Hong Kong

123 Name results for Hong Kong

50 results directly related Exclude narrower terms

Achútegui, Pedro S, 1915-1998, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/866
  • Person
  • 01 May 1915-28 December 1998

Born: 01 May 1915, Bilbao, Spain
Entered: 11 September 1931, Loyola, Spain - Castallanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 07 June 1944
Final vows: 02 February 1949
Died: 28 December 1998, Mandaluyong City, Manila, Philippines - Philippine Province (PHI)

by 1951 came to Aberdeen Hong Kong (HIB) working

Aerts, Hendrick, 1919-1953, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/868
  • Person
  • 04 November 1919-26 September 1982

Born: 04 November 1919, Wijchmaal, Limburg, Belgium
Entered: 23 September 1937, Drongen, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 14 May 1950
Final vows: 02 February 1953
Died: 26 September 1982, St Francis Xavier, Lavender Bay, North Sydney, Australia - Belgicae Superiors Province (BEL S)

by 1952 came to Rathfarnham (HIB) making Tertianship
by 1959 came to Wah Yan Kowloon, Hong Kong (HIB) working 1958-1963

Barrett, Cyril J, 1917-1989, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1989

Obituary

Father Cyril Barrett SJ

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1989

Obituary

Father Cyril J Barrett SJ

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

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

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

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, St Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

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

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.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1992

Obituary

Father Alan Birmingham SJ

Learned Priest Who Served Faithfully for “Fifty” Years in Hongkong.

Fr Biriningham did not say Mass in the Catholic Centre Chapel, in busy Hongkong Central District on Wednesday, October 4th. He had done so the day : before, and for many months since Fr F Cronin had died. Instead, Fr S Coghlan and Fr M McLoughlin took him to St Paul's Hospital Causeway Bay. He was feeling groggy and could not lift one of his arms. That afternoon, in the Intensive Care Unit, he died. A little more than a year previously, he had had heart surgery (aneurysm) but recovered. But he had a long beard which made him look like a retired sea captain. All his life he had had good health. He fought a cold on his feet, and though he did not feel so well in the mornings, regained his strength by the afternoon. For thirty years, he was never a patient in a hospital.Priests throughout East Asia and beyond will have known him as the editor of the Sunday Examiner, which was appreciated for his wide cover age of church news in the world, as well as for its well written editorials. In the diocese, he was not so much widely known, as well known. Some priests remember his kindness from the days he taught them Theology in the Seminary (1949-1956). Those who went to the nine o'clock Sunday Mass at St. Joseph's remember him since the days of Fr Franelli, which go back more than thirty years previously. His deep voice was often remembered as a mutter, inspiring devotion and trust. He often heard confessions in St Joseph's and the Catholic Centre Chapel.

He first went to Hongkong in 1936, where he spent time learning Cantonese, and then teaching in Wah Yan College, Robinson Road. He was born in Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, where the family had a wholesale business. His father qualified as a medical doctor, but never practised, taking on the family business, but retiring to Dublin when he was 45 years old. Alan first went to the Carmelite Fathers in Terenure, and retained an affection for the Carmelites. He then went to the Jesuit Colege, Belvedere, and after five years entered the Society of Jesus in 1928. His university studies at UCD were in Mathematics, and sometimes it was said that, in later life, the prime numbers gave him sleepless nights. After three years in Hongkong he returned to Ireland to study Theology and was ordained in 1942. While he was a priest in the Jesuit Church of Gardiner Street, the Provincial requested him to be a Chaplain in the British Army. He gave family reasons for not doing so, and he was told that these were valid but not sufficient to refuse the pastoral needs of those in the War. He joined as an Army Chaplain as part of christian charity and out of human solidarity. He was with the first wave to land on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day June 1944. He remembered a day when he saw 700 wounded and 250 burials. He was demobolised in 1947, and did Tertiaship in Dublin under Fr J Neary, who also had been in Hongkong.

When he returned to Hongkong as a priest in 1948, he went to join Fr Tumer at Chung Shan University, Gaungzhou, but after a few months was asked to teach in the South China Regional Seminary, Aberdeen. He taught Dogma and Scripture until he was asked to assist Mgr C Vath at the Catholic Centre, with the editing of the Sunday Examiner. And he did it for 33 years! Quietly working as a priest, he slowly did his writing. He always used a pen, and never a typewriter. He was a very slow worker, and always worked deliberately and accurately. He was never in a hurry and always had time for people. His clear English style was highly esteemed. His funeral was at St Joseph's Church, where he was known as the priest at the Sunday Masses for thirty years. The main celebrants were Cardinal Wu, whom he taught, Archbishop Tang, Fr W Lo, and 39 of his fellow Jesuits, thirty other priests; more than a dozen diocesan, a dozen Maryknollers, and those of other con gregations, not least being the PIME Fathers. The Mass was at 12.30 to enable the people from government and business offices to be present, and about
150 of them were there.

His brother had been a medical doctor teaching at University College Dublin. His father was anti-clerical, but a devout Catholic. “Alan” was more pastoral than clerical, and though his theological thinking was conservative, it was always kind, and at the service of people. Learned and kind, writer and at the service of all, such was the man all remembered.

Bodkin, Matthias, 1896-1973, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/6
  • Person
  • 26 June 1896-2 November 1973

Born: 26 June 1896, Great Denmark Street, Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1931, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1934, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 02 November 1973, Milltown Park, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1933 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Bodkin, Matthias McDonnell
by Felix M. Larkin
found in Bodkin, Matthias McDonnell (1849–1933), journalist and lawyer, was born in October 1849 at Tuam, Co. Galway

Bodkin married (1885) Arabella Norman (c.1854–1931), daughter of Francis Norman, solicitor, of Dublin, and Margaret Norman (née Adrian; c.1820–1883). They had two sons and four daughters, of whom the eldest, Thomas Patrick Bodkin (qv), was director of the NGI 1927–35. Their youngest daughter, Emma Bodkin (1892–1973), was one of the first women chartered accountants in Ireland. Two other daughters became Carmelite nuns. The youngest of the family, also Matthias McDonnell Bodkin (1896–1973), was a Jesuit priest and author. Born 26 June 1896 in Dublin and educated at Belvedere College and Clongowes Wood College, he entered the Jesuit noviciate in 1914 and was ordained 1932. For many years a teacher in Clongowes, Mungret College, and Belvedere, he served as a Royal Navy chaplain during the second world war in Derry and for a brief period in the Pacific on board HMS Anson. Afterwards, his eyesight failing, he undertook mainly retreat work and counselling. He died 2 November 1973 at Milltown Park, Dublin. Like his father, he was a prolific writer – largely on religious themes, but also of adventure stories for boys. His most substantial book, a life of fellow-Jesuit Fr John Sullivan (qv) (The port of tears (1954)), did much to spread Fr Sullivan's reputation for sanctity. So as to differentiate his own from his father's work, Fr Bodkin never used his second Christian name.

NAI, private accession no. 1155; NLI, MS 10702 (F. S. Bourke collection: letters to M. McD. Bodkin and his wife, mainly 1880–1910), MSS 14252–64 (manuscript literary remains of M. McD. Bodkin); Freeman's Journal, 24, 25, 28–30 Jan. 1908; A considered judgment: report of Judge Bodkin forwarded to Sir Hamar Greenwood and read in open court at Ennis, Co. Clare, on Sat., 5 Feb. 1921 (1921); Another considered judgment: second report of Judge Bodkin (1921); Ir. Independent, Ir. Press, Ir. Times, 8 June 1933; Ir. Independent, 3 Nov. 1973; Lawrence W. McBride, The greening of Dublin Castle: the transformation of bureaucratic and judicial personnel in Ireland, 1892–1922 (1991); Frank Callanan, The Parnell split, 1890–91 (1992); Eamonn G. Hall, ‘Introduction’, M. McDonnell Bodkin, Famous Irish trials (1997 ed.); Anne Kelly, ‘Perfect ambition: Thomas Bodkin, a life (with particular reference to his influence on the early development of Irish cultural policy’ (Ph.D. thesis, TCD, 2001); Felix M. Larkin, ‘Judge Bodkin and the 1916 rising: a letter to his son’, N. M. Dawson (ed.), Reflections on law and history (2006)

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Note from Daniel Fitzpatrick Entry
He was sent to Mungret in Limerick for his education. He had very fond memories of Mungret, especially his Jesuit teachers, like Mattie Bodkin, who had a significant influence on him.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 10th Year No 3 1935

Works by Father Mattie Bodkin SJ :

  1. “Flood-tide” - A school story
  2. “Lost in the Arctic” - A translation from the German of Svenson's " Nonni and Manni”.
  3. “Studies in Sanctity” - Biographical essays
    Pamphlets
  4. “The Stop Gap” - School story
  5. “The Captain” - School story
  6. “Saint Robert Southwell” - Hagiography
  7. “Saint Bernadette” - Hagiography
  8. “Blessed Peter Faber” - Hagiography
  9. “Father Stanton” - Biography
  10. “Forest and Jungle” - Biography
  11. “Father De Smet” - Biography
  12. “The Black Robe” - Biography
  13. “Guy De Fontgalland” - Biography
  14. “The Soul of a Child” - Biography

Irish Province News 16th Year No 1 1941

Clongowes :
Fr. Bodkin is to be congratulated on the production of his latest book, “Halt, Invader.” Its publication caused great interest here. We hope that his present work of contemplation and stimulation of youth at study will keep the springs of inspiration bubbling.

Belvedere :
An enthusiastic welcome has been accorded Father Bodkin's novel. “Halt Invader” whose hero is a Belvederian. One member of the Community believes that the Government should
subsidise the book and give a copy of it to every Irish citizen seeing that the book is, in his opinion, an exposition of the ideology of Irish mentality in the present war.

Irish Province News 49th Year No 1 1974

Obituary :

Fr Matthias Bodkin (1896-1973)

By way of preface to the appreciation proper we offer some salient dates and details of Fr. Bodkin's earlier years ;
He was born in Dublin - Great Denmark St - June 26th, 1896, the younger son of Judge Matthias McDonnell Bodkin. He was one of a family of six, one brother, Tom, a sister, Emma, of both of whom more anon, two sisters who became Carmelite nuns and a sister who became Mrs John Robinson. Fr Mattie was the last survivor of his generation.
He got his early schooling at Belvedere, practically adjoining his home and thence he later went to Clongowes and from there he entered the novitiate at Tullabeg on August 31st 1914. He was one of the “Twelve Apostles” of whom he himself gave some account in the obituary of Fr Fred Paye, from his hand, which appeared in the July number of the Province News, 1972. (He was an excellent panegyrist, and was frequently applied to to formulate an appreciation and readily obliged, despite the incapacity in later years of poor eyesight.) From Tullabeg after a brief period in the - home Juniorate, then usual, he advanced to Rathfarnham where he got a distinguished degree at the University in History. Thence to Milltown for Philosophy and in 1924 back to Clongowes and later to Mungret, Doc. Among his pupils in Mungret was Tadhg Mannion, Archbishop and Cardinal to be, who on a recent occasion visiting his Alma Mater affectionately recalled Mr Bodkin, as he then was, and wished particularly to be remembered to him. Milltown again for Theology and ordination 1932. On returning to Clongowes after the Tertianship he acquitted himself with success as Prefect of Studies for four years and later at Belvedere as teacher. One of the chores which regular fell to his lot was the editorship of the College Annual and in his leisure time he produced several school stories of dimensions of novels, “Flood Tide” being the more popular. He likewise wrote a memoir of Fr John Sullivarı... “The Port of Tears'.

Fr Bodkin's death in the night between All Saints' Day and the Commemoration of All Souls, when by a special effort he had said the customary three Masses for the Dead, after midnight, was in many ways a fitting end to a long life during which he had always been notable for the energy with which he threw himself into whatever task assigned him,
Those who saw the memorial card which was made after his death were somewhat taken aback to realise how much Fr Mattie's face had changed in appearance during his long, strenuous and often hard life. No man was better able to enjoy fun or any form of relaxation that appealed to him but there was always a sense of duty to be done, and done generously, at whatever cost to himself. He had a real gift of friendship and he was never short of friends. Whether as a teacher or a preacher, naval chaplain or confessor, in his last years, to more than one community of young Irish Christian Brothers, he gave himself heartily to each. The free independent judgment which was always a marked characteristic of his advice made him in old age an admirable confessor, just as in his youth the same independent judgment made him, to use a phrase from one who knew him many years ago in Belvedere, a superb teacher of history and English literature. Clongowes and Belvedere were very much the centres of Mattie’s life down to the year 1940 when he volunteered as a naval chaplain in Derry and in the Far East.
The fact that he was one of a very well known and respected Dublin family and that he lived in or near Dublin for so many years gave him a great advantage in forming the friendships which meant so much to him personally and which were so marked a feature of his apostolic work. He lived more than seventy years of life in Dublin at a time when Dublin was very much the centre of modern Irish life and his memory (usually but not always accurate in detail) made his conversation a stream of reminiscences that were always vivid to himself and of interest to his hearers, Again and again it was remarked that what Mattie remembered was almost always some kind word spoken to him or some good deed which had made an impression on him, possibly long years ago. He was quick to complain of some passing episode that irritated him but his wide ocean of personal memories seemed full. to overflowing of kind and generous thoughts.
The failure of Fr Bodkin's eyesight which was so heavy a cross for him to bear in the years after his return from service in the English Royal Navy exacted more from him than from most other sufferers from this affliction for all through life he had been a great reader of books and a lover of fine pictures. As a boy, in his father's house he had the good fortune of knowing Sir Hugh Lane, then at the height of his influence in Irish artistic life and in later years, he had the constant stimulus of his brother Tom's example, first as Director of the National Gallery in Dublin, then of the Barber Institute in Birmingham
But there was another strand of the family tradition: if Tom Bodkin's name will always be remembered in connection with theNational Gallery and the controversy that arose over the final disposition of Hugh Lane's bequest to Dublin the name of his sister, Emma, was even more closely linked with Frank Duff’s apostolate and work for the Legion of Mary at home and abroad. It was probably Emma's influence which first turned Mattie's thoughts to the welfare, spiritual even more than temporal, of the young girls who for one reason or another had been left without family or friends to help and advise them. What Fr Mattie did for those girls and often for many years successively, when they turned to him as to a friend upon whom they could always count, is known only to God. Emma predeceased him by a few months here in Dublin. Both, we are confident, have received in Heaven the reward which the Lord promises to those who give and give generously to children and to those in need. Requiescant in Pace.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1974

Obituary

Father Matthias Bodkin SJ (1896-1973)

Fr Bodkin's death in the night between All Saints Day and the Commemoration of All Souls, when by a special effort he had said the customary three Masses for the Dead, after midnight, was in many ways a fitting end to a long life during which he had always been notable for the energy with which he threw himself into whatever task assigned him.

Those who saw the memorial card which was made after his death were somewhat taken aback to realise how much Fr Mattie's face had changed in appearance during his long, strenuous and often hard life. No man was better able to enjoy fun or any form of relaxation that appealed to him but there was always a sense of duty to be done, and done generously, at whatever cost to himself. He had a real gift of friendship and he was never short of friends. Whether as a teacher or a preacher, naval chaplain or confessor, in his last years, to more than one community of young Irish Christian Brothers, he gave himself heartily to each. The free independent judgement which was always a marked characteristic of his advice made him in old age an admirable confessor, just as in his youth the same independent judgement made him, to use a phrase from one who knew him many years ago in Belvedere, “a superb teacher” of history and English literature. Clongowes and Belvedere were very much the centres of Mattie's life down to the year 1940 when he volunteered as a naval chaplain in Derry and in the Far East.

The fact that he was one of a very well known and respected Dublin family and that he lived in or near Dublin for so many years gave him a great advantage in forming the friendships which meant so much to him personally and which were so marked a feature of his apostolic work, He lived more than seventy years of life in Dublin at a time when Dublin was very much the centre of modern Irish life and his memory (usually but not always accurate in detail) made his conversation a stream of reminiscences that were always vivid to himself and of interest to his hearers. Again and again it was remarked that what Mattie remembered was almost always some kind word spoken to him or some good deed which had made an impression on him, possibly long years ago. He was quick to complain of some passing episode that irritated him but his wide ocean of personal memories seemed full to overflowing of kind and generous thoughts.

The failure of Fr Bodkin's eyesight which was so heavy a cross for him to bear in the years after his return from service in the English Royal Navy exacted more from him than from most other sufferers from this affliction for all through life he had been a great reader of books and a lover of fine pictures. As a boy, in his father's house he had the good fortune of knowing Sir Hugh Lane, then at the height of his influence in Irish artistic life and in later years, he had the constant stimulus of his brother Tom's example, first as Director of the National Gallery in Dublin, then of the Barber Institute in Birmingham.

But there was another strand of the family tradition: if Tom Bodkin's name will always be remembered in connection with the National Gallery and the controversy that arose over the final disposition of Hugh Lane's bequest to Dublin the name of his sister, Emma, was even more closely linked with Frank Duff's apostolate and work for the Legion of Mary at home and abroad. It was probably Emma's influence which first turned Mattie's thoughts to the welfare, spiritual even more than temporal, of the young girls who for one reason or another had been left without family or friends to help and advise them. What Fr Mattie did for those girls and often for many years successively, when they turned to him as to a friend upon whom they could always count, is known only to God. Emma predeceased him by a few months here in Dublin. Both, we are confident, have received in Heaven the reward which the Lord promises to those who give and give generously to children and to those in need. Requiescant in Pace.

◆ The Clongownian, 1974

Obituary

Father Matthias Bodkin SJ

Early on the morning of All Souls' Day, 1973, Fr Mattie Bodkin died at Milltown Park. He had arranged to say after midnight the customary three Masses for the dead, so as to leave himself free for some apostolic work in the morning. He had been in poor health for the past few years, and this final effort proved too great. It was a fitting end to a long life of devoted and strenuous work as a priest.

Mattie Bodkin was at Clongowes from 1910 to 1914. His father, Judge Matthias McDonnell Bodkin, was an old Tullabeg boy, and his brother Tom, later Professor of Fine Arts in the University of Birmingham and Director of the Barber Institute, had preceded him at Clongowes by some ten years. Mattie entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1914, took his MA in history in University College, Dublin, taught for some years in Clongowes and Mungret, and, after the usual theological studies was ordained in 1931.

The next ten years of Fr. Bodkin's life were spent teaching or directing studies in Clongowes and Belvedere. His work was characterised by energy and originality. To give an example of the latter characteristic, when prefect of studies in Clongowes, he was responsible for three institutions all of which were, for those days, distinctly forward-looking. These were the “Society of St Patrick” which put the senior boys into touch with charitable institutions in Dublin, in the hope of their being enlisted, a lending library of non-fictional books which the boys could carry about with them, and a special meeting room for the Irish Society in which all the furniture and decorations were examples of Irish craftmanship. He was a stimulating teacher, and was indefatigable in guiding boys to suitable careers, getting them openings and keeping in touch with them in after life. This personal relationship with his pupils and past pupils was perhaps the greatest apostolate of Fr Mattie's life.

In 1943 there was an urgent request from the head chaplain of the British forces for a naval chaplain. The post was offered to Fr Bodkin, who willingly accepted it. He acted at first as Port Chaplain in Derry, where he had a very friendly reception from the then bishop, Dr Farren. His work there was varied by a strenuous patrol journey to Iceland on a destroyer. He then joined HMS Anson, and did duty in many parts of the world, Malta, Australia, Hong Kong - where he arrived just as the last Japanese were leaving, and where he met the Irish Jesuit missionaries who had survived the ordeal of the occupation - Japan and Singapore. Though he never saw fighting, he had innumerable adventures and had constant opportunity for priestly work.

He was demobilized towards the end of 1946, and spent the next twenty years giving missions and retreats. To this work he applied himself with characteristic vigour, and became well known to the clergy throughout Ireland. During all this time he kept up his friendships with his former pupils, and contracted many more, among all walks of life, as a result of his unfailing readiness to help those who were in trouble. But as years went on, his eye sight gradually deteriorated, and finally he had to live a more or less retired life at Milltown Park. Fr Mattie, however, could never be idle, and to the last he endeavoured to carry on some literary work. He had, for instance, planned an article for 1974 to mark the centenary of the birth of Sir Hugh Lane, whom he had known when he was a boy. It also gave him great happiness to be able to carry on his priestly work to the end, acting as spiritual adviser to several communities of young Christian Brothers.

Fr Bodkin was a man of wide and varied interests and talents. His special subject was history and here his quite phenomenal memory stood him in good stead - but he had also an encyclopediac knowledge of English literature, and was himself a prolific and able writer. As a young man, he published three excellent stories for young people,” Floodtide”, “The Treasure of the Mountain” and “Halt Invader”, and in later life an historical novel, “Borrowed Days”, in the background of which figured houses he had lived in, Emo Park, Belvedere, Clongowes, Among his other works were a study of the life and spirituality of Fr John Sullivan, “The Port of Tears”, which recreated in a striking way the Victorian background of Fr Sullivan's early life, and a particularly attractive illustrated book, “A Christmas Novena”. He was also the author of many excellent painphlets on the lives of the saints, amongst them St Bernadette, St John Berchmans, St John de Brébeuf and Blessed Ralph Corby.

A minor work of his was a first-class piece of literary detection. This was a paper which he read to the Royal Irish Academy in 1924 on a memorandum preserved in the Clongowes library. It is obviously the work of a confidential agent, and expresses in very frank terms the writer's opinion of the members of the Irish House of Commons in 1773. Fr. Bodkin identified the author as Sir John Blaquire, secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, Lord Harcourt, and also gave an enlightening view of the contemporary political situation.

Fr Mattie had also a fine artistic taste. He had a wide knowledge of the great artists and paintings of every age, and in parti cular had made a special study of the art as well as the history of Egypt. Through his association with his brother Tom, he had come to know many contemporary Irish artists, in particular Jack B. Years, on whose work he was invited to lecture on several occasions at the Sligo Yeats Festival.

Bourassa, Léo-Paul, 1904-1979, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/931
  • Person
  • 21 August 1904-10 December 1979

Born: 21 August 1904, Grandes-Piles, Québec, Canada
Entered: 07 December 1921, Sault-au-Récollet, Montreal - Canadensis Province (CAN)
Ordained: 12 August 1934
Final vows: 23 March 1939
Died: 10 December 1979, Saint-Jérôme, Québec, Canada - Canadae Inferioris Province (CAN)

by 1951 came to Aberdeen Hong Kong (HIB) working 1950-1956

Bourke, Edward, 1895-1985, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Irish Province News 60th Year No 3 1985

Obituary

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

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

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

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

Brady, Peter, 1926-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/719
  • Person
  • 01 July 1926-22 October 2007

Born: 01 July 1926, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1962, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 22 October 2007, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 01 January 1968; HK to CHN : 1992

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1954 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Scholar and missionary to Hong Kong dies in homeland
Father Peter Brady
R.I.P.

Father Peter Brady of the Society of Jesus, died peacefully in Ireland on 23 October 2007 at the age of 81. A published writer and a teacher of ethics, he first set foot in Hong Kong in 1952, finally returning to Ireland in 2001.

Born on 1 July 1926, Father Brady joined the Jesuits in 1944, and earned a bachelors’ degree in philosophy at University College Dublin. He then came on mission to Hong Kong in 1952, where he spent two years studying Chinese and another year teaching at Wah Yan College, Wanchai.

Returning to Milltown Park, Ireland, he studied theology and was ordained on 31 July 1958. Two years later he arrived back in Hong Kong and took up the post of assistant to the editor of China News Analysis while continuing his Chinese studies. From 1961 to 1962 he lectured on the history of philosophy and sociology at the Holy Spirit Seminary College in Aberdeen before heading for Melbourne, Australia, for a year to work on his masters degree in modern philosophy.

Upon his return to Hong Kong, Father Brady taught philosophy at the seminary as well as ethics at Wah Yan College in Kowloon.

Ethics would become his life’s work and he taught the subject at Wah Yan, until 1973, then subsequently at the seminary from 1973 to 1996.

He wrote and published several books which were also translated into Chinese: Practical Ethics (1970), Love and Life (1979), Introduction to Natural Family Planning (1980), Medical Ethics (1983) and Ethics (2001), as well as textbooks on ethics for secondary schools.

In later years Father Brady worked on weekends at St. Joseph’s Church in Central, where he made many friends. He had a great sense of humour and was loved by everybody.

In 2001, poor health saw him returning to Ireland where he stayed at a nursing home for Jesuits. He enjoyed receiving visitors from Hong Kong and kept up-to-date on the territory through the weekly editions of the Sunday Examiner.

A memorial Mass was celebrated for him at Ricci Hall Chapel on 10 November 2007.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 11 November 2007

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He joined the Society of Jesus in 1944. After the usual Jesuit studies graduating BA at UCD and then studying Philosophy, he was then sent to Hong Kong in 1952.

1952-1955 he began studding Chinese for two years before spending a year teaching at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.
1955-1958 He was back in Ireland and Milltown Park, studying Theology and he was Ordained in 1958.
1960-1962 He returned to Hong Kong and took up a post as Assistant to the Editor of the China News Analysis, as well as continuing to study Chinese. He was then appointed to the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen as a Lecturer in the History of Philosophy and Sociology.
1962-1963 He went to Australia where he graduated MA in Modern Philosophy (at Campion College, Kew, Australia)
1963 Returning to Hong Kong, he lectured at the Seminary in Aberdeen, and at the same time he was teaching Ethics at Wah Yan Kowloon (1965-1973).

According to Freddie Deignan : “During that time Peadar wrote and published several books which were translated into Chinese : “Practical Ethics” (1970); textbooks on Ethics for Secondary Schools : “Love and Life (1979), “Natural Family Planning” (1980), “Medical Ethics” (1983), and “Ethics” (2001). He also wrote many articles on sexual ethics and natural family planning for CMAC. In his latter years he loved his weekend apostolae at St Joseph’s Church, where he made many friends. he had a great sense of humour and was loved by everybody.

Due to ill health he left Hong Kong and went to Ireland in 2001, where he lived at the Jesuit nursing him in Cherryfield Lodge.

Brosnan, Matthew, 1923-1997, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

by 1951 at Hong Kong - Regency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1997

Obituary

Father Matthew Brosnan SJ (OB 1942)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The hospital waived its fees, as did the doctors.

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

HN SJ

Butler, Richard P, 1915-1999, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/588
  • Person
  • 27 November 1915-21 April 1999

Born: 27 November 1915, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1950, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 21 April 1999, Galway University Hospital, Galway City, County Galway

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999

Obituary

Fr Richard (Dickie) Butler (1915-1999)

27th Nov. 1915: Born in Waterford
Educated at Waterpark College, Waterford
7th Sept. 1933: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1935: First vows at Emo
1935 - 1938: Rathfarnham, study Arts at UCD
1938 - 1941; Tullabeg, study Philosophy
1941 - 1942: Mungret College, teaching
1942 - 1944: St. Ignatius College, Galway, teaching
1944 - 1948: Milltown Park, study theology
30th July 1947; Ordained priest at Milltown Park
1948 - 1949; Rathfarnham, tertianship
1949 - 1951: Hong Kong, at language school
1951 - 1952: Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, teaching
1952 - 1954: Wah Yan College, Kowloon, teaching
1954 - 1999 St. Ignatius College, Galway:
1954 - 1956: Teaching
1956 - 1961: Prefect of Studies
1961 - 1990: Teaching

When he retired from teaching in 1990, Richard continued in College administration, and as health prefect. He was admitted to University Hospital, Galway, almost two weeks before Easter. He was operated on for a perforated ulcer. Though initially he appeared to make good progress, he subsequently suffered a stroke, rallied somewhat again, but then suffered kidney failure. He died very peacefully at 6.45 a.m. on Wednesday 21st April 1999.

I first met Father Dickie Butler, as we affectionately knew him, on the doorsteps of Coláiste lognáid in Galway, 31 years ago, when I arrived there to begin my regency. I had spent the whole summer in the Gaeltacht building up my Irish but I knew about the place I was going to teach, and was somewhat fearful. I was greeted at the front door of the residence by a tall, mandarin-like figure with small round glasses and winged gown. On learning that I had just arrived to embark upon my teaching life, he informed me that he was the acting-minister and that before I went any further I was to put down my case and follow him. He ushered me into the kitchen and within five minutes produced a full glass of red wine, and giving it to me said “Drink that boy, you'll need it”.

Dickie Butler was a man who always made people feel welcome. He had a great eye for the details of life. I could say that Christianity is all about caring, - caring for one another, “whatever you do to one of these”, - because Christ first cares about us. Dickie was a man who always cared and made room for others. I'm sure that he has now found the room in his Father's house prepared for him from the beginning. (Though I should say “the mansion” in his Father's house, for Dickie did not update biblical translations lightly).

Richard Butler was born in Waterford in 1915 and entered the society at Emo. He studied at UCD, Tullabeg and Milltown Park and spent his regency teaching at Mungret and Coláiste lognáid in Galway. He was ordained priest at Milltown Park and after his Tertianship at Rathfarnham, went to teach at Wah Yan College in Hong Kong, with a view to moving further inland on the mission. He used to say that Celtic Scholars were particularly marked out by the Provincials for work on the missions, especially in China, presumably because somebody thought that if you could make headway in the Irish language you could certainly master Chinese. Whether it is true or not, what is definitely true is that Dickie Butler was a brilliant Irish scholar, a wonderful speaker of Irish and an excellent teacher of the language to generations of schoolboys (and latterly, girls).

He became the great Irish teacher he was because his health broke down in China in 1954 and he was sent to the school down in Galway where he taught for 45 years. Dickie was a man of great discipline, a man with an incisive mind. He served as a headmaster in the school before he returned to the classroom to teach for 37 years, at a time of rapid change in Ireland and in education. I lived in his community for 12 of those years and met with him regularly afterwards. Dickie was an engaging and imaginative conversationalist; he had a marvelous command of both the English and Irish language, and he used both daily in his daily all his adult life. Sitting at a table with him in the refectory was informative and entertaining as well as refreshing. Much of his colourful imagery will remain with those of us fortunate enough to have been in his community. Whether he was sharing his insights into information in the Province or on some aspect of contemporary Irish culture, he was always well worth listening to.

Dickie was a theologian and theology was never far from his thoughts. He was an avid reader, especially of the latest publications in theology. Often in the refectory we would watch with interest as visiting theologians, in Galway for a few days rest, sat down at table with Dickie and how he would ask them some seemingly innocent question about theology which would lead to a whole conversation that would keep them on their toes, so to speak, defending whatever their side of the argument was through the whole meal, answering the questions he put so casually. His favourite phrase throughout these encounters was “de vera religione”. I think Dickie would have made many a theological board proud with his questioning. I always felt he would have made a fine professor of theology but he only wanted to do what was asked of him, whether it was going on mission to China at the beginning of his priestly life, or working in College administration towards the end. He had what we used to call in the Province 'a fine mind' but he was a humble man too and one who never put himself forward. He was both modest and devout.

Dickie Butler was a very personal man, who always gave you the impression that he was speaking directly to you. He was interested in everybody in the community and the work they were at. Some might have seen him as old-fashioned but that might be because he had very definite ideas on things and would let you have the benefit of them whether you wanted them or not. Everyone I knew who met with him acknowledged that he was a wise man, and that brings me again to this mandarin-like figure. In his later years Dickie rode a motorbike and dressed in his special biker's gear, with the wire glasses and the all-seeing eyes, he cut a dashing figure as he rode up Sea Road, off into the dust.

Dickie was a man of routine who did not move much out of Galway. But in the early 1980's he decided, and we helped him, to go to America for a summer supply. He had not been out of the country for nearly 30 years when he boarded the plane for California. Despite his initial trepidation, he loved California once he became accustomed to it. But even in this he was different because Dickie took a supply in an island parish at the edge of a hot desert. And he continued this supply until he retired from teaching, and then he moved into school administration in Coláiste lognáid where his genius at Irish was much appreciated and must have caused many an envious eye in the Department of Education when school reports were processed. When Dickie was taken to hospital just before Easter this year he was very concerned to let the school authorities know that his work for the school right to the end of the summer term was all prepared and sitting on his desk.

He was a man of great discipline. The last time I spoke with him, he was sitting in his room with the door open, seemingly doing nothing. We had a few words and I asked him if he was waiting for something. He replied in his lovely Irish, “When you get to my age, you'll know what I'm waiting for”.

We say good-bye to an excellent teacher held in high esteem by his colleagues, a marvelous companion in community, a scholar and a storyteller, but most of all, a good Jesuit and a holy man. An tAthair Risteard de Buitléar will be missed by many.

In lothlainn Dé go gcastar sinn.

Liam Greene

-oOo-

Funeral Mass of Fr. Richard Butler, SJ
A Jesuits room reveals a great deal about its occupant. The most striking feature about Fr. Dickie's room was how spartan it was. All that was superfluous had been removed by Dickie in the last few years. It was as if he had folded up his tent some time ago and had already moved most of his belongings to a more everlasting home. But not everything was superfluous - some things had to be kept - just in case!

What remained tells you a great deal about this kind and gentle man. Only seven books are to be found on his bookshelf. These books are the New Testament; The Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma; The Code of Canon Law; The Catechism of the Catholic Church; The Concise Oxford Dictionary; Dineen's Irish-English Dictionary and The Oxford Book of Irish Verse. Fr. Dickie was a man who thirsted for God, for Truth, for Certitude, for Precision and if the mysteries of faith were sometimes shrouded in darkness, Dickie would struggle for light. If the intricacies of Irish grammar left other mere mortals somewhat disillusioned, Dickie would delight in shedding much needed light.

St. Ignatius warns anyone who might want to be a Jesuit, “Let any such person take care, as long as he lives, first of all to keep before his eyes God and then the nature of this Institute which is, so to speak, a pathway to God; and then let him strive with all his effort to achieve this end set before him by God.” Dickie always strove to remain faithful to his vocation as a Jesuit priest. His personal, unobtrusive fidelity to prayer and the daily celebration of the Eucharist in what became affectionately known in the house as “Dickie's Chapel”, spoke more loudly than long lectures in theology.

Not that Dickie was adverse to theological discussion and argument. He was never too certain about all this new-fangled theology since Vatican II. Sometimes he would put the younger Jesuits through their paces just to check out their theological orthodoxy. I remember one Easter Sunday evening being the victim of one of Dickie's theological inquisitions. In his estimation I probably came out with today's equivalent of a “D3” on the Foundation level paper!

The Ardmháistir of Scoil Iognáid, Niall Ó Murchadha, said to me only last Tuesday, “Bhí an t-Athair de Buitléar go hiontach ag múineadh Teagasc Chríostaí". One of Dickie's past students, now a Jesuit priest himself, remarked how Dickie would insist with the boys (for there were only boys in Coláiste Iognáid then) that they must always remain faithful to the basic truths of Christianity and to the teaching of the Church. However, Dickie confessed to the same class of boys, “Boys, when I was in Honk Kong in the early Fifties, if those Communists had invaded from China brandishing red hot pokers, I'd have said anything they wanted me to - I'd even have sworn that there were twelve persons in the Blessed Trinity!” Here indeed was a good man who though he struggled for Truth, acknowledge his own limitations and kept a gentle sense of humour.

Obviously I chose today's readings with this good man in mind. The first reading spoke of the necessity always to pursue and to respect Wisdom. It said, “Is le hintinn ghlan a d'fhoghlaim me agus tugaim uaim gan doicheall; ni choinnim a saibhreas i bhfolach”, or translated, “What I learned without self interest, I pass on without reserve, I do not intend to hide her riches”. Over the past few days, many of Dickie's past students have spoken to me of their fondness for him as a teacher. They spoke of how organised he was, how every class was planned, how clear he was in explaining the subject matter. But more than that, they spoke of how gentle he was, as the Beatitudes would have us be. A card arrived for Dickie a few days ago, it reads:

“I heard that you were poorly. I am sorry to hear this and so I just wanted to say hello. I'm not sure if you remember me; I finished the Jez in 1981 and you taught me Gaeilge for about five years. If you recall, I was a bit of a chatterbox and, to dissuade me from talking, you used to place me right in front of you. I didn't mind it and it did me no harm. Thank you. I have very fond memories of you teaching us.”

Fr. Dan Dargan, a former parish priest of St. Ignatius' here and a contemporary of Fr. Dickie's in the order said to me the other morning that there was always a “a certain giddy quality” about Dickie, a sense of fun, that twinkle in the eye. Past students of Dickies from the fifties and sixties speak of how he used to delight the young first years by shouting at them (gently, of course) in Cantonese. He objected strongly to the use of bad language in English and so taught his classes how to curse really and truly “as Gaeilge” much to their delight and to the advancement of the Irish language. Even in the last year when Dickie was much more confined to the house, he would often watch the students “ag pleidhcíocht” in the yard and would give a guffaw of laughter. Little did the students know that they were being watched in more ways than one for it was Dickie who right up to the end almost wrote out the term reports for each student in Coláiste Iognáid. He loved to help Joan with this seemingly tedious work, but this was important for Dickie because it meant that this former headmaster was still part of the school administration and Jesuits, as you know, never retire!

My lasting memory of Dickie will be that he was forever whistling Lara's Theme from Dr. Zhivago. I sometimes wondered did he know any other song. Even in the last months, Dickie would walk along the corridor whistling, and so I found it particularly poignant one day when he stopped me and said in Irish for he always spoke to me in Irish, “Ta a fhios agat, a Bhreandáin, go mbímse i gcónaí ag feadail - níl ansin ach cur i gcêill - taimse ag fulaingt go mór”. Before he went into hospital, this essentially discrete and private man, spoke very movingly of his own physical weakness and sense of anxiety, I thought at that time of the first Beatitude, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” in other words, blessed are those who know their own fragility and their need of God. The same beatitude continues with consoling words “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.

Dickie, guímid uile ar maidin nach bhfuil tuileadh de dhíth ort, go bhfuil tú i gcomhlúadar Dé agus naomh uile - bain sult as an bhfírinne go síoraí, a chara shéimh, uasail.

Brendan Comerford

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.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1929

Our Past

Father George Byrne SJ

Fr George Byrne SJ, who was in Mungret for some years in the nineties, is bringing glory to the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus. Under him as Superior the little band of pioneer missionaries of the Irish Jesuits at Hong Kong, Canton, and Shiuhing are doing wonderful work for the Church. In addition to his business of organisation, Fr George frequently contributes to “The Rock” and to a new Chinese monthly, the “Kung Kao Po”. His articles are usually reprinted in many of the local papers, with the result that Fr Byrne has gained a great reputation in Hong Kong. He is constantly giving retreats and missions. Two retreats were given by him in Latin to groups of Chinese priests, Fr Byrne is at present attending to the building of Ricci Hall, the new Hostel for Chinese University students. At the laying of the foundation stone by the Governor General, Fr George made a brilliant speech. Plans are being drawn up for the building of a new Regional Seminary. This building will be completed in 1930, and Fr Byrne will have an additional burden thrust upon him. May God give him strength to continue his wonderful work.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1930

Three Years in China : Impressions and Hopes

Father George Byrne SJ

The Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to China, Very Rev George Byrne SJ, visited us in March, and gave us a very interesting lecture. We expected great things from Father George, and were not disappointed. He gave a very clear account of the present position in China, of the Customs and mentality of its people, and of the working of grace amongst them. The many anecdotes told by Father Byrne and the beautiful illustrations he showed us kept our interest alive. Throughout the lecture We heard the call of China - the call of Christ the Redeemer of the world, appealing for helpers to bring those who are in the valley of the shadow of death to the Life that comes by knowledge and love of the Son of God.

We experienced no little joy when we heard of the work that has already been accomplished by the thirteen missionaries who have gone to China during the past three years. Their first task was, of course, study of the Chinese language, and in this they have already made progress sufficient to enable them to under take some missionary work through the medium of that language. The work of editing a Catholic monthly magazine called”The Rock” was entrusted to them by His Lordship the Bishop of Hong Kong; but their biggest undertaking has been the erection of Ricci Hall, a hostel for students attending the University of Hong Kong. When their numbers and resources increase, they hope to undertake a still more important work, namely, the management of the new Regional Seminary which is at present in course of erection, and in which the native clergy of Southern China will be educated and prepared for the priesthood. God's grace is manifestly assisting them in their labours.

Mungret rejoices in these achievements, especially as three of her old pupils and one old master are amongst the thirteen. Father G Byrne SJ, the Superior, was here in the nineties. Father J McCullough SJ, a boy of 1912-14 and a master here a few years ago, is working in Canton. Rev R Harris SJ, who left us in 1922, is teaching in Shiu Hing. Father R Gallagher SJ, who is remembered by many Old Boys, is the zealous Editor of “The Rock”. Anyone who knew Father Dick will not be surprised to hear that in addition to the burden of editorship, he cheerfully shoulders many other burdens.

The interest of Mungret boys in the Mission can be very practical. Help is needed. Perhaps those who read may help in one or many of the following ways: (1) By prayer ; (2) by sending books to stock the libraries of the Hostel or Seminary (Ricci Hall, Hong Kong, China); (3) by collecting old stamps and tin-foil, and forwarding them to Treasurer, Ricci Mission, Milltown Park, Dublin ; (4) by subscribing to The Rock (Editor, PO Box 28, Hong Kong); (5) by contributing to the Ricci Mission Fund (The Treasurer, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin). Those who cannot be with their friends in the front trench, as it were, where Paganism meets Christianity, can help them greatly. Spiritual and material help are necessary. By helping them, you give them strength and courage, and will have the privilege of consoling your Greatest Friend.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1962

Obituary

Father George Byrne SJ

It is with great regret we chronicle the death of Father George Byrne, which took place in Dublin on January 4, at the 1 age of 83.

Father Byrne was born in Cork. After leaving Mungret he entered the Society of Jesus. He taught in Australia for seven years as a scholastic, and then returned to Milltown Park for his theological studies.

After ordination, he was recalled to Austrialia, where he became Master of Novices and Superior of the House. After a few years he was back in Ire land again, this time to Gardiner St, While in Gardiner St he became first Chaplain to the first Governor-General of the Free State, Mr Tim Healy, KC.

In 1926 came the decision to establish a Jesuit Mission in Hong Kong, Father Byrne was appointed Superior of the newly-formed Mission. On him fell the burden of much of the organisation. He arranged for the staffing of the Regional Seminary. He also arranged for the building of Ricci Hall, a University Hostel. He was also instrumental in taking over Wah Yan College from its original founders.

In Hong Kong he was a well-known broadcaster, writer and lecturer. He was always prominently associated with education.

In 1946 he returned to Ireland for health reasons. He continued active work. He was Instructor of Tertians for a number of years and after that, until his death, he was Professor of Ascetical Theology and Spiritual Director of the Theologians at Milltown Park, He worked until the end. RIP

Byrne, Thomas, 1904-1978, Jesuit priest

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

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

Older brother of Patrick Byrne - RIP 1968

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 4 1978

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

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

Obituary :

Fr Thomas Byrne (1904-1978)

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

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

Irish Province News 54th Year No 1 1979

Galway

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

Cahill, Thomas, 1827-1908, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/999
  • Person
  • 31 December 1827-19 April 1908

Born: 31 December 1827, County Carlow
Entered: 08 March 1855, Amiens France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1857, Laval, France
Final vows: 01 November 1866
Died: 19 April 1908, St Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia

by 1864 in St Joseph’s Macau (CAST) teaching Superior of Seminary by 1868
Early Australian Missioner 1871

Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia Mission : 1872-1879

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
His early studies were under a private tutor at home and he spent one year at Carlow College. he then went to Maynooth, and was one of the students examined in the Commission of Enquiry of 1853 (cf Report, Maynooth Commission, Part II pp 297-299). On the occasion of his Ordination to the Diaconate he Entered the Society.

