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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

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”.

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

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.

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, 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.

Fleury, Dermot, 1918-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/599
  • Person
  • 09 September 1918-04 October 2001

Born: 09 September 1918, Penang, Malaysia
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Fourvière, Lyon, France
Final Vows: 02 February 1954, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome, Italy
Died: 04 October 2001, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1948 Lyon, France (LUGD) studying
by 1952 at Rome, Italy (ROM) Substitute English Assistancy Secretary

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 112 : Special Edition 2002

Obituary

Fr Dermot Fleury (1918-2001)

9th Sept. 1918: Born in Penang, Malaya
Early education in Dominican Convent, Wicklow, and Clongowes Wood College
7th Sept. 1936: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1938: First Vows at Emo
1938 - 1841: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1941 - 1944: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1944 - 1946: Clongowes - Regency; Teacher; Certificate in Education
1946 - 1947: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
1947 - 1950: Fourviere, France - Studied Theology
31st July 1949: Ordained at Lyons
1950 - 1951: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1951 - 1954: Curia, Rome - Sub-Secretary to English speaking Assistancy
2nd Feb. 1954: Final Vows at Gesu, Rome
1954 - 1960: Belvedere - Teacher
1960 - 1962: Clongowes - Teacher
1962 - 1968: Emo - Teacher of Latin/Greek to Novices
1968 - 1988: Milltown Park - Institute Librarian; Community Librarian; Librarianship Diploma at UCD
1988 - 1991: Tullabeg - Prefect of People's Church
1991 - 2001: St. Ignatius, Galway
1991 - 1996: Parish Curate
1996 - 2001: Assisted in Church, Guestmaster.

Fr. Fleury was admitted to Cherryfield on August 3rd, 2001. His balance was poor, and there was a marked weakness on his left side. Following a brain scan he was found to have a brain tumour. He attended Dr Moriarty, and had a short course of radiotherapy. His condition continued to deteriorate, and he died peacefully in Cherryfield on Thursday, 4th October, at 3.45 a.m.

Eddie Fitzgerald writes....
When I was asked to write Dermot's obituary I consented with some misgivings. We were exact contemporaries and lived together in Clongowes, in Emo, in Rathfarnham and Tullabeg. We were patients together in Cherryfield during Dermot's final illness. So I suppose it was natural that I should be asked to write the obituary. But my misgivings began in the last weeks of his life. It was then that I fully realized that I was not really among his circle of friends - those few Jesuits, but many lay men and women, who really knew Dermot in the intimacy of friendship. I knew the facts of his life, but I did not really know Dermot himself as true friends know one another.

In CWC, he and I had Father John Sullivan teaching us Latin and R.K., and we were present with Dick Brenan and Bob Thompson at his requiem Mass and burial on that winter's day in February, 1933. I am sure Father John's prayers (even more than his example) turned our thoughts and our steps towards Emo. Dermot was among the brightest in the Rhetoric class of "36, competing against Eoin O'Malley and Harry Counihan for first place in our weekly exams. He was a fine athlete, playing as hooker in the Senior Cup team and also having a place on the cricket eleven. I could not claim to have been a friend of his. My attitude to Dermot would have been admiration streaked with green-eye.

I have no memories of Dermot in the noviceship. In fact, I think the noviceship training set the lasting pattern of a cautious approach to friendship between us scholastics. While we tried to come to an intimate interior knowledge of Christ, we were cautioned against the danger of particular friendships. We could be friends in the Lord without being attached to any particular novice friends.

In Rathfarnham I studied classics with Dermot and Tony Baggot. The class was very small, the three of us with about four Spiritans. Strange to say the two years of shared classes and courses did not draw us any closer. Thinking of the text of Scripture, “A brother helped by a brother is like a strong city”, I am surprised today that we never turned to one another for help and support. He went to Tullabeg in 1941, I followed him a year later. If the shared study of classics in Rathfarnham did not draw us closer together, the two years in Tullabeg only confirmed us in our mutual respect and reserve. When he went to Clongowes in 1944, we would not live together again until 1973 when I returned to Milltown after seven years in Mungret, finding Dermot had been in the community since '68.

Dermot's three years of theology in Fourviere (47 to '50) and his three years in the Curia in Rome as sub-secretary to the English-speaking Assistancy (51 to '54) tended to confirm him in his character as a loner in the Province. He was strengthened in his firm loyalty to Father General and the Pope. The concept of a loyal opposition was totally anathema to him. If Vatican II showed signs of the Rhine flowing into the Tiber, Dermot was not sure that the confluence was good for the Roman stream. When he came to Milltown as Librarian in the Milltown Institute he would have shared many of Sean Hyde's misgivings about some of the developments in theology since Vatican II. He did not share the widespread enthusiasm for Rahner and Lonergan but, with John Paul II and Sean Hyde, considered Von Balthasar the greatest contemporary theologian. I was teaching some courses for the Shorts' from '73 to '83 but Dermot and I never discussed theology. I was convinced he was out of sympathy with what he and Seán Hyde saw as the new style of supermarket theology.

But if he was a silent critic of the Institute's aggiornamento in the teaching of theology and philosophy, his work as Librarian made him a major contributor to the work of the Institute. With his characteristic courage and dedication, he undertook the total renewal of the library register. To equip himself for this task he obtained a diploma in librarianship in UCD. Then with help from Michael Ryan he set about re classifying all the theology and philosophy books according to the system of the Library of Congress. His relentless work over many years laid the foundation for the computerized register now operated by the librarian and her two assistants. But he was not content to devote long hours every day to the tedious task of re-classifying the books. Come Saturday, he would spend hours sweeping the library and even duşting the books shelf by shelf. Thursday was his shopping day for the library. He would get an early bus in to town. Among the shops he would visit, Greene's in Clare Street was specially favoured. He became a firm and lasting friend of Mr Pembrey and his sons.

