw him right into the midst of it. He was living in the Seminary at Aberdeen, and one morning, about five years ago, he crossed the creek in the early morning to go to say Mass in the Convent of the Canossian Sisters in the village. As he climbed up from the sampan he saw a pile of sand being unloaded from a junk by the shore. His eye caught a fragment of an arrow-head in the sand. He picked it out, put it in his pocket and went on. But on his return an hour later he stopped to examine the sand, and found that it came from an archaeologist's gold mine, for within a short time he found several other interesting stone fragments and a few pieces of bronze. He questioned the men who were still engaged in unloading it, and found that it came from Lamma Island out in the bay. Further inquiries revealed that the work was being done under Government authority, and the sand was being removed rapidly by shiploads. To him this was vandalism and tragedy combined. He knew already from the work of Professor Shellshear and Mr. Schofield how important were the archaeological remains to be found around Hong Kong, and how illuminating they might be in their relation to many of the unsolved problems of pre-history, and here he found valuable evidence of the past being used to build walls and make drains. He had to act at once if he was to do his part for science and Hong Kong, he got through preliminaries as quickly as possible and within a week he was excavating on Lamma Island.

The results exceeded all expectations. To the uninitiated the stones and bits of earthenware which he handled so reverently were a disappointing result after hours of digging in the glaring sun, but to him and to others that were able to read their message, they were keys to unlock new storehouses of knowledge of the past. He now began to communicate his discoveries to scholars in other lands, and their interest was manifest. The Government of Hong Kong was alive to the importance of this new field of research and it gave a grant towards the expense connected with it. Henceforth Father Finn’s big interest in life was the archaeology of Hong Kong.

It would seem as if all his previous life was a preparation for these few years. Up to this time one might have said of him that he was taking too many things in his line of vision and that he would have done better if he had concentrated on some one branch of study. He had in him the capacity to do really great work in some one direction, but the multitude of his interests made him just a man of encyclopaedic knowledge when he might have been a specialist of eminence. But now all the jigsaw elements of his previous studies seemed to fall together and to make the essential background for his work in an almost unexplored branch of science. His classical training, his long study of classical archaeology, his scientific interests, his close study of history and geography, his knowledge of art-these were all essential to him now, but they could only be utilised because he possessed the archaeologist's flair that made him know what to seek and how to interpret, and gave his work in this field the character of genius. He enlarged the field of knowledge in this particular branch of archeology, even though, as he claimed, his work in it had hardly begun. His numerous articles in the Hong Kong Naturalist, ably illustrated by his esteemed friend Dr. Herklots, and the collection of objects excavated by him are all that remain as a record of his work. What he might have done if he had been spared for a few years more we can only surmise. It is the possibility of great achievement that makes his death so tragic.

And what of the man behind the student and the scholar? I have told of him as a well-liked boy even though of a class rarely conspicuous for popularity. As a man, among his Jesuit associates and with his few other friends, he was known and will always be remembered for his delightful disposition and perennial good humour. I am sure that no one who ever came into contact with Father Finn ever found in him a trace of conceit. The mere suggestion of it is ludicrous to anyone who knew him, and when any were led by ignorance of his own particular field of research to be critical of its utility, he was never provoked-even in their absence-to anything more than a good-humored sally. His wide interests embraced the work of all his companions. He knew what interested each one, and he was genuinely interested in it too. In everything he was always ready to help those who wanted his assistance, and much as he deplored the loss of a moment of time, he gave it unstintingly when the need of another claimed it. His thoughtfulness and sympathetic kindness made him a friend of all who knew him, and it is those who were associated with him most closely that will miss him most.

When writing of a priest-scholar it is often thought enough to add a paragraph at the end stating that, of course, this scholar was also a priest, and that he was all that a priest should be. To do so in the case of Father Finn would leave the picture of him very incomplete. His life was essentially that of a priest and religious devoted to science and scholarship rather than that of a scholar who happened to wear a Roman collar. The principles that moulded his life were visible in his attitude towards every duty assigned him and every branch of his study. If at any time, for any reason, he had been told to drop whatever work he was doing and turn to something completely new, he would have done it without question at a moment’s notice. Everyone who knew him realised that. From the moment he came to China he regarded himself as a missionary. His work was to spread the knowledge of God’s Truth, and he was ready to do it in any way that came within his scope. He did it abundantly by his example alone, and the testimonies about him since his death show that this influence of his example extended over a far wider field that he would ever have imagined.

In June, 1936, he left Hong Kong to attend an Archaeological Congress in Oslo. His report there on the work in Hong Kong attracted wide attention. Invitations poured in on him-to go to various centres of learning in Europe and America, to join in excavations in many lands. He was able to accept only a few, for he had already arranged to join in some research in the Malay Peninsula next spring. But he visited Sweden, Denmark and France, and then made a brief visit to his native Ireland. From there he went to London, to study in the British Museum. While in London he was attacked by some kind of blood poisoning-the result, he believed, of something he contracted in his archaeological work in Hong King, but who can tell? The doctors could not trace the source of the infection, but it proved fatal after a month’s illness.

When the news of his death came to Hong Kong it was felt as a personal sorrow by those whose sympathy he would have valued most. Poor boat-women on the sampans at Aberdeen wept when they were told it, and little children on Lamma Island were sad when they were told that he would not come back. It was the welcome of such as these that would have pleased him most if he returned; it is their regret at his death that most reveals to us his real worth. May he rest in peace.
The Irish Jesuit Directory and Year Book 1938

From Milan to Hong Kong 150 Years of Mission, by Gianni Criveller, Vox Amica Press, 2008.

Note from Thomas Ryan Entry
In 1941 he published “Jesuits under Fire”. He edited “Archaelogical Finds on Lamma Island”, the work of Daniel Finn.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He excelled at school in modern languages, being awarded Gold medals for French, German and Italian. He did a brilliant thesis on the colouring of statues by the ancient Greeks.
1913 He was sent to Innsbruck Austria for Philosophy. There he took up a keen interest and fascination in Austrian folklore.
1931 Chinese antiquaries absorbed him when he taught at the South China Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. He made a study of the deities and statues of the Aberdeen boat people, ad then he sent these to the Lateran Museum in Rome. In the 1930s he lectured also at The Chinese University of Hong Kong in Geography.
1932 While teaching Theology and Scripture at Aberdeen he came across a fragment of an arrowhead in sand brought from the south western shores of Lamma Island. He traced the source and found stone fragments and bronze pieces along with pottery fragments. This led to his writings on the Pre-Han and Stone Age history of the South China coast, which at the time was new to the archaeological world. He was a pioneer in archaeology in Hong Kong

Note from Thomas Ryan Entry
In 1941 he published “Jesuits under Fire”. He edited “Archaeological Finds on Lamma Island”, the work of Daniel Finn.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 10th Year No 3 1935

Works by Father Dan Finn SJ :

  1. “Researches into Chinese Superstitions," by Rev. H. Doré, SJ (Shanghai - Translated into English by Father D. Finn, S.J.
  2. Vol IX : Taoist; Taoist Personnages, 1931 - pp xx + 227, 76 plates
  3. Vol X : Boards of heavenly Administration, 1933 - pp ix + 179, 39 plates (Both published at Tusewei Printing Press, Shanghai)
  4. A booklet : “Some Popular Indulgences Explained” - Messenger Office
  5. A series of articles on “Archaeological Finds on Lamma Island” - They appear in the Hong Kong Naturalist (Quarterly), From Vol. III, Parts 3 and 4, Dec. 1954, up to current issue.

Irish Province News 12th Year No 1 1937

Father Daniel Finn

Following so soon on the loss of Father Lyons, the unexpected death of Father Finn in a nursing home in London on Nov. 1st comes as a tragic blow to the Province and the Hong Kong Mission. Had he been allotted the normal span of life he would in all human probability have emerged a savant of the first order. He died just as he was winning a European reputation through his archaeological discoveries in China.
Born in Cork city, 24th March, 1886, he was educated at the Presentation College. When still under age he won 1st Place in Ireland in the Preparatory Grade, 1896, against over 2,600 competitors, securing 90 per cent all round in his subjects, and was awarded by his school a large gold medal, and was chaired through the College by his school-fellows. Two years later he came second in the Junior Grade, winning four first composition prizes in Latin, French, German and Italian. He got first-class exhibitions in Middle and Senior Grades, while still under age and, in the Middle Grade, a gold medal for first place in the three modem languages.
In these youthful days he had a wonderful and outspoken devotion to Our Blessed Lady and was noted for a certain gravity and cheerfulness of disposition which he never lost.
He began his noviceship in Tullabeg 6th September, 1902, remained there for two vicars' juniorate, during which he won 1st Place in the Classical Scholarship Examination (Royal University) and then went to College Green, where he began the study of Archaeology. After getting his B.A. degree he was sent for a year to Tullabeg to teach the juniors. In 1909-10 he studied Archaeology at Oxford, and secured a diploma in that subject. For the next three years he was a master at Clongowes. He could scarcely be pronounced a successful teacher on Intermediate lines and was given other classes. In them, with a number of other subjects, he taught book keeping with characteristic zest and humility. The delightful lectures he gave to the Community during these years reveal an astonishingly detailed acquaintance with all the great works of painting and sculpture.
He began his philosophy at Innsbruck in 1912, and during the three years acquired a certain fluency in Hungarian and in three at least of the Slav languages, keeping up his knowledge of Irish all the time. His first sermon in the refectory on St. Brigid was preached in his native tongue. His first loves, art and archaeology were by no means neglected.
in July 1915, in company with Father Halpin, and with the writer of the present lines, he alas banished from the Tirol by the War authorities, on Italy's entry into the struggle, and went to our College at Kalksberg near Vienna, where he began theology in private. While there he acquired a profound knowledge of Hebrew.
In 1917 he was able to join the Polish theologate at Dziedzice in Prussian Silesia. It was here, as a result of a severe cold he contracted consumption and was sent to the Jesuit Residence at Zakopane, a famous health resort. He was ordained on 24th February, 1919, in order to have the consolation of dying a priest.
However, he was able to return to Ireland at the end of June, and after spending the winter of 1919 at Petworth, when he continued his study of theology, he was sent to Australia. At Loyola he did his “third year”, and spent another year teaching the Juniors, getting completely rid of his delicacy. His chief work in Australia was done as Protect of Studies at Riverview 1922-26.
During that period he volunteered for the Japanese Mission and, after a splendid send-off from Riverview, set sail. A letter of his to Father Fahy best explains that he landed not at Yokohama but at Hong Kong.
For a year he resided at Hong Kong engaged on the language and employed at the University as lecturer in pedagogy. From 1928 to the summer of 1931 he was at Canton in charge of the studies of Bishop Fourquet's College. Just then things were looking bad, and there was a possibility of martyrdom. It was at Canton he began the study of Chinese archaeology. Returning to Hong Kong he was made spiritual director to the Seminarians, their professor in Church History, lecturer in geography at the University. Notwithstanding all this, he found time for that fine work for which he will be chiefly remembered - his archaeological researches on Lamma island and other regions around Hong Kong, by which he greatly enhanced the reputation of the Church in the Far East. He represented the University and the Government at the International Congress of Manila in 1935. and at Oslo in 1936. This latter was the occasion of his return to Europe, His paper read at Oslo was entitled - “Crucial Doubts about the Most Important Finds in the Hong Kong Region”. The full bearing of his discoveries he had not yet been able with certainty to divine, and herein lies the full tragedy of his untimely death. However, we have an enduring monument of his powers of research in the thirteen articles printed in the “Hong Kong Naturalist”, entitled “Archaeological Finds on Lamma Island”. They date from December, 1932, to 1936.
On October 5th Father Finn left Dublin for the British Museum to continue his reading and discussion of the prehistoric specimens he had brought home with him. He was engaged in this work up to the 10th when he was attacked by a carbuncle trouble which indicated a general blood infection. On the 16th he was transferred to SS. John and Elizabeth's Hospital, where, despite expert treatment, he failed to put up an effective resistance, and died at 10.10 am. on Sunday, 1st November, having received Holy Viaticum for the last time about an hour before his death. He was buried in Kensal Green cemetery on 3rd November.
Father Dan carried his learning lightly. He laughed amusedly at the pedantic and ponderous when he met them, he was extremely humble unassuming and simple, though a man of intense intellectual concentration and power of work. He was gifted with a strong, robust character which knew no temporising or equivocation. His literary gifts were of a high order, as appears from the little he has left in the way of letters written during his first years in China and preserved in the Province News of that period - in them are best mirrored his character and gifts of imagination and heart, his profound humility, his Ignatian spirit of obedience, his exquisite sensibility, his love of Christ and souls.
We owe the above appreciation and record of Father Finn's life to the great kindness of Father john Coyne, Socius to Father Provincial.

