Wah Yan College (Hong Kong)

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Wah Yan College (Hong Kong)

Wah Yan College (Hong Kong)

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Wah Yan College (Hong Kong)

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Barrett, Cyril J, 1917-1989, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1989

Obituary

Father Cyril Barrett SJ

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1989

Obituary

Father Cyril J Barrett SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1937 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

Second World War Chaplain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1992

Obituary

Father Alan Birmingham SJ

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

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

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

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

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

Bourke, Edward, 1895-1985, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Irish Province News 60th Year No 3 1985

Obituary

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

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

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

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

Brady, Peter, 1926-2007, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1954 at Hong Kong - Regency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brosnan, Matthew, 1923-1997, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

by 1951 at Hong Kong - Regency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1997

Obituary

Father Matthew Brosnan SJ (OB 1942)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The hospital waived its fees, as did the doctors.

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

HN SJ

Butler, Richard P, 1915-1999, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999

Obituary

Fr Richard (Dickie) Butler (1915-1999)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In lothlainn Dé go gcastar sinn.

Liam Greene

-oOo-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brendan Comerford

Byrne, George, 1879-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/708
  • Person
  • 07 February 1879-03 January 1962

Born: 07 February 1879, Blackrock, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1894, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 30 July 1911, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 03 January 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin

Younger brother of William Byrne - RIP 1943

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Came to Australia for Regency 1902
by 1899 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong Mission : 02 December 1926
by 1927 first Hong Kong Missioner with John Neary
by 1931 Hong Kong Mission Superior 02 December 1926

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
1894-1898 After his First Vows at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, he remained there for two further years of Juniorate
1898-1901 He was sent to Valkenburk Netherlands for Philosophy.
1901-1908 He was sent to Australia and St Ignatius College Riverview for Regency, where he taught and was Third Division Prefect. He was also in charge charge of Senior Debating (1905-1908) and in 1904 was elected to the Council of the Teachers Association of New South Wales.
1908-1912 he returned to Ireland and Milltown Park Dublin for Theology
1912-1914 He made Tertianship at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, and the following year appointed Socius to the Novice Master.
1914-1919 He was sent to Australia as Superior and Master of Novices at Loyola College Greenwich. He was also a Consultor of the Sydney Mission and gave Retreats and taught the Juniors. This occurred at a time when it was decided to reopen the Noviceship in Australia. As such he was “lent” to the Australian Mission for three years, but the outbreak of war and some delaying tactics on the part of the Mission Superior William Lockington, he remained longer than expected.
1919-1923 On his return to Ireland he became Novice Master again.
1930 He went to the Irish Mission in Hong Kong and worked there for many years, before returning to Ireland and Milltown Park, where he died.

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father George Byrne
R.I.P.

Father George Byrne, S.J., the first Regional Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits and for many years one of the best Known priests in Hong Kong, died in Ireland on Thursday, 4 January 1962, aged 83.

Father Byrne arrived in Hong Kong from Ireland, with one other Jesuit Father, on 2 December 1926, and at once started to look for work, both for himself and for the Jesuits who would soon follow him to Hong Kong. He found abundant work for both. Within a decade, though always very short of men, he had staffed the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, built and opened Ricci hall, a Catholic hostel for students in the University of Hong Kong, taken over Wah Yan College from its founders, restarted as a monthly the Hong Kong Catholic review, The Rock, which had ceased publication shortly before his arrival, and provided for a time Jesuit teachers for Sacred Heart College, Canton.

These were the works he did through others. His own personal work was infinitely varied, as might have been expected from one of his many-sided character - at once scholarly and practical. At the time of his ordination he had been informed that he was destined a specialist’s life as a professor of theology. This plan was later changed and for the rest of his life he was to be, not a specialist, but one ready for anything. Nevertheless he retained some of the marks of the savant.

He was always a voracious reader, able to pour out an astonishing variety of information on almost any subject at a moment’s notice in English, French, or Latin. This gift, joined to a strong personality, a commanding appearance, and a powerful and very flexible voice, made him an admirable public speaker, whether in the pulpit, at retreats and conferences, at meetings of societies and associations, or in the lecturer’s chair in the University of Hong Kong. Where he readily deputised during the furloughs of the professors of education and of history. As a broadcaster, he had the rare gift of being able to project his personality across the ether and so hold the attention of his unseen audience.

As a writer, and he wrote much, he was primarily a discursive essayist, a member of a literary tribe that seems to have disappeared during World War II. His monthly articles in The Rock and the weekly column that he contributed for years to the South China Morning Post under the title ‘The Student’s Window’ might be in turn grimly earnest, genially informative, and gaily trivial, but they were always written in urbane and rhythmic English that carried the reader unprotestingly to the last full stop.

Despite these numerous public activities, he was probably best known as an adviser. During the many years he spent in Ricci Hall, he was always at home to the great numbers of people of all kinds - lay and cleric, Catholic and non-Catholic, men and women, young and old - who came seeking the solution of intellectual, religious, or personal problems from one who they knew would be both wise and kind.

Father Byrne was in Hong Kong in the early days of the war and displayed remarkable courage and physical energy in defending Ricci Hall against a band of marauders. By this time he was no longer superior, and he was already over 60. He went, therefore, to Dalat, Vietnam, where he spent the rest of the war years, Soon after the war, he went to Ireland for medical treatment and, though still capable of a hard day’s work, was advised on medical grounds that he must not return to the Far East.

This was a blow, but he did not repine. He retained his interest in and affection for Hong Kong, but he quickly set about finding an abundance of work in Ireland. Once again he found it. Not long after his arrival the director of retreats in Ireland was heard to say that if he could cut Father George Byrne in four and sent each part to give a retreat, he would still be unable to satisfy all the convents that were clamouring for him.

He still wrote and he still lectured and he still gave advice. Only very gradually did he allow advancing old age to cut down his work. As he had always wished, he worked to the end.

Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated in Ricci Hall chapel by the warden Father R. Harris, S.J., on Monday, 8 January. In the congregation that filled the chapel, in addition to his fellow Jesuits, there were many who still remember Father Byrne even in the city of short memories. Those present included Father A. Granelli, P.I.M.E., P.P., representing His Lordship the Bishop; Bishop Donahy, M.M., Father McKiernan M.M, Father B. Tohill, S.D.B., Provincial, Father Vircondalet, M.E.M., Brother Felix, F.S.C., Father P. O’Connor, S.S.C., representative groups of Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres of the Maryknoll Sisters, of the Colomban Sisters, and many others. The Mass was served by Dr. George Choa.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 12 January 1962

RICCI Souvenir Record of the Silver Jubilee of Ricci Hall Hong Kong University 1929-1954

Note from John Neary Entry
He has nevertheless his little niche in our history. He was one of the two Jesuits - Father George Byrne was the other - who came here on 2 December 1926, to start Jesuit work in Hong Kong. Their early decisions have influenced all later Jesuit work here.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He could be called the founder of the Irish Jesuits in Hong Kong, as most of the older institutions in Hong Kong were started under him at Ricci (1929), Aberdeen (1931 and Wah Yan Hong Kong (1933).
After his term as Mission Superior (1926-1935) he lectured, preached and wrote. He had a weekly column in the “South China Morning Post” called “The Philosophers Chair”. During the Japanese occupation he went to a French Convent School to teach Philosophy. After 1946 he returned to Ireland and taught Ascetical and Mystical Theology yo Jesuits in Dublin.
Imaginative and versatile, pastoral and intellectual, he gave 20 of his peak years to Hong Kong (1926-1946) after which he returned to Ireland to give another 20 years service.

Note from John Neary Entry
In 1926 Fr John Fahy appointed him and George Byrne to respond to the request from Bishop Valtora of Hong Kong for Jesuit help.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

Fr Pigot attended the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Tokyo as a delegate representing the Australian Commonwealth Government. He was Secretary to the Seismological Section, and read two important papers. On the journey home he spent some time in hospital in Shanghai, and later touched at Hong Kong where he met Frs. Byrne and Neary.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Leeson St :
We were very glad to have several members of the Hong Kong Mission with us for some time: Frs. P. Joy, T. Fitzgerald, and H. O'Brien, while Fr. George Byrne has joined us as one of the community.

Irish Province News 37th Year No 2 1962

Obituary :

Fr George Byrne (1879-1962)

Few men in the history of the Irish Province for the last sixty years have seen so many aspects of the life and development of the Province as did Fr. George Byrne, who died in Dublin on 4th January at the ripe age of 83, of which 67 were spent in the Society. Born in Cork in 1879, he received his early education first at Clongowes (where he was in the Third Line with a boy three years younger than him called James Joyce!) and later at Mungret. He entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1894; made his philosophy at Vals, in France, taught for seven years as a scholastic in Riverview College, Australia; then back to Milltown Park, Dublin, for theology where he was ordained in 1911. His tertianship was made in Tullabeg, and he remained on there in the following year as Socius to the Master of Novices, but after a few months Australia claimed him again.
Early in 1914 he was named Master of Novices of the resuscitated Australian novitiate at Loyola, Sydney, combining this with the office of Superior of the House until 1918. A year later, in 1919, he is on the high seas again, this time returning to be Master of Novices at Tullabeg from 1919 to 1922,
In 1922 he became an operarius at St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, and during the next four years, among his other ministeria, was the first chaplain to the first Governor-General of the newly-established Irish Free State, Mr. Timothy Healy, K.C.
With 1926 came the decision that the Irish Province establish a Jesuit mission in Hong Kong at the invitation of the Vicar Apostolic, Bishop Henry Valtorta. Fr. Byrne, with Fr. John Neary, arrived in Hong Kong on 2nd December of the same year. Shortly afterwards Fr. Byrne became the Superior of the young mission. The years that followed, until his retirement to Ireland for health reasons in 1946, will undoubtedly be the period of Fr. Byrne's life that will establish his important standing in the recent history of the Irish Province. It is therefore fitting that we should allow them to be dealt with from Hong Kong sources. We take the following from The South China Morning Post for 5th January, 1962:
“News has just been received from Dublin, Ireland, of the death there of Fr. George Byrne, S.J., who was well known in Hong Kong for many years. He was the first Superior here of the Irish Jesuits. He was 83.
Fr, Byrne, with one other Jesuit priest, came to Hong Kong in Dec ember 1926. It was under his direction that arrangements were made for the various forms of work undertaken by the Jesuits in the Colony. The first of these was the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen, which was under the direction of the bishops of South China, and was intended for the education and training of candidates for the priesthood in their dioceses. The staffing of it was entrusted to the Jesuits.
Fr. Byrne also arranged for the building of Ricci Hall, a Catholic hostel of the University of Hong Kong. He lived there for many years and always maintained a close contact with the university. He was a member of the Court and deputised, during periods of leave, for the Professor of Education and the Professor of History,
He was prominent in the years before the war as a lecturer and broadcaster and writer. He re-started the publication of the Catholic monthly magazine, The Rock, to which he was a regular contributor. He also for a long time contributed a weekly article, "The Student's Window", to The South China Morning Post.
He took an active part also in cducational matters. He was a member of the Board of Education, and he arranged for the taking over of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, from its original founders. He had many associations with the religious institutions, where he was much in demand for conferences and retreats, He spoke with equal fluency in English, French and Latin.
During the war he was in Dalat, Indo-China, and soon after his return to Hong Kong got into bad health and returned to Europe for medical treatment. His recovery was more complete than was expected, but medical advice was against his return to the East.
During recent years, though old and in failing health, he was still very active as a writer in Catholic periodicals, and he always maintained his interest in Hong Kong. He left here many friends who remember him as a man of great kindness and universal sympathy, who carried lightly his wide scholarship, and who was always unchanged in his urbanity and good humour. Many professional men remember him too for his wise guidance in their student days and they, with a host of others, will always recall him with respect and affection”.
It only remains to say that though medical authorities refused to allow his return to Hong Kong, the years from 1946 until his death were as full of activities as ever. He continued to write and to lecture and to direct souls as of old. He filled the important post of Instructor of Tertians for years at Rathfarnham and from than until his death he was Professor of Ascetical Theology and spiritual director to the theologians at Milltown Park. Only very gradually did he allow advancing years to cut down his work. As he had always wished, he worked to the end.

From the Bishop of Hong Kong

16 Caine Road,
Hong Kong
10th January, 1962.

Dear Fr. O'Conor,
The news of the death of Rev. Fr. George Byrne, S.J., caused deep regret among all the many friends he left in Hong Kong, among whom I am proud to count myself.
His pioneer work here was that of a great missionary and of a far sighted organiser. His memory and the example of his zeal will be cherished in Hong Kong.
While expressing to you, Very Reverend Father, my sympathy for the great loss of your Province and your Society, I wish to take the opportunity of assuring you of tne grateful appreciation by the clergy and laity of Hong Kong for the generous collaboration your Fathers are offering to us in carrying the burden of this diocese.
Asking for the blessing of Our Lord on your apostolic work,
Yours very sincerely in Christ,
+Lawrence Bianchi,
Bishop of Hong Kong.

The Very Rev. Charles O'Conor, S.J.,
Loyola,
87 Eglinton Road,
Ballsbridge,
Dublin,
Ireland.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father George Byrne SJ 1879-1962
Few men in the history of the Province for the last 60 years have seen and contributed to so many aspects of the life and development of our Province than Fr George Byrne, who died in Dublin on January 4th 1962.

He was born in Cork in 1879, educated at Mungret at Clongowes, and he entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1894.

In 1914 he was named Master of Novices to the resusicitated Novitiate at Loyola, Sydney, Australia, returning from that post to take up a similar one at Tullabeg from 1919 to 1922.

On the foundation of the Irish Free State he became chaplain to the first Governor-General, Mr Tim Healy.

When we started our Mission in Hong Kong, Fr Byrne went out as founder and first Superior. These were creative days,. He built Ricci Hall, negotiated the taking over of the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen, and he took over Wah Yan College from its original owners. At the same time he was prominent as a lecturer, broadcaster and writer, as well as part-time Professor in the University. He started the Catholic magazine “The Rock”, and for a long time contributed to the “South China Morning Post”

For health reasons he returned to Ireland in 1946. During the remaining years of his life he was Tertian-Instructor at Rathfarnham and Spiritual Father at Milltown. He continued to write, give retreats, thus keeping in harness till the end, as he himself wished.

Truly a rich life in achievement and of untold spiritual good to many souls. As a religious, he enjoyed gifts of higher prayer and was endowed with the gift of tears.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1929

Our Past

Father George Byrne SJ

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1930

Three Years in China : Impressions and Hopes

Father George Byrne SJ

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

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

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

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1962

Obituary

Father George Byrne SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carroll, John, 1911-1957, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Older brother of Denis Carroll - RIP 1992

by 1939 at Loyola Hong Kong - studying

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Requiem Mass for Former Wah Yan College Rector

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

◆ Mungret Annual, 1957

Obituary

Father John Carroll SJ

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

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

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

Casey, Gerard H, 1905-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/488
  • Person
  • 22 August 1905-03 February 1989

Born: 22 August 1905, Dungiven, County Derry
Entered: 31 August 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1940, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong
Died: 03 February 1989, St Mary’s Home, Aberdeen. Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1928 at Eegenhoven, Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1931 fourth wave Hong Kong Missioners - Regency
by 1938 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Following a Noviceship at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg he was sent to UCD where he graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Latin and Greek.
1927-1930 He was then sent to Leuven, Belgium for Philosophy, whilst at the same time writing an MA thesis in Classics for UCD.
1930 he was sent to Hong Kong for Regency, and he was outstanding in his mastery of Cantonese, and he also learned Mandarin.
He then returned to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology, and after Ordination in 1936, he made Tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales

Having come originally come as a scholastic to Hong Kong. he returned after Ordination and became a teacher at Wah Yan College Hong Kong, a Lecturer in Geography at the University of Hong Kong. He had also taught at Belvedere College in Dublin. He was a teacher at Sacred Heart School, Canton. He taught English at United College in The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and also taught Church History at the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen.

He published a Cantonese-English Dictionary and a 100,000 Character Dictionary with basic meanings of characters and their sounds in Mandarin and Cantonese.

He also spent time as a Chaplain at Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong.

Note from Paddy Joy Entry
In late May 1943, along with Fr Gerry Casey he was arrested by the Japanese and interned at Stanley until August 7. According to Fr Casey “The dominate feature in Paddy Joy’s character was his solicitude, primarily for the conversion of pagans Though he couldn’t speak Chinese well, he pointed out one prisoner to me that he thought could be instructed and baptised, and I found he was right...... he had an observant eye and a keen mind. In public debate about moral matters such as birth control, he was quick and effective,”

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

Frs. G. Casey and C. O'Conor represented the Province at the Solem Requiem Mass celebrated at Kikeel Church, Co. Down on 22nd January for the late Fr. John Sloan, S.J., of Patna Mission (Chicago Province) who perished in the Dakota crash outside Karachi on the night of 27th December. Fr. O'Conor was the Celebrant. A brief account of his career appears below.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1989

Obituary

Father Gerard Casey SJ

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

Chan, Albert, 1915-2005, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 25 January 1915, Pacasmayo, Peru / Kunming, Yunnan, China
Entered: 30 July 1934, Rizal, Philippines (MARNEB for HIB)
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977
Died: 10 March 2005, Los Gatos, California, USA - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

by 1938 at Loyola, Hong Kong - studying

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His father brought him back from Peru at the age of 7 and he went to the Sacred Heart School in Canton. He joined the Society for Hong Kong because of his admiration for the Irish Jesuits he had met at Sacred Heart (1928-1934). Fr Dan Finn was the focus of his admiration.
He began his novitiate in Manila, and then he studied Latin and Greek.
1939 He came to Hong Kong and spent a year studying Calligraphy and Chinese Literature.
1940-1942 He taught at Wah Yan College Hong Kong
1942-1947 He was sent to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology, and he was Ordained there with Dominic Tang Yi-Ming (later Archbishop).
He was then sent to Harvard University in Cambridge MA for a PhD in the History of Ming China, which he finished c 1954/5
1955-1985 He returned to live at Wah Yan College Kowloon
1985-2005 He went to the USA

He was essentially a Historian of Chinese History. He was the author of many books, articles, writings and collections including :
“The Glory and the Fall of the Ming Dynasty” (1982); “Peking under the Ming Dynasty”; “Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome - a Descriptive Catalogue.

Fr Freddie Deignan says : “He contributed many articles to the “New Catholic Encyclopaedia” (1967) and the “Dictionary of Ming Biography (1368-1644). He left behind an unpublished book “Peking under the Ming Dynasty”. He was well respected for his historical and academic contributions. He had built up a library of more than 70,000 books in his field (some very rare which he bought from used bookstores).

In his later days he concentrated on the Archives of the Jesuits in Rome. Then in 1985 he finally moved to the Ricci Institute for Chinese History and Culture at the University of San Francisco as a researcher, poet, calligrapher and writer.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 132 : Summer 2007

FIRST CHINESE TO JOIN THE IRISH PROVINCE : FR ALBERT CHAN (1915-2005)

Alfred J Deignan

I was in Emo Park as a novice in July 1947 when the newly ordained Father Albert Chan came from Milltown Park to celebrate his first Mass with us novices. We thought that he was crying with joy right through the Mass until we discovered afterwards that his normal voice was very high pitched, like a wailing sound. This was my first encounter with Fr. Albert. I was to meet him many times afterwards in Hong Kong and in San Francisco.

He was born in Peru in 1915. His father was Chinese and his mother a Peruvian. They came to live in Canton and he studied in the Sacred Heart High School where he came into contact with a few Jesuits who were teaching in the school at that time. The Jesuit who impressed him most and who influenced him was the famous Fr. Dan Finn. Fr. Finn became the Professor of Geography in Hong Kong University and as an archaeologist found some important historical sites in Hong Kong. He was also a wonderful linguist. Albert often accompanied him in his diggings and like him, became an extraordinary linguist as he could read Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, German, French and some Russian. He could speak fluently in six languages.

Fr. Dan Finn guided him in his process of discernment and in his application to the Society of Jesus when he graduated from High School in 1932. He always remembered with great affection Father Finn and carried with him until the end, his photo and some photos taken at the excavation sites. When he heard of the sudden death of Fr. Finn on 15 November 1936 while he was in London, aged 50, he was moved to write his first extant Chinese poem in his honour. He was then 20 years old. He composed many beautiful poems in Chinese later in life.

Albert entered the novitiate in Manila in July 1934 and took his first vows two years later. It is interesting that Fr. John Fahy, former Provincial of the Irish Province, and then Provincial of Australia, took his vows. After studying for his B.A. and a Master's degrees in the Sacred Heart College, Manila, he graduated and came back to Hong Kong for his regency in 1941. He was assigned to teach in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, until 1945. Then he left for Shanghai to study theology, but this was disrupted because of the communist revolution in the north and all the scholastics had to move from Shanghai. He was sent to Milltown Park in Ireland and was ordained there in 1947.

Fr. Albert was always very grateful to the Irish Jesuits for their warm welcome, their kindness to him and for their encouragement during these formative years. The Superiors recognized his talents, and he was sent to Fordham University for advanced studies in history, and later to Harvard where he obtained his Ph.D. in Chinese History in 1954. He returned to Hong Kong with his Ph.D. and humbly taught in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, 1954 58, and in Wah Yan College, Kowloon, 1958–60 while continuing to do some research.

In Wah Yan College, Kowloon, he discovered a kindred soul, a Chinese teacher of Literature and History who was an expert on rare Chinese books, Mr. Lau Kai Yip. They became great friends. While in Hong Kong, Fr. Albert went out each day to visit all the second-hand bookshops around and always returned in triumph and joy with some rare books which he had found and bought at a bargain price. Soon there were books everywhere - in his room, in the shower, and under the bed. Eventually they overflowed into the next room until it too was full. Some community members were very afraid that the floors would collapse under the weight! His intention was to build up a library of Chinese books for the use of future young Jesuits in China, a dream which, up to now, has not been fulfilled.

What has happened to his books? Fr. Albert was afraid that with the take-over of Hong Kong in 1997 his books would fall into the hands of the communist government, and all the books, which he so lovingly and carefully collected over the years would be lost. So they were packed into boxes and shipped to San Francisco. There were 80,000 volumes and they were housed in the University of San Francisco Ricci Institute. It is rated as one of the top 15 collections of Chinese History in the USA. Apart from these, he continued to collect books after going to San Francisco, and these ended up in 200 boxes in a friend's basement.

After 1960 he really devoted himself to research and attended many conferences at which he presented papers on Chinese history, especially on the Ming and Qing dynasties, and the history of the Jesuits in China. His doctoral thesis was published in 1982 - “The Glory and Fall of the Ming Dynasty”. And in 1969-76 he did a marvellous job on the Jesuit Chinese archives in Rome, cataloguing and writing a description of each book or document for the future benefit of researchers. This was published in 2002 entitled “Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome”. This was the work of a great scholar and perfectionist. He also did research in the Jesuit archives in Portugal, Spain, France and England on Chinese and European relations in the 16th and 17th centuries. He contributed many articles to the New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967) and the “Dictionary of Ming Biography (1368-1644)”. He left behind a book which has yet to be published - “Peking under the Ming Dynasty”.

Fr. Albert was a poet and we have a collection of his poems. He was also a calligrapher of Chinese script and a connoisseur of Chinese tea. In 1985, when he went with his beloved books to San Francisco, he was appointed to the post of Senior Research Fellow of the Ricci Institute. As he got older his health declined and from 2002 he suffered from cancer and died on March 10h 2005 having reached his 90th year.

He loved people and had many friends. Whenever anyone visited him in San Francisco he gave them a great welcome and invited them to his favourite Chinese restaurant. Besides being an academic he was an expert cook, and so several cooking books can be found in his collection. I remember during Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, when the staff were on holidays, he was delighted to take over the kitchen and cook our meals, providing us with some beautiful and tasty dishes.

He was a humble and holy man who has left us with a wonderful legacy after his quiet, patient research on Jesuits in China and Chinese history for the help of future generations. We are indebted to him and are proud of him as one who began his life as a member of the Irish Province. There are now 18 scholarships set up in his honour in each of the Wah Yan Colleges, promoting Chinese literature and history. And a very good friend of his in San Francisco sent a donation to the Irish Province of $100,000 as an expression of his gratitude to the Irish Jesuits.

Coghlan, Seán, 1933-2021, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

Remembering Sean Coghlan, SJ (1933-2021)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thomas Morrissey,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945

Frs. J. Collins, D. Lawler and P. Toner, of the Hong Kong Mission, who finished theology at Pymble last January, were able to leave for Ireland some time ago, and are expected in Dublin after Easter.

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

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

Cooney, Albert, 1905-1997, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

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

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 97 : Special Edition Summer 1998

Obituary

Fr Albert Cooney (1905-1997)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joe Foley, SJ

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1998

Obituary

Father Albert Cooney SJ (OB 1938)

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

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

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

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

Cooney, Thomas, 1896-1985, Jesuit priest

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

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

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03 December 1969

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

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

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

by 1952 in Australia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note from Joseph Howatson Entry
He came to Hong Kong as Regent with Seán Turner who was a different personality and whose whole world was words and ideas. Travelling with them was Fr Cooney who was bringing the Markee telescope

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 60th Year No 4 1985

Obituary

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

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

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

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

Corbally, Matthew C, 1911-1989, Jesuit priest

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1989

Obituary

Father Matthew Charles Corbally SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May he rest in peace.

Craig, Harold E, 1901-1985, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

Few people in Hong Kong will remember Father Craig after a gap of over forty years, but that few will remember him vividly. He was original in thought, word and action. Such men are not easily forgotten.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 8 November 1985

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He came to Hong Kong in 1934 after Ordination and left Hong Kong in 1941

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 61st Year No 1 1986

Obituary

Fr Harold Craig (1901-1919-1985)

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

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

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

Cronin, Fergus, 1909-1990, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966

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

WW2 Chaplain 1943-1947

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

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

Cryan, Martin, 1924-1978, Jesuit priest

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

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

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966

by 1951 at Hong Kong - Regency

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

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

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

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

He will be much and lastingly missed.

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

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His early education was at Coláiste Iognáid in Galway.

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 56th Year No 3 1981

Obituary

Fr Martin Cryan (1924-1941-1978)

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

Daly, Charles, 1904-1991, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/652
  • Person
  • 19 September 1904-06 August 1991

Born: 19 September 1904, Kanturk, County Cork
Entered: 31 August 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1940, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 06 August 1991, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1930 third wave Hong Kong Missioners - Regency
by 1937 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1938 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
by 1944 at Xavier, Park St, Calcutta, West Bengal, India (BEL M)

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Charles Daly S.J.
(1904-1991)
R.I.P.

Father Charles Daly, SJ, died suddenly on the evening of Monday, 6 August 1991, at Wah Yan College, Wanchai.

He was born in Kanturk, Ireland, in 1904.

Father Daly, who was 87 at the time of his death, was best known as a teacher and an instructor of those preparing for Baptism. He taught for 51 years, almost all of the time in one school, Wah Yan College Hong Kong.

Having first arrived in Hong Kong in October 1929, he belonged to the pioneer group of Jesuits who first arrived here. When he arrived no Jesuit institutions had yet been set up.

While still a scholastic, he set about learning Cantonese, first in Canton and then in Shiuhing, which was part of the Portuguese Jesuit mission and a city associated with Father Matteo Ricci.

He returned to his native Ireland for theology and ordination and on his return to Hong Kong as a priest in 1937 he was assigned to teach Church history and philosophy at the South China Regional Seminary in Aberdeen.

During the following two years, 1939-1941, while in charge of the Jesuit language school at Tailamchung in the New Territories, Father Daly found time to compile and publish a Cantonese Missionary Handbook. It later went into a second edition.

After the Japanese attack on Hong Kong in December 1941, Father Daly first worked at the Precious Blood Convent in Shamshuipo, Kowloon. A shell struck the hospital, killing many people and doing great damage.

In March 1942, Father Daly crossed over to the mainland and worked with Maryknoll missionaries in Guangxi (Kuangsai) Province, walking 300 miles to get there. Later he moved on to India and taught for a time at the Jesuit Theologate at Kurseong, in northeast India.

When the Pacific War ended in 1945, he was recalled to Hong Kong and in 1946 began his long association with Wah Yan College. There, with the exception of one year at the Sacred Heart School in Canton, he continued to teach until almost the end of his long life.

In addition, up to only a few years ago, he crossed the harbour every Sunday for a full morning of pastoral work in a parish.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 16 August 1991

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Charles first arrived as a Regent in Hong Kong in October 1929. he belonged to the pioneer group of Irish Jesuits who arrived there in the late 1920s. he learnedCantonese first in Canton and then in Shiuhing.

After his Regency he returned to Ireland for Theology and was Ordained there.
He returned to Hong Kong in 1937 and was sent to teach Church History and Philosophy at the regional Seminary in Aberdeen.
1939-1941 He was in charge oft the Jesuit Language School at Tai Lam Chung in the Northern territories, ad he compiled and published a Cantonese Missionary Handbook.
After the Japanese attack on Hong Kong in December 1941, he first worked at the Precious Blood Convent in Sham Shui Po. In March 1942 he crossed over to mainland China and worked with the Maryknoll Missionaries in Guangxi Province. He later moved to India, where he taught at the Jesuit Theologate at Kurseong. In 1946 he returned to Hong Kong and began his long association with Wah Yan Colleg Hong Kong.
He was noted for not only getting the weaker students through their examinations, but also for the large number he instructed for baptism. In later years he also taught at St Luke’s College nearby, where he prepared even more students for baptism. Interestingly he never performed the baptism ceremonies himself.

He taught English and Religious Knowledge for 51 years at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.

Note from Mattie Corbally Entry
By 1939 he was sent to Hong Kong for Regency and studied Cantonese under Fr Charles Daly (who authored a Dictionary of Cantonese Chinese).

◆ The Clongownian, 1992

Obituary

Father Charles Daly SJ

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

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

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

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

He was just short of his 87th bithday.

(Abridged from account by Fr Alan Birmingham.)

Dargan, Herbert J, 1918-1993, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Herbert Dargan (1918-1993)

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

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

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

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

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

Ron Darwen

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

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

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

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

Senan Timoney

◆ The Clongownian, 1993

Obituary

Father Herbert Dargan SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daniel Dargan SJ (Funeral Homily)

Deignan, Alfred J, 1927-2018, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

Mission Superior, Hong Kong - 1996-2002

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beloved Jesuit mourned

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Donnelly, Daniel, 1898-1975, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/126
  • Person
  • 18 October 1898-12 June 1975

Born: 18 October 1898, Dublin
Entered: 30 September 1919, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1929, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1936, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 12 June 1975, Vinayalaya Novitiate, Mumbai, India

Part of the Campion School, Mumbai, Marharashtra, India community at the time of death

Older brother of D Leo Donnelly - RIP 1999

by 1922 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1927 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1932 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1933 at Hong Kong
by 1934 at Catholic Mission, Ngau-Pei-Lan, Shiuhing (Zhaoqing), Guandong, China (LUS) - Language
by 1935 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
by 1946 at St Mary’s, Kurseong, Darjeeling & Himalaya Railway (DH Ry), Darjeeling, West Bengal, India - teaching
by 1944 at Xavier, Park St, Kolkata, West Bengal, India (BEL M)
by 1951 at St Stanislaus, Bandra, Mumbai, India (TARR) teaching
by 1957 at St Xavier’s Mumbai, India (BOM) teaching
by 1963 at St Mary’s High School, Mumbai, India (BOM) teaching
by 1964 at De Nobili Pune (PUN) teaching
by 1968 at St Xavier’s, Mumbai, India (BOM) teaching
by 1973 at Campion School Mumbai, India (BOM)

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :

Note from Joseph TaiYu-kuk Entry
He was a teenager in Hong Kong when the Japanese invaded in December 1941. He had joined a group of a dozen Catholics who, it was hoped, might one day become priests, under the charge of Father Dan Donnelly SJ.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
In his early years he had a brilliant academic career in the Sciences, and he produced a theory in ballistics which engineer’s used refer to as “Donnelly’s Theory”. he later lost interest in Science, but he did retain a fantastic memory for the pedigree of horses, and in India he became a national expert in field hockey.

Always unpredictable, he was remembered with affection by many in the Province for his engaging - if at time exasperating - eccentricities. He originally came to Hong Kong in 1932 as one of the early pioneers of the Irish Province’s new Mission, having already spent a year in Rome as sub-Secretary for Missions. After two years in Shiuhing studying Chinese and doing some teaching there, he was sent to Wah Yan College Hong Kong in 1935, and he was Prefect of Studies there until 1939. In 1940 he began a small Jesuit Apostolic School at Tai Lam Chung which was intended to encourage vocations to the Society.

He spent 12 years in Hong Kong before heading to India on a mission of mercy with 12 Chinese boys towards the end of WWII in late 1944. He enjoyed India and they liked him there, so after a short return to Canton and Hong Kong after the war, he went to Mumbai in 1949 and spent the rest of his life there.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 10th Year No 3 1935
Works by Father Donal Donnelly SJ :

  1. “A Prisoner of Japan” - (Sheed & Ward).
  2. “Life of B. Charles Spinola, S.J.”
  3. “A Nobleman of Italy” - Sands & Co.
  4. “Life of St. AIoysius”
  5. “A Gallant Conquistador” - Browne & Nolan
  6. “Life ofB. Rudolf Acquaviva and Companions” - MS

Irish Province News 21st Year No 2 1946

IN ALIIS PROVINCIIS DEGENTES :

India :
Fr. D. Donnelly gave a series of Lenten Conferences to the men's sodality there on The Authority of the State, Obedience to Law. The Catholic in the Municipality, The Catholic in the State.