While Dermot was held in the highest esteem and respect by all in the Jesuit community, few if any could claim him as a close friend. And yet, as later in Tullabeg and Galway, he had a large circle of men and women friends. He had friends among the hardy group of all-year-round swimmers at the Forty Foot. Through his work as Librarian he made many friends - Mr Pembrey and his sons, a former lady librarian in UCD, German friends, made while attending courses in the Goethe Institute. One of our longest serving telephonists remained closer to Dermot than to anyone else in the community. He had a charism for friendship. His circle of friends embraced old and young, men and, perhaps even more, women and children.

I feel sure he found his change to the church in Tullabeg a sacrifice. Contact with many friends made during his twenty years in Milltown was made more difficult. Before he left Milltown he asked me to visit a widow in Cherryfield Avenue that he had supported by regular visits since the death of her husband. Having no local contacts at all, I was glad to enter into his good work. When she died some years later, he came up from Galway for the requiem Mass in Beechwood Church. We concelebrated the Mass and I was in admiration of his homily full of warm human sympathy and the firm hope of the Resurrection. Not long before his last illness, he came up from Galway again to celebrate the requiem of Mr Pembrey, whom he had often visited during the last months in a nursing home.

In the short three years as prefect of the people's church in Tullabeg, he made another circle of friends and he used to visit them from Galway on his days off. Among his parishioner friends he was very devoted to the family who ran the Post Office in Rahan. Dermot's last ten years were spent working in the church in Galway. I only met him in the summer when he came to spend his villa in Milltown or in Belvedere, visiting his large circle of friends from the Milltown years. I attended his requiem Mass in October '01, and John Humphreys' homily, together with the colorful reminiscences of the community, made me fully aware of Dermot's charism for friendship. Of course he had many friends from the parish but his circle of friends extended far beyond the parish boundaries. Unlike the Forty Foot, which was a male preserve when Dermot was in Milltown, Blackrock in Galway was not so exclusive and among his swimming friends was an “exotic mermaid from Russia”.

I was recovering from a prostate operation in Cherryfield when Dermot paid me a visit on August 2nd. He was coming to spend his villa in Milltown visiting his family and his many friends from the old days. He admitted being very tired from work in the church and attending to summer visitors. The very next day he was admitted to Cherryfield suffering from serious loss of balance - the first signs of the brain tumour that was to lead to his death two months later.

I treasure two memories of my last meetings with Dermot. I offered to get him any books he wanted. He said he was happy with his A Kempis, but asked me to get him a copy of the Morning and Evening prayer of the church. He could no longer say the full office to which he was devoted. He confided to me that no book had meant more to him than the autobiography of Edith Stein, written when she had become a Carmelite - Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. I had read it some years before, but read it again since Dermot died. Looking back on her own life Edith Stein expressed the thought: “What was not included in my plans lay in God's plan”. Those words are marked in pencil in the margin. Dermot was scrupulous in his care of books, but those pencil marks could well be his. He was able to see that his last fatal illness was part of God's plan for him. Like Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, he was able to help others to bear their burdens because he drew his strength from the Passion of Christ. His younger brother Kevin suffered a serious accident in Canada, where he was working in an insurance company. He was brought back to Ireland, but he never recovered from his injuries. He was bed ridden at home and Dermot faithfully supported him and his young wife till his early death. One of Dermot's sisters was a life-long victim of depression, and, again, he was a faithful visitor to her in hospital or at home. If Dermot enjoyed rude health till his final illness, his devotion to the cross helped him to live Saint Paul's words: “Bear one another's burden and you will fulfil the law of Christ”.

This is another treasured memory from those last months. I was saying Mass in Cherryfield one day when I was told that it was Dermot's birthday. He was 83. I said I was offering the Mass for him and referred to our faith journey together since the days in Clongowes. After Mass the nurses had the usual party and birthday cake for him. I think, with all his selfless modesty, he realized how much he was loved by the nurses and all his fellow patients. That simple celebration was a small symbol of the celebration Dermot was soon to share with his many friends, when the Good Shepherd had led him into his Father's house.

-oOo-

Dermot Fluery came to Galway when Tullabeg closed in 1991. He spent the last years of his life working in the Parish, an apostolate in which he had been engaged in Tullabeg. I had not lived with him since our teaching days in Belvedere in the 1960's, and my first impression was that he had changed. He took to his pastoral work with real vigour and I could see that his stint in Tullabeg had benefited him.

Formerly he had been somewhat distant and reserved, but now he was anxious to get to know the parishioners and their families, and he took a great interest in all their affairs. He was very devoted to the sick and housebound, and visited them regularly with Holy Communion. He had a gift in remembering names in families and could recite all the names from grandparents to grandchildren.

The custom in the Galway Diocese is to bring the Blessed Sacrament to the sick on the First Friday of every month, but, when we were constituted a parish, he was among those who thought it should be every week. This practice continues to the present day.

He was very keen on physical exercise both in the winter and summer. He regularly took a good walk and a swim in ocean every Sunday and Wednesday. He never learnt to drive .a car but he had a reliable bicycle, which he used almost up to his final days. The people of the parish held him in very high regard and at his funeral remarks like, “He was a lovely priest always ready to help people”, could be heard. He will certainly get a rich reward for his devoted service in the priesthood.

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

Grogan, Patrick, 1902-1980, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 03 March 1902, Cloghan, County Offaly
Entered: 12 November 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 05 November 1977
Died: 27 February 1980, Saint Paul's Hospital, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Studied for B Ag Science at UCD before entry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He entered at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg having graduated BAg at the Agricultural College in Dublin (Albert College, Glasnevin).

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

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

Irish Province News 55th Year No 2 1980

Obituary

Fr Patrick Grogan (1902-1925-1980)

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

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

Harris, Richard, 1903-1998, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

Early education Mungret College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He arrived in Hong Kong in 1937. His first assignment was to the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen, where he remained until the final months of the Pacific War. From 1947-1951 he was Rector of the Seminary and Professor of Scripture.
In 1950 he was appointed Mission Superior in Hong Kong and when he finished in 1957 he moved to Ricci Hall where he was Warden until1962.
In 1962 he was appointed to the Church of the Assumption, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
In 1964 he transferred to Australia.