Irish Province News 12th Year No 2 1937

Father Dan Finn - Hong Kong Letters
News of Father Finn's death came as a very severe blow. It is unnecessary to say how much the Mission feels his loss. both as a member of the community and as a worker who had won for the Society very considerable honour by his industry and erudition.
Many letters have been received from all sections expressing their sympathy. The following is that received from the Vice Chancellor and Council of the University :
Dear Father Cooney,
There is no need for me to write to tell you how profoundly affected I am by Father Finn's death. Father Finn was a great scholar and his was an all-winning personality. His death is a
severe loss to this University, to this Colony, to China, and indeed to the rapidly disappearing world of scholarship and culture. What Father Finn’s death means to his fellow Jesuits in Hong Kong I can faintly imagine but am totally unable to express. The University Council will, at its next meeting, record a resolution. Meanwhile, on behalf not only of myself, but also of the University. will you please precept my sincerest sympathy.
Yours Sincerely,
W. W. HORNELL

Extract from the minutes of the seventh meeting of the Council held 6th November :
The Council learned, with great regret, of the death of the Rev. D. J. Finn SJ, the University lecturer in Geography, and passed the following resolution - “The Council wished to place on record its poignant regret at the death of the Rev. Father Finn of the Society of Jesus. The Council realises the devoted work which Father Finn did not only for the Colony of Hong Kong and its University but also for the world of scholarship, learning and culture, and is painfully conscious of the loss which his untimely death involves. The Council hereby instructs the Registrar to convey to the Superior and Procurator of the Jesuit Mission in Hong Kong its profound sympathy with the Mission in its heavy loss. The Council will be grateful if the Superior would convey to the members of Father Finn's family the assurance that the University shares with them the affliction of their bereavement.” The members indicated the adoption of the resolution by standing in silence.

On 7th November there was a Sung Office and Solemn Requiem Mass at the Seminary. The Bishop presided at the special invitation of the Italian Fathers, who said that they regarded Father Finn as “one of their own priests,” a Solemn Requiem Mass was celebrated in the Cathedral on 26th November. Amongst those present were His Excellency, the Governor of Hong Kong, the Vice-Chancellor and Professors of the University, and many friends, both Catholic and non-Catholic. The newspapers gave a full account with the title “Tribute paid to Jesuit - Governor attends Requiem Mass for Father Finn” “Indicative of the high esteem in which Hong Kong held the late Rev. Daniel Finn, S.J., who died in Europe three weeks ago, was the big attendance of distinguished non Catholic mourners who attended the Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul in the Catholic Cathedral this morning. Among them was His Excellency the Governor, Sir Andrew Caldecott, who took his seat with Sir William Hornell, Vice-Chancellor of the University, near the impressive catafalque” etc.

Father Finn's last letter to Father Cooney, dated London, 10th October, ran :
“Here I am enjoying myself as usual. Most days at the British Museum from I0 am. to 5.30 pm. l have developed some boil trouble which I am getting a local doctor to overhaul. I suppose it will be nothing.”
At the Mass the Seminarians. from Aberdeen formed the choir. Father G. Bvrne preached a short panegyric.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Daniel Finn 1886-1936
Fr Daniel Finn, a native of Cork, entered the Society in 1902. With his University studies over, he went to the continent for his philosophical and theological studies.

In 1919 he returned to Ireland in poor health, and for this reason he was sent to Australia, where for seven years he was Prefect of Studies. He was on his way to Japan in 1926 when notified of his attachment to the Hong Kong Mission. Here he turned to what was really the big work of his life, for from his University days in Oxford he had excelled in Archaeology.

In spite of all his work, travels and successes, he never forgot the primary object of his life – God’s greater glory, and he always had a notable devotion to Our Lady.

He went, on his way to an Archaelogical Congress to in Oslo, when he fell ill in London, and he died there on the Feast of All Saints 1956, being only fifty years of age.

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.

Grogan, Patrick, 1902-1980, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/665
  • Person
  • 03 March 1902-27 February 1980

Born: 03 March 1902, Cloghan, County Offaly
Entered: 12 November 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 05 November 1977
Died: 27 February 1980, Saint 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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Studied for B Ag Science at UCD before entry

by 1928 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1931 fourth wave Hong Kong Missioners - Regency
by 1938 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1944 at Xavier, Park St, Calcutta, West Bengal, India (BEL M)

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

Father Patrick Grogan, SJ, of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, died in St. Paul’s Hospital on 27 February 1980, aged 77.

Father Grogan was born in Cloghan, Offaly, Ireland, on 3 March 1903. He joined the Jesuit novitiate in Ireland at the end of his university studies in 1925, did his philosophical studies in a German Jesuit College in Holland, and came to Hong Kong as a Jesuit scholastic in 1930.

In 1932 he was a member of the first group of Jesuits to teach in Wah Yan College, and Wah Yan was to be the scene of his activity for 31 of his remaining 48 years. After theological studies and ordination - 31 July 1936 - in Ireland, he returned to Wah Yan in 1938. He spent the war years partly in mainland China, partly in India, and returned again to Wah Yah in 1948. He moved to Malaysia in 1962 and served very happily in Assumption Parish, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, till 1970. Then for the last time, he returned to Wah Yan.

He was already aged 69; but he returned, not to enjoy honoured retirement, but to play a vital part in the life of the school. From the beginning of his teaching career he had taken a deep interest in all the boys of every class and in all their concerns. This interest, which he never lost, sharpened a remarkable memory. Even in his last years, he seldom failed to recall the face and the characteristics and the family and the later career of anyone whom he had known as a student in the 1950s or the 1940s or the 1930s. It sometimes happened that an old student, on returning to Hong Kong after years overseas, would find that his family had dispersed and his friends had forgotten him, but Father Grogan would lift his heart by remembering all about him and his family with interest undimmed by the passing of years.

In his last years Father Grogan had to cut down his teaching, but he never gave up. To within a few weeks of his death he still taught a class a day, and took complete charge of training in verse speaking for the whole school, and he still knew the boys and their ways as he had always known them. His apostolate was not merely an educational apostolate: it was also an apostolate of friendship and affection.

His fellow Jesuits will miss him as a good companion, a practiced raconteur, an exceptionally shrewd adviser and a devoted priest. He will remain in the memories of many hundreds of Wah Yan students, past and present, as someone who really cared.

The Bishop was chief concelebrant at the Requiem Mass in St. Margaret’s Church on 28 February. Father Gabriel Lam, V.G., in his homily paid eloquent tribute to Father Grogan, whom he had come to know and revere as his teacher years ago in Wah Yan.

Bishop F.A. Donaghy, M.M., officiated at the graveside in St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 7 March 1980

Note from Timothy Doody Entry
Another passage in this book also describes Mr. Doody busy amid shelling and bombing. During a lull in his billeting work he found a new apostolate. Two priests were sheltered in the M.E.P. Procure on Battery Path. Mr. Doody took up his position outside the Procure and boldly enquired of all who passed if they were Catholics, and, if they were, did they wish to go to confession. The results were almost startling. The most unexpected persons turned out to be Catholics, from bright young things to old China hands, and after the first start of surprise at the question in the open street in staid, pleasure-loving Hong Kong, they generally took the turn indicated by Mr. Doody and found Father Grogan of Father Fitzgerald of Father O’Brien ready to meet them inside.

◆ 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 at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg having graduated BAg at the Agricultural College in Dublin (Albert College, Glasnevin).

1927-1930 After First Vows he was sent to Valkenburg Netherlands for Philosophy.
1930-1933 He was sent for Regency to the new mission in Hong Kong and was one of the first scholastics to be sent there. He was first sent to Sacred Heart School in Canton, and then he was sent to St Joseph’s Seminary in Macau (1931-1932). By Autumn 1932 he was one of the first Jesuits to teach at Wah Yan College Robinson Road.
1933-1938 He returned to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology and was Ordained there in 1936, after which he made Tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales.
1938 He returned to Hong Kong as Minister at Wah Yan College Hong Kong
After WWII he returned to teach and to Prefecting at Wah Yan Hong Kong until 1962 when he was sent to Singapore. A a teacher and Prefect at Wah Yan he was known to be very kindly and got to know many generations of Wah Yan boys extremely well. He had a phenomenal memory for names and faces of the boys, and he was proud of having taught some grandsons of his former pupils.
1970 He returned to Hong Kong and Wah Yan. Although officially retired, he continued to take English conversation classes with Junior boys until shortly before his death. He also continued to coach boys for the Hong Kong Speech Festival. He was the advisor and overseer for the College magazine “The Star” all through the 1970s. In the Jesuit world he was also responsible for the distribution of the internal “Vice-Province Letter”.