He made his Noviceship and further Studies at Laval, and was Ordained there 1857.
1858-1863 He was sent to teach at Clongowes.
1863-1865 He was sent as Operarius to Galway.
1865-1872 He was sent as Superior to St Joseph’s Seminary Macau, in China.
1872 He was appointed Superior of the Australian Mission, and also Rector of St Patrick’s Melbourne. He was founder and first Rector of Xavier College, Kew, and later Superior of the Parishes of Hawthorn and Kew.
The last years of his life were at St Ignatius, Richmond, and he died there 19 April 1908 His funeral was attended by a large number of clergy and local people and Archbishop Thomas Carr presided and preached. During his career he preached many Missions and retreats for Priests and Nuns. He was a profound Theologian, and Archbishop Thomas Carr appointed him one of his examiners of young priests arriving from the College. It was said that the Archbishop frequently consulted him on ecclesiastical matters.
On the Feast of St Ignatius 1908 a touching tribute was paid to him in the form of a new pulpit at St Ignatius, Richmond.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 "
He had been studying at Maynooth in Ireland almost up to Ordination when he entered the Society in 1855.

As there was no Noviciate in Ireland, he entered in France, and was later Ordained at Laval in 1857.

1857-1859 He came to Clongowes and taught Classics and Mathematics to the junior classes.
1859-1863 He was sent to Galway and divided these four years between the Parish and the School
1863-1872 He had always wanted to go on the Missions, and when the Portuguese Jesuits in Macau needed a man to teach English in the Seminary there he volunteered, arriving in 1863. There he found himself in a somewhat bizarre situation. The Seminary, with 100 boarders and 116 day boys had as it’s head a Portuguese prelate, Mgr Gouvea, who apparently had little capacity for his position. He and the three other Jesuits on the staff were supposed to be responsible for teaching and discipline, but in fact Gouvea confined them to teaching. The other Jesuits were Italian.
The community’s Superior was a Father Rondina, an enthusiast, his mind full of ambitious projects, but as Gouvea mentioned to his Mission Superior, he was so scatty that he would forget by midday what he had done in the morning and undo it. Rondina wanted to take over the administration of the Seminary, in spite of the fact that the two new men, Cahill and Virgili were sent in response to complaints of his chronic overwork. The other Jesuit - Mattos - was causing trouble by denouncing with some violence, what was practically the slave status of Chinese labourers in Macau - the colonial government was furious.
The two additions were most welcome and the Superior of the Mission wrote that he was delighted to get Cahill. The Feast of St Francis Xavier in 1864 brought letters from Father General Beckx to the priests in Macau. To Cahill, he wrote warmly that he had heard only good of him and hoped this would always be so - he should go on living by the Institute and doing God’s work.
He was not altogether won by the Mission. he wrote at the end of 1864 to the Irish Provincial, who had asked for news of the situation in Japan, and he recommended that the Irish Province should get in there quickly. Other Orders were taking over the cities in Japan, so why should the Irish Province not have a Mission there.
In the meantime, the situation in Macau became more troublesome. Gouvea refused to expel some boys for immorality - the Governor of the colony had interceded for them. Rondina, reporting this, added that Cahill was having stomach trouble, and that his gentleness, admired in an earlier letter, prevented him from maintaining discipline and made some of the boys avoid his subjects. This was a pity. Cahill was so devoted and good, and Gouvea and the assistant masters were rough and harsh with the boys. He was their Spiritual Director, but his work prevented him from being always accessible to them.
By the middle of 1866 Rome had decided that the Macau community needed a new Superior. It would have to be someone already there as no one else could be sent to Macau. The Superior of the Mission and his Consultors proposed Cahill - he was prudent and kind, perhaps not forceful enough - and the community, given to mutual complaints, needed someone strong. If the General, in appointing him, wrote him an encouraging letter, this might help him overcome his timidity. Beckx at first jobbed at appointing Cahill because of his experience, but later agreed that there was no one else, and he was a good man and peaceable. So, in August 1866 he appointed Cahill as Superior of the Seminary community.
Cahill met new problems and was not finding the mission satisfactory to his own missionary zeal - it was a settlement of hardly devout European Catholics. He raised again the question of the Jesuits returning to Japan when he heard of the canonisation of the Japanese martyrs, and asked General Beckx to remember him if the Society decided to found a Mission there.
Meanwhile, Cahill was finding the new Rector of the Seminary Antonio Carvalho - who had been friendly to the Society - becoming more difficult, and again confined the Jesuits to teaching only. Discipline was so bad that the Jesuits withdrew from their rooms in the Seminary and went to live in a house put at their disposal nearby.
Sometime later Cahill was reporting maniacal behaviour on Catvalho’s part - he forbade the Jesuits to hear the boys confessions and complained that to warn the boys against the Freemasons was to engage in politics. The Spanish and Portuguese in Macau were making outrageous accusations against Rondina because he encouraged girls to refuse their advances. The community wanted to withdraw altogether from working in the Seminary. Further dissensions developed with the Society on the outside watching and waiting. But the situation did not improve and Cahill wanted to leave the Mission. The situation became so impossible that the Jesuit presence there became impossible.
At one time during his stay Cahill was awarded a knighthood by the Emperor of Annam, for work he did for some Annamese fishermen unjustly imprisoned in Macau. He became so proficient in Chinese that he wrote a Chinese catechism for his people.
Cahill left for Manila, hoping to be sent from there to China, and indeed the Provincial in Portugal suggested using him in one of the off coast islands from which some missionaries had just been expelled. But the Irish Provincial wanted him to go to the new Irish Mission in Australia. Father General wrote to him in January 1872, praising his missionary zeal and thanking him for all he had done in Macau. he wrote that Melbourne’s needs were imperative and Cahill should get down there as soon as possible.
1872 In April of that year General Beckx asked the Irish provincial for three names of men suitable for appointment as Superior of the Australian Mission, Cahill’s name led all the rest, and in July he became Superior of the Mission. Two years later he was also Rector of St Patrick’s College Melbourne, and exchanged this post for the Rectorship of the newly formed Xavier College, remaining Superior of the Mission. At this time his students remembered him as a very earnest and able man, constantly called upon by the diocese to give occasional addresses. He was a methodical teacher of Classics and Mathematics.
He may have found Melbourne dull after Macau, or suffered a reaction after all the excitements there. In September 1875 Father general wrote complaining that he had not heard from him in two years, and six months later complained tat it was not two years and six months since he’d had a letter. Perhaps Macau had nothing to do with it, for the General also complained of one of the Mission Consultors - he had written only once in the past three years, and that was to say that there was nothing to write about.
Cahill remained Superior of the Mission until 1879, and Rector of Xavier until December of that year. During his time as Superior, in February 1875 he had preached at the opening of St Aloysius Church , Sevenhill, and in 1877 gave a two hour funeral oration on the first Australian Bishop, Dr Polding at a “Month’s Mind”.
1880-883 he did Parish work at Richmond
1883-1887 he taught for the university exams at St Patrick’s College Melbourne.
1887-1890 He worked at the Hawthorn Parish
1890-1894 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at Richmond.
18694-1896 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at Hawthorn
1896-1908 he was back at Richmond as Spiritual Father and a house Consultor.

Thomas Cahill was one of the “founding fathers” of the Australian Province, He was a fine preacher, a classicist, a linguist and a zealous pastor. He was also a respected theologian, called on to preach at Synods both in Sydney and Melbourne. He was one of the Diocesan examiners of the clergy and a Consultor of the Archbishop.

He was a man with a fine constitution, and did the work of a young man until within a few months of his death. However, suffering from heart trouble, there were long periods in his life when he was unable to leave his room. His life was given to his work, devoted to the confessional and the sick and those in trouble. he had a good memory for his former students and parishioners and was a good friend to many.

Note from Walmsley Smith Entry
Smith was baptised, 10 April 1904, by Thomas Cahill, the first rector of Xavier College.

Carroll, John, 1911-1957, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Older brother of Denis Carroll - RIP 1992

by 1939 at Loyola Hong Kong - studying

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Requiem Mass for Former Wah Yan College Rector

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

◆ Mungret Annual, 1957

Obituary

Father John Carroll SJ

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

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

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

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.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1989

Obituary

Father Gerard Casey SJ

Fr Gerry Casey SJ, another who gave his whole life to Hong Kong as a school-teacher, spent the year 1947-48 on the staff of Belvedere, marking time after ordination before going out to the mission. He died there on 3rd February 1989, at the age of 83.

Chan Yiu-sing, Lúcás, 1968-2015, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1042
  • Person
  • 07 June 1968-19 May 2015

Born: 07 June 1968, Wong Tai Sin, New Kowloon, Hong Kong
Entered: 08 January 1993, Singapore, Sinensis Province (CHN)
Ordained: 26 August 2006, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Hong Kong
Died: 19 May 2015, Marquette University, Milwaukee WI, USA - Sinensis Province (CHN)

by 2013 came to Manresa (HIB) making Tertianship
by 2014 at Leeson St (HIB) teaching ISE

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Society of Jesus diaconate ordination

Lúcás Chan Yiu-sing, a scholastic of the Society of Jesus, will be ordained as a deacon on the 31 July 2005 by Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun.

Lúcás comes from a Catholic family in Wong Tai Sin and, as a child, was a parishioner of St. Vincent de Paul’s parish. He received his primary education at a nearby Franciscan school and completed his secondary education and matriculation at Ying Wa College. At the same time, he joined the Legion of Mary and was an active member until he joined the Society of Jesus.

Upon completing his tertiary education, Lucas started his teaching career, first as a student teacher at St. Paul’s Co-ed Secondary School, then as a full-time mathematics teacher at Wah Yan College, Kowloon.

He began seriously discerning his Jesuit vocation after participating in a three-week-long Jesuit South East Asia & Oceania Secondary Schools Administrators’ Programme, held in Manila in the summer of 1991. He was much impressed by the lifestyle and example of the Jesuits and other religious. After another one-and-a-half years of teaching, Lúcás applied to and was accepted into the Jesuit novitiate in Singapore.

Upon finishing two years of noviceship, he began philosophy training at the Holy Spirit Seminary College in Aberdeen. Two years later, he was sent to England to pursue a masters’ degree in educational management. In 1999,he went on mission to Cambodia and Macau for ‘regency’ where he was involved in both educational and social apostolates. In May 2002, he was assigned to Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University in The Philippines to do theology and a masters’ in pastoral ministry.

After diaconate ordination, Lúcás will leave for Boston, in the United States, to begin a licentiate programme (STL) in moral theology.

The Chinese Province of the Society of Jesus cordially invites you to join our liturgical celebration at 3.30pm at St. Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College, Kowloon.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 24 July 2005

Two to be ordained to the priesthood

Reverend Peter Lo Pak-wing and Reverend Lúcás Chan Yiu-sing, will be ordained priests on August 26 at the Cathe­dral of Immaculate Conception by Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun.

Lúcás Chan Yiu Sing, 38, was born to a Catholic family and was a parishioner of St. Vincent’s church, Wong Tai Sin, where he was a member of Legion of Mary until he joined the the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). After completing his tertiary education, worked, first as a student teacher at St. Paul’s Co-ed Secondary School, then as a full-time mathematics teacher at Wah Yan College, Kowloon.

He joined the Jesuits towards the end of 1992 and entered the novitiate in Singapore. After two years, he returned to Hong Kong and studied philosophy at the Holy Spirit Seminary College. From 1997 to 1999 he pursued a masters degree in education management in the United Kingdom before being sent on mission to Cambodia and Macau. He was then assigned to the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University in The Philippines, where he studied theology and obtained a master’s degree in pastoral work management.

Following his diaconate ordination, Reverend Chan took up a licentiate programme (STL) in Moral Theology and Scripture in Boston, the United States of America. Over the past year, he has been involved in academic research on HIV/AIDS and was on the planning committee of The First International Cross-cultural Conference for Catholic Theological Ethicists, held in Padua, Italy last July.

Following his ordination to the priesthood, he will continue his studies in Boston and work at a children hospital. He will celebrate his first Mass at St. Ignatius Chapel at 9.00am on August 27.

Hong Kong-born Jesuit builder of bridges crosses to the eternal

Hong Kong born Jesuit Father Lúcás Chan Yiu-sing died unexpectedly on 19 May 2015 after collapsing at Marquette Hall, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the United States of America (US), where he had been an assistant professor of theology, He was 46-year-old.

Born on 7 June 1968, Father Chan was born to a Catholic family and was a parishioner of St. Vincent’s Parish, Wong Tai Sin, where he was a member of Legion of Mary. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1993 at the Loyola House Novitiate in Singapore and was ordained a priest on 26 August 2006 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Caine Road, Hong Kong (Sunday Examiner, 20 August 2006 and 3 September 2006).

The Jesuit publication, America, reported on 22 May that Father Chan received his PhD in theological ethics at Boston College in 2010. He also received of post-doctoral fellowships from Yale and Georgetown universities and was a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America as well as the Society of Christian Ethics.

Father Chan served as a consultant to the Bioethics Committees of two Catholic Hospitals in Boston, and as Asian Regional Director of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church.

Prior to joining the Marquette faculty he held academic appointments at Trinity College and the Jesuit European Tertianship Programme in Dublin, Ireland; the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley at Santa Clara University, California; and at The Chinese University of Hong Kong .

In his homily during the funeral Mass in Milwaukee, Father Stephen Tong, Jesuit superior for Hong Kong and director of the Xavier Retreat House, Cheung Chau, called him a bridge builder. He noted that in his two books - The Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes: Biblical Studies and Ethics for Real Life and Biblical Ethics in the Twenty-first Century: Developments, Emerging Consensus, and Future Directions - Father Chan spoke of building bridges.

“Lucas Chan wrote about building bridges because he was a bridge builder,” said Father Tong. “The man whose spiritual and intellectual formation, began in Hong Kong and ended in Milwaukee, had built bridges as he moved to England, Singapore, Cambodia, Macau, the Philippines, the US, Ireland, as well as Italy and Germany.”

Father Tong noted that he built other bridges, “He wrote and spoke around the world on the bridge between Christian and Confucian ethics. He and I, for instance, wrote an essay on it for the Jesuit, Macau-based Chinese Cross Currents. He constructed this bridge out of the virtues and he knew how important these bridges were… He also built bridges between the Old and New Testaments, by teaching us that the 10 Commandments and the eight Beatitudes are the two moral pillars of our religious tradition.”

He said, “Most of all he built bridges among us. In this congregation today, there are his Irish friends, his Cantonese friends, his Boston friends, his California friends and, most importantly, his new found Milwaukee friends. He has friends everywhere…” He went on to say, “Because of his bridge building among us, we are not isolated but connected. Many of you know me through Lucas, as I know you. He ushered us across bridges to meet one another…”

Father Tong concluded, saying, “Now as before, he goes before us again, building bridges for us. He has not left us, he never will, he is just ahead of us, building bridges.”

May he rest in peace.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 21 June 2015

◆ Jesuits in Ireland https://www.jesuit.ie/news/warm-tributes-paid-to-lucas-chan-sj-rip/

Warm tributes paid to Lúcás Chan SJ, RIP
Warm tributes have been paid by noted academics and theologians from Ireland and around the world to Fr. Lúcás Chan SJ (46), a Hong Kong native and Jesuit of the Chinese Province who died suddenly on Tuesday 19 May after collapsing at Marquette University, Wisconsin, USA, where he was Assistant Professor of Theology. Prior to joining the faculty of Marquette in 2014 Lúcás spent a number of years in Dublin. He was the Michael Hurley SJ, Postdoctoral Fellow for 2013-14 at the Irish School of Ecumenics at Trinity College, and during that time he lived with the Jesuit Community in Leeson Street in the city-centre. He also lived in Dublin from 2012-13 while completing his Jesuit tertianship in Manresa.
Lúcás is fondly remembered in the Leeson Street Community. Superior Brian Grogan SJ paid this tribute:- “Lúcás was a delightful man and a good community member. A beam of sunshine on dark days, he never seemed to lose his inner happiness, and radiated good humour. Kind and considerate, he looked out for the older members of the community in unobtrusive ways. Since leaving us, he continued to correspond with me and ask for details of the brethren. I think of him as a prodigious worker, rising at an ungodly hour, to pray, have breakfast and get to work. He would cycle to Trinity College where he lectured in the Irish School of Ecumenics. He was highly conscientious with students, taking hours over marking scripts and giving helpful feedback. Saturdays and Sundays found him in his office. His was a 24/7 pace: I often tried to get him to slow down, take time out, etc. But he couldn’t stop. And of course he was a rising star in the academic world. His writings form a rich legacy. Yet he could find time to become more proficient in Irish (Gaelic), and we had good fun in helping him to master it. We were quietly proud that a native of Hong Kong esteemed our native tongue so much! We have a well-known phrase in Irish: Ní bheidh a leitheidí arís ann. ‘His like will not be found again’. He was, perhaps more obviously than most of us, unique!”
Linda Hogan, the vice provost and chief academic officer for Trinity College, said it was a “tremendous privilege” to have known and worked with Lucas. She said that while he was only beginning to gain recognition in his area of work, “it was already overdue since his publications were significant and profound.” Marquette University President Michael R. Lovell described Lúcás as being “dedicated his life to serving God and being a man for others around the world.” Robert Masson, the department chair in theology at the university, said the community were “still reeling” from his death.”We anticipated that he would be a leading voice in the next generation of moral theologians and we were delighted to have him join our faculty”, he said. Fr. Jim Keenan SJ of Boston College who worked with him as part of a global network of moral theologians known as ‘Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church’ (CTEWC) explained how Lúcás was in deep gratitude for the work he was involved with, “more than anything he was very happy that he could be a part of something that meant the world to him and to others and he was excited by the way this work brought him into connection with others in his parishes, his classrooms, his conferences or his friends and family.” Fr Jimmy Hurley SJ has now returned to Ireland from Hong Kong where he was missioned for many years and where he met Lúcás for the first time. At a special event in Trinity College to mark the life of Lúcás and his work, he paid warm tribute to him as a friend, Jesuit brother and academic.
A pioneer in the field of theological ethics, Lúcás focused his work in the still-emerging area of biblical ethics left a strong imprint in the field. The young theologian was to the fore in the academic effort to translate biblical teachings to the moral lives of ordinary Christians. At the time of his death he was editing a text that brought together 24 biblical scholars and ethicists from 17 countries and planning a conference in Bangalore, India, for July that is to see dozens of prominent academics across Asia gather to discuss doing theology in a cross-cultural and interfaith context. Lúcás was a high school teacher before studying for bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and management, and later a master’s degree in international management. After completing a Bachelor of Sacred Theology at the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines he earned his licentiate in theology at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and completed a Ph.D. in theological ethics at Boston College. He was a recipient of post-doctoral fellowships from Yale and Georgetown universities and held other appointments at the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley; Santa Clara University; and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Outside of his work in theology, Lúcás had an avid interest in photography, and he regularly captured images from the many theological meetings that he was part of around the globe. He spoke fluent Cantonese, English and Khmer, the official language of Cambodia. He is survived by his parents, brother, sister and niece and nephew. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a ainm dílis.
Niall Markey is a former Irish Jesuit novice and former teacher at Belvedere College SJ. He first met Lúcás in the Jesuit Novitiate in Birmingham and that was the beginning of a lasting friendship that transcended geographical borders. On returning from his funeral last week, Niall wrote this moving tribute to his dear friend.
“I am neither a scholar nor a writer. But what you read here is a very humble tribute to my late, great and dear friend, Fr. Lúcás (Yiu Sing Luke) Chan, SJ, who died May 19, 2015.
Believe or not, I learned of Lúcás’ death through a posting on Facebook. I will never forget the sense of shock as my heart sank into despair and disbelief. Lúcás and I were born in the same year with our birthdays only five days apart. He was the youngest. In the early days of our friendship, Lúcás told me that we would always be brothers, no matter where we went or however our lives turned out. That was true. When he told you something, he meant it.
I first met Lúcás at the Jesuit Novitiate in Birmingham, England, in September 1996. On the day he joined the community, he sought me out after supper that evening, and introduced himself as Lúcás, an “Irish/Chinese” Scholastic from Hong Kong. In the course of our conversation, he talked very affectionately about Fr. James Hurley and the other Irish Jesuits who were residing in Hong Kong at that time. As he spoke, it was very evident that he loved them dearly and attributed his Jesuit life to them. Later on that evening as I ascended the stairs to my room on the top floor, I noticed a black and white Irish Road sign on the wall outside my room. The sign read; “Ireland” with the pointer pointing towards my door and beyond. I felt quite elated in thinking that someone was trying to make me feel at home. Turned out, it was Lúcás and he was my new next door neighbor! Within a very short space of time we became good friends and I began to feel a sense of mutuality between us.
In the year that followed, new novices arrived at Manresa House. One in particular was a Scotsman named Mark. Within a short space of time, Mark and I became good friends, through Lúcás. As our friendships grew, Lúcás christened us “The Trinity”. Throughout the years we managed to stay in touch with each other, but not collectively. Lúcás was very instrumental in maintaining contact. Eventually in September, 2012, Lúcás managed to reunite all three of us in Dublin for what he called “The Reunification of the Trinity”.
In late 2001, I left the Society and relocated to New York. About a year after that I received an email from Lúcás informing me that he would be taking up a residency at Boston College. This is where he began his studies in Moral Theology. Over the years of his time in Boston, we stayed in touch. He came on visits. Sometimes for a couple of hours, other times he came for a few days. Nonetheless, they were precious. Last year, on my birthday I received a phone call from Lúcás informing me that he was at Kennedy Airport awaiting a connecting flight to San Francisco. His flight was waylaid and he wondered if I could join him for lunch in the airport. That was one of the greatest birthday surprises I ever received. It done my heart the world of good to see him.
The last time I saw Lúcás was December 30, of last year. I loved our meetings. This time we met up at the beautiful Church of St Ignatius Loyola on Park Avenue in Manhattan. Prior to our meeting he told me to make sure I found a suitable place for us to dine as we would be celebrating Christmas and New Year. Like the food, the conversation was rich and wholesome. Lúcás was in great form – he was actually quite ecstatic. He spoke lovingly of his dear friend, James Keenan, SJ., being eternally grateful to him for believing in him as a moral theologian. I could see that Lúcás had finally come into his own as a Jesuit.
At Lúcás’ funeral in Milwaukee, the congregation consisted of family, friends, colleagues and Jesuits – all suspended in a state of disbelief. Fr. James Keenan, SJ, very appropriately began his homily by referring to Lúcás as a Bridge-Builder. His brother, Charles in his eulogy, described Lúcás as a ‘Gift From God’ to their family. When all was said and done, it was consoling to know that in our gathering, we were all commonly connected through Lúcás’ love for each of us. As I descended from the Church of the Gesu onto West Wisconsin Avenue, I was overcome by a great sense of grief and abandonment. As the evening light cast it shadows upon the churches magnificent facade, I decided to take a walk along the avenue in memory of Lúcás. Upon reaching the entrance door to Marquette Hall, in gratitude, I said a heartfelt farewell to my dear brother and friend.”

◆ The Jesuits of Canada and the US https://jesuits.org/profile-detail/Lucas-Chan
Luke) Chan, S.J., who died at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., on May 19, 2015. He was 46 years old, a Jesuit for 22 years, and a priest for 8 years. May he rest in peace.
Lúcás was born in Hong Kong, China, on June 7, 1968, where he spent his childhood and young adult years. Before entering the Singapore novitiate of the Chinese Province of the Society of Jesus in 1993, Lúcás attended Sir Robert Black College of Education (Hong Kong). Following philosophy studies in Hong Kong, Lúcás pursued degrees in education at the University of Birmingham (UK). He completed his first and second cycles of theology at Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines and Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Boston, Mass. Lúcás was ordained to the priesthood on August 26, 2006, and made tertianship in Dublin, Ireland.
Assigned to regency with the Jesuit Service in Cambodia, Lúcás was the first Chinese Jesuit to be missioned to apostolic work outside the province. He served as the acting director for Banteay Prieb, a vocational training school for the handicapped, near Phnom Penh. He completed a final year of regency at Matteo Ricci College in Macau. After completing doctoral studies in biblical ethics at Boston College in 2010, Lúcás held various fellowships and visiting professorships: visiting fellow, Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Conn.; international visiting fellow, Woodstock Theological Center, Washington, DC; adjunct assistant professor, the Chinese University of Hong Kong; international visiting Jesuit scholar, the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, Calif.; and Michael Hurley, S.J., Fellow, Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. In 2014, Marquette University hired Lúcás for a tenure track position in its Theology Department. During his doctoral studies and teaching, Lúcás stayed involved with pastoral work, particularly with Chinese Catholics. He loved presiding and preaching.
Through his formation, studies, and teaching, Lúcás participated in the Jesuits' work in several different countries; this gave him a broad sense of the Society and its universal mission. Being comfortable with a simple lifestyle and possessing a keen intellect complemented his availability to go where he was called and where the need was greatest. A gifted academic, Lúcás was diligent, disciplined, and prodigious in his work. Veteran scholars in his field regarded him among the world's top ten moralists of his generation. At the time of his death, Lúcás had published two books and numerous journal articles. Perhaps it was his being a virtue ethicist that gave him the ability to gently blend intelligence with empathy. He possessed the admirable qualities of patience and understanding, easily formed friendships with people from different cultures, and had a natural
inclination to connect with older people. He always respected the other and was a faithful friend and strong colleague.

Chan, Albert, 1915-2005, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 25 January 1915, Pacasmayo, Peru / Kunming, Yunnan, China
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.

Chang Szu-Heng, Joseph, 1913-1980, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1044
  • Person
  • 21 April 1913-30 July 1980

Born: 21 April 1913, Hebei, China
Entered: 23 August 1932, Campaniae Province (CAMP)
Ordained: 24 May 1947
Professed: 02 February 1950
Died: 30 July 1980, Luodong, Taiwan - Sinensis Province (HN)

by 1953 came to Aberdeen Hong Kong (HIB) teaching

Coghlan, Seán, 1933-2021, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

Remembering Sean Coghlan, SJ (1933-2021)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thomas Morrissey,

Collins, Edward, 1915-2003, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 117 : Special Issue November 2003

Obituary

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

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

Harry Naylor writes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Collins, John J, 1912-1997, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/648
  • Person
  • 19 January 1912-17 June1997

Born: 19 January 1912, Clonskeagh, Dublin
Entered: 02 September 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 08 January 1944, Sydney, Australia
Final Vows: 05 November 1977
Died: 17 June1997, St Joseph's Home, New Kowloon, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

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

Oldest brother of Ted (RIP 2003) and Des RIP (1996)

by 1938 at Loyola, Hong Kong - studying
by 1941 at Pymble NSW, Australia - studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father John Collins, S.J.
(1912-1997)
R.I.P.

Father John Collins SJ., died on 17 June 1997 at St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged in Kowloon. He was 85 years old and a priest of the Society of Jesus for 53 years.

John Collins was born in Dublin, Ireland on 19 January 1912 and entered the Society of Jesus in 1929. After his novitiate he did his university and philosophical studies in Ireland and then left for Hong Kong, arriving in September 1937. He spent his first two years here studying Cantonese. He became a fluent speaker and read Chinese with ease. He spent a year teaching in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong.

In January 1939, while still a language student, he had a very significant experience, which greatly influenced the course of his life. He went with some other Jesuits to an area near the border to help look after 1500 refugees who had fled the advance of the Japanese army. This experience gave him a feeling for those in trouble and made him a patient, resourceful and well informed battler for a wide variety of the sick, the poor and the dispossessed.

He learned then to recruit others to work with him in his activities on behalf of fairness and justice. Many of his recruits became loyal followers, trusted associates and close personal friends.

In 1940 Father Collins left Hong Kong for Australia where he studied theology and was ordained priest in 1944. A long voyage across the Pacific and the Atlantic in the last weeks of World War II brought him to Ireland when he finished his ecclesiastical studies.

He returned to Hong Kong in 1946 where, apart from two years of study and numerous trips abroad in the course of his work, he remained until his death. These two years of study brought him to London University for Chinese studies and to the Philippines and Fiji to observe the Credit Union movement.

Father Collins taught for several years in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong and Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He also devoted himself to pastoral work outside the schools.

Gradually, however, Father Collins began to move into the area of social work. He became deeply interested in the Credit Union and was a founder and permanent adviser of the Credit Union League of Hong Kong. He would probably regard his greatest achievement in this work as being able to distance himself gracefully from the day-to-day running of the League. The followers he inspired made the League a real Hong Kong body and had much to do with spreading the Credit Union movement to other parts of the world.

By an almost parallel involvement Father Collins became one of the most practical advocates of the rights of the disabled to as normal a life as possible. He was a founder member of the Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation. He was actively involved in the work of the St. Camillus Benevolent Association and held posts too numerous to mention in Local, Asian and international organisations for the disabled.

Father Collins was an internationally known expert on access and transport for the disabled. He advised Government in these two areas and strove to ensure that the disabled were given a chance to earn their living. He represented Hong Kong at many meetings overseas and received numerous awards in recognition of his work for the disabled.

In 1979 he became an MBE He was an executive committee member of the Hong Kong Council of Social Services and helped found the Educators’ Social Action Committee. He was a director and instructor of the Hong Kong Centre of the Gabriel Richard Institute which trains young professionals in developing confidence.

Father Collins was an Advisory Committee member of the Red Cross a former chairman and member for twenty years of the Family Welfare Society and a chairman of the International Year of the Child Commission. He also helped to found SELA (Committee for the Development of Socio-Economic Life in Asia), and organisation for Jesuits engaged in socioeconomic work.

Father Collins made innumerable friends. Being a perfectionist and relentlessly hard worker he knew exactly what he was talking about in his chosen areas of work. He was dogged and intelligent campaign for those who did not have much power and influence. He worked to ensure that not only were those in difficulty helped, but that they learn to help themselves and others.

Because he was a fighter he no infrequently clashed with other. However, his dedication and sincerity probably led most of his sparring partners to forgive him for his pugnacity. He also knew when a battle was lost. He complained vigorously regrouped and tried another strategy.

Father Collins kept meticulous files. He was proud of them and the were a solace to him. He worked for as long as he could. Progressively health made it impossible for him sally forth to pursue his numerous causes. He spent the last months his life in retirement in hospital, Wah Yan College, Kowloon and with the Little Sisters of the Poor Ngauchiwan.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 29 June 1997

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
John made his University and Philosophy studies in Ireland. He came to Hong Kong in 1937 to study and become fluent in Cantonese. By 1929 he was working to help the refugees, sick, poor and dispossessed, and he fought for fairness and justice.
1940 He left Hong Kong for Australia to study Theology at Canisius College Pymble and he was Ordained there in 1944. The last weeks of WWII saw him able to return to Ireland and Milltown Park and there he finished his studies.
He then went to the Philippines to observe the Credit Union movement. He was a founding member of the Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation (HKSR) and the St Camillus Benevolent Association (now St Camillus Credit Union)
1979 He was awarded an MBE and was an Executive Committee Member of the Hong Kong Council of Social Services, and he was also in the Education Social Action Committee, Advisory Committee Member of the Red Cross, and was for a time Chair of the Family Welfare Society. He also served on the Committee for the Development of Socio-Economic Life in Asia (SELA - Jesuits in socio-economic work). He was involved in the building of a special Rehabilitation Centre for Handicapped.
In 1962 he began organising Credit Unions in Hong Kong.

In 1929, while a Regent, he had a significant experience which greatly influenced the course of his life. he went with some Jesuits to an area near the border to help look after ,500 refugees who had fled the advance of the Japanese army. This experience gave him a feeling for those in trouble, and it made him a patient, resourceful and well-informed battler for a wide variety of the sick, poor and dispossessed. he also learned then how to recruit others to his work on behalf of justice and fairness. Many of his recruits became loyal followers, trusted associates and close personal friends.
He taught for several years at Wah Yan College Hong Kong and Kowloon, and he also devoted himself to pastoral work outside the schools. Gradually he moved more and more into the are of Social Work. he started with the lepers who came to Telegraphic Bay in the late 1940s. He became deeply interested in Credit Unions, and he was a fouder and permanent advisor to the Credit Union League of Hong Kong. The followers he inspired made the League a Hong Kong body and were involved in spreading the Credit Union movement to other parts of the world.
By an almost parallel involvement, he became on of the most practical advocates of the rights of the disabled, involved in founding HKSR. In this he represented Hong Kong and received many awards for his achievements. As well as his involvement in the St Camillus Benevolent Association, he was involved in local, Asian and international organisations for the disabled and became a world expert on access and transport for the disabled.
Meanwhile he also was a founding member of the Hong Kong Centre for the Gabriel Richard Institute, which trained young professionals in developing confidence.

According to Freddie Deignan it was a deliberate decision by the Provincial of the day to release John from teaching so that he could engage in social work.

Note from Ted Collins Entry
When he returned to Hong Kong he was devoted to setting up the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council (CMAC) and helping the marginalised in Hong Kong. In this he was following in the footsteps of his older brother John who had set up credit unions, and fought for the rights of the diabled.

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

◆ 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

Cooney, Albert, 1905-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/649
  • Person
  • 31 August 1905-06 December 1997

Born: 31 August 1905, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1938, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 06 December 1997, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

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

by 1927 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1937 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1960 at St Aloysius College Birkirkara, Malta (MEL) teaching

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Albert Cooney, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Albert Cooney died in Dublin on 6 December 1997. He was 92 years old and had been a Jesuit priest for 62 years.

Albert Cooney was born in Ireland on 31 August 1905 and as a young man became very interested in the performing arts.

Before entering the Society of Jesus on 31 August 1923 he toured Ireland with a drama group. He was ordained on 31 July 1935.

On completing his formal training in the Society he was sent, in 1937, to the Hong Kong Mission where he immediately went to Tai Laam Chung, a language school in the New Territories, to study Cantonese.

At the end of two years of language study he was sent to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, where he was in charge of providing for the material needs of the community when the Pacific War began on 8 December 1941.

With the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, Wah Yan became a Chinese middle school and Father Cooney joined his confreres who set out for free China in April 1942. First they went to Macau and from there on to fort Bayard (Kwangchowan). Towards the end of May he set out from Fort Bayard on the carrier of a bicycle for Pak Hoi in Southern china where he worked in a parish before moving on to Hanoi for a spell. Eventually he came back again to Pak Hoi but in less than a year he was recalled from there to join a new Jesuit venture in Macau.

With the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, about 4000 Portuguese families returned to Macau. To look after the youth, the Macau governor asked the Hong Kong Jesuits to set up a school with all expense paid. The school, St. Luiz Gonzaga, began in January 1943 and Father Albert Cooney was called back from Pak Hoi when the school was well under way. He always looked back to the time that he spent in Macau and happily remembered the boys he taught there.

The war over, St. Luiz Gonzage College closed its doors in December 1945 and Father Albert returned to Hong Kong Wah Yan College. He worked on several committee dealing with social work, helping the Boys and Girls Clubs Association, saying Mass for the US naval forces, and helping students to get into US universities.

In 1947 while on home leave in Ireland, he was informed of his appointment as Rector of Wah Yan. Before returning to Hong Kong he went to the US to collect information about school buildings and equipment for possible Jesuit schools both in Hong Kong and Canton and made arrangements with universities to take students on graduating from Wah Yan College.

Although administration was not his forte, he was well-beloved by the community and was noted for his kindness and thoughtfulness.

On 31 July 1951 he was transferred to Wah Yan College, Kowloon. In October of that year he suddenly suffered a stroke. Although he survived the crisis, a long convalescence kept him in Ireland for the next 10 years.

In November 1962 he arrived back in the Orient, this time to Singapore to take up parish work. The following year he was transferred to St. Francis Xavier’s Church in Petaling Java, Malaysia to work in the church giving retreats and conferences. He was also warden of Xavier Hall. But in 1969, the “right of abode” issue for foreign missionaries in Malaysia forced him to move on.

Early in 1970, he arrived back in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He was to spend the next 22 years of his life here doing light work and keeping in contact with his former students of St. Luiz Gonzaga College.

In September 1992 he finally said good-bye to the Orient when he returned home to Ireland.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 11 January 1998

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He came from a wealthy family and a brother of his became a Carmelite priest. He had a keen interest in the performing arts and toured with a group in Ireland.

When he came to Hong Kong after Ordination in 1937, he went to Tai Lam Chung to study Cantonese. He taught at Wah Yan College Hong Kong and became involved in various social work committees. He also worked with the Girls and Boys Clubs and said Mass for the US Naval forces.

In August 1942 he moved to Luis Gonzaga College in Macau. He also went to Singapore for parish work, and he spent time at St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, working in the church and giving retreats and conferences.He enjoyed producing English plays acted by students, and had a great love of drama and poetry..

He left Hong Kong in 1951 and returned again in 1969 until 1996. At one time he was Principal at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.

◆ Irish Province News

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.

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 97 : Special Edition Summer 1998

Obituary

Fr Albert Cooney (1905-1997)

31st Aug. 1905: Born in Dublin
Education: Belvedere and Mungret
31st Aug. 1923: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
1925 - 1926: Rathfarnham: Juniorate
1926 - 1929: Vals: Philosophy
1929 - 1932: Belvedere College: Regency
1932 - 1936: Milltown Park: Theology
31st July 1935: Ordination
1936 - 1937: Tertianship St. Beuno's:
1937 - 1939: Hong Kong studying Cantonese
2nd Feb. 1938: Final Vows
1939 - 1941: Wah Yan Hong Kong: Minister and Teacher
1941 - 1943: Pak Hoi, China: Church work
1943 - 1945: Macau: Minister and Teacher
1947 - 1951: Wah Yan Hong Kong: Rector and Teacher
1951 - 1953: Recuperation from illness
1953 - 1957: Mungret: Teacher
1957 - 1958: Belvedere College: Teacher
1958 - 1959: Gardiner Street: Convalescence
1959 - 1960: Malta: Teacher at St. Aloysius College
1960 - 1962; Loyola Dublin: Librarian
1962 - 1963: Singapore: St. Ignatius Church, Pastoral work
1963 - 1969: Malaysia, Petaling Jaya: Warden of Xavier Hall
1969 - 1992: Wah Yan College Kowloon: Pastoral work, Tutor
1992 - 1997: Cherryfield Lodge.
6th Dec. 1997: Died aged 92.

Fr. Cooney maintained a consistent state of health during his time at Cherryfield. At the end of October concern was expressed at his condition, but he recovered. He made his farewells and left instructions that he was to be laid out in his Hong Kong gown. On December 5th he said he would go to the next life on the following day. He died shortly after prayers for the dead were recited in the early hours of December 6th. May he rest in peace. Albert enjoyed every moment of his five years in Cherryfield Lodge. He appreciated the comfortable lifestyle and especially the great care and attention he received from his Jesuit colleagues and the staff. He could not speak highly enough of the great kindness he received in the declining years of his long life. When one realizes that Albert was quite a demanding patient, the loving care and attention he received was all the more praiseworthy.

I suppose it was only natural that Albert should fully appreciate and thoroughly enjoy the kindness he experienced during those five years in Cherryfield, because he was such an extremely kind person himself so he could graciously accept the care and attention he received. He spoke frequently of the happiness he enjoyed; he was satisfied that he made the right decision when he decided to return to Ireland. I accompanied him when he left Hong Kong in 1992 and I feared that after a little while in Cherryfield he would grow restless and pine for a return to the Orient, but I need not have worried. His heart may still have been in the East, but he was happy and content in Cherryfield.

One of the most prominent traits in Albert's character was his concern for others, and his desire to do all he could to make life more comfortable and agreeable for them. One of my first memories of him goes back to Holy Week of 1948. Four of us, scholastics, were studying Chinese in Canton at the time and Albert, as Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong invited us to join his community during the Easter holidays. I can well remember his sending us out to Repulse Bay - one of Hong Kong's most popular beaches - to enjoy a swim and sunshine on Holy Thursday. Can you imagine, long before the more relaxed days that followed Vatican II, there we were, on Holy Thursday, relaxing in the glorious sunshine. If some of us had qualms about such frivolity during Holy Week, Albert felt that was what we needed and he saw to it that was what we got. That was just one of the many kindnesses Albert showed us as we struggled with the intricacies of the Chinese language. We were always welcome to join his community during our vacations and he frequently sent us cakes, chocolates and other goodies while we were in Canton.

In those days clerics were permitted to go to the cinema in Hong Kong only if they had the express permission of the Bishop granted on each occasion. Albert must have thought this was an unfair position. He used to borrow 16mm films and invite all the Jesuits in Hong Kong to showings in Wah Yan College. Another of his initiatives was to prevail on one of his friends who owned a cinema to have private previews for the convenience of all the clergy in Hong Kong. This was a facility that was much appreciated and well attended. It was just another example of Albert's desire to help all he could.

When the Japanese occupied Hong Kong in 1941 plans that had already been prepared by the government were put into operation. Albert, along with several other Jesuits, was assigned to “billeting” duties. The job consisted mainly in finding quarters for those who were displaced by the fighting, Little more than a year after the occupation, Albert, like many other Hong Kong residents, left the colony. Many Chinese returned to their native villages and many of Portuguese extraction set out for Macau - a Portuguese overseas territory, not far from Hong Kong. After some time Albert made his way first into South China, then Vietnam and then back again to South China, where he worked in a parish.

Then began for him what was probably one of the most interesting periods of his life. The government of Macau invited the Jesuits to open a college for young Portuguese boys who had come to Macau from Hong Kong. Albert seems to have loved the two years he spent there, and up to the end of his life he took an intense interest in the young men he had been teaching. He continued to keep in touch with some of them over the years - one of them even visited him while he was in Cherryfield.

After the end of the war in Asia Albert returned to Ireland on home leave and in 1947 he was informed that he would be the new Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. School administration was not one of Albert's strong points but he was extremely fortunate that during his term of office he had two excellent Prefects of Study - Fr. Harry O'Brien and Fr. John Carroll - who ran the College very efficiently. More or less relieved of the responsibility of running the College, Albert was able to devote much of his time to other activities. He took a special interest in the “Shoeshine Boys Club” - a club started by Fr, Joe Howatson for “Shoeshine Boys” - young lads who earned a meager living by shining shoes in the Central district of Hong Kong. In the Club they were given some basic education, they could play games in the College and they were given a hot, nourishing meal three evenings each week.

In July, 1951 Albert was transferred to Wah Yan College, Kowloon and in less than three months he was taken suddenly ill, due to a blood clot near his brain. For some time he was in a critical condition and eventually had to return to Ireland for a very long period of convalescence. He did not return to the Orient until 1962, this time to Singapore where he did parish work for one year and then was transferred to Petaling Jaya, in Malaysia, where, in addition to parish work he was Warden of a hostel for University students. Immigration restrictions limited his time in Malaysia and he returned to Wah Yan College, Kowloon in 1970. There he helped out in the church engaged in a good deal of tutoring, and kept in touch with past pupils of Wah Yan College and St. Luis Gonzaga College - the College in which he had taught in Macau.

With his health declining, Albert expressed a wish to return to Ireland; thus in September, 1992 he took up residence in Cherryfield. As long as his health continued, he did some tutoring; one of his pupils was a French gentleman to whom he taught French! He also took a keen interest in foreign scholastics who were helping out in Cherryfield, and helped them with their English.