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong Kong

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

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

Jenkins, Paul, 1924-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1476
  • Person
  • 13 February 1924-31 October 1989

Born: 13 February 1924, Port Talbot, Denbigh, Wales
Entered: 07 September 1947, Roehampton London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows 02 February 1965
Died: 31 October 1989, Convent of Infant Jesus, Idris Shah, Ipoh, Malaysia - Brittaniae Province (BRI)

by 1956 came to Milltown (HIB) studying 1955-1958
by 1959 came to Rathfarnham (HIB) making Tertianship
By 1960 came to Kingsmead Hall, Singapore (HIB) working 1959-1967

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.)

Kelly, Brian P, 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.

McGovern, Patrick T, 1920-1984, Jesuit priest

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

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1948 at Hong Kong - Regency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note from Paddy Joy Entry
According to Fr Patrick McGovern “Fr Joy was a great man..... his virtue was that although he was an intellectual heavyweight, he stepped so lightly through this morass of problems that nbo toe was trod on. On the contrary, wounds and hurts, both personal and canonical were bound up so deftly that the cured patients not only improved relations with one another, but in the process of being helped gave their universal and unstinting respect to the man who did the helping. He became the focus of a vast diversity, and from all sides won confidence, respect and affection”.

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 59th Year No 4 1984

Obituary

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

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

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

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

Irish Province News 60th Year No 1 2 1985

Obituary

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 35 : Christmas 1984

Letter : Harold Naylor

Dear Editor,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours etc.,

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

Murphy, Geoffrey C, 1922-1985, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1949 at Hong Kong - Regency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Irish Province News 61st Year No 1 1986

Obituary

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

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

An appreciation from Hong Kong:

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

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

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

Sheridan, Terence J, 1908-1970, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/401
  • Person
  • 16 September 1908-14 December 1970

Born: 16 September 1908, Phibsborough, Dublin
Entered: 30 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 14 December 1970, La Ignaciana, Pasay City, Manila, Philippines - Hong Kong Province (HK)

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03 December 1966

Early education at Belvedere College SJ

by 1935 at Catholic Mission, Ngau-Pei-Lan, Shiuhing (Zhaoqing), Guandong, China (LUS) Regency
by 1936 at Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Regency
by 1967 at Manila, Philippines (PHI) working

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Terence Sheridan, S.J., died in Manila on 11 December 1970, aged 61.

Father Sheridan was born in Ireland in 1908. He first came to Hong Kong as a Jesuit scholastic in 1934. He studied Chinese, taught in Wah Yan College, wrote one book and many articles, and returned to Ireland in 1937 for theological studies and ordination.

He came back to Hong Kong after the war and was stationed here until 1960, boldly combining his duties as senior English master in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, with apostolic and pastoral work and energetic participation in the cultural life of the community. Almost immediately after the war he started a series of annual Chinese operas in English - a daring and successful venture into Anglo-Chinese cultural relations. He also produced many plays for the Stage Club, including a long remembered ‘Othello’ From 1952 to 1954 he edited Outlook - a lively cultural review - so lively indeed that it once brought him before the Supreme Court in a contempt of court case that won him many new admirers.

In 1960 he went to Singapore as editor of the Malaysian Catholic News. In 1964 he joined the Pastoral Institute in Manila to work on the use of modern communications media in Catechetics and in general radio and TV.

He died suddenly at his table, when busily at work editing a film record of the Pope’s visit. He would probably have chosen such a death if the choice had been his.

These dull details seem totally inadequate in a notice on Father Terry. They point to the intellectual gifts and the energy and initiative that he had in abundance; they give no idea of the friendliness and the astonishing ever-fresh charm that brightened every group that he joined, whether he joined for a few moments or for a span of yeas. Very fittingly, his death came in Gaudete week, Joy Week.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 18 December 1970

Requiem for Father Sheridan

Friends of the late Father Terence Sheridan, S.J., filled the chapel of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, on 18 December for a Requiem Mass concelebrated by about twenty of Father Sheridan’s fellow-Jesuits.

Few people will be so sorely missed as Father Sheridan. Nevertheless there was no appearance of gloom in the congregation before or after Mass. They had gathered to pray for the repose of the soul of a man who spent his life spreading happiness and high spirits in the strength of the Holy Spirit. Many of those present stated explicitly that mourning would be out of place on such an occasion.

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.

Indeed it would be difficult to do this for he did so many things, and all of them with some distinction.

He was first of all a priest and a Jesuit. He prized his priesthood and his membership of the Society of Jesus above everything else.

He came to Hong Kong and the East because he was sent here by his superiors to be a living witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

He came to this part of the world joyfully, eagerly, and he did not preach so much in words as by living his faith and by letting what he was come through all that he did.

He taught. I suppose he would have thought of himself for many years as primarily a schoolmaster, but his interests went beyond the classroom to the playing fields for he was a sport master and a good athlete himself, to the production of plays. Many who were boys in Wah Yan when he was a teacher would think of him as an inspired producer.

But he was more of a writer than a teacher and, as in teaching, his writing overflowed into action. He wrote and produced plays, Chinese operas in English, religious plays such as his play for the Marian Year 1954, spectaculars such as the pageant he produced in the Racecourse (on another occasion) and good drama in English such as so many Shakespearean plays and The Lady is not for Burning for the Hong Kong Stage Club.

He was a good writer – first of all an editor – and he founded outlook, Tsing Nin Man Yau, Eastern Messenger. He wrote for all sorts of periodicals. He wrote books. He wrote the text of his Chinese operas in English. If he had been only a writer he would have quite a creditable amount of good writing, as much as many whose sole work was writing.

He was a critic of events. His pungent writing in Outlook pointed out many of our local weaknesses. The same was true in his writings in the Malaysian Catholic News. After he left here and went to Singapore he became interested in film criticism, in making people critical of what they saw on the screen or on the stage.

