McCarthy, Richard, 1921-1995, Jesuit priest

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Person

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McCarthy, Richard, 1921-1995, Jesuit priest

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Other form(s) of name

  • 穆嘉田神父
  • Dick McCarthy

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Description area

Dates of existence

19 April 1921-13 November 1995

History

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

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

by 1948 at Hong Kong - Regency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

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

Obituary

Fr Richard McCarthy (1921-1995)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Places

St Michaels National School, Barrington Street, Limerick; St Joseph's Church, Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong

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Related entity

Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830- (1830-)

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IE IJA

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hierarchical

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Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830-

controls

McCarthy, Richard, 1921-1995, Jesuit priest

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Entered Province.

Related entity

Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong, 1926-1966 (3 December 1926-3 December 1966)

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IE IJA MSSN/HONG

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hierarchical

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Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong, 1926-1966

controls

McCarthy, Richard, 1921-1995, Jesuit priest

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Worked in.

Related entity

Hong Kong Vice-Province, 1966- (1966-)

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IE IJA MSSN/HONG

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hierarchical

Type of relationship

Hong Kong Vice-Province, 1966-

controls

McCarthy, Richard, 1921-1995, Jesuit priest

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Transcribed.

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IE IJA J/526

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IE IJA

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