Note from Paddy Joy Entry
According to Father Patrick Grogan “....... in Moral Theology and Canon Law, and especially in making the right approach to the right authorities, there was no one to equal him. I think he was at his best as our Mission Superior during the siege of Hong Kong”

◆ 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 55th Year No 2 1980

Obituary

Fr Patrick Grogan (1902-1925-1980)

The Hong Kong Mission lost a devoted apostle with the death of Fr Pat Grogan (27th February 1980). This news reached his relatives and friends at home in Ireland early in March. Although Fr Pat had reached the ripe age of 78, his demise was an unwelcome surprise to the countless friends he had made both at home and abroad.
Most of his life was spent in Hong Kong, but he was also well known in Macao as well as in Tan Chuk, where he had made many friends with the Maryknoll Fathers during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong.
His death took place in the French hospital, Causeway bay, Hong Kong, among the French Sisters of Charity, with St Aquinas of the Columban Sisters attending.
The requiem Mass was celebrated by the Bishop of Hong Kong, Bishop Wu, assisted by Maryknoll Bishop Donaghy, with more than 30 priests concelebrating. He was buried in the cemetery at Happy Valley beside his old friends of the Pontifical Foreign Mission Institute of Milan (PIME), Frs Granelli and Poletti, well-known characters in Hong Kong parochial life. He is with the unforgettables. RIP

Fr Grogan’s soul went to meet his Lord on 27th February 1980, after a heart attack, He was 78 years old and had spent about 45 years in the Far East. Parishioners of the Assumption church, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, where he spent six years as PP, sent messages of sympathy, and offered prayers and Masses for the repose of his soul and in thanksgiving for all the help he gave as a devoted priest.
Few know that he graduated from a Dublin university with a B Ag (Agriculture) degree. Having done so he joined the Jesuit order, to imitate the Sower whom our Lord speaks about in his beautiful parable. He spent those years already mentioned as a sower of God's truth in the Far East, working in China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore (one year) and Petaling Jaya. But most of his life was spent in the classrooms of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, as a teacher and counsellor.
We are told that grace builds on nature, Father Pat had a great gift of imitation, and this gift with God's grace became a spiritual charism. The result was seen in his imitation of our Lord, so that he became Christlike in many respects. In Fr Pat there was a great commitment to God's glory, a deep concern for others, fortitude in long suffering, great zeal, gentleness and meekness and, where necessary, strength.
His natural gift of imitation was remarkable. It helped him to master perfectly the very complicated Cantonese tones. To hear him speak you would not think be was a foreigner. He would cause you to shout with laughter when he imitated the Cantonese hawkers, shouting their wares in the streets of Hong Kong or Malaysia. A hawker would pass and Fr Pat’s imitation of him was a perfect echo. If he had gone to Hollywood instead of being a sower of God's truth, he would have become famous. He could have impersonated all the great filmstars to perfection.
In 1932 Mr Peter Tsui and Mr Lim Hoy Lan (RIP), the founders of the well-known Chinese college of Wah Yan, handed over the college and hostel to the Jesuit Fathers. The teachers, college and hostel students were rather concerned. They had not had much contact with Europeans and were rather worried and fearful. Fr Pat was in charge of the hostel. He had a special charism for dealing with hostel students. He ruled by kindness and gentle instruction and made the hostel a “home from home”, a policy which Frs Brian Kelly and Albert Cooney used in other hostels. The result was that when the teachers and students saw how happy the hostel students were, their concern diminished, and then began a great work of conversions and lifelong friendships.
After the surrender of Hong Kong to the Japanese, Fr Pat was sent to Free China to work in a seminary. When the communists were advancing, he and Fr Ned Sullivan were ordered to fly the seminarians over the “Hump” to India. When peace came, he returned to the classroom in Hong Kong. In 1961 he went to Malaysia to be PP of the Assumption church, Petaling Jaya, till some local priests were available to take over after seven years: then back again to the classroom.
His return to Hong Kong was hailed with great joy by the generations of his past students and converts. He had a memory like a computer, only that it was accompanied by a sympathetic heart. He could remember his old friends and their families, their cousins and in-laws - and even their out-laws!
His histrionic gifts bore great fruit. For many years his students took the leading prizes for public speaking, elocution, debating and production of plays. He was remarkable, as also was Fr Albert Cooney, for getting jobs and positions for his students,
Many students used to come to him for consolation. At school they had been treated in a fraternal and Christlike manner, and they expected all foreigners would treat them likewise. They were surprised when they were scolded and made lose face by angry managers. They came to Fr Pat depressed, wishing to resign and at times in despair. As counsellor, he used to give advice which enabled them to face with fortitude the trials of life.
I am sure that he received a great reception from the Holy Family. My imagination pictures him regaling friends in heaven, if they had 1.5 hours of heavenly time to spare, by telling them one of his short stories. I picture also St Peter keeping Fr Pat busy when his generations of past students apply for admittance. Fr Pat would point his spiritual finger at some of them and say “I told you so”, and then add “Au revoir, we shall meet again, choy kin”.
Fr Pat was a great sower of our Lord's truth, and I am sure he prays for an abundant ripening harvest.

Harris, Richard, 1903-1998, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/666
  • Person
  • 14 December 1903-24 February 1998

Born: 14 December 1903, Ardmore, County Waterford
Entered: 30 December 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1940, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 24 February 1998, Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney, Australia - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

Mission Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong: 03 October 1950-1957

Early education Mungret College SJ

by 1928 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying
by 1930 third wave Hong Kong Missioners - Regency
by 1937 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1938 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
Hong Kong Mission Superior 03/10/1950

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Richard Harris, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Richard Harris, SJ, died in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday 24 February 1998. He was 94 years old and a Jesuit priest for 62 years.

Father Harris was born on 14 December 1903 and entered the Society of Jesus on 30 December 1922. He first came to Hong Kong in 1937.

His first assignment was to the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen where he remained from 1937 until the final months of the Pacific War. From 1947 to 1951 he was rector of the seminary as well as professor of sacred scripture.

In 1950, Father Harris was appointed superior of the Society of Jesus in Hong Kong. He remained superior until 1957 after which he moved to Ricci Hall where he was warden until 1962. In 1962, Father Harris was assigned to the Church of the Assumption in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

In 1964 he was transferred to Australia where he worked in various places and in various capacities until shortly before his 93 birthday.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 8 March 1998

Note from George Byrne Entry
Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated in Ricci Hall chapel by the warden Father R. Harris, S.J., on Monday, 8 January.

Note from Thomas F Ryan Entry
A man of striking initiative, he showed himself ready as superior to welcome initiative in others. “It has never been done before” always made him eager to reply “Let us do it now”. The plan for new buildings for Wah Yan Colleges in Hong Kong and Kowloon came from him, though the execution of the plan fell to his successor, Father R. Harris.

◆ 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 in 1937. His first assignment was to the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen, where he remained until the final months of the Pacific War. From 1947-1951 he was Rector of the Seminary and Professor of Scripture.
In 1950 he was appointed Mission Superior in Hong Kong and when he finished in 1957 he moved to Ricci Hall where he was Warden until1962.
In 1962 he was appointed to the Church of the Assumption, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
In 1964 he transferred to Australia.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Richard Harris was educated at Mungret College, Limerick, as a boarder, his family working a store in the small seaside village of Ardmore, Co Waterford. He entered the Society at Tullabeg, 30 December 1922, being drawn to the Jesuits because of their missionary work in the Far East After the noviciate he studied at the National University, Dublin, gaining BA in Mathematics Latin and English.
Philosophy followed at St Antonio, Chieri, Italy, 1927-28, a place that tested his vocation because it was difficult to enter into the life of the community He, and others, found the place cold and austere, regimented and hard. He was challenged to develop and inner strength and a strong life of prayer at this time.
From Italy, Harris went to Hong Kong and Canton for regency, 1929-32. He spent the first year studying Cantonese in the Portuguese Mission at Shuihing, and it was another lonely time as he could communicate with so few people, and only ate rice. In Canton he also taught English in the Catholic secondary school. At this time two of his fellow Jesuit priests died of cholera.
In 1932 he returned to Milltown Park, Dublin, for theology, and was ordained in 1935. Tertianship followed immediately after theology at St Beuno's, Wales, 1936-37. The following
year he returned to Hong Kong as professor of moral theology at the regional seminary, Aberdeen, teaching there until 1947. He was also rector of the same place, 1947-51.
In 1941 Hong Kong experienced many bomb raids with the advent of the war, and Harris heard confessions in the Grosvenor Hotel where he had many clients. During these days he
acted as chaplain and staff assistant, tending the injured and dying at the Queen Mary Hospital at Pokfulan just prior to the surrender of Hong Kong to the Japanese Imperial Army.
During the Japanese occupation Harris was a great source of strength to his fellow Jesuits. The community survived because of a bargain struck with some influential and rich Chinese who loaned bars of gold to buy rice and vegetables. The condition of the bargain was that the Jesuits had to repay two gold bars for every one at the end of the war.
During these years Harris nearly died from fever. As medicines were scarce, the doctor prescribed a dose of opium. Harris said that he enjoyed that experience. He was even given a
second dose!
Shortly after the Japanese surrender, Admiral Harcourt arrived in Hong Kong aboard the British flagship with an Irish Jesuit chaplain who sought out Harris and his companions. News of their safety was telegraphed to Ireland. After. six months rest and recuperation in Ireland, Harris returned to Hong Kong as rector of the seminary where he trained 60 seminarians who later worked as priests in South China.
He was appointed superior of the Hong Kong Mission, 1950-57, and became highly respected amongst the academic and medical community of Hong Kong, including the governor of the day, Sir William Gratharn, who granted the Jesuits two generous amounts of land on which to build two secondary colleges. They are the present day Wah Yan colleges in Hong Kong and Kowloon. In 1957 he was appointed superior of Ricci Hall, the Catholic residential hall of Hong Kong University. Five years later he was sent as parish priest of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, until 1964. He was there for only two years until the Malaysian government, which was Muslim and anti-Christian, demanded that the parish he closed.
Rather than return to Hong Kong, Harris chose to go to Australia as he wished to perform parish work and believed that opportunities existed there. In September 1965 Harris arrived in Sydney, and was greeted by Fr Paul Coleman. After a short time at St Mary's, North Sydney, he was sent to the parish of St Ignatius', Richmond, where he spent a pleasant and happy six years. He was also minister, and hospital chaplain.
He returned to St Mary's in 1971 performing similar duties until 1987. He became a very popular priest with all kinds of people and was a committed visitor to patients of the Mater Hospital, both public and private. He was in demand for his sound and experienced advice. He enjoyed keeping informed about world events and sporting results. He had three significant joys his worn Irish worn rosary beads, a small battered transistor radio, and a sip of Irish Bailey's. Harris said that he never had any regrets in his life, and thanked God daily for being a priest, and for being able to work with good health for so long.
For two years he became chaplain at the Retirement Hostel, McAuley Gardens, Crows Nest, and then moved in 1990 to Justinian House, Crows Nest, where his daily Mass was much
appreciated by residents and local followers. For the last year of his life he lived at Canisius College, Pymble, praying for the Church and Society He died suddenly after a severe stroke. and he was buried from St Mary's Church, North Sydney, his eulogy being given by his long time friend and supporter, Fr Paul Coleman.
He was a man of warm humanity kindly acceptance and intuitive insight into the needs of the human heart. He was a totally human person tinged with the stubbornness of the Irish, but had a sparkling wit. He encouraged and sustained all those who came to know and love him. He became an anchor and a symbol of constancy for those privileged to cross his path.

◆ 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 23rd Year No 1 1948

On 22nd October were announced the appointments of Frs. Albert Cooney and Harris as Rectors of Wah Yan College and the Regional Seminary, Hong Kong respectively. The former who is still in Ireland will be returning soon to the Mission via the United States.