He was all these things and so much more. I thing you will agree with me that he was the most alive person you have known. Wherever he went he had people laughing. He was able to spread most of his ideas by making people laugh while they read them or listened to them. He had also a genius for friendship and comradeship. In any company he was the centre of laughter, of discussion, of song. Frequently he burst into song. I suppose he took at least one shower a day and he never took a shower without singing.

It is hard to think of one who was as alive as now being dead. In the words of one of the songs from Gilbert and Sullivan, which he loved so well: “Is life a boon, then so it must befall that death whenever it calls, must call too soon?” But do not think of him as not being alive. He is in peace and happiness we trust, and we are here to pray God to bring him to the eternal happiness of heaven. It seems a strange thing to ask that God might give him eternal rest if by rest we mean inactivity, but if we mean that he is a valiant soldier of Jesus Christ who has returned from battle and is now with his Master enjoying himself, relaxing after the years of struggle on earth, then we are closer to the reality. In Irish, “Ar deas De go raibh a anim.” May his soul be on the right hand of God.”
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 25 December 1970

Note from John Moran Entry
He then took over editorship of the Far East Messenger, a monthly magazine started by Father Terence Sheridan SJ. It ceased publication in 1953.

◆ 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 KongIrish Province News 46th Year No 2 1971

Obituary :

Fr Terry Sheridan SJ

The news of Fr Terry Sheridan's death in Manila arrived as a shock in Honk Kong on the evening of December 14th. His body had been discovered that morning in his locked room at the East Asian Pastoral Institute on the Ateneo de Manila campus; and a spate of rumours about the circumstances of his death soon found echoes in newspapers in Hong Kong and even more luridly in Ireland Investigation established that Fr Terry had died, of “cardiac failure with coronary failure with coronary insufficiency”, during the night of 10th-11th. He was last seen on the Thursday evening when he dined late with Fr Leo Larkin and some of the staff of the ETV Institute of the Ateneo. Thus abruptly, at the age of 62 with drama and in tragedy came the end of a life that had been full of incident and colour, laughter and varied achievements. Fr Sheridan was buried in the novitiate cemetery at Novaliches, Quezon City, on December 18th mourned by a host of friends he'd made during his four years' residence in Manila, after a magnificent funeral.
One of Fr Terry's fellow-novices, Fr. Tom Barden, who was on his way back to Australia after visiting Ireland and Hong Kong, arrived in Manila the day Fr Terry's death was discovered. He'd been looking forward to meeting him after so many years, and planned to stay some days with him, and was rather puzzled and disappointed at not being met at the airport. In a letter to Fr Provincial he wrote: “I stayed for the funeral and during the intervening days was struck by the great love everyone had for Terry. I have written to Marie (Terry's sister) and tried to convey in some measure the reactions of the people at the Institute and the magnificent ‘Mass of Resurrection’. It was a unique experience and made one feel proud of the little man who had earned so much love and so much esteem. I know he will be missed not only in Manila but even more in his province to which he has brought no little fame."
Fr Terry was born in Dublin on September 16th 1908, and went to school first at the Holy Faith Convent, Glasnevin, then in Kilkeel, and finally to Belvedere College. He was always full of life, and it's been said of him that he was the best known schoolboy in north Dublin in his day. At school he was particularly well known for his prowess in games - swimming, water-polo, hockey, and of course rugby in which he played for the Schoolboys of Ireland and on the Leinster interprovincial schools' team. Years later in Hong Kong, an Ulster schoolboy of those days, the then Commissioner of Police, Mr. Maxwell, discovered Terry after dinner one evening in one of our houses and told him the Ulster team considered Terry and his brother Dick (scrum- and out-halves respectively) were “the two roughest players we had ever played against”.
In 1927 Terry joined the Society, arriving in Tullabeg on the night the Long Retreat was to begin, and going straight into it without time to get anything from his Angelus, Fr Sean Turner, but a bar of soap, as he recalled afterwards. After about a week of the Long Retreat he told his novice-master, Fr Martin Maher, that he'd known the novitiate would be a bit hard but he thought he could take two years of that kind of life - and was then re assured that the Long Retreat would last just a month.
During his Juniorate which followed, at Rathfarnham Castle, Fr Terry began his lifetime career as a writer and editor being a leading light of the subsequently suppressed Broken Delph. Having been more noted for games than for study at school, he did not take a university course in Rathfarnham, and later felt that he had been deprived of something that he could have benefited from and certainly would have enjoyed. From 1931 to 1934 he studied philosophy as well as producing plays each year and topical sketches at frequent intervals. A superb comic actor, he was also interested in the art of stage production, and he wrote many of the Tullabeg parodies of well-known songs which survived to later generations. Assigned to Hong Kong after philosophy, he was the outstanding personality on board the German ship on the 42-day voyage from Dover, bubbling with life and endless philosophical argument and fun. On the morning of his birthday the ship's band insisted on playing outside his cabin at 5.30 a.m., and later in the day a mammoth tea-party with plenty of Munich beer was given for him and all the passengers by the ship's company.
At Shuihing on the West River, where Fr Terry was sent along immediately after his arrival at Hong Kong, he got his first taste for the Cantonese Opera, for which in his inimitable English adaptations he was later to become well known in Hong Kong. In his year in the Portuguese-province house at Shiuhing, besides studying Cantonese and gaining a fair command of the colloquial language, he also did a fair amount of writing on various topics, some of which was published in The Rock, and began his first book, Letters to Bart, a series of letters of advice to a young man on the various practical problems of life. From 1935 to 1937, Fr Sheridan was on the staff of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong as as teacher and sportsmaster, and produced school plays climaxed by a famous production of scenes from the Merchant of Venice in which some who are today leading citizens in Hong Kong took part.
Humorous stories about Fr Terry abound at every stage of his career, perhaps the best known (which he always vehemently denied) being about Fr Kenny, the Minister at Milltown Park, where he studied theology from 1937 to 1941, finding him piously at his priedieu with his hat still on his head, after an unsuccessful surreptitious return “from abroad” during time for Examen. With the 2nd World War at its height, Fr Terry went to Gardiner Street after completing his Tertianship, and there spent some of the happiest years of his life, giving retreats and missions all over Ireland, doing church work and working for the Pioneers. It was not until 1946 that he could return to Hong Kong.
Almost immediately be became involved in the cultural life of post-war Hong Kong, and began his series of Cantonese operas in English, which became an annual “event”; they are Sheridanesque translation-adaptations of the well known themes of Cantonese opera. For these, he collected a team of former students of his. to form the Wah Yan Dramatic Society, which still holds together and is now preparing to produce the latest of Fr. Terry's scripts quite recently completed, One of his greatest fans was the former Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Alexander Grantham, to whom was dedicated the printed version of the most famous of the operas, A Lizard is No Dragon. In 1952 Fr. Sheridan left the classroom, to launch two periodicals, a fortnightly Chinese magazine for young people Tsing Nin Mar Yau (later taken over by Fr. Peter Dunne), and Outlook which ran for two years and ended in a blaze of glory which Fr Sheridan as its editor being cited for contempt of court because of some editorial comment on the newly introduced system of district judges in Hong Kong. He lost the case and was fined a nominal sum, which was paid by a friend. As the magazine, (intended to be a literary and cultural magazine for Hong Kong as a successor to the very successful pre-war Jesuit publication, The Rock), wasn't paying its way and there didn't seem much likelihood that it ever could, it was discontinued and Fr Sheridan went back to the classroom for a few years. But all this time he was also producing plays, and was a leading member and one-time chairman of the Hong Kong Stage Club for whom he produced numerous presentations, among his best being Othello and The Lady is not for Burning. He also wrote a number of religious plays, school plays and film scripts and scenarios, as well as pageants for the Marian Year of 1954, and on the history of Hong Kong and Macao.
In 1961 Fr. Terry was assigned to Singapore to take over the fortnightly Malaysian Catholic News, started some years previously by Fr J Kearney (California and Far East provinces). It became a different, lively paper in his hands; and again he became a well known and loved personality in his Singapore setting. It was he who drew up for the Singapore defence forces their official Code of Conduct. In 1966, after difficulties about his editorship of the newspaper, he resigned from the post, and was sent to Manila to work for the overseas programme of the newly established Radio Veritas. After a short while there he went to the East Asian Pastoral Institute to which he remained attached, writing, teaching and editing, until his death. He was also teaching at the Ateneo, and last year spent some months in Saigon training the staff of the community development TV enterprise there in TV script-. writing and production techniques. Film appreciation and TV, especially for education and religious purposes, were dominant interests of his last years, together with modern catechetics and audio-visual methods. He travelled over much of the Philippines introducing teacher-groups to the study, evaluation and use of film, and at the time of his death had almost completed a book on this subject. When he died, he was working on a film record of the recent visit of Pope Paul to Manila, commissioned by the Bishops' conference; it was but one of many irons in his fire.
The tremendous achievement he left behind will be long remembered; but it is his personal charm and gaiety, the impression he made as a priest and Jesuit that will remain in the memory of all who had the privilege of knowing him, and of all whose lives were brightened by his cheerful presence. It is impossible to record even a fraction of the amusing and outrageous incidents which happened to him, in which he was involved or took part; they happened all the time, and in various places all round the world in which Fr Terry found himself at one time or another he nearly always seemed to fall on his feet, meet the right person at the right time, improvise brilliantly. He will be missed, for many reasons by many people, as Fr Provincial said in his address at the memorial Mass for Fr Sheridan at Wah Yan, Hong Kong; he would surely also appreciate the quotation from his beloved Gilbert & Sullivan operas, used on the same occasion: “Is life a boon? If so it must befall, that death whene'er he call, must call too soon”.

