Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Lachal, Louis, 1906-1991, Jesuit priest
Parallel form(s) of name
- Lou Lachal
Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules
Other form(s) of name
Identifiers for corporate bodies
Dates of existence
11 May 1906-19 March 1991
Born: 11 May 1906, Northcote, Melbourne, Australia
Entered: 08 March 1925, Loyola, Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained 30 June 1940, Liverpool, England
Professed: 02 February 1979
Died: 19 March 1991, St Xavier’s, Bokaro Steel City, Hazaribag, Jharkhand, India - Ranchiensis Province (RAN)
Transcribed HIB to ASL 05-April 1931; ASL to RAN 12 March 1956
◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Francis Keogh Entry :
His death was keenly felt by those who served under him, especially at Sevenhill. Mr Lachal there wrote “He was the kindest of Superiors, a real father to the Novices, keeping a particularly keen eye on their health. I wish I had Father Rector’s ticket to heaven, Father Master once said to his Novices.’
◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Lou Lachal received his early education at the local parish school and his secondary education at Xavier College, Kew, where his father had been before him. Though he excelled perhaps more in sports than in studies, he graduated in 1924 with honours in French and Latin in the final examinations.
In March 1925 he joined the Jesuits at Greenwich, Sydney, and in 1927 he went to Rathfarnham for his juniorate studies, gaining a BA from the National University of Ireland. Philosophy studies followed in France, and he did regency at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, from 1933. He was rowing master among other things, and received a reprimand from the general for allowing the boys to mix with non-Catholics in the rowing sheds!
Theology studies followed at Naples, Italy, but World War II broke out and he moved to Liverpool in 1940 with a letter of commendation to any bishop to ordain him. He was ordained in Liverpool, completed his theology at Heythrop, Oxford, and then spent a few months caring for the needs of working class people in the city of Glasgow, Scotland.
Towards the end of 1941 Lachal returned to Australia via the Panama Canal. He was once again sent to Riverview. Tertianship at Loyola College, Watsonia, followed in 1945, after which he taught for two years at St Patrick's College. He worked in the parish of Richmond in 1948. He enjoyed his time there, and they appreciated the tall, strong, modest, pipe-smoking priest who could he relied upon for service at any time of day or night.
Lachal was among the first Australian Jesuits assigned to the mission in the Hazarihag region of India in 1951. He was 45 years old at the time, and was to spend another 40 years in India. He found Hindi studies difficult, but could generally make himself understood. His good humor and friendliness did the rest. Soon after arrival in India he became involved with direct missionary work at Chandwa, then one of the two parishes in the district of Palamau.
Later, he became parish priest of the Chechai region, which stretched for 130 miles, and then at Mahuadanr, followed by Hazaribag, Chandwa, Bhurkunda and Bokaro Steel City
Wherever he worked, his constant aim was first to provide an adequate education system, followed by health and other development projects to uplift poor people.
One of his greatest triumphs was setting up the Christian Centre at Bokaro Steel City in the vanguard of the ecumenical movement, Lachal proposed the Christian Centre as his
solution to the problem of how to share one small piece of real estate allotted by the Steele Authority to no less than ten groups all claiming to be Christian.
He was a caring father to all Jesuits in the Hazaribag diocese and to religious and lay people all over the Daltonganj diocese. Many sought his wise advice, encouragement and
companionship. People meant much to Lachal. He was a great conversationalist with a quick wit. In addition, he wrote thousands of letters, especially to the mission's friends and
supporters in Australia, assuring them of his interest and concern.
Lachal, commonly known as 'Lou', was greatly loved, respected and trusted by everyone, Jesuits and lay friends alike. He had a strong, outgoing personality, a man of immense charm, wisdom and optimism. His life was characterised by his availability to people anywhere at any time. He was rarely seen alone, he always had people around him. He had a solid, simple spirituality with a great devotion to Our Lady. He was regularly seen saying the Rosary, or heard singing Marian hymns during Mass. He regularly said two public Masses a day, even when he could only travel by rickshaw. When asked what he had been doing, he jokingly said that he had been “witnessing”, a constant feature of his long and happy life.
Functions, occupations and activities
Mandates/sources of authority
Access points area
Subject access points
Place access points
- Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » Northcote
- Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Greenwich » Loyola College (Greenwich)
- India » Jharkhand » Hazaribagh » Bokaro Steel City » St Xavier's (Bokaro Steel City)
- Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » Kew (Melbourne) » Xavier College
- County Dublin » Dublin City » Rathfarnham » Rathfarnham Castle
- County Dublin » Dublin City » St Stephen's Green (Dublin) » University College, Dublin
- Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Riverview » St Ignatius College (Riverview)
- Italy » Naples » Posilipo
- England » Liverpool
- England » Oxfordshire » Chipping Norton » Heythrop College
- Scotland » Glasgow
- Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » Watsonia » Loyola College (Watsonia)
- Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » East Melbourne » St Patrick's College (East Melbourne)
- Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » Richmond » St Ignatius Church (Richmond)
- India » Jharkhand » Palamu » Chandwa
- India » Jharkhand » Chechai
- India » Jharkhand » Latehar » Mahuadanr
- India » Jharkhand » Ramgarh » Bhurkunda
Authority record identifier