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13 Name results for Mid-Levels

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

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

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1937 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

Second World War Chaplain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After returning to Hong Kong in February 1948, he was sent for some months to Canton (Guangzhou) where a Jesuit colleague, Father John Turner, was lecturing at Chung Shan University.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Society of Jesus diaconate ordination

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two to be ordained to the priesthood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cronin, Fergus, 1909-1990, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 29 March 1909, Roscommon Town, County Roscommon
Entered: 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1944
Died: 08 December 1990, Canossa Hospital, Old Peak Road, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

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

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966

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

WW2 Chaplain 1943-1947

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

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

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
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

Foley, Joseph, 1921-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/600
  • Person
  • 24 April 1921-04 September 2006

Born: 24 April 1921, Limerick City
Entered: 07 September 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1956
Died: 04 September 2006, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966; HK to HIB: 21 May 1993

by 1948 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1958 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Hong Kong says farewell to a friend and a scholar
Father Neary

Around 500 people gathered at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on 14 September for a memorial Mass, celebrated by the local ordinary, Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, to mourn the passing of a much-loved teacher and creative administrator, who began the process of systemising Catholic education in the diocese.

A revered teacher at both Wah Yan College in Kowloon and in Hong Kong, Jesuit Father Joseph Foley died in his native Ireland at 11pm on 4 September 2006 at a nursing home in Dublin. Born in Limerick on 24 April 1921, Father Foley entered the Society of Jesus at Emo, Ireland, in September 1939, and eight years later was appointed to the China mission, arriving in Canton for language studies in 1947.

Forced to leave the mainland in 1949, he taught as a scholastic in the Hong Kong Wah Yan campus for one year before returning to Ireland to finish his theological studies and final formation for priesthood. He was ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin, on the feast of St. Ignatius, 31 July 1953.

The year 1955 again saw him teaching in Wah Yan, once again at the Hong Kong school. Then after another year studying Cantonese at Xavier House in Cheung Chau, he was back teaching, an activity he continued for the next 13 years, alternating between the Kowloon and Wan Chai schools. He did a stint as principal in Kowloon from 1962-1968, then in 1970 completed a masters’ degree in education at Loyola College in Chicago, the United States of America.

The photograph published with this tribute to the man who is remembered as much for his joviality, good humour and ceaseless care for students as for his excellence in education, is one of fond memory for many alumni of both colleges. “It is how we remember him,” reads a short obituary on the alumni Website.

The tribute comments that the value of a teacher can be measured by the number of past pupils who take the trouble to revisit. “You may be comforted to learn that of late, many old boys have written to the late Father Foley and a few even made the trip (to Ireland) especially to visit him,” the Website tribute reads.

Father Foley spent 1973 and 1974 setting up a junior college of education in Singapore, returning to Hong Kong in 1978 to take up what was maybe his greatest professional challenge, an appointment as the first Episcopal vicar for education in the diocese. His successor, Alice Woo Lo-ming, said that it was a difficult time of “breaking the ice.” She explained that up until then, each school had operated quite independently, but Father Foley persistently wrote to the Education Department on various issues and “worked hard to promote “collaboration” between the different institutions.

“It was difficult work,” she said. “Many were not so willing to move.” However, she said that his legendary sense of humour assisted him to break through deadlocks and “he tried to make central management work and drew up guidelines for the Catholic Board of Education and the diocesan and religious councils.”

Woo said that “he achieved much, even though he was a one man office with only one secretary to assist him.”

Father Foley stepped down in 1991 and returned to Ireland to work in parishes until ill health forced his retirement earlier this year.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 24 September 2006

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He first came to Hong Kong as a Regent in 1947 and went to Guangzhou to learn Cantonese.
1949-1950 He was sent to Wa Yan College Hong Kong teaching
1950-1955 He went back to ireland for Theology and was Ordained in 1953.
1955-1968 He returned to Hong Kong and Wah Yan College Hong Kong. By 1962 he was Proncipal there (1962-1968)
1968-1971 He was sent to Wah Yan Kowloon
1971-1972 He went to the USA to gain a Masters in Education
1972-1973 He was sent to Singapore (Principal of Catholic Junior College)
1973-1977 He was back in Hong Kong at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
1977 He was appointed Episcopal Vicar for Education. His task was to coordinate the work of all Catholic schools in the territory. An educationalist of many years standing, he said in an interview that there were many problems i Hong Kong’s educational system. A particular issue was about education in the vernacular. He believed that each school should form its own policy, but all parties locally must discuss the vernacular issue thoroughly before coming to any decision.

Sermon at the Requiem Mass for Fr Joseph Foley SJ, by Freddie Deignan SJ on 14 September 2006 (excerpts) :
“We gather here this evening to celebrate the Eucharist and to thank God for the gift of the life of Fr Joseph Foley who has passed away and to pray for the repose of his soul. We remember him as he touched the lives of many of us here. Today happens to be the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross.....His death on the Cross has made it possible for us to join him in the eternal happiness of Heaven. Father Foley is now enjoying that happiness......and we should celebrate that he has finally reached his home safely and joyfully after a life of service.......
He was born in Limerick on April 24th 1921. He entered the Society of Jesus when he was 18 years old and went through the usual course of studies. He got an Arts Degree at University College Dublin and this was followed by three years of Philosophy. He first came to Hong Kong in 1947 when he was 26 years old, studied Chinese in Canton for two years and then spent a year teaching at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.
He returned to Ireland to study Theology and was Ordained on 31st July 1953. So, he died having been 53 years a priest. In 1955 he came back to Hong Kog, which was to be his home for 34 years. He first spent a year at Cheung Chau trying to improve his Chinese, and in 1962 he was appointed Rector and Principal of Wah Yan College Kowloon. he held this post until 1968. He was fondly known as “James Bond”, as people thought he looked like Seán Connery, and his office was 007!
I knew him at this period of his life as I worked with him as Prefect of Studies. As a newcomer in education I learned so much from him about education in Hong Kong, about teaching and administration. I was only a raw recruit then.
So, I am very grateful to him. His example of personal care and thoughtfulness for teachers and students and of those he met or worked with was an example and inspiration to me.
So, I am very grateful to him and I owe him a lot.
He loved teaching, was lively and active in class, so no student would fall asleep in his class! He participated in all the school activities, and he particularly loved playing football, and he usually played in goal.
He was always concerned about the character formation of the students and made great efforts to instil in them Christian values. In his concern for the formation of the students, he organised groups of students to do social work for the poor, sick and the elderly during the summer months. He wished them to be willing to serve others. Of course he led them by example.
Students in the school obviously admired him for his care for each one of them, and his generosity, as he often visited them in their homes. In administration he had wonderful analytical abilities and he could sum up the main points of a book, document or article very easily. This was very useful when it came to dealing with documents from the Education Department.
He also had a very good memory. he was very good at cantonese, and in his good humour used love to make fun and joke in the language. His ability to lead was obvious and he earned the trust of teachers, staff and all with whom he worked. he won their cooperation and respect by his dedication, hard work, fairness and his friendship and care for each one. There was a break in his life in Hong Kong when he was sent to study for a Masters Degree in Education at Loyola University Chicago.. This was a preparation for him to take up a post as Principal at a Catholic Junior College in Singapore.. When this project failed to materialise, he returned to Hong Kong in 1973. he again taught in Wah Yan when Father Barrett was principal until 1977, when he was appointed by Bishop John Baptist Wu as the first Bishop’s Delegate for Education, and Chairman of the newly formed Catholic Education Board which replaced the Catholic Schools Council. There were then 309 Catholic schools in Hong Kong. This was a very challenging job. he helped coordinate, unify and improve the system of administration in the Catholic Schools of the Diocese, and helped set up the Central Management Committee of Diocesan schools. He wrote many responses to changes proposed by the Education Department on behalf of the Catholic schools after discussion with the Diocesan Schools Council and Religious Schools Council.
After 14 years of service he resigned his post as Delegate and was succeeded by Sister Marie Remedios, now Mother General of the Canossian Congregation.
Besides Father Foley was a member of the Inter-religious Committee on Religious Broadcasting and later became Chairman. He was a commentator for the broadcast Mass for Radio Hong Kong and often did the job of announcer and commentator in English for the Feast of Christ the King in the Government Stadium. He was Secretary in Hong Kong for the Jesuit Mass Media Apostolate, and was one time Chair if the Grant Schools Council.
He returned to Ireland in 1992 to rest and change his apostolate from education to pastoral work. He served as an Assistant to the Parish priest in S Francis Xavier’s Church in Dublin until 2000, when he took similar work in St Ignatius Galway. Early in 2006 he began to show the effects of terminal cancer and he was moved to Dublin and the Jesuit nursing home. When I was back in Ireland this summer I went to visit him on July 18th, and again before I left on August 7th. I noticed his condition had deteriorated from the time of my first visit. He had little energy but he was very resigned, peaceful and still very humourous. He knew his life on earty was coming to a close. He wanted to know all the news about Hong Kong, about the Church, education and Wah Yan Past Students. He expressed his gratitude to all who wrote to him and sent “get well” cards, and to those especially who came all the way from Hong Kong or Canada to visit him. He knew that I was going to attend the Wah Yan Alumni conference in Vancouver and said “Tell them how I am and thank them for their kind invitation”.
A former teacher in Wah Yan, Helen Lee went to visit him from Toronto and she wrote a letter to the Past Students : “Some of you may cherish fond recollections of Father Foley. Others may remember him by his nickname 007! He taught us the best thigs to choose. Yes I mean us, including myself. As a former colleague in Wah Yan and a friend ever since, I have benefitted much from Father Foley’s teachings, not just his words, but in deeds as well.
When I paid him a brief visit at the end of April this year, I was impressed by his calm disposition in his illness. He was quite frail and lacked energy. Most of the time he stayed in bed. Yet he made quite an effort to entertain visitors. He showed much concern and consideration for others around him. He was very courteous to the staff caregivers. he lived Christ’s teaching of being meek and humble of heart.
The Alumni of ‘62 compiled a book entitled “To Father with Love” for him. It is a collection of photos and writings from them. he showed me this invaluable souvenir. As I read through it, I learned more about the good he had done for his students. It was little wonder that they held him with love and affection”.
What inspired Father Foley was his deep love of Christ who loved him.......
We thank God for him, and I know he would like me to thank all those people who shared their love and care with him, especially during his illness........."

Gallagher, Richard, 1887-1960, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/161
  • Person
  • 19 January 1887-07 September 1960

Born: 19 January 1887, Cork City
Entered: 07 September 1905, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1920, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1923
Died: 07 September 1960, Saint Teresa's Hospital, Mong Kok, Hong Kong

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

Older Brother of Leonard Gallagher - RIP 1942

by 1910 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1928 second batch Hong Kong Missioners

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Richard W. Gallagher, the senior member of the Society of Jesus in Hong Kong, died in St. Teresa’s Hospital, in the early morning of Wednesday, 7 September 1960, aged 73.

His health had been deteriorating for some years, but his zeal remained unabated and within the limits imposed by infirmity he continued his varied priestly work till within three weeks of his death.

Father Gallagher was born in Cork, Ireland, on 19 January 1887, the eldest son of a very large family. He joined the Society of Jesus on 7 September 1905.

He did his studies in Ireland and Germany and was ordained priest in 1920. After ordination he worked for some years in Ireland, preaching parish missions, teaching, and carrying out the duties of Prefect of Studies. All through his priestly life his preaching was characterised by simplicity, profundity, and lucidity, the outcome of assiduous application of great talents in a spirit of utter simplicity. He had proved himself also a first-class teacher and a brilliant organiser both of studies and of the manifold extra-curricular activities of his school.