Albert led a full life, active as long as he could be and went peacefully to his reward on 6th December, 1997. May he rest in peace.

Joe Foley, SJ

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1998

Obituary

Father Albert Cooney SJ (OB 1938)

Fr Albert Cooney died on 6th December 1997 in Cherryfield Lodge. He was educated at Belvedere and taught there in the late 50's. Albert was an extremely kind person. He spoke frequently of the happiness he enjoyed. He had lived so much of his life in Hong Kong but he was satisfied that he made the right decision when he decided to return to Ireland for health reasons. His heart may still have been in the East, but he was happy and content in Cherryfield.

One of the most prominent traits in Albert's character was his concern for others, and his desire to do all he could to make life more comfortable and agreeable for them.

As long as his health continued, he did some tutoring in Cherryfield; one of his pupils was a French gentleman to whom he taught French! He also took a keen interest in the foreign scholastics who were helping out in Cherryfield, and helped them with their English.

Albert led a full life, active as long as he could be and went peacefully to his reward. May he rest in peace.

Cooney, Thomas, 1896-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/102
  • Person
  • 02 December 1896-17 July 1985

Born: 02 December 1896, Carrick-on-Suir, Tipperary
Entered: 22 May 1920, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1928, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1937, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 17 July 1985, Chikuni College, Chisekesi, Zambia - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03 December 1969

Studied BSc Engineering at Royal College of Science, Merrion Square 1915-1919 before entry, and awarded a 3 year “Exhibition of 1856” thereafter which he did not complete.

Awarded a B.Sc. honoris causa by the N.U.I. in 1936.

by 1930 Third wave Hong Kong Missioners
by 1935 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
Mission Superior of the Irish Province Mission to Hong Kong 09 November 1935-1941

by 1952 in Australia

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He was educated by the Christian Brothers at Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary. Afterwards he attended University taking a BSc (Engineering) from the University of London and a BSc (Hons) from University College Dublin.

1922-1929 After First Vows he studied Philosophy and Theology at Milltown Park Dublin, and was Ordained in 1928.
1929-1945 He was sent to Hong Kong, where he became Rector of the Seminary (1929-1945) and became Superior of the Mission (1935-1941). This also included a break to make his tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales (1934-1935)
He lived through the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong (December 1941-August 1944). He left for Macau for a short time and then moved to Australia as his health had broken down.
1945-1953 He taught at St Ignatius College Riverview where he related well with everyone and was an efficient Prefect of Studies. Many people sought his counsel. He taught general Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry and achieved good examination results. His students felt his interest in them and found him very supportive and encouraging.
1953-1985 He went to the Irish Province Mission in Zambia and remained at Chukuni until his death. From 1955-1970 He was the Mission Bursar. When the Teacher Training College at Charles Lwanga was to be built in the late fifties, he was the one who looked after the construction of a dam. before the spillway was ready there was an exceptionally heavy rainfall that caused the dam to fill rapidly, so that there was a danger the dam wall would be swept away by the pressure of water. Every morning during those critical days, he was down early to scrutinise the rising levels of water.

He had a real fondness for animals. He rarely took a holiday but loved a visit to a game park.

He was a gentleman in every sense of the word, and he had an extraordinary gift for making people feel welcome at Chikuni, carrying the bags of visitors, making sure they were looked after and would try to e present when they left to wish them a good journey.

He was a very dedicated and painstaking teacher of Mathematics and Science at Canisius College and was appreciated by his students - no nonsense was ever tolerated in his classroom!

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
On 17 July 1985 in his 89th year, Fr Tom Cooney went to his long awaited reward. He was born on the 2 December 1896 in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, Ireland. He attended the Christian Brothers school in Carrick-on-Suir and won a scholarship to the university in his last year at school. He was a brilliant student and took his B.Sc. from London and a B.Sc. from Dublin, getting honours in the latter. He was a mechanical and electrical engineer.

He first learned about the Jesuits from the Encyclopaedia Britannica which did not speak too highly of them in that particular edition but Tom decided to join them. While an engineering student in Dublin (1915-1919) he used a lot of his spare time in the making of bombs in the Dublin Mountains as his contribution to the final struggle for independence.

He joined the Society in 1920 and, after the usual studies, he was ordained a priest in Milltown Park on 31 July 1928. He was appointed superior of Hong Kong while still in tertianship and arrived out there in 1929. While there, he was Rector of the Major Seminary and also acted as Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University in Hong Kong. He lived through the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong and left for Macao for a short time before moving on to Australia (1946-53), as his health had broken down. He had a hard time persuading the Japanese that being Irish was not English, but he succeeded and so was not interned.

In Riverview College, Sydney, he taught for seven years, being completely fulfilled in the job. He often said that he liked the Australian boys. He was heart and soul in the effort then being made to overhaul the curriculum. In the senior Mathematics and Physics classes he was able to bring promising pupils to their full potential.

When the Irish Jesuits came to Zambia in 1950, the Provincial, Fr Tommy Byrne, was on a visit in 1952 and was being asked for more men especially for one or two senior men. He thought of Fr Tom in Australia and wrote to him that evening inviting him to come, extolling the excellence of the climate (it being the month of May!) and describing it as a veritable paradise. Fr Tom flew to Johannesburg and from there took the three day train journey to Chisekesi, arriving on 15 February 1953 in the middle of a downpour of rain which did not let up for two weeks. His transport got stuck in the Magoye river on the way to Chikuni and for a fortnight after his arrival he could be seen at midday sloshing his way in wellingtons and umbrella across the campus to the dining room. More than once he was to exclaim, "This is what Tommy Byrne called a pleasure resort"!

From 1953 to his death, he always lived at Chikuni both as a teacher at Canisius Secondary School and as procurator of the mission for many years. No big decision was taken on the mission without sounding out the advice and experience of Fr Cooney. When the Teacher Training College at Charles Lwanga was to be built in the late fifties, Fr Cooney was the one who looked after the construction of the dam. Before the spillway was ready, there was an exceptionally heavy rainfall which caused the dam to fill rapidly, so that there was danger of the dam wall being swept away by the pressure of water. Every morning in those critical days an anxious Fr Cooney was down early to scrutinize the rising level of the water.

He had a fondness for animals. Though he rarely took a holiday, a visit to a game park was an occasion he would always rise to. The instant memory people have of Fr Tom is the sight of him walking in the evening with his dog. His favourite one was a collie called Pinty.

Fr Cooney was a gentleman in every sense of the word. He had an extraordinary gift for making people feel welcome to Chikuni and would carry the bags of visitors, making sure that they were looked after and he would try to be present when visitors left, in order to wish them a safe journey.

He was a devoted, dedicated, painstaking teacher at Canisius, something which the pupils appreciated and realized that no nonsense was ever tolerated in his classroom. In the early years, when Grades 8 and 9 were usually 'fails' in the Cambridge examination, he would tell his pupils, "Gentlemen, Grade 8 is a fail and Grade 9 is a first class fail"!

He was a good Jesuit and had a great devotion to the Mass and the Divine Office. His kindliness and welcoming traits reflected that inner appreciation of the person of Christ which flowed out in his attitude to people. He was so willing to help others. Fr Tom was lent to the mission for two years but stayed 32 years until his death.

A strange thing happened on the day Fr Tom was laid to rest in the Chikuni cemetery. "Patches", his last dog, died on that same day.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He lectured (Electrical Engineering) at the University of Hong Kong, as he had graduated from University of London in that subject. During the war years (1942-1945) he went to Macau teaching at Luis Gonzaga College. He was Rector of the South China Regional Seminary in Aberdeen, Hong Kong in 1931. In 1936 he was responsible for obtaining a large telescope from Ireland which he used in the Seminary for the education of the seminarians. His idea was that Hong Kong would join the Jesuits in Shanghai and Manila in astronomical observation and meteorological work.
In 1953 he was Mission Superior in Zambia where he died.

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 60th Year No 4 1985

Obituary

Fr Thomas Cooney (1896-1920-1985) (Zambia)

Born on 2nd December 1896. 22nd May 1920: entered SJ, 1920-22 Tullabeg, noviciate. 1922-25 Milltown, philosophy. 1925-29 Milltown, theology. 1934-35 St Beuno's, tertianship,
1929 to Hong Kong. 1930-32 Ricci Hall, minister and lecturer in university. 1932-34, 1935-37 Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, rector. 1935-41 Superior of the Mission. 1941-43 Wah Yan Hong Kong, teaching. 1943-45 Macau, Mission bursar, teaching.
1945-53 Australia, Sydney, Riverview, teaching.
1953-85 Zambia, Chikuni: teaching till c 1982; 1955-70 Mission bursar; confessor to community and local Sisters. Died on 17th July 1985 in Monze hospital.

In the last few years Fr Cooney's declining health gave plenty of scope to Ours at Chikuni to exercise true fraternal charity. In spite of a heavy workload they all rose to the challenge magnificently. One of those who knew him since 1953 writes:

On 17th July 1985 in his 89th year, Fr Tom Cooney went to his long-awaited reward. He was born on 2nd December 1896 in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, Ireland. He attended the Christian Brothers' school in Carrick-on-Suir and won a scholarship to the university in last year at school. He was a brilliant student and took his BSc (Engineering) from London and a BSc from Dublin, getting honours in the latter.
He first learned about the Jesuits from the Encyclopaedia Britannica which did not speak too highly of them in that particular edition, and Fr Tom decided to join them. While an engineering student in Dublin during the years 1915 to 1919, hę used a lot of his spare time experimenting with the making of bombs in the Dublin mountains.
In 1920 he joined the Society of Jesus and after philosophy and theology in Milltown Park, Dublin, he was ordained a priest on 31st July, 1928. He completed his Tertianship at St Beuno's in Wales during which year he was appointed Superior of the Mission in Hong Kong. From 1929 to 1946 he worked in Hong Kong, being among other things Rector of the Major Seminary. He lived through the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong and left for Macao for a short time before moving on to Australia as his health had broken down. Seven years he spent in Australia teaching at the Jesuit college at Riverview.
The Irish Jesuits had been asked to come to the then Northern Rhodesia to help their Polish fellow-Jesuits there. Fr Tom was asked to join them in 1953. From 1953 to his death, he lived at Chikuni both as teacher at Canisius Secondary School and procurator of the mission for many years. No big decision was taken on the mission without the advice and experience of Fr Cooney. When the Teacher Training College at Charles Lwanga was to be built in the late fifties, Fr Cooney was the one who looked after construction of the dam.
Before the spillway was ready, there was exceptionally heavy rainfall which caused the dam to fill rapidly so that there was danger of the dam wall being swept away by the pressure of water. Every morning in those critical days, an anxious Fr Cooney was down early to scrutinise the rising level of the water.
He had a fondness for animals, Though he rarely took a holiday, a visit to a game park was an occasion he would always rise to. I suppose the instant memory people have of Fr Tom is the sight of him walking in the evening with his dog. Among the many dogs that trailed at his heels over the years, his favourite one was a collie called Pinty.
Fr Cooney was a gentleman in every sense of the word. He had an extra ordinary gift of making people welcome to Chikuni, would carry the bags of visitors, making sure they were looked after, and would try to be present when visitors left to wish them a good journey.
He was also a very devoted and pains taking teacher at Canisius. The many pupils who have had him for maths and science appreciated this talent but at the same time realised that no nonsense was ever tolerated in his classroom. His dedication and 'being an elder' (he was fifty-seven when he first came to Chikuni) offset any discipline he would insist on. In the early years in Chikuni, when Grades 8 and 9 were “fails” in the Cambridge examination, he would tell his pupils: “Gentlemen, Grade 8 is a fail and Grade 9 is a first-class fail.”
Of his spiritual life one can say only what one saw. He was a good Jesuit and had a great devotion to the Mass and the Divine Office. His kindliness and welcoming trait reflected that inner appreciation of the person of Christ which flowed out in his attitude to people. He was ever willing to help others.
To end this brief appraisal: a rather strange thing happened on the very day Fr Tom was laid to rest in Chikuni cemetery - 'Patches', his last dog, died.
May Fr Tom's soul now rest in peace.

Corbally, Matthew C, 1911-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/486
  • Person
  • 08 November 1911-25 January 1989

Born: 08 November 1911, London, England
Entered: 14 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 19 May 1945, Zi-Ka-Wei, Shanghai, China
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 25 January 1989, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December by 1940 in Hong Kong - Regency

by 1943 at Bellarmine, Zi-ka-Wei, near Shanghai, China (FRA) studying1966

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

Father Matthew Corbally, SJ, of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, died suddenly on Wednesday, 25 January 1989, aged 77. He was in full vigour until late in the proceeding week. Then for a few days he complained of loss of all energy. In the morning of 25 January, he collapsed suddenly and never recovered full consciousness.

The news of his death came as a severe shock to the many people who had met him recently, full of life and energy. Some who had known him less well asked it he was the very tall man who smiled so readily. The answer was Yes. Father Corbally was a very tall man - six feet four - but his friendly smile was even more characteristic than his great height.

Though an Irishman, he was born in London, on 8 November 1911. After schooling in Clongowes, Ireland, and Stonyhurst, England, he joined the Society of Jesus in 1931. From the beginning of his Jesuit life he was outstanding as a man of deep charity: he enjoyed being kind. This characteristic he retrained to the end.

He came to Hong Kong as a scholastic in 1939 and, after two years spent studying Cantonese, he joined the staff of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. Very soon, war interrupted education. Like his fellow Jesuits he took a vigorous part in the work of civil aid during the siege of Hong Kong, working tirelessly and fearlessly. At least one Hong Kong it owed his survival to prompt help from Father (then Mr.) Corbally.

He did his theological studies in Shanghai and was ordained priest there in 1945. In 1946 he went to Ireland for the completion of his Jesuit training and for a last meeting with his dearly loved mother.

He returned to Hong Kong in 1947 and spent the rest of his life in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong (1947-63 and 1966-89) and Wah Yan College, Kowloon (1963-66), as teacher and usually also sports master. From 1969 to 1974 he was Rector of the Jesuit community of Wah Yan, Hong Kong. For most of the other years he held the post of Minister (housekeeper), a post giving full scope to his unfailing charity. In particular it fell to his lot to welcome visitors. They were made very welcome indeed. He threw himself into the work of the school with enthusiasm, retaining his interest in the students and their sports to the end of his life.

Cardinal John B. Wu led the concelebration of the Mass of the Resurrection in St. Margaret’s Church on Monday, 30 January. Father Corbally was buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 3 February 1989

Note from Timothy Doody Entry
In the noviceship he had as a contemporary Father Matthew Corbally, who was to die, also as member of the Wah Yan community, on 25 January this year. Father Doody and Corbally lived in the same houses through most of their 57 years as Jesuits, and only five weeks separated their deaths.

Note from John B Wood Entry
Father Wood began his theological studies in 1942 in Zikawei, Shanghai. He was ordained on 19 May 1945 with Fathers Timothy Doody, Matthew Corbally and Joseph McAsey, all of when spent most of their working lives in Hong Kong.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was the eldest son of an Irish Catholic family and received his education at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire England, and Clongowes Wood College in Ireland.

He joined the Society of Jesus in 1931 and then went to UCD where he studied French, Latin and Greek. After this he went to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg for three years of Philosophy.
By 1939 he was sent to Hong Kong for Regency and studied Cantonese under Fr Charles Daly (who authored a Dictionary of Cantonese Chinese).
Because of the war he was sent to Shanghai for Theology along with Tim Doody, Joe McAsey and John Wood.
Then he returned to work at Wah Yan College Hong Kong and Kowloon.
His keen interest was in sports and he was Sports Master at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.

Note from Tim Doody Entry
1941-1946 Due to WWII he was sent to Zikawai, Shanghai for Theology with Mattie Corbally, Joe McAsey and John Wood until 1946, and in 1945 they were Ordained by Bishop Cote SJ, a Canadian born Bishop of Suchow.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Milltown Park :
Fr. P. Joy, Superior of the Hong Kong Mission, gave us a very inspiring lecture entitled: "The Building of a Mission,” in which he treated of the growth, progress and future prospects of our efforts in South China.
In connection with the Mission we were very glad to welcome home Frs. McAsey, Wood and Corbally, who stayed here for some time before going to tertianship.

◆ The Clongownian, 1989

Obituary

Father Matthew Charles Corbally SJ

Matthew Charles Corbally was born in London, England, of Irish parents on 8th November, 1911. He was baptised at the Brompton Oratory, London, on November 13 of the same year. He did one year of primary schooling in Cabra, Dublin, and three years in Wicklow,

For his secondary education he spent two years in Clongowes Wood College, Co Kil dare, and five years at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire, England.

On 14th September, 1931, he entered the Society and studied at University College Dublin (NUI) from 1933 to 1936, securing a BA in Latin, Greek and French. He then went to St Stanislaus College in Tullamore, Offaly, for his philosophy,

He arrived in Hong Kong on 2nd October, 1939, and for the first years studied Cantonese at Tai Lam Chung in the New Terri tories. From September to December 1941 he was Sub-prefect of Studies and Discipline at Wah Yah College, Hong Kong.

When the Pacific war broke out on 7th December, 1941, he took part with his fellow Jesuits in relief and refugee work, often under very dangerous conditions. In August 1942, he went to Shanghai (together with Tim Doody, Joe McAsey and John Wood) to study theology. It was there he was ordained priest on Pentecost Sunday 1945.

After tertianship in Ireland from 1946 to 1947, he returned to Hong Kong as minister and teacher at Wah Yah College in Robinson Road. In 1948, he became chaplain to the British Navy. He was minister in Wah Yah College, Hong Kong from 1947 to 1950 and in Wah Yan College Kowloon from 1963 to 1966.

He was Rector of Wah Yan Hong Kong from 1968 to 1974. At the time of his death, he had been a capable and popular minister in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong for several years.

May he rest in peace.

Craig, Harold E, 1901-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/106
  • Person
  • 03 July 1901-29 October 1985

Born: 03 July 1901, North Strand, Limerick
Entered: 01 September 1919, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 14 June 1932, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1935, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 29 October 1985, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of St Stanislaus College community, Tullabeg, County Offaly at time of his death.

by 1929 in Australia - Regency at Xavier College, Kew
by 1934 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1935 at Catholic Mission, Ngau-Pei-Lan, Shiuhing (Zhaoqing), Guandong, China (LUS) language studies
by 1936 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
by 1944 at Xavier, Park St, Calcutta, West Bengal, India (BEL M)
by 1948 at Sacred Heart Accrington (ANG) working
by 1949 at St Joseph’s Leigh (ANG) working
by 1955 at St Francis Xavier Liverpool (ANG) working

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Harold Craig, SJ
R.I.P.

Father Harold Craig, S.J., died in Ireland on 31 October 1985, aged 84.
He worked in Hong Kong, mainly as a teacher in Wah Yan College, until 1941. After the Japanese occupation he went to India, flying the hazardous route then known as ‘across the Hump.’ He worked in India till after the end of the war. He then worked in parishes in Lancashire, England, for over a quarter of a century. About a decade ago he transferred to a rural parish in the Irish midlands, and did not give up this work there till after his 83rd birthday. His retirement lasted less than three months.

Few people in Hong Kong will remember Father Craig after a gap of over forty years, but that few will remember him vividly. He was original in thought, word and action. Such men are not easily forgotten.
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 :
He came to Hong Kong in 1934 after Ordination and left Hong Kong in 1941

Note from Thomas Ryan Entry
In 1942 with Fr Harold Craig - who had come with him in 1933 - he went to Kwelin (Yunan) in mainland China, staying with Mgr Romaniello.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
After early studies in the Society, Harold Craig was posted to Xavier College for regency, where he taught from 1926-28, followed by a year at Riverview in 1929.After tertianship, Craig worked in the Hong Kong Mission, 1934-44, including 1942-44 at Guilin, Guangxi province, China, after the Japanese occupation brought the work of the mission to an effective halt. He then moved to India, 1944-47, working in Calcutta and Darjeeling before going to England. There he worked in a series of parishes until 1977 when he moved to Tullabeg as a base for more pastoral work. Harold Craig was known in the province as a raconteur frequently regaling people with stories of the past, particularly of his time in Australia.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 61st Year No 1 1986

Obituary

Fr Harold Craig (1901-1919-1985)

3rd July 1901: born in Limerick,1911-19. studied at Sacred Heart College, The Crescent. Ist September 1919; entered SJ.
1919-22 Tullabeg, noviciate and home juniorate, 1922-25 Milltown,philosophy.
1925-'9 Australia, teaching: 1925-28 in Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne; 1928-29 St Ignatius' College, Riverview, Sydney.
1929-233 Milltown, theology (14th ordained a priest). 1933-34 St Beuno's, Wales, tertianship.
1934-44 China/Hong Kong mission. 1934-35 Shiuhing, learning Cantonese. 1935-36 Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, HK, minister. 1936-38 Wah Yan HK again. The Japanese occupation of of Hong Kong brought the work of the Irish Jesuit Mission to a virtual standstill. 1942-44 Kweilin, Kwangsi province.

  1. India. 1944-45 Calcutta. 1945-47 Darjeeling.
    1947-77 England, pastoral work. 1947-48 Accrington. 1948-54 St Joseph's church, Leigh. 1954-77 St Francis Xavier's church and parish, Liverpool.
    1977-85 Tullabeg, pastoral work.
    1985 Cherryfield Lodge nursing unit (his health failing). He died suddenly and and peacefully at 3 am on Tuesday, 29th October 1985.

I personally met Harold for the first time only in 1977, when he came to Tullabeg, so I cannot speak with first-hand knowledge of the earlier and longer part of his life. However, it seems to me that such a man revealed a great deal about the long years that went before: the man who in the late autumn of his life was always friendly, always cheerful and serene, always bubbling with life, always faithful in performing the work to which he had been assigned - this was the Harold I knew.
The most immediately obvious characteristic of Harold was that he was a great talker. He loved to talk and to recount experiences of his long and varied past. (Take for example his four years' teaching in Australia, a period that left an indelible mark on his memory). His love of talk was all part of his instinctive friendliness, his desire to reach out to others. The last time I saw him was about 10th October Cherryfield Lodge, I had feared that enforced inactivity might damp down his accustomed cheerfulness. Not at all. He was as cheerful and talkative as ever. He told me - not without pride - that the people of the neighbourhood, where he had already made many contacts, called him “the friendly priest”. I believe that right up to the end he showed people what he had always been, a sign God's friendliness, of God's interest in them and concern for them.
We all know that there is a vast difference between chronological old age and mental old age. Harold was 84 years of age and therefore chronologically old, but certainly was not mentally old. On the contrary, he had a wide range of interests. Despite the weakness of his legs, he spent at least a couple of hours every day in the garden; he had his favourite tv and radio programmes, he read widely about a variety of topics. That an old man could be so alive is an encouragement to those of us who are beginning to approach old age.
During those years in Tullabeg, I was always moved by the alacrity with which he answered the almost continual summonses to the confessional or hall-door. I do not know how many times I saw him sit down to a favourite tv programme - and getting into a chair was no small feat for him. A minute later he'd be called to the parlour or confessional. Invariably, without a murmur of complaint, he'd manoeuvre himself back onto his feet and go straight to the person who needed him, I am sure this generous availability characterised his whole life.
Finally, Harold had an immense affection for the members of his family. He was interested in each of them - old and young - and very proud of them. When I saw him last in Cherryfield, he told me how warm-heartedly his family responded to his affection, how frequently they visited him, and how happy they were that at last he was allowing others to care for him. His family - like the community in Cherryfield - will miss him greatly. May he live in Christ.

Cronin, Fergus, 1909-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/651
  • Person
  • 29 March 1909-08 December 1990

Born: 29 March 1909, Roscommon Town, County Roscommon
Entered: 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1944, Manresa House, Roehampton, London, England
Died: 08 December 1990, Canossa Hospital, Old Peak Road, 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 03/12/1966

Early Education at O’Connell’s Schools, Dublin
Tertianship at Rathfarnham

WW2 Chaplain 1943-1947

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966
Mission Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong: 10 August 1965-03 December 1966
1st Vice-Provincial of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong: 03 December 1966-1972

by 1935 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency
by 1936 at Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Regency
Hong Kong Mission Superior 10/08/1965
VICE PROVINCIAL 03/12/1966

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

Father Fergus Cronin, SJ., of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, priest in charge of the Catholic Centre Chapel, died at Canossa Hospital on Saturday, 8 December 1990, aged 81.

In the course of his long life here he won distinction both as a priest and as a voluntary servant of the public. Yet he will be remembered most vividly for his almost unrivalled power of making personal friends and giving wise and sympathetic personal advice.

Father Cronin was born in Co. Roscommon, Ireland, in 1909, the youngest of three children of an early-widowed mother. His only sister became a Dominican nun. His elder brother became a Vincentian priest. He himself joined the Jesuits in 1926.

He first came to Hong Kong as a Jesuit scholastic in 1934, and spent three years studying Cantonese and teaching in Wah Yan College, then housed in Robinson Road. He returned to Ireland in 1937 to complete his Jesuit training and was ordained priest in 1940.

In 1942 he became a chaplain in the British army, serving in the U.K., the Faeroes and Iran and Iraq. In 1944, he had the rather gruesome task of organising replacements for Catholic chaplains who were wounded or killed in the allied assault on Europe.

He was demobilised in 1946 and, apart from one year in India, spent the rest of his years serving the Church and the people of Hong Kong.

The posts he held testified to his gifts as an administrator and a leader - Warden of Ricci Hall, University of Hong Kong; Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in Macao, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia; Rector, first of the Jesuit community of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, and later of the Ricci Hall Community; Director of the Hong Kong Catholic Centre; Bishop’s Delegate for Charismatic - the list is incomplete. In 1964 the Jesuit Superior General sent him to India for a year to make a survey of the intellectual resources of the numerous Indian Jesuit Provinces. The gifts that drew these offices to him were apparently family characteristics his elder brother revived the C.B.E. for his work as head of the Teacher’s Training College in Strawberry Hill, London, his sister became Prioress in one of the chief girls' schools in Dublin.

For many years he was lecturer on Logic in the University of Hong Kong. For decades he acted as a Justice of the Peace and was a member of the Hong Kong Housing Society. He took these tasks very seriously and was awarded the O.B.E. in recognition of his services.

All this may seem to add up to a very full life. Yet to those who valued him most, lists of posts held and of work done seem almost irrelevant. The Father Cronin they mourn was the adviser who guided them and the friend who sustained.

He spent his life forming and keeping friendships - men whom he taught as boys in the 1930s, men and women to whom he lectured in the 1950s, former students of Ricci Hall, hosts of those with whom his busy life brought him into contact, have cherished his affection through decades and are permanently grateful for his wise counsel.

His advice was always personal and was often unexpected. It could be bracing, astringent or gentle as the occasion offered. Always it was based on a sympathetic and intelligent assessment of the person he was advising.

Since the vast majority of the people of Hong Kong are Chinese, the vast majority of his friends were Chinese, but there were no national limits to his friendship. Recent years had brought many Filipinas within its scope. Other Asians, Europeans, Americans and Australians in great numbers will be saddened by the news of his passing. Only lack of opportunity robbed him of African friends.

These friendships were independent of social and economic status. He will be mourned equally by Sir Philip and Lady Haddon Cave, the Frequenters of the Catholic Centre Chapel, the members of the Catholic Women’s League, the members of the Little Flower Club, and Pak Ching and A Chau, two former number on servants of Ricci Hall. He valued people, not for what they possessed or what they had achieved, but for what they were - as he might have said, “because of the love that I bore them.”

We shall not see his like again.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 14 December 1990

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

Note from Alan Birmingham Entry
On the death of Father Fergus Cronin SJ, Father Alan took over as rector of the busy Catholic Centre Chapel.

Note from Thomas Fitzgerald Entry
A Solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated in the chapel of Wah Yan College Hong Kong, on Monday, 17 July, by Father F. Cronin, S.J., Regional Superior.

Note from Jimmy Hurley Entry
Martin Lee Chu-ming, former legal advisor to The Justice and Peace Commission :
Lee said that he could find many similarities between Father Hurley’s life and his own. They were both inspired by Father Fergus Cronin in the fight for people’s rights. Lee recalled how Father Hurley sought clearance before attending a press conference to speak for the students and Father Cronin, the then-Jesuit superior in Hong Kong, told him: “Go James, attend! This is where you must be.” Father Hurley said he could not forget such a clear instruction and was grateful for the support. Lee recalled that when he started in politics, he also visited Father Cronin, who was then seriously ill, and asked what he could do for the Church. Father Cronin told him to follow his conscience and do what he thought he should do.

Note from Terry Sheridan Entry
The chief celebrant, Father Fergus Cronin, Provincial Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits and one of Father Sheridan’s oldest friends in Hong Kong, paid the following tribute. I suppose all of us here are people who knew Father Terence Sheridan so it is not necessary for me to say who he was nor to mention many of the things he did....

Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
1st Vice-Provincial of Hong Kong (1967-1972)

His older brother was a Vincentian Priset and was awarded a CBE for his work at the Teachers Training ollege at Strawberry Hill London. His sister was a Dominican sister who became Prioress at one of the chief Dublin Girls School.

1928-1931 He studied Histroy at UCD graduating BA (Hons)
1931-1934 He was sent for Philsophy to Tullabeg
1934-1935 He was sent teaching to Hong Kong and the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen for Regency
1935-1937 He moved to Wah Yan Hong Kong
1937-1940 He was back in Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park
1941-1942 He was at Rathfarnham making Tertianship
During 1962-1964 he toured the Asian Provinces to assess what kind of Provincial cooperation might be possible in the intellectual level.
1963-1965 He was Superior at St Joseph’s, Wise Mansion
1972-1974 After finishing as Vice-Provincial he was in charge of St Joseph’s Church and the Catholic Centre for the Diocese of Hong Kong
1980-1986 He was Superior of Ricci Hall
1986-1990 He was Director of the Catholic Centre.

He was in Hong Kong for over 40 years. He was a gifted administrator and leader as Vice provincial in Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore.He pursued the expansion of the Province and was very keen for inter Provincial cooperation in east Asia. He was once the Bishop’s Delegate for Charismatics and also a lecturer in Logic at HKU (1946-1962). He was appointed by the Hong Kong Governor as a member of the Board of Education, a member of the Education Appeals Board, the Council for Social Services and the University of Hong Kong Council.
He was also active in the Catholic Women’s League, Catholic Marriage Council and American Sailors Catholic Service. He served as Rector at the Catholic Centre, the English Catholic “public relations” and a member of the HK Housing Society.
He was awarded a “Justice of the Peace” in Hong Kong as well as an OBE in recognition of his services.

◆ 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

Cryan, Martin, 1924-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/124
  • Person
  • 02 March 1924-16 December 1978

Born: 02 March 1924, Tubercurry, County Sligo/Galway City, County Galway
Entered: 06 September 1941, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1959, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 16 December 1978, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Hong Kongensis Province (HK)

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966

by 1951 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Martin Cryan, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Martin Cryan, SJ, of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, died suddenly at Wah Yan on 16 December 1978, aged 54. The Hong Kong Jesuits have lost an inspiring and original thinker, a teacher of force and lucidity, a dedicated priest and a very good companion.

An outline of his life suggests placid academic devotion - Birth in Tubercurry, Co. Sligo, Ireland, in 1924: education at St. Ignatius’s Galway: Jesuit novitiate, 1941: Hong Kong, 1949-52, for study of Chinese and teaching in the Wah Yan Hong Kong afternoon school: Ireland, 1952-57, for theology and ordination: 1957, Hong Kong, teaching first in Wah Yan, Kowloon, and then in Wah Yan, Hong Kong, broken only by a year of special study of biology in the Ateneo. Manila, after which he concentrated chiefly on teaching biology.

Placidity was, however, the last thing his friends associated with Father Cryan. His life was one long adventure. He seized on every idea that caught his interest, Squeezed all that he could from it, and then thrust eagerly forward to put the idea into practice, without regard to hampering conventions. This made him an agreeably unpredictable companion. His last passion was for astronomy. Again and again he passed his nights in a sleeping-bag on a hillside so that he might see his well-loved stars at their brightest.

He will be much and lastingly missed.

He was buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley, on 18 December, after Mass at St. Margaret’s. The Bishop led the concelebrating and officiated at the graveside.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 22 December 1978

◆ 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 Coláiste Iognáid in Galway.

After his Novitiate he studied at UCD, graduating with a BA in History, he then went on to study Philosophy at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, and later Theology at Milltown Park.

He taught Biology at Wah Yan Colleges in Hong Kong and Kowloon, even though History and Theology were his interests.

he was interested in broad educational matters and was a founding member of the Educators’ Social Action Council (ESAC). In fact, at the time of his death, he was helping to compile a handbook for ESAC on Counselling Services in Hong Kong.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 56th Year No 3 1981

Obituary

Fr Martin Cryan (1924-1941-1978)

Mairt Cryan died suddenly at 6 pm on Saturday, 16th December 1978. He was in his room getting ready to concelebrate Mass with Donal Lawler, when he called Derek Reid and Dick McCarthy to tell them he was not feeling well. They contacted Ruttonjee hospital, run by the Columban sisters, but Mairt was dead by the time help arrived. He had never been to hospital, and had very rarely visited a doctor. True, he had seen Sr Aquinas only a week or so earlier about his hypertension.
He was considered one of the strongest and most robust of the “younger” men of the province. In recent years particularly, he took long walks at the weekends and in the early mornings, and not infrequently camped out on his own overnight. On his last home vacation in 1977, he camped out for a few weeks on the island of Crete, and walked, cycled and camped over much of his native West of Ireland. However, he did have some inkling of his high blood pressure, and privately often expressed a desire to die while still in fuil possession of his faculties, quickly and without troubling anyone, and relatively young.
Born at Tubbercurry, co. Sligo, he later moved with his family to Galway, where he studied at St Ignatius College. After joining the Society at Emo in 1941, he took a good degree in history at UCD before his philosophy at Tullabeg. In 1949 he went to Hongkong, and after studying Cantonese taught in the after- noon school at Wah Yan, Robinson road. Returning to Ireland for theology, he was ordained in Milltown Park in 1955. After tertianship he returned in 1957 to Hongkong and spent the rest of his life in the classrooms. The subject of his special study was biology, and for this he went for a year to the Ateneo, Manila, in the 1960s.
He gave enormous energy and devotion to his classroom teaching, demanding high standards and a strict discipline of his students, coupled with a real concern for their full development and warm encouragement for their growing interests whether in biology or in other school or “life” subjects. (V-PL) He had some unorthodox teaching methods. He was one of the first to research and introduce scientific multiple-choice testing methods in his own subject. Educational matters held a deep interest for him. He was a founder member and active contributor in the Educators' Social Action Council. He saw himself as a Jesuit priest educator. His colleagues did not always find him the easiest of men to deal with - he was sometimes exasperating in his ways - but they always nonetheless regarded him with esteem and affection.
Theology and history remained two of Mairt's particular interests, though he was well-read in many fields. He was a simple, humble, modest and private person, behind the external excitableness and occasional bluster: at heart, a very kind and gentle man. One of his community wrote about him for the daily press. The following is an excerpt from the appreciation:
“He had the command ing personality, tinged with agreeable eccentricity, that makes a schoolmaster vibrate in the memory of those he taught. He was interested in many things and pursued his interests with what may be described as intellectual and practical ferocity”.
An engaging eccentric, whose eccentricity was rarely difficult for others, he could be oblivious to the consequences of his noisy habits. He invariably saw things from an original angle, but always with absolute honesty. He was a shy man who liked people. He was first a priest and religious, next a teacher, and when he had fulfilled his obligations to these métiers, he had time to think over the problems of the world around him: he was extremely concerned about others, His witness to poverty was very clear, as anything he had was always old, well worn and practical. He was an excellent teacher, going to great pains to prepare his classes, and he had the art of being able to explain the most complicated matters with great clarity and force.
Harold Naylor

Cunningham, Patrick J, 1924-1972, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/108
  • Person
  • 30 March 1924-15 June 1972

Born: 30 March 1924, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 15 June 1972, Fujen Catholic University, Dalat, Vietnam (Kingsmead Hall, Singapore) - Hong Kong Vice-Province (Died in air crash)

Part of Kingsmead Hall community, Singapore at time of his death. Died in air crash

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966
by 1952 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His early education was at Belvedere College SJ, Dublin. he had a keen interest in things that moved : cars, ships, trains and planes, but above all he was interested in helping people.

His strength was his pastoral work, and particularly teaching catechistics, which he taught at the Swiss School, the Australian Army School and the International School.
He was a founder of the Road Safety Association in Hong Kong.
He also worked in Singapore where he focused on drug addiction.

he died in 1972 when the plane he was in blew up over South Vietnam.

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 47th Year No 2 1972

The tragic news of Fr Patrick Cunningham's death, together with 80 others, in the air-smash in Vietnam, reached us in the middle of June, first surmised, then confirmed. We hope to have further information later.
We offer sympathy to Fr Cunningham's brother, Frank, on the calamity.
Fr P. Cunningham's remains, after various delays, were conveyed to Dublin - Gardiner Street - 20th July. There was an Obsequial Mass concelebrated by Fr Provincial and twelve other participants on Friday 21st. R.I.P.

Irish Province News 47th Year No 4 1972

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Cunningham SJ (1924-1972)

A brief notice of the tragic death of Fr Cunningham in the middle of June and of his obsequies in Gardiner Street on July 20th was contained in the last issue of the Province News Editor.]
When we think of Fr Paddy Cunningham (PJ or Pat as his contemporaries knew him) we think of mechanical things and movement. We think of cars and aeroplanes, of launches and ships and of a man who was ever on the move. We think of a man ready at a moment's notice to address any audience on any topic what ever and in any part of the world. He would then return home and either delight or annoy his community with endless chatter about the people Pat had met and the things Pat had done. I once saw him rather obviously choose a place at recreation beside the late Fr Tommy Ryan and I heard Fr Ryan's opening remark : “Well, I suppose you're going to tell me about all your works and pomps!” Pat could be pompous at times especially when wearing one of those unnecessary uniforms he loved so well.
Never a scholar, he was a man, nonetheless, whose interests were limitless and he carried in his head an astonishing amount of factual information about all kinds of unlikely persons, places and things. He used to chuckle over a comment made by a superior who once told him that he would make an excellent railway porter with information about timetables, ticket prices and train stops at his finger-tips. But you could not be sure of the information at Pat's finger-tips. He never could say, “I don't know” or “I'll check that for you”. To any question he always made an immediate and definite reply and he would be right a surprising eighty per cent or so of the time. The trouble was you never knew which twenty per cent was not correct so you always had to verify Pat's statements.
On 7th September 1942 twenty three novices entered Emo, five of them from Belvedere and Patrick Joseph Cunningham was one of these. It was not long till he made his presence felt especially at Socius' Conferences where we looked forward to his shared reflections, observations and suggestions which were never dull and often sensational. Once he suggested that a novice should be appointed to collect the skin from on top of the hot milk - enough could be collected each morning, Pat assured us, to make a plastic egg-cup. That was Fr Brendan Brennan's first year as Socius and he never quite knew how to manage Brother Cunningham.
In Rathfarnham Pat was more at home ... not because it gave him an opportunity for study but because Dublin was the place where Pat was born and he knew Dublin street by street. Indeed if one believed him he knew everyone who lived in every street - at least everyone who mattered. He claimed connections at managerial level with many commercial firms and not only scholastics but fathers, too, were taken in by this. More than one man entered Dublin firms on Pat's recommendation hoping to get special terms by using his name only to discover that nobody in the firm knew a Patrick Cunningham. Tullabeg meant back to the country and Pat was essentially a city man and his three years there might have been trying ones for him were it not for the building of the swimming pool in which he was deeply involved. He also claimed a multitude of relations in the neighbourhood.
Then came his appointment to Hong Kong and his influence with people really blossomed. No one would rate him an expert at the Chinese language and yet he could somehow establish contact with Chinese people in almost any dialect. But he did not confine his apostolate to Chinese people. He had a universal love for mankind and a desire to help wherever help was needed. A characteristic he revealed in Emo was a generosity with his time and a readiness to go to the assistance of anybody and this characteristic he never lost. He was a man for others. He loved people and served them. Thus, as well as the boys in our schools, the groups he worked for or with in Hong Kong included Chinese hostesses from Cathay Pacific Airways, British Airforce personnel, Rotary Clubs, Road Safety Associations, to say nothing of the seamen of varied nationalities that he dealt with in his work for the Apostleship of the Sea.
The pattern in Singapore was the same as the following paragraphs from Father Liam Egan testify :
“In a little less than two years in Singapore Pat had won an astonishing number of friends and admirers. ... Pastoral work, and in particular, catechetical work proved to be his forte. To those of us who knew him well his success with children and especially with teenagers both boys and girls and of all nationalities was incredible.
He taught catechism in two convent schools, in the Swiss school, the Australian Army School, the International School and the children loved him. Not only did he teach them but he established an extraordinary rapport with them. He organised a weekly evening session in Kingsmead Hall for the “tough” teenagers of the American School and the International School. They attended in ever increasing numbers: they brought their friends : some of them brought their parents. They became enthusiastic about their religion, possibly for the first time in years”.
And then came the fatal air-disaster of 15th June and with it the end of life for Pat at the age of 48. He loved to be alive and he loved to be on the move and for one who was liable to turn up almost anywhere at almost any time it is hard to believe that he won't turn up again. An enquiry into the cause of the crash established that it was caused by a bomb placed on the plane in Bangkok and which exploded over Vietnam. The exceptionally large crowds that turned out for requiem Masses offered for him at Singapore and Hong Kong bear testimony to the love and esteem that so many had for him. He will be remembered by many for a long time. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1962

Belvederians On The Hong Kong Mission

Just before Easter, Fr Paddy Joy SJ gave a talk in the gym on the Irish Jesuit Mission in Hong Kong.

Father Pat Cunningham SJ
Father Cunningham is in charge of this Apostleship of the Sea, and flies the papal flag on the smartest launch on the harbour. He has vitalised this work, which had just got beyond its growing pains, and he is “on the job” in a way that has won wide attention. Last yeat, after attending the Sea Apostolate convention in Rome he toured most of the important ports in Europe and Asia. to see what is being done, and he will not be happy until he has made Hong Kong as good as the best for Catholic seamen. Twelve ships visit Hong Kong every day and none of them escapes his notice. Father McAsey and he dovetail their work excellently and between them they have gained the goodwill of ships of all flags.

Transport is one of Father Cunningham's surprising interests, and it has brought him into connection with our local traffic problems. He is known to many as a member of the Port Welfare Committee, but when a “Road Safety” committee was brought into being he was roped on to it and promptly made chairman. He has given lectures and addresses and interviews on the subject, and has won the special goodwill of the Police Traffic Department because of the practical help that he is giving in keeping blood off the roads.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1965

Sons of Xavier

Father Pat Cunningham (1942). For several years Father Pat Cunningham kept the flag of the Apostleship of the Sea flying very prominently in our harbour-which ac cording to our local statisticians was visited by over 27,000 ships last year in addition to its own 20,000 local craft. Now that he is engaged on land activities he is as a ubi quitous on shore as he ever was on land. In addition to being Assistant Prefect of Studies, and Prefect of Discipline as well as teacher, he has taken a very prominent part in the promotion of “road safety”. All his life he has been interested in everything that moves on wheels, and is greatly annoyed at the number of pedestrians that get in the way of vehicles on our roads. As those statisticians to whom I already referred tell us that there is a vehicle for every 200 feet on our roads and as those are more than 31 million people use those roads, it is not surprising that we have an abundance of accidents, with 20 killed every month and nearly 1000 injured. Father Cunningham is President of a Road Safety Association and in this capacity is heard frequently on the radio and in addresses to various organisations.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1972

Obituary

Father Patrick J Cunningham SJ (’42)

Father Paddy was killed in an air disaster over Vietnam. The cause of the disaster has not yet been made public. It was a fitting death for him and I am sure he would not have had it otherwise.