Fr. Donnelly to Province News, 20-3-46 :
“A batch of Chinese Navy men passed through Bombay on the way to England for training in December-January last. The Naval Chaplain brought me along to hunt up the Catholics among them. There proved to be very few Catholics, but two of the pagans were old Wah Yan boys, and they gave me a tremendous welcome. I got a big batch to Midnight Mass at Christmas. I also had one of the Wah Yan boys and three others under instruction, but they left for England before I could finish. However, I gave them a letter to the nearest Parish Priest in England.

Irish Province News 37th Year No 2 1962

Fr. Daniel Donnelly, St. Mary's High School, Bombay 10, writes :
I am at present in practically sole charge (one Brother to collect fees, one Father to teach Hindi) of a grand school of 1,100 boys, more than half of them Catholics. We get quite a few vocations every year; this year I am praying for half-a-dozen. The boys are mostly Goans, grand people. The non-Catholic boys are Parsees, Moslems and Hindus; and while very, very few are ever converted, they are wonderfully responsive to moral instruction, easily the most consoling classes which I teach. These young Indians are like no other boys whom I have taught in this : that once they take to you they give you their heart and are astonishingly loyal and friendly.
Retiring age over here is 65, so I have only another year to run as Principal. Then I hope to get away to “real” mission work in the districts. I'd have to learn Marathi, of course, but I learn languages easily, T.G.
We shall see.

Irish Province News 50th Year No 3 and 4 1975

Obituary :

Fr Don Donnelly (1896-1975)

In his letters to various Jesuits in Ireland and Bombay, Don's brother, Fr Leo SJ, St Albert's College, Ranchi, wrote as follows:
“You will have been informed by cable of my brother’s death. He suffered a severe stroke in March and was paralysed on his left side. He became progressively weaker as he was unable to retain solid food. I was with him during the summer holidays, but started back on 10th June. After my return here I received a telegram announcing his death on 12th June, It was, in fact, a merciful release, as it was painful to see so active a man reduced to helplessness. Still, it makes me feel rather lonely.
Donal (latinised in the Society to Daniel) had a very full and happy life. For his early life I can supply a few details. He had an exceptionally brilliant academic record. Under the old ‘Intermediate’ system he won a 1st Class Exhibition in each Grade, and at least one Gold Medal (first place in all Ireland in a given subject) each year (details in the Belvederian). At UCD his record is still, I think, unsurpassed. He took seven subjects in his first year, doing First Arts and First Science simultaneously, and got 1st Honours in all seven and 1st place in five, plus the Delaney Scholarship (this could be checked by reference to the files in UCD). He scored very high marks in the BSc, and MSc (equivalent to a PhD today as it involved research) He produced a theory of ballistics which engineers used to refer to as ‘Donnelly's Theory’. He was also enrolled as a student in Trinity College (his father's university) and won some prizes there - in particular a Foundation Scholarship. He entered the Society still under 21.
He inherited his love of and knowledge of horses from his father, who was an excellent judge. Don had a fantastic memory for the pedigree of horses. I think he carried the whole Stud Book in his head, and knew the breeding of every horse running at that time. When he entered the Society he put all that completely aside, never 'talking horses'. It was only in 1963, when age compelled his retirement from headmastership and he was sent as Minister to our scholasticate in Pune (Poona), that he took it up again. There he discovered a number of stud farms in the neighbourhood, and seemed to take it as a hint from the Lord that it was permissible to use his talent in this field of apostolate. If you really know horses, you are accepted in the horsey confraternity, and so he moved with ease in that circle. At least he saw apostolic opportunities in meeting managers, owners and jockeys on their own ground. He liked to meet Irish jockeys who came to Bombay to ride, and he did them good. Ask Johnny Roe about that.
Don spent so little time in Ireland that he is not well known in the Province - now probably only by those whom he taught in Clongowes from 1923 to 26. But I know that he remained somewhat in touch with the Brutons of Kildare.
It would be difficult to discover the number of priestly vocations he fostered wherever he happened to be. During all his extremely successful career as Prefect of Studies he was above all interested in boys, rather than studies as such. The way he took up hockey in Bombay is an indication of that. It gave him a beneficial influence over a very large number of young people.
Naturally I am a bit prejudiced. All my life he has been an immense inspiration to me, and I still can't quite realise that he is gone. One would like to think that his influence will continue to do good, at least through his publications.
In spite of the amazing amount of work he managed to fit into the day, he always said two rosaries in addition to his Divine Office. Here is a quotation from a letter from a Hindu friend of his: ‘I was very grieved to learn that your dear brother, my good friend, passed away on 12th June. For the past many years we used to meet in Bombay during the annual bloodstock sales, and I used to look forward to the pleasure of seating him by my side and inviting comments on my lots for sale. In the process I learnt a great deal and valued his advice which was always unbiassed. I shall miss him sadly’.
From a letter of one of the boys Don brought from China to India, who entered the novitiate but was advised to leave on account of scruples (apparently Don and he corresponded for 25 years): ‘He was, I think, my ideal man. As a small boy, I was afraid of him, and then I grew to have an extraordinary respect for him both as a priest and for his intelligence; and all the time I had a sincere affection for him. My wife often says I have two fathers, my own and Father Donnelly. Now I certainly know that is true’. (The writer is now an artist and schoolmaster in England).
In case you have not got it otherwise, a short account of Don’s coming to India. In 1939, with no more scholastics coming from Ireland, the Language School in Hong Kong was turned into an Apostolic School. Don and Ned Sullivan were in charge of about 30 boys. When the Japanese invaded Hong Kong, the School had to be abandoned. Don and some other Fathers made their way into Free China. Don went to an Apostolic School run by the Maryknoll Fathers, where twelve of his boys joined him. In 1943 the Japs made a drive to eliminate some air-fields used by the Americans, so Don, his boys and some Fathers had to move west. They ended up in Kunming in the south-west corner of China, nearest India. Eventually they were air-lifted to India ‘over the hump’ by RAF planes returning to India after having brought military supplies to China. In Calcutta he met Fr Conget, Superior of Bombay, who advised him to bring the boys to Bandra, the only boys' school which has an almost entirely Catholic pupil intake. Don remained there even after the end of the war to let the senior boys finish their matric exam. Then in 1947 he returned by sea to Hong Kong. The authorities there were not so keen on a large number of Chinese candidates, so most of the boys were ‘brushed off’. Only three were accepted, One left in the novitiate (scruples), one left in philosophy (lack of grey matter), one has been ordained - Fr Joseph Tai SJ.
Don went up to Canton, where he took charge of the Sacred Heart School (formerly run by the de la Salle Brothers for the Archbishop). When the Commies came in he was pushed out, and asked to return to India rather than remain in Hong Kong.
While learning Chinese in 1932, after some months with a teacher in Shiuhing, Don went to a village on the West river to to get practice by acting as assistant priest. Returning to the presbytery one day, he found a man chained to the railing of the church. The man was a leper, caught stealing and condemned to death. He was to be shot the following morning. Entering into conversation, Don discovered that the unfortunate man's mother had been a Catholic, though of course unable to practise her - religion once she had been engulfed in her husband's 'extended family'. Helped by the PP, Don instructed the man, gave him some food, and went back to supper, On an impulse the PP decided to baptise the man that evening - very fortunately, as the man was shot so early in the morning that they had no opportunity to speak to him again. The man was christened ‘Dismas?’

In Bombay, 1944-1975 (from the Bombay Province newsletter Samachar, July 1975):
Father Daniel Donnelly, after having laboured in Hong Kong and China for 12 years, came to Bombay on a mission of mercy with 15 Chinese boys. He liked us and we liked him, and after safely depositing his boys in their native land, he returned to Bombay for good and worked like a Trojan here for the next 25 years and more until he was struck by partial paralysis.
During these years he had time to work in most of our Bombay City houses, generally in the capacity of Rector and/or Principal and/or Minister and/or Parish Priest. He was never at the Institute of Education, Sodality House or Diocesan Seminary. At Vinayalaya he was only for some weeks as a sick man. De Nobili College, Poona, too had him for a couple of years as Minister and treasurer, and his last community was the one of the Christian Brothers in Bassein.
Barring the last three months, which he spent at the Holy Spirit Hospital or in the novitiate infirmary, he had always been in excellent health. He believed in brisk walking, light meals, early rising and hard quick work. Since childhood he loved horses, and from the day he landed in India he loved hockey.
His hobbies were solving a daily cross-word puzzle (for a time he composed one daily), an occasional game of patience, reading novels and also other more serious stuff (including science magazines - he was an MSc); and writing articles (by the dozen, and keeping two or three series abreast) for the Messenger and other papers. Many an author did not know (?) who had censored his book; Fr Donnelly knew at least one of the censors. Organizing school hockey leagues and tournaments and watching the games he considered not a hobby but part and parcel of his work in the all-round education of the boys.
As Rector and School Principal he could not be accused of curtailing the freedom of his subordinates or unduly interfering in their spheres of action. He expected every Jesuit, teacher or boy to do his duty. Even in the days of greater regimentation in schools, he could not pass as a disciplinarian.
He trusted boys, even when he knew some would take advantage of his kindness and liberality. Few did more than he did, chiefly in Bandra days, to foster vocations to the Society (for Bombay, Hazaribagh, Jamshedpur). Yet it was well known that in his optimism he was inclined to count his candidates before they were hatched. Yet, in later years, he could count quite a few Jesuits whom he had encouraged to break the egg-shell. Some will remember the vocational booklets he wrote and the Bombay Vocation Exhibition (for the Seminary and for religious orders of men and women) he organized in Bandra.
He loved the Society and found it hard to reconcile his loyalty to the Jesuit spirit with some of the changes introduced in the last decade. In his lovable frankness and literary wit he showed what he thought of some modern trends in his devastating piece of satire - which he called parable or vision - whereby he regaled(?) the ears of scores of fellow Jesuits assembled on the terrace of St Xavier's High School one evening in 1969 to celebrate his 50 years in the Society.
Although his speech in ordinary conversation was at times difficult to follow there were some stories too about the legibility of his handwriting even when in block capitals), hardly anyone could miss a word when he spoke in public, which he did often. For a couple of years he was entrusted with the monthly domestic exhortation (you may recall that ancient custom) at St Xavier’s High School. He was always original, even if not to everybody's taste. Many a Catholic in Bandra, St Mary's and St Xavier's made it a point to attend Fr Donnelly's Sunday Mass to hear his sermons. You could never predict the subject of the homily, but most people found it interesting and profitable. On a certain Sunday he spoke on some changes in the Liturgy. The following Sunday he read out from the ambo two letters on the subject he had received from the pews during the week.
His last months in a sick bed must have been a severe trial. Fortunately he had most of the time his younger brother Leo from Ranchi with him. Many others of the Vinayalaya community helped him in his hour of need. He mellowed during those last 100 days. Illness bridged for him the generation gap that had opened before him.
Unshorn novices in mufti watched over him day and night. He was grateful to them. For him they were a concrete token of the motherly love of the Society he had joined in far-away Ireland when the century (though no longer he) was in its teens.
After a Eucharistic concelebration at St Peter’s, Bandra, he was buried on June 13, in the porch of the church and beside the school that had been his first centre of apostolate in India.
Fr Don Donnelly’s curriculum vitae shows the man's adaptability to varying circumstances: 1898 - born in Dublin; 1919 - Jesuit novitiate in Tullabeg; 1925 - philosophy in Valkenburg; 1927 - theology in Innsbruck; 1929 - ordained in Dublin; 1930 - Subsecr, of Missions, Rome; 1931 - tertianship; 1932 - arrival in China, teaching in Shiuhing; 1933 - studying Chinese language; 1934 - Wah Yan, Hong Kong, teaching in Regional Seminary; 1935 - Prefect of Studies, Wah Yan; 1936 - final vows; 1940 - director of Minor Seminary, Hong Kong; 1944 - arrival in Bandra (India) with Chinese boys, teaching; 1947 · back to Canton (China), teaching; 1949 - back in India, studying Hindi in Ranchi; 1950 - Rector of St Stanislaus High School, Bandra; 1956 - Minister, St Xavier's College; 1957 - Principal and Minister, St Mary's High School; 1963 · de Nobili College, Minister and Treasurer; 1965 - Minister and Treasurer, St Xavier's College; 1972 - Principal and Superior, Campion School, Bhopal; 1974 - chaplain to Christian Brothers, Bassein road; 1975 - death at Vinayalaya, 12th June; burial in Bandra, 13th.

Obituary :

Fr Don Donnelly (1896-1975)

More about Fr Don Donnelly († 12th June 1975)

When the last number of the Province News had gone to press, the editor discovered fifteen pages of notepaper which Fr Fergus Cronin, Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, had filled with this account of Fr Don:
For one who was so well known in the countries in which he worked, Fr Daniel Donnelly, who died last June in Bombay, was relatively little known in Ireland. This was largely due to the fact that apart from his noviceship and his period in the Colleges, all his life in the Society was spent abroad,
He came from a Dublin family. His father was a doctor practising in Parnell square, and he went to school at Belvedere.
He entered the Society in 1919, having already obtained a Master of Science degree. My recollection may be at fault, but I think I remember him telling me that he had got a scholarship to Trinity College, Dublin, and that he attended lectures there, in order to fulfil the conditions of the cash grant, and also studied for a degree at University College, Dublin.
Having finished his novitiate, he studied philosophy in Valkenburg, came back for his Colleges to Clongowes and then did his theology in Innsbruck.
After tertianship he spent a year in the Curia in Rome as assistant to the Secretary of the Missions, and from there he went to work in the Missions - in Hong Kong.
He studied Chinese (Cantonese) in the Portuguese Mission at Shiuhing and then came to teach in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, which had just been given to the Society by its founders. Again my memory may be at fault, but I believe I heard that while the negotiations regarding our taking over the College were in progress, Fr Donnelly dropped several Miraculous Medals into the grounds!
After a few years he was made Prefect of Studies in Wah Yan College and was in this position until just before the beginning of World War II. He was extremely well known in Hong Kong because of his position in the world of education. He had very positive ideas on most subjects, and in education he believed in being very firm, but he was also very approachable. A recently published book by Fr P O'Connor of the Columban Fathers, under the title Buddhists find Christ, gives a number of accounts, written by the persons themselves, of their conversion to Christianity. One of these was Dr Lert Srichandra, a Thai doctor educated in Wah Yan College and later in UCD. The book recounts many very amusing conversations, often held late at night in Wah Yan, between Dr Lert and Fr Donnelly. In his account, Dr Lert gives a great deal of credit for his finding the answers to his problems to the very direct, frank and friendly handling by Fr Donnelly of a young student's fumbling approaches to the mysteries of our faith. Dr Lert has many pages of such interchange, all very revealing of the mentality of both of these men.
Just before World War II struck Hong Kong, Fr Donnelly had collected a group of teenagers, who had shown some signs of a possible vocation to the priesthood or to the Society. These were known to all of Ours in Hong Kong by Don's name for them, “the little lads”. They were in his care in the Language School in Tai Lam Chung, and when the war came, Don succeeded, first in getting these lads out of Hong Kong to the port of Kwang Chow Wan, and then to the part of South China not occupied by the Japanese. Finally he got them flown over “The Hump” from Kunming in Yunnan province to Calcutta in India. From Calcutta he brought them by train across India to Bombay and finally was able to house them in St Stanislaus College in Bandra, just outside Bombay. Many years later, Don was to be Rector of this college.
After World War II, Don brought the group of young men back safely to Hong Kong. Of them Fr Joseph Tai is the only one in the Society, but many of the others grew into pillars of the Church and of the community in other walks of life.
Returning after this tremendous odyssey to Hong Kong, Don was able to arrange the future of these young men, and then was himself assigned to Canton. There he was a teacher in the Sacred Heart School, but was also concerned with the planning of a Jesuit secondary school which was to be built there. Fr Thomas Ryan was the Superior of the Hong Kong Mission, and his idea of a Jesuit college was one which would in every way make its own impression on all, not only for its standards of excellence in teaching, but also as being a building such as to do us credit. Don was always a man whose idealism was to be realised in a very practical form, and at one time he brought a brick down from Canton to show Fr Ryan what a suitable material it could be from which to build the proposed college. Fr Ryan’s reaction, it is believed, was to throw it back to him in disgust!
Don was in Canton until the communists came to take over South China. He was fairly sure that they would also take over Hong Kong, and in any case, since for the foreseeable future we had no work in Canton, he in his practical way wanted to go elsewhere. To Fr Ryan, leaving China at such a time was not to be thought of - it betrayed a lack of faith in the future of our work in China, a thing he refused even to think of. To Don, it was just being practical to find some other field in which to labour. Fr Ryan rather hurt Don by the manner in which he viewed Don’s desire to go to India, where he was assured he would be very welcome and much needed. But Don was never a man to be discouraged or even much affected by what others thought of him or his actions, so, about 1950, off he went to start a new life in India.
In India he later became Rector (as mentioned above) and Principal of St Stanislaus, Bandra. He was also Principal in several other Jesuit colleges, ending his teaching career as Superior and Principal of Campion High School in Bombay.
During these long years he developed many new interests. Most of those who knew him remember him, apart from his great ability in the scholastic field, as the man who produced the standard book on hockey (for which, I have been told, he was decorated by the Indian government). He is remembered also as an incessant writer of verse. Every school annual of the colleges where he was Principal (or Superior, or both) contains many poems, some as short as sonnets, some quite long narrative poems on current or on spiritual themes.
When finally he retired as a teacher he went to St Augustine’s High School, Bassein, a school run by the Christian Brothers (to quote his own words from one of his last letters) ‘where I act as chaplain, teach a little, and make myself generally useful’.
He enjoyed really good health until April 1975, when he suffered a severe stroke which left him paralysed on the left side. He was moved to the Jesuit novitiate of Vinayalaya, Andheri, Bombay, where he was cared for until a second stroke caused his death.
His death leaves the Society the poorer by the loss of one of its most loyal sons. In his later years, by all accounts, he had become rather critical of many of the changes taking place in the Society, particularly in the life-style of its members, but this was largely due to the high standards he had set himself, and which he believed he should see everywhere.
His love of the Society is seen in all of his writings. He was a man who studied the theory of anything in which he was concerned. This is seen in his writing his book on hockey. He saw everything as the carrying into reality of the theory which he had formulated about that particular subject. This too is seen in his writings about Society subjects, eg, his pamphlet on the Spiritual Exercises and his short Life of Blessed Charles Spinola. This latter was an adaptation of an Italian life which had attracted his attention. This tendency to take over the work of others is seen when later he produced a catechism in Chinese and English which was largely based on My Catholic faith by Bishop Morrow. Don was always practical, and if someone else had written something that he thought well expressed what he wanted to say, he felt free to use this material in a way that some of his fellow Jesuits felt was a little too close to the original without sufficient acknowledgement.
He was a man of tremendous energy, who faced without any self-consciousness any situation which arose. He was a man of great and strong convictions. Above all, he was a really observant religious whose love for the Society came through in everything he did or wrote. He had thousands of friends and admirers, and I think it is true that of this great number of men of all kinds who admired him for one or other of his many gifts, all saw him first and foremost as a man of God

Irish Province News 52nd Year No 2 1977

Calcutta Province

Extract from a letter from a Jesuit of Calcutta Province, Darjeeling Region (Fr. Edward Hayden, St. Joseph's College, North Point, Darjeeling, Western Bengal)

I was one of the old “Intermediate” boys of the Christian Brothers, Carlow. I left off in 1910, 67 years ago, at the end of June. Yes, we learnt the Gaeilge. The Brothers - or some I met, one in particular, a Brother Doyle, was very keen on it. The others didn't teach it as it was only in the “Academy” that they began with languages: French, Gaeilge, Algebra, Euclid and of course English. (5th Book - Senior Elementary Class - was followed by the “Academy”). The Brothers had dropped Latin just before I joined the “Academy”. We were living at a distance of 5 Irish miles from Carlow, and I was delicate, so I often fell a victim of 'flu, which didn't help me to make progress in studies - made it very hard: but at that time the rule was “do or die”. There was only one excuse for not having home work done – you were dead! That was the training we had: it stood me in good stead through life; it is the one thing I am grateful for.
We had a number of Irishmen here, a handful: Fr Jos Shiel, Mayo, died in Patna. Fr James Comerford, Queen's County, died in Bihar. I met the Donnelly brothers, they were Dubliners. The one who died (Don) was Editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger. Many of his stories were about horse-racing - he must have read plenty of Nat Gould when he was a boy! (Nat wrote a number of horse-racing stories supposed to have been in Australia). There are three Irishmen in Ranchi: Frs Donnelly, Phelan and Lawlor. Fr Phelan has spent nearly his whole life in India. As a boy he was in North Point, and after his Senior Cambridge he joined the Society. At that time there was only the Missio Maior Bengalensis of the Belgian Province. The Mission took in half or more of north-east India - Patna, Ranchi and south of it, Assam, Bhutan and Sikkim - an area four or five times that of Ireland! Needless to say, there were parts of it which had no SJ within a hundred miles ...Down here in the Terai where I am “hibernating” out of the cold of Darjeeling, some forty-five years ago there was no priest. One or two of the professors of theology from Kurseong, some 40 miles away, used to visit this district at Christmas and Easter. It was very malarious. Catholics from Ranchi came here to work on the tea plantations. Then a Jesuit was sent to reside in it. Now the district has schools and Jesuits galore, also non-Jesuits. Great progress has been made. The Salesians took up Assam, the American SJs took over Patna. The Northern Belgians took over Ranchi and the Southern Belgians took Calcutta. (The Belgian Province grew till its numbers reached 1400. Then, about 1935, Belgian separated into Flemings - North - and Walloons - South). Ranchi was given to the North and Calcutta to the South. On the 15th August last year (1976) Calcutta was raised from being a Vice Province to be a full-blown Province. 100% of those joining the SJ now are sons of India. Madura in the south has been a Province for years. Nearly all the Europeans are dead: no more are allowed to come permanently unless for a very, very special reason, India has begun to send her sons to East Africa in recent years.
Fr Lawlor is Irish-born but somehow joined the Australian Province about the time it started a half-century or so ago.
Brother Carl Kruil is at present in charge of an ashram: a place for destitutes, in Siliguri. Silguri is a city which grew up in the last forty years around the terminus of the broad gauge railway and the narrow (two-foot) toy railway joining the plains with Darjeeling - one of the most wonderful lines in the world, rising from 300 feet above sea-level, 7,200 feet in about 50 miles and then dropping down to about 5,500 feet in another ten. Three times it loops the loop and three times climbs up by zig-zags. I seem to remember having met Fr Conor Naughton during the war. Quite a number of wartime chaplains came to Darjeeling. The mention of Siliguri set me off rambling. Br Krull remembers his visit to Limerick. (He stayed at the Crescent, 11th 13th June, 1969). He is a born mechanic. Anything in the line of machinery captivates him. He has to repair all the motors and oil engines – some places like this have small diesel generators which have to be seen to from time to time and all other kinds of machinery: cameras, typewriters etc. At present he comes here to do spot welding (electric welding of iron instead of bolts and nuts.
The PP, here is replacing an old simple shed with a corrugated iron roof by a very fine one with brick walls and asbestos-cement roof. Two years ago or so, the roof was lifted by a sudden whirlwind clean off the wooden pillars on which it rested. Since then he has been saying the Sunday Masses on the veranda of a primary school. In this school 235 children receive daily lessons and a small mid-day meal. The Sisters are those of St. Joseph of Cluny – all from South India. They are really heroines: no work is too difficult for them. They do all their own work and cook for us. Their Vice-Provincial is from somewhere in the centre of the “Emerald Gem”. They are growing in numbers and do great work, running a dispensary amongst other things. The church is very broad, approximately 90 by 60 feet. As no benches are used - people sit on the floor - it will hold nearly 450 people at a time. The altar is in one corner. :
Fr Robert Phelan (Ranchi Province) had a visit one night from dacoits (armed robbers), but with help managed to beat them off.
Ranchi had several of these raids last year. In nearly every case the dacoits managed to get some cash.
One night about two weeks ago a rogue elephant (one that is wild and roaming away from the herd) came to a small group of houses close by. A man heard the noise and came out. The elephant caught him by the leg and threw him on to a corn stack - fortunately. The corn stack of rice waiting to be thrashed was quite broad and flat on top! He was very little the worse for the experience. And that is the end of the news.
One more item: please ask the new Editor of the Irish Province News to let me have copies as (?) and send them by overland (surface mail). Even if they are three months coming, they will be news. God bless you and reward you handsomely.
Yours in our Lord,
Edward Hayden, SJ (born 15th October 1893, entered S.J. Ist February 1925, ordained 21st November 1933, took final vows on 2nd February 1936. Now conf. dom. et alumn. and script. hist. dom. at the above address).

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1945

Letter from Father Donal Donnelly SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1986

The Travelling Donnellys

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doody, Timothy F, 1913-1989, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His early education was at Mercy Convent Dundalk, and then at CBS Synge Street before he Entered the Society at Emo.
After First Vows he was sent to Rathfarnham Castle studying at UCD and graduating with a BA in Latin, History and Irish.
1936-1939 he was sent to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg for Philosophy
1939-1941 He was sent for Regency to Hong Kong.
1941-1946 Due to WWII he was sent to Zikawai, Shanghai for Theoloigy with Mattie Corbally, Joe McAsey and John Wood until 1946, and in 1945 they were Ordained by Bishop Cote SJ, a Canadian born Bishop of Suchow.
1946-1947 He returned to Ireland to make Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle.
1948 He returned to Hong Kong, making Final Vows at Wah Yan College Hong Kong
1948-1958 He was a teacher at Wah Yan College Hong Kong
1958-1960 He was sent to Singapore to help collect funds for a Jesuit Church there and was highly successful.
1960 He was then back in Hong Kong raising funds for what became the Adam Schall Hostel at United College, of The Chinese University of Hong Kong
1964 He began running classes for adult catechumens and he became the first and only Director of the “Catholic Information Service SJ”. is classes saw a continual flow of people coming for instruction in the Catholic faith.
He also regularly gave Retreats up to 1973, and the fruit of this experience resulted in a sizeable book on the Spiritual Exercises called “Iñigo” which he had published privately.

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

Doris, Séamus, 1918-1988, Jesuit priest

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

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1965

Sons of Xavier

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1988

Obituary

Father Séamus Doris SJ (1937)

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

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

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

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

Egan, Canice, 1913-1999, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1946

Letter from Father Canice Egan SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sons of Xavier

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1963

Sons of Xavier

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1965

Sons of Xavier

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

Farren, Anthony, 1923-2015, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966

by 1952 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death Notice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 163 : Spring 2016

Obituary

Fr Anthony (Tony) Farren (1923-2015)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charlie Davy, with help from James Hurley

Finneran, Patrick J, 1915-1989, Jesuit priest

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

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His early education was at Mungret College SJ in Limerick. With the encouragement of Michael Murphy he then entered the Novitiate at St Mary’s, Emo under the newly appointed Novice Master John Neary. Michael Murphy followed him to Emo as Spiritual Father, and then onward to Rathfarnham as his Prefect of Studies in the Juniorate. Paddy was then sent to Tullabeg to study Philosophy. He was then sent for Regency to Crescent College Limerick and Belvedere College SJ, Dublin, where he also studied for a H Dip in Education at University College Dublin. Ted Collins was with him in Limerick, and among his students were Ciarán Kane and Frank Doyle in Belvedere.
1945-1949 He was at Milltown Park Dublin studying Theology, and then on to Tertianship at Rathfarnham under George Byrne.

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

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

For many years he also gave monthly talks to the Maryknoll Sisters and was active in other spiritual ministries. he gave Retreats in many Catholic schools in Hong Kong and was also involved in religious activities in Singapore and Malaysia

FitzGerald, Thomas R, 1905-1967, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/149
  • Person
  • 08 February 1905-12 July 1967

Born: 08 February 1905, Glin, County Limerick
Entered: 20 September 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1939, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 12 July 1967, St Francis Xavier, Kingsmead Hall, Singapore - Hong Kongensis Province (HK)

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966

by 1938 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Thomas FitzGerald, S.J., who worked in Hong Kong from 1938 to 1955 and in Malaysia or Singapore for the past twelve years, died in Singapore on Wednesday, 12 July 1967, aged 62.

Father FitzGerald was born in Ireland on 8 February 1905. He entered the Jesuit novitiate there in 1922 and was ordained priest in 1936.

He came to Hong Kong in 1938. After two years spent studying Cantonese, he went to the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, where he taught philosophy and later theology. Towards the end of the war he went to Macao to teach in the College of St. Luis Gonzaga. After the war he taught English Literature in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong till 1955. For many years he combined this teaching with a vigorous chaplaincy to the R.A.F.

In 1955 he went to Singapore to lecture in the Teachers’ Training College. In 1958 he moved to Penang as chaplain to a very large complex of educational works run by the Sisters there. In 1964, with seriously impaired health of which he took singularly little notice, he returned to Singapore, still ready for hard work. In the last year of his life he took over the editorship of the Malaysian Catholic News and the wardenship of Kingsmead Hall.

The extraordinary variety of posts filled by Father FitzGerald - lectureship in philosophy and theology, secondary school teaching R.A.F. chaplaincy, convent chaplaincy, administration, editorship - and the success he achieved in them testify to his extraordinary power of concentration on the matter in hand, whatever it might be. In ordinary conversation this concentration amounted to and endearing eccentricity - he would concentrate fully on the subject under discussion if he was distracted from that subject; he was totally distracted and showed no memory of the original subject. In his work this was no eccentricity, but and astonishing power of focusing all his remarkable powers on whatever task lay before him.

Even the onset of very bad health could not rob him of this invaluable gift, He was a sick men, already in his sixties, when he started his highly successful editorship of the Malaysian Catholic News, but he greeted the work with all the enthusiasm with which he had greeted the first work that had fallen to him as a young priest.

A Solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated in the chapel of Wah Yan College Hong Kong, on Monday, 17 July, by Father F. Cronin, S.J., Regional Superior.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 21 July 1967

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013.
His early education was at Laurel Hill Convent in Limerick and then he spent 8 years at Crescent College, before he Entered the Society in 1922.

He got a 1st Class Degree from University College Dublin and then a H Dip in Education.. He then studied Philosophy at Milltown Park.
He was sent for three years Regency, 2 at Mungret College SJ in Limerick and 1 at Belvedere College SJ Dublin. He then returned to Milltown Park for Theology and was Ordained there in 1936, followed immediately by Tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales.

1938-1940 Immediately after Tertianship he came to Hong Kong and spent the first two years at Tai Lam Chung Language School
1940-1943 He was sent to teach Philosophy at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen.
After WWII he taught briefly at St Luis Gonzaga College in Macau
1946-1955 He was sent to Wah Yan College Hong Kong
1955-1958 He was sent to Singapore as a Lecturer at the Teachers Training College
1958 He was sent to Penang as Chaplain to the HIJ sisters.
1964-1966 He was engaged in Retreat work in Singapore and Malaysia. His final post there was as Editor of the Malaysian Catholic News and as Warden at Kingsmead GHall.

He had a flair for languages - he knew Cantonese, Latin, Greek, Irish, French and Spanish.

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

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

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Leeson St :
We were very glad to have several members of the Hong Kong inission with us for some time: Frs. P. Joy, T. Fitzgerald, and H. O'Brien, while Fr. George Byrne has joined us as one of the community.