The Irish Jesuits came to Hong Kong for the first time in December 1926. Father Gallagher’s varied gifts and complete readiness to do everything that was proposed to him made him exactly what was needed here. He was sent to Hong Kong in 1927 and, apart from one short rest in Ireland after the War, spent the rest of his life here.

He landed on 27 October. On the three following days he preached the tritium in preparation for the Feast of Christ the King in the Cathedral. This plunge into work was symbolic of what he was to do throughout his 33 years here.

In his first years, he taught Philosophy in the Seminary, edited The Rock, gave lectures and retreats, preached, studied Cantonese, and put himself at the disposal to all who needed his help.

In 1932 he was appointed first Rector and first Jesuit headmaster of Wah Yan College, which had been taken over almost at a moment’s notice by the Jesuit Fathers. The school was already well established and the change of administration might have been expected to cause friction. That it did not do so was due chiefly to Father Gallagher’s unvarying tact, courtesy, and understanding of other people’s point of view. Long before he ceased to be Rector in 1940 all had forgotten that friction had once been thought possible.

In December 1941, he was Prefect of Studies in a new college in Austin Road, Kowloon. The siege of Hong Kong and the Japanese occupation put an end to this work. Father Gallagher himself was arrested on 12 December and was not released till 23 January 1942. Soon after his release he went to St. Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, where he remained till the end of the war, acting as chaplain to the hospital and as intermediary between the sisters and the occupying powers.

In helping the sick and the wretched during those years of distress and recurrent disaster Father Gallagher found full scope for something that was more characteristic than even his talents or his energy - his unfailing charity. (Throughout his life, unkindness of any sort aroused in him an almost physical repugnance.)

After the war he showed similar devotion and charity as chaplain to Queen Mary Hospital, combining with this work ready acceptance of the innumerable calls made upon him as a preacher, conference-giver, adviser, and supporter of Catholic organizations. His association with the Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres remained unbroken and the Little Flower Club in particular owed much to his encouragement.

In 1947 he took up the task of conducting the weekly Catholic Prayers from Radio Hong Kong. For the remaining twelve and a half years of his life, almost without a break, he gave these prayers always fresh, always simple, always prayerful, always newly composed for each week. Few broadcasters of any kind can rival his 659 broadcasts. Few, perhaps none, can rival the amount of good he did by broadcasting.

He worked almost to the end. His last broadcast was made less than three weeks before his death. He admitted at last that he was suffering. Medical examination revealed that he had not long to live. An operation became urgently necessary on Tuesday, 6 September, though there was little hope that it could do more than relieve pain.

He died without recovering consciousness at 12:20pm. On 7 September, 55 years to the day after his entry into the Society of Jesus.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 9 September 1960

Funeral of Fr. Gallagher, S.J.

The late Father R.W. Gallagher, S.J., was buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley, on Thursday, 8 September.

Solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was sung in the chapel of Wah Yan college, Kowloon, at 9am: Celebrant, Father H. Dargan, S.J., Regional Superior; Deacon, Father C. Egan, S.J.; Subdeacon, Father R. Kennedy, S.J. The school choir, directed by Father T. O’Neil, S.J., sang the whole Mass, partly in Gregorian, partly in harmony. The large chapel was filled by the large congregation of priests, Brothers, Sisters, past and present students of both Wah Yan Colleges, and other friends of Father Gallagher. Miss Aileen Woods represented Radio Hong Kong from which Father Gallagher had so often broadcasted.

His Lordship the Bishop officiated at the funeral in the evening. Among those present were the Hon. D. J. S. Crozier, C.M.G., Director of Education, the parish priests of the diocese, almost without exception, numerous representatives of the Religious of Hong Kong, priests, Brothers, and Sisters, representatives of the various Catholic organisations with which Father Gallagher was associated, most of the teachers who had received Father Gallagher when he went to Wah Yan College as the first Jesuit Rector, and many of the past students of those days.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong 16 September 1960

Requiem for Fr. R.W. Gallagher, SJ

A Solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of the late Father R.W. Gallagher, S.J., first Jesuit Rector of Wah Yan College, will be celebrated in the school chapel, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, at 9a.m. on Wednesday, October 5.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 30 September 1960

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He studied History in University College Dublin with special distinction. He had a remarkable memory and a passion for accurate statistics. In the course of his Jesuit studies, he spent some years in Germany and there he attained exceptional fluency in German, which he liked to exercise to the end of his life.

He came to Hong Kong in 1927, after spending some years in priestly work in Ireland.. He spent his early years here learning the language and editing the Catholic magazine “The Rock”. He became well known as a lecturer and preacher at Wah Yan College.

1932-1940 He was the first Rector/Principal of Wah Yan College Hong Kong. He was always closely associated with the Past Students Association. he overcame opposition by his open sincerity, genuine friendliness and tact. He served for a long period on the Board of Education and he was President of the Hong Kong Teachers Association, as well as being a member of numerous education committees.

He was a tireless visitor to the sick at all times. He served their needs by prayers, which he said from Radio Hong Kong once a week for over 12 years.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Arrivals :

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

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

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

Irish Province News 36th Year No 1 1961

Obituary :

Fr Richard Gallagher (1887-1960)

Fr. Gallagher died in Hong Kong on 7th September. He was ill for less than two weeks, but he was discovered to be suffering from a serious internal complaint, from which he had no hope of recovery. On the day the news of it was given to him an emergency operation was found necessary, and after it he never recovered consciousness. He was seventy three when he died and had completed to the day his fifty-fifth year in the Society.
By his death the Hong Kong Mission loses its best-known priest, its greatest personality and its best-loved member. He was born in Cork, where his father was a leading business-man, and was educated at the Presentation College there. As a scholastic he was conspicuous for his untiring energy. In Valkenburg, where he studied philosophy, he left a reputation for vigour and enterprise that was remembered for many years, and as a scholastic in Mungret he gained a reputation that soon made him celebrated throughout the province. He had many gifts, chief of which was a prodigious memory, so as a history teacher he rattled off dates in a way that bewildered his pupils. He had also the faculty of making up a subject with great rapidity, and he gave lectures on all conceivable topics and was a ready and entertaining speaker. He had a splendid voice, so he sang in public concerts in Limerick and he was an efficient director of the Mungret choir. He sketched and painted with skill, and the stages at Mungret, the Crescent and Milltown had curtains and back-drops painted by him that were up to professional standard. He was at everyone's beck and call, and it would be hard to recall a task that he was asked to do which he was not able to perform efficiently.
Four years theology brought a restraint that he found irksome at first, but he soon found outlets for his surplus energy. He wrote out in a copper plate hand and multiplied the code which Fr. Gannon compiled in his first year as professor of Fundamental Theology, and re-wrote it unhesitatingly when the professor preferred his second thoughts to his first, He gave lectures, illustrated by his own diagrams, on the medical side of moral studies, and if any found first steps in theology difficult, they could go to his room, where lying on his bed with his hands clasped under his head he expounded any thesis that was presented to him.
After Tertianship he went to Galway, where he was Prefect of Studies, taught several classes and preached constantly. It was also related apocryphally of him that in recounting his activities he declared that he also “said all the Masses”. When the College was closed for a period of years he was on the Mission Staff in Ireland and found full scope for his energies in preaching missions and giving retreats - but not for long, for when the Hong Kong Mission was opened, he was assigned to it in the first batch that followed the founders, Frs. G. Byrne and Neary. He arrived in Hong Kong at the end of October 1927, and two hours after landing he preached in the Cathedral for the Triduum of Christ the King, What the circumstances were that made that necessary we are not told, but he loved doing unusual things and making records, and that was one that he liked to recall.
From Hong Kong he went to Shiu Hing, in the Kwangtung Province of China, to study Chinese. While there he also taught English and singing and formed an orchestra in a College run by the Portuguese Mission, and had his studies partially interrupted by a civil war that was then raging in the province, and he went to Shanghai to give missions and retreats and spent a period doing parochial work in Canton. The whole period only lasted nine months but he learned to speak Chinese fluently, if not perfectly, and to the end of his life gave instructions and retreats regularly in that language.
On returning to Hong Kong in July 1928, he took over the work of editor and manager of the monthly magazine The Rock, which had begun publication in January. A few months later he took part with some of the other Fathers in a series of public lectures to refute rationalists who had been offensive and abusive in their attacks on religion in the local press. The lectures caused a sensation, they silenced the attackers and they attracted public attention to The Rock, which then, in the four years that it was under Fr. Gallagher's direction, built up a high reputation in Hong Kong that lasted until the Japanese invasion brought it to an end.
For some of these years Fr. Gallagher was also on the professorial staff of the Regional Seminary, but in 1932 there began what was the greatest work of his life when he was made Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong.
This was a Middle School which had been begun by two Chinese Catholic teachers, and had grown so successful that they found it too big to handle. They offered it to the Society as a going concern, but stipulated that it should remain wholly Chinese. It was accepted, but with hesitation at first, because it was realised that neither teachers nor parents nor pupils would be pleased to see the leading Chinese school in the Colony handed over to foreigners. There was opposition and it was unpleasant for a time, but it was overcome, and the one thing that can be said is that Fr. Gallagher made Wah Yan.
If there was ever a triumph of personality in winning over a body of young and old who were complete strangers and not initially well-disposed, it was this. It was not a triumph of organisation, for Fr. Gallagher was not a great organiser. It was recalled that some years later when a new scholastic joined the staff, he asked the Rector, who was also Prefect of Studies, into what class he should go.
“Oh, just range around”, were his illuminating instructions.
It was complete friendliness, joined to firmness when necessary, and absolute support for his staff that won the day. The foreigners that those connected with the school had known hitherto were for the most part stand-offish, coldly official, and breathing an air of presumed authority. The teachers had never known of a headmaster who would go into the common room and sit down to drink tea with the rest, or the boys one who went down among them during the recreation period and talked and joked with them, and if there were black looks ignored them.
There was a hostel attached to the school, a nightmare institution, with rooms all mixed up with the community apartments, and housing in a room five or six who studied in the midst of noise in a way that Chinese can do. Almost anyone else would have wanted to reform it altogether from the start. Not so Fr. Gallagher. He realised that it was the ideal means through which the boys would get to know the priests and scholastics and would spread the news about their friendliness to the rest of the school.
Within a few months everything ran smoothly and it had become what it has since remained, a school in which the happiest relations imaginable exist between staff and pupils, and in which an ideal spirit of unity prevails in the community.
Fr. Gallagher remained Rector of Wah Yan till 1940. During those years, in addition to his work in the school, he was a member of the official Board of Education, he was for several years President of the Hong Kong Teachers' Association, and he was appointed by the Government to every important educational committee that was established, but in this age of conferences and round tables he was not a committee man, though his influence was considerable on several of the bodies on which he served. He dealt with individuals; he let talking go on without participating in it, but when all had their say it was often found that he had been writing, and he had a resolution ready to which the wearied members would be glad to agree.
His methods with his community too were unusual. Some thought that he was inclined to let things slide, but he set himself to make everyone happy; he gave each one the fullest scope and showed the most complete confidence in him. The result was a full response in the most excellent spirit. To visitors his hospitality was unbounded.
War clouds were gathering when he ended his term of office, but soon new duties awaited him. A branch of Wah Yan College existed across the harbour in Kowloon, with the same origin as that in Hong Kong, It was offered in turn to the Society, and in preparation for taking it over some classes were opened in a new house in Kowloon. Fr. Gallagher became headmaster.
This lasted for only a few months, for then the Japanese came and he and Fr. McAsey were made prisoners on the ground that they were English enemies. To Fr. Gallagher's protests, captors answered : “English, Irish, all the same”. That certainly did not silence him, and his protests were so continuous that they agreed to put the matter to Tokyo, but promised dire retribution if his claims were false. Geography won, and the prisoners were released.
He spent the years of occupation in the hospital of the French Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres, where he tended the sick and wounded and dying kept up the morale of nervous Sisters and an anxious staff, and constantly acted as intermediary between the hospital and the Japanese authorities. During these years he endeared himself to all who were in the hospital and the convent, and was their weekly confessor for the rest of his life.
He was seriously weakened by the privations of the war and was sent back to Ireland for a year to regain strength. He came back greatly improved, but he was never quite the same again. For the years that remained he lived in Ricci Hall, the Hostel of the Hong Kong University, and Wah Yan College, Kowloon. The first task assigned him was chaplain to the Catholics in the government hospitals. He did it with his usual thoroughness and devotion. A telephone call in the middle of the night, or as he sat down to a meal, was answered at once, and the more frequent the calls the better he was pleased. Rheumatism in the hip however began to affect him severely. He found it hard to get in and out of cars, and eventually he had to relinquish the main part of his duty as hospital chaplain. But he never relinquished it altogether. He never failed to visit any sick person who wanted to see him - and there were many.
Then he was given as one of his regular tasks the recital of mid-day prayers for a quarter of an hour on the radio on one day a week. He continued this for over ten years, giving regular prayers and a short instruction. A great many people, in particular the sick and the old and the lonely, listened to them regularly. They were always fresh and always most carefully prepared. He prided himself on never missing them, and when he went to hospital for the last time, he was able to say that two were prepared in advance and that he had said them 659 times - he could never afford to be wrong about figures.
It was in reality a mercy that death came to him so swiftly, for he would have suffered greatly. He probably suffered more than he admitted, but to all enquiries about himself at any time, even when rheumatism seemed to make movement very painful, his answer was “Not too bad at all”, and nothing more would he say, To be inactive would have been to him the greatest trial, and we all feel that he died as he would have wished.
We shall long miss his genial presence, his charity - for none ever heard him say an uncharitable word; it was not merely after his death that this was noted of him - his stories, which we had heard so many times, his statistics of rainfall and of winds in typhoons, and his detailed remembrance of everything that had taken place during his thirty-three years in Hong Kong. He was a “character” at all times, but the youthful tornado had given place to kindly old age. He was loved and respected outside the Society as well as within it. At his funeral there were hundreds of people of every kind, priests in great number, Sisters and lay people of every class, Catholics and Protestants and pagans, old pupils, teachers, servants in our houses, convent amahs - and one felt that not a single one of them was there just as a formality, but that all felt that in him they had lost a friend. Messeges of regret and sympathy came from all sides, from the Protestant Bishop of Hong Kong and the Director of Education to simple souls who had never met him but had listened to his radio prayers or remembered a kind act of his. In the Mission of Hong Kong he will be always remembered, for he was one of the stalwarts who built it up and left it forever indebted to him. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Richard Gallagher 1887-1960
Fr Richard Gallagher, like his brother Fr Leonard, was remarkable for his gifts of versatility, energy and bonhomie. Born in Cork in 1887, he was educated the the Presentation College there.