When he left school he entered the Society and very soon got a reputation for getting things done - no matter what the things were. For such a man the missions offered limitless scope and as soon as he could he went out on the Chinese mission and remained on it till his death. The most obliging of men nothing was too trivial, nothing too arduous for him to undertake. The following appreciation of him appeared in the “Evening Press”.

A Hong Kong meeting. between the then bosun of the Irish Larch and Father Paddy Cunningham, the Dublin born Jesuit who died tragically in Thursday's Vietnam air disaster, is recalled by the bosun, Joe Fay, in the following article:

“Thousands of seamen from all over the world, including many from behind the “Iron Curtain” will hear with deep regret the death of Fr Patrick Joseph Cunningham, a Dublin Jesuit, who was killed in an air crash in South Vietnam.

He wasn't only a good soldier of Jesus, but he was also a good sailor for him. To many mariners he was known as just plain Paddy and others referred to him as affectionately as the “Vatican Skipper” or “The Commodore Chief of the Vatican Navy”.

How well I remember my first meeting with Paddy. It was the day after we anchored off Hong Kong. Some of the crew and I were loading cargo from the Irish Larch into Chinese junks, It was somewhere near the middle of summer in 1963. At about 10.15 am, the deck boy came along to me on the after deck and said, ‘Bosun, there's a quare looking boat coming along side with sailors in funny looking uniforms’. At this time the sweat was running out of us and I was just about to tell him to go and get stuffed when he said, “Honest to the living Bosun, there
is a funny looking boat alongside”.

I looked over the side and saw a beautiful large motor launch with what looked like Chinese crew boys dressed in navy uniforms in the Vatican colours of yellow and white.. On the small bridge stood a tall well-muscled slim man well over six feet tall. He was wearing a dark grey uniform with a Roman collar. On the stern of the Launch the Vatican flag was flying and underneath, the name Stella Maris and below that the words Reg in the Vatican. I knew that this was the man I had heard referred to in many ports I had visited as the “Vatican Skipper”.

He came up the gangway looking at me and said: “Céad Míle Fáilte”. I felt a right mug and looking for a quick answer I said: “Sorry me ould flower, I only speak Dublinese”. He put his hand on my shoulder and said: ‘Don't worry I'm a Jackeen Myself’. I then asked him if I'd take him up to the officers' mess and he replied: ‘Let the gold braid wait. I can see them later, but I would like to have a little talk with the five-eights’. As it was only a few minutes to go for smoko (tea break) I blew the men up and we all went into the crew's messroom.

It must have been one of the longest tea breaks on record as it lasted about an hour and a half. His love and knowledge of Dublin was fantastic. He knew the Liberties and Dublin dockland like the back of his hand, We spoke about Biddy Slicker and her barrel organs. He knew a lot about the old Dublin boxing fraternity and names like Spike McCormack and Paddy Dowdell came as easy to him as if he had lived next door.

Next morning he came aboard and said Mass. I'm sure he helped to bring our native shores closer to all the crew. I am sure when you meet your maker, Paddy, he will give yon the job of chartering a steady course for many seamen in the years to come”.

Evening Press

Daly, 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).

◆ The Clongownian, 1992

Obituary

Father Charles Daly SJ

Charlie Daly, as he was always known by, came to Clongowes from Kanturk and on finishing his schooling entered the Jesuit noviceship in Tullabeg on 31 August 1922. The Civil War was then raging, so few trains were running and Charlie had to make part of his journey there by side-car. For his first year in Tullabeg he had as his Master of Novices Fr Michael Browne (OC 1872-74) who gave him a deep love of prayer and probably intensified his native bent towards austerity. After University degree and philosophy he sailed for Hong Kong in 1929. By the time he was due to return to Ireland for his theology he had attained a firm grasp of Cantonese. On his return to Hong Kong after his ordination he was appointed - Minister in the Regional Seminary for South China, Aberdeen. Here he showed the strong apostolic bent that marked his whole life by caring for the corporal and spiritual needs of the fisher folk living on or near the shore of his seminary peninsula. Next he took over as director of Chinese Studies in the language school.

His adventures and apostolic work during the Japanese attack on Hong Kong are told in Fr Tom Ryan's “Jesuits under Fire in the Siege of Hong Kong: 1941 (London 1945). In March 1942 he went “up country” into China and worked with Maryknoll missionaries in the Kwangin Province, walking three hun dred miles to get there. Later he moved on to India where he taught for some time in the Jesuit theologate at Kerseong. When the Pacific War ended he was recalled to Hong Kong where he began his long association with Wah Yan, teaching there with intense vigour until failing strength deprived him of his classes. His first love was teaching religious knowledge. By temperament and conviction he would have preferred direct apostolic work and it was in that spirit that he taught his religious knowledge classes with impressive results: over the years he prepared hundreds for baptism, winning for himself the nickname “The Hound of Heaven”.

Sunday brought him to no respite: at an early hour he would set off to a distant Kwun Tong parish in that industrial suburb, spending the whole morning celebrating Mass, preaching and hearing confessions, Even when he had to give up teaching after fifty-one years in the classroom, he kept up his heavy Sunday morning apostolate until he was too feeble to continue it when well on in his eighties.

He was able to attend community meals to the end though he lived largely on bread. On the morning of August 6 he was in cheerful form; at dinner he was silent, but there was nothing to suggest a crisis. Half an hour later the nurse who visited him twice a day found him in a state of complete collapse and by the time the ambulance team arrived they could find no sign of life.

He was just short of his 87th bithday.

(Abridged from account by Fr Alan Birmingham.)

Dargan, Herbert J, 1918-1993, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Herbert Dargan (1918-1993)

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

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

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

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

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

Ron Darwen

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

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

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

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

Senan Timoney

◆ The Clongownian, 1993

Obituary

Father Herbert Dargan SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daniel Dargan SJ (Funeral Homily)

Deignan, Alfred J, 1927-2018, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

Mission Superior, Hong Kong - 1996-2002

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beloved Jesuit mourned

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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).

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1945

Letter from Father Donal Donnelly SJ

By all accounts the Missions in China, so far from being set back, are actually progressing during war-time, most of the missionaries having turned their hand to hospital and relief work thereby increasing the prestige of the Church and bringing more souls to Christ. All of the Irish Jesuit Mission in China are safe and sound.

Fr Don Donnelly, has travelled by rail, road; water and air, accompanied by a little troop of seminarians, from end to end of Asia. After the capture of Hong Kong, he first went to French Indo-China to reconnoitre for the mission, then to Wuchow in Kwangsi, where he taught science and philosophy in the Junior Seminary of the Maryknoll Fathers. There he was joined by a remnant of the boys whom he had been training for the priesthood in Hong Kong, and another older boy who wished to become a Jesuit. As the invading Japanese armies approached, the Seminary was transferred to Paaksha in the same province. In a letter dated last September, Fr Donnelly describes the rest of his odyssey :

“An urgent warning came from the American Consul to us in Paaksha in June, urging us to clear out without delay. The Maryknoll Fathers promptly closed down the Seminary, and Fr Grogan and I, with our ten little protégés, set off for Kweiyang, the capital of Kweichow province. We had a very mnixed trip. The first bit, by sampan floating down the West River to Kweiping, was very pleasant; it took about nine hours. Then we had a day or two waiting in Kweiping, before we were picked up by an American Army barge, towed by a launch. (The lad in charge was an Irishman, from Fr Grogan's part of the country.) This dragged us past the most glorious scenery, and through the most wonderful rapids, I have ever seen, to a place called Taai Waan, south of Lauchau. There should have been a train to Lauchau, but there was none; so we contacted the big shot at Taai Waan, a Catholic, and he squeezed us on to a boat leaving that evening for Lauchau. We got there after a very leisured trip. and hung about Lauchau for a couple of days, waiting for a train. Finally we got one, and then started the most appaling train journey ever made. The train was packed to the doors, corridors and steps; we had no seats, most of us; the journey was about 250 miles, and was supposed to take 23 hours; it actually took almost four days. The nights were terrible - nodding about all over the place, without room to rest or move; However, we reached the railhead at Tushan at last, and then our troubles were over. We had a great welcome from the Chinese Father at the Catholic Mission, and in a few days, the British military authorities (who have been extraordinarily kind to us) gave us a free ride in a truck to Kweiyang, about 150 miles.

I left the boys with Fr Grogan at Kweiyang and came on myself (by American truck this time, also free) to Kunming, to see about getting the boys and ourselves out to India. That was a very pleasant trip, though a bit long, about 400 miles. I saw for the first time the real old Chinese walled cities; and the scenery was marvellous. I arrived here three months ago; since then I have brought Fr Grogan and the boys along here. We hope to leave now any day for India (by RAF plane, I hope, as I say, the British authorities, and indeed, the Americans also, have been most kind and helpful) but there are still documents to be obtained and arrangements to be made”.

And in a letter dated April 19th, he writes, this time from St Stanislaus High School, Bandra, Bombay :

“I am out here in India now with these grand Spanish Fathers for the past four months, and the years in China seem like a bad dream. Still, I must say that I am very grateful to Almighty God, not only for His marvellous Providence over us all during these past three years, but also for the trifle of war experience which He sent my way. I cannot truthfully say that I should like to go through the war and its aftermath again; but just for once it was a most salutary and sanctifying experience. I certainly shall never listen again without a slightly contemptuous smile to the saying that ‘war is heil’. War is certainly very terrible, but it is equally certainly not hell; on the contrary, many men get nearer to heaven in wartime than in times of peace.

The Chinese boys and I are quite settled down here now and thoroughly happy. There are eleven of them; ten are junior seminarians who hope to join the Society of Jesus, while the last boy is a university student. He is an old Wah Yan boy named Philip Chau Pak Harig; he has wanted for years to join the Society. I brought him along with me on the understanding that I should teach him Latin, and that he would teach my boys Chinese. He (as indeed, all the boys without exception) has made an excellent impression on all here. So,I am trying at present to get him into the Bombay university, so that he can finish his degree (medicine). The rest of the boys are not so far advanced; they will be taking their Matric. in 1947 and 1948, and will then, I hope, go to the novitiate, Vinayalaya, a delightful spot about half-an-hour from here by surburban train and bus. It is really most creditable for these lads, because, despite the handicap of learning through a foreign language (English) and of broken, unsatisfactory studies for the past three years since the war, they are actually a year ahead of time; had they been in Hong Kong, they would not be due for Matric. before 1948 or 1949.

These Indian boys are very different from the Chinese. The Chinese is quiet, shy, reserved, very industrious, patient, gentle, and altogether charming; your Indian boy is lively, very friendly, distinctly less industrious, cheery, clever and not less charming, I shall certainly leave a bit of my heart here in Bandra when the time comes to return to. China. The Indian boys here are far more fickle than the Chinese, but they are solidly Catholic, and to them the priest is the priest, as he is to any Irish boy. In China it is not so; the priest is just another schoolmaster, usually somewhat ‘more decent’ and kindly and painstaking than the lay teacher, but as far as priestly dignity is concerned, you might just as well be Mr Ezechiah X of the China Inland Mission.

I am teaching here myself, and helping out in the church, the finest parish church I have ever seen, and as busy a place as Gardiner St nearly 250,000 Communions a year. I have given several Retreats since I came, to Matric, boys, to our Scholastics at the Theologate in Poona, to teachers, etc. I start another retreat this evening to nuns. The last little job I had was, of all weird. things, to write a new libretto for an operetta ! You would be amazed at the amount of verse I have perpetrated since coming here. It started with the demand for translation of Spanish Christmas carols into English, then came requests for Papal anthems, Mission anthems, Rector's Day songs, and so on, and now this is the last straw!

Well, best wishes to all old friends in Belvedere”.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1986

The Travelling Donnellys

Don Donnelly SJ (1915) died in 1975 after a varied life in a different world. His brother Leo (1920), now in Sacred Heart Church Limerick, sends this report which he calls “The Travelling Donnellys”:

The older, Donal or Don (later Latinised into Daniel or Dan), Belvedere 1903-1915, was always first in his class. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1919 after taking his MSc in UCD After two years in Tullabeg, Rahan, he went for Philosphy to Valkenburg, Holland, with the German Jesuits expelled from Germany by Bismarck. After three years teaching in Clongowes, he studied Theology in Innsbruck, Austria. Ordained in Dublin in 1929, he spent a year in Rome attached to the Jesuit Mission Secretariat. Then, after Tertianship in North Wales, he sailed for Hong Kong in July 1932.

Having learnt the Cantonese version of Chinese mainly with the Portuguese Jesuits in Shiu Hing, he worked as Headmaster of Wah Yan College in Hong Kong until the second World War broke out. No more Scholastics would come from Ireland, so the house intended for their Language School was vacant, and was utilised as a Minor Seminary for boys intending to become Jesuits. Don was put in charge. Then, on 8th December 1941 the Japanese invaded and occupied Hong Kong. The Irish Jesuits, as neutrals, were not interned. So, after things had quietned down, Don made his way into Free China with a dozen of the “Little Lads”. He settled down with the American Maryknoll Fathers at Tanchuk. Alas, a year orso later, the Americans began to construct an airfield nearby. Whereupon the Japanese Army made a drive to occupy that part of China as well, so the Maryknoll Minor Seminary had to be abandoned.

With his charges Don made an adventurous journey westwards by antiquated train, up turbulent rivers in over-crowded boats, and finally up steep mountain roads in delapidated trucks, ending in Kunming, the Capital of Yunnan Province, the nearest to India. To Kunming the Allies were bringing supplies by air over the “Hump” for the Chinese Army of Chiang Kai Chek. The planes were returning empty to India, so Don succeded in getting passage for himself and the twelve boys. Eventually they settled in St Stanislaus School, Bandra, Bombay. When the war was over and the older boys had completed their matriculation, the party returned to Hong Kong by sea.

Don went on to Canton, now liberated, to act as Headmaster in the Archbishop's school. But all too soon the Communists took over the whole of China, and Don was on his travels again. He asked to return to India and worked in Bombay for twenty five years as Headmaster in various schools until his death of a stroke in 1975.

The younger brother, Diarmuid Leo (the second name was always used) Belvedere 1908 - 1920 was never first in his class. He entered the Jesuits straight from school. After two years in Tullabeg, he was sent for a year to study Humanities in France. Then after three years Science in UCD, he began Philosophy in Milltown Park. However, owing to illness, a colleague returned to Ireland and, to replace him, Leo was transferred to Pullach-bei-München in Germany.

There followed three years teaching and coach ing Rugby in Belvedere. Then, after Theology and Tertianship he returned to Belvedere to teach Mathematics as a side-line to coaching Rugby.
In September 1941 he was appointed Chaplain in the British Army. He spent nearly three years in various posts in Great Britain, then transferred to Normandy on D-day. Always remaining safely behind the lines, he ended the war in Ostend, Belgium. Shortly after he was appointed to the Irish Guards in Germany, and was demobbed early in 1946.

On suggestion ot his brother he was appointed Professor of Church History in Kurseong, the Theologate of the Jesuits in India, situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, After a little over two years, he was transferred to Australia, visiting Hong Kong on the way. There followed one year in Newman College, Melbourne, and then five years in the Holy Name Minor Seminary, Christchurch, New Zealand

The Belgian Jesuits in India were having difficulty in securing Visas for new blood from Belgium, so a “swop” was arranged. Leo went to Ranchi, Bihar, India, while a Belgian went to the Irish Jesuit Mission in Zambia. Leo remained as Professor of Philosophy in the Regional Seminary, Ranchi for twenty six years, and finally returned to Ireland in 1981.

(Editor: Fr. Leo forgets to mention something about his 1938 SCT...)

Doody, Timothy F, 1913-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/653
  • Person
  • 26 December 1913-02 March 1989

Born: 26 December 1913, Dundalk, County Louth
Entered: 07 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 19 May 1945, Zi-Ka-Wei, Shanghai, China
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 02 March 1989, Queen Mary Hospital, Pok Fu Lam, 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

by 1940 in Hong Kong - Regency
by 1943 at Bellarmine, Zi-ka-Wei, near Shanghai, China (FRA) studying

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

Father Timothy Francis Doody, SJ, of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, died in Queen Mary Hospital on Thursday, 2 March 1989, after a short final illness, aged 75.

Father Doody was born on 26 December 1913, in Dundalk, Ireland. He received his schooling from the Irish Christian Brothers in Synge Street, Dublin, and joined the Jesuits in 1931. In the noviceship he had as a contemporary Father M. Corbally, who was to die, also as member of the Wah Yan community, on 25 January this year. Father Doody and Corbally lived in the same houses through most of their 57 years as Jesuits, and only five weeks separated their deaths.

Father Doody (then Mr. Doody), having passed through eight years of placidly laborious Jesuit formation, came to Hong Kong in 1939. After two years of malaria-troubled language study, he joined the staff of Wah Yan College in the autumn of 1941. In December of that year, war came to Hong Kong. Placidity was at an end, and amid the labours and perils of the siege, the young Mr. Doody manifested the gifts that were to characterise his apostolate to the end of his life.

He was appointed a Billeting Officer. Soon, as the late Father T.F. Ryan put it in his Jesuits under Fire, “Mr. Doody was proving to be a “religious dowser” of exceptional ability; he had a faculty for discovering Catholics in the most unlikely places and he rarely returned from one of the billeting trips without having a new address for a priest to visit.”

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.

These far-off memories show the young Mr. Doody as already possessed of a “nose” for apostolic and pastoral opportunities and of complete lack of shyness or diffidence in pastoral and apostolic work. These gifts, along with a deep personal interest in the people he was working for, were to characterise his priestly work to the end of his life.

He went to Shanghai in 1942 for his theological studies and was ordained priest there in 1945. After a year in Ireland for the completion of his Jesuit formation, he returned to Hong Kong in 1947. From then till 1964 he was almost continuously on the staff of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, but he became ever more deeply involved in direct apostolate of individuals, and this remained his all-absorbing interest until the end of his life.

In the late 1950s he was assigned for a time to Singapore to help in building St. Ignatius’ Church there. In what may be described as typically Doodyish fashion, he integrated donation-giving into the devotional life of the parish. This strengthened parish life; moreover it was so effective materially that the church was paid for before construction ceased - perhaps a unique achievement.

From 1964 onward he devoted himself to his individual apostolate in his individual way. He instructed his converts with great care and maintained close personal contact with them ever afterwards, taking a deep interest in their activities, their happiness, their families and all that concerned them. He took no part in organized activities, yet few priests had more numerous or more devoted friends.

In recent years he suffered several light strokes and a light heart attack, and took them all lightly. On Tuesday, 28 February, he collapsed when celebrating Mass. He was conscious, though unable to speak, when receiving the Sacrament of the Sick. He then lapsed into a coma, and died on 2 March without recovering consciousness. He will be much missed by many.

Cardinal John B. Wu led the concelebration of the Mass of the Resurrection in St. Margaret’s Church, Happy Valley, on Monday, 6 March. Archbishop D. Tang, SJ, officiated at the graveside in St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 10 March 1989

Note from John B Wood Entry
Father Wood began his theological studies in 1942 in Zikawei, Shanghai. He was ordained on 19 May 1945 with Fathers Timothy Doody, Matthew Corbally and Joseph McAsey, all of when spent most of their working lives in Hong Kong.

◆ 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 Mercy Convent Dundalk, and then at CBS Synge Street before he Entered the Society at Emo.
After First Vows he was sent to Rathfarnham Castle studying at UCD and graduating with a BA in Latin, History and Irish.
1936-1939 he was sent to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg for Philosophy
1939-1941 He was sent for Regency to Hong Kong.
1941-1946 Due to WWII he was sent to Zikawai, Shanghai for Theoloigy with Mattie Corbally, Joe McAsey and John Wood until 1946, and in 1945 they were Ordained by Bishop Cote SJ, a Canadian born Bishop of Suchow.
1946-1947 He returned to Ireland to make Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle.
1948 He returned to Hong Kong, making Final Vows at Wah Yan College Hong Kong
1948-1958 He was a teacher at Wah Yan College Hong Kong
1958-1960 He was sent to Singapore to help collect funds for a Jesuit Church there and was highly successful.
1960 He was then back in Hong Kong raising funds for what became the Adam Schall Hostel at United College, of The Chinese University of Hong Kong
1964 He began running classes for adult catechumens and he became the first and only Director of the “Catholic Information Service SJ”. is classes saw a continual flow of people coming for instruction in the Catholic faith.
He also regularly gave Retreats up to 1973, and the fruit of this experience resulted in a sizeable book on the Spiritual Exercises called “Iñigo” which he had published privately.

Note from Mattie Corbally Entry
Because of the war he was sent to Shanghai for Theology along with Tim Doody, Joe McAsey and John Wood.

Doris, Séamus, 1918-1988, Jesuit priest

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

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1965

Sons of Xavier

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1988

Obituary

Father Séamus Doris SJ (1937)

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

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

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

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

Doyle, Francis, 1931-2011, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Former editor dies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 145 : Summer 2011

Obituary

Fr Frank Doyle (1932-2011) : China Province

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1965

Sons of Xavier

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1986

News of the Past

Frank Doyle SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1991

Interview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Any regrets?
None at all.

Dunne, Peter G, 1917-1980, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 55th Year No 4 1980

Obituary

Fr Peter Dunne (1917-1935-1980)

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

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

Egan, Canice, 1913-1999, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1946

Letter from Father Canice Egan SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sons of Xavier

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1963

Sons of Xavier

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1965

Sons of Xavier

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

Egan, Liam A, 1925-1994, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1994

Obituary

Father Liam Egan SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farren, Anthony, 1923-2015, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/839
  • Person
  • 04 September 1923-26 December 2015

Born: 04 September 1923, Carndonagh, County Donegal
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows; 05 November 1977
Died: 26 December 2015, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of the Coláiste Iognáid, Galway community at the time of death.
Buried at Carndonagh, County Donegal

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966

by 1952 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death Notice

Father Anthony Farren SJ, who returned to his homeland of Ireland in 2001 where he lived in retirement in Galway after almost 50 years’ service in Hong Kong, died at 12:30am on 26 December 2015 last year.

His funeral was held at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Carndonagh on 29 December.

A memorial Mass will be offered for his intentions at 7:30pm on January 13 at the chapel of Wah Yan College in Kowloon, where he was principal from 1960 to 1966, in addition to remaining on the staff until 1978, before returning as supervisor from 1985 to 1997.

Born on 4 September 1923, he entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1942, coming to Hong Kong in 1950. He was ordained a priest on 31 July 1956.

Au Lok-man wrote in a letter published by the Apple Daily that although there was no apparent relationship between Father Farren’s native Ireland and Hong Kong, he crossed the seas to serve its people for almost 50 years, many of whom will mark the moment he passed from this world with deep gratitude for his life.

May he rest in peace.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 10 January 2016

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He first came to Hong Kong in 1950 for Cantonese language studies and then he taught at Wah Yan College Hong Konh for a year.

He returned as a Priest in 1958 to Wah Yan Kowloon and in 1960 he was appointed Rector. As a young dynamic man in his 40s, he was highly respected by other local Catholic Schools such as St Francis Xavier College (Marist Brothers), La Salle College (Christian Brothers), Maryknoll Convent, and St Rose of Lima (Franciscan Missionaries of Mary). As Rector, he lived Jesuit life prudently and peacefully. As a Principal he was looked up to as a model teacher and he was liked. He spent much time with the teachers and he encouraged everyone.

During his time Wah Yan Kowloon was at its peak. The large Chapel of St Ignatius with 600 seats was opened just before he came. He took a keen interest in the Masses there, principally for the students and their parents, past students and friends. After six years there was a rule that Jesuit Rectors would change and so he moved to Yah Yan College Hong Kong as an English teacher. He again returned to Wah Yan Kowloon in the 1980’s as Rector and in 1991 Supervisor. Thomas Leung succeeded his as Rector in 1997, and Tony went back to Wah Yan Hong Kong, and he remained there until he retired to Ireland in 1999.

He is still remembered with love and respect by many. He was known to be a man of patience and discretion, peaceful and simple.

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 163 : Spring 2016

Obituary

Fr Anthony (Tony) Farren (1923-2015)

It is a long way from Carndonagh to Hong Kong where Tony gave forty six years of his life as teacher and friend to numerous pupils and past pupils. That journey began with a shorter journey, though an arduous one for a twelve-year-old, when he took the bus and train to Mungret College.

The most striking thing about Tony's room in Galway, where he lived for eleven years on his return from Hong Kong, was the scattering of letters with Chinese stamps and photos of Wah Yan past pupils and their families. It was obvious was that his past pupils held their former English and history teacher, football, tennis and debating coach and priest, in great esteem.

Esteem wasn't lacking among his fellow Jesuits. Twice he was appointed rector of the Jesuit community - a duty, according to one of his contemporaries, that weighed heavily on him, especially when his first appointment came only two years after Tertianship, and he was at the same time inade headmaster of Wah Yan College where he worked. Equally unusual was his appointment some years later to a second term in the same community. It testifies to the level of trust shown by both those who made the appointments, and by his fellow-Jesuits who welcomed him as their superior. Tony was the opposite of ambitious. He saw himself as an ordinary guy serving his brethren; but in the consistency and quality of that service over many years, he was truly extraordinary. He was a rock of sense with a sharp eye for people's needs. That caring kindness was evident even in the last days of his life.

A sign of our growth in faith is gratitude. Tony was immensely grateful to his family, for their care for him in later years when staying in the family home, and for their many visits. However he hated people to fuss over him and he didn't want parents away from their families coming up to Christmas. They didn't always listen to what he said. On my last visit just before his death, he told me that he had sent out an edict to his family: no visits! And what was the result? Three nieces arrived, followed by two nephews! So I jokingly said to him: weren't they were very disobedient? Yes, but the right sort of disobedience, he answered with a smile.

The marks of family stay with us to the grave. Family affects our faith: With all its imperfections and changes, it gives us a first experience of love, and therefore of the Lord of love. It is hard for anyone to believe in the unmerited love of God who has not enjoyed the unmerited love of a parent. In Tony those marks were evident: in his stability and strength, his gentleness and kindness. It showed in his football, the ideal centre half, masterly but unselfish, feeding his forwards. It showed in his work, a natural leader, inspiring huge loyalty. Tony's pastoral care of students in Hong Kong left a lasting mark, as his plentiful post and visits testify to. His students would happily come from Hong Kong to Cherryfield to touch base with him again - distance no object. After Tony came back to Ireland, his old friend Dr Simon Au, came here every year to visit.

I only knew Tony when he was in his 80s, in Galway. Even then, he wanted to be fully informed of all that was going on in the church and school, Wanted also to fulfil his priestly duties in whatever way he could. Galway parishioners spoke of his kindness to them. When he was no longer able to say a public Mass, he still continued to hear confessions every Saturday afternoon. When I visited him three days before his death, his voice was weak, but his mind clear. We parted by giving one another a blessing. What was striking was his enormous gratitude to the nursing staff. He was emphatic that he couldn't be receiving better care anywhere else. The nurses and carers for their part loved and cherished him.

Being a teacher was in his DNA. His nephews and nieces recalled how on his infrequent but lengthy stays in Carndonagh, he taught them swimming, tennis, played football with them and took a keen interest in their studies, he was their fond priest uncle.

While a pleasant presence in community, ever attentive to visitors, Tony maintained a certain reserve. There was an anxious side to him, and maybe it was this that made him slow to share more of himself? No more than the rest of us, he could be impatient with the foibles of some of his brothers,

He was ready for death, was anointed and shriven, peaceful. As we give back his soul to God and his body to Carndonagh, we Irish Jesuits would like to thank the Farrens for giving us such a man. The great mystery of God's providence is how God uses us fragile creatures to accomplish great achievements. May the Lord now complete what He began in Tony many years ago and reward him for his goodness: all those goodbyes to family and friends to remake that journey to Hong Kong, not to mention the letting go of all those Hong Kong friendships when he felt the time had come to return to Ireland at seventy-eight because he thought he could be of more use back in Ireland. May he rest in peace.

Charlie Davy, with help from James Hurley

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.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1928

Letter from Father Finn

Dear Mr Editor,
Here I am living this past month under the comforting shadows of a pair of Gothic spires in the heart of a fascinating Chinese city - and I have been too lazy to stir out! I have settled down again to being a school-master-and a very uneventful schoolmaster at that.

It is over a year and a half since I left 'View and since then I have seen many a new sight in China - yet it is always China. There are the full-breasted waterways with their traffic of ill-assorted craft where the Western built steamer hustles about the little sampans or the statelier junks; then there is the setting of the rivers, amid vast fertile alluvial plains, or cutting through crowded. hills. But these rivers have come thousands of miles and they bring down timber, produce, refuse, the living and the dead. Even the very earth itself. On them live people in their hundreds of thousands, even millions, who never quit them; their boats are their homes. I have only to walk two short streets to reach the Canton Bund, and there I can see one of the most characteristic sights of all China. It is a long quay beside the water-way that runs be tween the City proper and its suburb - Ho-nam. How many miles long, I don't know, but it is a very long way to the Railway station at the one end and it is over a quarter of an hour to Shameen at the other end, and this latter we count as near, All that long stretch is lined thick at both sides with craft, mostly small things, a little bigger than a Lane Cove fisherman's boat, but covered over for about half the length by a tunnel-like cover of matting. Down towards Shameen, every day when the Hongkong steamer comes in, there is a sudden scattering of these like the disturbance of an ant's nest, when the big river-boat makes for her berth. At places these boats merely cater for the pleasures of the Cantonese, and on them you can have meals-music-opium perhaps, but far more interesting are the other boats that earn a hard-won livelihood as passenger or cargo boats.

On board you can see all the members of a family, from the grandfather and grandmother down; all of them work. You will see an old woman at an oar, and on her back is strapped one of the newest members of the family. whose neck seems to be made of rubber, to judge by the case with which he sleeps amid all sorts of movements to which his head bobs about. The younger limbs of the household who can crawl about or walk for themselves are usually clad in full costumes of sun-tanned skin with a little crust of dirt to deepen it. Perhaps a charm hangs about the neck, but almost certainly a gourd or a kind of wooden drum will be hanging about the waist, with perhaps a bell tied at the child's ankles; still more cautious parents have a light rope tying their valuable offspring to some post.on board; such methods help to lessen the inevitable risk of tumbling overboard. A further stage of boyhood hops in itself for a swim in the yellow brown water, but that is not yet and it needs no precautions. Domestic animals dogs, cats, hens, pigs, are equally carefully guarded against the useless process of getting into the water.

Life is lived in all its stages on board: sleep at night on a mat-spread floor and completely under a padded quilt; the meals of rice with scraps of fish and vegetables - all washed down with tea - are cooked in an ingenious kitchen-well on board, and often eaten under the oar-handles in very movement. But it was the rowing that interested me. Here, I said to myself, is the solution for 'View. They have a style - of course it is not for outrigged racing boats - but it is a “style”. They row facing the direction in which the boat is going--and only in difficult currents do they need a steersman aft; they row standing and they fling their weight on to the long oar or sweep when it is fairly deep; the oar handle is then as high as their heads. To secure their rhythmic swing of the body, there is a definite scheme of foot-work, resembling, too, that of the Chinese carpenter as he uses his long saw with a similar movement. Now, actually the youngsters of four, five and six have got that body swing and foot-work by imitating their father and mother in play before ever they can contribute to the driving force of the boat. Hence the lesson! Put your “Eight”
into the boat from say four years of age - let them pick up “style” while they are young! The Prefect of Studies would be happier later on.

The social life of these people reproduces the life on land. They have their floating shops, mostly for comforts or food things, cakes, fruit, cigarettes, and wonderful brews; they have their beggars afloat in their own tubs; they have religious rites for marriages and deaths with the same squealing music and the droning chants; they have magic decorations in red with the fascinating characters; they probably have the wise-acres, who will write letters for them or tell their fortunes. Even just as you see men and women on the road ways tugging huge loaded trucks (where we are accustomed to see only draught animals at work), so you will see the boat people towing from the bank their boats up some river. against a heavy current. I don't know whether they have schools afloat; usually the people know enough characters for ordinary purposes - but there is no place for a library. We hope later to get into closer touch with these people when we have our place at Aberdeen (Small Hong Kong); perhaps then, we shall have to rig up a floating church. Up in the Shanghai Mission, however, they get such Catholics to bring their boats in groups to certain churches situated convenient for them.

But what is the use of all this writing? One must leave half the scene untouched. The accompaniment of unending chatter, of warning shouts, of abuse at times, of bumping boats, of creaking oars, the yelling in emergencies, the monotonous two-note chant of the coolies loading or unloading cannot be produced in ink. The heat, the glistening perspiration, the strange smells - tobacco being one and joss sticks another - the streams of rickshaws moving along the Bund, the thick current of white or black clad pedestrians, the big buildings and their green, red or blue signs with gold characters; you cannot get all in the picture if you want the Canton Bund on paper.

Now you see how long it takes me to get finished once I start with one thing here in China. So I must jettison all the notes I wrote on the back of your letter. I then intended to make “a short article” (your words) on the Hongkong New Year (Chinese) Fair which comes about the end of January; if anybody wants to get something distinctive let him come himself and see its booths, its crowds, its varieties. or again, if I were to start on Zi-ka-wei Shanghai with its Ignatius Church and College, I should take pages to tell you of the Communion rails crowded daily and of the Corpus Christi procession, wonderful displays of Chinese Catholicity. No Sydney man would feel homesick in Shanghai - but of its European flavour I shall not waste space. Personally, I prefer the Chinese town with its three-century-old Church (which has been in one interval a pagoda), its quaint tea-house in a gold fish pond, its temple with a stream of men worshippers. But there I am again! I seem to discover bits of myself in different places - -a library in Zi-ka-wei, ruins in Macao, unbroken quiet in the rice fields of Tai Wan or the snug village of Wong Tung, art at Tsat-Shing-Ngam, sea and hill at Hongkong, mediaevalism at Wai Chan - and I love to rehandle the fragments. And yet - and yet - the Riverview fragment still gets mixed up with the others, and somehow blends with the scheme. If Riverview but helps with prayer, it will fit in perfectly.

Yours,

DJF.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1936

Obituary

Father Daniel Finn

A cable announcing the death of Father Daniel J Finn SJ, on November 2nd, arrived as the Alma Mater was due to go to press. It is fitting that some account, how ever inadequate, should appear of a remarkable man and one to whom Riverview owes much,

Memories of a quarter of a century's friendship call up many varied scenes, some lived through together, others known from delightful letters and from reminiscences in later years - a Greek class in Clongowes (Ireland) clustered round Mr Finn's desk while he expounded the glories of Greek architecture and sculpture and coinage, as a change from reading Euripides and Thucydides; Mr Finn in his shirt sleeves arranging the Greek antiquities in the University museum in Dublin; revelling in the beauties of the mountain scenery and the historical associations of the Tyrol; teaching youthful Grafs and Freiherrs in Vienna; adventures in the midst of great battles on the Polish-Russian frontier during the war; at Riverview, swimming in the baths, on the river in the Gladstone skiff or in a four (Joe Alagna and other small boys of the time will remember coxing on these occasions); throwing himself heart and soul into the production of the Passion Play; then years later at Hong Kong, lecturing to Chinese students; with his gang of coolies excavating on Lammas Island; in his museum expatiating on the significance of the prehistoric pottery and arrow heads and rings he had discovered, or hunting in the glorious confusion of his room to find some notes on the ancient Chinese constellations.

Fr Finn was born in Cork just fifty years ago, After a brilliant career at Oxford, where he acquired a reputation in Greek archaeology, he taught for some years at Clongowes. In 1913 he went to Innsbruck to study philosophy and was interned in Austria, and later in Poland, during the war. For some time he taught at the College of Kalksburg, Vienna, then was sent to the college of Hieruf in Poland. This college was the chief building for many miles around, and, during the fierce battles that raged there, was used as headquarters by Russians, Austrians and Germans in alternation as the tide of war ebbed and flowed. Fr Finn was not ill-treated - that is not the Austrian way. He was not put in prison or in a concentration camp. Nevertheless, the privations he underwent, in common with the rest of the population, undermined his health so seriously that the doctors did not give him long to live. He went to the Carpathian mountains, where he studied theology and was ordained very soon, so that he might die as a priest. However, he was able to leave Austria in 1919, though quite broken in health.

He came to Australia in 1920, and in time his health was completely restored. During his five years as Prefect of Studies at Riverview (1922–1926) he got through an amazing amount of work. Many Old Boys will recall with gratitude now much their education owes to him. In addition to the ordinary routine of teaching and work as Prefect of Studies, he maintained a number of other activities. Each year saw a play excellently staged, due largely to his untiring exertions (as Mr. Harry Thomas testifies)—Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Hamlet, and, culminating triumph, the Passion Play in 1925.

A boy wanted to learn Japanese. Father Finn agreed to teach him. That was the overt reason why he undertook the study of Japanese. The main reason was not known until later.

For some years Fr Finn had been interested in missionary work in Japan. From a close friend of his, a German Jesuit, who worked for years in Tokyo, he obtained detailed information about the tasks and prospects of Catholic missions in Japan. He was fired with the desire to devote his life to helping on the conversion of Japan. The difficulties of the work, about which he had no illusions, did not deter him. The first of these difficulties, the language, he tackled vigorously in the intervals of his work at Riverview. When he had mastered it sufficiently, he obtained leave from Father General to transfer himself to the Japanese mission and sailed for Tokyo at the end of 1926.

At Brisbane a cable from the General reached him to say that the Irish Jesuit Province had been commissioned by the Pope to undertake a Mission in Hong Kong, and that his services would be wel comed there. Father General realised, however, that it would be hard, after lab ouring for years to prepare himself for work in Japan, to abandon that work and start all over again on the extremely difficult Chinese language. Accordingly, Father Finn was left perfectiy free to go on to Japan if he thought well. He left the ship forthwith and took the next boat to Hong Kong.

On arrival at Hong Kong he was at once offered a temporary chair in the (State) University. Later on he was given a regular professorship there. He acquired a profound knowledge of Chinese, and in particular of ancient Chinese characters (incidentally, he already spoke Irish, Latin, Greek, French, German, Polish, Japanese). He has produced several learned volumes on Chinese religion and mythology. The branch of learning which owes most to him during these years is archaeology. His thorough training under expert archaeologists, his wide learning and real flair for the subject were given adequate scope. He carried out systematic excavations on Lammas Island, near Hong Kong. One day each week was spent on this island, directing the operations of some thirty coolies which the Government put at his disposal. He made many important discoveries, and seems to have opened up a whole new phase in the prehistory of Southern China.

In Hong Kong, Father Finn lived in the Seminary in which the Irish Jesuits educate for the priesthood Chirese students from all Southern China: He did his share in this work of training.
This year he went to Norway to attend an archaeological congress. Apparently he died while still in Europe, but no details have reached us so far. The results he achieved in the short space of not quite ten years in Hong Kong gave promise of a truly remarkable output had he been granted the normal span of life. Talents and labours and labours were devoted unstintingiy to the service of God. For that he has earned his reward, but the Chinese mission and the learned world are the losers by his early death. His learning was tempered by modesty, humour and charm, and friends in many parts of the world will mourn his loss.

D O’C SJ

◆ The Clongownian, 1937

Obituary

Father Daniel Finn SJ

The Irish Province of the Society of Jesus was deprived of one of its ablest members by the death of Father Finn on 1st November last. Although he was not at school at Clongowes, he spent three years here as a master (1910-13) and during that time the boys knew him as a man of extraordinarily varied interests with a particular flair for archæology and a deep enthusiasm for the study of Greek and Roman antiquities. He wrote several articles for “The Clongownian” in which he described the Clongowes Museurn and gave an exhaustive account of some classical coins in the collection.

At the National University he specialized in Classics, and won distinctions innumerable. Afterwards he went to Oxford to write a thesis on the colouring of Greek sculpture, a work that brought him the highest praise from the professors there. He began theology in Austria, but owing to the outbreak of the Great War he was transferred to Hungary and finally to Poland. Through this period, his genius in mastering languages enabled him to add Polish and Russian to his knowledge of French, German and Italian, in all of which he had been proficient since his schooldays. However, on his return to Ireland, it was found that he had contracted tuberculosis, and the only hope of saying his life was to go to a drier climate. Accordingly he went to Australia and spent some time in Riverview College as Prefect of Studies. But here he became interested in Japanese antiquities, and the staff of the Jesuit University of Tokyo hearing of him obtained permission to have him transferred to Japan. It was while he was on his way there that he got orders to change his destination for Hong Kong where the Irish Jesuits were just starting a mission.

In this seemingly fortuitous way he came to be living in a land teeming with relics of bygone ages. With the kind assistance of the Government, he carried out extensive excavations on Lamma Island close at hand, and made numerous valuable finds. His reports on the new field of discovery won world-wide attention at the Archælogical Congress held in Oslo last year, which he attended as the representative of the Government and University of Hong Kong. It was shortly after the Congress, when he was working in the British Museum that he began to suffer from some curious type of blood-poisoning of which he died within a month.

The fifty years of his life had been years of unceasing toil, not merely as a student and archæologist, but also in his later years as a priest and missionary. No more fitting tribute could be paid him than that at the Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul offered in Hong Kong, the congregation numbered people of all classes; HE the Governor, University officials, merchants, boat-women and little children: a truly representative gathering of many who esteemed him as a friend as well as a scholar. RIP

Finneran, Patrick J, 1915-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/659
  • Person
  • 23 January 1915-01 October 1989

Born: 23 January 1915, Boyle, County Roscommon
Entered: 07 September 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained :28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1951, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 01 October 1989, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Patrick Finneran SJ
R.I.P.

Father Patrick Finneran of Wah Yah College, Kowloon, died on 1 October 1989.

Father Finneran, who was still working last week, collapsed suddenly on the evening of Sunday, 1 October. He retained consciousness long enough to receive the Last Sacraments, but died very soon after that, aged 74.

Father Finneran was born in Roscommon, Ireland, on 23 January 1915. He was educated in Mungret College, Co. Limerick, where he showed himself an outstanding games player. He joined the Jesuits in 1934, was ordained priest in 1948 and came to Hong Kong in 1950.

The rest of his life was devoted mainly to his work as teacher and sports master in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He took a deep interest in this work and in the students he was working for. He was happy to spend long hours training students in sports and showing by example how things should be done. For many years, under his direction, the tennis teams of Wah Yan, Kowloon, played a major part in schools tennis in Hong Kong, to his great satisfaction.

He had a special gift of a virtue much praised by the Apostles, hospitality. Visitors to Wah Yan, Kowloon, were made to feel that he was glad that they had come and that he hoped that they would stay.