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

Kennedy, Gerald L, 1889-1949, Jesuit priest and medical doctor

  • IE IJA J/214
  • Person
  • 24 June 1889-06 February 1949

Born: 24 June 1889, Birr, County Tipperary
Entered: 31 August 1921, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 18 October 1926, Fourvière, France
Final Vows: 02 February 1932, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 06 February 1949, St Francis Xavier, Lavender Bay, North Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Studied Medicine before entry. Had studied 1 year Theology at Dalgan Park, County Meath with the Columban Fathers and was destined for Chinese Mission

by 1927 at Paray-le-Monial France (LUGD) studying
by 1929 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1930 third wave Hong Kong Missioners
by 1934 at Gonzaga College, Shanghai, China (FRA) teaching
by 1938 at Wah Yan, Hong Kong - working

Served as Medical Doctor in RAMC during the First World War.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Gerald Kennedy served in the Royal Army Medical Corps during WW1 in Flanders and on a ship on the Atlantic. He entered the Society 31 August 1919 (1921 in fact) at Tullabeg with a medical degree, and after Philosophy at Milltown Park, 1923-25, and Theology at Ore Place, Hastings and Fourvières, 1925-28, completed Tertianship at St Beuno’s, 1928-29.
He was then sent to the Hong Kong Mission 1929-1945, and spent these years at Ricci Hall, the university residence, the seminary (at Aberdeen) or Wah Yan College, lecturing and teaching as well as doing pastoral work, but he never learned the Chinese language. He was popular with the students in the seminary, entertaining them with his charm. He gave the Jesuits their hints on how to be successful classroom teachers, and wrote a textbook in Chemistry and Physics whilst at Wah Yan.
He spent 1934 with the Jesuits and Shanghai, in Gonzaga College. From 1938 he worked with refugees in a hospital in Canton. Medical supplies were scarce, but he discovered a partial cure for cholera. He worked as rice-forager, money collector and spiritual guide to the sisters who ran the hospital. During 1941 he was at St Theresa’s hospital Kowloon, but he was worn out. He had fought the good fight.
As a result, he was recalled to Ireland, where he recovered his former vigour sufficiently to give Retreats in Galway, 1945-46, and did pastoral work in Tullabeg. He was sent to Australia and the Lavender Bay parish 1948-49, where he worked for six months in the chapel of the Star of the Sea, at Milsons Point. He was remembered for having a dry, searching humour, and a mixture of kindly trust and breeziness.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Doctor before Entry

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Arrivals :

Our three repatriated missioners from Hong Kong: Frs. T. Fitzgerald, Gallagher and G. Kennedy, arrived in Dublin in November and are rapidly regaining weight and old form. Fr. Gallagher has been assigned to the mission staff and will be residing at St. Mary's, Emo.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Kennedy G., O'Flanagan and Saul leave for Australia on 9th July.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 2 1949

Death of Fr. Gerald Kennedy :
Fr. G. Kennedy died in Australia on February 6th. He had been in failing health for a considerable time, and it was hoped that the Australian climate might restore his former vigour. But in China, before and during the war, he had been prodigal of his energy in the service of others. He did wonders during the cholera outbreak at Canton he accomplished wonders, not only by his devoted attention to the sufferers, but by his medical knowledge. Out of the very limited resources available he compounded a remedy which saved many lives and achieved better results than the Americans were able to obtain with their vastly superior equipment.
To know Fr. Kennedy was to love him. He has left to the Province a fragrant memory.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949

Obituary

Fr. Gerald Kennedy (1889-1921-1949)

When Gerald Kennedy became a Jesuit, he was already a mature man of thirty-two. Born in 1889, he took his medical degree at the National University in Dublin, went through World War I in the R.A.M.C., and then settled down to a dozen years of country practice in Nenagh and Birr. Having spent a few months at Dalgan Park, he entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1921. His noviceship over, two year's philosophy at Milltown Park were followed immediately by theology at Hastings and Fourvière, where he was ordained on December 18th, 1926. After making his tertianship at St. Beuno's (1928-1929), he sailed for Hong Kong. He remained on the Mission until his return to Ireland in November, 1945. He then spent a year on the retreat staff. The 1946 Status found him once more back in Tullabeg as Prefect of the Church, in which office he continued until June, 1948. That same summer he made his last trip - to Australia, which he reached in August. He was assigned to parish work in Melbourne, and there he died on February 6th, 1949.
In his twenty-eight years as a Jesuit, Gerald Kennedy won the esteem and affection of all who lived with him. The measure of that warm respect may be found in the name by which he was universally known : “Doc”. It was a term that did more than merely remind us that he had lost none of the shrewd skill and observation of the country practitioner. It held a far richer connotation. “Doc” was, in the best sense of the world, a character. There was nothing dark about his dry, searching humour-a mixture of kindly thrust and breeziness (no one who heard it will forget his cheery salute to the company : “God save all here - not barring the cat!”). In spontaneous mood he was inimitable for his humorous description of situations and personalities. His account of a Chinese banquet will be remembered as a masterpiece of gastronomic analysis. For all his sense of fun, however, “Doc” had a deep and steady seriousness of mind - his very gait was purposeful. A constant reader, his main interests were biography and history with a particular leaning towards French culture. Both as a doctor and as a Jesuit, he was for years keenly preoccupied with the psychological problems of the religious life and of spiritual experience. One of his many obiter dicta was to the effect that no Jesuit should be allowed on the road as a retreat-giver or spiritual director, who through ignorance or prejudice was incapable of helping souls in the higher forms of prayer. His own spiritual life was simple, direct and matter of fact. A strong yet gentle character, his unobtrusive simplicity went hand in hand with a certain blunt forcefulness of purpose. Outstanding among his virtues were a remarkable sense of duty and an unfailing charity.
Of his life as a Jesuit, Fr. Kennedy spent more than half on the Hong Kong mission. Over forty when he arrived in China, be never acquired a grip of the language. This did not prevent him, however, from quietly poking fun at the advanced students and old hands, to gravely correcting their tones or shamelessly manufacturing new phrases for their puzzlement and exasperation. Nor did his ignorance of Chinese materially lessen his usefulness. During his early years on the mission, he was in turn Minister in the Seminary and on the teaching staff of Wah Yan, His Ministership coincided with the period of the building and organisation of the Seminary - a harassing time. His cheerfulness was well equal to it. As an extract from a contemporary letter puts it : “In spite of many inconveniences of pioneering (e.g. the absence of a kitchen and a water supply) the Minister's sense of humour remained unshaken”. While at Wah Yan, he found time and energy (and, considering the steam-laundry quality of the climate for many months of the year, that says much) to compose a small text-book of Chemistry and a further one of Physics for his class. He was always on the job.
It was from 1938 onwards, however, that “Doc” really came into his own. In the November of that year a food ship was sent from Hong Kong to the relief of the refugees in Japanese occupied Canton. Fr. Kennedy travelled up as one of the organising committee, On account of his medical experience he was soon attached to the Fong Pin hospital, run by the French Canadian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. Here he found full scope for his doctor's knowledge and for his untiring charity. There was work for a dozen doctors and for as many administrators. Fr. Kennedy was alone. He had to deal with a hospital overcrowded beyond all reasonable capacity, to refuse patients was to let them die on the streets and to incur the censure of the Japanese. The nursing staff was pitiably inadequate and could not be made good even by the heroic devotion of the Sisters. Sufferers were two and three in a bed, and on the floor of the wards, the dead, awaiting removal and burial, lay cheek by jowl with the dying. All medical supplies were scarce - some were unobtainable. It was in such conditions that “Doc” had to treat his patients. Yet, amazing as it may seem, it was in the midst of such killing and stupefying work that Fr. Kennedy discovered a partial cure for cholera. He did some thing more amazing still - with his work as doctor he managed to combine the offices of rice-forager, money-collector and spiritual director to the Sisters. Both in Canton and in Hong Kong he went the rounds raising supplies and funds for the hospital, and gave the Sisters regular conferences and an eight-day retreat-in French. He kept up this pace for over two years.
He was back in Hong Kong for the outbreak of war in December, 1941. During the hostilities and for the most of the subsequent Japanese occupation of the Colony, he was in St. Teresa's Hospital, Kowloon. His work there was much the same as he had had in Canton, although the conditions were slightly better. He was doctor, administrator and again, spiritual guide and consoler to the French Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres. With his fellow Jesuits he underwent all the strain, mental and physical, of those three and a half years. More than others, perhaps, he suffered from the almost starvation diet. Yet, his cheerfulness never failed nor his unremitting devotion to his work. The same cannot be said for his health. When the peace came, he was a tired man, worn out in mind and body.
Fr. Kennedy was always a fighter. Back in Ireland, he recovered some of his old vigour - sufficient, at all events, to urge him to volunteer for Australia. He must have suspected that he had not very long to live, for shortly before sailing he expressed the hope that he might be given two or three years of work in which to justify the expense of his passage out. He need not have worried. Six months was all he had in Australia, it is true. But by his whole life in the Society, by his fund of good humour, by his charity, by his immense labours on the mission, by his deep, simple spirituality, “before God and men”, “Doc” more than paid his way.

Kennedy, Richard J, 1906-1986, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/216
  • Person
  • 08 November 1906-22 August 1986

Born: 08 November 1906, Carrickmines, County Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 31 May 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 22 August 1986, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong - Hong Kongensis Province (HK)

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966

Older Brother of Denis (DP) Kennedy - RIP 1988

Early education at Belvedere College SJ and Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1932 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1934 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

Second World War Chaplain

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

Father Richard Kennedy, S.J., of Wah Yan College, Kowloon, died of cancer in St. Teresa’s Hospital on Friday, 22 August 1986, aged 79.

Father Kennedy was born in Ireland on 8 November 1906. He joined the Jesuit noviciate in 1924 and spent the years 1933-36 in Hong Kong as a scholastic. He returned to Ireland for theology and ordination. World War II delayed his return to Hong Kong, so he took up work as a British Army chaplain in 1941.

Within a few months he was a prisoner of war - in Singapore first, and later in Japan and Manchuria. In later life he spoke little of this period, but that little showed clearly that he retained throughout all difficulties a high spirit, veering at times towards reckless courage.

After the war he went to Canton for language study and pastoral work. After the Communist take-over his high spirit got him into trouble with the authorities. He spent a short-time in prison and was expelled form China. Thus he returned to Hong Kong.

He taught in Wah Yan College, Kowloon, until he reached the official age for retirement. After that he taught in Newman College until the last remnants of his strength had gone. When he could no longer face a classroom he stayed on as spiritual guide to the students.

About two years ago, doctors in Ireland diagnosed cancer and advised him to remain in his native country, but Hong Kong had become his home and he insisted on coming back to do his last work here and to die here.