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

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

Irish Province News 42nd Year No 4 1967

Obituary :

Fr Thomas Fitzgerald SJ (1905-1967)

When Fr. Thomas FitzGerald died in Singapore on 12th July 1967, the Hong Kong Viceprovince lost one of its most attractive characters. At his funeral Mass in St. Ignatius Church the presence of an archbishop, a bishop and a large crowd of priests, religious and layfolk gave eloquent testimony to the respect and affection with which he had been regarded. One of the priests, in fact, had travelled 500 miles to attend his funeral.
Fr. FitzGerald had spent the last twenty-nine years in the Far East. After the usual course of studies he went out to Hong Kong as a priest in 1938. His two years in the language school at Taai Lam Chung gave him a knowledge of Cantonese which made him one of our best Chinese scholars. Afterwards, he was to be for several years a member of a government examining board to test the proficiency in Chinese of European police-officers. Throughout his life Fr. FitzGerald was an excellent linguist and had a real interest in languages. Although he never lived in France he became a fluent French speaker - which was later to prove a useful asset in dealing with the French clergy in Malaya - and he learned Spanish just because he liked the language.
From 1940 to 1946 Fr. FitzGerald was on the staff of the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong. Here, at various times, he professed ethics, theology and dogma. These were difficult years, covering as they did three and a half years of the war in the Far East. The main difficulty was the shortage of food. Fr. FitzGerald used afterwards recall how, when he was sent down to Macao towards the end of the war, his brethren there failed to recognise him in his emaciated state.
Immediately after the war he came back to Ireland for a rest. Here he puzzled the doctors with a peculiar fever which turned out to be a recurrence of malaria, already contracted in the Far East. Many years later he used to take pride in the fact that a slide of his blood was still being used in U.C.D. to teach the medical students what malaria looked like!
In 1946 Fr. FitzGerald went to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, where he spent the next nine years. In addition to his classwork he took a lively interest in the school dramatics and revealed unsuspected talent as a make-up artist. He also, during these years, took on the extra-curricular post of officiating chaplain to the R.A.F. in Hong Kong.
Fr. FitzGerald was sent, in 1955, to the newly-established house in Singapore, to take up an appointment as Lecturer in English at the Teachers Training College. Three years later he suffered the first of a series of heart-attacks. After a spell in hospital he was sent back to Ireland to recuperate. Having spent six months there he was returning to Singapore by ship when he got another attack and had to be taken ashore and hospitalised in Bombay. He finally reached Singapore in January 1959. On the night of his arrival his condition caused concern and the doctor was summoned at 11 p.m. The following evening Fr. Tommy was calmly strolling round a trade exhibition on the other side of Singapore! This was typical of the man and of his attitude to life. For the last nine years of his life Fr. FitzGerald was told by every doctor who examined hiin that he had a heart so badly damaged that it could stop at any moment. His only reply was : “Well, the only thing to do with a heart like mine is forget about it”, and he acted accordingly. Time after time he suffered minor setbacks, but as soon as he felt a little better and he seemed to recover with incredible speed he wanted to be up and about at once.
After a couple of months in Singapore Fr. FitzGerald was sent to Penang where he spent the next four and a half years, living with a French parish priest and acting as chaplain to a large convent school and spiritual director to several religious institutions in the diocese. Although very fruitful in apostolic work these were rather lonely years for a community-man like Fr. Tommy.
He was happy, then, to be recalled to Singapore in 1963 to be Director of Retreats in Singapore and Malaya. During the next few years Fr. FitzGerald toured the peninsula giving retreats to priests, religious and lay-people. This was the sort of thing he liked - to be a member of a community without being tied down for too long to any one place. There was an element of wanderlust in Fr. Tommy.
Last year, at a time when his doctor was surprised that he was still alive, he opened a new chapter of his life by accepting two posts in which he had had no previous experience, Warden of Kingsmead Hall and Editor of the Malaysian Catholic News. It was these posts that he was filling with distinction when he suffered another massive heart-attack and died.
Among the many letters of condolence received from his friends after Fr. FitzGerald's death, there was one from Mr. Frank James - the father of our Fr. Brendan. In it he writes :
“There was so much that was loveable about Fr. Fitz. He had a genius for putting you at your ease and for making friends. My wife and I have known him for many years, and always he was so unruffled, so much at peace with himself and with the world around him”.
This comment aptly describes one of the most notable features of Fr. FitzGerald's character. He was a simple, uncomplicated man. He liked people and they liked him. Totally unselfconscious, he moved through life in an abstracted sort of way, with only an intermittent grasp, one felt, on reality. His phenomenal absent mindedness, his tendency to disrupt a conversation with an apparently utterly irrelevant remark, could at times be mildly exasperating. But exasperation soon gave way to amusement, especially at the look of oblivious innocence on Fr. Tommy's face. Sometimes, particularly in later years, when he realised from the sudden silence that he had stopped the conversation dead, he would try, with an apologetic smile, to trace the wavering line that connected in his mind the former topic with his abrupt intervention. This was always listened to with great interest. The connection was usually quite fantastic.
In view of his disjointed manner of conversation it is perhaps surprising that Fr. FitzGerald was such an excellent teacher. The fact is that when he put his mind to one subject he had a tremendous power of concentration. And he was extremely painstaking about his work. Often, when he was lecturing at the T.T.C. he would write out a whole lecture in full, and it would be a model of clear and interesting exposition. It is no wonder that his students remembered him with gratitude and affection many years after.
And so do we remember him. He was a man of peace, and his influence on any company of which he was a part was to quiet discords and reduce tensions. We may hope, with considerable confidence, that he has received the reward promised to the peace makers, that his childlike eyes now gaze at God.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1962

Malaya

Father Thomas R Fitzgerald SJ

Malaya is a land of strange contrasts. Big, bustling cities such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpar, Penang, side by side with trackless jungle. In Penang Island, about a year ago, three men went out on a hike through the jungle, At the end of three days three gaunt and tattered figures appeared on the island shore and hailed a passing fisherman. They had lost their way, and what they had intended as an afternoon stroll turned into a fight for survival, And this on an island which one can motor round in an afternoon. Admittedly, the case is rare. But that it can happen at all shows what one is up against once ont leaves the beaten track.

We may add other jungle hazards. Elephants, tigers, pythons, cobras, the seladang or wild ox - the most formidable of all the wild animals of Malaya, it will attack on sight. Swimming in the larger rivers is dangerous on account of crocodiles, and when out bathing on one of the beaches one has to be on the look out for basking sea-snakes. Their bite is frequently lethal.

A land, too, of striking contrasts in its inhabitants. They are of different levels of culture and each race speaks its own group of languages. In the depths of the jungle live the oldest inhabitants of Malaya, the Sakai. They are a primitive people who go about in loin cloths armed with blowpipe and poisoned arrows. They have a common lodging house for the whole community and live off the animals of the jungle and partly by primitive agriculture. The earliest invaders were the Malays who form the majority of the present population of Malaya. For the most part they are farmers and live in kampongs, or villages, in houses raised five or six feet above the ground on wooden pillars. Their dress is colourful, the baju-shirt, or blouse, and the sarong a piece of brightly coloured cloth extending from the waist to the feet.

During the past one hundred and fifty years Malaya has witnessed a vast immigration of Chinese and Indians. The Indians are easily distinguished by their almost European features. Most of them come from the South of India and are dark complexioned. The majority of the Indians are rubber tappers, but they are to be found in all walks of life. They are keen businessmen, take a prominent part in the trades union movement and in the legislative assemblies of both Singapore and the Federation. They include many distinguished lawyers and doctors. While many Indian families have adopted European dress, the common wear among the lower classes is the dhoti, a skirt of white cotton gathered up between the legs, for men, and for women the sari.

The Chinese are mostly town and village folk. In the mixture of races that go to make up the population of Malaya they are the most vigorous and progressive element. Most of the shops in the towns and villages are owned by them, Chinese run big firms in the cities, own rubber estates and factories. In the two big universities of Malaya and Singapore respectively they easily outnumber the Malays and Indians. They have a separate university for themselves on Singapore Island. And, of course, they form the majority of the professional classes.

Most new Catholics are Chinese. The Malays being strict Moslems are almost impossible to convert. The Indians are hard to reach, since most of them live in remote rubber estates. Also, they are more wedded to their Hindu religion than the Chinese are to either Buddhism, Taoism or Confucianism. I do not wish, however, to say that Indian Catholics are few in number, The Church in Malaya contains a fairly equal number of Indians and Chinese. But most Indian Catholics come from the South of India, where the Church has been established for centuries and where their ancestors had been converted. Many of them, too, come from Goa, where until recently the Portuguese flag flew.

In the home each race speaks its own language. The Indians from the South of India speak Tamil and Malayalam; Urdu is commonly spoken by immigrants from Northern India. The Chinese speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Hoilam, Hakka, Teochew, each of which differs from the others enough to constitute a separate language. For instance, a Cantonese speaker is absolutely at sea when addressed in Hokkien unless he has previously learnt the language. Hokkien is generally spoken by the Singapore and Penang Chinese, while most of the Chinese in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of the Federation, and in Ipoh and other large towns speak Cantonese.

The Church has met this difficulty by making parishes racial, not local. For instance, in Singapore there is a separate church for the Indians, one for the Cantonese, one for the Teochew and Hokkien speakers and several churches for the English-speaking majority. But this does not solve the difficulty that the speakers of these different languages are spread throughout the length and breadth of Singapore, and many of them may have to travel many miles to get to the church where their own language is spoken. All agree that it is an unsatisfactory way of meeting the difficulty. But at present there is no other way of meeting it. Otherwise the missionaries would have to follow in the footsteps of Mezzafonti. And as things are, the average missionary -he is generally French-has to learn English, Malay, and one dialect of either Indian or Chinese.

The two Irish Jesuit parishes, St Ignatius in Singapore and St Francis Xavier's in Kuala Lumpur are cases in point of the language difficulty. In Singapore the majority of our parishioners are English-speaking. In the parish area there is an enormous number of non-Christian residents, mainly Chinese. To win them over we must have a good speaker of the Hokkien dialect, And so Father Gerard Keane has had to spend a year in a language school in Kuala Lumpur to add Hokkien to his Cantonese. Our parish in Kuala Lumpur contains a large Cantonese village, but there are very many Indians in the parish, too. To meet their spiritual needs, Father Paul Jenkins has had to devote two years to the study of Tamil, an exceedingly complex language.

Recently I have been instructing a Cantonese lady. Here in Penang. where I am living, I am the only Cantonese speaking priest. The lady was unfortunate in that, unlike most of the Chineses, she spoke only one dialect. Penang, like Singapore, is divided into an Indian parish, a Chinese parish and two parishes for English speakers. In the Chinese parish the priest in charge speaks Mandarin, Hakka and English, So there was nobody there to attend to the needs of the Cantonese lady.

In this age of materialism and comfort, it is heartening to see how many men and women are prepared to make great sacrifices for the Faith. Recently I was visited by the second wife of a prominent lawyer in one of the large towns of Malaya. She had had a chequered career. Now forty years of age, she was the mother of three children and held a respected position in the non-Christian society of her town. She had come to the Faith through devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. And so she asked me: “What must I do to be baptized?” The answer was simple, but it demanded the heroic.

“You must separate from your husband. If he refuses to give up your children you must part from them, too”.
“That is hard, Father, but since it is God's will, I will do it”.

And she did. She gave up her wealthy home and her children and went to live with her brother, who was a poor rubber tapper. She was instructed in the Faith and baptised. She came to me after her baptism and told me she was happy in spite of the separation from her children, because she knew she was doing the will of God and he gave her much consolation.

What of the future of our work here in Malaya ? At present we Irish Jesuits are following the traditional policy of the Society in trying to in fluence the intellectual elite and the professional classes. To this end we have established two hostels for university students, one in Singapore and the other in Kuala Lumpur. By keeping the students under our care we will be able to confirm the Catholics in their faith, which is exposed to many dangers in the non-Christian atmosphere of the universities. And we will be able to smooth the path to the Church for non-Catholics of good will.

For many years we have been in contact with the teachers of Malaya. Jesuits have acted as lecturers in the Government Teachers' Training College in Singapore. Recently, however, all the Europeans on the staff have been eliminated, and so the Jesuit lecturers have had to relinquish this important work. But we still carry on as Catholic chaplains to the Teachers Training Colleges of Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang. . There is certain evidence of mounting Muslim opposition to the growth of the Church. The Education Department in the Federation has compelled Catholic Schools to take in teachers of the Koran for the Malays attending the schools. It has forbidden the teaching of religion during school hours for all Christian schools, including biblical knowledge, formerly a recognised subject for the Leaving Certificate. Instead, a course in Islamism is being arranged. If this course is easy it will attract many Chinese students. But in spite of this opposition the work of conversion goes on and the influence of the Church is growing daily.

There is another side of our work I have not mentioned. That is the giving of retreats to children in schools, religious and army personnel. Father Eddie Bourke, well known to past Mungret boys of the twenties, spends his time travelling the length and breadth of Malaya giving retreats. Just at present he is enjoying a well deserved holiday in Ireland, but he expects to be back at the work by the end of the year.

Finally, a word about another old Mungret man, now also working with us in Malayaa. Father Ed Sullivan (Mungret 1918-1922, and Third Club Prefect 1929-1932) taught for many years in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He is now assistant to the Parish Priest of our Church of St Francis Xavier near Kuala Lumpur. He is well able to cope with the large Cantonese village I have previously mentioned, as he is a fine speaker of Cantonese.

Foley, John J, 1907-1991, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/663
  • Person
  • 08 December 1907-14 December 1991

Born: 08 December 1907, Tralee, County Kerry
Entered: 21 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1942, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 14 December 1991, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Early education at Belvedere College SJ, Dublin; Tertianship at Rathfarnham

by 1934 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father John Foley S.J.
1907-1991
R.I.P.

Father John Foley SJ, died at Wah Yan College, Kowloon, on 14 December 1991. He was 84 years of age.
Cardinal John B. Wu presided over the funeral Mass, held in St. Ignatius Chapel, Kowloon, on 20 December and the burial was at Happy Valley Cemetery.
Father Foley was born in Tralee, Ireland, on 8 December 1907. He entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1925. He took a B.A. degree at the National University of Ireland and then went through the usual course of studies in philosophy and theology in Dublin.

In 1933, while still a scholastic, he came to Hong Kong. He began the study of Cantonese and taught English and Latin at the then Regional Seminary in Aberdeen.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1939 and for the rest of the Second World War did teaching and administrative work in Ireland.

In 1946 he returned to Hong Kong and returned to the Regional Seminary where took charge of day-to-day administration.

Two years later he moved to Wah Yan College, Kowloon for 11 years as minister to the community and spiritual father to the students.

In 1959 he was back in the seminary as administrator and teacher of English and History of the Missions. When the Regional Seminary was handed over to the diocese, Father Foley was the Acting Rector.

He then returned to Wah Yan College, Kowloon, in 1964 and spent the rest of his life in that community. Until his retirement he was a teacher and spiritual father to the students.

He was the spiritual adviser to the Christian Life Community in the school and later was director of the CLC for the whole of Hong Kong.

On his retirement Father from the school, he gave much of his time as hospital chaplain. At one time he was regularly visiting three hospitals: Maryknoll Hospital, Kowloon Kwong Wah Hospital and the British Military Hospital. His work at the Maryknoll Hospital where he went regularly for many years is remembered with great appreciation.

But he was also remembered for his work with refugees at the North point Camp after the Second World War. Forty years later they still came faithfully to visit him. They celebrated his birthday for the last time with him on 8 December, just six days before he died.

Father Foley’s favorite recreational activity was gardening and the grounds of Wah Yan Kowloon are a lasting remembrance to his great love for trees and flowers.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 16 August 1991

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He entered the Society in 1925.
After First Vows he was sent to University College Dublin, graduating BA. On 1933 he was sent for Regency to Hong Kong, where he studied Cantonese and taught at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. He then went through the usual course of Philosophy and Theology studies at Milltown Park Dublin, being Ordained in 1939.
After Ordination, because of the war he did teaching and administrative work in Ireland.

1946-1948 He returned to Hong Kong and the Regional Seminary as the Administrator.
1948-1959 He went to Wah Yan College Kowloon as Minister and Spiritual Father in the College.
1959 He returned to Aberdeen doing teaching English and the History of the Mission and administration.

When the Regional Seminary was handed over to the Diocese he was the Acting Rector. So, in 1964 he returned to Wah Yan Kowloon and spent the rest of his life in that community. He was the spiritual advisor for the CLC in the school and later became the Director of CLC for the whole of Hong Kong.

When he retired from school he enjoyed working as a hospital Chaplain. At one time he was regularly visiting Maryknoll Hospital, Kwong Wah Hospital and the British Military Hospital. His work at Martyknoll was remembered with great appreciation. He was also remembered for his work with refugees at North Point Camp after WWII. Forty years later they still came faithfully to visit him. They celebrated his birthday with him for the last time in 1991 6 days before he died.

His favourite recreation was gardening and the grounds of Wah Yan College Kowloon are a lasting remembrance to his great love for trees and flowers.

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1992

Obituary

Father John Foley SJ

Fr John Foley SJ died at Wah Yan College, Kowloon, on Decernber 14. He was 84 years of age.

Cardinal John B. Wu presided over the funeral Mass, held in St Ignatius Chapel, Kowloon, on December 20 and the burial was at Happy Valley Cemetery.

Fr Foley was born in Tralee, Ireland, on December 8, 1907. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1925. He took a BA degree at the National University of Ireland and then went through the usual course of . studies in philosophy and theology in Dublin.

In 1933, while still a scholastic, he came to Hongkong. He began the study of Cantonese and taught English and Latin at the then Regional Semi nary in Aberdeen.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1939 and for the rest of the Second World War did teaching and administrative work in Ireland.

In 1946 he retumed to Hongkong and returned to the Regional Seminary where he took charge of day to-day administration.

Two years later he moved to Wah Yan College, Kowloon for 11 years of minister as minister to the community and spiritual father to the students.

In 1959 he was back in the seminary as administrator and teacher of English and History of the Missions. When the Regional Seminary was handed over to the diocese, Fr Foley was the Acting Rector.

He then returned to Wah Yan College, Kowlon, in 1964 and spent the rest of his life in that community. Until his retirement he was a teacher and spiritual father to the students.

He was the spiritual adviser to the Christian Life Community in the school and later was director of the CLC for the whole of Hongkong.

On his retirement from the school, he gave much of his time as hospital chaplain. At one time he was regularly visiting three hospitals: Maryknoll Hospital, Kwong Wah Hospital and the British Military Hospital. His work at the Maryknoll Hospital where he went regularly for many years is remembered with great appreciation.But he was also remembered for his work with refugees at the North Point Camp after the Second World War. Forty years later they still came faithfully to visit him. They celebrated his birthday for the last time with him on December 8, just six days before he died.

Fr Foley's favourite recreational activity was gardening and the grounds of Wah Yan Kowloon are a lasting remembrance to his great love for trees and flowers,

May he rest in peace.

Foley, Joseph, 1921-2006, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007

Obituary

Fr Joseph (Joe) Foley (1921-2006)

24th April 1921: Born in Limerick
Early education at Model School, CBS Sexton St. Limerick
7th September 1939: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1941: First Vows at Emo
1941 - 1944: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD.
1944 - 1947: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1947 - 1950: Hong Kong
1947 - 1949: Language studies
1949 - 1950: Wah Yan, HK -Teaching.
1950 - 1954: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1953: Ordained at Milltown Park
1954 - 1955: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
2nd February 1956: Final Vows at Hong Kong
1955 - 1992: Hong Kong
1955 - 1962: Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Teaching
1956 - 1957: Cheung Chau Language School
31st July 1966: Transcribed to Hong Kong
1962 - 1968: Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Rector
1968 - 1970: Wah Yan, Kowloon - Teaching
1970 - 1973: Loyola, Chicago - M.A. in Education
1973 - 1974: Singapore - Junior College of Education
1974 - 1977: Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Teaching
1977 - 1992: Vicar for Religious
1992 - 2000: Gardiner Street -
1992 - 1995: Parish Curate
31st July 1993: Transcribed to Irish Province
1995 - 2000: Assisted in the Church
1998 - 2000: House Consultor
2000 - 2006: Galway Assisted in Church, Spiritual Director (SJ)
4th September 2006: Died in Cherryfield Lodge

Frank Doyle writes:
Two days after his birth, Joe Foley, son of Denis Foley and Alice Gould, was baptised in St Michael's Church in Limerick and at the age of 12 received the Sacrament of Confirmation from Bishop D. Keane in St Joseph's Church, also in Limerick, on the feast of Sts Peter and Paul, 1933. He received his secondary education at the Irish Christian Brothers' School in Sexton Street and completed it by doing' his Leaving Certificate in 1939.

On September 3, 1939, Britain and France declared war on Germany. It was the formal beginning of the Second World War. Four days later, on September 7, Joe entered the Society at Emo Park in Co. Laois. His novice master was Fr John Neary.

There then followed the usual six years of Juniorate in Rathfarnham from 1941-1944 and Philosophy at St Stanislaus' College, Tullabeg, 1944-1947. For his regency he was assigned to the Irish Province's Mission in Hong Kong and spent three years there from 1947 to 1950. As was the custom, he spent the first two years studying the Cantonese dialect, used in Hong Kong, and then taught for one further year in Wah Yan College, Robinson Road, in the Mid-Levels district of Hong Kong Island.

It was during this period that Joe became part of an “incident” which could have had unpleasant consequences. He was with two other scholastics - Donal Taylor and Martin Cryan - in Macau, the Portuguese enclave about 40 miles down the coast from Hong Kong. They passed through an archway on the edge of the territory with the intention of taking photographs on the other side. However, they had unwittingly crossed the border dividing Macau from China. They were arrested by Chinese police and taken into custody. Fortunately, through the good offices of a wealthy Portuguese in Macau, their early release was arranged.

In 1950 Joe returned to Ireland for his theological studies and finished with a Licentiate in Theology. At the end of his third year he was ordained to the priesthood on 31 July 1953. Theology was followed by Tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle in 1954-55 where the directors were Fathers John Neary and Hugo Kelly.

With the completion of his Jesuit formation, Joe returned to the Hong Kong Mission and took up teaching again at Wah Yan College. Just at this time, in 1955, Wah Yan moved from its original location in Robinson Road to a brand new building on Mount Parrish in the Wanchai district of Hong Kong Island. A year after his return, Joe made his Final Vows on 2 February 1956.

In 1957 Joe was made Minister at Xavier House on the offshore island of Cheung Chau and held the post for one year. Xavier House had become the language school for Jesuits arriving for the first time in Hong Kong. It replaced some previous venues - Loyola in the New Territories, which was used up the time of the Second World War, Canton (before the Communists moved in), the Missions Etrangeres de Paris (MEP) house in Battery Path in downtown Hongkong.

In 1957, however, there were plans to open a novitiate at Xavier House and this involved putting up a new building for the novices. The absentee superior of the house was Fr Eddie Bourke, who had been sent down to Singapore to relieve Paddy Joy. The acting superior was Canice Egan, who was to be the new novice master, with Joe Foley as his minister and Socius. There were also three scholastics in the house that year – John Jones, Joseph Shields, and Frank Doyle. It was here that the author first came to know Joe. It turned out to be one of my most enjoyable years in the Society, not least because of Joe's and Canice's constant teasing of each other. We did have a lot of fun together that year.

The original plans, however, were changed. Canice was replaced as novice master by John O'Meara and took up teaching in what were known as post-secondary colleges. Joe Foley, for his part, moved back to Wah Yan College in Wanchai and returned to teaching. In 1958 he was also made Minister at Wah Yan and four years later took over from Cyril Barrett as Rector, a post he held until 1968. It was during this period, in 1966, that the Hong Kong Mission became the Vice-Province of Hong Kong and Joe, with all the other members of the former Mission, was now transcribed to the new Vice-Province.

It was about this time that the Singapore government began implementing a plan to open special “Junior Colleges” for pre university (Form 6) students. The government opened one of its own but also invited other groups including the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, and the Buddhists, to open colleges of their own. In 1972, Joe went to Loyola College in Chicago and spent one year there doing a Master's in Education. The idea behind this move was a proposal that he become the first Director of the new Catholic Junior College in Singapore. However, he never did take up the post. For some reasons – perhaps because he was a European and from Singapore's rival territory of Hong Kong - he was not given the appointment. Instead a local De la Salle Brother was assigned to the post.

In the year 1978, Joe was appointed by the Bishop of Hong Kong as Vicar for Education for the diocese. He held this post for 14 years until he returned to Ireland in 1992. He now had his own office in the Catholic Diocesan Centre, beside the Catholic Cathedral. In this post he was basically responsible for co ordinating all the Catholic diocesan schools in the territory - of which there were many.

After 14 years in the post, Joe was expressing a desire to retire and hand over to someone else. The Bishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal Wu, was, however, reluctant to let him go. Joe then decided that his best recourse was to take a year off and return to Ireland. He was assigned as a curate in St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street. He found this new apostolate so much to his liking that he decided to stay on in Ireland and, and in the following year, was transcribed back to the Irish Province. His assignment as curate was modified to 'assists in the church in 1995. In 1998 he became a consultor in the community.

In the year 2000, he was transferred to St Ignatius Church, Galway, 'assisting in the church and spiritual director of the Jesuit community. He became the house historian in 2004. It was during these years that he began to have problems with cancer and, when it became more serious and without any prospect of a cure, he was moved to Cherryfield Lodge where he spent the last months of his life there. He died there peacefully on 4 September 2006.

In his younger days, Joe would be remembered as a vigorous footballer. Most of his life in Hongkong was devoted to some aspect of education - either as a teacher, a headmaster or the bishop's representative for education. He made no claims to being an intellectual but was competent in the posts he held. He had a good sense of humour and enjoyed teasing and being teased. He is missed by those who knew him.

Eulogy given in late September, 2006, by Helen Chia Chih Lee, former teacher at Wah Yan, Hong Kong, at a memorial Mass in Toronto for a gathering of Wah Yan alumni:
We gather here today to remember Rev. Fr. Joseph Foley, a fine Jesuit, and to celebrate his fruitful life. The last letter Fr. Foley sent me was dated April 12 of this year. Unlike his usual handwritten ones, it was typed, responding to a question I had asked him on prayer. In early June, I was shocked to learn that he was quite sick in the nursing home. It touched me deeply to realize that he still cared so much about me in his illness.

When I visited him some weeks later, I was impressed by his good spirits and quick wit despite suffering from terminal cancer. The concern he showed to those around him was edifying. His command of Cantonese, particularly the slang, was as amazing as ever. When he said 'wuun buun' in Cantonese, looking at the lotus paste bun in Fr. Doyle's hands, I couldn't understand the reason for the remark. It was when he said in English that Fr. Doyle was eating one bun that I got the pun.

I was privileged to have worked with Fr. Foley at Wah Yan HK in the mid 1970's. As a colleague, he was very friendly and helpful. He inspired me to instil moral values through teaching English. Up to this day, I adhere to his idea. As an adult ESL instructor, I often choose topics related to values, particularly Canadian ones, for my immigrant learners. After Father Foley left Wah Yan, he gradually became our family friend. His advice, moral support and prayers were invaluable, especially during the early years of our immigration to Canada,

Most alumni of the two Wah Yans knew Fr. Foley in different capacities, but everybody referred to him by his heroic nickname, “James Bond” or “007”. Students of the 1950's and 60's on the Hong Kong side had Fr. Foley as either their teacher or principal. Later, he served on the teaching staff of either school at different times. In 1978, the late Cardinal Wu appointed Fr. Foley to be the first Episcopal Vicar for Education, a position he held until 1992. Then he returned to Ireland and served the Irish Jesuit Province. In May this year, he was admitted to the Jesuit nursing home in Dublin. On September 4, with close relatives by his side, Fr. Foley passed away peacefully, aged 85.

Fr. Foley dedicated his whole life to the service of God. In his own words, “to be able to help people” was the most rewarding aspect in his priesthood. Indeed, he enriched innumerable people. Wah Yan students and staff benefited greatly from his words, his deeds and his remarkable personality. He was highly intelligent, full of humour, very caring and most generous. In the 14 long years of his tenure as the Cardinal's delegate for education, Fr. Foley's contribution was more widely felt, influencing the direction of Catholic education in Hong Kong.

Fr. Foley was much respected and loved by his students. Some alumni made special trips to Ireland to visit him. The class of 62 compiled a sentimental souvenir book entitled "To Father with Love" for him. In his illness, he received lots of cards from former students. All these show what a great teacher he was.

Before closing, I'd like to share with you a thought from a homily I heard Fr. Foley deliver when I visited him in Galway, Ireland, back in 2002. It has special relevance to those of us brought up in the traditional Chinese way. We were taught to be humble by declining praise. Fr. Foley said that true humility does not lie in denying or diminishing one's talents or achievements. Instead, when being praised, a humble person realizes his/her strong points and accomplishments are gifts from God and is, therefore, thankful for His blessings.

All of us whose lives have been touched by Fr. Foley are truly blessed. As we mourn the loss of such a fine Jesuit, let us be comforted at the thought that he is enjoying his well-deserved heavenly rewards. Let our fond memories of him prompt us to follow his good example. Let us ask Fr. Foley to intercede for us, especially for Wah Yan which he so loved.

Fook-Wai Chan, Francis, 1923-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/491
  • Person
  • 29 January 1923-04 December 1993

Born: 29 January 1923, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Entered: 17 August 1940, Rizal, Philippines (MARNEB for HIB)
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1958, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 04 December 1993, Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin

Part of the Cherryfield Lodge community, Dublin community at the time of death.

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

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Francis Chan Fook Wai, SJ., a long-serving teacher in Wah Yan College Kowloon and a sought-after priest at St. Ignatius Chapel there, died in Dublin, Ireland, on 4 December 1993, aged 70 years.

Born to a Catholic family in Shamshuipo, Kowloon, in 1923, he graduated from Wah Yan College Hong Kong which was then situated on Robinson Road. He joined the Jesuits (Society of Jesus) in 1940 and went to the Philippines for his novitiate, taking his vows there under Japanese occupation in 1942.

After studies there in humanities and philosophy, he returned to teach for a year at his old school and then moved to Ireland to study theology in 1950-54 at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained a priest in 1953. He made his final year of spiritual formation in Wales, followed by a year of educational studies in London.

After returning to Hong Kong in 1956, he took up what was to be his life-long career as a secondary-school teacher, this time in Kowloon Wah Yan College on Waterloo Road.

He was to teach full-time at Form Five level for over 30 years, a period broken only by his going to Canada in 1969 to take a Master's degree in history at the University of Saskatchewan. Even after official retirement at 65 in 1988, he continued with a reduced teaching load for a further two years. During the course of those long years, he had served also as Prefect of Studies of the school and as the first Chinese Rector of the Jesuit community.

His pastoral work at St. Ignatius Chapel had begun as early as 1972 but from 1990 this became his main concern. There he had already become known for the many groups whom he personally instructed for Baptism. Every year he prepared two groups of over fifty adults. He often baptised a whole family, including grandparents and grandchildren.

In early 1992 he moved to England to care for the Chinese Catholics living in London. But soon after taking up that responsibility, he had to undergo major surgery. He was happy to be able to resume his pastoral work for some months but when the problem recurred in mid-1990, he sought medical treatment in Ireland and it was there that he died peacefully on 4 December.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His early education was in Wah Yan College Hong Kong.
He made his Novitiate in Manila, and the studied Humanities and Philosophy.
1950-1954 he was sent to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology.
After that he studied Spiritual formation in Wales and Educational studies in London.
He taught at Wah Yan College Kowloon and then in 1992 he moved to London, England to care for Chinese Catholics living there.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Francis (Frank) Chan (Fook-wai Chan) (1923-1993)

29th Jan. 1923: Born in Hong Kong to a Catholic family Primary studies: Tun Mui School, Hong Kong
Secondary studies: Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Graduating 1940
14th Aug. 1940: Entered Society at Novaliches Novitiate, Philippines
15th Aug. 1942: First Vows at Novaliches
1942 - 1944: Juniorate at Novaliches, studied English, Latin and Greek
1944 - 1946: Philosophy at Novaliches
1946 - 1950: Regency in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
1950 - 1954: Theology in Milltown Park
31st July 1953; Ordained a priest in Milltown Park by J.C. McQuaid
1954 - 1955: Tertianship at St. Bueno's, Wales
1955 - 1956: Diploma in Education at Strawberry Hill College, London
1956 - 1958: Taught in Wah Yan College, Kowloon
3rd Feb. 1958: Final Vows, professed
1959-1965: Prefect of Studies in Wah Yan College, Kowloon.
1965-1967: Fund-raising for new school wing
1967-1970: Studies for M.A. in history at University of Saskatchewan, Canada
1970-1990: Taught in Wah Yan College, Kowloon
1972-1978; Minister of community
1972-1991: Prefect of Church
1972-1982: Consultor of Vice-Province
1978-1994: Rector of Wah Yan College
1985-1991: Minister of community
1991-1992: Sabbatical Year
1992-1993: Director of London Chinese Catholic Association, St. Patrick's Church, London
1992: Transcribed to Irish Province
4th Dec. 1993: Died at Our Lady's Hospice, Harolds Cross

I suppose “single-minded” is the word that best sums up Fr. Francis Chan. I first noticed this when we were together in Theology in Milltown Park in the early fifties. For Francis it was slog and swot every spare hour of the day. The result was that he outshone many of his colleagues who considered that they were of higher intellectual ability than him. There was a certain amount of chagrin that Francis got his “Ad Grad” and was thus on the way to becoming Professed Father, while some of his colleagues had to be satisfied with becoming "mere" Spiritual Coadjutors.

Francis continued to show that same determination to achieve academic success after completing his tertianship in St. Beunos, North Wales. He first studied for a Diploma in Education in Strawberry Hill, London. Then, after his return to Hong Kong in 1956, he sat his Matriculation Exam and an external degree in history from London University - no mean achievement as he was a full-time teacher during that period. Later, he obtained a Master's degree from Regina University, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Francis devoted himself with the same single-mindedness to the very difficult task of fund-raising for Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He was Chairman of the Committee and gave himself wholeheartedly to the task, contacting his many friends and Past Students of the College.

When he became Minister of Wah Yan College, Kowloon he showed the same efficiency that he had displayed in classroom teaching and in his term as Prefect of Studies in the College. However, his single mindedness and his determination to achieve sometimes meant that he was lacking in the art of good personal relationships. However, I must say that whenever I visited the College when Francis was minister, or later when he became Rector, he was always most welcoming, considerate and attentive.

I think that this appointment as Minister of Wah Yan was really a turning-point in Francis's career. As Minister, he was in charge of the “School Chapel”. It needs to be explained that the “Chapel”, to all intents and purposes, is a “mini parish church”; funerals or weddings are not performed, but other normal parish activities are carried out. (The official designation of St. Ignatius Chapel is a “Pastoral Zone” - the only one in the whole diocese of Hong Kong!!). It was in this work that Francis really blossomed and it became evident that while he threw himself wholeheartedly into his work as a teacher, his heart wasn't really in it. This might help to explain why he never developed a close personal relationship with his students. Anyhow, he relished his work with the people who came to St. Ignatius Chapel and took a deep interest in them. He prepared very many for Baptism himself, when the general practice of the diocese was to leave this task to catechists. And the people loved him. When he later became Rector, and would normally have ceased being in charge of St. Ignatius Chapel, he continued his association with it. Still later, when he retired from full-time teaching in the College he was able to devote practically all his time to his “parishioners”.

The thought of the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997 was something that caused Francis a great deal of anxiety and he made no secret of the fact that he intended to leave well in advance of that date. So, in 1992 he left Hong Kong: first to visit his former parishioners living in Canada and then he came to Ireland. He obtained an Irish passport and became a member of the Irish Province in September of that year. Earlier, he had signed a three-year contract with the Archdiocese of Westminster to be the priest in charge of the Chinese Catholics in London - “Director of the Chinese Catholic Association, London” was his official title.

However, he soon experienced ill health and had prostate surgery in Dublin that same year. Against medical advice, Francis insisted on returning to his flock in London. He realised that, on account of his cancer, he didn't have very long to live so he paid a final visit to Hong Kong without revealing to anyone his serious medical condition. When the cancer worsened he had to leave his pastoral work in London and took up residence in Cherryfield Lodge in August, 1993. As his health continued to deteriorate, he moved to Our Lady's Hospice, Harold's Cross, Dublin where he died on 4th December, 1993.