His cheerful disposition won him many permanent friends both among Wah Yan students and among the people he met in the course of pastoral work. He will be missed by many.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 1 October 1989

◆ 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 Mungret College SJ in Limerick. With the encouragement of Michael Murphy he then entered the Novitiate at St Mary’s, Emo under the newly appointed Novice Master John Neary. Michael Murphy followed him to Emo as Spiritual Father, and then onward to Rathfarnham as his Prefect of Studies in the Juniorate. Paddy was then sent to Tullabeg to study Philosophy. He was then sent for Regency to Crescent College Limerick and Belvedere College SJ, Dublin, where he also studied for a H Dip in Education at University College Dublin. Ted Collins was with him in Limerick, and among his students were Ciarán Kane and Frank Doyle in Belvedere.
1945-1949 He was at Milltown Park Dublin studying Theology, and then on to Tertianship at Rathfarnham under George Byrne.

He came to Hong Kong as a young priest with Peter Dunne and 5 Scholastics - Liam Egan, Paddy Cunningham, Matt Brosnan, Tom O’Neill and Tony Farren. He spent two years at the Battery Path Language School learning Cantonese.
1956-1958 He went to Way Yan College Hong Kong as Minister
1958 He went to Wah Yan Kowloon and remained there until his death.

He taught students English and Biblical Knowledge, and every year he baptised some of his students - over 100 in total. He also published some books on the teaching of English. However it is as a Games Master that he will be particularly remembered. He was one of the driving forces behind Wah Yan’s sports. He loved and coached tennis and won many championships.

For many years he also gave monthly talks to the Maryknoll Sisters and was active in other spiritual ministries. he gave Retreats in many Catholic schools in Hong Kong and was also involved in religious activities in Singapore and Malaysia

FitzGerald, Thomas R, 1905-1967, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/149
  • Person
  • 08 February 1905-12 July 1967

Born: 08 February 1905, Glin, County Limerick
Entered: 20 September 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1939, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 12 July 1967, St Francis Xavier, Kingsmead Hall, Singapore - Hong Kongensis Province (HK)

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966

by 1938 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Thomas FitzGerald, S.J., who worked in Hong Kong from 1938 to 1955 and in Malaysia or Singapore for the past twelve years, died in Singapore on Wednesday, 12 July 1967, aged 62.

Father FitzGerald was born in Ireland on 8 February 1905. He entered the Jesuit novitiate there in 1922 and was ordained priest in 1936.

He came to Hong Kong in 1938. After two years spent studying Cantonese, he went to the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, where he taught philosophy and later theology. Towards the end of the war he went to Macao to teach in the College of St. Luis Gonzaga. After the war he taught English Literature in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong till 1955. For many years he combined this teaching with a vigorous chaplaincy to the R.A.F.

In 1955 he went to Singapore to lecture in the Teachers’ Training College. In 1958 he moved to Penang as chaplain to a very large complex of educational works run by the Sisters there. In 1964, with seriously impaired health of which he took singularly little notice, he returned to Singapore, still ready for hard work. In the last year of his life he took over the editorship of the Malaysian Catholic News and the wardenship of Kingsmead Hall.

The extraordinary variety of posts filled by Father FitzGerald - lectureship in philosophy and theology, secondary school teaching R.A.F. chaplaincy, convent chaplaincy, administration, editorship - and the success he achieved in them testify to his extraordinary power of concentration on the matter in hand, whatever it might be. In ordinary conversation this concentration amounted to and endearing eccentricity - he would concentrate fully on the subject under discussion if he was distracted from that subject; he was totally distracted and showed no memory of the original subject. In his work this was no eccentricity, but and astonishing power of focusing all his remarkable powers on whatever task lay before him.

Even the onset of very bad health could not rob him of this invaluable gift, He was a sick men, already in his sixties, when he started his highly successful editorship of the Malaysian Catholic News, but he greeted the work with all the enthusiasm with which he had greeted the first work that had fallen to him as a young priest.

A Solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated in the chapel of Wah Yan College Hong Kong, on Monday, 17 July, by Father F. Cronin, S.J., Regional Superior.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 21 July 1967

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013.
His early education was at Laurel Hill Convent in Limerick and then he spent 8 years at Crescent College, before he Entered the Society in 1922.

He got a 1st Class Degree from University College Dublin and then a H Dip in Education.. He then studied Philosophy at Milltown Park.
He was sent for three years Regency, 2 at Mungret College SJ in Limerick and 1 at Belvedere College SJ Dublin. He then returned to Milltown Park for Theology and was Ordained there in 1936, followed immediately by Tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales.

1938-1940 Immediately after Tertianship he came to Hong Kong and spent the first two years at Tai Lam Chung Language School
1940-1943 He was sent to teach Philosophy at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen.
After WWII he taught briefly at St Luis Gonzaga College in Macau
1946-1955 He was sent to Wah Yan College Hong Kong
1955-1958 He was sent to Singapore as a Lecturer at the Teachers Training College
1958 He was sent to Penang as Chaplain to the HIJ sisters.
1964-1966 He was engaged in Retreat work in Singapore and Malaysia. His final post there was as Editor of the Malaysian Catholic News and as Warden at Kingsmead GHall.

He had a flair for languages - he knew Cantonese, Latin, Greek, Irish, French and Spanish.

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.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Arrivals :
Our three re-patriated 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 21st Year No 4 1946

Leeson St :
We were very glad to have several members of the Hong Kong inission 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 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 42nd Year No 4 1967

Obituary :

Fr Thomas Fitzgerald SJ (1905-1967)

When Fr. Thomas FitzGerald died in Singapore on 12th July 1967, the Hong Kong Viceprovince lost one of its most attractive characters. At his funeral Mass in St. Ignatius Church the presence of an archbishop, a bishop and a large crowd of priests, religious and layfolk gave eloquent testimony to the respect and affection with which he had been regarded. One of the priests, in fact, had travelled 500 miles to attend his funeral.
Fr. FitzGerald had spent the last twenty-nine years in the Far East. After the usual course of studies he went out to Hong Kong as a priest in 1938. His two years in the language school at Taai Lam Chung gave him a knowledge of Cantonese which made him one of our best Chinese scholars. Afterwards, he was to be for several years a member of a government examining board to test the proficiency in Chinese of European police-officers. Throughout his life Fr. FitzGerald was an excellent linguist and had a real interest in languages. Although he never lived in France he became a fluent French speaker - which was later to prove a useful asset in dealing with the French clergy in Malaya - and he learned Spanish just because he liked the language.
From 1940 to 1946 Fr. FitzGerald was on the staff of the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong. Here, at various times, he professed ethics, theology and dogma. These were difficult years, covering as they did three and a half years of the war in the Far East. The main difficulty was the shortage of food. Fr. FitzGerald used afterwards recall how, when he was sent down to Macao towards the end of the war, his brethren there failed to recognise him in his emaciated state.
Immediately after the war he came back to Ireland for a rest. Here he puzzled the doctors with a peculiar fever which turned out to be a recurrence of malaria, already contracted in the Far East. Many years later he used to take pride in the fact that a slide of his blood was still being used in U.C.D. to teach the medical students what malaria looked like!
In 1946 Fr. FitzGerald went to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, where he spent the next nine years. In addition to his classwork he took a lively interest in the school dramatics and revealed unsuspected talent as a make-up artist. He also, during these years, took on the extra-curricular post of officiating chaplain to the R.A.F. in Hong Kong.
Fr. FitzGerald was sent, in 1955, to the newly-established house in Singapore, to take up an appointment as Lecturer in English at the Teachers Training College. Three years later he suffered the first of a series of heart-attacks. After a spell in hospital he was sent back to Ireland to recuperate. Having spent six months there he was returning to Singapore by ship when he got another attack and had to be taken ashore and hospitalised in Bombay. He finally reached Singapore in January 1959. On the night of his arrival his condition caused concern and the doctor was summoned at 11 p.m. The following evening Fr. Tommy was calmly strolling round a trade exhibition on the other side of Singapore! This was typical of the man and of his attitude to life. For the last nine years of his life Fr. FitzGerald was told by every doctor who examined hiin that he had a heart so badly damaged that it could stop at any moment. His only reply was : “Well, the only thing to do with a heart like mine is forget about it”, and he acted accordingly. Time after time he suffered minor setbacks, but as soon as he felt a little better and he seemed to recover with incredible speed he wanted to be up and about at once.
After a couple of months in Singapore Fr. FitzGerald was sent to Penang where he spent the next four and a half years, living with a French parish priest and acting as chaplain to a large convent school and spiritual director to several religious institutions in the diocese. Although very fruitful in apostolic work these were rather lonely years for a community-man like Fr. Tommy.
He was happy, then, to be recalled to Singapore in 1963 to be Director of Retreats in Singapore and Malaya. During the next few years Fr. FitzGerald toured the peninsula giving retreats to priests, religious and lay-people. This was the sort of thing he liked - to be a member of a community without being tied down for too long to any one place. There was an element of wanderlust in Fr. Tommy.
Last year, at a time when his doctor was surprised that he was still alive, he opened a new chapter of his life by accepting two posts in which he had had no previous experience, Warden of Kingsmead Hall and Editor of the Malaysian Catholic News. It was these posts that he was filling with distinction when he suffered another massive heart-attack and died.
Among the many letters of condolence received from his friends after Fr. FitzGerald's death, there was one from Mr. Frank James - the father of our Fr. Brendan. In it he writes :
“There was so much that was loveable about Fr. Fitz. He had a genius for putting you at your ease and for making friends. My wife and I have known him for many years, and always he was so unruffled, so much at peace with himself and with the world around him”.
This comment aptly describes one of the most notable features of Fr. FitzGerald's character. He was a simple, uncomplicated man. He liked people and they liked him. Totally unselfconscious, he moved through life in an abstracted sort of way, with only an intermittent grasp, one felt, on reality. His phenomenal absent mindedness, his tendency to disrupt a conversation with an apparently utterly irrelevant remark, could at times be mildly exasperating. But exasperation soon gave way to amusement, especially at the look of oblivious innocence on Fr. Tommy's face. Sometimes, particularly in later years, when he realised from the sudden silence that he had stopped the conversation dead, he would try, with an apologetic smile, to trace the wavering line that connected in his mind the former topic with his abrupt intervention. This was always listened to with great interest. The connection was usually quite fantastic.
In view of his disjointed manner of conversation it is perhaps surprising that Fr. FitzGerald was such an excellent teacher. The fact is that when he put his mind to one subject he had a tremendous power of concentration. And he was extremely painstaking about his work. Often, when he was lecturing at the T.T.C. he would write out a whole lecture in full, and it would be a model of clear and interesting exposition. It is no wonder that his students remembered him with gratitude and affection many years after.
And so do we remember him. He was a man of peace, and his influence on any company of which he was a part was to quiet discords and reduce tensions. We may hope, with considerable confidence, that he has received the reward promised to the peace makers, that his childlike eyes now gaze at God.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1962

Malaya

Father Thomas R Fitzgerald SJ

Malaya is a land of strange contrasts. Big, bustling cities such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpar, Penang, side by side with trackless jungle. In Penang Island, about a year ago, three men went out on a hike through the jungle, At the end of three days three gaunt and tattered figures appeared on the island shore and hailed a passing fisherman. They had lost their way, and what they had intended as an afternoon stroll turned into a fight for survival, And this on an island which one can motor round in an afternoon. Admittedly, the case is rare. But that it can happen at all shows what one is up against once ont leaves the beaten track.

We may add other jungle hazards. Elephants, tigers, pythons, cobras, the seladang or wild ox - the most formidable of all the wild animals of Malaya, it will attack on sight. Swimming in the larger rivers is dangerous on account of crocodiles, and when out bathing on one of the beaches one has to be on the look out for basking sea-snakes. Their bite is frequently lethal.

A land, too, of striking contrasts in its inhabitants. They are of different levels of culture and each race speaks its own group of languages. In the depths of the jungle live the oldest inhabitants of Malaya, the Sakai. They are a primitive people who go about in loin cloths armed with blowpipe and poisoned arrows. They have a common lodging house for the whole community and live off the animals of the jungle and partly by primitive agriculture. The earliest invaders were the Malays who form the majority of the present population of Malaya. For the most part they are farmers and live in kampongs, or villages, in houses raised five or six feet above the ground on wooden pillars. Their dress is colourful, the baju-shirt, or blouse, and the sarong a piece of brightly coloured cloth extending from the waist to the feet.

During the past one hundred and fifty years Malaya has witnessed a vast immigration of Chinese and Indians. The Indians are easily distinguished by their almost European features. Most of them come from the South of India and are dark complexioned. The majority of the Indians are rubber tappers, but they are to be found in all walks of life. They are keen businessmen, take a prominent part in the trades union movement and in the legislative assemblies of both Singapore and the Federation. They include many distinguished lawyers and doctors. While many Indian families have adopted European dress, the common wear among the lower classes is the dhoti, a skirt of white cotton gathered up between the legs, for men, and for women the sari.

The Chinese are mostly town and village folk. In the mixture of races that go to make up the population of Malaya they are the most vigorous and progressive element. Most of the shops in the towns and villages are owned by them, Chinese run big firms in the cities, own rubber estates and factories. In the two big universities of Malaya and Singapore respectively they easily outnumber the Malays and Indians. They have a separate university for themselves on Singapore Island. And, of course, they form the majority of the professional classes.

Most new Catholics are Chinese. The Malays being strict Moslems are almost impossible to convert. The Indians are hard to reach, since most of them live in remote rubber estates. Also, they are more wedded to their Hindu religion than the Chinese are to either Buddhism, Taoism or Confucianism. I do not wish, however, to say that Indian Catholics are few in number, The Church in Malaya contains a fairly equal number of Indians and Chinese. But most Indian Catholics come from the South of India, where the Church has been established for centuries and where their ancestors had been converted. Many of them, too, come from Goa, where until recently the Portuguese flag flew.

In the home each race speaks its own language. The Indians from the South of India speak Tamil and Malayalam; Urdu is commonly spoken by immigrants from Northern India. The Chinese speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Hoilam, Hakka, Teochew, each of which differs from the others enough to constitute a separate language. For instance, a Cantonese speaker is absolutely at sea when addressed in Hokkien unless he has previously learnt the language. Hokkien is generally spoken by the Singapore and Penang Chinese, while most of the Chinese in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of the Federation, and in Ipoh and other large towns speak Cantonese.

The Church has met this difficulty by making parishes racial, not local. For instance, in Singapore there is a separate church for the Indians, one for the Cantonese, one for the Teochew and Hokkien speakers and several churches for the English-speaking majority. But this does not solve the difficulty that the speakers of these different languages are spread throughout the length and breadth of Singapore, and many of them may have to travel many miles to get to the church where their own language is spoken. All agree that it is an unsatisfactory way of meeting the difficulty. But at present there is no other way of meeting it. Otherwise the missionaries would have to follow in the footsteps of Mezzafonti. And as things are, the average missionary -he is generally French-has to learn English, Malay, and one dialect of either Indian or Chinese.

The two Irish Jesuit parishes, St Ignatius in Singapore and St Francis Xavier's in Kuala Lumpur are cases in point of the language difficulty. In Singapore the majority of our parishioners are English-speaking. In the parish area there is an enormous number of non-Christian residents, mainly Chinese. To win them over we must have a good speaker of the Hokkien dialect, And so Father Gerard Keane has had to spend a year in a language school in Kuala Lumpur to add Hokkien to his Cantonese. Our parish in Kuala Lumpur contains a large Cantonese village, but there are very many Indians in the parish, too. To meet their spiritual needs, Father Paul Jenkins has had to devote two years to the study of Tamil, an exceedingly complex language.

Recently I have been instructing a Cantonese lady. Here in Penang. where I am living, I am the only Cantonese speaking priest. The lady was unfortunate in that, unlike most of the Chineses, she spoke only one dialect. Penang, like Singapore, is divided into an Indian parish, a Chinese parish and two parishes for English speakers. In the Chinese parish the priest in charge speaks Mandarin, Hakka and English, So there was nobody there to attend to the needs of the Cantonese lady.

In this age of materialism and comfort, it is heartening to see how many men and women are prepared to make great sacrifices for the Faith. Recently I was visited by the second wife of a prominent lawyer in one of the large towns of Malaya. She had had a chequered career. Now forty years of age, she was the mother of three children and held a respected position in the non-Christian society of her town. She had come to the Faith through devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. And so she asked me: “What must I do to be baptized?” The answer was simple, but it demanded the heroic.

“You must separate from your husband. If he refuses to give up your children you must part from them, too”.
“That is hard, Father, but since it is God's will, I will do it”.

And she did. She gave up her wealthy home and her children and went to live with her brother, who was a poor rubber tapper. She was instructed in the Faith and baptised. She came to me after her baptism and told me she was happy in spite of the separation from her children, because she knew she was doing the will of God and he gave her much consolation.

What of the future of our work here in Malaya ? At present we Irish Jesuits are following the traditional policy of the Society in trying to in fluence the intellectual elite and the professional classes. To this end we have established two hostels for university students, one in Singapore and the other in Kuala Lumpur. By keeping the students under our care we will be able to confirm the Catholics in their faith, which is exposed to many dangers in the non-Christian atmosphere of the universities. And we will be able to smooth the path to the Church for non-Catholics of good will.

For many years we have been in contact with the teachers of Malaya. Jesuits have acted as lecturers in the Government Teachers' Training College in Singapore. Recently, however, all the Europeans on the staff have been eliminated, and so the Jesuit lecturers have had to relinquish this important work. But we still carry on as Catholic chaplains to the Teachers Training Colleges of Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang. . There is certain evidence of mounting Muslim opposition to the growth of the Church. The Education Department in the Federation has compelled Catholic Schools to take in teachers of the Koran for the Malays attending the schools. It has forbidden the teaching of religion during school hours for all Christian schools, including biblical knowledge, formerly a recognised subject for the Leaving Certificate. Instead, a course in Islamism is being arranged. If this course is easy it will attract many Chinese students. But in spite of this opposition the work of conversion goes on and the influence of the Church is growing daily.

There is another side of our work I have not mentioned. That is the giving of retreats to children in schools, religious and army personnel. Father Eddie Bourke, well known to past Mungret boys of the twenties, spends his time travelling the length and breadth of Malaya giving retreats. Just at present he is enjoying a well deserved holiday in Ireland, but he expects to be back at the work by the end of the year.

Finally, a word about another old Mungret man, now also working with us in Malayaa. Father Ed Sullivan (Mungret 1918-1922, and Third Club Prefect 1929-1932) taught for many years in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He is now assistant to the Parish Priest of our Church of St Francis Xavier near Kuala Lumpur. He is well able to cope with the large Cantonese village I have previously mentioned, as he is a fine speaker of Cantonese.

Fitzpatrick, Daniel, 1910-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/661
  • Person
  • 27 October 1910-07 July 2001

Born: 27 October 1910, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 August 1939, Leuven, Belgium
Final Vows: 15 August 1973
Died: 07 July 2001, Nazareth House, Camberwell, Melbourne - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Campion College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He is remembered as a very cheerful man with irrepressible zeal. he was born in Belfast and his father was an engineer who died on the famous Titanic when Daniel was very young. He was sent to Mungret in Limerick for his education. He had very fond memories of Mungret, especially his Jesuit teachers, like Mattie Bodkin, who had a significant influence on him. He entered the Society at Tullabeg and enjoyed the quiet country life there.

1930-1933 he was sent to Rathfarnham Castle for Juniorate at UCD, graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Physics and Chemistry. During that time (1931) he had already been assigned to the new Vice Province of Australia, and he was happy about that.
1933-1936 He was sent to Valkenburg Netherlands for Philosophy
1936-1940 He was sent to Leuven Belgium and Milltown Park Dublin for Theology, being Ordained at Leuven just seven days before the start of WWII.
1940-1941 He made Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle Dublin.
1943-1948 He was eventually able to get passage to Australia. He went with three other Jesuits, and that journey came the stuff of folklore due to the hazardous nature of their journey. Because of the constant threat of German U Boats, they only travelled at night and very close to the African coast. The journey took five months. He arrived in Melbourne and was sent to St Patrick’s College to teach Chemistry and Religion. He also agreed to teach Science at Xavier College Kew in the afternoons after a morning at St Patrick’s., and for two years was Prefect of Studies at St Patrick's (1944-1946). he also managed to teach Science at the Presbyterian Ladies College in Victoria Parade. he liked teaching the girls and also the fact that this was an ecumenical venture.

1949-1972 He was sent permanently to Xavier College Kew and taught six classes of Chemistry every day with no laboratory assistant. His commitment to his students was very high, and he would greet them cheerfully each day in a crisp white coat. He was highly regarded as a teacher, thorough, organised and convinced of discipline in learning. He demanded very high standards, did not like indiscipline and not much escaped him. Many recall him saying his rosary on the top verandah overlooking the chapel. While doing this he observed everything below and this formed the basis for many conversations with students. he may have been exacting, but he prepared many of his students for scientific studies at the University.

As well as a full class schedule he also had a weekend supply at Ferntree Gully, and during summer holidays he gave eight day Retreats.

1972-1986 At the age of 62 he embarked on a very different stage in his life. He had hoped to do Retreat work in Asia, ideally i Malaysia with Irish Jesuits, but this plan failed when he was unable to gain a permanent work visa. So he went to Hong Kong for work. The Catholic Port Chaplain had suddenly resigned and he was asked to fill in temporarily. This ministry lasted thirteen years when he was 75 years old.

With his natural cheerful and helpful style he won many friends among seafarers from many nations, Philipinos especially, but also Goans, Poles and Russians. He gave time to all and enjoyed their company. He loved people. He would set out daily into Hong Kong Harbour, scaling ladders to board ships, which he admitted was sometimes dangerous in rough seas. Talking to the men, making them feel at home, he would regularly promise to write to their family giving them news. This custom he continued for the rest of his life, especially at Christmas. He even made trips to the Philippines to meet the families of those men, enjoying the free service of Cathay Pacific Airlines or ships belonging to Swires. When off ship he was to be found in the Mariners’ Club where he socialised with everyone and presented the Faith in a very concrete and persuasive way, talking through people’s doubts and troubles with very convincing ease. He was apostolic and ebullient, often breaking into song and poetry. He formed good relations with the Anglican Port Chaplain and his wife, and they shared common experiences. he revelled in this life.

He was a very family oriented man, and when his mother died, he brought his step-brothers and sister to Australia, settling them into accommodation and schools and keeping an eye on them. After his return from Hong Kong, he would visit his sister on a Saturday night, and then go to the community. This was very important for both he and his family cherished.

1986 When it became difficult for him to board ships, it was time for him to make a third change in his life. He decided to return to Australia, and there he began a ministry to the sick and dying at Caritas Christi Hospice in Kew, and this he continued until the end of his life. From 1986-1989 he lived a Burke Hall, and from then on at Campion House.

He retired early each night and rose at 3am. After some prayers he went for a morning walk around Yarra Boulevard. He made this walk again in the afternoons, always with a rough walking stick. He went to the Hospice each morning and visited some before Mass and then others after Mass. he would then come back in the afternoons. He was very regular. his appearance was unique. He was small i stature and wore a big flannel check shirt with a baseball cap and sneakers, and baggy shorts in the summer. In winter the baseball cap was replaces with a Russian fur fez with earmuffs. his attitude was one of having time for all because everyone was special.

As he grew older his eyesight deteriorated, and just after his 90th birthday he fell and broke his hip in the hospice. They looked after him well at caritas and he learned to walk again, now visiting patients in his pyjamas. Eventually he accepted the move to Nazareth House, Cornell Street, Camberwell, Melbourne saying that there would be some work for him there.

He lived life to the full and had no fear of dying. He had a very strong faith and used joke that when he got to Heaven he would spend his first days running about looking for his father. He loved company but was never dependent on it. He loved sharing his theological and spiritual insights, or how the laws of Science helped him have a deeper understanding of the works of God in the universe. He would often reflect on the Goodness of God towards him, especially the gifts of nature and its wonders. He could see unity in diversity as he gazed at the night sky.

He was a great companion, one with whom it was easy to form friendship. It was claimed that one Irish Jesuit was a visitor to him at the Mariner’s Club. The two men were complete opposites, his visitor being rigid and fearfully conservative. However, they became good friends. He was also a great letter writer, keeping in contact with the may people he had met in his long life.

He was also obsessively ordered in his own personal life. His room was spotless, everything in its place, and pride of pace being given to a model of the Titanic. He had an infectious chuckle, especially as he held a glass of his favourite tipple in his hand. “What did the policeman say to the kleptomaniac - You better take things quietly”. Laughing at his own joke, he was oblivious to the fact he had told it on numerous occasions.

He had a joyful and adventurous spirit, and peace with himself, man and God. His zeal for finding new ways to minister to people in need with such commitment, his love of family and friends, was a powerful legacy to all who knew him.

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

Fleming, Thomas, 1897-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/498
  • Person
  • 29 March 1897-05 March 1988

Born: 29 March 1897, Sandymount, Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 22 December 1928, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1932, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 05 March 1988, Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia (McQuoin Park Wahroonga)

Part of the Manresa community, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia at the time of death, and died there on a visit whilst living at McQuoin).

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1921 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1924 in Australia - Regency
1930-1931 At St Beuno’s for Tertianship
by 1931 fifth wave Hong Kong Missioners
1937 Returned to Ireland to teach Philosophy at Tullabeg
by 1946 in Australia

◆ 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 Clongowes before he Entered at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

1916-1920 After First Vows he went to UCD and graduated BSc (Hons) in Mathematics and Physics
1920-1922 He was sent to Leuven Belgium for Philosophy
1922-1926 He was sent to Australia and first to Riverview and then Xavier College Kew for Regency, teaching Mathematics, Latin and Greek, and he was Second Division Prefect at Xavier.
1926-1929 He was back in Ireland and Milltown Park studying Theology and was Ordained in 1928.
1930-1931 He was sent to St Beuno’s Wales to make Tertianship
1931-1937 He volunteered for the Hong Kong Mission and first went to Shiuhing for language studies. After that he taught Mathematics at Wah Yan College Hong Kong, and Theology at the same time in the Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen.
1937-1946 His health broke down and so he returned to Ireland and was teaching Ontology and Anthropology to the scholastics at Tullabeg
1946-1951 After the war he went back to Australia and to Riverview to teach Chemistry, Mathematics and Religion. While there he also wrote “Faith and Morals”.
1952-1967 He was sent to Canisius College Pymble to teach Theology
1969-1985 After a year back in Ireland he returned to Australia and this time to the Hawthorn Parish.

While he was teaching Theology he prepared meticulously for classes, lectures, sermons, retreats and normal sacramental work. He had a quick mind, but it was said that he was not particularly interested in exploring ideas too deeply. He was more interested in the dialogue for and against issues. He was very good at explaining what he taught - clear and logical. Once he took a position, little could move him. He had by this stage written a book on apologetics. He was awarded a PhD from the Gregorian in Rome for his studies and work.
He was known to argue with people at the Domain in Sydney from the platform of the Catholic Evidence Guild. For years he spent Sunday afternoons at the Domain, enjoying showing the truth of his faith to those who didn’t share it, and he loved the arguments, being quite a skilful and hard hitting debater.

At Hawthorn he took quite a different approach. he was known to be sympathetic, kind and shrewd. His somewhat sardonic sense of humour helped make him a popular retreat giver. Being quite set in his ways and thinking, he found the changes of Vatican II quite difficult to accept. He was more at ease with older people and enjoyed administering the sacraments to them and also doing visitations.

He was thought to have a somewhat idealised notion of what being Irish meant, and had a somewhat superior sense of the religious, moral and intellectual character of the Irishman - and this didn’t always square with his estimation of Irish people, lay and clergy, whom he met daily.
He was also a keen golfer - very good, but not patient enough to be excellent. He also found his love of football revived at Hawthorn, having loved it at Xavier when he was a scholastic there.
He gave of himself fully to his priestly ministry, understanding himself as commissioned to teach and defend the Faith, as well as bringing its comforts to those in need.
His last couple of years were spent at McQuoin Park in Hornsby, but he actually died at Hawthorn while on a visit.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Australia :
Frs. Fleming and Mansfield (who is a member of the Australian Vice-Province) were able to leave for Australia via America in July.
Frs. Lennon and Morrison are still awaiting travel facilities.
Fr. Fleming, on board S.S. Marine Falcon, between U.S.A. and Honolulu, 3-8-46 :
“We arrived in New York on July 20th. Fr. Provincial McQuade was extraordinarily friendly and provided me with even more dollars than I asked for. I had been informed that my boat would leave San Francisco on July 31st (with no other boat for a few months) so I spent only a day in New York. As I had been told that train and plane were about the same price, in order to gain time I sent my luggage ahead by rail and then flew from New York to San Francisco, breaking the journey for a week at Chicago to meet relatives who gave me a wonderful time. The speed at which people move here is almost incredible. The plane from New York to Chicago (44-seater) had an average speed of 222 miles per hour for the 800 miles. In a trip to Eau Claire the train did up to 124 miles per hour without any vibration or discomfort. Food is plentiful and good though very dear. A mere hair-cut costs 1.25 dollars (over 6s.). We are due in Sydney on August 20th, so that I shall have arrived before Fr. L. O'Neill. So far the journey has been very pleasant, though we have had to rough it on this boat which was a troop transport during the war. Food excellent and very plentiful. Seven other priests on board and three Mass kits”.

Foley, John J, 1907-1991, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/663
  • Person
  • 08 December 1907-14 December 1991

Born: 08 December 1907, Tralee, County Kerry
Entered: 21 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1942, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 14 December 1991, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Early education at Belvedere College SJ, Dublin; Tertianship at Rathfarnham

by 1934 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father John Foley S.J.
1907-1991
R.I.P.

Father John Foley SJ, died at Wah Yan College, Kowloon, on 14 December 1991. He was 84 years of age.
Cardinal John B. Wu presided over the funeral Mass, held in St. Ignatius Chapel, Kowloon, on 20 December and the burial was at Happy Valley Cemetery.
Father Foley was born in Tralee, Ireland, on 8 December 1907. He entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1925. He took a B.A. degree at the National University of Ireland and then went through the usual course of studies in philosophy and theology in Dublin.

In 1933, while still a scholastic, he came to Hong Kong. He began the study of Cantonese and taught English and Latin at the then Regional Seminary in Aberdeen.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1939 and for the rest of the Second World War did teaching and administrative work in Ireland.

In 1946 he returned to Hong Kong and returned to the Regional Seminary where took charge of day-to-day administration.

Two years later he moved to Wah Yan College, Kowloon for 11 years as minister to the community and spiritual father to the students.

In 1959 he was back in the seminary as administrator and teacher of English and History of the Missions. When the Regional Seminary was handed over to the diocese, Father Foley was the Acting Rector.

He then returned to Wah Yan College, Kowloon, in 1964 and spent the rest of his life in that community. Until his retirement he was a teacher and spiritual father to the students.

He was the spiritual adviser to the Christian Life Community in the school and later was director of the CLC for the whole of Hong Kong.

On his retirement Father from the school, he gave much of his time as hospital chaplain. At one time he was regularly visiting three hospitals: Maryknoll Hospital, Kowloon Kwong Wah Hospital and the British Military Hospital. His work at the Maryknoll Hospital where he went regularly for many years is remembered with great appreciation.

But he was also remembered for his work with refugees at the North point Camp after the Second World War. Forty years later they still came faithfully to visit him. They celebrated his birthday for the last time with him on 8 December, just six days before he died.

Father Foley’s favorite recreational activity was gardening and the grounds of Wah Yan Kowloon are a lasting remembrance to his great love for trees and flowers.
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 :
He entered the Society in 1925.
After First Vows he was sent to University College Dublin, graduating BA. On 1933 he was sent for Regency to Hong Kong, where he studied Cantonese and taught at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. He then went through the usual course of Philosophy and Theology studies at Milltown Park Dublin, being Ordained in 1939.
After Ordination, because of the war he did teaching and administrative work in Ireland.

1946-1948 He returned to Hong Kong and the Regional Seminary as the Administrator.
1948-1959 He went to Wah Yan College Kowloon as Minister and Spiritual Father in the College.
1959 He returned to Aberdeen doing teaching English and the History of the Mission and administration.

When the Regional Seminary was handed over to the Diocese he was the Acting Rector. So, in 1964 he returned to Wah Yan Kowloon and spent the rest of his life in that community. He was the spiritual advisor for the CLC in the school and later became the Director of CLC for the whole of Hong Kong.

When he retired from school he enjoyed working as a hospital Chaplain. At one time he was regularly visiting Maryknoll Hospital, Kwong Wah Hospital and the British Military Hospital. His work at Martyknoll was remembered with great appreciation. He was also remembered for his work with refugees at North Point Camp after WWII. Forty years later they still came faithfully to visit him. They celebrated his birthday with him for the last time in 1991 6 days before he died.

His favourite recreation was gardening and the grounds of Wah Yan College Kowloon are a lasting remembrance to his great love for trees and flowers.

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

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
Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong Kong

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1992

Obituary

Father John Foley SJ

Fr John Foley SJ died at Wah Yan College, Kowloon, on Decernber 14. He was 84 years of age.

Cardinal John B. Wu presided over the funeral Mass, held in St Ignatius Chapel, Kowloon, on December 20 and the burial was at Happy Valley Cemetery.

Fr Foley was born in Tralee, Ireland, on December 8, 1907. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1925. He took a BA degree at the National University of Ireland and then went through the usual course of . studies in philosophy and theology in Dublin.

In 1933, while still a scholastic, he came to Hongkong. He began the study of Cantonese and taught English and Latin at the then Regional Semi nary in Aberdeen.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1939 and for the rest of the Second World War did teaching and administrative work in Ireland.

In 1946 he retumed to Hongkong and returned to the Regional Seminary where he took charge of day to-day administration.

Two years later he moved to Wah Yan College, Kowloon for 11 years of minister as minister to the community and spiritual father to the students.

In 1959 he was back in the seminary as administrator and teacher of English and History of the Missions. When the Regional Seminary was handed over to the diocese, Fr Foley was the Acting Rector.

He then returned to Wah Yan College, Kowlon, in 1964 and spent the rest of his life in that community. Until his retirement he was a teacher and spiritual father to the students.

He was the spiritual adviser to the Christian Life Community in the school and later was director of the CLC for the whole of Hongkong.

On his retirement from the school, he gave much of his time as hospital chaplain. At one time he was regularly visiting three hospitals: Maryknoll Hospital, Kwong Wah Hospital and the British Military Hospital. His work at the Maryknoll Hospital where he went regularly for many years is remembered with great appreciation.But he was also remembered for his work with refugees at the North Point Camp after the Second World War. Forty years later they still came faithfully to visit him. They celebrated his birthday for the last time with him on December 8, just six days before he died.

Fr Foley's favourite recreational activity was gardening and the grounds of Wah Yan Kowloon are a lasting remembrance to his great love for trees and flowers,

May he rest in peace.

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.

Fook-Wai Chan, Francis, 1923-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/491
  • Person
  • 29 January 1923-04 December 1993

Born: 29 January 1923, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Entered: 17 August 1940, Rizal, Philippines (MARNEB for HIB)
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1958, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 04 December 1993, Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin

Part of the Cherryfield Lodge community, Dublin community at the time of death.

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

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Francis Chan Fook Wai, SJ., a long-serving teacher in Wah Yan College Kowloon and a sought-after priest at St. Ignatius Chapel there, died in Dublin, Ireland, on 4 December 1993, aged 70 years.

Born to a Catholic family in Shamshuipo, Kowloon, in 1923, he graduated from Wah Yan College Hong Kong which was then situated on Robinson Road. He joined the Jesuits (Society of Jesus) in 1940 and went to the Philippines for his novitiate, taking his vows there under Japanese occupation in 1942.

After studies there in humanities and philosophy, he returned to teach for a year at his old school and then moved to Ireland to study theology in 1950-54 at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained a priest in 1953. He made his final year of spiritual formation in Wales, followed by a year of educational studies in London.

After returning to Hong Kong in 1956, he took up what was to be his life-long career as a secondary-school teacher, this time in Kowloon Wah Yan College on Waterloo Road.

He was to teach full-time at Form Five level for over 30 years, a period broken only by his going to Canada in 1969 to take a Master's degree in history at the University of Saskatchewan. Even after official retirement at 65 in 1988, he continued with a reduced teaching load for a further two years. During the course of those long years, he had served also as Prefect of Studies of the school and as the first Chinese Rector of the Jesuit community.

His pastoral work at St. Ignatius Chapel had begun as early as 1972 but from 1990 this became his main concern. There he had already become known for the many groups whom he personally instructed for Baptism. Every year he prepared two groups of over fifty adults. He often baptised a whole family, including grandparents and grandchildren.

In early 1992 he moved to England to care for the Chinese Catholics living in London. But soon after taking up that responsibility, he had to undergo major surgery. He was happy to be able to resume his pastoral work for some months but when the problem recurred in mid-1990, he sought medical treatment in Ireland and it was there that he died peacefully on 4 December.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His early education was in Wah Yan College Hong Kong.
He made his Novitiate in Manila, and the studied Humanities and Philosophy.
1950-1954 he was sent to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology.
After that he studied Spiritual formation in Wales and Educational studies in London.
He taught at Wah Yan College Kowloon and then in 1992 he moved to London, England to care for Chinese Catholics living there.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Francis (Frank) Chan (Fook-wai Chan) (1923-1993)

29th Jan. 1923: Born in Hong Kong to a Catholic family Primary studies: Tun Mui School, Hong Kong
Secondary studies: Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Graduating 1940
14th Aug. 1940: Entered Society at Novaliches Novitiate, Philippines
15th Aug. 1942: First Vows at Novaliches
1942 - 1944: Juniorate at Novaliches, studied English, Latin and Greek
1944 - 1946: Philosophy at Novaliches
1946 - 1950: Regency in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
1950 - 1954: Theology in Milltown Park
31st July 1953; Ordained a priest in Milltown Park by J.C. McQuaid
1954 - 1955: Tertianship at St. Bueno's, Wales
1955 - 1956: Diploma in Education at Strawberry Hill College, London
1956 - 1958: Taught in Wah Yan College, Kowloon
3rd Feb. 1958: Final Vows, professed
1959-1965: Prefect of Studies in Wah Yan College, Kowloon.
1965-1967: Fund-raising for new school wing
1967-1970: Studies for M.A. in history at University of Saskatchewan, Canada
1970-1990: Taught in Wah Yan College, Kowloon
1972-1978; Minister of community
1972-1991: Prefect of Church
1972-1982: Consultor of Vice-Province
1978-1994: Rector of Wah Yan College
1985-1991: Minister of community
1991-1992: Sabbatical Year
1992-1993: Director of London Chinese Catholic Association, St. Patrick's Church, London
1992: Transcribed to Irish Province
4th Dec. 1993: Died at Our Lady's Hospice, Harolds Cross

I suppose “single-minded” is the word that best sums up Fr. Francis Chan. I first noticed this when we were together in Theology in Milltown Park in the early fifties. For Francis it was slog and swot every spare hour of the day. The result was that he outshone many of his colleagues who considered that they were of higher intellectual ability than him. There was a certain amount of chagrin that Francis got his “Ad Grad” and was thus on the way to becoming Professed Father, while some of his colleagues had to be satisfied with becoming "mere" Spiritual Coadjutors.

Francis continued to show that same determination to achieve academic success after completing his tertianship in St. Beunos, North Wales. He first studied for a Diploma in Education in Strawberry Hill, London. Then, after his return to Hong Kong in 1956, he sat his Matriculation Exam and an external degree in history from London University - no mean achievement as he was a full-time teacher during that period. Later, he obtained a Master's degree from Regina University, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Francis devoted himself with the same single-mindedness to the very difficult task of fund-raising for Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He was Chairman of the Committee and gave himself wholeheartedly to the task, contacting his many friends and Past Students of the College.

When he became Minister of Wah Yan College, Kowloon he showed the same efficiency that he had displayed in classroom teaching and in his term as Prefect of Studies in the College. However, his single mindedness and his determination to achieve sometimes meant that he was lacking in the art of good personal relationships. However, I must say that whenever I visited the College when Francis was minister, or later when he became Rector, he was always most welcoming, considerate and attentive.

I think that this appointment as Minister of Wah Yan was really a turning-point in Francis's career. As Minister, he was in charge of the “School Chapel”. It needs to be explained that the “Chapel”, to all intents and purposes, is a “mini parish church”; funerals or weddings are not performed, but other normal parish activities are carried out. (The official designation of St. Ignatius Chapel is a “Pastoral Zone” - the only one in the whole diocese of Hong Kong!!). It was in this work that Francis really blossomed and it became evident that while he threw himself wholeheartedly into his work as a teacher, his heart wasn't really in it. This might help to explain why he never developed a close personal relationship with his students. Anyhow, he relished his work with the people who came to St. Ignatius Chapel and took a deep interest in them. He prepared very many for Baptism himself, when the general practice of the diocese was to leave this task to catechists. And the people loved him. When he later became Rector, and would normally have ceased being in charge of St. Ignatius Chapel, he continued his association with it. Still later, when he retired from full-time teaching in the College he was able to devote practically all his time to his “parishioners”.

The thought of the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997 was something that caused Francis a great deal of anxiety and he made no secret of the fact that he intended to leave well in advance of that date. So, in 1992 he left Hong Kong: first to visit his former parishioners living in Canada and then he came to Ireland. He obtained an Irish passport and became a member of the Irish Province in September of that year. Earlier, he had signed a three-year contract with the Archdiocese of Westminster to be the priest in charge of the Chinese Catholics in London - “Director of the Chinese Catholic Association, London” was his official title.

However, he soon experienced ill health and had prostate surgery in Dublin that same year. Against medical advice, Francis insisted on returning to his flock in London. He realised that, on account of his cancer, he didn't have very long to live so he paid a final visit to Hong Kong without revealing to anyone his serious medical condition. When the cancer worsened he had to leave his pastoral work in London and took up residence in Cherryfield Lodge in August, 1993. As his health continued to deteriorate, he moved to Our Lady's Hospice, Harold's Cross, Dublin where he died on 4th December, 1993.

Something of the single-mindedness that had marked his life was evident in his final illness. He knew that he hadn't long to live so he committed himself totally into the hands of his Creator. The nurses in the Hospice said that they had never seen anyone die with such peaceful resignation - a peace that was clearly evident on his face after his death. May he rest in peace.

JG Foley

Forest, Henri, 1916-2002, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1324
  • Person
  • 12 September 1916-23 February 2002

Born: 12 September 1916, Joliette, Québec, Canada
Entered: 07 September 1933, Sault-au-Récollet, Canada - Canada Inferiors Province (CAN I)
Ordained: 08 June 1946
Final vows: 17 September 1978
Died: 23 February 2002, St Jérôme, Québec, Canada - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Transcribed CAN I to ExOr; app HK 1952-1960

by 1953 came to Aberdeen Hong Kong (HIB) teaching 1952-1960

Gallagher, Richard, 1887-1960, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/161
  • Person
  • 19 January 1887-07 September 1960

Born: 19 January 1887, Cork City
Entered: 07 September 1905, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1920, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1923, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 07 September 1960, Saint Teresa's Hospital, Mong Kok, Hong Kong

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

Older Brother of Leonard Gallagher - RIP 1942

by 1910 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1928 second batch Hong Kong Missioners

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Richard W. Gallagher, the senior member of the Society of Jesus in Hong Kong, died in St. Teresa’s Hospital, in the early morning of Wednesday, 7 September 1960, aged 73.

His health had been deteriorating for some years, but his zeal remained unabated and within the limits imposed by infirmity he continued his varied priestly work till within three weeks of his death.

Father Gallagher was born in Cork, Ireland, on 19 January 1887, the eldest son of a very large family. He joined the Society of Jesus on 7 September 1905.