Archbishop Dominic Tang, S.J., led the concelebrated Mass of the resurrection in the chapel of Wah Yan College, Kowloon, and officiated at the graveside at St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley, on Tuesday, 26 August.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 29 August 1986

◆ 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 16th Year No 2 1941

General News :
The Irish Province has to date sent 4 chaplains to England for home or foreign service for the duration of the war. They are Frs. Richard Kennedy, Michael Morrison, Conor Naughton and Cyril Perrott. The first three were doing their 3rd year's probation under Fr. Henry Keane at the Castle, Rathfarnham, while Fr. Perrott was Minister at Mungret College. They left Dublin on the afternoon of 26th May for Belfast en route for London. Fr. Richard Clarke reported a few days later seeing them off safely from Victoria. Both he and Fr. Guilly, Senior Chaplain to British Forces in N. Ireland, had been most helpful and kind in getting them under way.

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr. Hayes reports from Redcar Yorkshire that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

Gardiner Street

Fr. R. Kennedy supplied in the Church for some weeks before leaving for China on October 8th. Fr. Brian Kelly has been at work with us since September. He preached on Mission Sunday.

Irish Province News 61st Year No 4 1986

Obituary

Fr Richard Kennedy (1906-1924-1986) (Macau-Hong Kong

The 8th November 1906: born in Co Dublin. 1917--21 Belvedere, 1921-24 Clongowes.
1st September 1924: entered SJ. 1924-26 Tullabeg, noviceship. 1926-30 Rathfarnham, juniorate (1926-27 home studies, 1927-30 at UCD: BA in English language and literature). 1930-33 philosophy: 1930-31 at Tullabeg, 1931-33 at Valkenburg, Netherlands.
1933-36 Hong Kong, regency: Regional seminary, studying Chinese and teaching mathematics; Wah Yan, Robinson road, teaching.
1936-40 Milltown Park, theology (31st July 1939: ordained a priest). 1940-41 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1941-47 chaplain to British army and prisoner of war: 1941-42 Singapore, which in Feb. 1942 was captured by the Japanese. Taken as prisoner to Changi, for six months; 1942-44 a mining camp in Taiwan (Formosa); Fukuoka, Japan, for two months; spring to mid-September, 1945, in Manchuria; then released. End of 1945: to Ireland for recuperation. Feb. 1946-Mar, 1947: chaplain to British army of the Rhine; then demobilised. Six months furlough.
1947-48 Wah Yan, Hong Kong, teaching. 1948-53 Canton (under Communist government from 1949), teaching in university/Shing Sam/ Sacred Heart college. 11th August-25th September 1953: imprisoned, then expelled to Hong Kong, where he under went an operation. A year's rest and recuperation in Ireland.
1955-86 Wah Yan, Kowloon: teach ing: 1955-71 in WYKL (1955-64 directing boys' club), 1971-85 in Newman College (1985-86 spiritual counsellor there). 22nd August 1986: died.

Lyons, William, 1903-1936, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/234
  • Person
  • 26 September 1903-30 July 1936

Born: 26 September 1903, Mitchelstown, County Cork
Entered: 25 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 30 July 1936, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park, Dublin community at the time of death

Early education at St Colman's College, Fermoy. BA 1st Class Honours and 2 years Philosophy at St Patrick’s College Maynooth before entry

by 1927 at Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1930 third wave Hong Kong Missioners - Regency

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Ordained 31 July 1935, finished Theology and died of cancer 30 July 1936

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 11th Year No 4 1936
Obituary :
Father William Lyons
Father C. Daly has most kindly sent us the following appreciation. He was with Father Lyons both in China, and, for theology, at Milltown Park.

The death of Father Lyons at the early age of thirty-three came as a great shock to all who had known him and come to appreciate the sterling qualities of his character. After a brief illness, which became acute only in its last stage, he died on Thursday evening July 30th, on the eve of the first anniversary of his ordination.
Born at Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, he received his early education at St. Colman's College, Fermoy. He went later to Maynooth where he did his degree in Celtic Studies, and then entered the novitiate at Tullabeg in September, 1924. After his noviceship he went to Pullach where he studied Philosophy for three years. In 1929 he was sent to China, where in addition to acquiring a very high proficiency in the language he taught at the Sacred Heart College, Canton, and later lectured in Philosophy at the Serminario S. José, Macao. Returning to Ireland in 1932 he had just, completed his theological studies when the end came.
Those who lived with Father Lyons could not have failed to have been struck by the fact that he possessed outstanding qualities both in the natural and supernatural order, qualities that pointed to assured success in the work for which he had already been set aside. During his magisterium in China and before that at Pullach he proved his aptitude as a linguist. His command of German was so good that on his way out to China an officer on the German boat was convinced that he was a German until near the end of the voyage. He tackled the formidable problem of Chinese with characteristic energy and thoroughness and in a short time acquired a fluency and correctness of tone quite above the average. He taught his classes with painstaking devotion, and later on at the Seminary in Macao was rewarded by the affection and esteem of the Seminarians.
There was always in him something above the ordinary, a greater spirit of self-sacrifice and unselfishness, a more exact devotion to rule and a greater severity towards himself all pointing to a deep interior life. This spirit brought him through a period of stress and anxiety during his first months at Canton when his endurance was tested and he had to do things very trying to his particular temperament. His life even in China, where many causes tend to drain one's energy, was most intense, and it was a marvel how persistently he followed out his daily routine and remained loyal to all his duties. Many do not find it difficult to take things quietly and be at rest, but that, I think, was what he found most difficult.
As a theologian at Milltown Park he was solid, painstaking, a slow worker, yet tenaciously holding what he had mastered. His public appearances at circles and disputations were not marked by any brilliant flights, but by a clear and lucid grasp of his subject in exposition and defence. He was ever ready to be of assistance to others and would gladly put aside his own work to come to the rescue of one who not infrequently got into difficulties in theological waters.
His spiritual life we can only gauge by exterior indications . At Milltown Park he spent his days as did the rest of us, and yet here too as in China there was a difference. There were little things on the surface that showed the swiftness of the current beneath, his anxiety, for example, to be with and to help those from other provinces. If we are right in judging of a man's interior life by his spirit of self-sacrifice, charity and general observance of rule, then Father Lyons led a life here amongst us very close to God indeed.
His last illness was comparatively short and the end came quickly. A few weeks after his Ad Gradum examination he became unwell complaining of rheumatic pains in his body. He was removed to a private hospital where he remained for some weeks. He was treated for an abscess under the teeth and seemed to be suffering from a general break-down. Then trouble developed in the kidneys and he was removed to St. Vincent's Hospital for X-Ray treatment On Tuesday, July 28th, he was found to be very seriously affected with cancer, and from that on sank with startling rapidity. He was quite resigned and although he knew there was no hope of recovery he put up a tremendous fight to the last. One of his last requests was to congratulate those who were to be ordained on the following day. He himself was not to see that day and he knew it. He was not suffering any very severe pain, but it was quite obvious that he would not last the night. At about 8,30 p m. on Thursday July 30th, after a severe struggle he quietly passed away.
His death was a great loss to our young Mission, a second sacrifice demanded of us. The first was made with resignation and has brought abundant blessings , the second will be equally abundant. We can confidently face the future with the thought that three of our number are of even greater assistance to us now than if they were with us in the flesh.

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, Mungret College, County Limerick

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 Loretto 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 carly 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 ot 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 stafi, 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.

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, Richard, 1921-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/526
  • Person
  • 19 April 1921-13 November 1995

Born: 19 April 1921, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1980
Died: 13 November 1995, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to HIB ; 15 September 1992

by 1948 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Fr. Richard McCarthy, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Richard McCarthy, S.J., of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, died in hospital on 13 November 1995.

Born in Ireland 74 years ago, Father McCarthy spent the greater part of his life in Hong Kong. On his arrival in the territory in 1947, he was sent to Canton for two years of language studies, followed by a year of teaching in Wah Yan’s old premises on Robinson Road.

He returned to Ireland for his theological studies and was ordained priest in 1953.

After coming back to Hong Kong in 1955, he began a life of classroom teaching which ended only with his death forty years later.

Father McCarthy was an outstanding teacher. His first love was mathematics, but he also taught English and religious studies.

Many generations of Wah Yan students remember his clarity, his energy and the demanding standards he set them. He was interested in drama and debate and year by year prepared Wah Yan boys for the school speech festivals and inter-school drama competitions.

For nearly twenty years he was closely associated with the Saint Joseph’s College Sunday School, offering Mass for the children and their parents every Sunday. A widely-read man with a retentive memory, his homilies were greatly appreciated. He prided himself on never exceeding five minutes, a feat he achieved only through painstaking preparation.

Father McCarthy had many friends among his collogues on the teaching staff of Hong Kong Wah Yan College and among his students, past and present. His involvement with the Saint Joseph’s Sunday School was a source of great happiness to him, and parents and children responded warmly with their friendship.

This was evidenced by the many who attended the funeral Mass presided over by Cardinal Wu, in Saint Joseph’s Church on 18 November and by all they did to ensure that it should be a fitting tribute to one whom they held in such high regard.

May he rest in peace!
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 24 November 1995

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 86 : July 1996 & Interfuse No 92 : August 1996

Obituary

Fr Richard McCarthy (1921-1995)

2nd April 1921: Born in Limerick
1933 - 1939: Education at St. Michael's Limerick
7th Sept. 1939: Entered Noviceship, at Emo
8th Sept. 1941; First Vows at Emo
1941 - 1944: Rathfarnham Castle - BA Degree, UCD.
1944 - 1947: Tullabeg: Studying Philosophy
1947 - 1950: Hong Kong: Language study/teaching at Wah Yan
1950 - 1954: Milltown Park: Studying theology
31st July 1953: Ordained at Milltown Park
1954 - 1955: Rathfarnham Castle - Tertianship
1955 - 1961: Wah Yan College, Kowloon - Teaching
1961 - 1995: Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Teaching and assisting in St. Joseph's Church, With the establishment of the Chinese Province in 1991, he asked to be ascribed to his Province of origin, but remained in Hong Kong, applied to the Chinese Province.
13th Nov. 1995: Died in Hong Kong

Even though Fr. McCarthy had been ill on and off over the last few months, his death was still quite a shock. Away back in 1968 he had had a by-pass operation, which was very successful and gave him many extra years of life - and a vigorous active life. Fr. MCarthy came from a big family, 11 brothers and sisters, and always remained very attached to them. After entering the Society in 1939, he followed the usual routine: noviceship, juniorate, during which he took a bachelor of arts degree - he was particularly gifted at maths and English. Then he went to Tullabeg where he studied philosophy for three years. During htese years in the juniorate and in Tullabeg he developed many other interests: dramatics - he was an excellent actor and director - and opera, especially Gilbert & Sullivan, Fr. McCarthy had a lovely, rich, sonorous voice.

In 1947 he was sent to Guangzhou (Canton) for two years to study Cantonese. He became very fluent in it, though later he did not use it much. In 1949 he returned to Hong Kong where he taught for one year in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. From 1950 to 1954 he studied theology in Milltown Park and was ordained a priest in 1953. For him, being a priest was something he valued very much and he was always conscious of the privilege of saying Mass daily. In 1954-55 he spent a year in tertianship and returned to Hong Kong in 1955.