Tributes
Though it is nine years since Fr Sheridan left Hong Kong, a large gathering of friends and acquaintances from all walks of life attend ed the Requiem at Wah Yan, including many non-Christians who had been associated with him at some stage. A number of letters paying tribute to Terry were received by Fr Provincial and others, from individuals and groups like the Stage Club, who heard of his death with shock and sorrow. An old friend of the stage, Mr. Rei Oblitas, now director of cultural services for the Hong Kong government, paid this tribute on the radio:
“At midday today, I was told of the death that has just occurred suddenly in Manila of Fr T J Sheridan, SJ. The news came as a shock to me, and I felt at first as if a thick and lowering cloud had suddenly swept over the sun. Terence Sheridan was born 62 years ago on the 16th September, 1908. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1927 and came to Hong Kong first in 1934, where he was occupied in learning Chinese. He returned home to Ireland in 1937 to study theology, and was ordained priest in 1940. He returned to Hong Kong immediately after the war, early in 1946, to teach at Wah Yan College, both in its early site in Robinson Road and at its new premises at Mt Parrish. In the early 1960's he left Hong Kong to work at Kingsmead Hall of the University of Singapore, and he edited a diocesan paper there. About 1964 he moved to Manila to concentrate upon work concerned with television and lecturing at the University Ateneo de Manila, where he was working until his recent death. Within his vocation to the priesthood he used his considerable talents as a teacher, a writer, editor, dramatist and producer, both for radio and for the stage. In Hong Kong he was particularly notable for his activity both as chairman and as producer for the Hong Kong Stage Club, and for productions for many other societies in the colony as well. I have myself, personally, very vivid recollections of the splendid productions he engaged upon for the Stage Club, and particularly for his ‘Othello’, which was staged at the Lee Theatre, ‘The Lady's not for Burning’, ‘The School for Scandal’, ‘Treasure Island’ and a host of others. And he was of course concerned with the revival of interest after the war in Gilbert & Sullivan's operettas, by a most successful production of ‘The Mikado’. His productions were always alive, exciting, very colourful; and he also initiated productions by the Hong Kong Stage Club especially directed for the enjoyment of local children studying English, of extracts or whole passages from the English classics. He didn't do this with any sense of over serious didacticism, as is illustrated by the fact that one of his first potpourri productions of this kind was entitled ‘It's a School Cert’. But it is for his very free translations and productions of Chinese opera in English, which he did with the Wah Yan Dramatic Society, that I think he will probably be best remembered by many in Hong Kong. For those who had never seen a Chinese opera, it was a delightful and heartwarming experience to find the full richness, gaiety and movement of the Chinese theatre presented with a fine Gilbertian wit in the translated versions of English dialogue. Even after he left Hong Kong, he returned on more than one occasion to reproduce one of these operas with the Wah Yan Society, usually for the benefit of some charity of the colony. It is saddening to think that if one of these works is ever produced again, we shall not find him before the curtain rises, moving to the foot-lights for his brief and good-humoured exposition to explain one or two of the conventions of the Chinese theatre for the benefit of those who are experiencing it for the first time”.