He did his studies in Ireland and Germany and was ordained priest in 1920. After ordination he worked for some years in Ireland, preaching parish missions, teaching, and carrying out the duties of Prefect of Studies. All through his priestly life his preaching was characterised by simplicity, profundity, and lucidity, the outcome of assiduous application of great talents in a spirit of utter simplicity. He had proved himself also a first-class teacher and a brilliant organiser both of studies and of the manifold extra-curricular activities of his school.

The Irish Jesuits came to Hong Kong for the first time in December 1926. Father Gallagher’s varied gifts and complete readiness to do everything that was proposed to him made him exactly what was needed here. He was sent to Hong Kong in 1927 and, apart from one short rest in Ireland after the War, spent the rest of his life here.

He landed on 27 October. On the three following days he preached the tritium in preparation for the Feast of Christ the King in the Cathedral. This plunge into work was symbolic of what he was to do throughout his 33 years here.

In his first years, he taught Philosophy in the Seminary, edited The Rock, gave lectures and retreats, preached, studied Cantonese, and put himself at the disposal to all who needed his help.

In 1932 he was appointed first Rector and first Jesuit headmaster of Wah Yan College, which had been taken over almost at a moment’s notice by the Jesuit Fathers. The school was already well established and the change of administration might have been expected to cause friction. That it did not do so was due chiefly to Father Gallagher’s unvarying tact, courtesy, and understanding of other people’s point of view. Long before he ceased to be Rector in 1940 all had forgotten that friction had once been thought possible.

In December 1941, he was Prefect of Studies in a new college in Austin Road, Kowloon. The siege of Hong Kong and the Japanese occupation put an end to this work. Father Gallagher himself was arrested on 12 December and was not released till 23 January 1942. Soon after his release he went to St. Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, where he remained till the end of the war, acting as chaplain to the hospital and as intermediary between the sisters and the occupying powers.

In helping the sick and the wretched during those years of distress and recurrent disaster Father Gallagher found full scope for something that was more characteristic than even his talents or his energy - his unfailing charity. (Throughout his life, unkindness of any sort aroused in him an almost physical repugnance.)

After the war he showed similar devotion and charity as chaplain to Queen Mary Hospital, combining with this work ready acceptance of the innumerable calls made upon him as a preacher, conference-giver, adviser, and supporter of Catholic organizations. His association with the Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres remained unbroken and the Little Flower Club in particular owed much to his encouragement.

In 1947 he took up the task of conducting the weekly Catholic Prayers from Radio Hong Kong. For the remaining twelve and a half years of his life, almost without a break, he gave these prayers always fresh, always simple, always prayerful, always newly composed for each week. Few broadcasters of any kind can rival his 659 broadcasts. Few, perhaps none, can rival the amount of good he did by broadcasting.

He worked almost to the end. His last broadcast was made less than three weeks before his death. He admitted at last that he was suffering. Medical examination revealed that he had not long to live. An operation became urgently necessary on Tuesday, 6 September, though there was little hope that it could do more than relieve pain.

He died without recovering consciousness at 12:20pm. On 7 September, 55 years to the day after his entry into the Society of Jesus.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 9 September 1960

Funeral of Fr. Gallagher, S.J.

The late Father R.W. Gallagher, S.J., was buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley, on Thursday, 8 September.

Solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was sung in the chapel of Wah Yan college, Kowloon, at 9am: Celebrant, Father H. Dargan, S.J., Regional Superior; Deacon, Father C. Egan, S.J.; Subdeacon, Father R. Kennedy, S.J. The school choir, directed by Father T. O’Neil, S.J., sang the whole Mass, partly in Gregorian, partly in harmony. The large chapel was filled by the large congregation of priests, Brothers, Sisters, past and present students of both Wah Yan Colleges, and other friends of Father Gallagher. Miss Aileen Woods represented Radio Hong Kong from which Father Gallagher had so often broadcasted.

His Lordship the Bishop officiated at the funeral in the evening. Among those present were the Hon. D. J. S. Crozier, C.M.G., Director of Education, the parish priests of the diocese, almost without exception, numerous representatives of the Religious of Hong Kong, priests, Brothers, and Sisters, representatives of the various Catholic organisations with which Father Gallagher was associated, most of the teachers who had received Father Gallagher when he went to Wah Yan College as the first Jesuit Rector, and many of the past students of those days.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong 16 September 1960

Requiem for Fr. R.W. Gallagher, SJ

A Solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of the late Father R.W. Gallagher, S.J., first Jesuit Rector of Wah Yan College, will be celebrated in the school chapel, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, at 9a.m. on Wednesday, October 5.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 30 September 1960

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He studied History in University College Dublin with special distinction. He had a remarkable memory and a passion for accurate statistics. In the course of his Jesuit studies, he spent some years in Germany and there he attained exceptional fluency in German, which he liked to exercise to the end of his life.

He came to Hong Kong in 1927, after spending some years in priestly work in Ireland.. He spent his early years here learning the language and editing the Catholic magazine “The Rock”. He became well known as a lecturer and preacher at Wah Yan College.

1932-1940 He was the first Rector/Principal of Wah Yan College Hong Kong. He was always closely associated with the Past Students Association. he overcame opposition by his open sincerity, genuine friendliness and tact. He served for a long period on the Board of Education and he was President of the Hong Kong Teachers Association, as well as being a member of numerous education committees.

He was a tireless visitor to the sick at all times. He served their needs by prayers, which he said from Radio Hong Kong once a week for over 12 years.

◆ 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 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 36th Year No 1 1961

Obituary :

Fr Richard Gallagher (1887-1960)

Fr. Gallagher died in Hong Kong on 7th September. He was ill for less than two weeks, but he was discovered to be suffering from a serious internal complaint, from which he had no hope of recovery. On the day the news of it was given to him an emergency operation was found necessary, and after it he never recovered consciousness. He was seventy three when he died and had completed to the day his fifty-fifth year in the Society.
By his death the Hong Kong Mission loses its best-known priest, its greatest personality and its best-loved member. He was born in Cork, where his father was a leading business-man, and was educated at the Presentation College there. As a scholastic he was conspicuous for his untiring energy. In Valkenburg, where he studied philosophy, he left a reputation for vigour and enterprise that was remembered for many years, and as a scholastic in Mungret he gained a reputation that soon made him celebrated throughout the province. He had many gifts, chief of which was a prodigious memory, so as a history teacher he rattled off dates in a way that bewildered his pupils. He had also the faculty of making up a subject with great rapidity, and he gave lectures on all conceivable topics and was a ready and entertaining speaker. He had a splendid voice, so he sang in public concerts in Limerick and he was an efficient director of the Mungret choir. He sketched and painted with skill, and the stages at Mungret, the Crescent and Milltown had curtains and back-drops painted by him that were up to professional standard. He was at everyone's beck and call, and it would be hard to recall a task that he was asked to do which he was not able to perform efficiently.
Four years theology brought a restraint that he found irksome at first, but he soon found outlets for his surplus energy. He wrote out in a copper plate hand and multiplied the code which Fr. Gannon compiled in his first year as professor of Fundamental Theology, and re-wrote it unhesitatingly when the professor preferred his second thoughts to his first, He gave lectures, illustrated by his own diagrams, on the medical side of moral studies, and if any found first steps in theology difficult, they could go to his room, where lying on his bed with his hands clasped under his head he expounded any thesis that was presented to him.
After Tertianship he went to Galway, where he was Prefect of Studies, taught several classes and preached constantly. It was also related apocryphally of him that in recounting his activities he declared that he also “said all the Masses”. When the College was closed for a period of years he was on the Mission Staff in Ireland and found full scope for his energies in preaching missions and giving retreats - but not for long, for when the Hong Kong Mission was opened, he was assigned to it in the first batch that followed the founders, Frs. G. Byrne and Neary. He arrived in Hong Kong at the end of October 1927, and two hours after landing he preached in the Cathedral for the Triduum of Christ the King, What the circumstances were that made that necessary we are not told, but he loved doing unusual things and making records, and that was one that he liked to recall.
From Hong Kong he went to Shiu Hing, in the Kwangtung Province of China, to study Chinese. While there he also taught English and singing and formed an orchestra in a College run by the Portuguese Mission, and had his studies partially interrupted by a civil war that was then raging in the province, and he went to Shanghai to give missions and retreats and spent a period doing parochial work in Canton. The whole period only lasted nine months but he learned to speak Chinese fluently, if not perfectly, and to the end of his life gave instructions and retreats regularly in that language.
On returning to Hong Kong in July 1928, he took over the work of editor and manager of the monthly magazine The Rock, which had begun publication in January. A few months later he took part with some of the other Fathers in a series of public lectures to refute rationalists who had been offensive and abusive in their attacks on religion in the local press. The lectures caused a sensation, they silenced the attackers and they attracted public attention to The Rock, which then, in the four years that it was under Fr. Gallagher's direction, built up a high reputation in Hong Kong that lasted until the Japanese invasion brought it to an end.
For some of these years Fr. Gallagher was also on the professorial staff of the Regional Seminary, but in 1932 there began what was the greatest work of his life when he was made Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong.
This was a Middle School which had been begun by two Chinese Catholic teachers, and had grown so successful that they found it too big to handle. They offered it to the Society as a going concern, but stipulated that it should remain wholly Chinese. It was accepted, but with hesitation at first, because it was realised that neither teachers nor parents nor pupils would be pleased to see the leading Chinese school in the Colony handed over to foreigners. There was opposition and it was unpleasant for a time, but it was overcome, and the one thing that can be said is that Fr. Gallagher made Wah Yan.
If there was ever a triumph of personality in winning over a body of young and old who were complete strangers and not initially well-disposed, it was this. It was not a triumph of organisation, for Fr. Gallagher was not a great organiser. It was recalled that some years later when a new scholastic joined the staff, he asked the Rector, who was also Prefect of Studies, into what class he should go.
“Oh, just range around”, were his illuminating instructions.
It was complete friendliness, joined to firmness when necessary, and absolute support for his staff that won the day. The foreigners that those connected with the school had known hitherto were for the most part stand-offish, coldly official, and breathing an air of presumed authority. The teachers had never known of a headmaster who would go into the common room and sit down to drink tea with the rest, or the boys one who went down among them during the recreation period and talked and joked with them, and if there were black looks ignored them.
There was a hostel attached to the school, a nightmare institution, with rooms all mixed up with the community apartments, and housing in a room five or six who studied in the midst of noise in a way that Chinese can do. Almost anyone else would have wanted to reform it altogether from the start. Not so Fr. Gallagher. He realised that it was the ideal means through which the boys would get to know the priests and scholastics and would spread the news about their friendliness to the rest of the school.
Within a few months everything ran smoothly and it had become what it has since remained, a school in which the happiest relations imaginable exist between staff and pupils, and in which an ideal spirit of unity prevails in the community.
Fr. Gallagher remained Rector of Wah Yan till 1940. During those years, in addition to his work in the school, he was a member of the official Board of Education, he was for several years President of the Hong Kong Teachers' Association, and he was appointed by the Government to every important educational committee that was established, but in this age of conferences and round tables he was not a committee man, though his influence was considerable on several of the bodies on which he served. He dealt with individuals; he let talking go on without participating in it, but when all had their say it was often found that he had been writing, and he had a resolution ready to which the wearied members would be glad to agree.
His methods with his community too were unusual. Some thought that he was inclined to let things slide, but he set himself to make everyone happy; he gave each one the fullest scope and showed the most complete confidence in him. The result was a full response in the most excellent spirit. To visitors his hospitality was unbounded.
War clouds were gathering when he ended his term of office, but soon new duties awaited him. A branch of Wah Yan College existed across the harbour in Kowloon, with the same origin as that in Hong Kong, It was offered in turn to the Society, and in preparation for taking it over some classes were opened in a new house in Kowloon. Fr. Gallagher became headmaster.
This lasted for only a few months, for then the Japanese came and he and Fr. McAsey were made prisoners on the ground that they were English enemies. To Fr. Gallagher's protests, captors answered : “English, Irish, all the same”. That certainly did not silence him, and his protests were so continuous that they agreed to put the matter to Tokyo, but promised dire retribution if his claims were false. Geography won, and the prisoners were released.
He spent the years of occupation in the hospital of the French Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres, where he tended the sick and wounded and dying kept up the morale of nervous Sisters and an anxious staff, and constantly acted as intermediary between the hospital and the Japanese authorities. During these years he endeared himself to all who were in the hospital and the convent, and was their weekly confessor for the rest of his life.
He was seriously weakened by the privations of the war and was sent back to Ireland for a year to regain strength. He came back greatly improved, but he was never quite the same again. For the years that remained he lived in Ricci Hall, the Hostel of the Hong Kong University, and Wah Yan College, Kowloon. The first task assigned him was chaplain to the Catholics in the government hospitals. He did it with his usual thoroughness and devotion. A telephone call in the middle of the night, or as he sat down to a meal, was answered at once, and the more frequent the calls the better he was pleased. Rheumatism in the hip however began to affect him severely. He found it hard to get in and out of cars, and eventually he had to relinquish the main part of his duty as hospital chaplain. But he never relinquished it altogether. He never failed to visit any sick person who wanted to see him - and there were many.
Then he was given as one of his regular tasks the recital of mid-day prayers for a quarter of an hour on the radio on one day a week. He continued this for over ten years, giving regular prayers and a short instruction. A great many people, in particular the sick and the old and the lonely, listened to them regularly. They were always fresh and always most carefully prepared. He prided himself on never missing them, and when he went to hospital for the last time, he was able to say that two were prepared in advance and that he had said them 659 times - he could never afford to be wrong about figures.
It was in reality a mercy that death came to him so swiftly, for he would have suffered greatly. He probably suffered more than he admitted, but to all enquiries about himself at any time, even when rheumatism seemed to make movement very painful, his answer was “Not too bad at all”, and nothing more would he say, To be inactive would have been to him the greatest trial, and we all feel that he died as he would have wished.
We shall long miss his genial presence, his charity - for none ever heard him say an uncharitable word; it was not merely after his death that this was noted of him - his stories, which we had heard so many times, his statistics of rainfall and of winds in typhoons, and his detailed remembrance of everything that had taken place during his thirty-three years in Hong Kong. He was a “character” at all times, but the youthful tornado had given place to kindly old age. He was loved and respected outside the Society as well as within it. At his funeral there were hundreds of people of every kind, priests in great number, Sisters and lay people of every class, Catholics and Protestants and pagans, old pupils, teachers, servants in our houses, convent amahs - and one felt that not a single one of them was there just as a formality, but that all felt that in him they had lost a friend. Messeges of regret and sympathy came from all sides, from the Protestant Bishop of Hong Kong and the Director of Education to simple souls who had never met him but had listened to his radio prayers or remembered a kind act of his. In the Mission of Hong Kong he will be always remembered, for he was one of the stalwarts who built it up and left it forever indebted to him. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Richard Gallagher 1887-1960
Fr Richard Gallagher, like his brother Fr Leonard, was remarkable for his gifts of versatility, energy and bonhomie. Born in Cork in 1887, he was educated the the Presentation College there.

Having completed his philosophical studies in Valkenburg, he was a scholastic in Mungret, where he laid the foundations of his reputation as a gifted and versatile man. His memory was prodigious, he could make up any subject with great rapidity, he gave lectures on all conceivable topics, he had a splendid voice of public concert standard, he painted and sketched at will. With all these gifts went unbounded energy, and a willingness to employ them at anyone’s request.

Transferred to Hong Kong in October 1927, one can easily imagine what a field he found for all these talents. It was typical of him that two hours after landing in Hong Kong, he preached in the Cathedral for the Feast of Christ the King. He was editor of The Rock, was on the professorial staff of the regional Seminary, he was the first Recotr of Wah Yan College. As Fr Vincent Byrne said of himself “I made Mungret so that Fr Dick could say I made Wah Yan!”

In 1940 he became headmaster of the new Wah Yan at Kowloon. Then came the Japanese occupation. His health suffered so much during this period, that the war over, he returned to Europe to recuperate. On his return he resumed his activities at a slower tempo. For ten whole years he gave a quarter of an hour’s prayer at midday on the Hong Kong Radio.

He died after a brief illness on September 7th 1960.

His name will live forever in Hong Kong, for he was one of the stalwarts who built it up, and left it forever indebted to him.

Garland, Joseph, 1909-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/664
  • Person
  • 11 April 1909-07 June 1997

Born: 11 April 1909, Arran Quay, Dublin
Entered: 21 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1938. Milltown Park. Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died 07 June 1997, St Mary's Home for the Aged, Welfare Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1933 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Farther Joseph Garland, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Joseph Garland died shortly before 8am on Saturday, 7 June 1997 in St. Mary’s Home for the Aged. Cardinal John B. Wu, Bishops Joseph Zen and John Tong and about 40 priests concelebrated a Requiem Mass for him on 13 June in the chapel. He was buried in Happy Valley Cemetery.

Joseph was born in Dublin, Ireland, on Easter Sunday, 11 April 1909, the thirteenth and last child of the family. When his mother, consulted a gynaecologist, he calmed her fears by saying that the child to be born would become a priest and that she would die in his arms. Everything was to turn out as the gynaecologist said! She died in 1945 before her son set out for Hong Kong for the second time.

After primary and secondary schooling he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus on 21 September 1923. First vows followed after two years, and then he attended university obtaining an honours B.A. degree in English and first place in his group. He spent a further two years studying philosophy before being assigned to the Hong Kong Mission.

Arriving in Hong Kong on 22 October 1932, he was appointed choirmaster in the Regional Seminary where he also taught English to the seminarians and a short while later philosophy. During his third year he was assigned to teach English in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, while continuing his job as choirmaster. Every weekend he returned to the seminary to conduct the weekly High Mass or the Missa Cantata.

From 1935 to 1939 he studied theology in Dublin and was ordained priest on 31 July 1938. He should have returned to Hong Kong in 1940 but World War II prevented him until March of 1946 when he returned to the seminary as choirmaster, spiritual director and professor of philosophy. He was Rector of the seminary from 1951 to 1957; he had our cardinal among his students. One Jesuit colleague of the time admired his ability to compose long Latin letters and reports. He was known for being punctual and was late only when leaving the seminary for the last time.

In 1961 he was transferred to St. Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, which was opened that year. He was to spend 14 years there, finding scope for his considerable abilities in giving retreats, spiritual direction and courses of various kinds to the Catholics of Malaysia, as well as handling marriage cases for the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur. He was an active member of SELA, a Jesuit group dealing with socioeconomic life in Asia, and the Oxford Catholic Social Guild, which involved considerable work in Malaysia and travel to other Asian countries.

In Malaysia, he took part in interreligious dialogue. After one such encounter he commented on the “absolute need of metaphysics and a proper understanding of analogy.”

Immigration regulations made it necessary for him to seek other pastures, so he pulled up his roots once again. This time he went to Lahore Pakistan. Where he spent the year from 1975 to 1982. While life was not so hectic as in Malaysia, here too he took any opportunity for pastoral work that presented itself. In Lahore there was a Metaphysical Circle (PPC) at the University of Punjab; he was invited to give lectures to the society. When he left in 1982, he was sadly missed by the Metaphysical Circle for his “excellent contributions to the PPC and for your sweet and gentle words.”

Father Garland returned to Hong Kong in June 1982 where he was to remain to the end of his days. At first he lived in Ricci Hall and then moved to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. During the last year of his life he finally needed more care than could be provided in the community quarters and he entered St. Mary’s Home for the Elderly. While there, he called for a copy the Summa Contra Gentiles in the original Latin by St. Thomas Aquinas to be brought to St. Mary’s. Although he gradually began to see St. Mary’s as “home,” during the last month he began asking visitors to pray for an early death for him. It would seem that his definition of “home” had reached “omega point.” We can sum it up for him by a quotation, in Latin, from St. Paul: “Cupio dissolvi et esse cum Christo” (Phil. 1:23)
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 22 June 1997

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Joe was the 13th and last child in his family. When his mother consulted a gynaecologist, he calmed her fears and told her that the child to be born would become a prist and that she would die in his arms. Everything turned out as the gynaecologist predicted - she died in 145 before her son set out for Hong Kong for a second time.

He entered the Novitiate after his primary and secondary schooling were completed. After First Vows he went to University College Dublin and graduated with an Honours Degree i English and first place in his class. He then went on to spend two years studying Philosophy.

1932 He arrived in Hong Kong having been sent there for Regency and he was appointed Choir Master at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen, and later he taught Philosophy there, and after that taught English at Wah Yan College Hong Kong. He then returned to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology and was Ordained there.

1946-1961 He returned to Hong Kong and the Seminary at Aberdeen. He was appointed Rector there 1961-1957 and among his students was the future Cardinal Wu.
1961-1982 He was sent to St Francis Xavier Church in Malaysia. He was very active in the Jesuit group (SELA) which deal with the socio-economic life of Asia
1982 He returned to Hong Kong and was first sent to Ricci Hall and then at Wah Yan College Hong Kong. He finished his days at St Mary’s Home.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong Kong

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1997

Obituary

Father Joseph Garland SJ (OB 1923)

Born in Dublin on 4th April, 1909 and died in Hong Kong on the 7th June, 1997.

Joseph was the thirteenth child of a medical doctor on Arran Quay along the River Liffey in Dublin. He was at Belvedere College from 1917-1923 and active in the Bicycle Club. After two years in Clongowes he entered the Society in Tullabeg - to find life much easier there.

After his vows he studied Pure English at University, then returned to Tullabeg, now a philosophate. He only did two years, as he was to study a Master's Degree. In fact, he arrived the next year in Hong Kong (September 1932) at the South China Regional Seminary, which had just opened in October 1931.

He was to be identified with this seminary all his life. The present Cardinal Wu knew him as a seminarian, and has always had a respect and love for his “Fr Rector” (1951-1958), and with him are dozens of priests who looked up to him as a model. As Spiritual Father to the seminarians until 1961 he was popular, and they knew him as the man who led them in half an hour of meditation before Mass, two examinations of conscience a day, monthly recollection and an annual seven day retreat. These years were the most eventful in the history of the Seminary as it had about eighty seminarians, together with many seminarians who passed through to settle in places like the Phillipines. His first impres sion of the Seminary in 1932 had been of a pirate's village, as it involved being rowed across Stanton Creek and then walking up the steps to the Seminary.

Called to Malaysia in 1961, he worked from St Francis Xavier's Church in Petaling Jaya until 1975. Here he was engaged in seminars and study groups on the social doctrine of the church, together with activities in trade union promotion and community development. He was often giving retreats, and helping the Apostleship of Prayer and the Crusaders of the Blessed Sacrament. He often spoke of his work. with SELA, under Fr Walter Hogan SJ and their international seminars: Priests for Social Action, Hong Kong 1965; Educators for Social Action, Tokyo 1971; Development of Human Resources, Bangkok 1974.

Then came the call to Pakistan from 1975 to 1982, to work with Fr Butler SJ, in Lahore, who was in dialogue with Islam, Fr Garland's work was mostly giving retreats and helping religious in school work, as well as giving lec tures to intellectual groups, such as the Philosophy Society.

Returning to Hong Kong in 1983, he was in Ricci Hall in administrative work until 1990 when he went into “retirement” to Hong Kong Wah Yan. He helped whenever he could, especially with the Charismatic Renewal Move ment.

He was handicapped with his severe hip limp for many years but struggled as best he could. He was cheerful and active and able to manage for himself until several falls in 1995 brought him to the happiest days of his life in St Mary's Home for the Aged in Aberdeen. Here he was near the Seminary, and it was Fr Tse Kin Sang who anointed him on Saturday, June 7th at 8.30am when he was rapidly failing. He had often said that for him to live was Christ, to die was gain. He sometimes referred to himself as one who filled in empty places - a Stop-Gap Man. He leaves many in admiration for him.

HN SJ

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
Final Vows: 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.

Gutiérrez Ossorio, Pastor, 1916-1999, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1395
  • Person
  • 12 September 1916-11 October 1999

Born: 12 September 1916, Marulanda, Caldas, Colombia
Entered: 20 September 1931, Colegio de María Immaculada, Bogotá, Colombia - Colombianae Province (COL)
Ordained: 19 May 1945
Final Vows: 02 February 1950
Died: 11 October 1999, Medellín, Colombia - Colombianae Province (COL)

by 1952 came to Aberdeen Hong Kong (HIB) teaching

Hardy, Mark, 1912-1973, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1409
  • Person
  • 22 August 1912-09 April 1973

Born: 22 August 1912, Sorel-Tracy, Québec, Canada
Entered: 30 July 1933, Sault-au-Récolle, Canada - Canada Inferiors Province (CAN I)
Ordained: 07 June 1944
Professed: 03 February 1947
Died: 09 April 1973, Taipei, Taiwan - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Transcribed : CAN I to CHN 1992

by 1958 came to Aberdeen Hong Kong (HIB) working 1957-1961

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.

Headon, Maurice F, 1912-1960, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/181
  • Person
  • 22 November 1912-06 August 1960

Born: 22 November 1912, Ballyporeen, County Tipperary
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 06 August 1960, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Early education at Schoil Mhuire, Marino and O’Connell’s School;

Studied for BSc at UCD; Tertianship at Rathfarnham

by 1936 at Vals, France (TOLO) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 35th Year No 4 1960
Obituary :
Fr Maurice Headon (1912-1960)
When the news came to Hong Kong that Fr. Maurice Headon would not be returning to the mission people were surprised. When the reason given was that he was in ill-health, there was a temptation to incredulity. It was harder still to believe when it was told that he was suffering from hardening of the arteries, that there was danger of gangrene setting in, that his leg might have to be amputated. He was in the Mater Hospital during last summer, cheerful, unconcerned, yet the doctors said he would never again be able to walk more than a hundred yards. It was all very puzzling. Last autumn he gave a retreat in Galway to the Women's Sodality and he seemed in very good health. One day last August a friend called to see him in Gardiner Street whither he had returned from the Mater. Fr. Headon seemed to be in very good health and spirits; the next day he was found dead in his room. He was never a man to fuss about himself. Unselfishness was outstanding in his life as it was outstanding in the days leading up to his death.
Maurice Headon was born in Ballyporeen in Co. Tipperary in 1912. He finished his secondary studies in O'Connell Schools, Dublin, and in September 1930 he entered the Novitiate, in Emo. It was the first year of the Novitiate in its new surroundings; the Philosophers had taken over Tullabeg. Mr. Headon studied Science in the University and took his degree in 1935. Philosophy in Vals followed and then came three years of teaching in Clongowes. In his first year there he was in charge of the meteorological station and took his Higher Diploma in Education. He was prefect of the Gym for his three years and left a memory among those he taught for his kindness and for the trouble he took to help on those who were weak in their studies; he even gave special classes to those who could not manage their mathematics.
He studied Theology in Milltown Park and was ordained there by the Archbishop of Dublin in the summer of 1944. Tertianship was in Rathfarnham under Fr. Neary, 1945-1946, and then he was sent to the Crescent where he taught Science for three years. Even in his first year he was a favourite with the boys; and it was remarkable how many continued to write to him all during his years in Hong Kong. Prefects of Studies always placed a high value on Fr. Headon's teaching, though his preference was for more directly apostolic work.
The Hong Kong mission was in great need of additional competent Science masters and in the summer of 1949 Fr. Headon left Ireland and his many friends for a few field of labour. He was then thirty-seven years old and the assignment was not an easy one. Fr. Headon on his arrival in the mission did not go to the Language School. He was needed in the Colleges and to Wah Yan, Hong Kong, and to a heavy round of teaching in the “Afternoon School” he now gave himself. For at least three of his teaching years in China he taught Science, but he also found time to begin a study of Chinese which he later used to great effect in preaching and hearing Confessions. Great praise is due to Fr. Headon for the extraordinary diligence with which he studied Chinese. At the end of his ten years in Hong Kong there were few Fathers on the mission who knew as many Chinese characters as he did and all those years he studied with the sole aim of being able to preach better and with a wider vocabulary.
In 1952 Fr. Headon began to work in Wah Yan, Kowloon, first in its temporary quarters in Nelson Street, later in the present fine building. In 1955 he was editor of the college magazine, The Shield, and for his last two years in Hong Kong he was Prefect of Studies in the same college, He kept up an interest in his pupils, even after they had left his care and he undertook the heroic labour of keeping in touch by letter with all the past students of Wah Yan who had gone abroad for further studies. The summer of 1959 saw him on his way back to Ireland after ten busy years to a well-deserved rest. He spent most of his time in St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, and it was there that death found him on Saturday, 6th August. He was forty-eight years old. Unobtrusiveness, perhaps, was the main characteristic of Fr. Headon's work inside the house and out. He rarely referred to either; he rarely made use of the personal pronoun “I”, so if we learned of his apostolate outside, it was from those who benefited from it. In Hong Kong, he was confessor to the Good Shepherd Sisters and their charges after their expulsion by the Communists from Shanghai. His sympathy, his patience and understanding, his personal charm and friendliness, and his readiness to help made him greatly loved by them all, and it was with intense regret they saw him leaving when his canonical period as confessor had ended.
His heart was in this direct apostolic work, so he jumped at the chance of a weekly supply in the parish church of St. Francis of Assisi. Here, again, his friendly spirit, his zeal and his understanding of human nature made him extremely popular. He preached every Sunday in Chinese at the public Masses, drew big crowds to his confessional and was ever at the beck and call of the parish priest who had the greatest esteem for him and the highest appreciation of what he was doing for his Catholic flock. The parish priest was shocked enough when he heard that he was losing Fr. Headon for a year at home; he was overwhelmed when he heard of his death. He is having a special Requiem Mass said for Fr. Headon; and he knows that he will have a packed church. The number of people who have come to the school to ask if it is really true that he is dead has revealed to us the breadth of his hidden apostolate and the number of Masses for his soul asked for shows their affection for him. . Here in the school the boys were boys were utterly shocked when news of his death arrived. He was a good teacher, and as Prefect of Studies had shown himself most approachable, and the boys knew that they would always get a fair and sympathetic hearing in his office. Those boys “in trouble” would present their appeal without any fear, and if they left his office, the “trouble” remaining withal, they recognised at least that they had got a fair hearing. His death will be a great loss to the community. Many, indeed, is the recreation he enlivened with his keen sense of humour and his love of argument. Philosophy, theology, the different methods of the apostolate, the school curriculum and the means of dealing with boys--these were all rich grain to his mental mill, and he enjoyed nothing better than a hammer and tongs discussion about them. After winning an argument, he might be reminded that he had defended the opposite opinion some months before just as vigorously, and he would break out into laughter and state that he “had read another book on the subject since” or that he “had changed his mind as we must march with the times”. Then he would be ready for another discussion on “changing your mind”!

Hogan, Arnold, 1924-1996, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/667
  • Person
  • 02 June 1924-26 July 1996

Born: 02 June 1924, Toureen, Ballysimon, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1961, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 26 July 1996, Caritas Christi Hospice - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Newman College, Parkville, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to ASL : 1984

by 1952 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1965 at Rome, Italy (ROM) assisting Procurator General
by 1966 at Regis College, Willowdale (CAN S) teaching
by 1967 at Heythrop, Oxford (ANG) teaching

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Arnie Hogan received his secondary education at the Sacred Heart College, Limerick, and entered the Society in Ireland, 7 September 1943. Following his noviciate he studied arts at the National University of Ireland. After philosophy at Tullabeg, 1948-51, regency in Hong Kong, 1951-54 and theology at Milltown Park, Dublin, 1954-58, he lectured on moral theology and canon the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong, 1959-60, followed by a year lecturing at Milltown Park, Dublin. While in Hong Kong he learnt Cantonese and also gave retreats.
Hogan completed graduate studies in theology (STD) at the Gregorian University, Rome. 1962-65. For the rest of his life he lectured in moral theology around the world: Regis College Willowdale, Canada, 1965-66; Heythrop College, London, 1966-68; Boston College, USA, 1968-69; Weston School of Theology (living at John Lafarge House), Cambridge, Mass, 1969-73; and St Joseph Centre. Charlestown Mass. 1973-75.
He came to Australia in 1975, was transferred to the Australian province in 1984, and lectured until his death at the Jesuit Theological College, Parkville and the Yarra Theological Union. He worked at the National Pastoral Institute in Melbourne and gave many talks to parish and school groups around the country. He warmly entered into the ecumenical environment at the United Faculty of Theology.
In community he was a breath of fresh air enthusiastic for hospitality and celebration. He was a traditional religious who loved to be generous. At the same time he was shy and insecure which led to some abrasive and complaining ways. He was easily hurt and would withdraw for a time
As a lecturer, Hogan showed warmth, humour, precision and provocation. He gave many lectures on moral questions to groups in parishes around Australia, and was much appreciated for his liberal understanding of current moral issues. He was a colourful man, full of charm and good company. He could show compassion to anyone in difficulties, and was most helpful in sharing his theological insights. He was the author of a book on moral theology and of a number of articles, which enshrined some of his wit and wisdom. His colleagues at the Melbourne College of Divinity said that they would miss “the twinkle in his eyes, his impish personality, his outstanding scholarship and Christian grace”.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Born Cashel

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 92 : August 1996

Obituary

Fr Arnold Hogan (1924-1996) - Australian Province

1924: Born in Limerick
1943: Entered the Society Arts course at National University of Ireland
1945 - 1948: Philosophy at St. Stanislaus College, Tullabeg
1948 - 1951: Regency in Hong Kong (Language Studies and teaching) at Wah Yan College
1954 - 1958: Theology at Milltown Park
31st July 1957: Ordained a Priest
1958 - 1959: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1959 - 1960: Lectured on Moral Theology and Canon Law at Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong.
1961 - 1962: Lectured on Moral Theology at Milltown Park, Dublin
1962 - 1965: Post graduate studies at Gregorian University, Rome
1965 - 1966: Lectured at Regis College, Willowdale, Canada
1966 - 1968: Lectured at Heythrop College, England
1968 - 1969: Lectured on Moral Theology at Jesuit Theological College, Parkville and Yarra Theological Union
1984 : Transcribed into Australian Province
26th July 1996: Died at Caritas Christi, Australia,

Michael Paul Gallagher happened to be staying in the Jesuit Theological College, Melbourne, when Fr. Arnie Hogan was closer to death than anyone realized. Michael Paul sent us the following memoir:

“Arnie seemed particularly glad to see a Jesuit from home, and in his typically blunt way did not hide the fact that death was close. The doctor had told him not to take any courses for the coming semester. He had just finished grading various essays from the previous session. ‘72 is not a bad innings’, he told me more than once. He was delighted that his book on moral theology had just sold out its first printing.

A few days before I was due to leave I asked Arnie if he would like to come out with me for a meal in his favourite Italian restaurant. At first he said he would not be up to it; then one evening he suddenly decided that we would risk it and off we went (getting a scholastic to give us a lift). Arnie was obviously well known at Cafè Roma: the Sicilian cook and his Australian wife had a great welcome for him and prepared the food just as he wanted. I think he enjoyed himself immensely, and at the end of the evening the lady of the house insisted on driving us home. She knew she might never see him there again.

A day or two later Arnie was due to go into hospital and I accompanied him. It was a somewhat large and impersonal place, and I felt for him as he went through the cold admission procedures and was brought to his ward. He had a good view of the city from his bed, When it was time for me to go, Arnie said to me (knowing that I was to return to the Gregorian for the first semester): ‘every blessing on the Eternal City’. I replied ‘the same to you Arnie, in another sense’. It was a goodbye that I recall with gratitude, as I remember all those days with him, and his tough courage and faith.
May he rest in peace”.

Hogan, Walter B, 1912-1991, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1456
  • Person
  • 24 October 1912-16 September 1991

Born: 24 October 1912, Philadelphia PA, USA
Entered: 07 September 1931, St Andrew on Hudson NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboiracensis Province (MARNEB)
Ordained: 18 June 1944
Professed: 02 February 1949
Died: 16 September 1991, Baltimore MD, USA - Philippine Province (PHI)

by 1963 came to Wah Yan Hong Kong (HIB) working 1962-1967

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

Howatson, P Joseph, 1910-1972, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/721
  • Person
  • 18 March 1910-23 August 1972

Born: 18 March 1910, Waterville, County Kerry
Entered: 17 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1944, St Mary’s Emo, County Laois
Died: 23 August 1972, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong - Hong Kong Vice Province (HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1936 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

WWII Chaplain

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

Father Patrick Joseph Howatson, SJ, chairman of the Hong Kong boys and Girls Clubs Association, died at Grantham Hospital on 23 August 1972, aged 62.

He was born at Waterville, Co. Kerry, Ireland, in 1910, educated at Clongowes Wood College, Ireland, and joined the Jesuit Order in 1927. Before long he had proved himself the most effective and clear-sighted organizer among the Irish Jesuits of his generation.

He spent the years 1935-38 in Hong Kong, teaching in the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, and in Wah Yan College.

He was ordained priest in Ireland in 1941. His main work until his return to Hong Kong in 1946 was the preaching of popular missions - courses of very direct and forceful sermons - but he gave all the time he could spare to the Bevedere Newsboys Club, working for it with an enthusiasm that was to bear fruit here.

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS
On his return to Hong Kong in 1946 he became a teacher at Wah Yan College and procurator for the Hong Kong Jesuits. He was horrified by the sight of post-war destitution. The shoeshine boys in particular captured his attention. Many of them were homeless orphans; none of them had much to look forward to when their day’s work was done. For them he founded his first club, at Wah Yan College, then on Robinson Road.

This club, with its carefully considered mixture of education and recreation, flourished under Father Howatson’s combination of firm discipline with unforced and understanding affection. It soon served as a model for some of the many boys clubs that were springing up to meet a need that was especially urgent in the early post-war years. When the Boys and Girls Clubs (BGCA) was reorganised to cope with this growth, Father Howatson was elected chairman, Bishop Hall being President.

Father Howatson gave up teaching and devoted his abundant energy to his new task, He took a deep interest in all the clubs in the association. His personal preference would have been to work directly for the boys, but as chairman he regarded it as his first duty to train club leaders and to advise and encourage them once they had taken up work. He also devoted endless care to the planning, building and use of the Holiday Home at Silvermine Bay.

In 1959, the BGCA moved to its own headquarters in Lockhart Road. At the opening, Sir Robert Black, then Governor of Hong Kong, paid the following tribute:

Any collective effort requires a high degree of planning and organisation; a good committee needs a first-class chairman; the Boys and Girls Clubs Association are most fortunate in their chairman, Father Howatson.

This building stands above us today completed because of his drive and his resource, because of the sheer hard work which he has put into it all behind the scenes, and, of course, anyone who is a potential benefactor must be keenly aware of Father Howatson's notable work.

In addition to his work for the BGCA Father Howatson took an active part in the work of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service. As chairman of the Standing Committee of Youth Organisations he led an important East Asian Seminar on Social Group Work among youth. It would be difficult to think of any form of social work in which he did not take a vigorous part - playgrounds, housing, personal problems, crisis relief and so on.

Towards the end of this period he was reaching out to the development of clubs for young men and women. Unhappily, the failure of his health prevented him from carrying out this plan - a notable loss to the community.

CARITAS HONG KONG
Father Howatson was the first chairman of the Hong Kong Catholic Social Welfare Conference, and was closely associated with Mgr. C.H. Vath in the earlier stages of the development of Caritas Hong Kong. He agreed to take over the direction of the proposed Caritas Social Centre in Kennedy Town. In consequence, he resigned the chairmanship of the BGCA.

When he was still supervising the building of the new Centre, he suffered a moderately severe stroke. Though paralysed on one side, he recovered sufficiently to continue work, though at a slower pace, and was able to open the Kennedy Town Caritas Social Centre and to direct its operation for over a year.

A more severe stroke in 1965 put an end to his active work. He spent his last years in the Kennedy Town Caritas Social Centre, bedridden but not quite forgotten. Many of those for whom or with whom he had worked retained a warm interest in all that concerned him; nor did those who had seen his work from above forget him. A former Governor, a former Chief Justice and a former Director of Social Welfare were numbered those solaced his inactivity through their sympathy.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 1 September 1972

◆ 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 Scottish engineer employed to maintain the trans-Atlantic cable. He converted to Catholicism in order to marry and his son became a strong Catholic and Irishman. He received his early education at Clongowes Wood College before he entered the Society in 1927. He had been known as a very good rugby player who had won an inter-provincial schools cap.

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 and setting it up. he was able to deal with every situation he met in Hong Kong in dealing with schoolboys. He was a Mathematics teacher and Sports Master. From his earliest days in the Society he had positions of responsibility. According to Harry Naylor he was outstanding in practical matters, not least as a carpenter running the Ricci Mission Unit.

He returned to Ireland to study Theology. Once he had finished Tertianship he became an Army Chaplain.
1945 He returned to Hong Kong as Mission Procurator. According to Harry Naylor, Thomas Ryan had great influence over him. His humanity and concern for others was soon channelled into the Shoeshine Boys Club in Wah Yan College Hong Kong, and this became a model for many other boys clubs which sprung up to meet the needs of the day. When the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association was set up, Joseph was elected Chairman, with Anglican Bishop Hall the President. He threw himself into youth and social work in Hong Kong and was soon on the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, which Thomas Ryan had set up. He was also on the Government Social Welfare Advisory Committee. He helped many volunteer bodies as well as women’s religious with their balance sheets. When the Diocese set up its Catholic Social Welfare Conference he was made Executive Secretary. This later became “Caritas”. At this time Jesuits in Asia were involved in many social activities. At a Jesuit meeting on Tokyo in 1960 with Frs Hogan, Dijkstra and Ballon, he came up with the SELA acronym (Socio Economic Life in Asia) and it became one of the most successful inter-provincial works in the Society.

Returning from a SELA meeting in Indonesia in 1962 he had his first stroke. He gave up being Procurator in 1964 - Fr J Kelly succeeding him. He then went to live at Caritas Mok Cheung Sui Kun Community Centre, Pokfield Road, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong and was attached to Ricci Hall.

Note from Thomas Ryan Entry
He encouraged the “Shoe Shiners Club”, which later blossomed into the “Boys and Girls Clubs association” under Joseph Howatson.

◆ 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 4 1948

Fr. Leo Donnelly who has been offered to the Viceprovince of Australia, completed his course at Kurseong recently (he was professor of Church History) and sailed on the SANGOLA for Hong Kong on 10th September. “As it proves impossible”, he writes, “to secure a passage direct to Australia within reasonable time, Fr. Austin Kelly has given me permission to travel via Hong Kong. It was quite easy to book a passage to that port, and Fr. Howatson has booked a berth for me from there to Melbourne. Needless to say, I am delighted at the chance of seeing the Mission, even if I am not to stay there. The ship for Australia will not sail till near the end of October, so that I shall not be at Fr. Kelly's disposal till sometime in November. This, however, is quicker than waiting for a direct passage”.