Having completed his philosophical studies in Valkenburg, he was a scholastic in Mungret, where he laid the foundations of his reputation as a gifted and versatile man. His memory was prodigious, he could make up any subject with great rapidity, he gave lectures on all conceivable topics, he had a splendid voice of public concert standard, he painted and sketched at will. With all these gifts went unbounded energy, and a willingness to employ them at anyone’s request.

Transferred to Hong Kong in October 1927, one can easily imagine what a field he found for all these talents. It was typical of him that two hours after landing in Hong Kong, he preached in the Cathedral for the Feast of Christ the King. He was editor of The Rock, was on the professorial staff of the regional Seminary, he was the first Recotr of Wah Yan College. As Fr Vincent Byrne said of himself “I made Mungret so that Fr Dick could say I made Wah Yan!”

In 1940 he became headmaster of the new Wah Yan at Kowloon. Then came the Japanese occupation. His health suffered so much during this period, that the war over, he returned to Europe to recuperate. On his return he resumed his activities at a slower tempo. For ten whole years he gave a quarter of an hour’s prayer at midday on the Hong Kong Radio.

He died after a brief illness on September 7th 1960.

His name will live forever in Hong Kong, for he was one of the stalwarts who built it up, and left it forever indebted to him.

Howatson, P Joseph, 1910-1972, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/721
  • Person
  • 18 March 1910-23 August 1972

Born: 18 March 1910, Waterville, County Kerry
Entered: 17 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1941, Milltown Park
Professed: 02 February 1944
Died: 23 August 1972, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong - Hong Kong Vice Province (HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1936 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

WWII Chaplain

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

Father Patrick Joseph Howatson, SJ, chairman of the Hong Kong boys and Girls Clubs Association, died at Grantham Hospital on 23 August 1972, aged 62.

He was born at Waterville, Co. Kerry, Ireland, in 1910, educated at Clongowes Wood College, Ireland, and joined the Jesuit Order in 1927. Before long he had proved himself the most effective and clear-sighted organizer among the Irish Jesuits of his generation.

He spent the years 1935-38 in Hong Kong, teaching in the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, and in Wah Yan College.

He was ordained priest in Ireland in 1941. His main work until his return to Hong Kong in 1946 was the preaching of popular missions - courses of very direct and forceful sermons - but he gave all the time he could spare to the Bevedere Newsboys Club, working for it with an enthusiasm that was to bear fruit here.

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS
On his return to Hong Kong in 1946 he became a teacher at Wah Yan College and procurator for the Hong Kong Jesuits. He was horrified by the sight of post-war destitution. The shoeshine boys in particular captured his attention. Many of them were homeless orphans; none of them had much to look forward to when their day’s work was done. For them he founded his first club, at Wah Yan College, then on Robinson Road.

This club, with its carefully considered mixture of education and recreation, flourished under Father Howatson’s combination of firm discipline with unforced and understanding affection. It soon served as a model for some of the many boys clubs that were springing up to meet a need that was especially urgent in the early post-war years. When the Boys and Girls Clubs (BGCA) was reorganised to cope with this growth, Father Howatson was elected chairman, Bishop Hall being President.

Father Howatson gave up teaching and devoted his abundant energy to his new task, He took a deep interest in all the clubs in the association. His personal preference would have been to work directly for the boys, but as chairman he regarded it as his first duty to train club leaders and to advise and encourage them once they had taken up work. He also devoted endless care to the planning, building and use of the Holiday Home at Silvermine Bay.

In 1959, the BGCA moved to its own headquarters in Lockhart Road. At the opening, Sir Robert Black, then Governor of Hong Kong, paid the following tribute:

Any collective effort requires a high degree of planning and organisation; a good committee needs a first-class chairman; the Boys and Girls Clubs Association are most fortunate in their chairman, Father Howatson.

This building stands above us today completed because of his drive and his resource, because of the sheer hard work which he has put into it all behind the scenes, and, of course, anyone who is a potential benefactor must be keenly aware of Father Howatson's notable work.

In addition to his work for the BGCA Father Howatson took an active part in the work of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service. As chairman of the Standing Committee of Youth Organisations he led an important East Asian Seminar on Social Group Work among youth. It would be difficult to think of any form of social work in which he did not take a vigorous part - playgrounds, housing, personal problems, crisis relief and so on.

Towards the end of this period he was reaching out to the development of clubs for young men and women. Unhappily, the failure of his health prevented him from carrying out this plan - a notable loss to the community.

CARITAS HONG KONG
Father Howatson was the first chairman of the Hong Kong Catholic Social Welfare Conference, and was closely associated with Mgr. C.H. Vath in the earlier stages of the development of Caritas Hong Kong. He agreed to take over the direction of the proposed Caritas Social Centre in Kennedy Town. In consequence, he resigned the chairmanship of the BGCA.

When he was still supervising the building of the new Centre, he suffered a moderately severe stroke. Though paralysed on one side, he recovered sufficiently to continue work, though at a slower pace, and was able to open the Kennedy Town Caritas Social Centre and to direct its operation for over a year.

A more severe stroke in 1965 put an end to his active work. He spent his last years in the Kennedy Town Caritas Social Centre, bedridden but not quite forgotten. Many of those for whom or with whom he had worked retained a warm interest in all that concerned him; nor did those who had seen his work from above forget him. A former Governor, a former Chief Justice and a former Director of Social Welfare were numbered those solaced his inactivity through their sympathy.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 1 September 1972

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His father was a Scottish engineer employed to maintain the trans-Atlantic cable. He converted to Catholicism in order to marry and his son became a strong Catholic and Irishman. He received his early education at Clongowes Wood College before he entered the Society in 1927. He had been known as a very good rugby player who had won an inter-provincial schools cap.

He came to Hong Kong as Regent with Seán Turner who was a different personality and whose whole world was words and ideas. Travelling with them was Fr Cooney who was bringing the Markee telescope and setting it up. he was able to deal with every situation he met in Hong Kong in dealing with schoolboys. He was a Mathematics teacher and Sports Master. From his earliest days in the Society he had positions of responsibility. According to Harry Naylor he was outstanding in practical matters, not least as a carpenter running the Ricci Mission Unit.

He returned to Ireland to study Theology. Once he had finished Tertianship he became an Army Chaplain.
1945 He returned to Hong Kong as Mission Procurator. According to Harry Naylor, Thomas Ryan had great influence over him. His humanity and concern for others was soon channelled into the Shoeshine Boys Club in Wah Yan College Hong Kong, and this became a model for many other boys clubs which sprung up to meet the needs of the day. When the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association was set up, Joseph was elected Chairman, with Anglican Bishop Hall the President. He threw himself into youth and social work in Hong Kong and was soon on the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, which Thomas Ryan had set up. He was also on the Government Social Welfare Advisory Committee. He helped many volunteer bodies as well as women’s religious with their balance sheets. When the Diocese set up its Catholic Social Welfare Conference he was made Executive Secretary. This later became “Caritas”. At this time Jesuits in Asia were involved in many social activities. At a Jesuit meeting on Tokyo in 1960 with Frs Hogan, Dijkstra and Ballon, he came up with the SELA acronym (Socio Economic Life in Asia) and it became one of the most successful inter-provincial works in the Society.

Returning from a SELA meeting in Indonesia in 1962 he had his first stroke. He gave up being Procurator in 1964 - Fr J Kelly succeeding him. He then went to live at Caritas Mok Cheung Sui Kun Community Centre, Pokfield Road, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong and was attached to Ricci Hall.

Note from Thomas Ryan Entry
He encouraged the “Shoe Shiners Club”, which later blossomed into the “Boys and Girls Clubs association” under Joseph Howatson.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

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

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Fr. Leo Donnelly who has been offered to the Viceprovince of Australia, completed his course at Kurseong recently (he was professor of Church History) and sailed on the SANGOLA for Hong Kong on 10th September. “As it proves impossible”, he writes, “to secure a passage direct to Australia within reasonable time, Fr. Austin Kelly has given me permission to travel via Hong Kong. It was quite easy to book a passage to that port, and Fr. Howatson has booked a berth for me from there to Melbourne. Needless to say, I am delighted at the chance of seeing the Mission, even if I am not to stay there. The ship for Australia will not sail till near the end of October, so that I shall not be at Fr. Kelly's disposal till sometime in November. This, however, is quicker than waiting for a direct passage”.