Something of the single-mindedness that had marked his life was evident in his final illness. He knew that he hadn't long to live so he committed himself totally into the hands of his Creator. The nurses in the Hospice said that they had never seen anyone die with such peaceful resignation - a peace that was clearly evident on his face after his death. May he rest in peace.

JG Foley

Gallagher, Richard, 1887-1960, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Older Brother of Leonard Gallagher - RIP 1942

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Funeral of Fr. Gallagher, S.J.

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

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

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

Requiem for Fr. R.W. Gallagher, SJ

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Arrivals :

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

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

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

Irish Province News 36th Year No 1 1961

Obituary :

Fr Richard Gallagher (1887-1960)

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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

Garland, Joseph, 1909-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/664
  • Person
  • 11 April 1909-07 June 1997

Born: 11 April 1909, Arran Quay, Dublin
Entered: 21 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1938. Milltown Park. Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died 07 June 1997, St Mary's Home for the Aged, Welfare Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1933 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Farther Joseph Garland, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Joseph Garland died shortly before 8am on Saturday, 7 June 1997 in St. Mary’s Home for the Aged. Cardinal John B. Wu, Bishops Joseph Zen and John Tong and about 40 priests concelebrated a Requiem Mass for him on 13 June in the chapel. He was buried in Happy Valley Cemetery.

Joseph was born in Dublin, Ireland, on Easter Sunday, 11 April 1909, the thirteenth and last child of the family. When his mother, consulted a gynaecologist, he calmed her fears by saying that the child to be born would become a priest and that she would die in his arms. Everything was to turn out as the gynaecologist said! She died in 1945 before her son set out for Hong Kong for the second time.

After primary and secondary schooling he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus on 21 September 1923. First vows followed after two years, and then he attended university obtaining an honours B.A. degree in English and first place in his group. He spent a further two years studying philosophy before being assigned to the Hong Kong Mission.

Arriving in Hong Kong on 22 October 1932, he was appointed choirmaster in the Regional Seminary where he also taught English to the seminarians and a short while later philosophy. During his third year he was assigned to teach English in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, while continuing his job as choirmaster. Every weekend he returned to the seminary to conduct the weekly High Mass or the Missa Cantata.

From 1935 to 1939 he studied theology in Dublin and was ordained priest on 31 July 1938. He should have returned to Hong Kong in 1940 but World War II prevented him until March of 1946 when he returned to the seminary as choirmaster, spiritual director and professor of philosophy. He was Rector of the seminary from 1951 to 1957; he had our cardinal among his students. One Jesuit colleague of the time admired his ability to compose long Latin letters and reports. He was known for being punctual and was late only when leaving the seminary for the last time.

In 1961 he was transferred to St. Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, which was opened that year. He was to spend 14 years there, finding scope for his considerable abilities in giving retreats, spiritual direction and courses of various kinds to the Catholics of Malaysia, as well as handling marriage cases for the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur. He was an active member of SELA, a Jesuit group dealing with socioeconomic life in Asia, and the Oxford Catholic Social Guild, which involved considerable work in Malaysia and travel to other Asian countries.

In Malaysia, he took part in interreligious dialogue. After one such encounter he commented on the “absolute need of metaphysics and a proper understanding of analogy.”

Immigration regulations made it necessary for him to seek other pastures, so he pulled up his roots once again. This time he went to Lahore Pakistan. Where he spent the year from 1975 to 1982. While life was not so hectic as in Malaysia, here too he took any opportunity for pastoral work that presented itself. In Lahore there was a Metaphysical Circle (PPC) at the University of Punjab; he was invited to give lectures to the society. When he left in 1982, he was sadly missed by the Metaphysical Circle for his “excellent contributions to the PPC and for your sweet and gentle words.”

Father Garland returned to Hong Kong in June 1982 where he was to remain to the end of his days. At first he lived in Ricci Hall and then moved to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. During the last year of his life he finally needed more care than could be provided in the community quarters and he entered St. Mary’s Home for the Elderly. While there, he called for a copy the Summa Contra Gentiles in the original Latin by St. Thomas Aquinas to be brought to St. Mary’s. Although he gradually began to see St. Mary’s as “home,” during the last month he began asking visitors to pray for an early death for him. It would seem that his definition of “home” had reached “omega point.” We can sum it up for him by a quotation, in Latin, from St. Paul: “Cupio dissolvi et esse cum Christo” (Phil. 1:23)
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 22 June 1997

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Joe was the 13th and last child in his family. When his mother consulted a gynaecologist, he calmed her fears and told her that the child to be born would become a prist and that she would die in his arms. Everything turned out as the gynaecologist predicted - she died in 145 before her son set out for Hong Kong for a second time.

He entered the Novitiate after his primary and secondary schooling were completed. After First Vows he went to University College Dublin and graduated with an Honours Degree i English and first place in his class. He then went on to spend two years studying Philosophy.

1932 He arrived in Hong Kong having been sent there for Regency and he was appointed Choir Master at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen, and later he taught Philosophy there, and after that taught English at Wah Yan College Hong Kong. He then returned to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology and was Ordained there.

1946-1961 He returned to Hong Kong and the Seminary at Aberdeen. He was appointed Rector there 1961-1957 and among his students was the future Cardinal Wu.
1961-1982 He was sent to St Francis Xavier Church in Malaysia. He was very active in the Jesuit group (SELA) which deal with the socio-economic life of Asia
1982 He returned to Hong Kong and was first sent to Ricci Hall and then at Wah Yan College Hong Kong. He finished his days at St Mary’s Home.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1997

Obituary

Father Joseph Garland SJ (OB 1923)

Born in Dublin on 4th April, 1909 and died in Hong Kong on the 7th June, 1997.

Joseph was the thirteenth child of a medical doctor on Arran Quay along the River Liffey in Dublin. He was at Belvedere College from 1917-1923 and active in the Bicycle Club. After two years in Clongowes he entered the Society in Tullabeg - to find life much easier there.

After his vows he studied Pure English at University, then returned to Tullabeg, now a philosophate. He only did two years, as he was to study a Master's Degree. In fact, he arrived the next year in Hong Kong (September 1932) at the South China Regional Seminary, which had just opened in October 1931.

He was to be identified with this seminary all his life. The present Cardinal Wu knew him as a seminarian, and has always had a respect and love for his “Fr Rector” (1951-1958), and with him are dozens of priests who looked up to him as a model. As Spiritual Father to the seminarians until 1961 he was popular, and they knew him as the man who led them in half an hour of meditation before Mass, two examinations of conscience a day, monthly recollection and an annual seven day retreat. These years were the most eventful in the history of the Seminary as it had about eighty seminarians, together with many seminarians who passed through to settle in places like the Phillipines. His first impres sion of the Seminary in 1932 had been of a pirate's village, as it involved being rowed across Stanton Creek and then walking up the steps to the Seminary.

Called to Malaysia in 1961, he worked from St Francis Xavier's Church in Petaling Jaya until 1975. Here he was engaged in seminars and study groups on the social doctrine of the church, together with activities in trade union promotion and community development. He was often giving retreats, and helping the Apostleship of Prayer and the Crusaders of the Blessed Sacrament. He often spoke of his work. with SELA, under Fr Walter Hogan SJ and their international seminars: Priests for Social Action, Hong Kong 1965; Educators for Social Action, Tokyo 1971; Development of Human Resources, Bangkok 1974.

Then came the call to Pakistan from 1975 to 1982, to work with Fr Butler SJ, in Lahore, who was in dialogue with Islam, Fr Garland's work was mostly giving retreats and helping religious in school work, as well as giving lec tures to intellectual groups, such as the Philosophy Society.

Returning to Hong Kong in 1983, he was in Ricci Hall in administrative work until 1990 when he went into “retirement” to Hong Kong Wah Yan. He helped whenever he could, especially with the Charismatic Renewal Move ment.

He was handicapped with his severe hip limp for many years but struggled as best he could. He was cheerful and active and able to manage for himself until several falls in 1995 brought him to the happiest days of his life in St Mary's Home for the Aged in Aberdeen. Here he was near the Seminary, and it was Fr Tse Kin Sang who anointed him on Saturday, June 7th at 8.30am when he was rapidly failing. He had often said that for him to live was Christ, to die was gain. He sometimes referred to himself as one who filled in empty places - a Stop-Gap Man. He leaves many in admiration for him.

HN SJ

Grogan, Patrick, 1902-1980, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Studied for B Ag Science at UCD before entry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

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

Irish Province News 55th Year No 2 1980

Obituary

Fr Patrick Grogan (1902-1925-1980)

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

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

Headon, Maurice F, 1912-1960, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/181
  • Person
  • 22 November 1912-06 August 1960

Born: 22 November 1912, Ballyporeen, County Tipperary
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 06 August 1960, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Early education at Schoil Mhuire, Marino and O’Connell’s School;

Studied for BSc at UCD; Tertianship at Rathfarnham

by 1936 at Vals, France (TOLO) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 35th Year No 4 1960
Obituary :
Fr Maurice Headon (1912-1960)
When the news came to Hong Kong that Fr. Maurice Headon would not be returning to the mission people were surprised. When the reason given was that he was in ill-health, there was a temptation to incredulity. It was harder still to believe when it was told that he was suffering from hardening of the arteries, that there was danger of gangrene setting in, that his leg might have to be amputated. He was in the Mater Hospital during last summer, cheerful, unconcerned, yet the doctors said he would never again be able to walk more than a hundred yards. It was all very puzzling. Last autumn he gave a retreat in Galway to the Women's Sodality and he seemed in very good health. One day last August a friend called to see him in Gardiner Street whither he had returned from the Mater. Fr. Headon seemed to be in very good health and spirits; the next day he was found dead in his room. He was never a man to fuss about himself. Unselfishness was outstanding in his life as it was outstanding in the days leading up to his death.
Maurice Headon was born in Ballyporeen in Co. Tipperary in 1912. He finished his secondary studies in O'Connell Schools, Dublin, and in September 1930 he entered the Novitiate, in Emo. It was the first year of the Novitiate in its new surroundings; the Philosophers had taken over Tullabeg. Mr. Headon studied Science in the University and took his degree in 1935. Philosophy in Vals followed and then came three years of teaching in Clongowes. In his first year there he was in charge of the meteorological station and took his Higher Diploma in Education. He was prefect of the Gym for his three years and left a memory among those he taught for his kindness and for the trouble he took to help on those who were weak in their studies; he even gave special classes to those who could not manage their mathematics.
He studied Theology in Milltown Park and was ordained there by the Archbishop of Dublin in the summer of 1944. Tertianship was in Rathfarnham under Fr. Neary, 1945-1946, and then he was sent to the Crescent where he taught Science for three years. Even in his first year he was a favourite with the boys; and it was remarkable how many continued to write to him all during his years in Hong Kong. Prefects of Studies always placed a high value on Fr. Headon's teaching, though his preference was for more directly apostolic work.
The Hong Kong mission was in great need of additional competent Science masters and in the summer of 1949 Fr. Headon left Ireland and his many friends for a few field of labour. He was then thirty-seven years old and the assignment was not an easy one. Fr. Headon on his arrival in the mission did not go to the Language School. He was needed in the Colleges and to Wah Yan, Hong Kong, and to a heavy round of teaching in the “Afternoon School” he now gave himself. For at least three of his teaching years in China he taught Science, but he also found time to begin a study of Chinese which he later used to great effect in preaching and hearing Confessions. Great praise is due to Fr. Headon for the extraordinary diligence with which he studied Chinese. At the end of his ten years in Hong Kong there were few Fathers on the mission who knew as many Chinese characters as he did and all those years he studied with the sole aim of being able to preach better and with a wider vocabulary.
In 1952 Fr. Headon began to work in Wah Yan, Kowloon, first in its temporary quarters in Nelson Street, later in the present fine building. In 1955 he was editor of the college magazine, The Shield, and for his last two years in Hong Kong he was Prefect of Studies in the same college, He kept up an interest in his pupils, even after they had left his care and he undertook the heroic labour of keeping in touch by letter with all the past students of Wah Yan who had gone abroad for further studies. The summer of 1959 saw him on his way back to Ireland after ten busy years to a well-deserved rest. He spent most of his time in St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, and it was there that death found him on Saturday, 6th August. He was forty-eight years old. Unobtrusiveness, perhaps, was the main characteristic of Fr. Headon's work inside the house and out. He rarely referred to either; he rarely made use of the personal pronoun “I”, so if we learned of his apostolate outside, it was from those who benefited from it. In Hong Kong, he was confessor to the Good Shepherd Sisters and their charges after their expulsion by the Communists from Shanghai. His sympathy, his patience and understanding, his personal charm and friendliness, and his readiness to help made him greatly loved by them all, and it was with intense regret they saw him leaving when his canonical period as confessor had ended.
His heart was in this direct apostolic work, so he jumped at the chance of a weekly supply in the parish church of St. Francis of Assisi. Here, again, his friendly spirit, his zeal and his understanding of human nature made him extremely popular. He preached every Sunday in Chinese at the public Masses, drew big crowds to his confessional and was ever at the beck and call of the parish priest who had the greatest esteem for him and the highest appreciation of what he was doing for his Catholic flock. The parish priest was shocked enough when he heard that he was losing Fr. Headon for a year at home; he was overwhelmed when he heard of his death. He is having a special Requiem Mass said for Fr. Headon; and he knows that he will have a packed church. The number of people who have come to the school to ask if it is really true that he is dead has revealed to us the breadth of his hidden apostolate and the number of Masses for his soul asked for shows their affection for him. . Here in the school the boys were boys were utterly shocked when news of his death arrived. He was a good teacher, and as Prefect of Studies had shown himself most approachable, and the boys knew that they would always get a fair and sympathetic hearing in his office. Those boys “in trouble” would present their appeal without any fear, and if they left his office, the “trouble” remaining withal, they recognised at least that they had got a fair hearing. His death will be a great loss to the community. Many, indeed, is the recreation he enlivened with his keen sense of humour and his love of argument. Philosophy, theology, the different methods of the apostolate, the school curriculum and the means of dealing with boys--these were all rich grain to his mental mill, and he enjoyed nothing better than a hammer and tongs discussion about them. After winning an argument, he might be reminded that he had defended the opposite opinion some months before just as vigorously, and he would break out into laughter and state that he “had read another book on the subject since” or that he “had changed his mind as we must march with the times”. Then he would be ready for another discussion on “changing your mind”!

Hogan, Arnold, 1924-1996, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/667
  • Person
  • 02 June 1924-26 July 1996

Born: 02 June 1924, Toureen, Ballysimon, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1961, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 26 July 1996, Caritas Christi Hospice - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Newman College, Parkville, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to ASL : 1984

by 1952 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1965 at Rome, Italy (ROM) assisting Procurator General
by 1966 at Regis College, Willowdale (CAN S) teaching
by 1967 at Heythrop, Oxford (ANG) teaching

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Arnie Hogan received his secondary education at the Sacred Heart College, Limerick, and entered the Society in Ireland, 7 September 1943. Following his noviciate he studied arts at the National University of Ireland. After philosophy at Tullabeg, 1948-51, regency in Hong Kong, 1951-54 and theology at Milltown Park, Dublin, 1954-58, he lectured on moral theology and canon the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong, 1959-60, followed by a year lecturing at Milltown Park, Dublin. While in Hong Kong he learnt Cantonese and also gave retreats.
Hogan completed graduate studies in theology (STD) at the Gregorian University, Rome. 1962-65. For the rest of his life he lectured in moral theology around the world: Regis College Willowdale, Canada, 1965-66; Heythrop College, London, 1966-68; Boston College, USA, 1968-69; Weston School of Theology (living at John Lafarge House), Cambridge, Mass, 1969-73; and St Joseph Centre. Charlestown Mass. 1973-75.
He came to Australia in 1975, was transferred to the Australian province in 1984, and lectured until his death at the Jesuit Theological College, Parkville and the Yarra Theological Union. He worked at the National Pastoral Institute in Melbourne and gave many talks to parish and school groups around the country. He warmly entered into the ecumenical environment at the United Faculty of Theology.
In community he was a breath of fresh air enthusiastic for hospitality and celebration. He was a traditional religious who loved to be generous. At the same time he was shy and insecure which led to some abrasive and complaining ways. He was easily hurt and would withdraw for a time
As a lecturer, Hogan showed warmth, humour, precision and provocation. He gave many lectures on moral questions to groups in parishes around Australia, and was much appreciated for his liberal understanding of current moral issues. He was a colourful man, full of charm and good company. He could show compassion to anyone in difficulties, and was most helpful in sharing his theological insights. He was the author of a book on moral theology and of a number of articles, which enshrined some of his wit and wisdom. His colleagues at the Melbourne College of Divinity said that they would miss “the twinkle in his eyes, his impish personality, his outstanding scholarship and Christian grace”.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Born Cashel

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 92 : August 1996

Obituary

Fr Arnold Hogan (1924-1996) - Australian Province

1924: Born in Limerick
1943: Entered the Society Arts course at National University of Ireland
1945 - 1948: Philosophy at St. Stanislaus College, Tullabeg
1948 - 1951: Regency in Hong Kong (Language Studies and teaching) at Wah Yan College
1954 - 1958: Theology at Milltown Park
31st July 1957: Ordained a Priest
1958 - 1959: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1959 - 1960: Lectured on Moral Theology and Canon Law at Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong.
1961 - 1962: Lectured on Moral Theology at Milltown Park, Dublin
1962 - 1965: Post graduate studies at Gregorian University, Rome
1965 - 1966: Lectured at Regis College, Willowdale, Canada
1966 - 1968: Lectured at Heythrop College, England
1968 - 1969: Lectured on Moral Theology at Jesuit Theological College, Parkville and Yarra Theological Union
1984 : Transcribed into Australian Province
26th July 1996: Died at Caritas Christi, Australia,

Michael Paul Gallagher happened to be staying in the Jesuit Theological College, Melbourne, when Fr. Arnie Hogan was closer to death than anyone realized. Michael Paul sent us the following memoir:

“Arnie seemed particularly glad to see a Jesuit from home, and in his typically blunt way did not hide the fact that death was close. The doctor had told him not to take any courses for the coming semester. He had just finished grading various essays from the previous session. ‘72 is not a bad innings’, he told me more than once. He was delighted that his book on moral theology had just sold out its first printing.

A few days before I was due to leave I asked Arnie if he would like to come out with me for a meal in his favourite Italian restaurant. At first he said he would not be up to it; then one evening he suddenly decided that we would risk it and off we went (getting a scholastic to give us a lift). Arnie was obviously well known at Cafè Roma: the Sicilian cook and his Australian wife had a great welcome for him and prepared the food just as he wanted. I think he enjoyed himself immensely, and at the end of the evening the lady of the house insisted on driving us home. She knew she might never see him there again.

A day or two later Arnie was due to go into hospital and I accompanied him. It was a somewhat large and impersonal place, and I felt for him as he went through the cold admission procedures and was brought to his ward. He had a good view of the city from his bed, When it was time for me to go, Arnie said to me (knowing that I was to return to the Gregorian for the first semester): ‘every blessing on the Eternal City’. I replied ‘the same to you Arnie, in another sense’. It was a goodbye that I recall with gratitude, as I remember all those days with him, and his tough courage and faith.
May he rest in peace”.

Hogan, Walter B, 1912-1991, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1456
  • Person
  • 24 October 1912-16 September 1991

Born: 24 October 1912, Philadelphia PA, USA
Entered: 07 September 1931, St Andrew on Hudson NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboiracensis Province (MARNEB)
Ordained: 18 June 1944
Professed: 02 February 1949
Died: 16 September 1991, Baltimore MD, USA - Philippine Province (PHI)

by 1963 came to Wah Yan Hong Kong (HIB) working 1962-1967

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

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

Howatson, P Joseph, 1910-1972, Jesuit priest

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

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1936 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

WWII Chaplain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

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

Irish Province News 47th Year No 4 1972

Obituary :

Fr Joseph Howatson SJ (1910-1972)

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1951

A Poor Boys’ Club in Hong Kong

by Father Donal Taylor SJ

Fr Joe Howatson (OC 22-27) is well known to many Clongownians. The following article, kindly written by Mr Donald Taylor SJ, Hongkong, will be read with interest by many, especially by those who are helping the work of the Clongowes Boys' Club. It gives an account of a small part of Fr Joe's activities in Hongkong

Icehouse Street, Hongkong, running at right angles to the waterfront, forms a connecting link between the city's main thoroughfares in the Central District. Along the narrow street of verandahed sidewalks, business people, office clerks and government officials pass four times each day, to and from work. Icehouse Street is a cold place in the winter time when blasts of cold Easterly winds sweep around its corners. The Summer heat is much more distressing there. On this street one meets a type of person, insignificant though he be, who forms part of the landscape of big cities in the East. He is the shoeshine boy. With stand, brushes and polish, he takes up his position on the edge of the sidewalk. He gazes hopefully at passers-by, and calls his “Shoeshine, Shoeshine”. His earnings are small-twenty to forty cents for each shoeshine. He is at the mercy of his customer. There is one other phrase these boys know, “Shan Foo” or “Father” and they shout it lustily at every Catholic priest they see, but especially at the Jesuit Fathers. These boys are pagans. What connection have they with the Irish Jesuits in Hongkong? The answer to that question is found in the story of the Poor Boys' Club started at Wah Yan College in the autumn of 1946, by Fr P J Howatson SJ. And yet it is only the foundation of the Club that dates from that time. The idea of the club goes back to the time when Fr Howatson was interested in the Belvedere Newsboys' Club and acted as their Chaplain during their summer camps. For it was from his experience with that Club that he got the idea of starting a Club for poor boys in Hongkong.

The teeming millions of the East is no idle phrase, as every newcomer from the West quickly realises. Great poverty and great wealth have always been associated with big populations. Hongkong, now more than ever, because of the recent war, is no exception when Fr Howatson returned after the war, the city was being rehabilitated. And the poor were not the first to be thought of. There were waifs and strays, whose bed was some doorway or alcove, and whose meal was the pickings of garbage tins. They were the down-trodden members of the community, suspected by those in authority and treated wretchedly by the rich. They lived by their wits, which often meant pilfering and robbing. The future held little hope for them. Largely through the fault of the society of which they were members, it might eventually bring term after term of imprisonment.

Fr Howatson, accompanied by the present manager of the Club, Mr Joseph Cheung, a past student of the Jesuit College of Wah Yan, set about contacting some of these poor boys. They were invited to come to Wan Yan College. Shy, yet inquisitive in the beginning, a small number responded, until finally a group of thirty was formed. Almost all were shoeshiners, some were orphans, some street sleepers. The good news spread, boys brought friends and it was hard to turn them away. Moreover, as the full number could not attend on any one night it was possible to have additional members on the roll. Then when applications continued to pour in, two sections were formed, junior and senior. Now there are 110 boys in the club. Their ages vary from ten to twenty. This number includes twenty-five Old Boys - more about them later.

The organisation of the club has always remained the same. The ordinary meetings of the club are beld four times each week in the College Hall, from 7 to 9 pm. During that time the boys have a physical training period of half an hour, followed by showers. Half an hour of lessons comes next, which may include elementary arithmetic, letter writing, or written Chinese. This is the first schooling in the lives of most of these lads. Then there is another half hour devoted to games in the school-basket ball, ping-pong, or football for the small boys. The meeting closes with a substantial meal, and a short moral instruction or a talk on character formation. Chinese boys are fond of singing, so a Chinese lady teaches the boys in the club Catholic hymns. When he was a teacher in Wan Yan, Mr Francis Chan SJ gave the shoeshine boys a class in Christine Doctrine. Now this work is being done by a catechist.

The club has depended from the beginning on generous benefactors for its financial support. The boys of Wah Yan College make an organised effort each Christinas, which in the first year, brought in more than 1,000 dollars. Last year and in 1949 they played a major part in the organising and running of a bazaar to raise funds for the club. The proceeds from a week's performance of one of their Chinese operas in English by the Wah Yan Dramatic Society, under the direction of Mr Sheridan SJ, were donated to the club.

The aim of the club is not merely to provide fun, food and games for poor boys. It is really to give them a chance to grow up, self-respecting citizens in their own class, and to earn a living honestly. True enough, shoeshining is very low in the scale of suitable careers. Yet it gives the boys a start in life, and with the club as a backing, there is always the hope of better things to come. At the moment thirty or forty boys are licensed shoeshiners, twenty help their parents at hawking or at street stalls, another twenty have jobs as office boys, coolies, etc., and the remainder are either unemployed or too young to work. Two large agencies adopted the shoeshine boys and provided then with neat uniforms and new polishing outfits. To fit them for a trade, an instructor is employed, who gives lessons in basket-making. It is intended to introduce leather work later on. The club's handicap is lack of premises. It relies entirely on the use of the class-rooms. It is quite clear that until proper facilities are obtained the possibilities of teaching the boys trades will be consideredly re tarded. Only when opportunities are put in their way will it be discovered what latent talents there are among these boys. That they have these hidden gifts is proved by the example of one boy who was able to exchange shoeshining for engraving. He is now a skilled engraver.

To encourage the boys to pracrise thrift, the club bank pays an interest of ten per cent every three months on savings deposited in the bank. At each club meeting lodgements and withdrawals may be made. The generous rate of interest is successful in making the boys realise the advantages of saving. Some boys have as much as thirty dollars in the bank.

About twenty-five boys have graduated from shoeshining into better jobs. They work in clothing factories, rubber factories, barbour taxis, barbers' shops; three or more are shoemakers apprentices, one is a qualified draftsman. These twenty-five boys, they are young men now, form the Old Boys' section of the club. They are still in the club, yet separate from it. They have their own executive committee, they hold a monthly meeting at which they discuss how they can help each other and how they can improve the running of the club. They have their own basket-ball team, the outfits for which were supplied partly by the club and partly by themselves Occasionally they go out on picnics together. An interesting development among the old boys is their co-operation. Each boy contributes a certain amount to the treasury, so that if any one member wishes to start an enterprise the required sum is loaned to him at a low rate of interest. The loan must first be sanctioned at a meeting of the Old Boys themselves. Recently they decided to take a census of the whole club in order to find out details about the family of each boy, to visit his home - if he had any - and to see what help could be given to the parents or brothers or sisters. A certain number of these older boys attend night school, run by Wah Yan where they can learn English, knowledge of which greatly increases their earning power in Hongkong.

One year and a half after the club was opened, in June, 1948, a procedure was introduced which has since become a regular feature, namely a “Mothers' Meeting”. Each boy was told to invite his mother or nearest relative to a special meeting of the club. Thirty-five non members were present on that occasion. The function and working of the club was made known to them as well as the hopes which those in charge placed in it. The mothers or guardians present were also told how they could help to make the club more successful. Many of these people have since become regular visitors, seeking advice and assistance not only in their children's difficulties but also in their own. T'hey earn their living by doing the severest type of manual labour. As one sees then in the streets, coolies all of them, one gets the wrong impression that they are long living healthy strong people. The truth is that the majority never live to see middle age. They just wear out their bodies. They drifted into Hongkong after the Japanese occupation, ready to undertake any kind of work which would keep them alive.

Although the senior club members play large part in the running of the club, the main responsibility is borne by outsiders. They are worthy of mention. All of them ure former pupils of Wah Yan College. With the exception of two, one of whom is under instruction in the Faith, all of them are Catholics. Mr Joseph Cheung, who in the beginning helped Fr Howatson to start the club, is club manager. He devotes all his free time to the club activities. The boys have great respect and love for him; indeed the friendly relations that exist between all the helpers and the boys are a noteworthy characteristic of the club.

These men give their time willingly and do not ask for recompense. The “present” in Wah Yan are becoming increasingly interested in the club. Several of them come to give the boys classes in Chinese and arithmetic. It is the first experience these schoolboys have of social welfare work. When they leave school, it is hoped that the memory of the good work in their club will stimulate them to play their part in social welfare work in their city.

Concerning entertainment it has already been stated that at each meeting of the club there is a half an hour of games. Film Shows are sometimes substituted for games and lessons. At Christmas there is a party, at which a large supper is provided. There are games and prizes, and each boy gets a present from the Christmas tree. The present usually takes the form of warm clothing and a polishing outfit. Every important Chinese festival and the anniversary of the opening of the club are fittingly celebrated. There are excursions to the sea in the fine weather. The most important event in the year is the holiday camp in the summer, when eighty boys or more, camp by the sea for a week. It is a great treat for these city lads and they thoroughly enjoy it. They return home healthier and happier, having drunk full of the excitement that always accompanies a boys camp.

Like the mustard seed in the Gospel, the boys club has developed enormously and within a short time, too. Its successful management attracted wide attention and became well-known throughout Hongkong. Its founder, Fr Howatson, was called on to take charge of numerous executive bodies which deal with youth organisation. He is chairman of the Boys and Girls' Clubs Association, which controls the activities of sixty-four clubs throughout the Colony; chairman of the Standing Conference of Youth Organisations, a body which co ordinates the work of Societies aiming at helping young people; and he is also chairman of the Management Committee of The War Memorial Welfare Centre. This Welfare Centre, the first of its kind in Hongkong has been in operation for less than a year and has already proved itself a boon to the poor people of a district, the population of which is about 2,000 to the acre.

When a priest is living in a pagan country no matter what secular work he does there, the question of conversions among those for whom he works must necessarily arise. The Poor Boys Club had its first Catholics last Christmas, when three boys among the older group received baptism. They are five more under instruction in Catholic Doctrine. Even though younger boys may desire to be baptised, it has been decided and very wisely, that it would be better to wait until a boys livelihoood is secure before baptising him. In this way there is less chance of his becoming a “rice Christian”.

In conclusion, the reader is referred, by way of contrast, to an article which appeared in the “Clongownian” of last year, on the Clongowes Boys' Club. Those who have managed boys' clubs in Ireland and in Hongkong have noted some differences. The boys in Ireland have some kind of home, and have received at least elementary training. Many of the boys here are home less waifs, whose parents, if they have any, cannot support them. They cannot go to school, because in this city, populated out of all proportion to its capacity, there are insufficient schools. The only schooling they get is whatever the club gives them. Another factor worthy of attention is the religious one. The poor Irish poor living in a Catholic atmosphere and with a Catholic background, has a religious spirit to fortify him in his sufferings. This religious spirit is altogether absent in the young pagan. His patience in his sufferings is the outcome of a pessimistic stoicism. The Chinese boy is docile, shows a respect for authority, and is appreciative of what is being done to make him bappier. The foreigners big difficulty in working with these boys is one of language. But whether the lay helper feels the same embarassment in his early contacts with the poor boys, as his opposite number in Ireland, is some thing which he alone can tell.

Donald Taylor SJ

◆ The Clongownian, 1973

Obituary

Father Joseph Howatson SJ

Joseph Howatson was born in Waterville, Co Kerry, where his father was an engineer in the Transatlantic Cable Station. When he finished schooling in Clongowes he entered the Jesuit Noviceship in September 1927. After taking his degree in UCD, and studying Philosophy in Tullabeg, he went to Hong Kong as a scholastic, Returning to Ireland he did his theological studies in Milltown Park and was ordained a priest in 1941. In 1943 he returned to Hong Kong and spent the rest of his priestly life there.

His main life work lay in the sphere of social science. He organized boys clubs and became a member of a government appointed body in which he had the task of offering advice to the Governor on the social needs of the colony. In the Hong Kong diocese he was secretary of the Caritas organisation and contributed to the formation of a body known as the committee for the Social Economic Life of Asia. He suffered a stroke in 1962 from which he : never really recovered and had to gradually retire from “active” work. In his later life he was almost totally incapacitated and death came to him as a merciful relief on August 23rd, 1972.

Kane, Ciarán, 1932-2013, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/852
  • Person
  • 28 December 1932-05 February 2013

Born: 28 December 1932, Clontarf, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1964, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 25 March 1968
Died: 05 February 2013, Eastern Hospital, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of the Xavier House, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to HK: 25 March 1968; HK to CHN 1992

by 1958 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language
by 1967 at Mount Street London (ANG) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
A dignified missionary presence lost
A quiet, but dignified missionary presence was lost to Hong Kong on 5 February 2013 with the death of Jesuit Father Ciaran Finbarr Kane. He was 80 years old.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1932, he joined the Society of Jesus in 1950, graduating from the University College Dublin, now known as the National University of Ireland, before coming to Hong Kong in 1958. He was ordained a priest at the Jesuit house of Milltown Park, Ireland, on the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, on 31 July 1964. A talented and adaptable man, he taught at both Wah Yan Colleges, in Kowloon and Hong Kong, but in 1971 he became the founding chaplain at the Adam Schall Residence of the United College at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he forged good relationships with both the administration and teaching staff until the university took over management of residence in 1994. A tribute from the current management of the college notes, “Throughout his distinguished affiliation with United College in the past decades, Father Kane has given invaluable advice and guidance to the development of the college. He was loved and respected by the college community; his dedication will be forever cherished.” During his time in Hong Kong, Father Kane was also on the staff of Star of the Sea parish in Chai Wan, but in 2004 he moved to the society’s retreat centre, Xavier House, in Cheung Chau, where he lived quietly as a spiritual director until 2012, touching the atmosphere within the walls and grounds with the serenity of a man of God. His other great love was music and he became the well-known voice of RTHK4 (Radio Television Hong Kong) presenting sacred music for its programme, Gloria.
The director of the Hong Kong City Chamber Orchestra paid tribute to Father Kane’s appreciation of the religious dimension of music last year, when he took part in a presentation of Johann Sebastian Bach by cellist, Artem Konstantinov. The musical presentation was interspersed with the words of Christ, read by Father Kane.
“It has been a pleasure to develop the idea of combining Bach’s unaccompanied cello suites with passages from the bible with both Father Ciaran Kane and Artem,” the director wrote at the time. “It has also been a thought-provoking task, for such a combination of scripture readings and unaccompanied music has never been done before worldwide, I imagine,” she continued. The newsletter also pays tribute to the artistic suggestions of Father Kane in creating a suitable atmosphere in the small chapel of St. Stephen’s College in Stanley, with candlelight and shadows. His broadcasting career saw him presenting both Catholic and ecumenical programmes, including Morning Prayers and a twice-weekly Midday Prayers, together with live broadcasts of Sunday religious services on a monthly basis. He is especially remembered for his tribute to fathers on a Fathers’ Day programme, featuring the music of Eric Clapton. He was a member of the Religious Broadcasting and Television Advisory Committee at RTHK and made the move to free-to-air television, taking part in discussions on the infant TVB on matters as diverse as Christmas and Easter, coverage of the visit of Pope Paul VI to Hong Kong in December 1970 and the opening of the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome to usher in the Jubilee Year in 2000. His sister, Eileen Kane, said on 13 February at a vigil Mass in St. Margaret’s, Happy Valley, the evening before his funeral, that her brother had no other dream than to join the Jesuits. She related how she accompanied him to a talk given by a Jesuit priest when he was a young man, saying that from that day on, he was quite convinced he had found his true vocation and road in life. Father Kane died peacefully after being hospitalised for three weeks in Eastern Hospital. He was buried from St. Margaret’s on 14 February in St. Michael’s Happy Valley Cemetery.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 24 February 2013

Note from Frank Doyle Entry
Father Ciaran Kane, from Xavier House in Cheung Chau, studied with him in high school in Ireland and they were again together in the Jesuit formation programme, coming to Hong Kong at about the same time. Father Kane described his old friend as charming and a man who made friends easily, although in many ways he could be called a loner, as he liked to do his own thing in his own way. Father Kane said that something changed in him in later years. In describing him as dapper, he noted that in his later years he become really casual and even grew a beard. “But he really loved writing,” Father Kane said, “and he was good at it. For many years after he went back to Ireland, he would return to Kuala Lumpur and do a month at the Catholic paper each year. He wrote many things.” Father Kane said, “He never forgot his Cantonese though and kept contact with Chinese people in Ireland and England, as well as in Vancouver and New York for many years.”