Sullivan, Edmund, 1904-1980, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/694
  • Person
  • 02 July 1904-19 April 1980

Born: 02 July 1904, Castletownbere, County Cork
Entered: 08 September 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 22 April 1977
Died 19 April 1980, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Part of the Xavier Hall, Petaling Jaya. Malaysia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1937 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1939 at Loyola, Hong Kong - working
by 1944 at Xavier, Park St, Calcutta, West Bengal, India (BEL M)

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Edmund Sullivan, S.J.
R.I.P.

It is easy to outline the career of the late Father Edmund Sullivan, SJ. It is almost impossible to give an adequate picture of that dearly loved, ever busy, ever original priest, who died on 19 April 1980 at Kuala Lumpur, aged 75.

Almost twenty years have passed since he left Hong Kong, yet even in this city of short memories he is still held in affectionate regard. The parishioners of St. Francis Xavier’s Church, Petaling Jaya, where he spent his later years, must feel that they have lost a dear friend and an irreplaceable light on the way of life.

Father Sullivan was born at Castletownbeare, Ireland, on 2 July 1904. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1922 and was ordained priest on 31 July 1935. After study of Cantonese, he joined the staff of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. He spent the war years, partly with the Maryknoll Fathers in China, partly in Calcutta, where in addition to doing parish work, he started a much valued centre for the wartime swarm of army chaplains, giving hospitality also to many servicemen of all ranks.

After the war he worked for a time in Canton. When that became impossible he returned to Hong Kong where he taught in Wah Yan College, Kowloon, and worked as a ready helper in the college chapel and in St. Teresa’s Church. It was this church work that made him known to the Catholics of Hong Kong.

In 1961 Father Sullivan moved to Malaysia to become assistant priest at St. Francis Xavier's Church, Petaling Jaya, an industrial suburb of Kuala Lumpur, and remained attached to that church till his death. When the time came at which he, as a foreigner, was told that under Malaysian law he would have to leave the country, the parishioners raised such a clamour of dismay that the government granted him a personal exemption from the law, allowing him to remain though without a specific post.

A fairly typical priestly life! But there was nothing typical about the man himself. Even in the minor details of daily life he was always original. He was a man of the highest courtesy, but this was never conventional courtesy; it always seemed to be a personal tribute evoked by the person he was dealing with. His advice, in the confessional and outside, was treasured, and it was never merely conventional advice; it was always an original judgment on the immediate facts. In his time there he was probably the most carelessly dressed priest in Hong Kong, but he could not shake off the air of being a great gentleman. Throughout his student days, his mind went blank at every examination; he had that much excuse for regarding himself as academically null, but he was a well-read and illuminating commentator on a wide variety of subjects. He was fundamentally serious, but he was always great fun; even those who are lamenting his death smile through their grief as memory after memory comes to mind.

He leaves a record of unstinted kindness, unfailing charm and complete devotion.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 2 May 1980

Father Edmund Sullivan S.J.

A Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of the Rev. Father Edmund Sullivan, S.J., who died in Kuala Lumpur on 19 April 1980 will be offered in Wah Yan College, Waterloo Road, Kowloon, at 6:30pm on Monday, 19 May 1980. All are welcome.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 9 May 1980

Mourning for Father Sullivan

Father Edmund Sullivan, S.J., died three days after falling off a retaining wall outside the Jesuit residence here.

For two days and nights, a continuous line of people - young and old, from all walks of life and religious belief - streamed past his body in the St. Francis Xavier Church basement. Mothers with babies in their arms could be seen touching his hands and then, as if to transfer the blessings to their offspring, caressing and patting their babies’ faces. Muslims mingled with Catholics and other Christians to pay their last respects.

The crowd at the funeral Mass was larger than that on Easter Sunday. Archbishop Dominic Vendargon, tears streaming down his face, was the main celebrant. Forty priests concelebrated. Near the end of the Mass, two parishioners read their tribute to Father Sullivan:

“Our very dear Father Sullivan,” “More than anything else, we must say how much we are going to miss you: your ready smile, your cheery word, your inimitable Irish wit, you approachability and availability, your sensitivity and understanding. The days your spent trudging along the streets of Sungei Way and Petaling Jaya radiating simplicity and joy all spoke so eloquently of your genuine saintliness. The innumerable times you brought the healing touch of Christ to those of us discouraged by the weight of sin, always shining through came His spirit of encouragement and loving forgiveness.” The tribute continued in the same Vein.

A close friend says: “Father Sullivan taught me something very precious. He taught me the importance of laughter. He used to laugh at himself a lot. He always saw the funny side of things, and when he fell off the retaining wall outside his home, instead of shouting for help, a Sister found him laughing at the foot of the retaining wall.”

The Jesuits at Xavier Hall have had to lock up Father Sullivan’s room to prevent “looting” by relic hunters. Many stories are circulating about Father Sullivan’s great love for people, especially the poor. “I caught him many times transferring his portion of food off his plate into a plastic bag whenever he thought on one was looking, hiding it in his large pocket to be given to his poor friends in the village,” Marie, the cook says.

His friends ranged from the very rich to the very poor. Often when he was waiting at bus stops, people in Rolls Royces and Mercedes Benzes would stop to offer him rides. Reluctant to put anyone out, he would go wherever the car was heading and conveniently forget to mention his own destination.