Irish Province News 47th Year No 4 1972

Obituary :

Fr Joseph Howatson SJ (1910-1972)

Fr Howatson died in hospital in Hong Kong on August 23rd after practically ten years of increasing incapacitation as a result of a series of paralytic strokes. He succumbed after a short period in hospital, finally. He was buried in the Catholic Cemetery, Happy Valley after Requiem Mass at St Margaret's Church on August 25th; the obsequies were attended by a large gathering of priests, religious and laity.
Fr Joe was born at Waterville, Co. Kerry on 18th March 1910, son of a Scottish engineer, one of a group employed to maintain the transatlantic cable stations at Waterville and Valentia. He, Mr Howatson senior, married a local girl as did some of his fellow engineers, thereby occasioning their adoption into the Church; a daughter became a Loreto nun and Joe entered the Society after schooling in Clongowes in September 1927.
As a schoolboy Joe was a stalwart member of the Clongowes Rugby team and through life his fine physique and energetic character led to his being habitually committed to work requiring a fund of practical efficiency, together with his fulfilling the more hum-drum yet demanding work of Mission Procurator - which fell to him in Hong Kong when he returned to the Mission after ordination. He maintained he had no aptitude for learning, a modest avowal which bore no confirmation in his record of studies in that he satisfied without embarrassment the exacting demands of Genicot and Dogma in the Milltown of the '30s. Again his versatility and resource as a stage carpenter at Tullabeg, as a philosopher in Milltown and later on the Mission, in continued partnership with Fr Terry Sheridan, as stage manager and producer, could hardly result from mere series of happy coincidences,
After his noviceship Joe followed the normal routine of Rathfarnham and a degree, Tullabeg for philosophy and 1935 Hong Kong to which previously he had eagerly aspired and showing his bent in the effective manner with which he engaged in the work of the Ricci Mission Unit.
Largely through his labour a large telescope - purchased from the Markree Observatory and presented as a gift to the Mission - was dismantled before his departure from Ireland to be reinstalled in collaboration with Fr T Cooney at Aberdeen Seminary on his arrival at Hong Kong.
Back to Milltown 1938, ordination 1941, tertianship 1942-'43. Because of war time difficulties in travel he was unable to return to Hong Kong immediately and was assigned to the Mission staff where again he proved his capacity as an effective preacher,
Finally the chance of a passage on a military plane enabled him to attain his heart's desire; almost directly he was appointed to the work of Procurator already alluded to and he retained that exact ing chore until his capacity to write was impaired by his illness.
This was merely a part-occupation for him; in harness with Fr Tom Ryan who was throughout his prompter and confidant, he established a Shoeshine Boys' Club in which education was discreetly mingled with recreation and this was later the model upon which many other clubs catering for girls as well as for boys were organised,
Ultimately when a liaison was established coordinating these various associations Fr Joe was chosen chairman whose duties approximated rather to those of an administrator; in this capacity his work was recognised and paid tribute to by the Colony authorities; we lend only to the rich - his activities still fanned out; he became a member of a government-appointed body, the Welfare Advisory Committee and continued so for years with the task of offering advice on social needs and schemes to the Governor and of dealing with subventions for various voluntary bodies. Fr Joe's practical experience resulted in his becoming an accountant in effect to charitable works run by religious communities on the island; indeed in the course of the 'fifties he was recognised as one of the most conversant with social work with a meticulous sense of the value of an accurate balance sheet of the work engaged in. In the Hong Kong diocese he was the first secretary of the body which later formed the nucleus of Caritas H.K. and within the Society he contributed actively to the formation of SELA, the Committee for “Socio-Economic Life in Asia”.
It is pathetic, in retrospect, to see that all this activity was abruptly intruded upon by the first stroke in September 1962. Though not altogether incapacitated and only perforce making concessions under increasing debility the latter years required a fortitude in a situation to which the “rude” health he habitually previously enjoyed hardly adapted him. He continued to work in the John XXIII Centre in Kennedy Town but gradually he be came more immobilised; he was not much given to reading which might have been a diversion and a defective speech which developed deprived him of the distraction of conversation except with a small number of intimates who regularly visited him; may he not have been subjected to affliction, emulous to some degree of St Peter Claver in his concluding years? All was heroically borne. His second sister, Mrs Clarke of Tralee, who attended the month's mind Mass for his repose in late September at Gardiner St confessed that the news of his demise though sad in the thought of his parting was yet to her a comfort in that God who thus sealed him had taken him to Himself. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Clongownian, 1951

A Poor Boys’ Club in Hong Kong

by Father Donal Taylor SJ

Fr Joe Howatson (OC 22-27) is well known to many Clongownians. The following article, kindly written by Mr Donald Taylor SJ, Hongkong, will be read with interest by many, especially by those who are helping the work of the Clongowes Boys' Club. It gives an account of a small part of Fr Joe's activities in Hongkong

Icehouse Street, Hongkong, running at right angles to the waterfront, forms a connecting link between the city's main thoroughfares in the Central District. Along the narrow street of verandahed sidewalks, business people, office clerks and government officials pass four times each day, to and from work. Icehouse Street is a cold place in the winter time when blasts of cold Easterly winds sweep around its corners. The Summer heat is much more distressing there. On this street one meets a type of person, insignificant though he be, who forms part of the landscape of big cities in the East. He is the shoeshine boy. With stand, brushes and polish, he takes up his position on the edge of the sidewalk. He gazes hopefully at passers-by, and calls his “Shoeshine, Shoeshine”. His earnings are small-twenty to forty cents for each shoeshine. He is at the mercy of his customer. There is one other phrase these boys know, “Shan Foo” or “Father” and they shout it lustily at every Catholic priest they see, but especially at the Jesuit Fathers. These boys are pagans. What connection have they with the Irish Jesuits in Hongkong? The answer to that question is found in the story of the Poor Boys' Club started at Wah Yan College in the autumn of 1946, by Fr P J Howatson SJ. And yet it is only the foundation of the Club that dates from that time. The idea of the club goes back to the time when Fr Howatson was interested in the Belvedere Newsboys' Club and acted as their Chaplain during their summer camps. For it was from his experience with that Club that he got the idea of starting a Club for poor boys in Hongkong.

The teeming millions of the East is no idle phrase, as every newcomer from the West quickly realises. Great poverty and great wealth have always been associated with big populations. Hongkong, now more than ever, because of the recent war, is no exception when Fr Howatson returned after the war, the city was being rehabilitated. And the poor were not the first to be thought of. There were waifs and strays, whose bed was some doorway or alcove, and whose meal was the pickings of garbage tins. They were the down-trodden members of the community, suspected by those in authority and treated wretchedly by the rich. They lived by their wits, which often meant pilfering and robbing. The future held little hope for them. Largely through the fault of the society of which they were members, it might eventually bring term after term of imprisonment.

Fr Howatson, accompanied by the present manager of the Club, Mr Joseph Cheung, a past student of the Jesuit College of Wah Yan, set about contacting some of these poor boys. They were invited to come to Wan Yan College. Shy, yet inquisitive in the beginning, a small number responded, until finally a group of thirty was formed. Almost all were shoeshiners, some were orphans, some street sleepers. The good news spread, boys brought friends and it was hard to turn them away. Moreover, as the full number could not attend on any one night it was possible to have additional members on the roll. Then when applications continued to pour in, two sections were formed, junior and senior. Now there are 110 boys in the club. Their ages vary from ten to twenty. This number includes twenty-five Old Boys - more about them later.

The organisation of the club has always remained the same. The ordinary meetings of the club are beld four times each week in the College Hall, from 7 to 9 pm. During that time the boys have a physical training period of half an hour, followed by showers. Half an hour of lessons comes next, which may include elementary arithmetic, letter writing, or written Chinese. This is the first schooling in the lives of most of these lads. Then there is another half hour devoted to games in the school-basket ball, ping-pong, or football for the small boys. The meeting closes with a substantial meal, and a short moral instruction or a talk on character formation. Chinese boys are fond of singing, so a Chinese lady teaches the boys in the club Catholic hymns. When he was a teacher in Wan Yan, Mr Francis Chan SJ gave the shoeshine boys a class in Christine Doctrine. Now this work is being done by a catechist.

The club has depended from the beginning on generous benefactors for its financial support. The boys of Wah Yan College make an organised effort each Christinas, which in the first year, brought in more than 1,000 dollars. Last year and in 1949 they played a major part in the organising and running of a bazaar to raise funds for the club. The proceeds from a week's performance of one of their Chinese operas in English by the Wah Yan Dramatic Society, under the direction of Mr Sheridan SJ, were donated to the club.

The aim of the club is not merely to provide fun, food and games for poor boys. It is really to give them a chance to grow up, self-respecting citizens in their own class, and to earn a living honestly. True enough, shoeshining is very low in the scale of suitable careers. Yet it gives the boys a start in life, and with the club as a backing, there is always the hope of better things to come. At the moment thirty or forty boys are licensed shoeshiners, twenty help their parents at hawking or at street stalls, another twenty have jobs as office boys, coolies, etc., and the remainder are either unemployed or too young to work. Two large agencies adopted the shoeshine boys and provided then with neat uniforms and new polishing outfits. To fit them for a trade, an instructor is employed, who gives lessons in basket-making. It is intended to introduce leather work later on. The club's handicap is lack of premises. It relies entirely on the use of the class-rooms. It is quite clear that until proper facilities are obtained the possibilities of teaching the boys trades will be consideredly re tarded. Only when opportunities are put in their way will it be discovered what latent talents there are among these boys. That they have these hidden gifts is proved by the example of one boy who was able to exchange shoeshining for engraving. He is now a skilled engraver.

To encourage the boys to pracrise thrift, the club bank pays an interest of ten per cent every three months on savings deposited in the bank. At each club meeting lodgements and withdrawals may be made. The generous rate of interest is successful in making the boys realise the advantages of saving. Some boys have as much as thirty dollars in the bank.

About twenty-five boys have graduated from shoeshining into better jobs. They work in clothing factories, rubber factories, barbour taxis, barbers' shops; three or more are shoemakers apprentices, one is a qualified draftsman. These twenty-five boys, they are young men now, form the Old Boys' section of the club. They are still in the club, yet separate from it. They have their own executive committee, they hold a monthly meeting at which they discuss how they can help each other and how they can improve the running of the club. They have their own basket-ball team, the outfits for which were supplied partly by the club and partly by themselves Occasionally they go out on picnics together. An interesting development among the old boys is their co-operation. Each boy contributes a certain amount to the treasury, so that if any one member wishes to start an enterprise the required sum is loaned to him at a low rate of interest. The loan must first be sanctioned at a meeting of the Old Boys themselves. Recently they decided to take a census of the whole club in order to find out details about the family of each boy, to visit his home - if he had any - and to see what help could be given to the parents or brothers or sisters. A certain number of these older boys attend night school, run by Wah Yan where they can learn English, knowledge of which greatly increases their earning power in Hongkong.

One year and a half after the club was opened, in June, 1948, a procedure was introduced which has since become a regular feature, namely a “Mothers' Meeting”. Each boy was told to invite his mother or nearest relative to a special meeting of the club. Thirty-five non members were present on that occasion. The function and working of the club was made known to them as well as the hopes which those in charge placed in it. The mothers or guardians present were also told how they could help to make the club more successful. Many of these people have since become regular visitors, seeking advice and assistance not only in their children's difficulties but also in their own. T'hey earn their living by doing the severest type of manual labour. As one sees then in the streets, coolies all of them, one gets the wrong impression that they are long living healthy strong people. The truth is that the majority never live to see middle age. They just wear out their bodies. They drifted into Hongkong after the Japanese occupation, ready to undertake any kind of work which would keep them alive.

Although the senior club members play large part in the running of the club, the main responsibility is borne by outsiders. They are worthy of mention. All of them ure former pupils of Wah Yan College. With the exception of two, one of whom is under instruction in the Faith, all of them are Catholics. Mr Joseph Cheung, who in the beginning helped Fr Howatson to start the club, is club manager. He devotes all his free time to the club activities. The boys have great respect and love for him; indeed the friendly relations that exist between all the helpers and the boys are a noteworthy characteristic of the club.

These men give their time willingly and do not ask for recompense. The “present” in Wah Yan are becoming increasingly interested in the club. Several of them come to give the boys classes in Chinese and arithmetic. It is the first experience these schoolboys have of social welfare work. When they leave school, it is hoped that the memory of the good work in their club will stimulate them to play their part in social welfare work in their city.

Concerning entertainment it has already been stated that at each meeting of the club there is a half an hour of games. Film Shows are sometimes substituted for games and lessons. At Christmas there is a party, at which a large supper is provided. There are games and prizes, and each boy gets a present from the Christmas tree. The present usually takes the form of warm clothing and a polishing outfit. Every important Chinese festival and the anniversary of the opening of the club are fittingly celebrated. There are excursions to the sea in the fine weather. The most important event in the year is the holiday camp in the summer, when eighty boys or more, camp by the sea for a week. It is a great treat for these city lads and they thoroughly enjoy it. They return home healthier and happier, having drunk full of the excitement that always accompanies a boys camp.

Like the mustard seed in the Gospel, the boys club has developed enormously and within a short time, too. Its successful management attracted wide attention and became well-known throughout Hongkong. Its founder, Fr Howatson, was called on to take charge of numerous executive bodies which deal with youth organisation. He is chairman of the Boys and Girls' Clubs Association, which controls the activities of sixty-four clubs throughout the Colony; chairman of the Standing Conference of Youth Organisations, a body which co ordinates the work of Societies aiming at helping young people; and he is also chairman of the Management Committee of The War Memorial Welfare Centre. This Welfare Centre, the first of its kind in Hongkong has been in operation for less than a year and has already proved itself a boon to the poor people of a district, the population of which is about 2,000 to the acre.

When a priest is living in a pagan country no matter what secular work he does there, the question of conversions among those for whom he works must necessarily arise. The Poor Boys Club had its first Catholics last Christmas, when three boys among the older group received baptism. They are five more under instruction in Catholic Doctrine. Even though younger boys may desire to be baptised, it has been decided and very wisely, that it would be better to wait until a boys livelihoood is secure before baptising him. In this way there is less chance of his becoming a “rice Christian”.

In conclusion, the reader is referred, by way of contrast, to an article which appeared in the “Clongownian” of last year, on the Clongowes Boys' Club. Those who have managed boys' clubs in Ireland and in Hongkong have noted some differences. The boys in Ireland have some kind of home, and have received at least elementary training. Many of the boys here are home less waifs, whose parents, if they have any, cannot support them. They cannot go to school, because in this city, populated out of all proportion to its capacity, there are insufficient schools. The only schooling they get is whatever the club gives them. Another factor worthy of attention is the religious one. The poor Irish poor living in a Catholic atmosphere and with a Catholic background, has a religious spirit to fortify him in his sufferings. This religious spirit is altogether absent in the young pagan. His patience in his sufferings is the outcome of a pessimistic stoicism. The Chinese boy is docile, shows a respect for authority, and is appreciative of what is being done to make him bappier. The foreigners big difficulty in working with these boys is one of language. But whether the lay helper feels the same embarassment in his early contacts with the poor boys, as his opposite number in Ireland, is some thing which he alone can tell.

Donald Taylor SJ

◆ The Clongownian, 1973

Obituary

Father Joseph Howatson SJ

Joseph Howatson was born in Waterville, Co Kerry, where his father was an engineer in the Transatlantic Cable Station. When he finished schooling in Clongowes he entered the Jesuit Noviceship in September 1927. After taking his degree in UCD, and studying Philosophy in Tullabeg, he went to Hong Kong as a scholastic, Returning to Ireland he did his theological studies in Milltown Park and was ordained a priest in 1941. In 1943 he returned to Hong Kong and spent the rest of his priestly life there.

His main life work lay in the sphere of social science. He organized boys clubs and became a member of a government appointed body in which he had the task of offering advice to the Governor on the social needs of the colony. In the Hong Kong diocese he was secretary of the Caritas organisation and contributed to the formation of a body known as the committee for the Social Economic Life of Asia. He suffered a stroke in 1962 from which he : never really recovered and had to gradually retire from “active” work. In his later life he was almost totally incapacitated and death came to him as a merciful relief on August 23rd, 1972.

Hurley, James, 1926-2020, Jesuit priest

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

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

Part of the Milltown Park community at the time of death

Younger brother of Michael - RIP 2011

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Priest of the young and the worker calls it a day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final farewell to Father James Hurley SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Father James Hurley - A gem of a man

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Memorial Mass for celebrated for Father James Hurley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesuit Community offers Mass in memory of Father Hurley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Early Education at Mount Mellary Abbey, Cappoquin, Co Waterford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong, 1926-1966

  • IE IJA MSSN/HONG
  • Corporate body
  • 3 December 1926-3 December 1966

Many Jesuit Provinces had missions in China before 1926 when the Vicar Apostolic of Hong Kong, Fr. Henry Valtorta (1883-1953), invited the Irish Jesuits to his vicariate. In October 1926, Frs. George Byrne (1879-1962) and John Neary (1889-1983) left Dublin for Hong Kong, which became a Mission for the Irish Province. They were joined, in early 1927, by Fr. Daniel Finn (1886-1936) from Australia and later by Frs. Richard Gallagher (1887-1960), Patrick Joy (1892-1970) and Daniel MacDonald (1891-1957).

The initial work of the mission concentrated in Hong Kong, with some teaching in Canton and Macao. Their works involved: reviving the Catholic journal, ‘The Rock’; the opening of a hostel (Ricci Hall) for Chinese Catholic students at the University of Hong Kong (1929-); their involvement in the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong (1931-1964), Wah Yan College, Hong Kong (1932-) and Wah Yan College, Kowloon (1952-). Some lecturing occurred in the university, in areas such as archaeology, education, engineering, and geography. In Canton, Frs. Michael Saul (1884-1932) and Joseph McCullough (1892-1932) died from cholera. Hong Kong was under Japanese occupation 1941 - 1945. The Irish Jesuits organised a school for refugees from Hong Kong in Macao and the Regional Seminary was also moved to Macao. Wah Yan College was closed in 1941 and reopened in 1945. Fr. Thomas Ryan’s account “Jesuits under Fire in the siege of Hong Kong 1941” deals fully with this time.

After World War Two, the Irish Jesuits established a language school, student centre and parish in Canton. They were expelled by the Communists in [1953]. Wah Yan College grew and developed and further works included the foundation of a university hostel at Kingsmead Hall, Singapore and at Xavier Hall, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Other works of note that Irish Jesuits had a hand in establishing and running in Hong Kong include: the Hong Kong Housing Society (1938); Wah Yan Relief Association (1938); Shoeshine Boys Club (1952-1962); the Credit Union Movement (1962); Rehabilitation Centre for the Handicapped (1962); Catholic Marriage Advisory Council (1963); Road Safety Association for Schools (1964); Industrial Relations Institute (1968); Chinese Opera in English (1960s); Fisherman’s Children School (1960s) and Welfare for Police in the Training School. In 1966, Hong Kong became a Jesuit Vice-Province and in 1985, the Province of Macau-Hong Kong was established. Today, Hong Kong is a unit within the Chinese Jesuit Province.

Over a hundred Irish Jesuits have served in Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and Singapore - 30 of whom are buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery in Hong Kong and two in mainland China.

For after 1966, see Hong Kong Vice-Province.

Vice Province of Hong Kong, 1966-1980
Vice Province of Macau-Hong Kong, 1980-1985
Province of Macau-Hong Kong, 1985-1991
Macau-Hong Kong Region of the Chinese Province, 1991-2002
Hong Kong has Provincial delegate, 2002-2005

Joy, Patrick, 1892-1970, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/53
  • Person
  • 12 November 1892-19 February 1970

Born: 12 November 1892, Killorglin, County Kerry
Entered: 07 September 1910, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1928
Died: 19 February 1970, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong Mission : 09 October 1941

Middle brother of John C - RIP 1950, Francis - RIP 1977

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Studied for BA at UCD

by 1915 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1927 at At Vienna, Austria (ASR) making Tertianship
by 1928 second batch Hong Kong Missioners
Mission Superior Hong Kong 09/10/1941
by 1954 came to Singapore (HIB) working - 1st group in Singapore A Aizier, A Bérubé, A Joliet (CAMP) & J Kearney (ORE)

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Joy

Father Patrick Joy, from 1927 to 1951, one of the best known Jesuits in Hong Kong, died in Dublin of 20 February 1970, aged 77.

Father Joy was born in 1892. He entered the Jesuit novitiate there in 1910, following an elder brother and to be followed by a younger brother. He was ordained priest in 1926, and after a period of socio-economic studies in Vienna, came to Hong Kong in 1927.

In his early years here he edited The Rock, took part in the long-remembered 1929 lecture-course that ended a bitter anti-Catholic and anti-Christian campaign here, and did general priestly work.

When the Regional Seminary for South China was opened in 1931 in what is now Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Father Joy was appointed Professor of Moral Theology and held that post till he left Hong Kong in 1951, with the exception of the years when he was Regional Superior of Jesuits in Hong Kong.

He was appointed Regional Superior in the summer of 1941. His wide-ranging mind and his courageous spirit seemed to promise a large expansion of Jesuit activity in Hong Kong. Instead, within a few months, he was restricted to the agonising duties that weighed on all who had to bear responsibility in the days of the Japanese occupation. As an Irishman he escaped the ordinary internment, but he was arrested individually in 1945. The end of the war found him in prison, very doubtful about the future of his neck.

For two years after the war he supervised the restarting of activities that had been interrupted by hostilities and the occupation. He encouraged or initiated various kinds of work demanded by the needs of reconstruction; but there were so many repairs to be done so many men to be restored to full health and vigour, that there was little opportunity for him to give himself to the large-scale planning that his character seemed to demand. In 1947 he returned to the teaching of moral theology in Aberdeen. By now he was very widely known as a wide, warmhearted and widely informed counsellor in difficulties of every kind Constant appeals for advice made very heavy demands on his time and energy, but he delighted in meeting these demands. His surname was an appropriate one: he had zest and took joy in all that he did.

In 1951 he was appointed to lead the little band of Jesuits that branching out from Hong Kong to work in Singapore and what was then called Malaya. Usually a younger man is chosen for such a task, but Father Joy at 59 retained the initiative and the courageous exuberance of youth. The opportunity that had been denied to him in Hong Kong by the war was granted to him now though on a smaller scale. The work being done by Jesuits in Singapore and Malaysia still bears the stamp set upon it by Father Joy.

In 1959 he was recalled to Ireland to teach Moral Theology in the Jesuit scholasticate in Dublin. This was not retirement. At the age of 67, he brought a fresh breeze into the lecture room. His years of teaching in Aberdeen, Hong Kong. Had made him a seasoned professor of moral theology and his varied life had given him a breadth of experience that few professors could rival. He had moreover one special advantage. Throughout almost all his time in Hong Kong he had shared with Father A. Granelli, P.I.M.E., the labours of the very busy Diocesan Tribunal. This had given him an insight into the workings of Church law and the vicissitude of marriage such as he could never have gained from study. In Dublin he soon became what he had been in Hong Kong and Singapore, a man to be consulted by anyone who had a problem that no one else seemed able to solve.

In his last years he contracted leukaemia. It was arrested for a time, but in 1968 he had to give up lecturing, though he remained a universal consultor as long as any energy lasted. His life slowly ebbed away and he died on Saturday, 21 February.

Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul will be celebrated in the chapel of Wah Yan College, Kowloon, at 6pm on Monday 2 March.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 27 February 1970

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was one of the second group of Jesuits to arrive on the Hong Kong Mission in 1927. He soon worked on the “Rock” which forst appeared as a Jesuit publication in 1928. He presented some updated statistics -the population of Hong Kong at that time was estimated at a little over 900,000, of whom 16,000 were Europeans, and the Catholic population - mostly Portuguese - was about 10,000.
He soon took up work at the seminary in Aberdeen for 16 years before heading to Singapore in 1951. At the Seminary he was Professor of Moral Theology. During the years of the Japanese occupation, he carried on with a small group of men at the old Wah Yan. He was also appointed a sort of honorary Irish Consul, to look after the interedts of about 70 Irish nationals there.
In late May 1943, along with Fr Gerry Casey he was arrested by the Japanese and interned at Stanley unti August 7.
With his lecturing, writing and public debating in the pre war years he became a public figure in Hong Kong. He was already closely associated with Catholic life in the colony in many ways, and was a personal friend and advisor to Mgr Valtorta who was running the diocese.
According to Fr Caey “The dominant 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,”
According to Fr Thomas Ryan, Fr Joy’s outstanding qualities were “devotion to his task and solid common sense........ He probably was the Irish Province’s greatest gift to the Hong Kong Mission.”
According to Father Patrick Grogan “....... in Moral Theology and Canon Law, and especially in making the right approach t 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”
According to Fr Patrick McGovern “Fr Joy was a great man..... his virtue was that although he was an intellectual heavyweight, he stepped so lightly through this morass of problems that no toe was trod on. On the contrary, wounds and hurts, both personal and canonical were bound up so deftly that the cured patients not only improved relations with one another, but in the process of being helped gave their universal and unstinting respect to the man who did the helping. He became the focus of a vast diversity, and from all sides won confidence, respect and affection”.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941
General :
Fr. John R. MacMahon, Rector of Milltown Park since August. 1938. was appointed Provincial by Very Rev. Fr. General on 8th September. The best wishes and fervent prayers of the Province are tendered to him on his elevation to his new post of responsibility.
The best thanks of the Province follow the outgoing Provincial Fr Kieran, whose fidelity to duty, understanding ways and kindly charity during the many wears in which he guided the destinies of our Province will long be remembered with gratitude and appreciation. A special feature of his humanity was the quite remarkable devotion and charity which he ever showed to our sick.
We wish him many years of fruitful work for God’s glory and much happiness in his new post as Director of the Retreat, House Rathfarnham Castle.
Fr. Patrick Joy was appointed Vice-Superior of the Hong Kong Mission on 29th July.

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.

Milltown Park :
Fr. P. Joy, Superior of the Hong Kong Mission, gave us a very inspiring lecture entitled: "The Building of a Mission,” in which he treated of the growth, progress and future prospects of our efforts in South China.
In connection with the Mission we were very glad to welcome home Frs. McAsey, Wood and Corbally, who stayed here for some time before going to tertianship.

Irish Province News 45th Year No 2 1970

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Joy SJ (1892-1970)

Father P. Joy died after a prolonged illness borne with great fortitude, nonchalance, one might say, in the Mater Nursing Home, Dublin on Thursday, February 19th. His remains were conveyed to Gardiner St. where the obsequies, including concelebrated Mass were observed on Saturday, February 21st. Fr. F. Joy, to whom we offer sincerest sympathy on his brother's death, participated with Fr. Provincial, Fr. J. Brennan, Rector of Milltown (principal concelebrant) and several other members of the Milltown staff at the concelebration. The congregation of ours and others was very representative. Father Patrick Joy was born in Killorglin, Co. Kerry on November 12th, 1892. He entered the Society in Tullabeg from Clongowes on September 7th, 1910 - one of five novices; after pronouncing his vows on September 8th 1912 he joined the Juniorate (then in Milltown Park) and the following year was one of the 14 foundation members of the community at Rathfarnham whence he secured a B.A. degree in U.C.D. This was followed by three years in Stonyhurst where he was one of 14 Irish Philosophers. He taught in Clongowes from 1917 to 1922 when he proceeded to Milltown, where he was ordained in 1925. Tertianship followed in 1926 near Vienna in Austria where he acquired a knowledge of German. In October 1927 he sailed for Hong Kong with Fr. Daniel MacDonald and Fr. Richard Gallagher.
Fr. Joy was one of the second group of Irish Jesuits to arrive in the newly-founded Mission, on 27th October 1927. Within a week he was working on the Rock which first appeared as a Jesuit publication at the beginning of 1928, and writing letters home appealing for articles and books. He gave some just-published statistics : the population of Hong Kong at that time was estimated at a little over 900,000, of whom about 16,000 were Europeans; the Catholic population, mostly Portuguese, was about 10,000. Soon the seminary work for which he was destined took up more of his time, as Aberdeen began to take shape, first in negotiations and planning and then in building. For 16 years, until he went to Singapore in late 1951, Fr. Joy was on the Status as professor of Moral at the regional seminary. Those years didn't include the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during the war, at which time Fr. Joy held the difficult position of Superior of the Mission to which he'd been appointed in October 1941, two months before the war hit Hong Kong; he'd been Vice-superior since the previous July. He had to see to the safe dispersal into China and elsewhere of most of the mission personnel, keeping alive what work could be done in Hong Kong, carrying on with a small group of men at the old Wah Yan. He was also appointed an honorary Consul to look after the interests of about 70 Irish nationals in Hong Kong. At the end of May 1943, together with Fr. Gerry Casey, Fr. Joy was arrested by the Japanese authorities and interned until August 7th with many others in the basement of the Supreme Court. “Laetitia est in carcere” was how Fr. Tom Cooney circulated this news to the dispersi in China. With his lecturing, public debating and writing in the pre-war years, Fr. Paddy had become a public figure in Hong Kong; he was closely associated with Catholic life in the colony in many ways, and with the diocese under Mgr. Valtorta to whom he was a personal friend and adviser.
Sent to Singapore in 1951, he quickly became absorbed with the work of the Church there and in Malaya, again reaching prominence in Catholic life and activity. He pioneered single-handed the Malaysia-Singapore part of the present vice-province, leaving many friends and his heart there when he retired to Ireland and the Moral chair again at Milltown in November 1958. “I shall know the Malay Peninsula well before they put me under the sod”, he wrote in August 1953 just before the tenders for Kingsmead Hall. were in. “I have already been through it from end to end about 20 times”. When Kingsmead was completed and became a house of the Hong Kong Mission, Fr. Joy was appointed Superior there. His next objective was Kuala Lumpur, where he finally became established in 1957 during the long drawn out negotiations and difficulties concerning the proposed social centre in Petaling Jaya. But though Fr. Paddy had left Asia before the present church and hostel there had taken shape, he continued to take keen interest in Malaysia and its affairs, and in other problems of the continent during his final years in Ireland.
“On January 16th 1959 Fr. Joy took his first Moral Lecture in Milltown - he marked the date in his Milltown Calendar. I was a second year theologian in his class. For ten years, until he was 76, he worked as Prof. Mor.; he was loved by his students, by the whole community. We learnt from him; we admired him; we respected him; to us he was “Paddy Happy”. He taught through stories about himself. He never told us of his prison sufferings; he never mentioned the commendations of the C. in C. or the Governor in Hong Kong - which I discovered among his papers. His stories illustrated some point in moral, even if in later years they tended to miss the point at issue; they showed his zeal, his charity, his compassion; they were never expressions of vanity.
A crowded decade. Dozens of weekend retreats; tridua; 8 day retreats; Vice Rector between Bishop Corboy and Fr. Brendan Barry; Provincial Procurator to Rome; House and faculty consultor; innumerable clients, by phone, by letter, in the parlour; dozens of lectures, in England and Ireland, to Pax Romana, to medical societies, to legal groups, to mission groups, to Jesuits and to others. He joined a sub-committee of Gorta and helped it enormously. He encouraged the struggle for women's rights through friends in St. Joan's Alliance.
His transistor was on many times a day for the news BBC and SRE. This was a symbol of his up-to-dateness. Though he was 73 when Vatican II ended he made it all his own, carefully annotating his own copy of the documents, just as he did those of the 31st Congregation when he got them two years later, or with a 1966 basic article in Periodica on renewing moral theology. In hospital he learnt to appreciate the changes in the Mass and started practising the new rite.
He was 72 when I joined the staff in Milltown. You pick what you want to teach and I'll do the rest', he said. He did not expect me to have identical views, and he encouraged me to do my job my way. A selfless senior partner.
He respected everyone, believed in everyone-because of his faith in Christ the Redeemer. He already rests in peace.
J. HEALY

Appreciations
“The dominant feature in Fr. Paddy Joy's character was his solicitude - solicitude for the conversion of pagans; I remember in prison, though he couldn't speak Chinese well, he pointed out to me one prisoner that he thought could be instructed and baptised, and I found he was right. Again, solicitude about small matters, of security such as locking doors or keeping away from windows during an air-raid. Along with this, he had an observant eye and a keen mind, In public debate about moral matters such as birth control he was quick and effective:. (Fr. G. Casey.)
“Devotion to his task and solid common sense there were the outstanding qualities of Fr. Paddy Joy. A deceptive exterior concealed a sharp brain made more acute by years of experience as professor of moral theology and consultant on moral problems for the clergy of South China. It made him equally effective whether seeking a sympathetic solution for a tangled marriage problem or protesting against Japanese conquerors who had never heard of Irish citizenship. He was probably the Irish province's greatest gift to the young Hong Kong mission. The eagles are felled, caws and daws!” (Fr. T. Ryan.)
“I think Fr. Paddy was at his best as our Superior during the siege of Hong Kong. He had come across from Kowloon to be with the majority of his subjects and he lived at Wah Yan, Hong Kong. In the evenings some would come back with stories of hair raising experiences. The norm given by Fr. Joy was ‘Go anywhere and take any risk if it is for the good of souls. Otherwise keep under cover?’ (Fr. P. Grogan.)
“As the first Jesuit to live in Malaya proper (as distinct from Singapore), I came into territory which had been almost untouched by Jesuits from the time of Francis Xavier's immediate successors until after World War II. By far the most striking feature for a Jesuit to run into was the universal warmth of the relationship which already existed between us and the local clergy and religious. Everywhere without exception I was welcomed as a Jesuit for the same reason - Fr. Joy was a Jesuit, and Fr. Joy was a great man. He had established this extraordinary reputation in circumstances which were difficult and complicated. In a huge territory with only one Bishop and a sparse distribution of a small number of priests, the aftermath of war had naturally left a back log of work undone. There were marriage problems to be sorted out, there were tensions in several directions. Fr. Joy's virtue was that although he was an intellectual heavyweight he stepped so lightly through a morass of problems that no toe was trod on. On the contrary, wounds and hurts both personal and canonical were bound up so deftly that the cured patients not only improved relations with one another, but in the process of being helped gave their unstinted respect to the man who did the helping. He be came the focus of a vast diversity, and from all sides won confidence, respect and affection. (Fr. P. McGovern.)

◆ The Clongownian, 1972

Obituary

Father Patrick Joy SJ

Fr Paddy Joy when he died after a prolonged illness on February 19th, 1970, was in his 78th year, having been born in Killorglin, Co. Kerry, on November 12th, 1892, He was the fourth of eight brothers, who were all in Clongowes. There was a Joy on the roll every year from 1895 when Maurice came until 1920, when Frank left, except for the four years 1902 to 1906. When Frank left in 1920, Paddy was here as a Scholastic until 1922. John was here as Rector and Prefect of Studies from 1922 until 1930. Frank was back as a Scholastic from 1927 to 1931. In 1932 Maurice Junior began the second generation Joys and Tempanys - and they were here every year until 1953. So that in all the family had a representative here, except for two breatks totalling five years, from 1895 to 1953, a period of 58 continuous years.

Paddy Joy spent four years in Clongowes, from 1906 to 1910; he matriculated and passed his First Arts examinations the last to be lield in CWC under the Royal University. “Apart from that”, he wrote later, “the only distinction I received was the Rugby XV”.

From 1910 to 1912 he was in the Noviceship in Tullabeg. He began his Juniorate in Milltown Park, attending the lectures of the National University from there. In 1914 he took his degree and went to Stonyhurst for his philosophy. While there he was a protégé of Fr Charles Plater, and to this he owed a lifelong interest in Social Studies, co operating as a Scholastic with Frs Plater and Martindale in retreats for the troops of the First World War, at Oxford.

He was back in CWC from 1917 to 1922, as Gallery Prefect, Maths teacher, Prefect of the big Study Hall, and Editor of the “Clongownian”. His number of the “Clongownian” made history with an exhaustive contribution on Clongownians on the Run - the school's contribution to the War of Independence.

He began theology in 1922 in Milltown, and was ordained in 1924.

In 1927 he was one of the second batch of Irish Jesuits to reach the newly-founded Hong Kong Mission. He was immediately employed in giving philosophy lectures, and had to resuscitate “The Rock” - a Catholic periodical which was to achieve fame later in the years between the first and second World Wars. He took part in a famous controversy with the Rationalists.

In 1931 theology was started in the new Seminary, and for ten years Fr Joy professed Moral theology there. In that capacity he was a clearing house for Moral Theology problems from the Missions all over China, and Defensor Vinculi of the Hong Kong Court.

In 1941 he was made Superior of the Hong Kong Mission and was appointed Honorary Consul to look after the interests of the Irish Colony there - numbering about 70. When the Japanese siege of Hong Kong began, he was in Wah Yan College. The story of the siege has been told in Fr T Ryan's “Jesuits Under Fire”.

The Irish Colony in Hong Kong formed themselves into a Third Nationals Committee and elected Fr Joy as their Chairman. In this capacity he was able to have many Irish released from internment most of them got out of the colony. He also succeeded in having a school in Macao for the sons of refugees from Hong Kong. Although the Japanese gave permission for relief work in Hong Kong and Macao, they were always suspicious about it.

On May 24th 1943 Frs Joy and G Casey were arrested and lodged in the “cells” beneath the Supreme Court Building. About 45 others were arrested at the same time. Frs Joy and Casey were detained for three months, “Conditions were indescribable”, he wrote later, “There were 80 of us in the ‘cells’, no direct ventilation, no sunlight, food very meagre. Ten died of beri beri while we were there. All day, every day prisoners were taken out for questioning and torture, and the shouts of the tortured could be heard in the cells. Men taken out for questioning returned a few hours later more or less human wrecks, and after they had a day or two to recover, they were taken out and tortured again. The questioning was a trying experience. It took the form of a three-hour session in the forenoon, followed by another 3-hour session in the afternoon. It was done to the accompaniment of shouts and threats without ceasing, I had eight such days of questioning, but neither Fr Casey nor I were tortured”.

Fr Joy was sent to Singapore in 1951 and became absorbed in the work of the Church there and in Malaya. He pioneered single-handedly the work of establishing the Malaya-Singapore part of the present Vice-province. He was made Superior of the newly built Kingmead Hall, and established the Society in Kuala Lumpur in 1957.

On the death of Fr Coyne in 1958, Fr Joy came back to Milltown Park, and was Professor of Moral Theology there until his final illness. During these last years he gave dozens of week-end retreats, tridua, 8-day retreats. He was Vice Rector of Milltown Park between the departure of Bishop Corboy for Rhodesia and the appointment Fr B Barty as Rector. He was elected to represent the Irish Province at the Procurators Congregation in Rome.

After his death, Fr T Ryan wrote: “He was probably the Irish Province's greatest gift to the young Hong Kong Mission” - that is perhaps his fittest epitaph.

Kane, Ciarán, 1932-2013, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 152 : Summer 2013

Obituary

Fr Ciarán Kane (1932-2013)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eileen Kane

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2013

A Missionary in Hong Kong

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

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

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

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

Fr Ciaran Kane SJ

Keane, Gerard, 1926-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/819
  • Person
  • 02 December 1926-27 November 2018

Born: 02 December 1926, Shelbourne Road, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 22 April 1977, Kingsmead Hall, Singapore
Died: 27 November 2018, Assisi Hospice, Thomson Road, Singapore - Indonesiae Province, Malaysia-Singapore Region (IDO-MAS)

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to IDO (MAS) 1991

by 1953 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/gerard-keane-deeply-loved/

Gerard Keane SJ – down to earth and deeply loved
Fr Gerard (Gerry) Keane SJ passed away on 27 November 2018 at Assisi Hospice, Singapore aged 92 years. His funeral took place in St Ignatius Church, Singapore on 30 November. He was the last of the Irish Jesuits who served in the Region of Malaysia-Singapore. Fr Gerry was a great friend of Paul Andrews SJ. Extraordinarily, they both entered the novitiate together and were ordained together; finally, they both died on the same day, and both of them had their funerals on 30 November, Paul in Dublin and Gerry in Singapore.
The Catholic News in Singapore provided the obituary. Born in Limerick in 1926, Fr Gerry once observed about his calling: “I thought that if what Christ is all about is true, then it [the priesthood] is the only thing worth doing.” He entered the novitiate at 17 years old and later did his regency training in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. He returned to Ireland for his theological studies and was ordained a priest in 1958.
Fr Keane then missioned as an assistant parish priest and spiritual director of St Ignatius in Singapore when it was first established. He was editor of the Malaysian Catholic News and broadcasted on Radio Singapore. Other roles included chaplain at a junior college, superior of the Jesuit community and director of an Ignatian spirituality and counselling centre.
When Fr Gerry lost his voice to cancer in 2001, he retired from active service at St Ignatius Parish but continued to write for the weekly parish bulletin up to a few months before his passing. The parish celebrated Fr Keane’s Golden Jubilee of Priesthood in 2008. He was much loved and will be remembered for his wonderful gift of friendship.
Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye of Singapore was a former student of Fr Keane who gave the homily at his funeral. He said: “Deep in our hearts, truly, when we think of the life of Father Gerard Keane we are filled with joy because he has lived the fullness of life. He is one of those very rare, true blue, missionaries and pastors...a man who was called early, a man who responded to God’s call and a man who was faithful to his call until death.”
The archbishop spoke of Fr Gerry’s fatherly love where in recent years he was still able to connect with young people and who expressed a holiness through his simplicity. He joked that the secret to his long life was due to his drinking of Irish whiskey which killed all the germs in his body. “He was a man who was able to feel the humanity of others, a very down-to-earth person, a person who can feel the struggles of the ordinary man and woman...a true human being because he was just himself.”
There was also a reference to the latter stage of Fr Keane’s life when he could not speak due to cancer. The archbishop commented on the value of elderly people in a country where euthanasia is considered by some to be a good option.” Fr Gerard Keane was still doing something by doing nothing,” he said.
Irish Jesuit Fr Jimmy Hurley joined the Society of Jesus along with Fr Gerry and Fr Paul Andrews in 1944 and were also ordained together in 1958. Fr Hurley said that Fr Keane was very highly regarded among his peers. He noted his exceptional football skills and language skills when they were sent as missionaries to Hong Kong.
“He was very perceptive and he anticipated the changes of the ecclesiastical Church before Vatican II,” said Fr Hurley. After ordination, Fr Hurley returned to Hong Kong and Fr Keane went to Singapore, but they remained friends over many years. Fr Hurley visited his fellow Jesuit when he lost his voice. They communicated with each other for several hours and their friendship strengthened.
They met again a few years ago in Thurles, County Tipperary along with John K. Guiney SJ and Paul Andrews SJ. “A testament to his character,” said Fr Hurley, “was that even during this brief stay in Ireland, his parishioners back in Singapore were anxious that he would return and live out his remaining years there. He was deeply loved.”
Fr Gerry is the beloved son of the late Jim and Nellie Keane. He is predeceased by his brothers Paddy, Michael & Seamus and sister Marie (Lambe), formerly of Bon Accord, Ennis Road, Limerick. He is survived and lovingly remembered by his brother Louis, sisters-in-law Grace & Tanis, nephews, nieces, grandnephews, grandnieces and great grandniece. He is sadly missed by his colleagues in the Jesuit Community, his wonderful carers, his loyal parishioners in the Parish of St Ignatius and by his many friends in Ireland and Singapore.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/443-uncle-gerard-the-gregarious-missionary

IRISH MEN BEHIND THE MISSIONS: FR GERRY KEANE SJ
“Christ on a bike!”—or, a priest on a Honda 50—was rare in 1970’s Ireland, well in Tipperary anyway. I suppose it was summer 1974 when Uncle Gerard, as we referred to him, was on one of his visits to Ireland. In my hometown Thurles, he appeared up the lane unannounced and under the radar as usual. He took the windy mountains road from Limerick to Thurles. No one knew who it was until he lifted the helmet and beamed a big smile.
Then after we all sat looking at him for an hour, he said in his calm quiet voice: “Take it for a spin”. I think I was 11—this was some laugh—we had a long lane up to the house so we spent the afternoon wobbling and weaving up and down, my first and last time riding a motorcycle. To us Uncle Gerard was alternative and novel and fun and didn’t wear a collar, so the contrast was refreshing and “cool” in Ireland of the time.