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/213-missionary-in-hong-kong-2012

Missionary in Hong Kong 2012
Ciaran Kane, SJ
Being a missionary anywhere today is very different from what it was 50 years ago, when I first arrived in Hong Kong. Both the world and the church have changed so much in the meantime. For the church, a richer understanding of what ‘mission’ means, and that the idea of ‘mission’ is a call to all Christians. For the world, the onset of globalisation bringing peoples and cultures into closer contact and mutual influence and interdependence.
In the past, more than today, being a missionary implied coming from a faraway place bringing a set of beliefs, practices and values that were ‘foreign’ to the people you came to serve. Whether admired or reviled, the missionary had a distinctive status with his/her people. But global communications, international travel, studying and service abroad, and the shrinking of our world have now levelled the ground, and, I think, integrated the missionary more into the local church and society.
So, for me being a missionary today is a consciousness of serving the universal church, the international body of Christ, people of many races and places. As a Jesuit my specific mission is a ministry that involves me with Catholics and other Christians, local Chinese and foreign residents, working with men and women, young and old, religious and lay, married and single --- in short a microcosm of the universal church. But it’s also important for me as a citizen of this city to be concerned about society as a whole, about the social milieu in which I live and work, and to give witness to a Christian presence in civic and cultural life. I hope I can be a useful instrument in the Lord’s vineyard.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was born in Dublin and was educated at Belvedere College SJ, and he then joined the Society in 1950.

1958-1961 He came to Hong Kong for Regency where he learned Cantonese and taught at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.
1967 After Ordination he returned to Hong Kog with a mission to focus on communications.
1972-1994 With the opening of the Adam Schall Residence at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, he became its founding Warden serving students and faculty.

He was known to be always friendly and approachable and had a keen interest in Church music. His sister taught Organ Music and Music History at University College Dublin. He became involved in Radio Hong Kong (RTHK Radio 4), and was greatly appreciated by them for his religious broadcasts and religious music programmes from 1967. That year he was appointed as a Member of the Advisory Committee on Religious Broadcasting nd Television, an ecumenical committee, and in 1969 was appointed Chairman.

When he retired he went to Cheung Chau helping in the Parish and as an advisor on Spirituality at the Centre.

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 152 : Summer 2013

Obituary

Fr Ciarán Kane (1932-2013)

Fr. Ciarán F. Kane S.J. died in Hong Kong on 5 February 2013, at the Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital. During the final weeks of his long illness, and in the days around his funeral, the structural lines and the wide outreach of his ministry were brought into focus. Visitors came to the hospital from United College, in the Chinese University of Hong Kong, from RTHK's Radio 4, from the Star of the Sea parish in Chai Wan, and from Cheung Chau. Some were past pupils of the Wah Yan Colleges, others alumni of United College. There were broadcasters and people who had come to know Ciarán through his work on radio, friends at whose marriages he had officiated and whose children he had baptized, people who had come to him for spiritual direction. Other friends telephoned from the United States, Canada, England, Malasia and Ireland as well as from Hong Kong. All showed a real affection for him, as well as great appreciation of all he had accomplished in fifty years of ministry in Hong Kong.

Ciarán was born in Dublin on 28th December 1932. He attended school, first locally in Clontarf, and then at Belvedere College, which had a decisive influence on him. There, his intelligence and his giftedness were fostered. Not only did he shine academically, but his fine singing voice was recognised, and he was given leading roles in the annual Gilbert and Sullivan operas that were a feature of those years. It was also at Belvedere that he came to know about the work of Irish Jesuits in Hong Kong.

Ciarán entered the Jesuit Noviciate at Emo, on 7 September 1950. There followed, from 1952 to 1955, three years of studies in Latin and French for a B.A. at University College Dublin, and three years of Philosophy at Tullabeg, at the end of which, in the Summer of 1958, he was assigned to Hong Kong. His parents had no need to ask whether Ciarán was happy about being sent to Hong Kong - nothing could have been more evident. For two years, based in Xavier House, in Cheung Chau, he studied Cantonese, and then spent a year teaching Mathematics, English and Religion in Wah Yan College, Kowloon.

Back in Ireland, after three years of Theology, Ciarán was ordained a priest at Milltown Park on 31st July, 1964. Then, having completed the Tertianship year, also in Dublin, he embarked upon courses in media studies, in order to train as a broadcaster on radio and television. These courses took him to England, to work at the B.B.C. with the well-known broadcaster of religious programmes, the Franciscan Fr. Agnellus Andrew. He also went to Paris, to the French broadcasting station, ORTF, and worked in Dublin at the Catholic Communications Centre in Booterstown. Thus equipped, he returned to Hong Kong in the summer of 1967. In due course he became a member of the Chinese Province.

Ciarán's first assignment as a priest was at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, teaching English and Religion, but right from the start, he was also scripting and presenting religious programmes on radio. Not long after his arrival, in 1967, he was asked to take over the twice weekly programme called 'Midday Prayers', and from then on, for the next twenty-something years, he was heard each week by a growing and ever more appreciative audience. When Ciarán's mother visited Hong Kong, in 1970, she was introduced to a lady who said she loved to listen to Midday Prayers. “I'm not a Catholic”, she said, “but I asked my Pastor, and he said it was all right to listen to Fr Kane”. Forty-three years later, at Ciarán's funeral, a gentleman came to say that he had listened regularly for twenty-two years, and that, spiritually, the prayers had helped him greatly. He had taken notes from them, which he still used, he said, and he spoke of the programmes as part of “Fr. Kane's spiritual legacy”. His one regret was that he had missed the first few years, because he had not known about the broadcasts then, but he had got in touch with Ciarán personally, and, over the years, had met him regularly to talk about spiritual matters. Another of Ciarán's friends, and a former colleague, expressed a keen interest in helping to publish those programmes, or a selection from them, either in book form or on disk. It is hoped that this may indeed be possible. In the course of time, “Midday Prayers” became “Morning Prayers”, and by August 1994, Ciarán had presented these programmes more than 2700 times.

There were other broadcasts, too. Still in the 1960s, he broadcast a series of programmes on English cathedrals, called “Sounds in Stone”. Later, in the series he called “Kyrie” he introduced sacred music, as well as the spoken word. “Kyrie” was hugely successful, and reached the highest audience ratings of any English-language programmes on Radio 4. Another popular series was called “Gloria”, and he also, for a number of years, presented sacred music for Advent and Christmas. Besides all this, in 1969, he was elected Chairman of the Religious Broadcasting and Television Advisory Committee for Radio-Television Hong Kong - RTHK He was also a member of the Sacred Music Commission in the Diocese of Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the Jesuits, along with the Maryknoll Sisters, had taken the initiative of providing a new Student Hostel, Adam Schall Residence, in United College, in the Chinese University of Hong Kong, at Shatin in the New Territories. The residence opened in 1971 with Ciarán as its first Director. That new position brought with it new possibilities, and also new tasks, in liaising with people on various levels, whether students, administrators, academics or higher management. The tiny Jesuit community at Adam Schall was international, consisting of at most three men of as many different nationalities. Ciarán enjoyed his work there, and created an atmosphere in which the students' work flourished. Ciaran celebrated Mass each morning, and found himself acting as what he himself termed "the unofficial Catholic Chaplain' at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

At Adam Schall, he also kept up his interest in music. He sang with the Hong Kong Philharmonic chorus and with the Bach Choir. His voice had an unusually wide range, so that he could sing with the basses as well as with the baritones and the tenors. He even discovered, though, as he said himself, it was a bit too late to be useful, that he could sing falsetto.

In 1994, at the close of the academic year, Ciarán retired from United College. He took a sabbatical year, which he spent, for the first semester, at Boston College, and then in spiritual renewal at St. Beuno's in Wales. On his return to Hong Kong, in 1995, Ciarán was assigned, as assistant to the Parish Priest, to the new parish church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in the district of Chai Wan, which the Jesuits had undertaken to run. Again, it was a new sphere of work, with new possibilities, especially where the Liturgy was concerned. Typically, he embraced the task, and quickly made an impact, as well as many new friends. This assignment was also an opportunity for him to get to know better some of his Irish Jesuit confrères, from whom he had been somewhat isolated during his twenty-two years in Shatin. After six years of parish work in Chai Wan, Ciarán returned to Cheung Chau, and Xavier House, where his life in Hong Kong had begun. Tasked with heading up a renewed Centre of Ignatian Spirituality there, he had first to undertake extensive renovation and rebuilding of part of the house itself. This meant that he had also to fund-raise, a task which brought him back into contact with at least one Old Belvederian, who had 'made it good' globally, and visited Hong Kong on a regular basis. In the task of renovating Xavier House, he also had scope for using his artistic flair, and he enjoyed collaborating with the project's architect, in creating and furnishing new spaces for prayer, both indoors and in the gardens, as well as ensuring that the rooms for retreatants and staff were more than just basically fit for purpose.

Ciarán's return to Cheung Chau coincided with the onset of illness. This began with a heart attack in Manila, in the year 2000, a degenerative condition in the spine about two years later, which made walking somewhat difficult, a diagnosis of prostate cancer in 2006 and leukaemia in 2007. Characteristically, he took it all in his stride – literally, it might be said, because he continued to come and go, up the steps or by the longer pathway between the ferry-port and Xavier House, sometimes more than once in the day. He was meticulous about taking his medicines at the correct times and the correct intervals, but otherwise, he did not allow his condition to interfere with his life, and would not even speak of it except in response to a direct question. He continued to broadcast on RTHK Radio 4, and to participate in the musical life of Hong Kong. In his last series of programmes on Radio, entitled “Oratorio”, he presented extracts from most of the best-known titles, as well as many that had scarcely been noticed before.

In 2010, he was presented with a 'Veteran Broadcaster award, and he continued to plan and work on new ideas for programmes for Radio, the medium he liked best. His last stage appearance was in January 2012, when he read excerpts from the gospels of Luke and Mark, in a performance over two evenings of Bach's solo cello concertos, entitled “Words of Christ in the music of Bach”.

In recent years Ciarán was able to return to Dublin for one month in the Summer, usually June. It was a break to which he looked forward eagerly, because it gave him the opportunity to meet and catch up with news of his friends, Old Belvederians, colleagues and cousins. He particularly looked forward to meeting for an annual lunch with the men who had entered the Noviciate with him. He also made sure that he met up with all his many cousins, and was delighted to have an excuse to travel to Cork or to Connemara. Travelling, going on pilgrimage - to Japan or to Spain - were the mature version, in his later years, of the cycling trips that had taken him, in his youth, over every possible road - or so it seemed to his family - that could be traversed in either Dublin or Wicklow

On his last visit to Dublin, in June 2012, it was obvious that Ciarán's health was relentlessly deteriorating. In September, he was airlifted from Cheung Chau to hospital in Hong Kong. There were tests, and more tests, in four different hospitals, over the months of October and November, in between which he stayed at Ricci Hall. Finally, on 17th December, he was admitted to the PYN Eastern Hospital. He celebrated his 80th birthday in hospital, on 28th December. That week, which included Christmas, he was undergoing radiation treatment daily for pain relief, but he still smiled for the cameras of all those who came to visit him, and they were many.

Towards the end of the eight weeks of his final stay in hospital, Ciarán was not always able to respond to visitors, but they continued to come. Some simply came and went. One group, and one individual friend, sang to him. Some came and wept, and went away again. As his sister, there was nowhere else I wanted to be other than by his bedside, in those last weeks. “I know that the Lord is calling me”, he told me, “and I want to go, but I can't. It is all a great mystery”. He received Holy Communion for the last time on Monday 4th February. Next day, peacefully, serenely, he was able to answer the Lord's call.

Eileen Kane

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2013

A Missionary in Hong Kong

The following is an article written by Fr Ciaran Kane RIP (OB 1950) in 2012 :

Being a missionary anywhere today is very different from what it was 50 years ago, when I first arrived in Hong Kong. Both the world and the church have changed so much. For the church, a richer understanding of what 'mission' means, and that the idea of 'mission' is a call to all Christians. For the world, the onset of globalization has brought peoples and cultures into closer contact and mutual influence and interdependence.

In the past, more than today, being a missionary implied coming from a faraway place bringing a set of beliefs, practices and values that were 'foreign' to the people you came to serve. Whether admired or reviled, the missionary had a distinctive status with his or her people. But global communications, international travel, studying and service abroad, and the shrinking of our world have now levelled the ground, and, I think, integrated the missionary more into the local church and society.

So, for me being a missionary today is a consciousness of serving the universal church, the international body of Christ, people of many races and places. As a Jesuit my specific mission is a ministry that involves me with Catholics and other Christians, local Chinese and foreign residents, working with men and women, young and old, religious and lay, married and single - in short a microcosm of the universal church. But it's also important for me as a citizen of this city to be concerned about society as a whole, about the social milieu in which I live and work, and to give witness to a Christian presence in civic and cultural life. I hope I can be a useful instrument in the Lord's vineyard.

Fr Ciaran Kane SJ

Kelly, Brian, 1902-1974, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/669
  • Person
  • 05 January 1902-17 February 1974

Born: 05 January 1902, Athlone, County Westmeath
Entered: 01 September 1919, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 14 June 1932, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1935, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 17 February 1974, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Part of the St Francis Xavier, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1934 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1935 at Wah Yan, Hong Kong - working

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

Father Brian Kelly, S.J., formerly of Hong Kong died in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 18 February 1974, aged 72.

Father Kelly was born in Ireland in 1902. He became a Jesuit in 1919, was ordained priest in 1932 and came to Hong Kong in 1934.

From 1934 to 1954, Father Kelly served as a teacher in Wah Yan (1934-1935 & 1947-1954), as Warden of Ricci Hall (1936-1947), and as a teacher in St. Louis Gonzaga College, Macau during the Occupation years. In 1954 he was transferred to Singapore and later to Kuala Lumpur, as assistant parish priest in either city.

In his last year as a teacher in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, Father Kelly had in his form a boy called Gabriel Lam. It is to be hoped the news of Mgr. Gabriel Lam’s appointment as Vicar General of the diocese of Hong Kong arrived in Kuala Lumpur in time to cheer his last days.

In all posts he showed himself a man of intense concentration on his work. When he was teaching, his boys in his classes and their work seemed to be his sole interest in life. His devotion to the wardenship of Ricci Hall was equally intense. In the years following the war he organised retreats in the Aberdeen Seminary with similar devotion there was no regular retreat house in Hong Kong at the time.

His unremitting concentration on the posts he held was due in part to unjustified distrust of his powers. Thus, though he was possibly the best preacher among the Hong Kong Jesuits he treated every sermon as a something altogether beyond him, and he could never be persuaded that he has next sermon would not be dismally inadequate.

This self-distrust did not hinder him when anyone was in need of advice or help, nor did it prevent his being an amusing and companionable friend. The news of his death will be greeted with many a sigh.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 22 February 1974

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

Gardiner Street :
Fr. R. Kennedy supplied in the Church for some weeks before leaving for China on October 8th. Fr. Brian Kelly has been at work with us since September. He preached on Mission Sunday.

Fr. E. Sullivan stayed with us on two occasions since his arrival from Hong Kong.

Irish Province News 49th Year No 2 1974

Obituary :

Fr Brian Kelly (1902-1974)

Fr Brian Kelly died at Ipoh, W. Malaysia, on Sunday, February 17th; he was buried there after Requiem Mass at St Michael's Church at 11 a.m. on the 19th, another Requiem being celebrated simultaneously in his old parish of the Assumption, Petaling Jaya. In the previous week he had attended a catechetical seminar in Cameron Highlands, and returned to Ipoh feeling tired and unwell. He had a heart attack during morning Mass on 17th, was anointed by Fr Paul Jenkins, and after another attack died about 5.30 in the evening shortly after the arrival of Fr Eddie Bourke from KL Born on 2nd January 1902, Fr Brian was at school at Clongowes where he was received into the Sodality of the Holy Angels by Fr John Sullivan for whom he retained a great reverence and who was his confessor and adviser. Entering the Society in 1919, he was ordained in 1932 and came to Hong King in 1934 to teach at Wah Yan.
In Hong Kong, Requiem Mass for him was concelebrated at Ricci Hall on 22nd, and also at Catholic Centre attended by old boys from St. Luis Gonzaga for whom Fr Albert Cooney had arranged the Mass.
Fr Eddie Bourke has contributed the following tribute to Fr, Brian :

It was Fr Brian Kelly's vocation to travel to various places and be given many and diversified assignments. He was one of the early procurators of the Mission and for several years was the business manager of the Rock, while teaching or acting as warden. He taught in the old Wah Yan College and was an excellent teacher. He was an outstanding warden of university hostels, at Ricci in Hong Kong and later in Kingsmead Hall in Singapore and of Xavier Hall in Petaling Jaya. He was one of the wonderful team of five who conducted a school for refugees from Hong Kong in Macau during the war. The later years of his life were spent in devoted pastoral work in St Ignatius parish, Singapore, and seven years in the parish of the Assumption, Petaling Jaya. The last few years of his life were spent in Ipoh where he was chaplain to Our Lady’s Hospital, taught doctrine in the Brothers' school and helped in two parishes.
In all these diversified occupations he showed a great power of application of mind. He had always a number of catechumens whom he was preparing for baptism. These were not only those who came to him for instruction but those also for whom he had fished. The number of those he prepared for baptism cannot easily be traced, but one of them is Mgr Gabriel Lam the new vicar general of the Hong Kong diocese.
Fr Brian had many special gifts or charisms : one was a very special manner in dealing with altar servers. He was able to inculcate a sense of decorum and above all of reverence. When you. visited a sacristy where his servers were you found that they kept silence in the sacristy and a few moments before Mass they of themselves gathered round a crucifix and recited a beautiful prayer which he had composed for them. They are now grown up men but they remember him it was interesting to see that many of his old servers got a mini-bus and travelled the 150 miles from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh for the funeral.
As warden, Fr Brian was one of those, and I think they are few, who were able to utilise the opportunity that a hostel for university students affords for influencing the undergraduates. What we might call the golden age of Ricci Hall was due to Fr Brian. He was responsible for instilling a great loyalty into the students, organising lectures which would help them to keep their knowledge of their faith in line with the advancement made in their other studies. In his last year I know that he had three candidates for our noviceship and their entering was prevented by their being dispersed by the war. These three are now outstanding in their Catholic apostolate. His success as warden in Ricci was the reason I presume that Fr Paddy Joy asked for him to come to Malaysia to take charge of Kingsmead Hall, and when it was well established he was sent to be the first warden of Xavier Hall.
One incident during the battle for Hong Kong shows him in a heroic role. The drivers of ambulances refused to enter no-man's land between the opposing forces unless they were accompanied by a priest. Brian was one of those who volunteered for the position and all of us admired his courage. For nearly a week the ambulances had to bring wounded and dying from places under fire especially in Happy Valley. Brian faced the danger in a most unobtrusive manner. To one of his gentle disposition such work was heroic.
The war saw him in Macau. Fr Joy was asked to start a school for students who had to leave Hong Kong and were refugees in Macau. They were mostly Portuguese and Eurasians whose fathers were interned. Fr Joy sent Frs Tom and Albert Cooney, H. O'Brien, Jerry McCarthy and Brian. The influence they had on the students, the education they gave them and the spirit of enterprise that they instilled was remarkable, and many of them have reached high positions in their professions in Hong Kong, the US and elsewhere.
In Hong Kong, Fr Brian was zealous in getting people to make retreats especially in the Seminary, and in Ricci. This meant much personal visiting people. He used go to offices in the city and meet past students of his, graduates and office workers, and did not leave till he had booked them for weekend retreats. Later in Kingsmead and in Xavier Hall he succeeded in organising weekend retreats for several years.
Pastoral work of apostolic visitation of families was the great work awaiting him in Singapore and Malaysia. To do this, he began to take driving lessons at the age of 55 in Singapore's dense traffic, and failed his first test because he drove too slowly; his instructor's prophecy came true, that he would have accidents from people bumping into him from behind. For seven years in the Assumption parish Fr Brian visited the six or seven hundred families of the parish, setting off regularly about 5.30 pm and spending several hours visiting. He knew where every family lived and their “status animae”, knew them by name, and knew all the problem cases, whom he visited more frequently. On his death there was disappointment that he was not brought back for burial to the parish where he was so well known and loved.
For the past five years or so he had been in Ipoh where his work was firstly to act as chaplain to the Sisters of the Divine Motherhood in their hospital, to attend to the sick in the hospital and give guidance to the nursing staff. In addition to this he used visit the general hospital, give instruction to the postulants of the Brothers of Mercy, teach doctrine to a class in the Brothers’ school, instruct catechumens whom the Redemptorist Fathers sent to him.
Shortly before his death Fr Brian was discussing how to get Matt Talbot made patron to whom drug addicts could resort for strength and help. He was also inviting people to join him in getting the sick who receive Communion weekly in their homes to offer some of their sufferings for vocations, hoping there would thus be an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life in Malaysia.
Some thirty priests, including six Jesuits from KL, Singapore and Penang, concelebrated the funeral Mass with the Bishop of Penang, and Fr Paul Jenkins gave a fine homily,
We extend sympathy to Brian’s sister, Miss M P Kelly of Dublin who is a benefactress of our Province, and to his brother Mr A B Kelly of Vancouver.

◆ The Clongownian, 1974

Obituary

Father Brian Kelly SJ

Brian was the younger son of W P Kelly, Solicitor, of The Park, Athlone. Though himself an old Stonyhurst boy, he had already sent his elder son, Arthur (1905-09) to Clongowes. Throughout his life Brian bore the unmistakeable stamp of two Jesuits who had him as a boy, Fr John Sullivan, for whom he had a life-long devotion both in his personal life and in his devotion as a priest to the sick, and Fr John Mary O'Connor, whom he hero-worshipped, both as a boy in Clongowes and later as a scholastic in Belvedere where he trained rugby and cricket teams with considerable success, and where in the classroom he proved a thorough, clear and meticulous teacher.

Ordained to the priesthood on the 14th June, 1932, on the completion of his studies he was posted to Hong Kong in the autumn of 1934. Ricci Hall, Hong Kong is probably the Jesuit house with which his name is more closely associated. In these days of provocative demonstrations by university students, we may be tempted to think that up to 1968 university students were a docile race. In his eight years in Ricci he had to meet many formidable challenges which he courageously faced and conquered. Perhaps the most rewarding memory of those years was the happy and apostolically fruitful friendships which he built up and main tained to the end of his life-especially among those who had given him most trouble.

Because of his outstanding success in Ricci Hall, in 1955 he was sent down to Singapore to open Kingsmead Hall; seven years later he was asked to open another new Hall, Xavier Hall, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Neither of these tasks was easy: the fluctuations of government and university policy at Singapore and of Jesuit policy in Petaling Jaya, involved a constant flexibility and adapta tion to new conditions.

One of his four confrères who worked with him. in Macao during the war years considered these his finest hours, when his gifts found their true expression.

To the present writer, Brian found his great fulfilment in the last decade or so, as a curate in the Assumption parish in Petaling Jaya, where he visited six or seven hundred families and knew everyone by name, and was generous with his time, his zeal and energy in helping them with a wide range of problems.

For roughly the last five years of his life he had moved up to Ipoh where his first concern was for the Sisters of the Divine Motherhood and the patients in the hospital. In addition to this, he used to visit the general hospitals, give instructions to the postulants of the Brothers of Mercy, teach doctrine to a class in the Brothers' school, and instruct catechumens whom the Redemptorist Fathers sent to him. From his tearly days in Hong Kong and in Singapore and Malaysia, he was a consistent and persevering fisher of souls, bringing great numbers to baptism.

In brief, like his early mentors, he was a man of God whose whole life was shot through with zeal for the conversion of those who had never heard of Christ's compassion. He knew no loyalty except loyalty to Christ and to his Church, and in her to the Society of Jesus to whom he had dedicated his life,

To his brother, Arthur, called to the Bar in Dublin, but emigrating shortly afterwards to Canada, where he qualified as a dentist with an extensive practice in Vancouver (from which he has recently retired), and to his sister Mary, a generous benefactor of the Irish Jesuits in the Far East, who now lives in Castle Court, Booterstown, we offer our heartfelt sympathy.

Kelly, James, 1921-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/626
  • Person
  • 07 September 1921-07 April 2000

Born: 07 September 1921, Geashill, County Offaly
Entered: 07 September 1940, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1954, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1958, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 07 April 2000, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03/12/1966; HK to CHN : 1992; CHN to HIB : 1993

by 1949 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1963 at Rome, Italy (ROM) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father James Kelly, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father James Kelly, SJ, died in Dublin on 7 April 2000 after a long illness.

Born in Ireland in 1921, Father Kelly came to Hong Kong in 1948. After studying the Cantonese language first in Guangzhou and then in Hong Kong, he spent one year teaching in Wah Yan College, Robinson Road before returning to Ireland to complete his ecclesiastical studies.

Ordained a priest in 1954, Father Kelly returned to Hong Kong in 1956 and was first assigned to teach in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. In 1958 he began to teach theology in the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen.

From 1962 to 1964 he did further studies in Rome and then taught theology for a short time in the Philippines before being recalled to heavy administrative responsibilities in Hong Kong. However, he gave theology courses when invited in Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen until 1982. Owing to ill health he returned to Ireland in 1995 where he remained until his death.

Father Kelly had a keen interest in Scripture the subject he taught most frequently and his courses were much appreciated by his students. He also had a practical turn of mind and undertook many administrative tasks in a competent way. He had a lively inquiring mind and was a man of many interests. He was a devoted priest and a kind and understanding guide to all who looked to him for spiritual direction.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 30 April 2000

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 105 : Special Edition 2000

Obituary

Fr James J (Jimmy) Kelly (1921-2000) - Honk Kong Province

1921, Sept 7: Born in Geashill, Offaly
Early education: St Columba's, Tullamore

1940, Sept 7: Entered the Society at Emo
1942, Sept 8: First vows at Emo
1942 - 1945: B.A. studies at UCD
1945 - 1948: Tullabeg, studying philosophy
1948 - 1950: Hong Kong, studying Cantonese
1950 - 1951: Wah Yan College, teaching
1951 - 1955: Milltown Park, studying theology
July 29th 1954: Ordained priest at Milltown Park
1955 - 1956; Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1956 - 1958: Wah Yan College, teaching
1958 - 1962: Regional Seminary, teaching Scripture
1962 - 1964: Gregorian, Rome, studying Dogmatic Theology
1964 - 1965: Philippines, teaching Scripture
1965 - 1995: During this long period he held various posts:
Regional Treasurer, Professor of Sacred Scripture, taught Church History in Seminary, Assistant Warden, Ricci Hall, Province Revisor.
1995 - 2000: Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

While in Hong Kong, Fr. Kelly suffered from arthritis and the start of Parkinson's Disease. Jimmy lived his mission to Pray for the Church and the Society deeply and, up to a week before he died, he could be found praying at 5.30 a.m. In his last days he was relieved to be dispensed from praying the Prayer of the Church. He went quickly downhill and died as he had lived, quietly and without drawing attention to himself.

Joe Foley writes ...

Jimmy Kelly was born into a strongly nationalist family in Geashill, Offaly on 7th September, 1921. He was always proud of the fact that he came from a nationalist background and that he was of rural origin.

Most of Jimmy's life was spent in Hong Kong, but even before he went on the missions, he had an interesting time in Ireland. He was completely at home in the bogs of the midlands and while studying philosophy in Tullabeg he thoroughly enjoyed joining the late Fr Frank Shaw, SJ on shooting expeditions in the bogs, with which he was very familiar. Jimmy could be described as a handyman and was very much in demand as a stage-hand when we put on our amateur productions in Tullabeg. I suspect that one of his most enjoyable moments was when, in one play - it was Seán O Casey, I think - the script called for “gunfire, off stage”, and Jimmy proudly produced gunfire that was not only realistic, but was actually real!

He went to Guangzhou (Canton) China in 1948. The plan was that he would spend two years studying Cantonese. However, the change of government in China changed all that. Jimmy, together with the other seven scholastics who were studying Cantonese, went to Hong Kong in the summer of 1949 to continue his language studies. The following year he taught in the afternoon section of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, then in Robinson Road. He returned to Ireland for theology in 1951, was ordained priest in Milltown Park and did his tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle, He was back in Hong Kong in 1956. He taught and was Prefect of Studies in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He was then assigned to teach scripture in the Regional Seminary for South China in Aberdeen, Hong Kong.

Scripture became one of Jimmy's main interests, which stayed with him all his life. From 1962 - 1964 he did doctoral studies in Rome. Those were the early days of the Second Vatican Council and Jimmy struck up a friendship with Robert Kaiser, one of the chief English-speaking correspondents of the Council. He also renewed acquaintance with Fr Malachy Martin, SJ whom he already knew well, since Malachy was one year ahead of him in the Society. Jimmy thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in all the “goings-on” at the Council and had a grandstand view of what was happening. At the same time negotiations were under way for the transference of the Diocese of Hong Kong from the Italians (the PIME) to the Chinese Diocesan Clergy. We in Hong Kong knew nothing of this at the time, but Jimmy must have kept a close and very discreet eye on the situation - with very great enjoyment.

Once again the change of government in China impacted on Jimmy's life. The flow of seminarians from South China came to an end and what had been the Regional Seminary for South China now became the Hong Kong Diocesan Seminary, staffed by local Chinese Clergy. Thus, on his return from Rome in 1964, instead of continuing teaching scripture, he returned to Hong Kong in 1965 and for the next 30 years he was engaged in a great variety of ministries: Secretary to the Superior of the Mission; Socius to the Provincial of the Vice-Province; Assistant Warden in Ricci Hall (The University Hostel); Professor of Scripture in the Seminary College. However, his main work was as Treasurer of the Vice-Province, a job he devoted himself to, with apparently endless energy. Those who are expert in financial matters testify that Jimmy did an outstandingly good job as Treasurer, He got the finances into excellent shape, and to this day tributes are paid to the very fine job he did.

While making the finances of the Vice-Province (and later Province) of Hong Kong his first priority, Jimmy also found time to engage in much pastoral work. He taught scripture in the Seminary College, and was also "ordinary confessor" for many years to a group of Irish Columban Sisters. Their appreciation of his many years of faithful service was shown by the attendance of a large number of the Sisters at his funeral in Gardiner St. Jimmy also said Mass regularly in the Catholic Centre, in downtown Hong Kong. He was also available to a number of people who came to him for advice and counselling. His sympathy and understanding were much appreciated by those who turned to him for help.

Thus, Jimmy led a very full, active life, in spite of poor health. Many years ago he underwent major surgery for cancer and subsequently was troubled by many different aliments, including diverticulitis and Parkinson's. When he felt it was wise to do so, he returned to Ireland and spent the last five years of his life in Cherryfield Lodge. He often spoke to me of how grateful he was for the great personal care and attention he received during those years.

Jimmy has now gone to his well-deserved rest, leaving behind memories of a very quiet, unassuming, hard-working, devoted Jesuit. He did not wear his heart on his sleeve, but deep devotion to the Lord was abundantly evident, and a source of inspiration to all who knew him. May he rest in peace.
JG Foley, SJ

-oOo-

Harold Naylor writes ...

Jimmy is a man to whom the HK Jesuits owe much. For nearly three decades he looked after the HK finances carefully, prudently and successfully. He built up a fund for the aged and sick, and brought all financial matters up to date with the latest of the decrees of the General Congregations on Religious Poverty.

In 1993, he felt his days in Hong Kong were up and he returned to Ireland, where he lived at Cherryfield Lodge. He kept abreast of life in Hong Kong, and the financial world. Since he took over as Procurator, after Fr. Howatson's stroke in 1964, he had made himself ready in all matters of investment and world finance.