From 1955 to 1995, forty years, he was teaching, first in Wah Yan College, Kowloon, and later in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. “A simple, ordinary life”, you might say, but so precious in God's eyes, fulfilling Christ's words: “As long as you did it to one of these my least ones, you did it to Me”
.
In 1962 Fr. McCarthy was asked by St. Joseph's Church in Garden Road to help out by saying the Sunday Mass at 9.00am for the children and their parents, and they loved him - proof of which is the large crowd that attended his funeral. The children loved his sermons and the adults his counselling and advice. I have often seen him in Wah Yan College seated on a bench on the bottom corridor, talking to the parents, listening to them and advising them. They also rang him up frequently to ask for advice.

Fr. McCarthy was an excellent teacher: clear, simple and direct - strict at times, but at the end of the term you were very clear on its meaning. He taught many subjects: English, Maths, Ethics, Religion and Colloquial. He taught Maths in Form 3 for many years and was an outstanding teacher.
He was an inspiring and helpful preacher. He was very proud of his five-minute sermons. Although I tried several times to get him to over the five minutes, he always refused. “Five minutes is enough to get across one point - that's enough”.

He was an excellent community man, humorous, fond of joking, very easy to talk to, fond of a glass of whisky after dinner, liked to watch TV and good films. He had a great memory and could recite reams of poetry and Shakespeare, even some he had learned as a child!

One of his special gifts was his love of children, both in St. Joseph's Church and the Form 1 and Form 2 students in Wah Yan, Hong Kong.

In the last few months, Fr. McCarthy's health got worse. He found being in hospital a sore trial, hard to take. Yet even when he was suffering and depressed, he always thanked his visitors. He said he would like to go quickly, without causing trouble to too many people. And our Lord heard his prayer. Fr. McCarthy slipped away quietly after a heart attack in the early morning of 13th November.

We will miss Fr. McCarthy in our community, but for his sake we are happy that his sufferings are now over. We pray that he is now with the Lord, our Lady and the Saints and so many fellow Jesuits, and we pray that we may join him one day.

Fr. Sean Coghlan Homily, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong

McCullough, Joseph P, 1892-1932, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/281
  • Person
  • 05 December 1892-27 June 1932

Born: 05 December 1892, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1929, Robinson Road, Hong Kong
Died 27 June 1932, Sacred Heart College, Canton, China (Died of cholera)

by 1918 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1928 at St Beuno’s, St Asaph, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1929 Joined second batch Hong Kong Missioners

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 7th Year No 4 1932
Obituary :
Our mission in China has suffered grave loss by the deaths of two of its most zealous missioners, Our hope is that the willing sacrifice of their lives will bring down the blessing of God on the mission, and help in the gathering of a rich harvest of souls for Christ.

Fr Joseph McCullough
On the 27th June Father McCullough died at Canton of cholera. He caught the disease while devotedly attending Father Saul.
He was born in Belfast, 5th December, 1892, educated at Mungret, and began his novitiate at Tullabeg, 31st August 1914. After one year's juniorate at Tullabeg he was sent to Stonyhurst for philosophy. In 1917 our Irish philosophers owing to war troubles, were called home, and located at Milltown. Here he finished philosophy, and then spent two years in
Clongowes. Four years theology at Milltown, a year's teaching at Mungret, and tertianship at St. Beuno's brought him to the year 1928, when he sailed for China. He lived for one year with the Portuguese Fathers in Shiuhing, where he managed to teach English to about forty Chinese boys, using, as well as he could, their own language. Next year saw him Minister at Sacred Heart College, Canton, where he became an excellent teacher of the higher classes, and made such progress in the language that he was able to preach from the pulpit of the Canton Cathedral. His qualities of heart and his gaiety endeared him to many of the boys, and this influence was invaluable the following year when, in trying circumstances, he was appointed Superior of the College.
The Japanese boycott, the anti-foreign feeling in student circles paralysed the discipline in the Canton schools, and Sacred Heart College did not escape. Often during the year heroic
patience was required to keep the classes at work, and better than anyone else Father McCullough succeeded. He had become an intimate friend of many of the leading Chinese pagan boys. Their conversion was not to be hoped for at the moment. But, now that Father McCullough is reaping the reward of his brave efforts, we trust that his prayers will complete the work he had so well begun.
He was so well known that. a short time before his death a Convent of Chinese Sisters had invited him to give a retreat in Chinese to their pupils.
The following sketch is by Father M. Kelly who lived with him for a great many years before he went to China :
“It is difficult to think that he is dead, He was the embodiment of health and vigorous manhood when he left for China. During the last two years of theology he was Chaplain to the lncurable Hospital. There he did invaluable work. Being of a gay and cheerful disposition, it was really wonderful to see how the faces of the poor patients used to light up when they saw him approach. He always had a cheery word or a joke for every one. To bring a little brightness into the lives of such sufferers he got up any number of entertainments, securing the best artists in Dublin, even the famous Fritz Brass and his No. I Army Band. But he himself with his fine voice was always the most popular item with the patients.
On the purely spiritual side he worked even harder, and with conspicuous success. Many a deathbed was made easier by his presence, and not a few were won back to frequent the
Sacraments by his zeal and persistent efforts. Little wonder that, when leaving the hospital, the patients presented him with a beautiful watch, and that they were unfailing in their
prayers for his success in China.
As stated elsewhere Father McCullough sacrificed his life through his devotedness to Father Saul. It was not his only sacrifice. An intimate friend knows, and may now be pardoned for revealing, that he sacrificed his life's ambition when he accepted the invitation to go to China. Knowing that his abilities lay in the direction of preaching and giving retreats he worked assiduously during philosophy and theology preparing sermons and meditations-in the hope that eventually he would be chosen for the Mission staff in Ireland.
Towards the end of the Tertianship a letter came from Father Provincial asking him to go to China. It was utterly unexpected, and accepting, meant the renouncing of his life's
ambition. For two days he prayed for light and grace and then wrote his answer, a magnificent answer - he was willing to go if considered worthy. That meant his giving up the work.
for which he had prepared so long and so carefully, it meant leaving for ever a country that he dearly loved - he belonged to a family that for generations had been intimately connected with every popular movement in Ireland But, under a gay and lighthearted exterior, Father McCullough was an exact and zealous religious, and when the call came for a big sacrifice it got a reply that was really heroic.
May God reward him, and, by his death and that of his fellow worker, Father Saul, may He bless and strengthen our young mission, that has the sympathy of every one in the
Province in the loss of two such zealous workers.”

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Joseph McCullough 1892-1932
Fr Joseph McCullough was a martyr of charity in the exact sense of that hackneyed phrase, for he died of cholera contracted when nursing Fr Michael Saul, who also died of cholera.
Fr McCullough was a Belfast man, born in that city on December 5th 1892. He was one of the pioneer members of our Hong Kong Mission in 1928. He became so proficient in the Chinese language that he was able to give retreats to Chinese girls in a convent run by Chinese nuns.
The keynote to his life was zeal for souls. All during his scholasticate he prepared himself for retreats and missions. His qualities of heart and spontaneous gaiety endeared him to any of the pagan boys he met in Canton and which greatly helped him when appointed to the difficult post of Superior of our College in that turbulent and faction ridden city.
He died on June 27th 1932, young in years but ripe in achievement.

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 T, 1920-1984, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 28 October 1920, 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 nbo 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 Man chester 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.

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.

Moran, John, 1905-1991, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/677
  • Person
  • 22 July 1905-30 April 1991

Born: 22 July 1905, Dublin City
Entered: 31 August 1923, Tullabeg
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1940, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 30 April 1991, Saint Teresa's Hospital, , Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Older Brother of Val Moran (ASL) - RIP 1988

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1929 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1932 fifth wave Hong Kong Missioners - Regency
by 1939 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father John Moran, S.J.
(1905-1991)
R.I.P.

Father John Moran S.J. died in St. Teresa’s Hospital on 30 April 1991 after a short illness.

Father Moran was born in Dublin, Ireland, on 22 July 1905 and educated by the Dominican Sisters and the Jesuits.

He entered the Jesuits in Ireland in 1923 and, after novitiate, university studies and philosophy, volunteered for the mission of the Irish Jesuits in Hong Kong.

He arrived in Hong Kong in the Autumn of 1931 and went to Shiu Hing, then a mission of the Portuguese Jesuits, to learn Cantonese.

The following year he was back in Hong Kong at the South China Regional Seminary in Aberdeen.

He returned to Ireland for his theological studies and was ordained priest there in 1939.

He was back in Hong Kong just before the outbreak of the Japanese war. At first he spent some time in the Aberdeen seminary and then for the rest of the war period moved to the French enclave of Kwong Chau Wan on the south coast. He remembered his years spent there as being some of the best of his life.

Recalled to Hong Kong at the end of war, he was chaplain in the Queen Mary Hospital and then went to Canton.

By the Autumn of 1949, all except four Jesuits withdrew from Canton. Father Moran taught for a while at a feeder school for Wah Yan College in Nelson Street, Kowloon. He then took over editorship of the Far East Messenger, a monthly magazine started by Father Terence Sheridan SJ. It ceased publication in 1953.

In 1952 Father Moran moved to the newly-built Wah Yan College on Waterloo Road. The room he moved into he was to occupy for the next 39 years until his death.

He joined the teaching staff and continued to teach long after his official retirement.

Father Moran is particularly remembered for his gentleness and kindness to all and for the hospitality he extended to visitors.

He spent many hours hearing confessions, being in his confessional at practically every Mass said in St. Ignatius Chapel.

His simplicity of life was legendary among his fellow-Jesuits.

A few years ago he suffered a stroke which severely impaired his memory. A few days before his death he was admitted to St. Teresa’s Hospital with breathing problems.

A funeral Mass, presided over by Cardinal Wu, was celebrated at Wah Yan Kowloon on 6 May.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 10 May 1991

◆ 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

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”

Neary, John J, 1889-1983, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/303
  • Person
  • 20 August 1889-24 October 1983

Born: 20 August 1889, Rathgar, Dublin
Entered: 05 October 1908, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1922, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1927, Shiuhing, China
Died: 24 October 1983, Our Lady's Hospice, Harold's Cross, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin at the time of death

by 1917 at St Aloysius, Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1927 first Hong Kong Missioner with George Byrne
by 1950 at St Beuno’s, St Asaph, Wales (ANG) Tertian Instructor

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
R.I.P.
Father Neary

Only a few septuagenarians and octogenarians in the Hong Kong public can have even faint memories of Father John Neary, who died in Ireland last week, aged 94. He has nevertheless his little niche in our history. He was one of the two Jesuits - Father George Byrne was the other - who came here on 2 December 1926, to start Jesuit work in Hong Kong. Their early decisions have influenced all later Jesuit work here.

He stayed here only five years. In 1931 his health broke down and he had to return to Ireland, where, as Master of Novices or as Instructor of Tertians, he played a large part in the formation of most of the Jesuits now in Hong Kong.

Memory of him lasted long even in this city of short memories. In my earlier years here, I was amazed to find a variety of people still asking for news about him many years after his departure. The late Father Andrew Granelli, P.I.M.E., spoke more and more of Father Neary as his own life neared its end. Their friendship had outlasted forty years of separation.