Growing up in Thurles, Ireland
Our childhood and growing up years were marvellous in Thurles. We were fortunate: a big house with many people coming and going, family shop and pub and filling station. Marie Keane, my mother, was Gerard’s only sister and married my dad, Patrick Lambe in 1953. She was a student of the Ursuline Convent in Thurles and latterly a PE teacher there, which explains how she came to meet my father. She died from cancer in 1975 at the ridiculously young age of 48.
My Uncle Gerard looks so familiar to me, at 88, he now looks more like his mother and my mother, the big face-changing smile is a dead giveaway. One wonders how he heard the news of his only sister’s passing thousands of miles away and how he coped without close family with whom to grieve.

Our Uncle Gerard, a Jesuit priest in Singapore
In his all too rare visits to Ireland he would bring gifts for the women, dresses and kimonos and shawls, all in traditional far-eastern patters and styles, silks and satins: beautiful and graceful gowns in fantastic colours. For the men, linen summer shirts with outrageous colours and patterns, only worn in public for a bet!
Our earlier impressions and memories of Uncle Gerard are episodical, for the main part we only ever saw, or knew, of his life when he visited Ireland and there were long gaps in between. Strangely, Uncle Gerard didn’t discuss his missionary work at any length with us when he came to visit. He suffered from that false modesty and self-deprecation that we Irish do all too well. Only recently we have become aware of his writing and broadcasting accomplishments in Singapore.

“Please, no fuss”
When Uncle Gerard was in Thurles he would stay for a few days or a week. He loved nothing more that to sit in kitchens and talk into the late hours, and sip the whiskey, and smoke Consulate—my goodness those all-white menthol cigarettes I remember so well—and the laughing and the smoke filled room. He never had a tourist agenda, all he wanted was to meet people and spend time together.
He has just returned to Singapore after a visit to Limerick and Tipperary, only made possible by the unbelievable generosity and love of his friends in Singapore. And again this time all he wanted was just to meet friends and family and spend time: “Please, no fuss”.
I remember when he visited in a summer of the late sixties: he was driving a brown Morris Minor. We all piled into it with towels and swimmers and careered around the roads of Tipperary. I especially remember he drove us to our cousins in Templemore who had a marvellous garden and swimming pool. Well, the squeals of laughter can be still heard and the memories everlasting. Uncle Gerard is a dude and our coolest uncle.
When you try too hard to impress kids they are reticent and wonder : “What’s with this guy?” A gentle demeanour and a sense of humour are all you need and the communication lines are established, no in-your-face inquisition, just understated and calm. They say the loudest person in the room is the weakest. Well if this has merit, then the corollary is true of Fr Gerry.

In the heart of his family
We were and are immensely proud of him and his pioneering spirit. We loved to tell people of “our Uncle Gerard, a Jesuit priest in Singapore”. Even now in the globalised world of instant communication and fast travel, there is great kudos in having a gregarious missionary in far-flung places, and to have one as cool as Gerry Keane is a bonus.
Approaching our last few years, we would all want to have our loved ones close and to spend time just listening and talking and sharing. Gerard is our flesh and blood, our pride and joy, but his true family is with him where he lives, and has lived for most of his life, and we thank God for that.
It gives us great peace and comfort to know for sure that our dear and much loved uncle and brother is right in the heart of his family.
Author: Patrick Lambe, October 2015

Kelly, Brian, 1902-1974, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/669
  • Person
  • 05 January 1902-17 February 1974

Born: 05 January 1902, Athlone, County Westmeath
Entered: 01 September 1919, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 14 June 1932, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1935, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 17 February 1974, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Part of the St Francis Xavier, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1934 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1935 at Wah Yan, Hong Kong - working

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Brian Kelly S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Brian Kelly, S.J., formerly of Hong Kong died in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 18 February 1974, aged 72.

Father Kelly was born in Ireland in 1902. He became a Jesuit in 1919, was ordained priest in 1932 and came to Hong Kong in 1934.

From 1934 to 1954, Father Kelly served as a teacher in Wah Yan (1934-1935 & 1947-1954), as Warden of Ricci Hall (1936-1947), and as a teacher in St. Louis Gonzaga College, Macau during the Occupation years. In 1954 he was transferred to Singapore and later to Kuala Lumpur, as assistant parish priest in either city.

In his last year as a teacher in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, Father Kelly had in his form a boy called Gabriel Lam. It is to be hoped the news of Mgr. Gabriel Lam’s appointment as Vicar General of the diocese of Hong Kong arrived in Kuala Lumpur in time to cheer his last days.

In all posts he showed himself a man of intense concentration on his work. When he was teaching, his boys in his classes and their work seemed to be his sole interest in life. His devotion to the wardenship of Ricci Hall was equally intense. In the years following the war he organised retreats in the Aberdeen Seminary with similar devotion there was no regular retreat house in Hong Kong at the time.

His unremitting concentration on the posts he held was due in part to unjustified distrust of his powers. Thus, though he was possibly the best preacher among the Hong Kong Jesuits he treated every sermon as a something altogether beyond him, and he could never be persuaded that he has next sermon would not be dismally inadequate.

This self-distrust did not hinder him when anyone was in need of advice or help, nor did it prevent his being an amusing and companionable friend. The news of his death will be greeted with many a sigh.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 22 February 1974

◆ Irish Province News

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.

Fr. E. Sullivan stayed with us on two occasions since his arrival from Hong Kong.

Irish Province News 49th Year No 2 1974

Obituary :

Fr Brian Kelly (1902-1974)

Fr Brian Kelly died at Ipoh, W. Malaysia, on Sunday, February 17th; he was buried there after Requiem Mass at St Michael's Church at 11 a.m. on the 19th, another Requiem being celebrated simultaneously in his old parish of the Assumption, Petaling Jaya. In the previous week he had attended a catechetical seminar in Cameron Highlands, and returned to Ipoh feeling tired and unwell. He had a heart attack during morning Mass on 17th, was anointed by Fr Paul Jenkins, and after another attack died about 5.30 in the evening shortly after the arrival of Fr Eddie Bourke from KL Born on 2nd January 1902, Fr Brian was at school at Clongowes where he was received into the Sodality of the Holy Angels by Fr John Sullivan for whom he retained a great reverence and who was his confessor and adviser. Entering the Society in 1919, he was ordained in 1932 and came to Hong King in 1934 to teach at Wah Yan.
In Hong Kong, Requiem Mass for him was concelebrated at Ricci Hall on 22nd, and also at Catholic Centre attended by old boys from St. Luis Gonzaga for whom Fr Albert Cooney had arranged the Mass.
Fr Eddie Bourke has contributed the following tribute to Fr, Brian :

It was Fr Brian Kelly's vocation to travel to various places and be given many and diversified assignments. He was one of the early procurators of the Mission and for several years was the business manager of the Rock, while teaching or acting as warden. He taught in the old Wah Yan College and was an excellent teacher. He was an outstanding warden of university hostels, at Ricci in Hong Kong and later in Kingsmead Hall in Singapore and of Xavier Hall in Petaling Jaya. He was one of the wonderful team of five who conducted a school for refugees from Hong Kong in Macau during the war. The later years of his life were spent in devoted pastoral work in St Ignatius parish, Singapore, and seven years in the parish of the Assumption, Petaling Jaya. The last few years of his life were spent in Ipoh where he was chaplain to Our Lady’s Hospital, taught doctrine in the Brothers' school and helped in two parishes.
In all these diversified occupations he showed a great power of application of mind. He had always a number of catechumens whom he was preparing for baptism. These were not only those who came to him for instruction but those also for whom he had fished. The number of those he prepared for baptism cannot easily be traced, but one of them is Mgr Gabriel Lam the new vicar general of the Hong Kong diocese.
Fr Brian had many special gifts or charisms : one was a very special manner in dealing with altar servers. He was able to inculcate a sense of decorum and above all of reverence. When you. visited a sacristy where his servers were you found that they kept silence in the sacristy and a few moments before Mass they of themselves gathered round a crucifix and recited a beautiful prayer which he had composed for them. They are now grown up men but they remember him it was interesting to see that many of his old servers got a mini-bus and travelled the 150 miles from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh for the funeral.
As warden, Fr Brian was one of those, and I think they are few, who were able to utilise the opportunity that a hostel for university students affords for influencing the undergraduates. What we might call the golden age of Ricci Hall was due to Fr Brian. He was responsible for instilling a great loyalty into the students, organising lectures which would help them to keep their knowledge of their faith in line with the advancement made in their other studies. In his last year I know that he had three candidates for our noviceship and their entering was prevented by their being dispersed by the war. These three are now outstanding in their Catholic apostolate. His success as warden in Ricci was the reason I presume that Fr Paddy Joy asked for him to come to Malaysia to take charge of Kingsmead Hall, and when it was well established he was sent to be the first warden of Xavier Hall.
One incident during the battle for Hong Kong shows him in a heroic role. The drivers of ambulances refused to enter no-man's land between the opposing forces unless they were accompanied by a priest. Brian was one of those who volunteered for the position and all of us admired his courage. For nearly a week the ambulances had to bring wounded and dying from places under fire especially in Happy Valley. Brian faced the danger in a most unobtrusive manner. To one of his gentle disposition such work was heroic.
The war saw him in Macau. Fr Joy was asked to start a school for students who had to leave Hong Kong and were refugees in Macau. They were mostly Portuguese and Eurasians whose fathers were interned. Fr Joy sent Frs Tom and Albert Cooney, H. O'Brien, Jerry McCarthy and Brian. The influence they had on the students, the education they gave them and the spirit of enterprise that they instilled was remarkable, and many of them have reached high positions in their professions in Hong Kong, the US and elsewhere.
In Hong Kong, Fr Brian was zealous in getting people to make retreats especially in the Seminary, and in Ricci. This meant much personal visiting people. He used go to offices in the city and meet past students of his, graduates and office workers, and did not leave till he had booked them for weekend retreats. Later in Kingsmead and in Xavier Hall he succeeded in organising weekend retreats for several years.
Pastoral work of apostolic visitation of families was the great work awaiting him in Singapore and Malaysia. To do this, he began to take driving lessons at the age of 55 in Singapore's dense traffic, and failed his first test because he drove too slowly; his instructor's prophecy came true, that he would have accidents from people bumping into him from behind. For seven years in the Assumption parish Fr Brian visited the six or seven hundred families of the parish, setting off regularly about 5.30 pm and spending several hours visiting. He knew where every family lived and their “status animae”, knew them by name, and knew all the problem cases, whom he visited more frequently. On his death there was disappointment that he was not brought back for burial to the parish where he was so well known and loved.
For the past five years or so he had been in Ipoh where his work was firstly to act as chaplain to the Sisters of the Divine Motherhood in their hospital, to attend to the sick in the hospital and give guidance to the nursing staff. In addition to this he used visit the general hospital, give instruction to the postulants of the Brothers of Mercy, teach doctrine to a class in the Brothers’ school, instruct catechumens whom the Redemptorist Fathers sent to him.
Shortly before his death Fr Brian was discussing how to get Matt Talbot made patron to whom drug addicts could resort for strength and help. He was also inviting people to join him in getting the sick who receive Communion weekly in their homes to offer some of their sufferings for vocations, hoping there would thus be an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life in Malaysia.
Some thirty priests, including six Jesuits from KL, Singapore and Penang, concelebrated the funeral Mass with the Bishop of Penang, and Fr Paul Jenkins gave a fine homily,
We extend sympathy to Brian’s sister, Miss M P Kelly of Dublin who is a benefactress of our Province, and to his brother Mr A B Kelly of Vancouver.

◆ The Clongownian, 1974

Obituary

Father Brian Kelly SJ

Brian was the younger son of W P Kelly, Solicitor, of The Park, Athlone. Though himself an old Stonyhurst boy, he had already sent his elder son, Arthur (1905-09) to Clongowes. Throughout his life Brian bore the unmistakeable stamp of two Jesuits who had him as a boy, Fr John Sullivan, for whom he had a life-long devotion both in his personal life and in his devotion as a priest to the sick, and Fr John Mary O'Connor, whom he hero-worshipped, both as a boy in Clongowes and later as a scholastic in Belvedere where he trained rugby and cricket teams with considerable success, and where in the classroom he proved a thorough, clear and meticulous teacher.

Ordained to the priesthood on the 14th June, 1932, on the completion of his studies he was posted to Hong Kong in the autumn of 1934. Ricci Hall, Hong Kong is probably the Jesuit house with which his name is more closely associated. In these days of provocative demonstrations by university students, we may be tempted to think that up to 1968 university students were a docile race. In his eight years in Ricci he had to meet many formidable challenges which he courageously faced and conquered. Perhaps the most rewarding memory of those years was the happy and apostolically fruitful friendships which he built up and main tained to the end of his life-especially among those who had given him most trouble.

Because of his outstanding success in Ricci Hall, in 1955 he was sent down to Singapore to open Kingsmead Hall; seven years later he was asked to open another new Hall, Xavier Hall, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Neither of these tasks was easy: the fluctuations of government and university policy at Singapore and of Jesuit policy in Petaling Jaya, involved a constant flexibility and adapta tion to new conditions.

One of his four confrères who worked with him. in Macao during the war years considered these his finest hours, when his gifts found their true expression.

To the present writer, Brian found his great fulfilment in the last decade or so, as a curate in the Assumption parish in Petaling Jaya, where he visited six or seven hundred families and knew everyone by name, and was generous with his time, his zeal and energy in helping them with a wide range of problems.

For roughly the last five years of his life he had moved up to Ipoh where his first concern was for the Sisters of the Divine Motherhood and the patients in the hospital. In addition to this, he used to visit the general hospitals, give instructions to the postulants of the Brothers of Mercy, teach doctrine to a class in the Brothers' school, and instruct catechumens whom the Redemptorist Fathers sent to him. From his tearly days in Hong Kong and in Singapore and Malaysia, he was a consistent and persevering fisher of souls, bringing great numbers to baptism.

In brief, like his early mentors, he was a man of God whose whole life was shot through with zeal for the conversion of those who had never heard of Christ's compassion. He knew no loyalty except loyalty to Christ and to his Church, and in her to the Society of Jesus to whom he had dedicated his life,

To his brother, Arthur, called to the Bar in Dublin, but emigrating shortly afterwards to Canada, where he qualified as a dentist with an extensive practice in Vancouver (from which he has recently retired), and to his sister Mary, a generous benefactor of the Irish Jesuits in the Far East, who now lives in Castle Court, Booterstown, we offer our heartfelt sympathy.

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.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1987

Obituary

Father Richard Kennedy SJ (1921)

Dick Kennedy was born in Dublin in 1906. He was at Belvedere 1917-21. He went from Junior Grade to Clongowes and entered the Society of Jesus in 1924. He had the usual Jesuit formation: novitiate in Tullabeg; BA in English at UCD, from Rathfarnham Castle; philosophy in Tullabeg and, for two years, at Valkenburg, Holland; regency in Hong Kong, spent in the Regional Seminary, where he studied the language and taught mathematics, and in Wah Yan College as a teacher; theology in Milltown Park, where he was ordained on July 31st 1939. He made his tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle.

Immediately afterwards he joined the British Army as a chaplain in Singapore. He became a prisoner of war when Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942 and remained in captivity until the war ended. For six months he was at Changi in Singapore, then in a mining camp in Formosa until 1944, then in Fukoka (Japan) for a few months, and finally for six months in Manchuria, before release and return home to recuperate from his experiences. He rejoined the British Army on the Rhine 1946-47 until demobilisation,

After a year teaching at Wah Yan, Hong Kong, he was sent to teach in Canton in 1948. The Communist government took, over the city a year later but Dick continued working until he was arrested in August 1953 and expelled in late September back to Hong Kong, where he had to undergo an operation.

Restored by a year's recuperation at home, he returned in 1955 to Kowloon, where he spent the rest of his long life at Wah Yan. He taught in the College until 1971 and at Newman College until 1985. His last year was spent as spiritual counsellor at Newman.

During his final illness, he had many visitors in hospital: priests, sisters, past students whom he had taught or baptised, poor people he had befriended and helped. His rector, Fr Fred Deignan, writes:

“Fr. Dick in his humility never spoke very much about the many people he knew and helped, instructed and baptised. He must have suffered a lot during his internment under the Japanese but I'm sure that he gave very much help, hope and courage to his many fellow-prisoners. He was always very good to the poor and those in trouble. He loved young people and was happiest when they were around him”.

He died on August 22nd 1986. The funeral Mass was concelebrated by a large number of his brother-Jesuits, led by his friend from their difficult days together in Canton, Archbishop Dominic Tang SJ, who preached the homily. Among the many present was a group of Catholics from Canton, some of whom had been imprisoned for years because they were members of the Legion of Mary. “This was just a sign”, as Fr. Deignan writes, “that a great number of people loved and revered in”.

His younger brother Dermot died a few months before him. To all his family, especially Fr Denis P (Paddy), a former rector of Belvedere, our most sincere sympathy on their loss.

Kronthaler, Johann G, 1899-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1548
  • Person
  • 26 April 1899-01 February 1997

Born: 26 April 1899, Kufstein, Tyrol, Austria
Entered: 24 August 1917, Sankt Andrä, Austria - Austriae Province (ASR)
Ordained: 26 July 1928
Professed: 02 February 1935
Died: 01 February 1997, Taipei, Taiwan - Sinensis Province (CHN)

by 1954 came to Aberdeen Hong Kong (HIB) teaching 1953-1960

Ladányi, László, 1914-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1553
  • Person
  • 14 January 1914-23 September 1990

Born: 14 January 1914, Diósgyőr, Borsod, Miskolc, Hungary
Entered: 30 July 1936, Hungariae Province (HUN)
Ordained: 08 June 1946, Shanghai, China
Professed: 15 August 1952
Died: 23 September 1990, Canossa Hospital, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

Transcribed HUN to ExOr; Applied ExOR to HK 1950
by 1949 came to Ricci Hall, Hong Kong (HIB) working 1949-1967

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Veteran China Watcher
Father Laszlo Ladányi Dies

Father Laszlo Ladányi S.J., veteran China watcher died of lung cancer on 23 September 1990 at the Canossa Hospital, Hong Kong, aged 76 years.

Laszlo Ladányi was born in Hungary in 1914. He later graduated from the University of Budapest and he also received training in the violin at the Music Academy in Budapest. He entered the Society of Jesus at the age of 22 and arrived in Beijing, China in 1939. He was later transferred to Shanghai where he was ordained to the priesthood in 1946. In mid 1949, Fr. Ladányi came to Hong Kong and was appointed chaplain to university students at the Ricci Hall.

In 1953 Fr. Ladányi founded the China News Analysis (CNA) in Hong Kong, a weekly and later a fortnightly newsletter. Ever since then, he worked as Editor to this publication for the following 30 years. The main purpose of the CNA is to keep missionary circles informed of Mainland China’s developments. The CNA is widely subscribed by those who are interested in the Mainland China affairs.

In 1982, the editorship of the China News Analysis was passed over to the present team of Jesuit priests, but Fr. Ladnay was still deeply engaged in his China studies up to the time he was admitted to Hospital last month.

The funeral took place at 10am on 26 September with a Mass of the Resurrection concelebrated by his Jesuit confreres and friends at St. Margaret’s Church, Happy Valley, Hong Kong. He was buried in the St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 5 October 1990

In Memory of Father Laszlo Ladany, S.J.
R.I.P.

On 23 September 1990, 9:35am, our beloved Father Ladányi left this world. My mother phoned me from Hong Kong, weeping, and informed me about his death. As soon as the news came, the Chinese Catholics in America passed the information round and all expressed their affection and remembrance of him, as well as their sorrow and prayer for him…

Father Ladányi was a Hungarian, ordained priest in China in 1946. When he was a missionary in China, he already had deep love for China. After mainland China was taken over by the Communists, he was expelled and sent to Hong Kong. He always wanted to be near China and so he stayed in Hong Kong and began his work there. Diligently, spending 40 years as one day, he studied the problem of China with total dedication. In this way, he worked silently for the Church in China to the end of his life.

He was an outstanding political observer. He had a unique understanding of the problem of China. No one could match him for penetrating understanding, foresight, the depth and width of his study in the problem of China. He was a gifted writer, scholar and commentator. He wrote many analyses about China and the present and past situation of the Church in China. His sources made his information very accurate, looking at the question from every angle and written with simple precision so that his Analysis became an essential source of information for others and had much authority. All the Embassies bought and used his China News Analysis for reference. Libraries throughout the world have his writings, which are of the greatest historical value.

But, we are not only commemorating his outstanding work or his life, but paying tribute to his heart which really understood, loved and sympathised with the Church in China - this heart was precious as gold and as bright and crystal-clear as water. This is what we most cherish today and find most worthy of remembrance. His clear and firm stand-point and views always harmonised with the spirit of the faithful Church in China. His sense of Justice, experience and solid knowledge of the facts, moved him to speak from a sense of Justice. He never left anything unsaid which he knew could be said and he always said everything without fear of human respect. He worked with dedication and spoke up for the faithful Church in China. His heart beat as one with the faithful Church in China. He was the intimate companion of the faithful Church in China, and the good understanding teacher and friend of the faithful Church in China.

In the 1950’s the Catholic Church in mainland China was severely crushed. Bishop Kung of Shanghai was arrested. Many priests and Catholics were imprisoned. Only a few Catholic had the chance to flee abroad. It was he, the good shepherd, who organised these exiled sheep, cared for them, gave them guidance in their spiritual life and helped them to keep their faith. When the Trappist Monastery in Yang Jai-ping was persecuted, some of the monks fled to Hong Kong. It was he, their spiritual brother, who consoled them and later helped them to build the monastery and restore their community life.

When my younger sister became very sick in Shanghai Prison, she was allowed to leave the prison for medical treatment and died a year later. It was father Ladányi who crossed to Kowloon during the night to console my sorrowful parents. It was he who always opened wide his arms to embrace with affection the suffering Chinese Catholics. In his simple office, he used to talk intimately with these exiled faithful so that they might enjoy the warmth of a family spirit.

When I arrived Hong Kong in 1979, I carried within myself all the wounds as well as a loving memory of the faithful Church in China. He said to me; “Write it down! Write it down as soon as possible!” I said reluctantly, “I have been imprisoned for so long, I don’t know how to write freely. Also, I have no experience in writing.” He said very earnestly: “Write! When you begin to write, as you go along, you will discover how to write!” So with his encouragement, I finished writing the book entitled “Catholic Children in the Labour Camp” within half a year.

I visited him in his office a number of times, listening to all he had to say. He spoke Mandarin perfectly, sometimes mixed with a few sentences of Cantonese. There was no difference of nationality between us. Sometimes when I saw him two hands trembling because of his sickness, I wanted to give him a helping hand but he always made every effort to arrange everything himself. Sometimes when I saw his desk was in disorder and wanted to put in order for him, he would said, “Not necessary. I am accustomed to it.” Yes, even if your desk was disordered, this would not affect your clear mind and thinking, nor your keen eye-sight. His tall, thin frame conveyed an impression of profound wisdom. His ageing face expressed the warm affection of his heart. It would not be easy to find another good missionary like him, an understanding priest!

Good-bye, Father Ladányi! Best wishes for your journey. The memory of you will never fade from our hearts. But now, your long journey, this important long journey, has made us in this world, think so much of you and your life.

You are another Father Lebbe, the glory of missionaries. May you still continue from Heaven, to protect the Church in China. Bless our faithful brothers and sisters who are still suffering now, who are crushed to the ground and are not understood! Bless those who are exiled in other countries, waiting for the mercy of God to re-establish the Church in China.
By Ho Hoi-ling from America
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 :
He was a scholar who published many articles and books which include :
“The Catholic Church in China” (Freedom Press, New York 1987); “The Communist Part of China and Marxism : A Self-Portrait” (Hoover Institute Press, Stanford, 1988); “Law and Legality in China : The Testament of a China-Watcher” (Hurst, London, 1992).

His books are scholarly and influential to the study of modern and contemporary China.

Note from Alan Birmingham Entry
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”

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 64 : Easter 1991

DEATH OF A CHINA-WATCHER - Fr Laszlo Ladany

Jurgen Domes

For several decades, Hungarian Jesuit Fr Laszlo Ladany edited in Hong Kong his China News Analysis: the publication attempted, by comparing different versions of official reports, by noting omissions and changes, to outline the true trajectory of events within China. He died on 23rd September, 1990, and is recalled in a commemorative issue of the periodical (kindly sent by Michel Massan, S.J.).

Robert Elegant, journalist, writes:
He was very proud and fiercely defensive of his work. He had contempt for journalists who rewrote his reports under their own names. Still, he had pity for those, sometimes the same individuals, who could not make the intellectual and imaginative jump that would enable them to see what was happening in China with the same clarity he did.

That incapacity was particularly marked during the Cultural Revolution, which, as we later discovered, outdid in horror even our most daring reports. Nonetheless only four professional China Watchers came close to the true story: Laszlo Ladany in the van; Burton Levin of the American Foreign Service, later Ambassador to Burma; Knobby Clark of the Regional Information Office; and myself with Ladany's guidance. Almost everyone else first believed that Chairman Mao Zedong had everything under control - and later refused to believe the enormity of the cataclysm.

Simone de Beauvoir called him “a fanatic anti-communist full of hatred”. After many accusations in the same vein, Han Suyin eventually remembered him as her “Hong Kong Jesuit Friend”, “tall and dignified and admirably versed in Chinese”, “owner of uncommon intellect” who spoke “with eloquence and restraint” and had “humour, zest and knowledge”.

For the many sycophants and apologists of totalitarian communist dictatorship in American and West European Contemporary China Studies, he was hardly quotable. They tried to ignore him as much as possible. But for all of us who ventured the attempt to develop a distanced and sober view of the Peoples' Republic of China, he had assumed an unprecedented prestige as a China scholar. Indeed he was the dean of the international trade which observes contemporary politics in the Peoples Republic of China.

With Fr. Ladany, we lose a brilliant analyst, a steadfast Christian, and warm-hearted friend.

For almost forty years of continuous observation of the developments on the Chinese mainland, thirty years of which were dedicated to the regular publication of China News Analysis, he succeeded in submitting, with very few exceptions, a correct and precise picture of the Peoples' Republic of China as well as projections of her future perspectives which have proven much more often right than wrong. When thinking back, we remember that he was the first among the very few observers who, at that time, realized that the “Great Leap Forward” resulted in economic chaos, and in the greatest famine in this century. In January 1967, he suggested that the military leaders in the provinces were the men to watch in the following years. And in his last conceptual January edition of China News Analysis entitled “Deja Vu”, he drew the first comparison between the developing features of communist collapse and the final years of Kuomintang rule on the Chinese mainland.

What made him so correct in his descriptions and so reliable in his analysis? Three observations provide the answer to this question. First, he knew China and the Chinese very well. His sovereign command of Chinese among altogether eight languages which he spoke fluently gave him access to all available sources including the extremely important interviews with recent refugees from the Peoples' Republic of China. Second, he had a firm and deep understanding of Marxism-Leninism. Philosophically trained, he had developed the ability to divest the communist ideology of its fallacious prophecies and to penetrate the rosy fog of the doctrine to unveil the realities of totalitarian rule. Third, he had a deep compassion for humanity, for the joys, trials and tribulations which affect human beings everywhere in the world.

These three elements produced his unique analytical approach, the method of qualitative content analysis which is based on rigid and uncompromising Textkritik.

But apart from his fundamental contribution to the understanding of China, he was also a wonderful person. While never propagandizing his Christian beliefs in a patronizing manner, his life as a Christian has been convincing for many and decisive for some.

Hence, we have lost a great scholar and a passionate man. Hong Kong changed, and the international community of China specialists changed when God called him. It is a small consolation in this moment of grief that Fr Ladany could still be alive when his Hungarian motherland was liberated from Communism.

Lawler, Donald, 1911-1984, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/229
  • Person
  • 02 March 1911-04 December 1984

Born: 02 March 1911, Bunclody, County Wexford
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 08 January 1944, Sydney, Australia
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 04 December 1984, Lisheen, Rathcoole, County Dublin

Chaplain in the Second World War.

Middle Brother of Brendan - RIP 1993 and Ray - RIP 2001;

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to HK - 03 December 1966; HK to MAC-HK; MAC-HK to CHN

by 1937 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency
by 1941 at Pymble NSW, Australia - studying

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

Father Donald Lawler, SJ, formerly of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, died in Ireland on Tuesday, 4 December 1984, after a very long illness, aged 73.

Father Lawler was born in Ireland in 1911 and joined the Jesuits in 1928. He came to Hong Kong in 1936. After two years of study of Cantonese, he taught for two years in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. He then studied theology in Australia and was ordained priest there in 1944. After a final year of Jesuit formation in Ireland, he returned to Hong Kong in 1946 and was senior Science Master in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, for thirty years. He suffered a stroke in 1976, and for the rest of his life was as invalid sinking steadily into ever more complete helplessness as the years went by. About five years ago he was brought by hospital plane to Ireland, where the care of his elder brother, also a Jesuit, helped to mitigate the hardship imposed such prolonged illness.

Death came gently.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 14 December 1984

◆ 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 60th Year No 1 2 1985

Obituary

Fr Donald Lawlor (1911-1928-1984) (Macau-Hong Kong)

2nd March 1911: born in Bunclody, Co Wexford. 1st September 1928: entered SJ. 1928-30 Tullabeg, noviciate. 1930-33 Rathfarnham, juniorate (physics and chemistry to B. Sc.), 1933-36 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1936-40 Hong Kong (study of Cantonese. 1938-40 teaching in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong). 1940-45 Australia, theology (Pymble, NSW: ordained priest in 1944). 1945-46 Rathfarnham, tertianship. 1946-78 Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, teaching science chiefly. 1979-84 Lisheen nursing home, Rathcoole, Co Dublin.

The following notice of Fr Lawler, written by Fr Alan Birmingham (M-HK), has been copied from Macau-Hong Kong Province Letter no. 265 (12: 1984):

On Tuesday 4th December, Fr Vincent Murphy telephoned from Ireland to tell us that Don Lawler had died a few hours earlier. Everyone's first reaction was one of gratitude for the ending of Don's long Purgatory on earth. There was of course shock in learning that the companion of so many years was no longer in this world, but it would have been hypocritical conventionalism to pretend to sorrow over his death. The Don of the crystal clear mind, the Don of the lithe vigorous body, the Don of unquestioning independence, had gone years before. Death had brought to an end joyless years of fading powers.
Don Lawler received his schooling at Wicklow Convent and at Clongowes Wood College. I first met him when we arrived together to start our noviceship at Tullabeg. His elder brother Brendan took his first vows on the morning after our arrival and he stayed on in Tullabeg for a short time to act as Don's angelus, The Don of noviceship days was in most ways very like the Don of full maturity. He already had a sturdy distaste for loose thinking and for conventional expression or manifestation of piety. Eschewing gush, he had an unrivalled grasp of the theological and spiritual principles underlying noviceship training and the whole Jesuit life. He took his vows in the ambulacrum in Emo Park (newly acquired as the noviciate house) on 2nd September 1930.
He might have been miserable if he had been asked to do an arts degree in the juniorate. It is hard to imagine Don labouring over Wordsworth or Mrs Gaskell. In fact, he worked for a BSc in physics and chemistry. Clear theory derived from exact experiment was what he seemed made for. Philosophy also suited him; Platonism would have seemed to him to be merely sublime vagueness. If he had been born in another age, Descartes' clear and distinct ideas' might have won him: but as it was he found satisfaction in the highly rational Aristotelianism taught by Fr E Coyne. Philosophy always remained one of his major interests.
He had always been deeply interested in the missions, and he felt that one of his dearest dreams was being fulfilled when he was chosen for Hong Kong, along with Paddy Walsh and.me, in 1936.
My abiding friendship with Don dates from that time. In earlier years I had been mildly alarmed by his ruthless intellectualism and his black-and-white judgements on right and wrong, beauty and ugliness, sense and folly. A month with him in a two-man cabin in the Sua Maru was enough to teach me that I had found a true comrade, able to take peculiarities in his stride, and ready to depend on others and to have others depend on him. I never had to alter that judgement.
After two years of not very successful drudgery in the language school, there came the year in Wah Yan in the old Robinson Road building. In that year Don was not merely a teacher. He was a vigorous sportsmaster. He was deeply interested in the boys. He took part in nearly every school activity. In addition he began to make numerous friends round the city. Already, on the way to Hong Kong, he had been the social centre of the ship. Now he seemed to be on to becoming one of the people that everyone knows, almost a second and more scientific Fr George Byrne. The vitality he showed in that year was something unimagined by those who knew him only in later years..
In the summer of 1939, he and I were expecting to sail for Ireland, but the necessary documents did not arrive until later than the date on which Joe Howatson and Seán Turner had sailed in the previous year. When the documents did arrive, late in June, they contained bad news. Don was offered either immediate return to Ireland with removal from the Hong Kong Mission, or a ‘fourth year’ in Wah Yan. Without hesitation he chose the second alternative, and at once set about organising the tasks of the coming year, notably the forthcoming St Vincent de Paul Bazaar (the predecessor of the Caritas Bazaar).
Normally a fourth year in the colleges is a relatively unimportant setback not worthy of obituary mention. Don's fourth year was an exceptionally hard blow, and seems to have changed his whole life. In summer 1939, war was certain. If he did not sail at once, he would not return to Ireland for theology, and the suddenness of the change made this hard to bear. More important probably was the suggestion that he should consider leaving the Mission. He had always cherished missionary hopes; now a cloud had come over them. Joe Howatson, who probably knew Don better than any other Hong Kong Jesuit, once told me that Don had taken the fourth year as a condemnation of all his past expansiveness. Certainly, when I met him again after tertianship, all that side of his life seemed to have vanished, and he had largely withdrawn from the city into Wah Yan. He made friends through his educational committee work and through his abiding interest in games, but the old expansiveness was gone. I never discovered why he got the fourth year. To me he had seemed a model of what a scholastic in the way a college should be. My guess was some of his superiors had worked through mild suggestions and gentle hints, regarding these as sufficient indications of what they wanted to be done. Don, however, was never sensitive to hints. Anything less scientific than a clear and direct statement seemed contumacious when he was quite unconscious of ignoring orders.This, however, is only a guess.
In 1940, he went to Australia for theology, and he was ordained there in January 1944. He liked Australia, and he had many friends there from juniorate and philosophy days. In 1945 he went to Ireland for tertianship.
In 1946 he returned to Hong Kong to start the long career as senior science master that was to last till his strength ailed thirty years later. This was the main work of his Jesuit life, but there is little to be said about it. He was an outstanding and extremely conscientious teacher of physics to the higher forms, and he played a considerable part in the organisation of scientific teaching in the schools of Hong Kong. He was also always ready to take on the instruction of more intellectual converts whom others regarded as formidable. One of these converts is now a Dominican priest. In the 1960s one of the professors in the University of Hong Kong was waging an all too successful war for atheism. Don took him on in a radio debate and by cool and courteous logic won a striking victory that helped to diminish the professor's influence. This debate was almost his only dramatic incursion into public life in his long years as a priest-teacher.
In community life, however, he was no hermit. He was always ready to expound at length any theological, philosophical or scientific theory that came up. Sometimes his expositions would develop nearly into a lecture, but it was a good lecture, clear, orderly, full, and devoid of rhetorical irrelevance or dialectical tricks.
Over the years he was an unremitting student of the Bible, reading it over and over again. He was also careful to keep abreast of scientific progress. For diversion, more and more as the years went by, he turned to scientific fiction, the frivolous counterpart of his work. to him mere whimsy.
No account of Don would be completed without some reference to his congenital tidiness with both time and things. Every action seemed to have its exact unchangeable time - his shower for instance at exactly 6.30 pm. If any visitor to his room moved an ashtray on his desk, Don would put it back where it had been, not chidingly, but because the ashtray had its own unchangeable place. In 1976 he had his first stroke. For a time he tried to carry on, hoping that by using a microphone he could still talk to his classes, but this proved impossible. After a second stroke he was given generous hospitality for some months by the ever-generous Columban Sisters in Ruttonjee Sanatorium. He returned to Wah Yan and was able to take a slight part in community life. He managed to attend his Golden Jubilee dinner for a short period. He was able to concelebrate Mass on extreme invalid terms. He could still read, and a fading memory enabled him to read and reread his favourite scientific fiction books with fresh interest at every reading. Another stroke transformed him into a complete invalid, and he was brought to St Paul's Hospital, Causeway Bay. His hospital room was comfortable and he had plenty of visitors, the Columban Sisters being exceptionally kind. Yet his complete dependence on others must have been galling to one of his independent character. His Cantonese had never been very good, and as his voice was failing he found it almost impossible to communicate with the hospital staff. It was decided that he would be happier in Ireland. He was far too ill to travel by an ordinary plane, but helpful authorities agreed to give him space in a space in a military Red Cross hospital plane. In Ireland, he went first to St Vincent's Hospital and then to Lisheen Nursing Home, Rathcoole, co. Dublin. His brother Brendan and Fr Vincent Murphy were assiduous visitors, despite ever increasing difficulty in communication.
He sank slowly but steadily. Those who visited him during holidays in Ireland brought sadder and sadder news, yet he did not seem to suffer much physically and the gradual dimming of his consciousness of this world probably lessened mental suffering. Always we were waiting for the last news. It came on December 4th.
He worked hard. He suffered much. God be with him. May he be with God.

◆ The Clongownian, 1986

Obituary

Father Donald Lawler SJ

Don Lawler received his schooling at Wicklow Convent before coming on to Clongowes. His elder brother Brendan took his first vows in Tullabeg on the morning after Don's arrival and he stayed on for a short time to act as Don's angelus. The Don of noviceship days was in most ways very like the Don of full maturity. He already had a sturdy distaste for loose thinking and for conventional expression or manifestation of piety. Eschewing gush, he had an unrivalled grasp of the theological and spiritual principles underlying noviceship training and the whole Jesuit life. He took his vows in the abulacrum in Emo Park (newly acquired as the noviciate house) on 2nd September 1930.

He might have been miserable if he had been asked to do an arts degree in the juniorate. It is hard to imagine Don labouring over Wordsworth or Mrs Gaskell. In fact, he worked for a BSc in physics and chemistry. Clear theory from exact experiment was what he seemned made for. Philosophy also suited him; Platonism would have seem to have to be merely sublime vagueness. If he had been born in another age, Descartes clear and distinct ideas might have won him: but as it was he found satisfaction in the highly Aristotelianism taught by Fr E Coyne. Philosophy always remained one of his major interests.

He had always been deeply interested in the missions, and he felt that one of his dearest dreams was being fulfilled when he was chosen for Hong Kong, along with Paddy Walsh in 1936. After two years of not very successful drudgery in the language school, there came the year in Wah Yah in the old Robinson Road building. In that year Don was not merely a teacher. He was a vigorous sportsmaster. He was deeply interested in the boys. He took part in nearly every school activity. In addition he began to make numerous friends around the city. Already, on the way to Hong Kong, he had been the social centre of the ship. Now he seemed to be on the way to becoming one of the people everyone knows, almost a second and more scientific Fr George Byrne. The vitality he showed in that year was something unimagined by those who knew him only in years later.

In 1940 he went to Australia for theology, and he was ordained there in January 1944.

He liked Australia, and he had many friends. there from juniorate and philosophy days. In 1945 he went to Ireland for tertianship.

In 1946 he returned to Hong Kong to start the long career as senior science master that was to last till his strength failed thirty years later. This was the main work of his Jesuit life, but there is little to be said about it. He was an outstanding and extremely conscientious teacher of physics to the Higher forms, and he played a considerable part in the organisation of scientific teaching in the schools of Hong Kong. He was also always ready to take on the instruction of more intellectual converts whom others regarded as formidable.

In community life, however, he was not a. hermit. He was also always ready to expound at length any theological, philosophical or scientific theory that came up. Sometimes his expositions would develop nearly into a lecture, but it was a good lecture, clear, orderly, full and devoid or rhetorcal irrelevance or dialectical tricks.

Over the years he was an unremitting student of the bible, reading it over and over again. He was also careful to keep abreast of scientific progress. For diversion, more and more as the years went by, he returned to scientific fiction, the frivolous counterpart of his scientific work.

In 1976 he had his first stroke. For a time he tried to carry on, hoping that by using a microphone he could still talk to his classes, but this proved impossible. After a second stroke he was given generous hospitality for some months by the ever-generous Columban Sisters in Ruttonjee Sanatorium.

It was decided that he would be happier in Ireland. He was far too ill to travel by an ordinary plane, but helpful authorities agreed to give him space in a military Red Cross hospital plane. In Ireland, he went first to St Vincent's Hospital and then to Lisheen Nursing Home Rathcoole, Co Dublin. His brother Brendan and Fr Vincent Murphy were assiduous visitors, despite ever-increasing difficulty in communication, He sank slowly but steadily.

Alan Birmingham

Liu Nai-Jen, Stanislaus, 1903-1975, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1583
  • Person
  • 09 December 1903-01 June 1975

Born: 09 December 1903, Laopaitsun, Xianxian (Síenhsíen), Beijing, China
Entered: 26 September 1923, Xianxian (Síenhsíen), Beijing, China - Campaniae Province (CAMP)
Ordained: 10 June 1933
Professed: 02 February 1938
Died: 01 June 1975, Taipei, Taiwan - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Transcribed CAMP to CHN : 1992

by 1950 came to Aberdeen, Hong Kong (HIB) working 1949-1958

Liu Yu-Feng, Simon, 1916-1977, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1584
  • Person
  • 28 October 1916-31 October 1977

Born: 28 October 1916, Hebei, China
Entered: 21 May 1938, Campaniae Province (CAMP)
Ordained: 03 June 1948
Professed: 02 February 1951
Died: 31 October 1977, Luodong, Taiwan - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Transcribed CAMP to ExOr 03/02/1958; App ExOr to HK 1949-1958

Worked in Hong Kong from 1949-1958

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, Regional Hospital (University Hospital) Limerick

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

Studied for BSc at UCD;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Irish Province News 32nd Year No 3 1957

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

Obituary :

Fr Daniel MacDonald (1891-1957)

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

◆ Mungret Annual, 1957

Obituary

Father Daniel MacDonald SJ

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

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

Maguire, Rory, 1913-1971, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/726
  • Person
  • 19 January 1913-23 February 1971

Born: 19 January 1913, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 16 November 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 23 February 1971, Cahir, County Tipperary

Part of the Tullabeg, County Offaly community at the time of death.

by 1960 at Brophy Prep, Phoenix AZ (CAL) working
by 1962 at St Francis Xavier Phoenix AZ, USA (CAL) working

Died in a car accident.

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Rory Maguire S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Rory Maguire, S.J., formerly of Wah Yan Colleges, Hong Kong and Kowloon, was killed in a road accident in Ireland on 23 February 1971, aged 58.

Father Maguire came to Hong Kong in 1947. His whole time here was devoted to education. He was principal of the afternoon school in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, and later was prefect of studies in Wah Yan College, Kowloon.

During much of his time in Hong Kong he suffered grievously from an intractable slipped disc. Ultimately he had to go to Arizona, where the extreme dryness of the climate helped him to a partial recovery. After a period there he was able to return to Ireland, but there was no prospect of his being able to stand up to Hong Kong humidity.

Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul will be celebrated at 6pm, today, Friday, 5 March, in the chapel of Wah Yan College, Kowloon.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 5 March 1971

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 46th Year No 3 1971

Obituary :

Fr Rory Maguire SJ (1913-1971)

Sudden death always leaves a sense of shock; sudden and