Irish Province News 47th Year No 4 1972

Obituary :

Fr Joseph Howatson SJ (1910-1972)

Fr Howatson died in hospital in Hong Kong on August 23rd after practically ten years of increasing incapacitation as a result of a series of paralytic strokes. He succumbed after a short period in hospital, finally. He was buried in the Catholic Cemetery, Happy Valley after Requiem Mass at St Margaret's Church on August 25th; the obsequies were attended by a large gathering of priests, religious and laity.
Fr Joe was born at Waterville, Co. Kerry on 18th March 1910, son of a Scottish engineer, one of a group employed to maintain the transatlantic cable stations at Waterville and Valentia. He, Mr Howatson senior, married a local girl as did some of his fellow engineers, thereby occasioning their adoption into the Church; a daughter became a Loreto nun and Joe entered the Society after schooling in Clongowes in September 1927.
As a schoolboy Joe was a stalwart member of the Clongowes Rugby team and through life his fine physique and energetic character led to his being habitually committed to work requiring a fund of practical efficiency, together with his fulfilling the more hum-drum yet demanding work of Mission Procurator - which fell to him in Hong Kong when he returned to the Mission after ordination. He maintained he had no aptitude for learning, a modest avowal which bore no confirmation in his record of studies in that he satisfied without embarrassment the exacting demands of Genicot and Dogma in the Milltown of the '30s. Again his versatility and resource as a stage carpenter at Tullabeg, as a philosopher in Milltown and later on the Mission, in continued partnership with Fr Terry Sheridan, as stage manager and producer, could hardly result from mere series of happy coincidences,
After his noviceship Joe followed the normal routine of Rathfarnham and a degree, Tullabeg for philosophy and 1935 Hong Kong to which previously he had eagerly aspired and showing his bent in the effective manner with which he engaged in the work of the Ricci Mission Unit.
Largely through his labour a large telescope - purchased from the Markree Observatory and presented as a gift to the Mission - was dismantled before his departure from Ireland to be reinstalled in collaboration with Fr T Cooney at Aberdeen Seminary on his arrival at Hong Kong.
Back to Milltown 1938, ordination 1941, tertianship 1942-'43. Because of war time difficulties in travel he was unable to return to Hong Kong immediately and was assigned to the Mission staff where again he proved his capacity as an effective preacher,
Finally the chance of a passage on a military plane enabled him to attain his heart's desire; almost directly he was appointed to the work of Procurator already alluded to and he retained that exact ing chore until his capacity to write was impaired by his illness.
This was merely a part-occupation for him; in harness with Fr Tom Ryan who was throughout his prompter and confidant, he established a Shoeshine Boys' Club in which education was discreetly mingled with recreation and this was later the model upon which many other clubs catering for girls as well as for boys were organised,
Ultimately when a liaison was established coordinating these various associations Fr Joe was chosen chairman whose duties approximated rather to those of an administrator; in this capacity his work was recognised and paid tribute to by the Colony authorities; we lend only to the rich - his activities still fanned out; he became a member of a government-appointed body, the Welfare Advisory Committee and continued so for years with the task of offering advice on social needs and schemes to the Governor and of dealing with subventions for various voluntary bodies. Fr Joe's practical experience resulted in his becoming an accountant in effect to charitable works run by religious communities on the island; indeed in the course of the 'fifties he was recognised as one of the most conversant with social work with a meticulous sense of the value of an accurate balance sheet of the work engaged in. In the Hong Kong diocese he was the first secretary of the body which later formed the nucleus of Caritas H.K. and within the Society he contributed actively to the formation of SELA, the Committee for “Socio-Economic Life in Asia”.
It is pathetic, in retrospect, to see that all this activity was abruptly intruded upon by the first stroke in September 1962. Though not altogether incapacitated and only perforce making concessions under increasing debility the latter years required a fortitude in a situation to which the “rude” health he habitually previously enjoyed hardly adapted him. He continued to work in the John XXIII Centre in Kennedy Town but gradually he be came more immobilised; he was not much given to reading which might have been a diversion and a defective speech which developed deprived him of the distraction of conversation except with a small number of intimates who regularly visited him; may he not have been subjected to affliction, emulous to some degree of St Peter Claver in his concluding years? All was heroically borne. His second sister, Mrs Clarke of Tralee, who attended the month's mind Mass for his repose in late September at Gardiner St confessed that the news of his demise though sad in the thought of his parting was yet to her a comfort in that God who thus sealed him had taken him to Himself. May he rest in peace.

Ladányi, László, 1914-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1553
  • Person
  • 14 January 1914-23 September 1990

Born: 14 January 1914, Diósgyőr, Borsod, Miskolc, Hungary
Entered: 30 July 1936, Hungariae Province (HUN)
Ordained: 08 June 1946, Shanghai, China
Professed: 15 August 1952
Died: 23 September 1990, Canossa Hospital, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

Transcribed HUN to ExOr; Applied ExOR to HK 1950
by 1949 came to Ricci Hall, Hong Kong (HIB) working 1949-1967

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Veteran China Watcher
Father Laszlo Ladányi Dies

Father Laszlo Ladányi S.J., veteran China watcher died of lung cancer on 23 September 1990 at the Canossa Hospital, Hong Kong, aged 76 years.

Laszlo Ladányi was born in Hungary in 1914. He later graduated from the University of Budapest and he also received training in the violin at the Music Academy in Budapest. He entered the Society of Jesus at the age of 22 and arrived in Beijing, China in 1939. He was later transferred to Shanghai where he was ordained to the priesthood in 1946. In mid 1949, Fr. Ladányi came to Hong Kong and was appointed chaplain to university students at the Ricci Hall.

In 1953 Fr. Ladányi founded the China News Analysis (CNA) in Hong Kong, a weekly and later a fortnightly newsletter. Ever since then, he worked as Editor to this publication for the following 30 years. The main purpose of the CNA is to keep missionary circles informed of Mainland China’s developments. The CNA is widely subscribed by those who are interested in the Mainland China affairs.

In 1982, the editorship of the China News Analysis was passed over to the present team of Jesuit priests, but Fr. Ladnay was still deeply engaged in his China studies up to the time he was admitted to Hospital last month.

The funeral took place at 10am on 26 September with a Mass of the Resurrection concelebrated by his Jesuit confreres and friends at St. Margaret’s Church, Happy Valley, Hong Kong. He was buried in the St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 5 October 1990

In Memory of Father Laszlo Ladany, S.J.
R.I.P.

On 23 September 1990, 9:35am, our beloved Father Ladányi left this world. My mother phoned me from Hong Kong, weeping, and informed me about his death. As soon as the news came, the Chinese Catholics in America passed the information round and all expressed their affection and remembrance of him, as well as their sorrow and prayer for him…

Father Ladányi was a Hungarian, ordained priest in China in 1946. When he was a missionary in China, he already had deep love for China. After mainland China was taken over by the Communists, he was expelled and sent to Hong Kong. He always wanted to be near China and so he stayed in Hong Kong and began his work there. Diligently, spending 40 years as one day, he studied the problem of China with total dedication. In this way, he worked silently for the Church in China to the end of his life.

He was an outstanding political observer. He had a unique understanding of the problem of China. No one could match him for penetrating understanding, foresight, the depth and width of his study in the problem of China. He was a gifted writer, scholar and commentator. He wrote many analyses about China and the present and past situation of the Church in China. His sources made his information very accurate, looking at the question from every angle and written with simple precision so that his Analysis became an essential source of information for others and had much authority. All the Embassies bought and used his China News Analysis for reference. Libraries throughout the world have his writings, which are of the greatest historical value.

But, we are not only commemorating his outstanding work or his life, but paying tribute to his heart which really understood, loved and sympathised with the Church in China - this heart was precious as gold and as bright and crystal-clear as water. This is what we most cherish today and find most worthy of remembrance. His clear and firm stand-point and views always harmonised with the spirit of the faithful Church in China. His sense of Justice, experience and solid knowledge of the facts, moved him to speak from a sense of Justice. He never left anything unsaid which he knew could be said and he always said everything without fear of human respect. He worked with dedication and spoke up for the faithful Church in China. His heart beat as one with the faithful Church in China. He was the intimate companion of the faithful Church in China, and the good understanding teacher and friend of the faithful Church in China.

In the 1950’s the Catholic Church in mainland China was severely crushed. Bishop Kung of Shanghai was arrested. Many priests and Catholics were imprisoned. Only a few Catholic had the chance to flee abroad. It was he, the good shepherd, who organised these exiled sheep, cared for them, gave them guidance in their spiritual life and helped them to keep their faith. When the Trappist Monastery in Yang Jai-ping was persecuted, some of the monks fled to Hong Kong. It was he, their spiritual brother, who consoled them and later helped them to build the monastery and restore their community life.

When my younger sister became very sick in Shanghai Prison, she was allowed to leave the prison for medical treatment and died a year later. It was father Ladányi who crossed to Kowloon during the night to console my sorrowful parents. It was he who always opened wide his arms to embrace with affection the suffering Chinese Catholics. In his simple office, he used to talk intimately with these exiled faithful so that they might enjoy the warmth of a family spirit.

When I arrived Hong Kong in 1979, I carried within myself all the wounds as well as a loving memory of the faithful Church in China. He said to me; “Write it down! Write it down as soon as possible!” I said reluctantly, “I have been imprisoned for so long, I don’t know how to write freely. Also, I have no experience in writing.” He said very earnestly: “Write! When you begin to write, as you go along, you will discover how to write!” So with his encouragement, I finished writing the book entitled “Catholic Children in the Labour Camp” within half a year.

I visited him in his office a number of times, listening to all he had to say. He spoke Mandarin perfectly, sometimes mixed with a few sentences of Cantonese. There was no difference of nationality between us. Sometimes when I saw him two hands trembling because of his sickness, I wanted to give him a helping hand but he always made every effort to arrange everything himself. Sometimes when I saw his desk was in disorder and wanted to put in order for him, he would said, “Not necessary. I am accustomed to it.” Yes, even if your desk was disordered, this would not affect your clear mind and thinking, nor your keen eye-sight. His tall, thin frame conveyed an impression of profound wisdom. His ageing face expressed the warm affection of his heart. It would not be easy to find another good missionary like him, an understanding priest!

Good-bye, Father Ladányi! Best wishes for your journey. The memory of you will never fade from our hearts. But now, your long journey, this important long journey, has made us in this world, think so much of you and your life.

You are another Father Lebbe, the glory of missionaries. May you still continue from Heaven, to protect the Church in China. Bless our faithful brothers and sisters who are still suffering now, who are crushed to the ground and are not understood! Bless those who are exiled in other countries, waiting for the mercy of God to re-establish the Church in China.
By Ho Hoi-ling from America
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 9 November 1990

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was a scholar who published many articles and books which include :
“The Catholic Church in China” (Freedom Press, New York 1987); “The Communist Part of China and Marxism : A Self-Portrait” (Hoover Institute Press, Stanford, 1988); “Law and Legality in China : The Testament of a China-Watcher” (Hurst, London, 1992).

His books are scholarly and influential to the study of modern and contemporary China.

Note from Alan Birmingham Entry
He was the Editor of the “Sunday Examiner” for almost 33 years (1957-1991). For more than twenty years he edited the English writings of László Ladányi in the “China News Analysis”

McCarthy, Jeremias, 1894-1968, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/728
  • Person
  • 30 April 1894-27 July 1968

Born: 30 April 1894, Stourport, Worcestershire, England
Entered: 07 September 1910, Roehampton, London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 31 July 1926, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1930
Died: 27 July 1968, St Joseph’s, Robinson Road, Hong Kong - Angliae Province (ANG)

by 1926 came to Milltown (HIB) studying
by 1940 came to Hong Kong (HIB) working 1940-1967

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father McCARTHY Jeremias
R.I.P.

At noon every Saturday for the past eleven years the Editor of this paper lifted the phone and spoke for a few minutes to a voice coming from a flat in Robinson Road. On the following Monday morning with unfailing regularity a typewritten page was delivered to the Sunday Examiner office; the weekly editorial had arrived.

To the deep regret of the staff of the Sunday Examiner and of its readers this time-honoured procedure will never be repeated: for Father Jeremiah McCarthy, S.J. our editorial writer died at 2:45pm last Saturday afternoon at the age of seventy-four.