He came to Hong Kong with a distinguished group of scholastics, like Hal McLoughlin and Frank McGaley who are still with us. Desmond Reid in Singapore is also a strict contemporary. It was 1948 when he with three other scholastics and two priests went to Canton to learn Cantonese. With the communist advances in 1949, they came to Hong Kong and continued their language studies as guests of the French MEP priests at Battery Path. He then taught a year at Wah Yan, and he returned to Wah Yan, Kowloon, for two years from 1958 when he was Form Master in Form Five to George Zee, and also Prefect of Studies,

Called to teach at the Regional Seminary, he put himself to New Testament Studies, and then went to Rome for his Biennium at the Biblical, which he finished in 1963. Jesuit withdrawal from the Aberdeen Seminary in Feb 1964 then saw him at the Theologate in Baguio, but this only lasted a few months. The summons came to be Procurator at Ricci Hall.

He continued to teach courses at the Aberdeen Seminary for some years. His health was bad. He was a cautious and accurate man, but also compassionate and warm, and approachable when in a good mood. He kept up serious reading, especially in Scriptural studies, and had a clear and well founded theological opinions, which tended to be conservative.

We offer sympathy to his sisters Mary (O'Sullivan) and Bridie (Comiskey), many nephews, nieces and friends, not to speak of those who knew him so well in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Harold Naylor SJ

Kennedy, Gerald L, 1889-1949, Jesuit priest and medical doctor

  • IE IJA J/214
  • Person
  • 24 June 1889-06 February 1949

Born: 24 June 1889, Birr, County Tipperary
Entered: 31 August 1921, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 18 October 1926, Fourvière, France
Final Vows: 02 February 1932, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 06 February 1949, St Francis Xavier, Lavender Bay, North Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Studied Medicine before entry. Had studied 1 year Theology at Dalgan Park, County Meath with the Columban Fathers and was destined for Chinese Mission

by 1927 at Paray-le-Monial France (LUGD) studying
by 1929 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1930 third wave Hong Kong Missioners
by 1934 at Gonzaga College, Shanghai, China (FRA) teaching
by 1938 at Wah Yan, Hong Kong - working

Served as Medical Doctor in RAMC during the First World War.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Gerald Kennedy served in the Royal Army Medical Corps during WW1 in Flanders and on a ship on the Atlantic. He entered the Society 31 August 1919 (1921 in fact) at Tullabeg with a medical degree, and after Philosophy at Milltown Park, 1923-25, and Theology at Ore Place, Hastings and Fourvières, 1925-28, completed Tertianship at St Beuno’s, 1928-29.
He was then sent to the Hong Kong Mission 1929-1945, and spent these years at Ricci Hall, the university residence, the seminary (at Aberdeen) or Wah Yan College, lecturing and teaching as well as doing pastoral work, but he never learned the Chinese language. He was popular with the students in the seminary, entertaining them with his charm. He gave the Jesuits their hints on how to be successful classroom teachers, and wrote a textbook in Chemistry and Physics whilst at Wah Yan.
He spent 1934 with the Jesuits and Shanghai, in Gonzaga College. From 1938 he worked with refugees in a hospital in Canton. Medical supplies were scarce, but he discovered a partial cure for cholera. He worked as rice-forager, money collector and spiritual guide to the sisters who ran the hospital. During 1941 he was at St Theresa’s hospital Kowloon, but he was worn out. He had fought the good fight.
As a result, he was recalled to Ireland, where he recovered his former vigour sufficiently to give Retreats in Galway, 1945-46, and did pastoral work in Tullabeg. He was sent to Australia and the Lavender Bay parish 1948-49, where he worked for six months in the chapel of the Star of the Sea, at Milsons Point. He was remembered for having a dry, searching humour, and a mixture of kindly trust and breeziness.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Doctor before Entry

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Arrivals :

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

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Kennedy G., O'Flanagan and Saul leave for Australia on 9th July.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 2 1949

Death of Fr. Gerald Kennedy :
Fr. G. Kennedy died in Australia on February 6th. He had been in failing health for a considerable time, and it was hoped that the Australian climate might restore his former vigour. But in China, before and during the war, he had been prodigal of his energy in the service of others. He did wonders during the cholera outbreak at Canton he accomplished wonders, not only by his devoted attention to the sufferers, but by his medical knowledge. Out of the very limited resources available he compounded a remedy which saved many lives and achieved better results than the Americans were able to obtain with their vastly superior equipment.
To know Fr. Kennedy was to love him. He has left to the Province a fragrant memory.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949

Obituary

Fr. Gerald Kennedy (1889-1921-1949)

When Gerald Kennedy became a Jesuit, he was already a mature man of thirty-two. Born in 1889, he took his medical degree at the National University in Dublin, went through World War I in the R.A.M.C., and then settled down to a dozen years of country practice in Nenagh and Birr. Having spent a few months at Dalgan Park, he entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1921. His noviceship over, two year's philosophy at Milltown Park were followed immediately by theology at Hastings and Fourvière, where he was ordained on December 18th, 1926. After making his tertianship at St. Beuno's (1928-1929), he sailed for Hong Kong. He remained on the Mission until his return to Ireland in November, 1945. He then spent a year on the retreat staff. The 1946 Status found him once more back in Tullabeg as Prefect of the Church, in which office he continued until June, 1948. That same summer he made his last trip - to Australia, which he reached in August. He was assigned to parish work in Melbourne, and there he died on February 6th, 1949.
In his twenty-eight years as a Jesuit, Gerald Kennedy won the esteem and affection of all who lived with him. The measure of that warm respect may be found in the name by which he was universally known : “Doc”. It was a term that did more than merely remind us that he had lost none of the shrewd skill and observation of the country practitioner. It held a far richer connotation. “Doc” was, in the best sense of the world, a character. There was nothing dark about his dry, searching humour-a mixture of kindly thrust and breeziness (no one who heard it will forget his cheery salute to the company : “God save all here - not barring the cat!”). In spontaneous mood he was inimitable for his humorous description of situations and personalities. His account of a Chinese banquet will be remembered as a masterpiece of gastronomic analysis. For all his sense of fun, however, “Doc” had a deep and steady seriousness of mind - his very gait was purposeful. A constant reader, his main interests were biography and history with a particular leaning towards French culture. Both as a doctor and as a Jesuit, he was for years keenly preoccupied with the psychological problems of the religious life and of spiritual experience. One of his many obiter dicta was to the effect that no Jesuit should be allowed on the road as a retreat-giver or spiritual director, who through ignorance or prejudice was incapable of helping souls in the higher forms of prayer. His own spiritual life was simple, direct and matter of fact. A strong yet gentle character, his unobtrusive simplicity went hand in hand with a certain blunt forcefulness of purpose. Outstanding among his virtues were a remarkable sense of duty and an unfailing charity.
Of his life as a Jesuit, Fr. Kennedy spent more than half on the Hong Kong mission. Over forty when he arrived in China, be never acquired a grip of the language. This did not prevent him, however, from quietly poking fun at the advanced students and old hands, to gravely correcting their tones or shamelessly manufacturing new phrases for their puzzlement and exasperation. Nor did his ignorance of Chinese materially lessen his usefulness. During his early years on the mission, he was in turn Minister in the Seminary and on the teaching staff of Wah Yan, His Ministership coincided with the period of the building and organisation of the Seminary - a harassing time. His cheerfulness was well equal to it. As an extract from a contemporary letter puts it : “In spite of many inconveniences of pioneering (e.g. the absence of a kitchen and a water supply) the Minister's sense of humour remained unshaken”. While at Wah Yan, he found time and energy (and, considering the steam-laundry quality of the climate for many months of the year, that says much) to compose a small text-book of Chemistry and a further one of Physics for his class. He was always on the job.
It was from 1938 onwards, however, that “Doc” really came into his own. In the November of that year a food ship was sent from Hong Kong to the relief of the refugees in Japanese occupied Canton. Fr. Kennedy travelled up as one of the organising committee, On account of his medical experience he was soon attached to the Fong Pin hospital, run by the French Canadian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. Here he found full scope for his doctor's knowledge and for his untiring charity. There was work for a dozen doctors and for as many administrators. Fr. Kennedy was alone. He had to deal with a hospital overcrowded beyond all reasonable capacity, to refuse patients was to let them die on the streets and to incur the censure of the Japanese. The nursing staff was pitiably inadequate and could not be made good even by the heroic devotion of the Sisters. Sufferers were two and three in a bed, and on the floor of the wards, the dead, awaiting removal and burial, lay cheek by jowl with the dying. All medical supplies were scarce - some were unobtainable. It was in such conditions that “Doc” had to treat his patients. Yet, amazing as it may seem, it was in the midst of such killing and stupefying work that Fr. Kennedy discovered a partial cure for cholera. He did some thing more amazing still - with his work as doctor he managed to combine the offices of rice-forager, money-collector and spiritual director to the Sisters. Both in Canton and in Hong Kong he went the rounds raising supplies and funds for the hospital, and gave the Sisters regular conferences and an eight-day retreat-in French. He kept up this pace for over two years.
He was back in Hong Kong for the outbreak of war in December, 1941. During the hostilities and for the most of the subsequent Japanese occupation of the Colony, he was in St. Teresa's Hospital, Kowloon. His work there was much the same as he had had in Canton, although the conditions were slightly better. He was doctor, administrator and again, spiritual guide and consoler to the French Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres. With his fellow Jesuits he underwent all the strain, mental and physical, of those three and a half years. More than others, perhaps, he suffered from the almost starvation diet. Yet, his cheerfulness never failed nor his unremitting devotion to his work. The same cannot be said for his health. When the peace came, he was a tired man, worn out in mind and body.
Fr. Kennedy was always a fighter. Back in Ireland, he recovered some of his old vigour - sufficient, at all events, to urge him to volunteer for Australia. He must have suspected that he had not very long to live, for shortly before sailing he expressed the hope that he might be given two or three years of work in which to justify the expense of his passage out. He need not have worried. Six months was all he had in Australia, it is true. But by his whole life in the Society, by his fund of good humour, by his charity, by his immense labours on the mission, by his deep, simple spirituality, “before God and men”, “Doc” more than paid his way.

Kennedy, Richard J, 1906-1986, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/216
  • Person
  • 08 November 1906-22 August 1986

Born: 08 November 1906, Carrickmines, County Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 31 May 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 22 August 1986, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong - Hong Kongensis Province (HK)

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966

Older Brother of Denis (DP) Kennedy - RIP 1988

Early education at Belvedere College SJ and Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1932 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1934 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

Second World War Chaplain

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

Father Richard Kennedy, S.J., of Wah Yan College, Kowloon, died of cancer in St. Teresa’s Hospital on Friday, 22 August 1986, aged 79.

Father Kennedy was born in Ireland on 8 November 1906. He joined the Jesuit noviciate in 1924 and spent the years 1933-36 in Hong Kong as a scholastic. He returned to Ireland for theology and ordination. World War II delayed his return to Hong Kong, so he took up work as a British Army chaplain in 1941.

Within a few months he was a prisoner of war - in Singapore first, and later in Japan and Manchuria. In later life he spoke little of this period, but that little showed clearly that he retained throughout all difficulties a high spirit, veering at times towards reckless courage.

After the war he went to Canton for language study and pastoral work. After the Communist take-over his high spirit got him into trouble with the authorities. He spent a short-time in prison and was expelled form China. Thus he returned to Hong Kong.

He taught in Wah Yan College, Kowloon, until he reached the official age for retirement. After that he taught in Newman College until the last remnants of his strength had gone. When he could no longer face a classroom he stayed on as spiritual guide to the students.

About two years ago, doctors in Ireland diagnosed cancer and advised him to remain in his native country, but Hong Kong had become his home and he insisted on coming back to do his last work here and to die here.

Archbishop Dominic Tang, S.J., led the concelebrated Mass of the resurrection in the chapel of Wah Yan College, Kowloon, and officiated at the graveside at St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley, on Tuesday, 26 August.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 29 August 1986

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 2 1941

General News :
The Irish Province has to date sent 4 chaplains to England for home or foreign service for the duration of the war. They are Frs. Richard Kennedy, Michael Morrison, Conor Naughton and Cyril Perrott. The first three were doing their 3rd year's probation under Fr. Henry Keane at the Castle, Rathfarnham, while Fr. Perrott was Minister at Mungret College. They left Dublin on the afternoon of 26th May for Belfast en route for London. Fr. Richard Clarke reported a few days later seeing them off safely from Victoria. Both he and Fr. Guilly, Senior Chaplain to British Forces in N. Ireland, had been most helpful and kind in getting them under way.

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr. Hayes reports from Redcar Yorkshire that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

Gardiner Street

Fr. R. Kennedy supplied in the Church for some weeks before leaving for China on October 8th. Fr. Brian Kelly has been at work with us since September. He preached on Mission Sunday.

Irish Province News 61st Year No 4 1986

Obituary

Fr Richard Kennedy (1906-1924-1986) (Macau-Hong Kong

The 8th November 1906: born in Co Dublin. 1917--21 Belvedere, 1921-24 Clongowes.
1st September 1924: entered SJ. 1924-26 Tullabeg, noviceship. 1926-30 Rathfarnham, juniorate (1926-27 home studies, 1927-30 at UCD: BA in English language and literature). 1930-33 philosophy: 1930-31 at Tullabeg, 1931-33 at Valkenburg, Netherlands.
1933-36 Hong Kong, regency: Regional seminary, studying Chinese and teaching mathematics; Wah Yan, Robinson road, teaching.
1936-40 Milltown Park, theology (31st July 1939: ordained a priest). 1940-41 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1941-47 chaplain to British army and prisoner of war: 1941-42 Singapore, which in Feb. 1942 was captured by the Japanese. Taken as prisoner to Changi, for six months; 1942-44 a mining camp in Taiwan (Formosa); Fukuoka, Japan, for two months; spring to mid-September, 1945, in Manchuria; then released. End of 1945: to Ireland for recuperation. Feb. 1946-Mar, 1947: chaplain to British army of the Rhine; then demobilised. Six months furlough.
1947-48 Wah Yan, Hong Kong, teaching. 1948-53 Canton (under Communist government from 1949), teaching in university/Shing Sam/ Sacred Heart college. 11th August-25th September 1953: imprisoned, then expelled to Hong Kong, where he under went an operation. A year's rest and recuperation in Ireland.
1955-86 Wah Yan, Kowloon: teach ing: 1955-71 in WYKL (1955-64 directing boys' club), 1971-85 in Newman College (1985-86 spiritual counsellor there). 22nd August 1986: died.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1987

Obituary

Father Richard Kennedy SJ (1921)

Dick Kennedy was born in Dublin in 1906. He was at Belvedere 1917-21. He went from Junior Grade to Clongowes and entered the Society of Jesus in 1924. He had the usual Jesuit formation: novitiate in Tullabeg; BA in English at UCD, from Rathfarnham Castle; philosophy in Tullabeg and, for two years, at Valkenburg, Holland; regency in Hong Kong, spent in the Regional Seminary, where he studied the language and taught mathematics, and in Wah Yan College as a teacher; theology in Milltown Park, where he was ordained on July 31st 1939. He made his tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle.

Immediately afterwards he joined the British Army as a chaplain in Singapore. He became a prisoner of war when Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942 and remained in captivity until the war ended. For six months he was at Changi in Singapore, then in a mining camp in Formosa until 1944, then in Fukoka (Japan) for a few months, and finally for six months in Manchuria, before release and return home to recuperate from his experiences. He rejoined the British Army on the Rhine 1946-47 until demobilisation,

After a year teaching at Wah Yan, Hong Kong, he was sent to teach in Canton in 1948. The Communist government took, over the city a year later but Dick continued working until he was arrested in August 1953 and expelled in late September back to Hong Kong, where he had to undergo an operation.

Restored by a year's recuperation at home, he returned in 1955 to Kowloon, where he spent the rest of his long life at Wah Yan. He taught in the College until 1971 and at Newman College until 1985. His last year was spent as spiritual counsellor at Newman.

During his final illness, he had many visitors in hospital: priests, sisters, past students whom he had taught or baptised, poor people he had befriended and helped. His rector, Fr Fred Deignan, writes:

“Fr. Dick in his humility never spoke very much about the many people he knew and helped, instructed and baptised. He must have suffered a lot during his internment under the Japanese but I'm sure that he gave very much help, hope and courage to his many fellow-prisoners. He was always very good to the poor and those in trouble. He loved young people and was happiest when they were around him”.

He died on August 22nd 1986. The funeral Mass was concelebrated by a large number of his brother-Jesuits, led by his friend from their difficult days together in Canton, Archbishop Dominic Tang SJ, who preached the homily. Among the many present was a group of Catholics from Canton, some of whom had been imprisoned for years because they were members of the Legion of Mary. “This was just a sign”, as Fr. Deignan writes, “that a great number of people loved and revered in”.

His younger brother Dermot died a few months before him. To all his family, especially Fr Denis P (Paddy), a former rector of Belvedere, our most sincere sympathy on their loss.

Lawler, Donald, 1911-1984, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/229
  • Person
  • 02 March 1911-04 December 1984

Born: 02 March 1911, Bunclody, County Wexford
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 08 January 1944, Sydney, Australia
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 04 December 1984, Lisheen, Rathcoole, County Dublin

Chaplain in the Second World War.

Middle Brother of Brendan - RIP 1993 and Ray - RIP 2001;

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to HK - 03 December 1966; HK to MAC-HK; MAC-HK to CHN

by 1937 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency
by 1941 at Pymble NSW, Australia - studying

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

Father Donald Lawler, SJ, formerly of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, died in Ireland on Tuesday, 4 December 1984, after a very long illness, aged 73.

Father Lawler was born in Ireland in 1911 and joined the Jesuits in 1928. He came to Hong Kong in 1936. After two years of study of Cantonese, he taught for two years in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. He then studied theology in Australia and was ordained priest there in 1944. After a final year of Jesuit formation in Ireland, he returned to Hong Kong in 1946 and was senior Science Master in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, for thirty years. He suffered a stroke in 1976, and for the rest of his life was as invalid sinking steadily into ever more complete helplessness as the years went by. About five years ago he was brought by hospital plane to Ireland, where the care of his elder brother, also a Jesuit, helped to mitigate the hardship imposed such prolonged illness.

Death came gently.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 14 December 1984

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945

Frs. J. Collins, D. Lawler and P. Toner, of the Hong Kong Mission, who finished theology at Pymble last January, were able to leave for Ireland some time ago, and are expected in Dublin after Easter.

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

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

Irish Province News 60th Year No 1 2 1985

Obituary

Fr Donald Lawlor (1911-1928-1984) (Macau-Hong Kong)

2nd March 1911: born in Bunclody, Co Wexford. 1st September 1928: entered SJ. 1928-30 Tullabeg, noviciate. 1930-33 Rathfarnham, juniorate (physics and chemistry to B. Sc.), 1933-36 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1936-40 Hong Kong (study of Cantonese. 1938-40 teaching in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong). 1940-45 Australia, theology (Pymble, NSW: ordained priest in 1944). 1945-46 Rathfarnham, tertianship. 1946-78 Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, teaching science chiefly. 1979-84 Lisheen nursing home, Rathcoole, Co Dublin.

The following notice of Fr Lawler, written by Fr Alan Birmingham (M-HK), has been copied from Macau-Hong Kong Province Letter no. 265 (12: 1984):

On Tuesday 4th December, Fr Vincent Murphy telephoned from Ireland to tell us that Don Lawler had died a few hours earlier. Everyone's first reaction was one of gratitude for the ending of Don's long Purgatory on earth. There was of course shock in learning that the companion of so many years was no longer in this world, but it would have been hypocritical conventionalism to pretend to sorrow over his death. The Don of the crystal clear mind, the Don of the lithe vigorous body, the Don of unquestioning independence, had gone years before. Death had brought to an end joyless years of fading powers.
Don Lawler received his schooling at Wicklow Convent and at Clongowes Wood College. I first met him when we arrived together to start our noviceship at Tullabeg. His elder brother Brendan took his first vows on the morning after our arrival and he stayed on in Tullabeg for a short time to act as Don's angelus, The Don of noviceship days was in most ways very like the Don of full maturity. He already had a sturdy distaste for loose thinking and for conventional expression or manifestation of piety. Eschewing gush, he had an unrivalled grasp of the theological and spiritual principles underlying noviceship training and the whole Jesuit life. He took his vows in the ambulacrum in Emo Park (newly acquired as the noviciate house) on 2nd September 1930.
He might have been miserable if he had been asked to do an arts degree in the juniorate. It is hard to imagine Don labouring over Wordsworth or Mrs Gaskell. In fact, he worked for a BSc in physics and chemistry. Clear theory derived from exact experiment was what he seemed made for. Philosophy also suited him; Platonism would have seemed to him to be merely sublime vagueness. If he had been born in another age, Descartes' clear and distinct ideas' might have won him: but as it was he found satisfaction in the highly rational Aristotelianism taught by Fr E Coyne. Philosophy always remained one of his major interests.
He had always been deeply interested in the missions, and he felt that one of his dearest dreams was being fulfilled when he was chosen for Hong Kong, along with Paddy Walsh and.me, in 1936.
My abiding friendship with Don dates from that time. In earlier years I had been mildly alarmed by his ruthless intellectualism and his black-and-white judgements on right and wrong, beauty and ugliness, sense and folly. A month with him in a two-man cabin in the Sua Maru was enough to teach me that I had found a true comrade, able to take peculiarities in his stride, and ready to depend on others and to have others depend on him. I never had to alter that judgement.
After two years of not very successful drudgery in the language school, there came the year in Wah Yan in the old Robinson Road building. In that year Don was not merely a teacher. He was a vigorous sportsmaster. He was deeply interested in the boys. He took part in nearly every school activity. In addition he began to make numerous friends round the city. Already, on the way to Hong Kong, he had been the social centre of the ship. Now he seemed to be on to becoming one of the people that everyone knows, almost a second and more scientific Fr George Byrne. The vitality he showed in that year was something unimagined by those who knew him only in later years..
In the summer of 1939, he and I were expecting to sail for Ireland, but the necessary documents did not arrive until later than the date on which Joe Howatson and Seán Turner had sailed in the previous year. When the documents did arrive, late in June, they contained bad news. Don was offered either immediate return to Ireland with removal from the Hong Kong Mission, or a ‘fourth year’ in Wah Yan. Without hesitation he chose the second alternative, and at once set about organising the tasks of the coming year, notably the forthcoming St Vincent de Paul Bazaar (the predecessor of the Caritas Bazaar).
Normally a fourth year in the colleges is a relatively unimportant setback not worthy of obituary mention. Don's fourth year was an exceptionally hard blow, and seems to have changed his whole life. In summer 1939, war was certain. If he did not sail at once, he would not return to Ireland for theology, and the suddenness of the change made this hard to bear. More important probably was the suggestion that he should consider leaving the Mission. He had always cherished missionary hopes; now a cloud had come over them. Joe Howatson, who probably knew Don better than any other Hong Kong Jesuit, once told me that Don had taken the fourth year as a condemnation of all his past expansiveness. Certainly, when I met him again after tertianship, all that side of his life seemed to have vanished, and he had largely withdrawn from the city into Wah Yan. He made friends through his educational committee work and through his abiding interest in games, but the old expansiveness was gone. I never discovered why he got the fourth year. To me he had seemed a model of what a scholastic in the way a college should be. My guess was some of his superiors had worked through mild suggestions and gentle hints, regarding these as sufficient indications of what they wanted to be done. Don, however, was never sensitive to hints. Anything less scientific than a clear and direct statement seemed contumacious when he was quite unconscious of ignoring orders.This, however, is only a guess.
In 1940, he went to Australia for theology, and he was ordained there in January 1944. He liked Australia, and he had many friends there from juniorate and philosophy days. In 1945 he went to Ireland for tertianship.
In 1946 he returned to Hong Kong to start the long career as senior science master that was to last till his strength ailed thirty years later. This was the main work of his Jesuit life, but there is little to be said about it. He was an outstanding and extremely conscientious teacher of physics to the higher forms, and he played a considerable part in the organisation of scientific teaching in the schools of Hong Kong. He was also always ready to take on the instruction of more intellectual converts whom others regarded as formidable. One of these converts is now a Dominican priest. In the 1960s one of the professors in the University of Hong Kong was waging an all too successful war for atheism. Don took him on in a radio debate and by cool and courteous logic won a striking victory that helped to diminish the professor's influence. This debate was almost his only dramatic incursion into public life in his long years as a priest-teacher.
In community life, however, he was no hermit. He was always ready to expound at length any theological, philosophical or scientific theory that came up. Sometimes his expositions would develop nearly into a lecture, but it was a good lecture, clear, orderly, full, and devoid of rhetorical irrelevance or dialectical tricks.
Over the years he was an unremitting student of the Bible, reading it over and over again. He was also careful to keep abreast of scientific progress. For diversion, more and more as the years went by, he turned to scientific fiction, the frivolous counterpart of his work. to him mere whimsy.
No account of Don would be completed without some reference to his congenital tidiness with both time and things. Every action seemed to have its exact unchangeable time - his shower for instance at exactly 6.30 pm. If any visitor to his room moved an ashtray on his desk, Don would put it back where it had been, not chidingly, but because the ashtray had its own unchangeable place. In 1976 he had his first stroke. For a time he tried to carry on, hoping that by using a microphone he could still talk to his classes, but this proved impossible. After a second stroke he was given generous hospitality for some months by the ever-generous Columban Sisters in Ruttonjee Sanatorium. He returned to Wah Yan and was able to take a slight part in community life. He managed to attend his Golden Jubilee dinner for a short period. He was able to concelebrate Mass on extreme invalid terms. He could still read, and a fading memory enabled him to read and reread his favourite scientific fiction books with fresh interest at every reading. Another stroke transformed him into a complete invalid, and he was brought to St Paul's Hospital, Causeway Bay. His hospital room was comfortable and he had plenty of visitors, the Columban Sisters being exceptionally kind. Yet his complete dependence on others must have been galling to one of his independent character. His Cantonese had never been very good, and as his voice was failing he found it almost impossible to communicate with the hospital staff. It was decided that he would be happier in Ireland. He was far too ill to travel by an ordinary plane, but helpful authorities agreed to give him space in a space in a military Red Cross hospital plane. In Ireland, he went first to St Vincent's Hospital and then to Lisheen Nursing Home, Rathcoole, co. Dublin. His brother Brendan and Fr Vincent Murphy were assiduous visitors, despite ever increasing difficulty in communication.
He sank slowly but steadily. Those who visited him during holidays in Ireland brought sadder and sadder news, yet he did not seem to suffer much physically and the gradual dimming of his consciousness of this world probably lessened mental suffering. Always we were waiting for the last news. It came on December 4th.
He worked hard. He suffered much. God be with him. May he be with God.

◆ The Clongownian, 1986

Obituary

Father Donald Lawler SJ

Don Lawler received his schooling at Wicklow Convent before coming on to Clongowes. His elder brother Brendan took his first vows in Tullabeg on the morning after Don's arrival and he stayed on for a short time to act as Don's angelus. The Don of noviceship days was in most ways very like the Don of full maturity. He already had a sturdy distaste for loose thinking and for conventional expression or manifestation of piety. Eschewing gush, he had an unrivalled grasp of the theological and spiritual principles underlying noviceship training and the whole Jesuit life. He took his vows in the abulacrum in Emo Park (newly acquired as the noviciate house) on 2nd September 1930.

He might have been miserable if he had been asked to do an arts degree in the juniorate. It is hard to imagine Don labouring over Wordsworth or Mrs Gaskell. In fact, he worked for a BSc in physics and chemistry. Clear theory from exact experiment was what he seemned made for. Philosophy also suited him; Platonism would have seem to have to be merely sublime vagueness. If he had been born in another age, Descartes clear and distinct ideas might have won him: but as it was he found satisfaction in the highly Aristotelianism taught by Fr E Coyne. Philosophy always remained one of his major interests.

He had always been deeply interested in the missions, and he felt that one of his dearest dreams was being fulfilled when he was chosen for Hong Kong, along with Paddy Walsh in 1936. After two years of not very successful drudgery in the language school, there came the year in Wah Yah in the old Robinson Road building. In that year Don was not merely a teacher. He was a vigorous sportsmaster. He was deeply interested in the boys. He took part in nearly every school activity. In addition he began to make numerous friends around the city. Already, on the way to Hong Kong, he had been the social centre of the ship. Now he seemed to be on the way to becoming one of the people everyone knows, almost a second and more scientific Fr George Byrne. The vitality he showed in that year was something unimagined by those who knew him only in years later.

In 1940 he went to Australia for theology, and he was ordained there in January 1944.

He liked Australia, and he had many friends. there from juniorate and philosophy days. In 1945 he went to Ireland for tertianship.

In 1946 he returned to Hong Kong to start the long career as senior science master that was to last till his strength failed thirty years later. This was the main work of his Jesuit life, but there is little to be said about it. He was an outstanding and extremely conscientious teacher of physics to the Higher forms, and he played a considerable part in the organisation of scientific teaching in the schools of Hong Kong. He was also always ready to take on the instruction of more intellectual converts whom others regarded as formidable.

In community life, however, he was not a. hermit. He was also always ready to expound at length any theological, philosophical or scientific theory that came up. Sometimes his expositions would develop nearly into a lecture, but it was a good lecture, clear, orderly, full and devoid or rhetorcal irrelevance or dialectical tricks.

Over the years he was an unremitting student of the bible, reading it over and over again. He was also careful to keep abreast of scientific progress. For diversion, more and more as the years went by, he returned to scientific fiction, the frivolous counterpart of his scientific work.

In 1976 he had his first stroke. For a time he tried to carry on, hoping that by using a microphone he could still talk to his classes, but this proved impossible. After a second stroke he was given generous hospitality for some months by the ever-generous Columban Sisters in Ruttonjee Sanatorium.

It was decided that he would be happier in Ireland. He was far too ill to travel by an ordinary plane, but helpful authorities agreed to give him space in a military Red Cross hospital plane. In Ireland, he went first to St Vincent's Hospital and then to Lisheen Nursing Home Rathcoole, Co Dublin. His brother Brendan and Fr Vincent Murphy were assiduous visitors, despite ever-increasing difficulty in communication, He sank slowly but steadily.

Alan Birmingham

Maguire, Rory, 1913-1971, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/726
  • Person
  • 19 January 1913-23 February 1971

Born: 19 January 1913, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 16 November 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 23 February 1971, Cahir, County Tipperary

Part of the Tullabeg, County Offaly community at the time of death.

by 1960 at Brophy Prep, Phoenix AZ (CAL) working
by 1962 at St Francis Xavier Phoenix AZ, USA (CAL) working

Died in a car accident.

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

Father Rory Maguire, S.J., formerly of Wah Yan Colleges, Hong Kong and Kowloon, was killed in a road accident in Ireland on 23 February 1971, aged 58.

Father Maguire came to Hong Kong in 1947. His whole time here was devoted to education. He was principal of the afternoon school in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, and later was prefect of studies in Wah Yan College, Kowloon.

During much of his time in Hong Kong he suffered grievously from an intractable slipped disc. Ultimately he had to go to Arizona, where the extreme dryness of the climate helped him to a partial recovery. After a period there he was able to return to Ireland, but there was no prospect of his being able to stand up to Hong Kong humidity.

Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul will be celebrated at 6pm, today, Friday, 5 March, in the chapel of Wah Yan College, Kowloon.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 5 March 1971

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 46th Year No 3 1971

Obituary :

Fr Rory Maguire SJ (1913-1971)

Sudden death always leaves a sense of shock; sudden and violent death leaves one numb. When the news of Fr Rory Maguire's death in a car crash reached us on Tuesday, February 23rd, those of us who knew Fr Rory well were overwhelmed. He had left Dublin that day with Wilfrid Chan, SJ, to go to Cork. Near Cahir, about 2.30 p.m., the fatal accident occurred. Fr Rory was killed instantly and Wilfrid Chan was seriously injured. Fr Knight, CSSp, of Rockwell College, and Mr Carey of Cahir Vocational School, the occupants of the other car, were both injured but are now well on the road to recovery. Wilfrid Chan, after a long and painful time in St. Vincent's Hospital, Elm Park, is now back in Milltown Park and making satisfactory progress.
On Wednesday evening, February 24th, Fr Rory's remains were brought from Cashel Hospital to Gardiner Street Church. Those who travelled with the funeral will long remember the immense crowd awaiting the arrival at Gardiner Street - a tribute from so many people to one who during his life as a priest had been a sincere friend and unfailing helper to countless people in all walks of life. That tribute was repeated on Thursday morning in a packed Gardiner Street at concelebrated Mass. At Glasnevin he was laid to rest and one felt that each person at that graveside mourned for a personal loss. In his lifetime as a Jesuit he had endeared himself to all with whom he came in contact,
Fr Rory's life as a priest was lived in three continents. His early years, since he joined the Society in 1931, were all spent in Ireland. Those early years of study were not easy for him, but he applied himself to them with that spirit of duty and devotedness that were to be so characteristic of all his work in later years. After ordination in 1945 and tertianship in 1946-47, he went to Hong Kong. Those who worked with him on the mission during the long years he spent in the Far East, bear the highest tribute to his zeal and energy as a missioner, the impact he made on all he met and, above all, his tremendous influence on the boys he taught and guided for so many years in Wah Yan College.
It was in China that he contracted that back illness that was to stay with him until the end of his life and cause him so much suffering. After a disc operation in Hong Kong, he returned to Ireland and the next few years were spent in and out of hospital and always pain and discomfort. Yet, through all this, Fr Rory was always looking for something to do in the way of an apostolate. And in all those efforts the man, who was also the priest, shone out. No one, not even his closest friends, will ever know the work he did for people in those days.
On medical advice, he went to Arizona, to the Jesuit house in Phoenix and his next few years were spent there doing church work and teaching religion. After the years in Arizona, with little by way of improvement to his health, he returned to Ireland and joined the church staff in the Crescent, Limerick. The same devotion to duty, the same concern for people characterised his work there and his box in the church was a popular one. 1970 saw him transfer to Tullabeg and the mission staff. He was happy in this work as it gave him many opportunities to work.
His sympathy and his understanding, his unfailing good humour and his obvious sincerity won him many friends all over Ireland and England during his short time on the mission staff. A heart attack during the last year before his death forced him to retire from the too heavy work of travelling and preaching missions and he joined the Retreat House staff in Rathfarnham. This was his last appointment and in the short time he was to spend at this work he gave the same zeal, enthusiasm and effort. His life might be summed up in words written of another great Jesuit : “He was at home with all kinds of people and in many different worlds - this was part of his greatness - but his own personal world had at its centre that priestly and religious dedication to which he was heroically true to the end”. May he rest in peace and to his family, four brothers and one sister, deepest sympathy from all who were privileged to have known Fr Rory.