Notable among his mail were scruffy slips of paper from his friends in Pudu prison requesting soap and rubber slippers.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 23 May 1980

◆ 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 55th Year No 3 1980

Obituary

Fr Edmund Sullivan (1904-1922-1980)

Fr Ned Sullivan entered the novitiate from Mungret in 1922. As that was the year of the civil war in Ireland communications were badly disrupted. Ned’s home town was Castletownbere and to reach the novitiate he had to take a small coastal steamer to Limerick and thence the train to Tullamore. The novicemaster was Fr Michael Browne, from whom Ned received his strong devotion to our Lady which he retained all his life. After juniorate at Rathfarnham he went to Milltown Park for philosophy and then back to Mungret to teach. We met again at Milltown Park for theology. Ned did not find philosophy and theology easy. He suffered from an inferiority complex and had a very low estimate of his own ability. In fact he had a wide knowledge of literature and was a good musician.
After tertianship he was sent to Hongkong. When the Japanese took the island (1941) Ned, with several others, went to the Maryknoll Fathers in the Wuchow mission. He was posted to a mission station away up in the mountains where he spent a very happy few years working among the Chinese Catholics. The Japanese army invaded this area also and Ned had to move, this time to India.
On the way out from his mountain mission the man carrying his luggage complained of the weight. Ned searched inside to find out what could be got rid of and decided that the two heavy volumes of Genicot's moral theology could be left by the wayside for study by the Japanese soldiers. The American Air Force offered Ned and one or two more a seat in a small plane. The engine of the plane took some time before it decided to start. When it finally got started the plane winged its way over some frightful mountains and aided by Ned’s repeated recital of the rosary, landed safely. This experience did not endear him to air travel.
During his stay in Calcutta Ned worked in a parish and began his confessional apostolate which he kept up till the end of his life. The security police in Calcutta impounded his diary, but failing to make any sense out of his handwriting returned it after a few days.
At the end of the war Ned returned to Hong Kong where he spent a few years before being sent to Malaya to begin a new phase of his life. I have been told that his parishioners looked on Ned as a kind of saint. He himself would have thought this a huge joke. But anyone who has lived with him will agree that it would be hard to find a man more humble, cheerful and self-sacrificing. A man also who was always ready to go anywhere or do anything for the good of souls.

A client of his from Kuala Lumpur sent a touching letter to the Irish Messenger and enclosed a newspaper cutting. The paper said that Fr Sullivan had been found unconscious after Mass on the Tuesday morning (15th April] at about 6.30 a.m. on the steps of the parochial house. His death four days later was reported as due to vesicular failure and head injuries. The client’s letter may be worth quoting in full:
“In speaking of our beloved friend Father Ed Sullivan, we cannot forget the way he used simple and humble things to reach out to souls and to awaken in them a deeper love of God.
When a rosary or a medallion needed to be blessed - Father Ed could be called any time from the rectory for this - he would do it with so much devotion that one went back with one's faith strengthened. Although he was called upon to perform this office countless times, never could it be said that he was ever perfunctory about it, never did he give the impression that he was humouring the superstitions of ignorant people.
In the confessional his absorbing interest was to bring God’s forgiveness and reassurance to the penitent. In my case he would invariably commence his counsel with these words, “You don't want to offend God, do you?” Then he would send me to Mother Mary. It was on such occasions that the face of Jesus could be glimpsed.
Hardly a day passed when he was not called out to straighten out some domestic problem or other. His wide experience of human nature and his easy friendliness always reconciled the disputants.
His devotion to Mother Mary was as unobtrusive as it was steadfast. Every evening after Mass he would join the congregation for the rosary. By this example and by his sympathetic understanding of their problems, he was able to lead back to Mary many errant charismatics. He liked Pius XII’s definition of the rosary - a compendium of the gospels - and often used it in his talks.
In spite of his infirmities, which towards the end of his life made walking very painful for him, he remained cheerful and would readily make himself available for blessing homes, saying Masses there or bringing the Bread of Life to the sick. He even joked about his infirmities. Many were the occasions when, recalling a line from St John Gogarty, he would laughingly tell me that consumption cared not for fair face or blonde hair.
On the night before he died, I was at his bedside reading him prayers from Dermot Hurley's Everyday Prayer Book. I am particularly happy that on that occasion I was inspired to read to him the prayer of consecration to Mary by St Francis de Sales, saying it on his behalf. May his soul rest in peace. (Signed: Joesph B Lopez, Railway station, Kuala Lumpur).

The client enclosed a brochure used at the funeral service: it had been typed and polycopied on foolscap-size paper and ran to 16 pages, mostly of hymns - including two of Fr Sullivan’s favourites - with a full-page tribute in the form of a letter to Fr Sullivan from his parishioners. The chief celebrant at the Mass was the archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Tan Sri Dominic Vendargon

Tai Yu-kuk, Joseph, 1929-2004, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2170
  • Person
  • 25 April 1929-15 October 2004

Born: 25 April 1929, Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia
Entered: 13 December 1950, Rizal, Philippines (Neo-Eboracensis Province for HIB)
Ordained: 31 July 1964, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 November 1977
Died: 15 October 2004, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Part of the Fatima Residence, Macau community at the time of death

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Joseph Tai SJ
RIP
Father Joseph Tai Yu-kuk SJ, passed away on 5 October 2004, after a long battle with cancer. He was 75.
Father Tai, was born on 25 April 1929 in Sabah, Malaysia to a large Chinese Catholic family.
He was a teenager in Hong Kong when the Japanese invaded in December 1941. He had joined a group of a dozen Catholics who, it was hoped, might one day become priests, under the charge of Father Dan Donnelly SJ.

Father Tai completed his education in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, which was then in Robinson Road, before joining the order of the Society of Jesus in the Philippines in December 1950 when he was 21.

After completing his university education - including training in philosophy in 1959, Father Tai taught at Wah Yan College from 1959 to 1961. He read theology in Ireland from 1961 to 1965 and was ordained in Ireland on 31 July 1964.