Father McCarthy was a man of many talents; a distinguished theologian, he began his missionary work in Hong Kong twenty-nine years ago as Professor of Dogmatic Theology in the Regional Seminary for South China at Aberdeen; he held a Master’s Degree in Chemistry form Oxford University and as a war-time refugee in Macao he turned his knowledge to good use by devising substitute fuels to keep the local power supply in operation.

When the war was over Father McCarthy returned to his post at the Seminary and began his connection with the Agricultural and Fisheries Department with whom he developed a method of drying and preserving fish and experimented in the increased use of natural and artificial fertilisers.

After some years in Cheung Chau Island as Superior of the Jesuit Language School he returned to Hong Kong, joined the staff of the China News Analysis and began the long association with the editorial page of this paper which despite declining health continued up to the week of his death.

Father McCarthy wrote over five hundred editorials for this paper; and as we look through the files at the variety of subjects covered we can only marvel at the range of intelligent interest of which this one man’s mind was capable. Moral, liturgical, social, political, international and local problems were subjected in turn to his keen analysis and the conclusions recorded in the elegant, economical prose of which he was a master. Freshness of approach, clarity of though and expression, and a deeply-felt sympathy for the poor, the suffering and the oppressed - these are the marks of the writer, as well as of the man and the priest, whose comments on the passing scene stamped this page with a character of its own.

The staff of the Sunday Examiner, and of the Kung Kao Po where Father McCarthy’s editorials appeared in translation, has lost a most valued and faithful collaborator and friend.

May God reward his earthly labours with the blessing of eternal refreshment, light and peace.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 2 August 1968

◆ 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 from the English Province in 1939 and went to teach Dogmatiuc Theology at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen.

During WWII, as a refugee in Macau, his Masters Degree i Chemistry enabled him to devise substitute fuels to maintain the local power and water supplies going.
After the War he returned to Aberdeen and began an association with the Agriculture and Fisheries Department, developing methods of drying and preserving fish.
Later he joined “China News Analysis”, enhancing its reputation. During these years he alo wrote weekly editorials for the “Sunday Examiner”, over 500 of them, on a wide range of topics. His comments on local affairs especially were often quoted at length in the Hong Kong daily press.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland

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

◆ Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Fr. Jeremiah McCarthy of the Hong Kong Mission writes from the U.S.A, where he is examining possibilities of setting up an Institute of Industrial Chemistry in Hong Kong :
New York, 23rd September :
“I have spent some time at Buffalo and Boston and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Professors there were most kind, and I learnt a good deal. I expect to be here for a month or six weeks, visiting factories and Colleges in New York. I met Fr. Ingram at Boston. He was doing some work at Harvard. I have heard from several sources that he had a great reputation at Johns Hopkins. I went yesterday to the Reception for Mr. Costello at Fordham and the conferring of an Honorary Degree. Cardinal Spellman was there. In his speech Mr. Costello avoided politics, except to say that the Government would stop emigration altogether, save that they would still send priests and nuns wherever they might be required. Most of the speech was taken up with a very graceful tribute to the Society and its work. He referred to the debt of Ireland to the Society in times of persecution, and again in modern times, and hoped to see an extension of our work in schools and Colleges in Ireland. The address was broadcast”.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949
Fr. Jeremiah McCarthy arrived at Cobh from New York on 7th December and is spending some time in the Province, before resuming in England, his study of technological institutes, prior to his return to Hong Kong.

Irish Province News 43rd Year No 4 1968
Obituary :
Fr Jeremias McCarthy SJ (1893-1968)
Fr. Jeremias McCarthy, a member of the English Province who to the joy and lasting advantage of all Jesuits working in Hong Kong was ascribed to the Irish Province in 1939 for work in Hong Kong, died in Hong Kong on 27th July, aged 74.
He was born on 3rd April 1893 at Stourford, Worcestershire, where his father, a civil servant, was then stationed. Some of his early years were spent in Co. Cork, Ireland, but he returned to England and was educated at St. Francis Xavier College, Liverpool. He entered the English Province noviciate in 1910. (Two of sisters later became Columban Sisters.) After philosophy in Stonyhurst, he taught for four fondly remembered years in Beaumont. He also spent three years at Oxford, taking an M.A. degree in Chemistry and thus equipping himself for unforeseeable work, valuable but bizarre. After two years of theology in St. Bueno's, he transferred to Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained on 31st July 1926. After his tertianship he taught in various schools in the English Province for eleven years and was solemnly professed in 1930. In 1939 he applied to the General for work in a mission country and Fr. Ledochowski ascribed him to the still small Hong Kong mission in April of that year. He was warmly welcomed in Hong Kong, where several of the little band of Jesuits had known him in his scholasticate days. His unmistakable intellectual distinction and originality made him a very valuable addition to the mission; but he looked so frail that many must have wondered how long he could stand up to the strain imposed by the Hong Kong summers. He was thin, looked older than his years and was bent forward by a spinal affliction. Time was to show that this apparent physical frailty was largely an illusion. He may have suffered but he made no show of it. For almost three decades he was to labour at an astonishing variety of tasks, defying not only the Hong Kong summer, but the hardships of the Japanese capture and occupation of the colony and, in his last years, a complication of organic ills. Three days before his death he was still vigorously doing work that would have appalled many a younger man. For his first three years in Hong Kong he taught dogmatic theology in the Regional Seminary for South China. In 1942 he went to Macao, where the Hong Kong Jesuits were opening a school for Portuguese boys whose families had fled from occupied Hong Kong. This school won a special place in Fr. McCarthy's affection : the boys were, and have always remained, grateful for the help given them in a time of great hardship. The school did not occupy all his energies. Macao, cut off from the rest of the world, was short of nearly everything, so Fr. McCarthy, the best qualified and most ingenious chemist in the territory, quickly set about providing ersatz substitutes for the ungettable imports - everything from petrol to cosmetics. As a mark of appreciation, the Governor of Macao decreed that vehicles using the evil-smelling McCarthy substitute for petrol should not pass within nose-shot of the Jesuit school. In later years new arrivals in Hong Kong would be shown a lump of the McCarthy soap substitute, hard and gritty but beyond price in days when no other soap was to be had. Morale had to be kept up in Macao, so Fr. McCarthy and the other Jesuits joined the more vigorous citizens in organising debates and lectures and helping to provide through the local press a substitute for the intellectual sustenance normally fetched from abroad. Macao in those years of isolation was a little world on its own where every local crisis and dispute was avidly discussed by the whole population. In post-war years Fr. McCarthy had an inexhaustible fund of stories of the strange doings of those days including the great debate on the use of Chinese or Western style in the rebuilding of a church lavatory, and his own five-minute suspension for publishing an article expounding the views on evolution later contained in Humani Generis - as he was leaving the episcopal chamber the bishop said “I lift the suspension”. After the war he returned for a year to his work in the seminary, after which he went to Europe for a much needed rest. He was next asked to explore the possibility of setting up an institute of industrial chemistry in Hong Kong. This scheme proved abortive, but his next venture was fruitful. At the request of the government of Hong Kong he toured Europe and America investigating methods for making compost from what is politely described as night soil. It is scarcely necessary to say that the more ribald Jesuits of the many countries he visited were less mealy-mouthed in describing this novel form of apostolate. Fr. McCarthy's rather donnish appearance and fastidious diction added to the joke.
Having completed his work on nightsoil, he was asked by the government to act as technical adviser on fish-drying part of a large-scale reorganisation of fisheries, which was one of the most valuable works undertaken by the government in its post-war effort to rebuild and enrich the life of the colony. This work brought him into close contact with probably the ablest young government servant in Hong Kong, Mr. Jack Cater, who became one of Fr. McCarthy's closest friends, visited him frequently, sought his advice on such matters as the organisation of co-operatives, and was to rank almost as chief mourner at Fr, McCarthy's funeral.
About this time Fr. McCarthy was appointed rector of the language school. Surprisingly enough this appointment did not prove altogether happy. It was known that he had been an independent minded scholastic and, though in his late fifties (and looking older), he was on terms of unforced equality with most of the younger priests in the mission; yet he found himself unable to make easy contact with those in their twenties. There was relief on both sides when his rectorship was terminated after a couple of years. On their return to Hong Kong after ordination, those who had failed to understand him in their scholastic years came to cherish his rewarding friendship.
From his earliest days in Hong Kong, he had been known as a writer of concise, lucid and pointed English. Bishop Bianchi of Hong Kong was always eager to make use of this gift, frequently asking him to draft pastorals, messages to his diocese and other important documents. The bishop always showed great trust in Fr. McCarthy's judgment knowing that this faithful scribe would nearly always convey his ideas exactly and in a form palatable to and easily assimilated by the recipients. The bishop also had the happy certainty that Fr. McCarthy would not repine if on occasion his drafts were not used.
Another seeker of his pen was Fr. (now Mgr.) C. H. Vath, then editor of the Sunday Examiner, the Hong Kong diocesan weekly. At Fr. Vath's request, Fr. McCarthy wrote a long series of articles on Christian doctrine, which were studied eagerly by teachers of religious knowledge. Fr. Vath also invited Fr. McCarthy to become the regular leader writer for the Sunday Examiner. This task out lasted Fr. Vath's editorship. For over a dozen years-right up to the last week of his life-Fr. McCarthy wrote a weekly editorial, often pungent, always carefully pondered and lucidly expressed. The secular papers frequently reproduced and commented on leaders dealing with economic or sociological topics, and echoes of these leaders could often be discerned in later discussions or in government action. At least one was quoted in the House of Commons, These leaders gave the paper an influence out of all proportion to its circulation. The McCarthy touch will be sadly missed. It will probably be impossible to find anyone able to combine the patience, readiness, skill and erudition that went into his leaders week after week, year after year.
For the last eleven years of his life he was mainly engaged in work for the China News Analysis, (the authoritative and highly expensive) weekly analysis of the Chinese Communist press and radio published by Fr. L. Ladany, a Hungarian member of the Hong Kong Vice-Province. Fr. McCarthy acted as procurator, relieved the editor of the difficulties inseparable from writing in a foreign tongue, and wrote articles based on the editor's research. This was not glamorous work - the days of the nightsoil apostolate were over but it was essential work and was done with unfailing exactness and punctuality.
The large number of religious at his funeral was a tribute to spiritual help given by Fr. McCarthy. In community life he was not ostentatiously pious, but he was exact in religious observance, as in all other things, and he was notably kind. His admirable book Heaven and his domestic exhortations were the most striking manifestations of spirituality that his fundamental reserve allowed him to make. These exhortations were revealing, deeply interesting, full, original without striving for originality and provocative of further thought. He was frequently urged to publish them, a suggestion that he seldom or never accepted. Enthusiasm for one's domestic exhortations is a tribute rarely paid in the Society. It was paid to Fr. McCarthy.
Frail as he looked, he was very seldom ill. Early this year, how ever, he had to go to hospital and was found to be suffering from grave heart trouble and certain other ills. He resumed work as soon as possible. On Thursday, 25th July, having completed a day's work, he fell and broke a thigh while saying his Rosary in his room, and it was some hours before he was able to call the attention of another member of the small community in which he lived. He was suffering grievously and an immediate operation had to be carried out, despite the precarious state of his heart. He never recovered consciousness and he died on Saturday, 27th July.
The funeral Mass was concelebrated by his Provincial, Fr. F. Cronin, his Superior, Fr. Ladany, and one of his closest friends.

McCarthy, Richard, 1921-1995, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 19 April 1921, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 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

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
Professed: 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

Ryan, Thomas F, 1889-1971, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/391
  • Person
  • 30 December 1889-04 February 1971

Born: 30 December 1889, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1907, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1922, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1926
Died: 04 February 1971, Canossa Hospital, Hong Kong - Hong Kong Province (HK)

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Mission Superior of the Irish Mission to Hong Kong 1947-1950

by 1912 at Cividale del Friuli, Udine Italy (VEN) studying
by 1925 at Paray-le-Monial France (LUGD) making Tertianship
by 1934 at Catholic Mission, Ngau-Pei-Lan, Shiuhing (Zhaoqing), Guandong, China (LUS) Regency
by 1935 at Wah Yan, Hong Kong - working

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

Father Thomas Ryan, SJ of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, died at Canossa Hospital on 4 February 1971, aged 81.