Mallin, Joseph, 1913-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/853
  • Person
  • 13 September 1913-01 April 2018

Born: 13 September 1913, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1932, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1946, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 08 December 1976, Hong Kong
Died: 01 April 2018, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Son of Michael Mallin - executed following he 1916 Irish Rising
Brother of Seán Ó Mealláin - RIP 1977

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Easter farewell to long-serving Jesuit

Father Joseph Mallin (連民安神父), of the Society of Jesus, returned to the Lord he served on 1 April 2018, Easter Sunday. He was 104-years-old.

Born in Ireland on 13 September 1913, he joined the Jesuits on 7 September 1932 and was ordained on 31 July 1946. He made his final vows on 8 December 1976.

He arrived in Hong Kong and proceeded to Canton (Guangzhou) in 1948, returning to the then-British colony in 1949.

Between 1950 and 1968, Father Mallin taught at Wah Yan College Hong Kong and Wah Yan College Kowloon, then served as the principal of Pun U Association Wah Yan Primary School, Stubbs Road, from 1971-1977 and subsequently as the school’s supervisor from 1977 to 2002.

He was chaplain of Pun U from 2009 to 2103, formally retiring when he reached 100-years-old.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated for Father Mallin at 10am on 14 April at St. Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College Kowloon.
Sunday Examiner Hong Konh - 8 April 2018

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/child-of-two-revolutions/

Child of two revolutions
When Father Joseph Mallin celebrated his 100th birthday in Hong Kong on 13 September, he was hailed in Ireland’s newspapers as the oldest Irish priest in the world. Sitting in Wah Yan College, he gave a lively interview to Fionnuala McHugh of the Irish Times, who pointed to the two revolutions that Joe has survived: the Easter Rising of 1916, which claimed his father’s life; and the coup which made Sun Yat Sen the first president of the Republic of China, the year before Joe’s birth.
Joe’s father was Michael Mallin, who left home on Easter Monday 1916 to take command of the fighting in St Stephen’s Green, and never came home; he was shot in Kilmainham along with Connolly, Pearse and the other leaders. The night before the execution, 3-year-old Joseph was taken by his mother (then pregnant with her fifth child) to visit Michael in his cell. Though Joseph has no memory of that goodbye, he heeded the plea in Michael’s last letter: “Joseph, my little man, be a priest if you can.” His brother Sean had preceded him into the Jesuits, and both brothers were assigned to the Hong Kong mission.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/featured-news/fior-eireannach-gan-dabht/

‘Fīor Eireannach gan dabht’
President Michael D Higgins and the Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál MacDonnacha are among the dignitaries who will attend Fr Joe Mallins SJ’s Memorial Mass on Sat 21 April, 2018 at 11:00am in St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner St. Fr Joe Mallin was the son of Commandant Michael Mallin, who was executed for his role in the Easter Rising. He died peacefully and fittingly, on Easter Sunday morning, 1 April 2018, in Hong Kong. He was 104 years old. The funeral Mass for Fr Joe, presided over by the Bishop of Hong Kong, took place at 10am on Saturday, 14 April, at St Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College Kowloon. The burial was in St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley.
In his homily at the funeral Mass, Fr Joe Russell SJ, commenting on Fr Joe’s longevity said, “It is easy to understand why the people of the Old Testament were sure that a long life was the sign of God’s blessing, and explains why extraordinary life-spans were credited to their great men.” He added, “Joe was a private person. He seldom if ever spoke about himself. Which of us knew what his likes and dislikes were? More remarkably he never spoke unkindly about others. I never remember him ever speaking disparagingly about another. He never complained. With a family background like his and proficiency in the Irish language, another might have baulked at being assigned to Hong Kong. But not Joe. This is what God was asking of him; there was nothing more to be said.”
Concluding his short homily which you can read in full below, Fr Russell commented, ”As Joe comes before his judge his good life will speak eloquently for him, not only his service to the community at large but also, as the poet puts it, that best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love. These have not been forgotten, they have been indelibly recorded in the book of life. Now, there is a special difficulty in speaking on the occasion of the death of someone esteemed and admired, that in recalling their virtues we may deprive them of the prayers they need for their soul’s repose.”
He was born in 1914, just two years before his father was executed by firing squad, leaving a wife and five small children. One of Fr Joseph’s brothers, Seán, also became a Jesuit priest, and his sister Úna entered the Loreto order in 1925. She was sent to a convent in Spain, where she spent the rest of her life. Commandant Mallin would have been proud of his children. In his last letter he wrote: : “Úna, my little one, be a nun; Joseph, my little man, be a priest if you can ...” Fr Joe joined the Jesuits, and in 1948 he went to Hong Kong and China as part of the Irish Jesuit mission to China. He spent over 70 years of his life there.
Fr Joe entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1932, the same year as the Eucharistic Congress and after his ordination, he was sent on the Jesuit mission to China, where he would spend 70 years of his life. His first posting was in Canton (Guangzhou) in China in 1948. This was the era of Mao Tse Tsung’s and as his Communist Red Army advanced on the city, he and other missionaries had to move to Hong Kong.
According to Fr Alfred Deignan, another Irish Jesuit missionary there, this mission was a new challenge to the Irish Province, “and a new experience for the Jesuits who went there to work among poor people speaking a different language, the Cantonese dialect, with different food, customs and weather, often very hot and humid.” Fr Joe was mission bursar for a time there, and was Director of a social centre before working as a secondary school teacher in a Jesuit-run school. He was appointed Headmaster of their primary school and Principal of Ricci College, a kindergarten in Macau, which was a Portuguese colony until 1999. He was still holding teaching duties there when he returned to Ireland in 2006 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising in 2006.
Fr. Joseph, a freeman of Dublin, received an invitation from the Taoiseach’s Office to attend the 90th commemoration, as the child of Commandant Michael Mallin, who was chief-of-staff of the Irish Citizen’s Army and commander of the St. Stephen’s Green garrison during the Easter Rising. Commdt. Mallin was executed in the Stonebreakers’ Yard, Kilmainham Gaol, along with the other leaders of the revolt, and buried in Arbour Hill.
His visit at that time attracted a great deal of media attention. The late Gerald Barry interviewed him for the Easter Sunday edition of ‘This Week’ (RTE 1, 1.00pm), and he also spoke to Joe Little for RTE News and to a Sky News correspondent. “I will attend the parade on Easter Sunday, as the Government was good enough to invite me, but what I am most looking forward to is being able to go to the grave of my father in Arbour Hill, with the other families of those executed, for a ceremony in early May,” he said.
Fr Joe was also musical and played the very flute which his father’s had played in Liberty Hall as a member of the Workers’ Orchestra on the eve of the 1916 Rising. The flute and his father’s watch are on exhibition in the National Museum of Ireland.
Coming up to Fr Joe’s 100th birthday, he was asked if he regretted anything about leaving Ireland 65 years earlier. He replied that he would have liked to have spent some more time working as a priest in his home country and that he “missed the rain”.
In a moving statement on his death, Fr Joe’s family in Ireland said, “Fr. Joseph Mallin SJ was the last direct living link with that period of our history... He served for more than 70 years as a missionary and educator in mainland China and Hong Kong... and like most teachers, he often talked with pride of the pupils educated at that college, many of whom went on to become leaders in their various walks of life.”
They also spoke of the kind of man Fr Joseph was to them, singling out his humility and spirituality. “He had a deeply held Christian faith and love for his fellow man and woman. His was a practical faith with a strong base in social justice and equality; not unlike his father who as a trade union activist fought for social justice and workers’ rights and who gave his young life for such a cause.”
Referencing his communication skills they said, “Fr. Joseph was... a prolific letter writer, just like his father, and he wrote letters to his family members on a regular basis and also to many other correspondents, never failing to respond to a letter when anyone wrote to him, be it a young school child from Donegal or an academic historian from the University, they would receive a thoughtful reply.” And they spoke of his love of the Irish language – “His command of the Irish language, written and oral, was unbelievable considering he was out of the country since 1948. He wrote to family members and others as Gaeilge – always, san sean-cló, in the old Irish script, and he was delighted to speak Irish to anybody from Ireland who visited him, Fīor Eireannach gan dabht. He had numerous friends in Ireland and around the world. He kept in contact with them all and whenever he was home in Ireland he would make sure to visit them.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Homily at Funeral of Father Joseph Mallin SJ Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong 14 April 2018
When Father Mallin was two and a half years old, his mother took him to the prison cell where his father was awaiting execution by firing squad the following day at dawn for the part he played in his country’s struggle for independence. As his father embraced his then youngest child for the last time he said to his wife: he’ll make a fine priest.
Wish and prophecy splendidly fulfilled in the life we are remembering this morning.
Father Mallin – he was always Joe to us – was born in Dublin 104 years ago. In him it is easy to understand why the people of the Old Testament were sure that a long life was the sign of God’s blessing, and explains why extraordinary life-spans were credited to their great men.
Joe became a Jesuit in 1932, was ordained priest in 1946. In 1948 he arrived in Hong Kong, where – with the exception of a stint in Macau as principal of Colegio Ricci, he spent the rest of his life.
As we gather together in this chapel to commend him to the Lord’s tender mercy, we have wanted prayers offered, God’s praises sung, the scriptures read, the Eucharist celebrated. It is our way of saying thank you to almighty God for the gift of Joe, and to thank him for sharing his life with us, to thank him too for all the good he accomplished with God’s grace in a long life of service of others. His pilgrim journey came to an end on Easter Sunday – on what better day could one choose to die? – and those who were privileged to have walked some part of that journey with him are left to mourn his loss.
Our Mass this morning then is an act of thanksgiving, it is a last public act of love, an opportunity to surrender Joe into the loving embrace of the God he so faithfully served. Our Mass is also the joyful assertion of our Christian belief that we – that all of us – are called to share Christ’s resurrection. We are asserting that we have been created, not for death but for life, that death has not the last word. Because of Christ’s resurrection death, from being final and immediately destructive has become fruitful and triumphant, has become the beginning of something magnificent rather than the end of everything. Though Joe has died he still lives on, in the thoughts of those who knew and loved him, and he lives on, we confidently believe, in our Father’s house, experiencing now the truth of those lovely words of St Augustine: You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.
Joe was a private person. He seldom if ever spoke about himself. Which of us knew what his likes and dislikes were? More remarkably he never spoke unkindly about others. I never remember him ever speaking disparagingly about another. He never complained. With a family background like his and proficiency in the Irish language, another might have baulked at being assigned to Hong Kong. But not Joe. This is what God was asking of him; there was nothing more to be said. Joe was a man of many parts. Though most of his time was given to education, he was called on to fill many and varied roles. Because of his good judgement and attention to detail he was asked to supervise the construction of both Wah Yan Colleges as well as the Adam Shall student hostel on the campus of the Chinese University. For a time he was in charge of a Caritas social service centre. He was bursar for the communities where he was stationed. And when the Jesuits took on the running of the Pun U Association primary school, it was he who was called on to be its principal and then its supervisor. The Provincial who assigned him to this new venture gave as the reason for his choice: Joe seems to succeed in whatever he undertakes.
His was a life without frills. His hobbies were few: he was a lover of nature and delighted in treks up and down the hills and dales of the New Territories. He also played the recorder. Living in the room next to his I can vouch for this. He had a phenomenal, computer-like memory which remained with him until the end. He took the trouble to remember the name of every boy in Pun U school. The boys’ names were written in a little book which he carried around with. For him to make this effort to know the names of his students was a mark of his respect for them.
This morning we are a guard of honour escorting Joe home to meet his Lord, to that presence where each of us will one day just as surely go. We are outriders accompanying him on his final journey. As Joe comes before his judge his good life will speak eloquently for him, not only his service to the community at large but also, as the poet puts it, that best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love. These have not been forgotten, they have been indelibly recorded in the book of life. Now, there is a special difficulty in speaking on the occasion of the death of someone esteemed and admired, that in recalling their virtues we may deprive them of the prayers they need for their soul’s repose.
As we hand Joe over to the mercy and compassion of his Saviour and ours, we bid him a fond good-bye, conscious that we are saying au revoir and not farewell. As we salute him with pride and affection, we turn to God in prayer for ourselves who are left behind: that the Lord may support us, all the day long, till the shadows lengthen and the evening comes and the busy world is hushed and the fever of life is over and our work is done. Then in his mercy may he give us too a safe lodging, a holy rest and peace at the last.
Fr John Russell SJ

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/memorial-mass-for-joe-mallin-sj/

Memorial Mass for Joe Mallin SJ
President Michael D. Higgins was among the dignitaries at the Memorial Mass for Irish Jesuit missionary Fr Joseph Mallin SJ at Gardiner Street Church on 21 April, 2018. Fr Mallin’s funeral was previously held in Hong Kong where he had lived and worked for the last 70 years.
The service was a celebration of his remarkable life, which had both historical and spiritual significance and offered his family, friends and fellow Jesuits the opportunity to mark his passing in his home town.
The packed congregation in St Francis Xavier Church also included the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mícheál Mac Donncha, the Taoiseach’s aide-de-camp Commandant Caroline Burke, Councillor Cormac Devlin, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD and Senator Mark Daly, who were in attendance due to Fr Mallin’s stature as the last surviving child of an executed 1916 leader and as a Freeman of Dublin.
A book of condolence was signed by mourners as they entered the church. The book sat on a table against a backdrop of photographs of Fr Joseph’s parents. The portrait of his father Michael Mallin sits beside a photo of his mother Agnes who is captured sitting with her five small children Séamas, Seosamh, Séan, Maura, and Úna at Maura’s baptism in 1916 – the year her husband was executed.
Fr Joseph’s cousin, Fr Ray Warren OMI, was the main celebrant at the Mass and delivered a heartfelt homily in which he said that his cousin was a man who was ‘blessed indeed with understanding, wisdom, and knowledge’ and noted his ‘encyclopaedic memory’.
The Mass was a bilingual celebration in honour of Fr Joseph’s lifelong love of the Irish language and of course his heritage. It was also an event in which both his biological and Jesuit family came together. Fr Gerry Clarke SJ, the Gardiner Street parish priest welcomed the congregation and was joined on the altar by many other Jesuits including Ashley Evans SJ, James Hurley SJ and the Provincial, Leonard Moloney SJ. John Guiney SJ, Director of the Jesuit Missions Office, accompanied the President, Michael D. Higgins throughout the ceremony.
Fr Joseph’s niece, Una Ni Challanáin, did the first reading and his cousin, Fr Ray Warren OMI, read the Gospel on ‘The Beatitudes’. Other members of the Mallin-Hickey family read prayers of the faithful and sang at the event.
An offertory procession that presented symbols of Fr Joseph’s life were presented at the altar during Mass. The items chosen were a flag, a flute, and his rosary beads and also his pen and glasses. Fr Joseph didn’t return home very often from the time his mission in Hong Kong began but he was a prolific letter-writer who corresponded with many people in Ireland and around the world. A letter to his nephew arrived in Ireland five days after his death and added a poignant touch to the collection.
Seán Tapley is a nephew of Fr Mallin’s who corresponded with him right up until his death and worked closely with him on the document that revealed new evidence about his father Michael Mallin’s court martial and execution. He gave a moving eulogy which gave tribute to Fr Mallin’s legacy of education and pastoral work in Hong Kong, and his love of his adopted home. He also noted that in spite of the many letters that Fr Mallin wrote, he was essentially ‘a thoughtful man with a droll sense of humour’ who was economical with words.
The Jesuit tribute to the deceased missionary was delivered by Fr Leonard Moloney SJ, the current Provincial of the Society of Jesus. In it he emphasised Fr Mallin’s dedication to his mission in Hong Kong, and his reputation for never speaking ill of anybody over his long life (see the full speech below).
After the ceremony, the congregation stayed for refreshments and conversation in Gardiner Street Jesuit community, to celebrate the life and achievements of this remarkable man.
Photo: Accompanying the President are John K. Guiney SJ and Yanira Romero of Irish Jesuit Missions.

Reflection by Irish Jesuit Provincial Leonard Moloney SJ
In the second last letter to his wife Agnes, written literally on the back of an envelope, Commandant Mallin, Joe’s father, wrote, “All is lost, my love to all my children. No matter what my fate I have done my duty to my beloved Ireland, to you, and to my darling children.”
Joe’s father was one of those Irish men with a deep Catholic faith and a sense of sacrifice, who were prepared to give their lives for what ‘was right and just’, as Joe himself has said.
Ireland has that tradition of self-sacrifice for the good of others, and it’s also expressed in another vein – that of our missionary tradition. We have the monks of old like St Columcille, St Columbanus and St Gall who left their native land to spread the good news of Christ and his vision of justice and peace.
When Fr Joe became a Jesuit, he joined an order whose early founders, like Francis Xavier, began the European missionary journey to the East. Indeed, Francis wanted to go to China but died on the island of Shangchuan, in sight of the mainland.
So like the early Jesuit Fathers, Fr Joe become a part of the Jesuit tradition of mission, going where the need is greatest, obeying orders! And following in the sacrificial tradition of his own Father, (and Irish missionaries) he gave his life – over 70 years of it – working for and with the people of China and Hong Kong.
As he said in an interview a short while ago, the men and women of the Rising, like his father “had a vision of what was right and just, and they wanted to do what they could to build a better Ireland free from poverty and oppression.”
That too was Fr Joe’s motivation as a missionary and as a Jesuit. In the words of Pedro Arrupe, a former Fr General of the Jesuits and himself a European missionary to Asia, Jesuits are men called to live ‘a faith that does justice.’
And that was the faith that Joe lived out, teaching those he was sent to, and in the best missionary tradition, allowing them to teach him. In that same interview, he quoted a Chinese saying that summed up what life was about: “It’s not about ‘ourselves alone’, (now there’s a resonant phrase!) “it’s about what the Chinese call ‘sharing with others’.”
Joe certainly shared his long life with others, be it as teacher, construction supervisor, bursar, headmaster, or director of a social services centre. He found himself in those various roles because, “of his sound judgement and attention to detail” to quote his fellow Jesuits in China.
That word attention is key. For as 20th century mystic Simone Weil points out, “Taken to its highest degree, attention is the same thing as prayer. It presupposes faith and love”. And what else would you call it when someone takes the trouble to remember the name of every boy in his school, as Father Joe did.
The Jesuits in his community also attest to his goodness – ‘He never complained’, fellow Jesuit community member Fr Joe Russell tells us. And in fact, as Fr Ray has pointed out, Fr Joe was a great communicator, and he was very careful with words.
This is something that Pope Francis singles out for attention in his recent apostolic letter Gaudete et Exultate. He tells us that resisting the temptation to gossip or engage in back biting is a holy thing.
And Fr Russell also adds, “Remarkably, he never spoke unkindly about others. I never remember him ever speaking disparagingly about another”. 104 years and never an unkind word about another person – remarkable indeed!
In that letter on the envelope that Commandant Mallin wrote to Joe’s mother he started by saying, “All is lost”. He ended by qualifying that statement saying, “All is lost, Agnes, except honor and courage”.
Those qualities were certainly not lost in his son whom we remember today. Fr Joe Mallin, a man of courage and honour, a good and holy Jesuit.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-rebel-stock/

JESUITICA: Rebel stock
A curious bond links the first scholastic of the restored Irish Mission with the oldest Jesuit in our Chinese mission: both lost their fathers to execution by the British. Bartholomew Esmonde returned from his studies in Sicily in 1814 to join the staff of the new college of Clongowes. Some ten years earlier his father, Dr John Esmonde of Sallins, Kildare, had been publicly hanged on O’Connell Bridge in Dublin for his part in the 1798 rebellion. William Aylmer of Kilcock, whose Jesuit brother founded Belvedere, was convicted of treason for the same reason, but escaped execution. Michael Mallin, a leader in the 1916 rising, called his family to Kilmainham Gaol on the eve of his execution, and prayed that his little son Joseph would be a priest. 94-year-old Joseph SJ, pictured here on the steps of Kilmainham Gaol, is still ministering in Hong Kong. Despite stereotypes, many Jesuits are of rebel stock.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/242-fr-joe-mallin-sj-a-life-of-service and https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/587-fr-joe-mallin-sj-a-life-of-service-2

FR. JOE MALLIN SJ - A LIFE OF SERVICE
The last eighty years have seen momentous changes and Fr. Joe Mallin SJ has been a witness to many, during his years of service in China. Clearly a life of service to others was not unknown in his own family - his brother Sean entered the Society a few years before him and his father was Commandant Michael Mallin, executed by the British for his part in the Easter Rising of 1916.
Fr. Mallin was only two and a half years old and therefore has no memories of his father but was very moved by an article about him written in 1917 by an American Jesuit. Fr. Mallin remembers his mother as a wise woman, who tried to let them experience as normal a family life as possible. At the time of his execution she had four children and was expecting their fifth. In a final letter to her, her husband wrote "to pray for all the souls who fell in this fight, Irish and English".

Eucharistic Congress 1932
Shortly before he entered the Irish Jesuit Novitiate, in September 1932, Joe was an active participant in the Eucharistic Congress, remembering the huge crowds in Phoenix Park, the relief that the weather held, and the excellent marshalling by General O'Duffy, Garda Commissioner. Joe had been in contact with the Jesuits whilst at St Enda's Rathfarnham and met Fr. Ernest Mackey at Knockbeg College.

China
On the ship out to Hong Kong the Catholic cargo supervisor died and Fr. Joe was asked to conduct the burial service at sea. It was a very moving experience he remembers and the captain was most helpful. Fr. Mallin arrived in Guangzhou (Canton) in early September 1948. But in May 1949, the Jesuits had to leave the city for Hong Kong due to the advance of the Chinese Communist army. Hong Kong in the late 1940s was not in good shape due to the Japanese occupation and the Allied bombing but it recovered very quickly.
Fr. Mallin didn't have much time to explore his new home but got to work straight away. He had to take over the top floor of the Paris Foreign Mission Society house which had kindly been handed over to the Jesuits. Joe had no difficulty adapting to the new life and culture. He pitched in head first into dealing with all kinds of people – architects, builders and suppliers, cooks and cleaners. He supervised several construction or building conversion jobs and had to arrange for the temporary accommodation of many Jesuits expelled from Mainland China after the Communist takeover.
An incident he recalls clearly was when a phone call came one night, very late, from the Queen Mary Hospital asking for a priest to come to attend a dying patient. He went down to the street and stopped a taxi. The taxi driver got him to the hospital very quickly. When he thanked him, the driver replied "I am a Muslim, and my father told me that if a Catholic mission priest ever stopped me in the middle of the night to go to a hospital I should drive like the wind because it was very important."

Few words, but many loving actions
He had a very varied apostolic life, successfully doing the job of minister in the community, Mission Bursar, Director of a Social Centre, secondary teacher, Headmaster of Pun Yu Primary School in Hong Kong, Principal of Ricci College in Macao, among other things. He was known as a man of few words, but of many loving actions.

National Museum Dublin
Fr. Mallin played the flute, which had belonged to his father. Indeed his father had played it in Liberty Hall in the Workers' Orchestra on the eve of the 1916 Rising. The flute and his father's watch are now in the National Museum in Dublin.
When asked if he regretted anything about leaving Ireland, he said that he would like to have had some more time working as a priest in Ireland. He said that he also missed the rain! Fr. Joe Mallin has been a Jesuit for over 80 years and will celebrate his 100th birthday next September! He is viewed with almost incredulous amazement for all he does at his age. He is deeply respected by all those who know him.

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/460-fr-joseph-mallin-sj-looking-back-2016-1916

FR JOSEPH MALLIN SJ: LOOKING BACK 2016-1916
Fr Joseph Mallin SJ received the freedom of the city (https://www.thejournal.ie/joseph- mallin-freedom-of-dublin-hong-kong-2671842-Mar2016/) award from the Lord Mayor of Dublin Críona Ní Dhálaigh who flew to Hong Kong to meet him on the 21st March. An Irish concert was enjoyed by all, including Fr Mallin's visiting niece Una, and the two conversed "as Gaeilge" all evening. The award was a tribute to his life’s service through his ministry to the people of Hong Kong and Macau and in recognition of his status as the child of Commandant Michael Mallin, one of the executed leaders of the Irish 1916 Easter Rising.

Oldest Irish Jesuit missionary priest
Joe Mallin was born in 1913. At age 102 (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/416-happy- 102nd-birthday-to-fr-joe-mallin-sj), he is the oldest Irish Jesuit missionary priest, living in Hong Kong.
His father Michael Mallin commanded the fighting at St Stephen’s Green on Easter (https://jesuitmissions.ie/news/459-celebrating-easter-2016) Monday 1916 with Countess Markievicz as his deputy. The Commandant paid the ultimate price for his part in the Irish Easter Rising and was shot in Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin on May 8th, 1916.
The night before his father’s execution, Joseph was taken to Kilmainham Gaol by his mother, then pregnant with their fifth child, to say goodbye. He was only two and a half years old and does not remember the occasion. Michael Mallin wrote to his little boy in the last letter to his family: “Joseph, my little man, be a priest if you can.”
Portrait of Michael Mallin by David Rooney from 1916 Portraits and Lives(Royal Irish Academy)
Fr Mallin often played the flute that his father used in the Workers’ Orchestra, in Liberty Hall, Dublin on the eve of the 1916 Rising. The flute and his father’s watch are now in the National Museum in Dublin.

The ultimate price
In a greeting on Fr Mallin’s 100th birthday, Senator Mark Daly wrote:
“As a nation we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the sacrifice made by many men and women through the generations.
“The price paid by your father in laying down his life, the price paid by your mother who lost her husband, the price paid by you and your siblings who grew up without their father is a debt un- repayable by any nation.
“The proclamation whose ideals they tried to fulfill contains concepts that are both timeless and universal. Those aims are as relevant to people struggling for rights all over the world today as much as they were for the people of Ireland in 1916.”

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/588-‘fīor-eireannach-gan-dabht

‘FĪOR EIREANNACH GAN DABHT’
Joe Mallin SJ, son of Commdt. Michael Mallin, who was executed for his role in the Easter Rising, died
peacefully and fittingly, on Easter Sunday morning, 1 April 2018, in Hong Kong. He was 104 years old.
He was born in 1914, just two years before his father was executed by firing squad, leaving a wife and five small children. One of Fr Joseph’s brothers, Seán, also became a Jesuit priest, and his sister Úna entered the Loreto order in 1925. She was sent to a convent in Spain, where she spent the rest of her life. Commdt. Mallin would have been proud of his children. In his last letter he wrote: : “Úna, my little one, be a nun; Joseph, my little man, be a priest if you can ...” Fr Joe joined the Jesuits, and in 1948 he went to Hong Kong and China (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/587-fr-joe-mallin-sj-a-life-of- service-2) as part of the Irish Jesuit mission to China. He spent over 70 years of his life there.
According to Fr Alfred Deignan, another Irish Jesuit missionary there, this mission was a new challenge to the Irish Province (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/543-90th-anniversary-of-the-arrival-of-the- jesuits-in-hong-kong), “and a new experience for the Jesuits who went there to work among poor people speaking a different language, the Cantonese dialect, with different food, customs and weather, often very hot and humid.” Fr Joe taught in a a Jesuit-run secondary school and was still holding teaching duties there when he returned to Ireland in 2006 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising in 2006.
Fr. Joseph, a freeman of Dublin, received an invitation from the Taoiseach’s Office to attend the 90th commemoration, as the child of Commandant Michael Mallin, who was chief-of-staff of the Irish Citizen’s Army and commander of the St. Stephen’s Green garrison during the Easter Rising. Commdt. Mallin was executed in the Stonebreakers’ Yard, Kilmainham Gaol, along with the other leaders of the revolt, and buried in Arbour Hill.
His visit at that time attracted a great deal of media attention. The late Gerald Barry interviewed him for the Easter Sunday edition of ‘This Week’ (RTE 1, 1.00pm), and he also spoke to Joe Little for RTE News and to a Sky News correspondent. “I will attend the parade on Easter Sunday, as the Government was good enough to invite me, but what I am most looking forward to is being able to go to the grave of my father in Arbour Hill, with the other families of those executed, for a ceremony in early May,” he said.
In a moving statement on his death, Fr Joe’s family in Ireland said, “Fr. Joseph Mallin SJ was the last direct living link with that period of our history... He served for more than 70 years as a missionary and educator in mainland China and Hong Kong... and like most teachers, he often talked with pride of the pupils educated at that college, many of whom went on to become leaders in their various walks of life.”
They also spoke of the kind of man Fr Joseph was to them, singling out his humility and spirituality. “He had a deeply held Christian faith and love for his fellow man and woman. His was a practical faith with a strong base in social justice and equality; not unlike his father who as a trade union activist fought for social justice and workers’ rights and who gave his young life for such a cause.”
They spoke also of his communication skills – “Fr. Joseph was... a prolific letter writer, just like his father, and he wrote letters to his family members on a regular basis and also to many other correspondents, never failing to respond to a letter when anyone wrote to him, be it a young school child from Donegal or an academic historian from the University, they would receive a thoughtful reply.” And of his love of the Irish language – “His command of the Irish language, written and oral, was unbelievable considering he was out of the country since 1948. He wrote to family members and others as Gaeilge – always, san sean-cló, in the old Irish script, and he was delighted to speak Irish to anybody from Ireland who visited him, Fīor Eireannach gan dabht. He had numerous friends in Ireland and around the world. He kept in contact with them all and whenever he was home in Ireland he would make sure to visit them. (Read their full statement below).
The funeral Mass for Fr Joe will take place at 10am on Saturday, 14 April, at St Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College Kowloon.The burial will take place after the Mass at St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley, Hong Kong. The Mass will be presided by the Bishop of Hong Kong.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Statement from the Mallin/Hickey Family on the death of Fr Joe
It is with great personal sadness that we learned from Hong Kong this Easter morning of the death of Fr. Joseph Mallin SJ, and just as we were about to commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the Easter Rising. We always knew this day was near but it came as a shock all the same to know that Fr. Joseph is gone to his heavenly reward. What a poignant day to complete his earthly life. And what a good and long life in the service of God it was and he lived it well. May he rest in peace. We will miss him. Solas na bhflaitheas dó agus ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.
Joseph Michael Mallin was born in September 1913. He was the youngest son of Agnes Hickey and Michael Mallin. His mother was the daughter of Joseph Hickey, a Fenian man who was deported from Ireland for 11 years for his part in the Fenian Rising of 1867, and the granddaughter of John Francis Nugent a United Irishman, a printer & publisher from Cookstown Co. Tyrone. Agnes was born in Liverpool in 1870 during the deportation. Joseph was just a young boy when his father, Michael Mallin, Commandant and Chief-of-Staff of the Irish Citizen Army was executed at Kilmainham Gaol in 1916.
Fr. Joseph Mallin SJ was the last direct living link with that period of our history. His siblings, brothers Séamus and Fr. Seán, sisters Sr. Agnes, a Nun with the Loreto Community in Seville, Spain, and Maura Phillips have all predeceased him.
He served for more than 70 years as a missionary and educator in mainland China and Hong Kong with the Jesuit community there. He was ordained in 1946 and two years later was sent to the Jesuit Mission in China. He worked tirelessly for the people there. He loved that community and they loved him and it is there where he will be laid to rest. With others he played a significant part in the ongoing development of education and progress of Wah Yan School and college in Hong Kong and Kowloon. He managed Wah Yan College for a number of years and, like most teachers, he often talked with pride of the pupils educated at that college, many of whom went on to become leaders in their various walks of life.
Fr. Joseph was a very spiritual and humble man. He had a deeply held Christian faith and love for his fellow man and woman. His was a practical faith with a strong base in social justice and equality; not unlike his father who as a trade union activist fought for social justice and workers’ rights and who gave his young life for such a cause.
Fr. Joseph lived to be 104. He was given more time than most on this earth and he used that time wisely. His parents, Michael and Agnes Mallin would be very proud of their son’s achievements and the way he lived his life.
Fr. Joseph was a great communicator all his life, a prolific letter writer, just like his father. He was an inveterate letter-writer and he wrote letters to his family members on a regular basis and also to many other correspondents, never failing to respond to a letter when anyone wrote to him, be it a young school child from Donegal or an academic historian from the University, they would receive a thoughtful reply. His command of the Irish language, written and oral, was unbelievable considering he was out of the country since 1948. He wrote to family members and others as Gaeilge – always, san sean-cló, in the old Irish script, and he was delighted to speak Irish to anybody from Ireland who visited him, Fīor Eireannach gan dabht. He had numerous friends in Ireland and around the world. He kept in contact with them all and whenever he was home in Ireland he would make sure to visit them.
Fr. Joseph Mallin SJ was proud to be honoured with the Freedom of the City of Dublin during the 1916 Centenary Commemorations. An honour presented for his service to education and his family’s connection to the Easter 1916 Rising and the struggle for Irish Independence.
One of his last official acts was his major historical contribution to the memory of his father, Commandant Michael Mallin. This historical document was published last year and it presents new insights and facts about the record of his father’s court martial. This document is now available in the archives of Kilmainham Gaol Museum and the National Library of Ireland. It was Fr. Joseph’s wish that historians would be cognisant of this work.