Father Tai subsequently returned to Hong Kong where he became the assistant to the master of novices at the Xavier Retreat House, Cheung Chau from 1966 to 1979. He then served as parish priest at Our Lady of Fatima Church, Cheung Chau from 1979 to 1985, before being appointed parish priest of Ss. Peter and Paul Church, Yuen Long, from 1985 to 1991.

From 1992 to 2003, he was the parish priest of St. Augustine’s Church in Macau and also served as the principal of the Escola Caritas de Macau. He was fro many years director of the Apostleship of Prayer.

During his long years of service, Father Tai made friends easily and everywhere, giving spiritual direction to many sisters and finding time of quite a few Filipino domestic workers.

The Society of Jesus held a vigil at the Hong Kong Funeral Home on 8 October. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at the Christ the King Chapel the following day after which Father Tai was buried at St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 24 October 2004

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005

Obituary

Joseph (Joe) Tai Y-kuk (1929-2004) : Chinese Province

Remembering Joe Tai SJ

Harry Naylor

Joe Tai died on October 4th, 2004. He had been in Dublin to visit an Irish family as recently as August, 2004. This family had befriended him when he was studying Theology in Milltown (1961-1965), and from then on was his benefactor. He always had warm thoughts of Ireland. He then went to London, where there was another family that had befriended and supported his works since early days. But there he collapsed and after some weeks in hospital returned to Hong Kong, where he immediately went to the Queen Mary Hospital. He had been there since October last year for treatment of a lymph "disorder" (cancer), but had been let go home in June. For his recuperation his friends arranged for him to take a Mediterranean cruise. He took that opportunity to go to Dublin.

He is first mentioned in Jesuit records in 1945. Fr. Dan Donnelly, who came to Hong Kong as a priest in 1932, wrote to the Irish Provincial mentioning Joe Tai as a young student with great potential to be a Jesuit. Fr. Donnelly was in charge of Loyola Language House on Castle Peak Road. With the 1939 war, no new Jesuits came to Hong Kong, so he used the facilities as a kind of “minor seminary”. He recruited young altar boys from the parishes and started with twenty in Sept 1940, when Joe was twelve years old. After the Japanese invasion in Dec 1941, Fr. Donnelly gathered 18 of them and took them into Free China and finally to Bombay, India. Of these, 11 returned with him to Hong Kong, and it was in this context that Fr. Donnelly's letter to the Irish Provincial mentioned Joe Tai as the most promising, and he was the only one who made it to Jesuit Vows in Manila. Joe retained a love and respect for Fr. Donnelly, a genius at mathematics and engineering, a pioneer enthusiast, who in 1950 finally retumed to work successfully around Bombay for another two decades of apostolic work. Joe inherited his optimism and enthusiasm, apostolic zeal and initiative.

His funeral was on October 9th in St. Paul's Convent at Christ the King Chapel, which is a vast stone church. At the Mass, there were over three hundred people, about fifty in dress of women religious, and over two dozen concelebrating priests. It was somewhat of a diocesan funeral, as Joe had been parish priest in Cheung Chau for five years, and again for the same length in Yuen Long. Bishop John Tong officiated, with Frs. Deignan, Russell and Leung in the sanctuary. Besides those on the altar, the following Irish Jesuits were concelebrating at his funeral: Frs. Tom McIntyre, Joe Mallin, Bernard Shields, Ciaran Kane, Jimmy Hurley, and myself. There were eight Jesuits of his community in Macau, where he had been since 1992 as pastor of St Agostinho Church and Director of the Caritas School for mentally handicapped, and as a retreat giver. He had helped with funds to build four primary schools in nearby mainland China. Fr. Thomas Leung, who had known Joe as a Regent in Wah Yan, HK, and later took over the Cheung Chau retreat house from him in 1979, preached the homily which traced their warm relations through the years. There were a dozen diocesan and other religious priests also concelebrating. He had been director of the Apostleship of Prayer for over thirty years, inheriting it from Fr Charlie Daly, and Spiritual Director of the Catholic Nurses Guild for twenty years until 1990. He was known by many Women Religious for his retreats, and especially for his direction at our retreat house in Cheung Chau, where he was in charge for more than a dozen years. He gave spiritual direction, and also used Asian forms of prayer.

He is missed by the Hong Kong Jesuits. We, Jesuits, are here to serve the local church and our Society, and have in mind to do all we can for the rest of China.

Thoo Fook, Lawrence, 1938-2011, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2183
  • Person
  • 26 September 1938-22 February 2011

Born: 26 September 1938, Penang, Malaysia
Entered: 02 December 1958, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong (HIB)
Final vows: 07 November 1971
Died: 22 February 2011, San José CA, USA - Californiae Province (CAL)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to CAL

by 1965 at Bombay, India (BOM) studying

Wood, John B, 1913-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/695
  • Person
  • 26 September 1913-26 March 2000

Born: 26 September 1913, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 11 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 19 May 1945, Zi-Ka-Wei, Shanghai, China
Final Vows: 02 February 1949, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 26 March 2000, Kingsmead Hall, Singapore - Indonesian Province - Malaysia (MAS)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to IDO (MAS) : 1991

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

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father John Wood, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father John Wood died in Singapore on 26 March 2000 at the age of 86.

He was born in Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland on 26 September 1913. He did his secondary school studies in the Apostolic School of Mungret College, Limerick joined the Society of Jesus in 1931 and was assigned to Hong Kong in 1939. Father Wood was the last surviving Jesuit to have been assigned to Hong Kong before World War II.

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.

After a short stay in Ireland Father Wood returned to Hong Kong 1947 to teach Philosophy in the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen, becoming Rector in 1957. When the Regional Seminary closed in 1964 he went to Malaysia and did parish work in Petaling Jaya.

In 1978 Father Wood was transferred to St. Ignatius’ Parish, Singapore and remained engaged in pastoral work there until the end of his life.

He was a gentle, unassuming man with a keen sense of humour, a good superior, zealous pastor, always ready to be of service to others. Wherever he went he made many friends and was much esteemed and loved by those who know him.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 9 April 2000

◆ 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 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.

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.

◆ 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.