Father Neary never forgot Hong Kong. When I visited him two years ago he was already 92, but he was full of eager and probing questions about developments here. Streets and buildings and people were still fresh in his memory. He had shortly before been greatly cheered by a visit from Archbishop Tang, whom he remembered as a young Jesuit Student. His thoughts were with us to the end. He deserves a few inches of space in a Hong Kong Catholic Paper.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 4 November 1983

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Born in Dublin in 1889, his early education was at Mount Saint Mary’s in England.

In 1926 Fr John Fahy appointed him and George Byrne to respond to the request from Bishop Valtora of Hong Kong for Jesuit help.

He visited the Jesuits in Macau and Shiuhing as well as Shanghai. Their first project was Ricci Hall at Hong Kong University together with work at Canton Cathedral. he held Wah Yan in great esteem.

By 1931 he had health issues. He was sent back to Ireland where he had an outstanding period at Belvedere College SJ, and became Novice Master

Note from Paddy Finneran Entry
With the encouragement of Michael Murphy he then entered the Novitiate at St Mary’s, Emo under the newly appointed Novice Master John Neary.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

Fr Pigot attended the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Tokyo as a delegate representing the Australian Commonwealth Government. He was Secretary to the Seismological Section, and read two important papers. On the journey home he spent some time in hospital in Shanghai, and later touched at Hong Kong where he met Frs. Byrne and Neary.

Irish Province News 59th Year No 1 1984

Obituary

Fr John Neary (1889-1908-1983)

In this age of questionnaires and surveys it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that we might at some time be pondering as to which Irish Jesuit could claim to be most mimicked. I'm pretty sure that one contestant, namely John Neary, would far outstrip the others. He would have a head-start for two reasons: first, his mannerisms were easy to copy even by those not particularly gifted at mimicry; and secondly he guided into the Irish Province of the Society a greater number of candidates than any other known Master of Novices. He held that formative position for eleven years and indeed had contact with novices for a further nine years while he was Spiritual Father in Emo.
Mimicry can be cruel, of course, but it can also be harmless, and in this case I think it was a measure of the affection which he generated. His tones, his manual and facial gestures, his some what quaint turns of phrase, were prime targets for his would be copiers; but there was never any hint of malice or ill-feeling in the imitation. I'm sure he cannot have avoided hearing the echo at odd times: and I'm equally sure that he would not have felt any resentment. He would probably have merely chuckled to himself.
My acquaintance with him (to which this account is naturally restricted; let others tell the rest of the story) was confined to the noviceship period, a brief month or so in the Tertianship, when he filled in for Fr Hugh Kelly and finally the last seven years of his life at Gardiner street and Our Lady's Hospice. Opinions differ as to his value as a Master of Novices. Others are better qualified to judge; I found him kindly and discerning. He could harden and raise his voice at times, he could give virtue', but it was always to those who could take it; it was never crushing or ridiculous, in the full sense. Incidentally, I never did discover whether the “honking” which preceded his appearance around the corner was necessary throat-clearing or an early warning signal – and likewise with the slipper-dragging routine (this certainly was no “pussyfooting”, by any count!).
Though he was a firm believer in de more he used to illustrate the good use of creatures by changing routine to fit in with exceptional weather. During both our years in Emo the lake froze hard (enough to allow horses with padded hooves to pull tree-trunks from one side of the lake to the other) and we were all herded out to learn to skate, willy-nilly. As everyone knows. he had a great interest in bee-keeping, too, but it was only the chosen few, the “discreets”, who were allowed to assist him and involve themselves in this speciality. His appreciation of the health-giving properties of honey (and, later on of half bananas!) was to last to the end of his days. A spoonful, given semi-secretly in his room, was considered an infallible cure for anything from the blues' to a heavy cold.
There was never any doubt about his zeal. Fr Tom Ryan wrote of him: “Zeal for conversion was always characteristic of him. During his theology in Milltown Park he had Protestant converts continually on hand”. Altogether he spent twenty years in Emo and was in Gardiner street for about the same length of time. There he continued, unobtrusively, this work of finding and instructing those who were interested in the faith. I think his special interest in converts and in ecumenism may have stemmed originally from his enormous devotion to Cardinal Newman and his writings. Many were the cuttings from newspapers and the Tablet concerning Newman that he left behind. (He had apparently one of those love-hate relationships with the Tablet - castigating it vigorously for its anti-Irish attitude, yet waiting breathlessly for the next issue. Indeed, one of the few naughty memories about him is the image of the hand appearing suddenly around the reading room door, casting deftly on to the table that missing copy of the Tablet. I think it must have been his greatest crime, the nearest thing to an inordinate attachment!).
He lived a frugal style of life and showed a practical sympathy with the poor, as evidenced by his devotion to an respect for the St Vincent de Paul Society. A little incident he related illustrates this fact, and, as å by-product, his type of humour (faintly wicked at times). On one occasion the conference members he directed were discussing the amount of assistance they should give to what is now called a “single parent” of several children from different stock. He told me that he dissuaded the brothers from providing the double-bed requested by the lady in question!
His greatest achievement of all was, without the slightest shadow of doubt, our mission to China. Fr Ryan wrote: “He may to a very great extent be said to have been the originator of the Irish Province mission to China. It is almost certain that it would not have been undertaken at the time it was, but for him”. Some time before he had to retire to Our Lady's Hospice I thought it would be worthwhile recording his memories of the start of that mission. So I interviewed him in his room, with the aid of a cheap tape-recorder and found him surprisingly co-operative. (He adapted to modern inventions, customs and changes extremely well). It was only afterwards that I discovered a similar account written by him for the 1933 Jesuit Year Book. A comparison of the two versions proved how accurate his memory was. Moreover, after his death I read some of the correspondence he had with Fr Fahy. This not only proved his great power of almost total recall about this period of his life but also revealed his humility while confirming what Fr Ryan wrote. Before that, even from his own account, I had not realised how much he had manoeuvred Fr Fahy into beginning the mission, and how much the Provincial was guided by him. He gave the impression, of course that he was only doing the bidding of his superior!
Although he spent less than five years in Hong Kong, his heart remained there for as long as it beat. As he said himself, he was always interested in the mission and listened avidly to the reports of those who came back home on visits. The ultimate proof of his intense interest was to be given at the very end of his life. During the last few months before he died there were long periods when he obviously thought he was in Hong Kong or that the conversation of his visitors referred to the colony as he knew it
In his notes on the history of the Jesuit Mission in Hong Kong, the late Fr Tom Ryan, one of the earliest superiors of that Mission, wrote at considerable length about Fr Neary and I think he is worth quoting yet again. Many of the qualities he spotted in “Pa Neary” will be easily recognised:
“Fr John Neary, a Dublin man. educated at Mount St Mary's in England, was ... absolutely matter-of fact and down to earth. He was of great precision of thought and speech, and even of movement. He had not much imagination, but he had an excellent sense of humour and had great natural kindness. As he suffered seriously from asthma, he never would have been sent to a foreign mission except for the great interest which he had in missionary work ... He had absolutely no ear for music and could distinguish ‘tones’ with difficulty, so the study for him was doubly hard, but he recognised the difficulty and practised the tones for hours on end every day, to the dismay at first of his teacher, since he compelled him to listen to him until he got them right. The result was that even though there was always something artificial in the way in which he spoke Chinese, his absolute accuracy was commented upon by all”.
He died as he had lived, unobtrusively - almost secretly. For two nights he appeared to be on the point of departure ... but, as usual, he refused to be hurried. His great faith and serene piety were marked by the fact that his lips were moving continuously in prayer. On the second night, before we left the bed side, his nephew, Fr Peter Lemass, recited the prayer for the dying composed by his beloved John Henry Newman. Early next morning, as though in a final demonstration of his sleight of hand, he slipped away in our absence. He could not quite fool the nuns, however. A large group of the community, including their provincial, had gathered around and they were praying with and for him as he breathed his last light breath. It was not, of course, the end for him, but, as more than one Jesuit which many came to see and admire; remarked, it was the end of an era for the Irish Province.
DC

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 :
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.

Saul, Michael, 1884-1932, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/392
  • Person
  • 01 January 1884-21 June 1932

Born: 01 January 1884, Drumconrath, County Meath
Entered 09 October 1909, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1919, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1926, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 21 June 1932, Sacred Heart College, Canton, China

Editor of An Timire, 1922-28.

by 1912 at St Luigi, Birkirkara, Malta (SIC) Regency
by 1914 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1915 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1931 fourth wave Hong Kong Missioners

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926

The Irish Sodality : This Sodality is directed by Fr Michael McGrath. It grew out of the first week-end retreat in Irish at Milltown Park in 1916. After the retreat, steps were taken with a view to the formation of an Irish-speaking Sodality for men. Success attended the effort, and the first meeting was held in Gardiner Street on Friday in Passion Week. The Sodality soon numbered 400 members. In 1917 a second Irish-speaking Sodality, exclusively for women, was established. In a short time it was found advisable to amalgamate the two branches. The Sodality is now in a flourishing condition, and has every prospect of a bright future before it. In addition to the Sodality, there is an annual “open” retreat given in Gardiner Street to Irish speakers. The first of these retreats was given in 1923 by Fr Coghlan, he also gave the second the following year. The third was given by Father Saul.

Irish Province News 7th Year No 4 1932

Obituary :

Our mission in China has suffered grave loss by the deaths of two of its most zealous missioners, Our hope is that the willing sacrifice of their lives will bring down the blessing of God on the mission, and help in the gathering of a rich harvest of souls for Christ.

Fr Michael Saul

Father Saul was born at Drumconrath. Co Meath, on the Ist January, 1884, educated at Mungret College and began his novitiate at Tullabeg, 9th October, 1908. Immediately after the novitiate he was sent to Malta and spent two years teaching in the College S. Luigi. Philosophy followed, the first year at Valkenburg, the second and third at Stonyhurst then one year teaching at Mungret, and in 1916 be commenced theology at Milltown. At the end of the four years he went to the Crescent for another year, and then to Tertianship at Tullabeg.
In 1922 he was appointed Assistant Director of the Irish Messenger, and held the position for five years when he went to Gardiner St, as Miss. excurr. In 1930 the ardent wish of Father Saul’s heart was gratified, and he sailed for China. In less than two years' hard work the end came, and the Almighty called him to his reward.
The following appreciation comes from Father T. Counihan :
“It is a great tribute to any man that hardly has the news of his death been broadcast than requests arise in many quarters for a memorial to him. Only a few days after his death I met
a member of the Gaelic League who informed me that a move rent was on foot in that organisation to collect subscriptions for a suitable memorial. Father Saul had thrown himself heart and soul into the work of that organisation for the Irish language.
But there was a movement dearer to his heart, a language he hankered after even as ardently. That movement was the Foreign Missions, and that language was Chinese. That was the dream of Michael Saul all through his novitiate. Death for souls in China was his wish, and God gave it to him. But he must have found it hard to have been snatched away just
when his work was beginning.
I remember him well in the old days in Tullabeg under what we like to call-and quite cheerfully and thankfully “the stern times”. Brother Saul was heavy and patriarchal and more ancient than the rest of us. With extraordinary persistence he sought out the hard things, and never spared himself in the performance of public or private penances. His zeal for all these things, and his acceptance of knocks and humiliations with a quaint chuckle are still fresh in my mind. He put himself in the forefront whenever a nasty job had to be done. I suppose he considered that, as he was ancient in years, he should lead the way.
He once took two of us younger ones on a long walk, so long that we had to come home at a pace not modest, and all the way home he kept us at the Rosary.
I never saw him despondent - serious, yes, but never sad, never ill-humoured, He was ready to face any situation, grapple with any difficulty, and always encouraged and cheered up
others in their difficulties.
This spirit Michael Saul carried with him through life in the Society. lt caused some to criticise him a little too much I have heard it said that he was too zealous, too insistent, but he was loved by those for whom he worked, and was sincerity itself”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael Saul 1884-1932
Fr Michael was one of the pioneers of our Mission in Hong Kong.