He was born in Cork, Ireland, on 30 December 1889. On the completion of his secondary education, he joined the Jesuits and was ordained priest in 1922, after the usual Jesuit course of studies.

SOCIAL WORK IN IRELAND
After his ordination he became editor, first of the Madonna, and later of the Irish messenger of the Sacred Heart. With his editorial work he combined a vigorous social apostolate and soon became the refuge of all Dublin parents whose children were getting into trouble. He was always businesslike and never soft, yet he won the confidence of the young delinquents as well as that of the children’s court: before he left Ireland in 1933, he visited every prison in Ireland to say goodbye to old friends who had graduated into adult delinquents without losing their trust in Father Ryan. The army of slum-dwellers who came to see him when he was leaving for Hong Kong has entered into the folk memory of Dublin.

SOCIAL WORK IN HONG KONG
When he reached Hong Kong, Father Ryan was 43. His effort to learn Cantonese met with little success, so to his lasting regret, he found himself cut off from the direct social work that he had practiced in Ireland. He turned instead to social organisation, then much needed in a community that was dominated by almost unadulterated laissez faire - no Welfare Department in those days and very few voluntary agencies or associations. Despite the fact that he was senior teacher of English in Wah Yan College and editor of the Rock, a lively monthly of general interest, he threw himself into whole-heartedly into committee work and into seeing to it that the decisions of the committees were carried out. The development of a social conscience in Hong Kong was due in large measure to the work of Bishop Hall, then at the head of the Anglican diocese of Hong Kong and Macau, and Father Ryan. The Hong Kong Housing Society - the pioneer of organised low-cost housing in Hong Kong -was on fruit of their labours.

When Canton fell to the Japanese in 1938 and refugees began to pour into Hong Kong, the task of providing for the refugees who poured into Hong Kong fell largely upon a committee of which Bishop Hall and Father Ryan were the leading spirits, and the executive work, providing food and shelter, fell chiefly to Father Ryan.

MUSIC AND THE ARTS
With all this Father Ryan had already begun his career as a broadcaster on music and the arts generally. In time he became music critic to the South China Morning Post. By some he was thought of quite wrongly, as chiefly an aesthete. Soon after the fall of Hong Kong to the Japanese in 1941, he went first to Kweilin, Kwangsi, and later to Chungking, where he did relief work and continued his broadcasting.

FORESTRY AND AGRICULTURE
After the war came perhaps the oddest period of his varied life. There was a grave shortage of the administrators needed to restart the shattered life of Hong Kong. The then Colonial Secretary, who had seem Father Ryan at work in Chungking, asked him to take over the directorship of Botany and Forestry and to help in setting up a Department of Agriculture. Father Ryan, city-born and city-bred, knew nothing about botany, forestry or agriculture, but he did know how to get reliable information and advice and how to get things done. He welded his co-workers into a team and was soon busy introducing a New South Wales method of planting seedlings, planting roadsides, experimenting with oil production and looking for boars to raise the standard of Hong Kong pig-breeding. Having discovered that middlemen were exploiting the New Territories vegetable growers, he went into vigorous action, founding the Wholesale Vegetable Marketing Organisation. The middlemen put up a fight but the WVMO won.

JESUIT SUPERIOR
In 1947 regular administrators were available. Father Ryan laid down his official responsibilities, only to find a new responsibility as superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits. 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.

On ceasing to be superior in 1950, Father Ryan continued his writing, broadcasting and teaching - only his teaching had been interrupted. His books include China through Catholic Eyes, Jesuits Under Fire (siege of Hong Kong), The Story of a Hundred Years (history of the P.I.M.E. in Hong Kong), Jesuits in China and Catholic Guide to Hong Kong.

COUNSELLOR AND FRIEND
By this time father Ryan knew an enormous number of people in Hong Kong. His forthright and at times brusque manner did appeal to everyone; he had stood on many a corn in his time. But a very large number of people treasured his friendship and his advice, and a constant stream of callers was part of his life in his later active years. The advice was giving vigorously and uncompromisingly, and was all the more valued for that.

In 1964 the University of Hong Kong conferred upon him an honorary Doctorate of Letters. At the conferring, Father Ryan was the spokesman who expressed the thanks of the five who received honorary degrees that day. This was his last important public appearance, for by then his health had begun to fail. There was no loss of intellectual clarity of interest in current affairs - at his funeral - one of his visitors in his last few days in hospital reported that Father Ryan had submitted him to the usual searching examination into everything that was happening in Hong Kong. Physically, however, he had become weak, and he suffered much pain.

A period of comparative seclusion now began. All his life he had slept only about four hours daily and had worked for the rest of the time. When he found himself unable to do what he regarded as serious work, he became impatient to die. He suffered greatly and several times seemed on the verge of death. His partial recoveries from these bad spells caused him nothing but annoyance. The much longed - for end came at 9am on 4 February.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 12 February 1971

◆ Jesuits under Fire - In the siege of Hong Kong 1941, by Thomas F. Ryan, S.J., London and Dublin Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd, 1945.
◆ The Story of a Hundred Years, by Thomas F. Ryan, S.J., Catholic Truth Society Hong Kong, 1959.
◆ Catholic Guide to Hong Kong, by Thomas F. Ryan, S.J., Catholic Truth Society Hong Kong, 1962.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He entered the Society in Ireland having won a gold medal in national public examinations. As a young Jesuit he spent many years in Europe developing his lifelong knowledge and love for art, music and literature, which made him a man of culture and refinement. He did a Masters at UCD, and taught for six years of Regency before being Ordained a priest in1922. He taught at Belvedere College SJ and was also on the editorial staff of the Messenger of the Sacred Heart. He had a great interest in many welfare projects with the plight of Dublin’s poorest people, slum dwellers, and in particular their children. He founded the Belvedere Newsboys Club for street kids and also the Housing Association to provide cheap flats for their parents. He was on the bench of the Juvenile Courts, and during his time visited every remand home, reformatory and institute of detention in Ireland. He was a member of the Playground Association and on the Committee of the Industrial Development Association.
He was sent to Hong Kong in 1933. He first went to Siu Hing (Canton) to learn Cantonese and then returned to teach at Wah Yan Hong Kong. He became editor of the “Rock” monthly magazine from 1935-1941. Here his vigorous personality expressed strong convictions on social problems and abuses in Hong Kong.He championed the Franco cause for which he received a decoration from the Spanish government. at the same time he was giving interesting and stimulating talks on English novelists, poets and dramatists, along with talks on art, music and painting. he preached regularly over “ZBW” - the predecessor of RTHK. Every aspect of Hong Kong life interested him. He worked for the underprivileged. He encouraged the “Shoe Shiners Club”, which later blossomed into the “Boys and Girls Clubs Association” under Joseph Howatson. With the Anglican Bishop, Ronald Otto Hall, he founded the HK Housing Society in 1938. It was refounded in 1950 to build low cost housing on land given by the Hong Kong government at favourable rates. The rents received were used to repay loans from the government within 40 years. In 1981, the “Ryan Building” (Lak Yan Lau), a 22 storey building in the Western District was named after him. It had a ground floor for shops, offices and a children’s playground on the second floor. The other floors contained 100 flats. He was a founding member of the Social Welfare Advisory Committee, a member of the Board of Education, Religious advisory Committee on Broadcasting and the City Hall Committee, and belonged to many other civic groups.
During the Japanese occupation he was not sought out by the authorities - even tough he had castigated that Japanese Military for their inhuman conduct in China. He got each Jesuit to write up their experience of the 19 days of siege under the Japanese, and this collection was later published as “Jesuits under Fire”.
In 1942 with Fr Harold Craig - who had come with him in 1933 - he went to Kwelin (Yunan) in mainland China, staying with Mgr Romaniello. He made analyses for the British Consulate and French Newspapers in Hanoi, and he worked at night with translators to make out trends of opinions in the Chinese press. With the Japanese advances in 1944, he went to Chungking where he was active in refugee work. He had good relations with the Allied Armies and their diplomatic missions, and was widely known through his radio broadcasts, which were heard far and wise, on music and literature. He was asked by Mr McDoal - a high ranking official in the Hong Kong government - to help rehabilitate Hong Kong with his drive and efficiency. He was appointed “Acting Superintendent of Agriculture, and so he set about reforesting eh hills which had been laid bare by people looking for fuel during the occupation. He had trees planted along the circular road of the New territories. Many of the trees in the Botanical Gardens were planned by him, with seeds brought from Australia. Seeing the plight of vegetable growers fall into the hands of middlemen, in 1946 he started the Wholesale Vegetable Marketing Organisation. There was retaliation from the middlemen, but they ultimately lost. With the return of permanent Government staff to Hong Kong, he returned to Ireland for a rest, and he returned as Mission Superior in 1947. With his customary energy, he set about buying land to start building Wah Yan Canton. He sent young Jesuits to work on social activities there - Patrick McGovern and Kevin O’Dwyer. He also negotiated the land and finance for the new Wah Yan Hong Kong and one in Kowloon.
He was active in setting up the new City Hall on Hong Kong Island in 1960. He was very active on radio work, in Western music and English poetry. His part in the Housing Society in some way was the cause for the government’s resettlement scheme. He was the most famous Jesuit in Hong Kong in those days, and probably one of the most dynamic Jesuits ever.
After completing his term as Mission Superior in 1850, he returned to teaching at Wah Yan Hong Kong, a work he considered to be the highest form of Jesuit activity. Here he was most successful. Most of his closest Chinese friends were his past students. He was also a close friend of Governor Alexander Grantham, a regular music critic for the South China Morning Post, and frequently wrote the programme notes for concerts and recitals by visiting musicians and orchestras.
In 1941 he published “Jesuits under Fire”. He edited “Archaeological Finds on Lamma Island”, the work of Daniel Finn. He also edited “China through Catholic Eyes”, “One Hundred Years” - a celebration of the HK diocese, “Jesuits in China” and “Catholic Guide to Hong Kong” - a history of the parishes up to 1960.
At the age of 60 he decided to retire and he withdrew from committees. His last public appearance was to receive an Honorary D Litt from the University of Hong Kong in recognition of his social, musical and literary contribution.
With dynamic character and strong convictions, he was impatient with inefficient or bureaucracy in dealing with human problems. Behind his serious appearance was shyness, deep humility and a kindness which endeared him to all. A man of great moral courage and high principles, he had a highly cultivated mind, with particular affection for the poor and needy. He looked forward to young people breaking new ground for the greater glory of God.
Social Work in Hong Kong
The development of a social conscience in Hong Kong was due in large measure to the work of Bishop Hall, the Anglican Bishop of Hong Kong and Macau, and Thomas Ryan. The Hong Kong Housing Association - a pioneer of organised low cost housing in Hong Kong - was the work of these too men as well. When Canton fell to the Japanese in 1938, and refugees began to pour into Hong Kong, the task of housing these people fell largely to a Committee of which Bishop Hall and Thomas were the leading spirits, and their executive work in providing food and shelter fell chiefly to Thomas. After the War there was a serious shortage of administrators needed to restart the shattered life of Hong Kong. The Colonial Secretary asked him to take over responsibility for Botany and Forestry and to help setting up a Department of Agriculture.
According to Alfred Deignan : “Thomas Ryan came to Hong Kong in 1933. At that time there was no Welfare Department and very few voluntary agencies of associations.... He was instrumental in setting up the HK Council of Social Service. In 1938 refugees poured into Hong Kong and he and Bishop Hall were the two priest leading the organisation of provision of food and shelter for the refugees.