He was born at Drumconrath County Meath on January 1 1884 and received his early education in Mungret. He did not enter the Society until he was 22 years of age.

He was an ardent lover of the Irish language, and a keen worker in the Gaelic League in his early days and as a young priest. But, he had a greater love, to convert souls in China.

His zeal for souls was intense, and when he died of cholera in Canton June 21st 1932 is twas said of him “They will get no peace in Heaven, until they do what Fr Saul wants for China”.

Toner, Patrick, 1910-1983, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/419
  • Person
  • 17 September 1910-21 January 1983

Born: 17 September 1910, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 08 January 1944, Sydney, Australia
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 21 January 1983, Lisheen House, Rathcoole, County Dublin - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Part of the Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin community at the time of death.

Early education at Westland Row CBS Dublin, and Blackrock College, County Dublin

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966
by 1938 at Loyola, Hong Kong - studying
by 1941 at Pymble NSW, Australia - studying

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

Father Patrick Toner, SJ, former Rector of Wah Yan College, Kowloon, died in Ireland on 21 January 1983, aged 72.

Father Toner was born in Belfast on 3 September 1910. His family was driven out of Belfast by the “pogroms” of the early 1920s and settled in Dublin, but in many ways he himself remained a Belfast-man, tenacious of any opinion or course of action that he had taken up.

In 1930 he interrupted his university studies to enter the Irish Jesuit novitiate, and he adhered firmly throughout his life to the lessons he learned as a novice. His closet friends used say that he arrived in the novitiate with a slight Belfast accent, but as the years passed this accent became stronger and stronger - more tenacity!

He arrived in Hong Kong as a Jesuit scholastic in 1937. In addition to regulation language study and teaching, he did a considerable amount of work for the refugees who poured into Hong Kong after the fall of Canton to the Japanese in later 1938, even spending a short period in much-troubled Canton.

In 1940 he went to start his theological studies in Australia, and was ordained there in 1943. Having finished his theological studies, he returned to Ireland to do his last year of Jesuit training, and to visit his family, to whom he was deeply devoted.

He returned to Hong Kong in 1946 and took up teaching in the Wah Yan Branch College under the headmastership of Mr. Lim Hoy Lam in Nelson Street, Kowloon.

In 1947, Mr. Lim retired from the administration of the school and Father Toner became headmaster. In 1951 the school moved to its new premises in Waterloo Road, dropping “Branch” from its title and becoming Wah Yan College, Kowloon. Father Toner as Rector and headmaster directed the move, and the great expansion of the school and the formation of its new traditions.

In 1964, having completed his period of rectorship, he transferred to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, and taught there until 1976, taking charge also for some time of the Night School and of the Poor Boys Club.

This career of education, administration and pastoral work taught him much about meeting the problems that life presents, but it did not change his character. He arrived in the Jesuit novitiate 51 years ago as a cheerful, uncomplicated, deeply devoted young man. He died last month as a cheerful, uncomplicated, deeply devoted old man. May there be many like him!

As might have been expected, Father Toner did not take kindly to the changes that multiplied in the Church during and after Vatican Council II. This never caused any breach between him and those who eagerly followed new ways; it did lend a special flavour to his confabulation with those who thought like himself. He and his dear friend Father Carmel Orlando, PIME, came closer than ever together as they pondered in company the wisdom of The Wanderer and sighed energetically over the antics of extremists.

In 1976 Father Toner left for Ireland. Soon after his arrival his health began to decline. He retained his mental powers and his cheerful spirit unimpaired, but his bodily strength faded gradually, but inexorably under the strain of arteriosclerosis.

He suffered a stroke on 20 January and died early the following morning.

Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated this evening, 4 February, at 6 o’clock in the chapel of Wah Yan College, Kowloon.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 4 February 1983

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945

Frs. J. Collins, D. Lawler and P. Toner, of the Hong Kong Mission, who finished theology at Pymble last January, were able to leave for Ireland some time ago, and are expected in Dublin after Easter.

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 58th Year No 2 1983

Obituary

Fr Patrick Toner (1910-1930-1983) (Macau-Hong Kong)

Fr Paddy Toner was born in Belfast, 7th September 1910. The family was forced to leave Belfast during the 1922 pogroms in Northern Ireland. The Toners were publicans. Paddy remembered those times and one incident in particular: One evening on returning from school, he entered their premises to find his father being held at gun-point. There were two men holding revolvers to his head, one each side. Paddy, twelve years old, dashed for the counter and flung a heavy bottle-opener at the raiders. The gunmen tried to get him, but his father managed to escape. This incident gave Paddy, the eldest of four boys, a special place in his father's affection. It also shows the stuff that Paddy Toner, most gentle and lovable of men, was made of.
As a boy at Blackrock College, when the late Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid was President, Paddy made known to his mother his intention to go for the priesthood. We can understand his father being upset and totally opposed to this idea. No, Paddy would never leave him. He discussed the matter with the President of the College and on his advice, on leaving College, Paddy went to UCD - This would enable him to come to a more mature decision. His father hoped he would change his mind.
In one way he did change his mind: having finished First Arts, he applied for admission to the Society of Jesus and went to St Mary's, Emo, to begin his noviciate in 1930. In floods of tears, his brother told me, his father said goodbye to him just saying: “If this is what you want, my boy, you must have it”.
There were fifty of us in the novice ship that year, and I would say that to a man we would all agree that Paddy Toner was the life and soul of this large novitiate during those two years in the wilderness. He was heart and soul in everything we did - works, walks, recreations and, above all, football. When Pat donned his “shooters”, as he called the boots, one might look about for a pair of shin-guards.
He gained a year in Rathfarnham by going into Second Arts. We were together again for two years in “The Bog” and again he was always the bright ray of sunshine in the “L-o-n-el-y Life” that was ours - to use Fr B Byrne's description of it.
Then came the big break: In 1937 Paddy with three others set out for the Hong Kong Mission. For Paddy and for his family this was a traumatic sacrifice, but to China he went and he never looked back. To add to this, World War II broke out, and in 1940, instead of returning to Milltown Park for theology and ordination, he found himself bound for Australia. In 1945 he returned for tertianship in Rathfarnham. By this time Paddy Toner was Hong Kong to the core. Nothing would have held him back from the Mission. His work in Hong Kong will find space in this issue of Province News. His heart was there and remained there even after his retirement in 1977 through ill-health to join our Community at Rathfarnham Castle.
His last six years were a great blessing for us and for his family, but for Paddy they were years of gradual decline and patient suffering. He did not like Rathfarnham. In his failing health, it was too much for him. The small dining room especially was a trial on account of the noise, particularly on occasions when there was an invasion of visitors and people raised their voices - “Ear-bashers” he called them. He spoke little, but when, with a chuckle, he did mutter those few words, audible only to those very close to him, he said more than all the rest with all their shouting. Both in writing and in speaking, he had a most remarkable gift of brevity and crystal clarity.
Fortunately, during this time, he was well enough to be able to divide his time between Rathfarnham and Blackrock where his sister Maud lived. His brother Joe would call for him on Sunday afternoon and deliver him back on Thursday afternoon.. The only attraction Rathfarnham had for him was that he could say Mass there four days of the week.
His final year was spent in hospital, first at Elm Park and then for nine months at Lisheen Nursing Home, Rathcoole. His death occurred on Friday, 21st January. To the last he was peaceful and genuinely most grateful for every kindness. The Matron and staff at Lisheen House really loved him. His funeral Mass at Gardiner street with so many priests concelebrating was a fitting tribute and a source of great consolation to his family.
Paddy hears again from his heavenly Father welcoming him into his true home, the same words which his father said as he gave him to God. “If this is what you want, my son, you must have it”.

When Pat went in 1934 to philosophy, the Ricci Mission Unit was flourishing in Tullabeg and filling bags with used stamps turned Pat's thoughts to Hong Kong. He had not thought earlier of going to China.
He arrived in Hong Kong just after one of the severest typhoons to hit the place. That was in September 1937. A new language school had been opened at Loyola, Taai Lam Chung, in the New Territories and there he started his two years of language study. At that time Canton was taken by the Japanese and Fr Pat spent about a week there at relief work, working with Fr Sandy Cairns, MM, who was afterwards killed by the Japanese. He also visited the refugee centres opened at Fanling to receive the many thousands who fled from occupied China. In 1939 Fr Toner went to Wah Yan. Hong Kong, where in addition to his duties as a teacher, he became an air raid warden. The outbreak of World War Il prevented his return to Ireland, so in 1940 he went to Australia for theology.
He reached Australia in September 1940 and taught until the Theologate opened in January 1941. After three years he was ordained by Archbishop Gilroy of Sydney and during his fourth year of theology he did some parish work and helped in Fr Dunlea's Boys' Town, In February 1945 he left Australia and after a three months' voyage, under war conditions, he arrived in Ireland which he had left nine years earlier. After four months helping in St Francis Xavier’s Church, Gardiner street, he went to tertianship in Rathfarnham under the old veteran of the Hong Kong Mission, Fr John Neary.
In August 1946 once more he went East. With seven others he embarked on an aircraft carrier, the “SS Patroller” and arrived in Hong Kong on 13th September to begin work in Wah Yan, Kowloon. On 31st July 1947 he became Superior of the College which at that time had 531 students.
Fr Pat’s tasks in Hong Kong besides teaching included being for a time Minister, Rector, Spiritual Father. After completing his time as Rector in Wah Yan, Kowloon, he was changed to Wah Yan, Hong Kong, where in addition to his work as a teacher he was for a time director of the Night School.
Fr Toner was changed from Kowloon Wah Yan to Hong Kong Wah Yan in 1964, where he taught until he returned to Ireland in June 1976.
Fr Toner was always a very exemplary religious, prayerful, charitable, ear nest and very hard-working. He was Superior of Wah Yan, Kowloon, first in Nelson Street and during these early years the small community lived in a private house, 151 Waterloo road, close under Lion Rock. When the new Wah Yan building was opened in 1951, Fr Toner was its first Rector and continued in this position until 1957. In 1964 he was transferred to Wah Yan, Hong Kong, where in addition to his duties as a teacher he took charge for a time of the Boys' Club from 1966 and of the Night School from 1968.

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