Note from Paddy Joy Entry
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.”

Note from Tommy Martin Entry
He first arrived as a Scholastic for Regency in Hong Kong in 1933. He was accompanied by Frs Jack O’Meara and Thomas Ryan, and by two other Scholastics, John Foley and Dick Kennedy.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 8th Year No 4 1933
Belvedere College -
All those bound for Hong Kong and Australia left Ireland early in August. Father T. Ryan, who had been working for a considerable time among the poor of Dublin, had a big send-
off. The following account is taken from the Independent :
Rev. Thomas Ryan, S.J., who was the friend of Dublin newsboys and all tenement dwellers in Dublin, left the city last night for the China Mission. His departure was made the occasion for a remarkable demonstration of regret by the people amongst whom he had ministered for many years. For more than an hour before Father Ryan left Belvedere College, crowds assembled in the vicinity of that famous scholastic institution, hoping to get a last glimpse of the priest whom they had known and loved so long. A procession was formed, headed by St. Mary's Catholic Pipers' Band, and passed through Waterford St., Corporation St., and Lr. Gardiner St, to the North Wall. Catholic Boy Scouts (55 Dublin Troop), under Scoutmaster James O'Toole and District Secretary James Cassin, formed a Guard of Honour at the quayside and saluted Father Ryan as he stepped out of the motor car which followed the procession and went aboard the S.S. Lady Leinster. The scene at the quayside was one of the most remarkable witnessed for many years. Crowds surged around the gangway - many women with children in their arms -and, as the popular missionary made his way aboard, cried “God bless you, Father Ryan”. Father Ryan had to shake hands with scores of people before he was permitted to ascend the gangway, and hundreds of others lined the docks as far as Alexandra Basin to wave him farewell and cheer him on his departure. Among those who bade farewell to Father Ryan at the quayside were many of the priests from Belvedere College and members of the College Union.

Irish Province News 19th Year No 3 1944

“Jesuits Under Fire in the Siege of Hong Kong”, by Fr. Thomas Ryan, appeared from the Publisher, Burns Oates & Washbourne (London and Dublin, 10/6), in the last week of April. The book has received very favourable comment and is selling well. A review of it was broadcast from Radio Eireann on 29th May, by A. de Blacam. After a touching reference to the author, the reviewer went on as follows :
“These soldiers of the spirit (the Jesuit acquaintances of A. de Blacam posted in the midst of the conflict) were at their place of service. We could not regret that it was theirs to stand in momentary peril of death, ministering to the sufferers, Christians and pagans, men and women of many races and of both sides in the battle, and cannot regret that Fr. Tom was there, to compile the heroic story, as he has done so well in - Jesuits Under Fire. This must be one of the very best books that the war has brought forth, It concerns one of the most fierce and, in a way, most critical of the war's events; and it gains in interest, pathos, vividness and value by its detached authorship. A combatant hardly could write impartially. The non-combatant, by nationality a neutral, he can tell the story with the historic spirit, and as a priest with sacred compassion. To this, little need be added. Read the book; it cannot be summarised, and it calls for no criticism. Read of the physical horror of bombardment, and of the anguish of souls; the violence that spares not, because it cannot spare, age, sex or calling, in the havoc. Read of the priests’ work of healing and comfort, under fire of Fr. Gallagher moving a few yards by chance, or by divine Providence, from a spot in the building which immediately after received a direct hit-of the family Rosary that we had known long ago in our homes in Ireland, said in the shattered library, between the shellings, and Fr. Bourke sitting in the ruins to note down the marriages and baptisms of the day.”
The book should do valuable propaganda work for our Mission and awaken vocations to the Society. Presentation copies were sent to the relatives of all of Ours present in Hong Kong during the siege. Cardinal MacRory and the Bishops of the dioceses in Ireland where we have houses were sent copies of a limited edition de luxe. A few dates connected with the MS and its publication may be of interest. Rev. Fr. Provincial received the typescript from Free China on 15th January, 1943. Extra copies of the work had first to be typed, so that, in these the original perished for any reason, copies might be available. When the work of censoring had been completed, it remained to find a publisher. This was effected in August, 1943, when Burns Oates & Washbourne agreed to publish it, and the contract was signed by Fr. Provincial and Christopher Hollis (on behalf of the Company), on 20th September, 1943. Owing to unavoidable delays in the work of printing, it did not appear till 28th April, 1944. One benefit accruing from the delays attending the printing was that in the meantime much better paper was available than had originally been chosen.

Irish Province News 46th Year No 2 1971
Obituary :
Fr Thomas F Ryan SJ
Father Tommy Ryan died at Canossa Hospital, Hong Kong, on the evening of 4th February, aged 81. Early in January he had scalded a foot in a simple accident in his room, and went to hospital for treatment. He returned to Wah Yan for a few days in the middle of the month, and then (very untypical of him) asked to be brought back to hospital. After a heart complication towards the end of the month his condition gradually weakened and he entered a coma in which he finally died peacefully. He was laid to rest in the Happy Valley cemetery after a funeral Mass in St. Margaret's church on Saturday morning, 6th February. He had outlived many of his numerous friends and admirers in Hong Kong, and his long retirement had taken him out of public prominence, although to the end he had maintained contact with a wide circle of friends who appreciated his kind and courteous thoughtfulness. His advice too was gratefully sought by a number of people, for he retained an amazingly wide knowledge of Hong Kong affairs. Such was his reputation in government circles and among retired British civil servants and administrators that the current British Common Market negotiator, Mr. Geoffrey Rippon, called on “T.F.” during an official visit to Hong Kong last year. But the warmest letters of sympathy and remembrance which followed his death came from very ordinary people, notably from men who'd known him in his work in Dublin and in the early days of the Belvedere News boys' Club,
Fr Ryan was born in Cork, Ireland, on 30th December 1889, and entered the Society after completing his secondary education at Presentation College. During his studies he spent many years on the continent of Europe, and travelled widely as he had also done before entering, developing a life-long knowledge and love of art, music and literature which made him a man of culture and refinement. He obtained an M.A. degree from the National University of Ireland, taught the then usual 6 years of regency in Ireland, and was ordained in Dublin in 1922. After a further year in Italy, he was assigned to Belvedere College and the editorial staff of the Messenger of the Sacred Heart.
In addition to his teaching and writing, Fr Ryan immediately took a great interest in many welfare projects; he interested him self in the plight of Dublin's poorest people, slum dwellers, down and-outs and in particular their children. He helped found the Belvedere Newsboys Club for the street kids, and the Housing Society to provide decent cheap flats for their parents. For five years he sat on the bench of the Juvenile Court and during his time visited every Remand Home, Reformatory and institute or detention in Ireland; he was also a member of the Playground Association, and of the committee of the Industrial Development Association.
Fr Ryan had asked to be sent to Hong Kong as soon as the Mission was first mooted, but was not sent until 1933 after a T.D.'s quotation of him in Dail Eireann had raised some episcopal eyebrows. His departure from Dublin was an occasion in the city, a Royal send-off in which the newsboys of the city and their parents accompanied him to the boat, crowded the dockside and shouted themselves hoarse as his boat pulled away; “a demonstration of regret at the loss of the friends of Dublin newsboys and all tenement dwellers in Dublin”. After arriving in Hong Kong that autumn, Fr. Ryan went to Shiu Hing near Canton to study Chinese for a year, and then returned to teach at Wah Yan College in Robinson Road. He became editor of the Rock, a monthly periodical which made a mark in its time and is still remembered today. Fr Ryan's vigorous personality was apparent from the first issue he produced, and he continued as editor until the outbreak of war in 1941 and the occupation of Hong Kong ended its publication. The Rock was a vehicle for Fr Ryan's strongly-felt convictions on the social problems of Hong Kong and the abuses which he felt existed in the colony; he also, alone in Hong Kong, championed the Franco cause in the Spanish civil war, and later received a decoration from the Spanish government in recognition of his writings in those years. At the same time he was also becoming known as a radio personality, giving regular series of interesting and stimulating talks on English novelists, poets, dramatists, essayists, and on art and music, painters and composers. And he preached regularly on the air, over ZBW the predecessor of modern Radio Hong Kong.
Every facet of life in Hong Kong always interested him, and besides writing and talking he devoted much of his time to working for the under-privileged and people in need. At Wah Yan, he encouraged the founding of a Shoeshiners Club (on the pattern of the Belvedere Newsboys Club) which later blossomed into the present Boys and Girls' Clubs' Association; with the Anglican Bishop of Hong Kong and Macao, the Rt Rev R O Hall, he founded the Hong Kong Housing Society, the local pioneer in the fields of low-cost housing and housing management - the Society still has a Jesuit member on its committee and has been responsible for housing well over 100,000 people in about 20,000 flats in more than 14 estates, and he was involved with refugee and relief work before, during and after the Pacific War, beginning in 1938 when many thousands of people fled to Hong Kong in the wake of the Japanese invasion of South China - he recruited senior boys in the college to help, and was chairman of the War Relief Committee when the Japanese attacked Hong Kong in December 1941. In his later active years, Fr Ryan was a founder member of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, a member of the Social Welfare Advisory Committee, of the Board of Education, of the Religious Advisory Committee on Broadcasting, of the City Hall Committee and several others.
In the Rock, Fr Ryan had frequently castigated the Japanese military for their inhuman conduct in China, and consequently was no keener on meeting them than anyone else when they captured Hong Kong. During the siege, he offered his services for any humanitarian work, and spent the early days assisting the administrative staff at Queen Mary Hospital, taking charge later on of the distribution of rice in the Central district where he narrowly escaped death during an air raid one morning. In the first weeks after the surrender, Fr Ryan got all of the Jesuits in Hong Kong to write their experiences of the 18 days of siege, which he later edited and had published as Jesuits Under Fire. Despite his forebodings, however, the Japanese did not seek him out, so he began to make arrangements to go into China. With Fr Harold Craig, who'd also arrived with him in 1933, he left Hong Kong on 17th May, 1942 for the tiny French settlement in Kwangchauwan, and arrived at Kweilin, Kwangsi, on 10th June. There he stayed with Msgr Romaniello and began getting in touch with the many Hong Kong Catholics passing through Kweilin. He helped many spiritually, and found employment for others, often with the allied forces as interpreters. For the British consulate in Kweilin, he made analyses of the French newspapers from Hanoi, and after HQ in Delhi read these he was working every night with a battery of translators making out the trends of opinion from the Chinese press. Life in war-time Kweilin could be hectic; like many cities in China at that time, quite often the city was deserted during the day as people went out to the caves in the nearby mountains when warnings of air-raids were given, returning at evening when normal city life began again and went on till the early hours of the morning. In mid 1944 Kweilin had to be abandoned before a Japanese advance towards Indochina, and Fr Ryan was brought by the British consulate party to Kweiyang where at first he stayed with the bishop. Recovering from a serious bout of pneumonia and convalescing with Fr Pat Grogan at the minor seminary a few miles out in the hills from the city, the question for Fr Ryan was where to move to next. The superior in Hong Kong, Fr Joy, had earlier decided against Fr Ryan going to Chungking; but the superior of the 'dispersi' in China, Fr Donnelly, decided that with the change of time and circumstances the prohibition no longer held. Fr Ryan agreed but declared that if it had been left to himself he would not go to Chungking Nevertheless he began to prepare for the journey north. He had been warned that Chungking was a hilly place without transport, so he practised climbing the hills around the minor seminary at Sze-tse-pa with Fr Grogan just to see if his heart was really equal to Chungking. Having decided that he had nothing to fear he started on the 3-day trip by military lorry to the war-time capital. There, with a Dominican friend from Kweilin, he ran an English-speaking church, St. Joseph's, and became active in refugee work, keeping up his good relations with the allied armies and their diplomatic missions. He was also involved in cultural activities in Chungking, and did a regular series of broadcasts on music and literature which were heard and appreciated by people as far apart as Burma and the southern Philippines. His knowledge of Hong Kong problems so impressed the British ambassador that he wanted Fr Ryan to fly to London to confer with the government there about Hong Kong; the ending of the war, however, changed the plans to Fr Ryan's great relief, and he was free to prepare to go back to Hong Kong,
At the end of the war in 1945 when British forces reoccupied Hong Kong, the then Colonial Secretary, Mr. McDougal who had known Fr Ryan in Chungking and admired his drive and efficiency, invited him to come to Hong Kong and give his services to the rehabilitation of the colony. Fr Ryan accepted, a plane was put as his disposal, and soon he found himself in the unusual position for a Jesuit of being a member of his Majesty's government in Hong Kong. He was appointed Acting Superintendent of Agriculture, and helped to set up the Department of Agriculture in 1946. Re-afforestation was one of the important problems on his desk, since the colony had been greatly denuded of trees during the occupation years. New methods of raising seedlings were introduced, red-tape circumvented in unorthodox ways in bringing in plants and seeds from Australia, many of the present trees and shrubs in the Botanical Gardens were planted (and Fr Ryan took a personal interest in the gardeners' welfare as well), large areas of the New Territories sown, and roadside trees planted along many thoroughfares. Another problem was the plight of the vegetable growers who were being exploited by middlemen; the farmers were getting very poor prices for their produce while consumers had to pay high prices. In 1946 the Wholesale Vegetable Marketing Organisation was set up to counteract the middlemen, who retaliated with a strong fight leading to some ugly incidents in the New Territories; eventually, however, the W.V.M.O. won out.
Early in 1947, with the return of the permanent members of the government, Fr Ryan was able to relinquish his official work and return to Ireland for a much needed rest. But he was a man who never believed in taking a rest, and by August of that year had returned to Hong Kong, having been appointed Regional Superior of the Mission in Hong Kong and Canton. In his new office he exercised his customary energy and vigour, made plans for educational developments in Canton, selected men to be sent abroad for specialised work in social and educational problems, and began plans for the building of the two new Wah Yan Colleges whose choice sites he was responsible for obtaining. His belief that the communists would never take Canton and the south was perhaps his most notable failure of judgement. On ceasing to be Superior in 1950 he returned eagerly to the classroom, a work he believed to be one of the highest forms of Jesuit activity and one in which he himself was very successful, most of his closest Chinese friends being former pupils of his; he always had a great interest and memory for boys he had taught. He also devoted much of his time and talents at this period to promoting social service and cultural activities, being associated with or actively engaged in almost every government committee concerned with the poor and underprivileged, as well as a personal friend and confidant of the Governor, Sir Alexander Grantham. He became the regular music critic of the South China Morning Post and frequently wrote the programme notes for concerts and recitals by visiting musicians and orchestras, as well as continuing to broadcast regularly about music, and give lectures. Literature (which he taught at Wah Yan), art and old Hong Kong were among his regular topics in speech and writing, and he was a contributor to the Jesuit monthly Outlook. He published Fr Dan Finn's Archeological Finds on Lamma Island and wrote a number of books over the years: China through Catholic Eyes, Ricci, One Hundred Years (the centenary of the diocese of HK), Jesuits in China, A Catholic Guide to Hong Kong he had visited every outlying parish, and at one time knew every street and backstreet of Hong Kong and Kowloon like the back of his hand.
At the age of 60, Fr Ryan characteristically decided that it was time for him to withdraw from many of the committees of which he was a member, to make way for younger people. However, he still continued to take an active interest in all his old activities and was frequently called upon for advice and help, by people of every class and nationality. He continued working and teaching for several more years, even after a severe heart attack in 1957 greatly curtailed his activities; ill-health finally forced him to retire in the early '60s, though his mind and brain remained as clear and acute as ever. His last public appearance was at the University of Hong Kong in 1966 when an Honorary Degree, D Litt., was conferred on him in recognition of his social, musical and literary work. In recent years, deteriorating health confined him to the house entirely, apart from occasional spells in hospital. Nevertheless he continued to receive a number of regular visitors whenever he felt up to it, and remained interested and well-informed on everything happening in Hong Kong, particularly in social questions, cultural activities and in government, as well as in the Society at large and in the activities of all the members of the province especially the scholastics, Jesuit visitors to the house, and our own men returning, from abroad, were usually subjected to his detailed questioning which revealed an already wide acquaintance with the topics he wanted more information about. With his knowledge and contacts, the advice and encouragement he readily gave to anyone, especially people concerned in social action, was invaluable,
A man of dynamic character and strong convictions, Fr Ryan had little patience with inefficiency, slovenliness, red tape or bureaucratic methods of dealing with human problems. Behind a somewhat serious appearance and sometimes brusque manner there was a shyness, a deep humility and a kindliness which endeared him to all who knew him well. He was a man of great moral courage and high principles, with a highly cultivated mind and a very particular affection for the poor and the needy; and, as many of his former pupils and others can testify, he was a genuine friend when one was needed. Though familiarly known to his colleagues as T.F. or Tommy, it was a familiarity one did not risk in his presence; perhaps his brethren were too cowed by his known force fulness and forthrightness and by the esteem and honour in which he was held; less inhibited outsiders spoke to him in a way no member of his community dared. Of course he had his foibles and pet hates; his extreme reticence and his ruthlessness in destroying most of his papers and writings have meant that much of the story of his life can never be told - from his occasional reminiscences, he clearly had a wealth of experiences and interests which would : have made a fascinating commentary on Dublin in the '20s, the recent history of Hong Kong and almost the whole history of the Society in this part of the world. Fr Tommy Ryan was undoubtedly one of the giants of this and of the Irish Province; his name and achievements deserve remembrance and gratitude beyond the circle of those who now miss his presence with us ... but his own preference was for obscurity, that he should not be a burden to anyone, and that younger people should break new ground, for the greater glory of God.
May he rest in peace.

Shields, Bernard Joseph, 1931-2005, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/722
  • Person
  • 25 March 1931-03 April 2005

Born: 25 March 1931, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1966
Died: 03 April 2005, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

by 1957 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language
by 1965 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Bernard Joseph Shields S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Joseph Shields of the Society of Jesus, died in his sleep on 3 April 2005, he was 74.

Father Shields was born on 25 March 1931 in Dublin, Ireland and was a much-loved volunteer staff member of the Sunday Examiner. He will be sorely missed. He was ordained a priest on 31 July 1962 in Dublin.

There will be a Requiem Mass to be celebrated by Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun at Christ the King Chapel, Causeway Bay, on 16 April at 10am with vigil prayers on the previous evening at the Hong Kong Funeral parlor, North Point. The Jesuit community will welcome visitors from 5:30pm. He will be buried at St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery, Happy Valley.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 10 April 2005

Mourning a quiet Jesuit

“I first met ‘Father Joe’, as we fondly called him, in the early 1980s at Holy Spirit College,” reminisced Chan Sui-jeung. “I was looking for research materials on Judaism and he directed me to Matteo Ricci’s dairy, a copy of which was in the college library.” Chan said that their common interest in classics and Chinese history led them into the first of many long conversations.

Chan related that he next came into contact with the Irish-born Jesuit, Father Bernard J. Shields, about 10 years later at the office of the Sunday Examiner. Father Joe did the proofreading and I came as a volunteer,” said Chan. “Office space was at a premium. At times we even shared the same desk!” He said that the always thorough and meticulous “gentle priest with the unusual turn of phrase” was a great asset to the editorial staff, especially when the chase was on for the “right turn of phrase.”

Chan said their quiet moments together produced stories about Father Joe’s student days under the late Father Edward Collins SJ, how he had assisted in sorting Father Turner’s manuscript on Tang Dynasty poetry and his three or so years in Taiwan at the Fu Jen University, where he had met distinguished Jesuit scholars like Father Fang Chi Yung and Father Simon Chin. Chan also noted that he learned to complement his Cantonese language skills with a “quite acceptable Putonghua.”

His long-time friend pointed out a little known fact about Father Joe. “He was a considerable authority on history and the works of Giuseppe Castiglione. When one of the animal heads of the Yang Ming Garden in Beijing went on sale in Hong Kong, it was Father Shields who informed the auctioneer that their historical write up was inaccurate.”

Born on 25 March 1931, he attended Christian Brothers and Jesuit schools in Ireland and joined the society in 1948, taking first vows in 1950. Three years at University College Dublin gave him a first class honours degree in Latin, Greek and ancient history. He came to Hong Kong in 1956 and returned home for theology studies and later ordination in Milltown, Dublin, on the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, 31 July 1962. He then studied Sacred Scripture in Rome and returned to Hong Kong in 1973. He taught at the diocesan seminary in Aberdeen, the Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Anglican Theological Seminary.

He was also a mentor in Hebrew at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and took students to visit the synagogue in the Mid-Levels on more than one occasion. Chan said,

“I had plans to introduce him to the well-stocked library at the Jewish Community Centre.”

He recalls him as humble, soft-spoken with a gentle smile, popular and loved. Shy and retiring by nature, Father Shields nevertheless stood up and spoke boldly when interviewed on television while participating in a street rally in Hong Kong, on 11 April last year, in defence of his much loved brother and sister Catholics on the mainland.

Chan has fond memories of wine, beers and cheese in the newspaper office at the end of a hard day, when the then editor, Maryknoll Father John Casey, would jokingly accuse Father Shields of being “un-Irish” for taking “water only” during the sacred office ritual.

Father Bernard Joseph Shields died in his sleep on Sunday, 3 April. His three sisters came from Ireland to attend his funeral, celebrated by Bishops Joseph Zen Ze-kiun and John Tong Hon with some 35 priests, at Christ the King Chapel, Causeway Bay, on 16 April. Approximately 400 people came to celebrate his life and mourn his passing. Fellow Jesuits, Fathers Robert Ng and John Russell paid tribute to him at the Mass. He was buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery in Happy Valley.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 24 April 2005

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was born in Dublin in 1931 and educated at Belvedere College SJ. His father was Professor of Economics at University College Dublin, bequeathing to his son a love of scholarship and books.

He joined the Society in 1948 and followed the usual course of studies, including a Degree in Classical Latin and Greek, and he was sent to Hong Kong for Regency in 1956.

He wanted to master Cantonese spending two years at Cheung Chau and was then sent to Wah Yan College Hong Kong, teaching for a year before returning to Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park, and he was Ordained by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid in 1962. He then made Tertianship, and after that was sent to Rome for a Doctorate in Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute.

The intention was that he would remain in Rome to teach, but then he was invited by the Chinese Provincial Frank Borkhardt to teach instead at the Theology Faculty of Fujen Catholic University in Taiwan. To prepare for this he undertook Mandarin studies at the Jesuit language school of Hsinchu for 18 months.

1973 He returned to Hong Kong teaching Scripture at the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen, and he also became its librarian for many years. On return he was also briefly Master of Novices in Cheung Chau.
1977 He was invited to teach Theology at Chung Chi College where he taught New Testament Greek and Studies.

Over his time in Hong Kong he also taught at Lutheran Theological Seminary, Shatin, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, SKH Ming Hua Anglican Theological College.

He also served as Socius to the Regional Secretary for Macau-Hong Kong, William Lo (1991-1996).

Light-hearted and willing to help in any way he could, he also proof-read the Sunday Examiner, as well as normal priestly ministries, such as the Adam Shcall residence once a month.

He was scholarly and keen on accurate information. He was also modest and well mannered, eschewing argument or controversy, preferring to be a conciliator, seeking understanding and peace.

He was especially dedicated to the Church’s Mission in China and its people.