◆ 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 martyr for Irish Independance. He was born in 1913. His father was shot in 1916 for his part in the insurrection against the British, and so his father was considered a martyr.After his father’s death his family were cared for, he was sent to a special Irish Primary School and then to a Jesuit one.

He joined the Society in 1932, was Ordained in 1946 and came to Hong Kong in 1948, going to Guangzhou for language studies until he was forced to leave in 1949.

He was highly respected among Jesuits as a holy man of charity and practical work. The Jesuits in Hong Kong owe much to him in maming the buildings on Cheung Chau typhoon proof (Typhoon Mary had killd 30 people there in 1930)
He was in charge of building Wah Yan College Hong Kong 1954-1955.
He was also in charge of the School Chapel at Wah Yan Kowloon and the extension over the avenue in 1969. He was also responsible for the construction of the Adam Schall Residence at the The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
He spent four years in Macau, one as teacher and three as Proncipal, until he was recalled to Hong Kong to be Principal of the Pun U Wah Yan Primary School when the Society took over the management of that school. He later became Supervisor there.
He was sent back to Macau to work at the Jesuit school there, and was recalled to Hong Kong as Supervisor of the Primary School again, He knew the teachers there so swell and they all loved him. He was interested in people and kind.
According to Mr Wallace Yu, and alumnus of Wah Yan Hong Kong, he is keen to point out that Joe Mallin was “Headmaster” rather than “Principal” at Pun U, and that the Wah Yan was only added later in 1971 between his two periods at Pun U he was in Macau at Collegio Ricci.

Note from Séamus Doris Entry
He was good friends with Harry Naylor, Joe Mallin and Dan Fitzpatrick.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - St Enda’s Rathfarnham student

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

Martin, Thomas, 1907-1978, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/242
  • Person
  • 24 December 1907-20 August 1978

Born: 24 December 1907, Rugby, Warwickshire, England
Entered: 01 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1942, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 20 August 1978, Kilcroney, County Wicklow

Part of St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin at the time of death

Early education at CBS Synge Street

Chaplain in the Second World War.

by 1934 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1936 at Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He first arrived as a Scholastic for regency in Hong Kong in 1933. He was accompanied by Frs O'Meara and Ryan, and by two other Scholastics, John Foley and Dick Kennedy.
After a few months at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen he was sent teaching at Wah Yan College Hong Kong, and he spent three years there teaching English and Catechism, and also looking after sports and games. He had outstanding gifts and took many artistic photographs and made a long 16mm film of the work of the Jesuits in Hong Kong, and of Chinese life in general. This film became very useful for talks on Missions later on.

In 1936 he returned to Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park, being Ordained in 1939.
He then went to make Tertianship in 1941-1942, after which he was sent to Tullabeg, looking after the Ricci Mission Unit and giving Retreats.
1943-1946 He became a Military Chaplain
1946 He began his work as Procurator of the Irish Mission in Hong Kong, and he was first stationed at Milltown Park. In 1950 he had to enlarge his work to incorporate the new Mission to Rhodesia (Zambia).
1974 He retired from this work and handed over to Vincent Murphy.

As Procurator he not only helped returned missionaries or those heading to the Missions. He was an indefatigable fundraiser, and he kept i touch with many missionary organisations throughout Ireland. Organising many “Sales of Work” he also raised interest in the work of the Irish Jesuits overseas.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946
Frs. Guinane, Pelly and Perrott C. have been released from the Army. Fr. Guinane is now Minister at Mungret, Fr. Perrott is posted to Galway, and Fr. Pelly is awaiting travelling facilities to go to our Hong Kong Mission. Fr. Martin, a member also of the Mission, was to have been released from the Army on December 12th, but on the 11th be met with a serious accident in Belfast (see letter below). Fr. Provincial went to Belfast on Wednesday, January 9th, to visit him at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Fr. C. Murphy hopes to start on his homeward journey from Austria on January 14th and to be released from the Army by the end of January.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948
Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.
We moved in on Saturday morning, 14th August. Fr, Superior (Fr. McCarron), Fr. Minister (Fr. Kearns), and Bro. E. Foley constituted the occupying force, and Fr. T. Martin not only placed his van at our disposal, but gave generously of his time and labour for the heavy work of the first day.
A long procession of vans unloaded until noon, when the men broke off for their half-day, leaving a mountain of assorted hardware and soft goods to be unpacked and stowed. By nightfall we had a chapel installed, the kitchen working, dining-room in passable order, and beds set up, so we said litanies, Fr. Superior blessed the house and consecrated it to the Sacred Heart.
Next morning Fr. Superior said the first Mass ever offered in the building. It was the Feast of the Assumption and a Sunday, so we. placed the house and the work under the Patronage of Our Lady and paused to review the scene. Fr. Provincial came to lunch.
The building is soundly constructed from basement to roof, but needs considerable modification before it can be used as a temporary Retreat House. The permanent Retreat House has yet to be built on the existing stables about 130 yards from the principal structure, but. we hope to take about twenty exercitants as soon as builders, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and decorators have done their work.
Fr. C. Doyle is equipping and furnishing the domestic chapel as a memorial to Fr. Willie, who worked so tirelessly for the establishment of workingmen's retreats in Ireland. A mantelpiece of this room has been removed, and thermostatically controlled electric heating is being installed. Lighting is to be by means of fluorescent tubes of the latest type.
With all due respects to the expert gardeners of the Province, we modestly assert that our garden is superb. Fr. Provincial was so impressed by the work done there that he presented us with a Fordson 8 H.P. van to bring the surplus produce to market. Under the personal supervision of Fr. Superior, our two professional gardeners took nine first prizes and four seconds with fourteen exhibits at the Drimnagh show. Twelve of their potatoes filled a bucket, and were sold for one shilling each. The garden extends over 2 of our 17 acres and will, please God, provide abundant fruit and vegetables.
From the beginning we have been overwhelmed with kindness: by our houses and by individual Fathers. Fr. Provincial has been a fairy-godmother to us all the time. As well as the van, he has given us a radio to keep us in touch with the outside world. We have bene fitted by the wise advice of Frs. Doyle and Kenny in buying equipment and supplies, while both of them, together with Fr. Rector of Belvedere and Fr. Superior of Gardiner Street, have given and lent furniture for our temporary chapel Fr. Scantlebury sacrificed two fine mahogany bookcases, while Frs. Doherty and D. Dargan travelled by rail and bus so that we might have the use of the Pioneer car for three weeks. Milltown sent a roll-top desk for Fr, Superior's use. To all who helped both houses and individuals we offer our warmest thanks, and we include in this acknowledgement the many others whom we have not mentioned by name.
Our man-power problem was acute until the Theologians came to the rescue. Two servants were engaged consecutively, but called off without beginning work. An appeal to Fr. Smyth at Milltown brought us Messrs. Doris and Kelly for a week of gruelling labour in the house. They scrubbed and waxed and carpentered without respite until Saturday when Mr. Kelly had to leave us. Mr. Hornedo of the Toledo Province came to replace him, and Mr. Barry arrived for work in the grounds. Thanks to their zeal and skill, the refectory, library and several bedrooms were made ready and we welcomed our first guest on Monday, 30th August. Under the influence of the sea air, Fr. Quinlan is regaining his strength after his long and severe illness.
If anyone has old furniture, books, bedclothes, pictures, or, in fact anything which he considers superfluous, we should be very glad to hear of it, as we are faced with the task of organising accommodation for 60 men and are trying to keep the financial load as light as possible in these times of high cost. The maintenance of the house depends on alms and whatever the garden may bring. What may look like junk to an established house may be very useful to us, starting from bare essentials. Most of all, we want the prayers of the brethren for the success of the whole venture, which is judged to be a great act of trust in the Providence of God.
Our postal address is : Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 4 1978
Gardiner Street
After a period of illness and some disorientation, Fr Tom Martin died on Sunday morning, 20th August. We were saddened at this passing away of a warm-hearted member of our community and of a staunch colleague in our apostolate. He will be mourned by his many brothers in the society and by the many friends he made both through his work for the missions and more recently through his dedication to parish visitation. May he rest in peace.

Obituary :
Fr Thomas Martin (1907-1978)
Father Tom Martin died at St John of God’s, Kilcroney, on August 20th 1978. Although Father Tom had had some eye trouble for about two years before his death, the period during which he was very seriously incapacitated was, thank God, quite short. This was, more especially in his case, a great favour from God, for his life in the Society during about 53 years was full of profitable activity.
Born at Rugby in the Archdiocese of Birmingham on October 24th, 1907, Father Tom entered the Noviceship in Tullabeg on September 1st 1925. He spent three years of his teaching years (1930-1933) at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. He studied in Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest on July 31st 1939. On completion of his Tertianship at Rathfarnham in 1941, he spent a year on the Retreat Staff in Tullabeg, where he had studied his philosophy many years previously. He was a Chaplain in the British Army, 1942-1946, during which he spent some periods of duty in England, France, Belgium and Holland.
On his return from the Chaplaincy there began for him the chief work of his life. While living in St Francis Xavier’s, Gardiner Street, his daily work for twenty-six years was that of Mission Procurator (1946-1972); and he was Assistant Procurator for our Foreign Missions from 1972 to 1976: in all thirty years of tireless work from which our Foreign Missions in the Far East and in Zambia derived continual help. His kindly manner and understanding of people enabled him to organise great help for his missionary work from the many lay people: who could speak sincerely and perhaps more eloquently even than his fellow religious, of his quiet and attractive efficiency.
Even when serious eye trouble prevented the continuance of “office work”, as Mission Procurator, he was blessed by God by being able to continue active work in Gardiner Street as sub-minister and assistant in parish work until he had to go into hospital a comparatively short time before his death.
May he rest in peace.

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
Final Vows: 02 February 1980
Died: 13 November 1995, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong

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

by 1948 at Hong Kong - Regency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

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

Obituary

Fr Richard McCarthy (1921-1995)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

McGaley, Francis, 1922-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/683
  • Person
  • 11 February 1922-23 May 2000

Born: 11 February 1922, Dublin
Entered: 07 February 1940, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1954, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977
Died: 23 May 2000, St Paul's Hospital, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03/12/1966; HK to CHN : 1992

by 1949 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1966 at Hornchurch, Essex (ANG) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Francis McGaley, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Francis McGaley died in St. Paul’s Hospital on 23 May 2000 after a long illness. He was 78.

Father McGaley came to Hong Kong in 1948 and studied Cantonese in Guangzhou and Hong Kong. He taught in Wah Yan College, Robinson Road for one year before returning to Ireland in 1951 to study theology. In 1956 he returned as a priest to teach in the new Wah Yan on Queen’s Road East where with the exception of one year (1959-60) in Cheung Chau studying Cantonese and another (1956-66) in London University studying Modern History, he lived until his last illness. He taught History, English and Religion, was the Spiritual Father to the senior students and also had charge of the Christian Life Community and the Apostleship of Prayer. He was a good teacher and appreciated by the students as a person interested and devoted to them. As Spiritual Father he was much sought after by Catholics and others and many Wah Yan old boys kept in contact with him.

Father McGaley was well-known to the parishioners at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Wanchai, where for over 30 years he said Sunday Mass and heard confessions. His pastoral work among religious and lay people included Mass, talks and religious retreats. He led a very full life in the service of God.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 4 June 2000

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

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

McGovern, Patrick, 1920-1984, Jesuit priest

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

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1948 at Hong Kong - Regency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note from Paddy Joy Entry
According to Fr Patrick McGovern “Fr Joy was a great man..... his virtue was that although he was an intellectual heavyweight, he stepped so lightly through this morass of problems that no toe was trod on. On the contrary, wounds and hurts, both personal and canonical were bound up so deftly that the cured patients not only improved relations with one another, but in the process of being helped gave their universal and unstinting respect to the man who did the helping. He became the focus of a vast diversity, and from all sides won confidence, respect and affection”.

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 Manchester School as he had for Marxism, and he was more than sceptical of the method of Marxist social analysis. His great interest was the betterment of the living conditions of the little man which he envisaged as his role in government by way of promoting faith and justice. This he will be remembered for by all who knew him.
There are numerous other things that could be said about him but there is one last remark that cannot be omitted. The Society in Hong Kong has traditionally set great store by hospitality, and during the years that he was Minister in three different communities Paddy always went out of his way to make guests feel welcome and at home. Not only that, but whenever he had the time he would take visitors on a sight-seeing tour of the territory by car and enjoy the outing as much as his guests. May the good Lord give him eternal rest.
JJK

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 35 : Christmas 1984

Letter : Harold Naylor

Dear Editor,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours etc.,

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1985

Obituary

Father Paddy McGovern SJ

“The hard nut from Iona Road”, was how we first heard of him. For the lively nature of Fr Patrick Terence McGovern SJ had caused his fame to spread in the Irish Province even before he was ordained. The ripples spread fore and aft, up and down the age groups. Evidently Ireland's loss was Hong Kong's gain. The following tribute from Harold Naylor SJ draws heavily on comments made by the Hong Kong media.

“UNDERDOG CHAMPION MCGOVERN DIES” was the headline on the front page of SCM Post. On the following day, the day of burial, this daily of 300,000 circulation had an editorial : “GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT”

The coverage in radio and press in English and Chinese showed how much he was appreciated. He had always been good copy for newsmen, for his speeches in the Legislative Council, and comments on social affairs, were striking and 'of great human interest.

He died at the peak of his involvement in civic affairs. The sentence in the Sino-British Agreement, which was signed just a week before he died, had a phrase to the effect “workers will have freedom of association, and also the right to strike”. He had urged for that. However, in the two years that led to the step, he kept silent on the matter.

At his funeral in St Margaret's Church, Fr Foley had spoken of him as the mouth of the voiceless. He had consistently spoken out on the welfare of workers and the people of Hong Kong.

Sir Murray MacLehose had appointed him to the Legislative Council in 1976, for a three year period, The occasion was his hearing him make a provocative social comment on the radio. Some years previously, a former Governor had him taken off Radio Hong Kong, for his social comments during Morning Prayers.

John Swaine, also a civic leader, spoke of his injecting a sense of conscience into our discussions: so that we looked beyond the mere text of policies and legislation, to the human relaties underneath.

Fr. Michael Yeung, spokesman for the Diocese, spoke of him as fulfilling the responsibilities of a Catholic, being throughout his life dedicated to social service. ‘But there had never been an imbalance between his social work and missionary work’.

Enjoying the freedom of early manhood as a schoolboy in Belvedere, he had no wish to exchange them for the restraints of religious life. After a severe struggle, he listened to God's call and became a Jesuit in 1938,

Coming to Hongkong in 1974, he studied Cantonese in Canton. Instead of teaching in Wah Yan, Fr T Ryan sent him to the USA to study the labour movement and social questions. Returned to Hongkong as a priest in 1953, he taught English, History and Religion in Wah Yan College, Hongkong. After two years of priestly work in Kuala Lumpur, which he looked back as his ideal, he returned to Wah Yan College, but became director of Caritas Social Centre, Kennedy Town in 1965.

In 1967, he started the Industrial Relations Institute, and the night before he died, he opened its new premises.

Most of the new labour laws could be traced to his endeavours. The introduction of paid holidays for workers was one of his first acheivements.

He was always speaking and his deft and darting prose was well remembered, usually causing titters of laughter in the solemn debates of the legislative chambers.

In June 1984, he opposed the abolition of rent controls: ‘new speculators are nursing their burnt fingers in kid gloves, but they are a hardy lot and have proved that they can make a quick recovery at the sight of a possible cure of another quick buck’.

A man simple of tastes, he tended his indoor plants and sang simple tunes, He regaled his fellow civic leaders at their dinners with renditions of songs from My Fair Lady, with lyrics changed to reflect social themes.

‘We will miss him’ said the Governor. May his absence make more fully present his ability to like very deeply the people we work with and for, and heighten our social responsibility.

His life was based on a love and trust of God, and zeal for his glory. His training did not lead him to spend his time reading or writing, but rather to speak - and to speak splendidly - about what he saw possible for the welfare of the people of Hongkong. And that started with the common man, the worker and his family. And he did it splendidly, and died without a single enemy,

Harry Naylor SJ

McIntyre, Thomas, 1926-2016, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/837
  • Person
  • 06 February 1926-04 August 2016

Born: 06 February 1926, Knocksaxon, Balla, County Mayo
Entered: 08 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1959, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1966, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 04 August 2016, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966

Son of James McIntyre ad Ellen Clarke.

by 1954 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1962 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death Notice
Father Thomas McIntyre SJ died peacefully on 4 August 2016 at Ricci Hall, Hong Kong, at 2:30pm. Born in Knocksaxon, Balla, Country Mayo, Ireland, on 6 February 1926, Father McIntyre entered the Society Jesus at Emo Park, Portlaoise, Laoise, on 7 September 1948. He was ordained to the priesthood on the feast of St. Ignatius, 31 July 1959, in Milltown Park, Dublin, and professed his final Vows on 2 February 1966 at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. A requiem Mass was celebrated at Wah Yan College in Wan Chai on 13 August, followed by burial at Happy Valley Cemetery. May he rest in peace. Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 21 August 2016

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He entered the Society in 1948 and came to Hong Kong as a Regent in 1955, where he learned Cantonese in Cheung Chau.
He studied Theology at Milltown Park and was Ordained there in 1959.
He returned to Hong Kong in 1962 and was teaching at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. After that he taught Collegio Rici in Macau for 13 years, during which time he spent two years in Germany studying Catechetics. He eventually returned to Hong Kong and spent 6 years at Xavier House giving directed Retreats. He then moved to do the same work at Ricci Hall.
He is described as a careful and accurate man, keen on details and scrupulous about facts. He was very keen on social justice - inspired by “Rerum Novarum”, and worked hard for social change.

McLoughlin, Michael, 1922-2002, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/723
  • Person
  • 08 December 1922-07 December 2002

Born: 08 December 1922, Portrush, County Antrim
Entered: 07 September 1940, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1954, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1958, Holy SpiritSeminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 07 December 2002, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN

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

by 1949 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1966 at Bellarmine, Baguio City Philippines (PHI) teaching

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Michael McLoughlin, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Michael McLoughlin, SJ, passed away peacefully on 7 December 2002. It was the eve of his 80th birthday when the Lord came unexpectedly like a thief (2 Pet. 3:10) to call him to himself.

In 1984 he was completing his philosophical studies in Ireland when the Jesuit Provincial assigned him to Hong Kong. This was to be a life commitment so two years were spent in learning Cantonese, the first year in Guangzhou and the second in Hong Kong. Another year was spent teaching in Wah Yan College, then on Robinson Road.

By the autumn of 1951, he was back again in Ireland, once more in the students’ benches studying theology in preparation for his ordination to the priesthood.

Five years passed (1956) before he headed for Hong Kong once again. This time he was given a permanent assignment, to teach theology in the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. Except for a two year absence in Rome (1958-1960), where he obtained a doctorate in dogmatic theology, he taught theology in this part of the world for over 30 years.

He remained a professor of theology in the Regional Seminary until it became the “Holy Spirit Seminary” in 1964. For the next two years he carried on the same work in Baguio City, Philippines. In 1966, he returned to Hong Kong to continue his work in the Holy Spirit Seminary until his retirement in 1989.

Although he spent the greater part of his life wrestling with abstract theological concepts, he did manage to find time to carry out the duties attached to several posts, including that of being rector of Wah Yan Jesuit community (1980-1986).

In 1994 he moved from Wah Yan College to Ricci Hall; it was from there that the Lord called him home.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 22 December 2002

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 117 : Special Issue November 2003

Obituary

Fr Michael (Hal) McLoughlin (1922-2002) : China Province

Born Newry, Co. Armagh, Dec. 8 1922;
Entered Emo Sept 7, 1940;
Joined the Hong Kong Mission, 1948
Ordained Milltown Park, July 29, 1954;
Professed 4 vows, Feb 3, 1958;
Died Hong Kong, Dec. 7 2002.

Frank Doyle writes:

Michael McLoughlin passed away peacefully on 7th December 2002. It was the eve of his 80th birthday when the Lord came “like a thief“ (2 Pet. 3:10) to call him to Himself.
He was completing his philosophical studies in Tullabeg in 1948 when the Jesuit Provincial assigned him to Hong Kong. This was to be a life commitment. As was normal in those days, his first two years of regency were spent learning Cantonese. For the first year he was in Canton (now Guangzhou), where the Irish Jesuits were working before the Communists took over in 1949. Hal (rhymes with “Hall”) - as he was always known - did his second year of language in Hongkong. His third year of regency was spent teaching in Wah Yan College, at that time on Robinson Road.

By the Autumn of 1951, he was back again in Ireland, once more in the students' benches studying theology in preparation for his ordination to the priesthood. He was ordained in 1954 and, following Tertianship in Rathfarnham, returned to Hongkong.

He was assigned to teach theology in the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. From the beginning it had been staffed by the Irish Jesuits, although there were also non-Irish Jesuits on the faculty. Except for a two year absence in Rome (1958-60), where he obtained a doctorate in dogmatic theology, Hal taught theology in that part of the world for over 30 years.

He remained professor of theology in the Regional Seminary until 1964. In that year, with the supply of seminarians from the Chinese mainland cut off, the seminary was handed over by the Jesuits to the Hongkong Diocese which converted it to a diocesan seminary.

For the next two years Hal, together with Jimmy Kelly who had also been in the Regional Seminary, taught theology at Bellarmine College in Baguio City in the northern Philippines. Bellarmine College was in fact the continuation of the Jesuit theologate in Zikawei, Shanghai, which, after the Communist takeover, had found temporary accommodation in the villa house of the Philippine Province. The scholastics studying there were all destined to work in the Far East Province. Frank Doyle, Harry Naylor and Matty Barrett all did their theology there. (The Filipino scholastics at that time were going to Woodstock for their theology.) Following his two years in Baguio, Hal returned to Hongkong to teach in the Holy Spirit Seminary, as the former Regional Seminary was now known. He finally retired in 1989.

Although he spent the greater part of his life wrestling with abstract theological concepts he did manage to find time to carry out the duties attached to several posts, including that of being rector of the Wah Yan Hong Kong Jesuit Community (1980-86). In 1994 he moved from Wah Yan College to Ricci Hall, which is a residential hostel for university students. Here he led a very reclusive life. Some of his closest friends in the Society had gone before him. He was diagnosed with cancer and had been responding well to treatment, even being able to drive his car again. But, quite unexpectedly, he died one night in his sleep. May he rest in peace.

Morahan, Michael J, 1914-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/527
  • Person
  • 18 November 1914-03 November 1992

Born: 18 November 1914, Shantalla, Galway City, County Galway
Entered: 17 September 1932, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 19 March 1946, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeed, Hong Kong
Died 03 November 1992, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, County Mayo

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

by 1975 at Palmer City AK, USA (ORE) working
by 1988 at Greenlawn, Long Island NY, USA (NEB) working
by 1979 at Monterey Park CA, USA (CAL) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-jesuits-name-bugs/

JESUITICA: The flies of Ireland
Only one Irish Provincial has had a genus of flies called after him. In 1937 Fr Larry Kieran welcomed Fr Hermann Schmitz, a German Jesuit, to Ireland, and he stayed here for about four years, teaching in Tullabeg and doing prodigious research on Irish Phoridae, or flies. He increased the known list of Irish Phoridae by more than 100 species, and immortalised Fr Larry by calling a genus after him: Kierania grata. Frs Leo Morahan and Paddy O’Kelly were similarly honoured, Leo with a genus: Morahanian pellinta, and Paddy with a species, Okellyi. Hermann served Irish entomologists by scientifically rearranging and updating the specimens of Phoridae in our National Museum. He died in Germany exactly fifty years ago.

◆ 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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 74 : Autumn 1993 & Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Michael Morahan (1914-1992)

18th Nov. 1914; Born, Shantalla, Galway.
Early education: Patrician Brothers and St. Mary's College, Galway,
17th Sept. 1932: Entered the Society at Emo
1934 - 1937: Rathfarnham Castle, studied Arts at UCD
1937 - 1940: Tullabeg - studied Philosophy
1940 - 1944: Milltown Park - Theology
29th July 1943: Ordained at Milltown Park
1944 - 1945: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1945 - 1946: St. Ignatius, Galway, Sodality work
1946 - 1961: Hong Kong
1946 - 1947 : Regional Seminary, teaching Scripture
1947 - 1948 : Studying Chinese
1948 - 1950 : Social Work
1950 - 1951 ; Regional Seminary, Minister
1951 - 1957: Prefect/Spiritual guide, Wah Yan College
1957 - 1961 : Social Service Officer, Hong Kong Police
1961 - 1973: College of Industrial Relations - Chaplain at Kevin St. Technical College.
1973 - 1975: Alaska - Parish work
1975 - 1978: New York - St. Francis of Assisi Church
1978 - 1992: Parish work at Monterey Park, California. Also part-time Chaplain at Knock,
Died in Knock 3rd Nov. 1992:

After 60 years in the Society of Jesus, Fr. Michael Morahan died suddenly on November 3rd, 1992. The end came unexpectedly in his beloved Knock, where he collapsed in mid-moming, and after being brought to Castlebar hospital, he died from a burst aortic aneurysm at 5.30 that afternoon. He was attended at the end by his close friend Fr. Dave Fitzgibbon from Knock who related that his last few words were to ask for his Jesuit crucifix which he held in his hands as he died. My he rest in peace.

Fr. Michael was bom near Barna pier on 18th November 1914 and he related how as a youngster he set out one evening on the sea in a washtub to row to America. Luckily he was rescued at that stage and he did not reach his goal until much later. The family soon moved to Shantalla, Galway, and Michael attended school at the Patrician Brothers primary school and later at St Mary's College secondary school. During this time, he served Mass at St. Ignatius' church, and in 1932 he joined the Jesuits at Emo, Co. Laois.

Michael studied Arts at UCD, Philosophy at Tullabeg and then would normally have gone to regency in one of the schools. However, it was 1940 and his wish to go to Hong Kong could not be granted because of the war. He went straight to Theology at Milltown Park where he was ordained in July 1943. After his tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle, he was sent to Galway in 1945 to do sodality work. In 1946 he finally arrived in Hong Kong aboard an RAF plane and went to the regional seminary where he taught scripture for a year.

The years in the seminary awoke in Michael a great desire to foster vocations and throughout his life he asked and encouraged many young men to join the society and the secular priesthood. He left many letters and cards from priests across the world who were grateful to him for this encouragement, and so his own world-wide mission is still being carried on.

In 1947, Michael took a full year to study Cantonese which he learned well, and this was to be extremely important in his future work. He did a lot of social work in the fishing village of Aberdeen in Hong Kong where a huge number of people lived on the water. He was involved in organising the people as a community, getting new fire and safety regulations into practice on the boats, starting the first primary school for the children, saving the local cemetery from being moved to the mainland, getting the first football field for the community, and I'm sure many other occurrences. He became known as the “King” or the “Mayor” of Aberdeen and was very warmly welcomed back much later even when he had been gone from Hong Kong for 20 years.

Michael's father had been an RIC sergeant, and it was probably arising from this that Michael's great interest in the police and their work arose. In Hong Kong, the rank and file police spoke little English which was the language of the officers. As the seminary was near to Michael, he began to visit and gradually to work with the rank and file police. These men frequently lived in atrocious conditions and there was great fear that many would be open to bribes and gifts from the communists in exchange for spying and working for them. Michael worked hard for them, even to the extent of taking out a trader's license, which he gave to a police widow when she was unable to get one for herself. Later, in 1957, at the request of the Police Commissioner, Michael was appointed Social Service Officer for the Hong Kong Police. He was so well remembered for his great work and his personality that a FAX arrived after his death bearing condolences from the present Commissioner of Police in Hong Kong.

Michael also linked up with the police when he was in New York from 1975-78, and he was a chaplain to the Los Angeles police during the last few years, giving a number of retreats and days of recollection.

In Hong Kong, Michael also served as minister in the Regional Seminary and as prefect and spiritual guide in Wah Yan College in Kowloon. Here he produced a number of plays and Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, and organised teacher training seminars for a number of years. He left many friends in Hong Kong and from all accounts had a very fruitful ministry indeed.

Due to a very bad ulcer on his ankle which refused to heal and which he had until he died, Michael came back to Ireland in 1961 and for twelve years worked as chaplain in Kevin Street College of Technology. During this time, he lived at the College of Industrial Relations, and he used to claim that he kept his notes in Chinese so that they would be absolutely confidential! He also gave many retreats and tridua around Ireland.

In 1973, the wanderlust came again and he headed off to Alaska to serve as pastor for two years in the parish of Tanana at the junction of the Tanana and Yukon rivers. He used to speak of the tremendous cold (minus 60 Celsius) in the winter and the difficulty of travelling to his other church which was a hundred miles away. He appeared on skis, on motor-sleds, on dog-sleds, and in aeroplanes. He gathered the children and adults who had not been confirmed or received their First Holy Communion and had them write to invite the bishop to perform the ceremonies.

In the twenty-four hour darkness of winter, he wrote of the dan ger of cabin-fever, and with a group of others, he founded a Shakespearian Society where they read and discussed a play each week. Again in Alaska he left many friends and invites to return.

From Alaska, he moved to a parish in New York for three years and in 1978 he began his twofold apostolate in Los Angeles and Knock. Each January, he flew to Los Angeles (sometimes with a month in England or New York) to the parish of St Thomas Aquinas where he worked in the church and particularly with the Chinese community. He also taught religion in grade school and took great joy in the children and the letters and prayers they would write for him. He returned to Ireland each July and would work at the Shrine in Knock from August to December 8th.

Michael was a very cheerful and outgoing man who loved meet ing people. He made friends in his work and on his travels, on buses and planes, in trains and by giving lifts in his car. He often wrote in thanksgiving for the tremendous reception he used to get from his many friends. And he kept contact with a great number of them, particularly with a number of priests and seminarians. He had friends in many places particularly on Mweenish Island near Cama in Connemara. He kept up his Irish and his Cantonese andyou never knew which language or poem he would come out with next. For he loved poetry and the natural beauty of the world. His photographs and his letters were full of the wonder of the marvel lous sights he had seen throughout the world and he chuckled when he told of having a genus of insect named after him. A Jesuit biologist, Fr. H. Schmitz S.J. from Germany discovered this minute bug, which looks like a household flea and is only a few millimetres long, in the mountains of the Belgian Congo and named it “to honour my earlier assistant Fr. M. Morahan of Hong Kong”. The genus is of the sub-family Metopininae and is called “Morahania palliata”

And for all his travel and his work in the latter part of his life which was outside the traditional institutions of the Society he was very committed to his Jesuit vocation and his Jesuit brothers. He was very conscious of being sent on his mission by the provincial and loved to retum periodically to his Jesuit community. An operation last January and the death in February of his last brother John knocked a lot out of him, but still he delighted in his work and was looking forward to returning once more to Los Angeles in 1993.

But he was proudest of all of the work going on in Knock and of the great friendship and welcome he received there from the cler gy. He felt the work was hard but tremendously worthwhile and I think that if he was to choose where he would die it would proba bly have been in Knock. He will be missed a lot by the people there and by his family and community in Galway. But people will mourn for him throughout the world recognising in him a man of goodness and a man of God..

Ár Dheis De go raibh a anam!

MC

Murphy, Geoffrey C, 1922-1985, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1949 at Hong Kong - Regency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Irish Province News 61st Year No 1 1986

Obituary

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

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

An appreciation from Hong Kong:

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1986

Obituary

Father Geoffrey Murphy SJ (1940)

Some 30 Jesuits attended the removal of Fr Geoff's remains from the hospital to St Francis Xavier's church, Gardiner St., on the Monday evening; and 54 concelebrated the Requiem the following morning, 15th. Fr Paul Andrews (whose sister is married to a brother of Geoff) was the principal celebrant and gave the homily. Among the concelebrants were the Irish provincial and the novice-master, and Frs John Wood and Herbert Dargan, and Missions procurator Fr Vincent Murphy. At the suggestion of the Provincial, the Irish novices played a prominent role in the ceremony, being responsible for the music and carrying the coffin from the church. Fr Geoffrey was laid to rest in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery.

In “his own” church of St. Francis Xavier in Petaling Jaya, the Mass of the Resurrection for him was marked, in the words of a participant, by “a white display broad in front of the main altar, with one large white flower arrangement at the side. On this board were photos of Fr Murphy taken more recently and a few of the early Petaling Jaya days with SJ confreres of the 60s. In the centre was a huge red heart, fringed with lace, on which was written ‘He is risen indeed, Alleluia’, the theme of the Mass. So, when there was a complete power failure from the 1st Reading until all the ceremony was completed, a very romantic, quiet, peaceful atmosphere prevailed. Fr Paul Tan says the Chinese would have taken it as a sure sign his spirit was with us. All here are still a little shocked by the sudden death...” Another sister writing in condolence from Penang said: “There is grief and shock all over Penang, and his requiem at the Cathedral last Saturday evening was crowded, as well it might be. One lady said to me, ‘I never saw him but I heard how good he was and I felt I should come’.”

In the course of his homily at the funeral Mass Fr Paul Andrews said: “What he did (in the Far East) has become especially clear in the last few days from the chorus of shock and grief in the messages that have come from Malaysia, from friends, students, parishioners, sisters, brothers, fellow Jesuits, and bishops. We get a sense of what Geoffrey meant for them, a man of strength and stability and wisdom, someone you could lean and rely on, a father. Over these 29 years he has been the effective founder of the Jesuit mission in Malaysia, and we can feel with their bereavement and shock, that someone who meant so much to them should have died so suddenly, and so far away .... In his last days he talked ... above all of his novices. Since he started the noviceship he had already seen 8 Malaysians through their first vows as Jesuits, and our special sympathies go out to the three novices whom he left last month, planning to return to them in late November. St Ignatius .... urged us to die well. We can only guess what was in Geoffrey's mind when he started for home last month in a sick state. Did he hanker for the proverbial blessing of ‘bas in Eireann’? - to die on his own soil, close to his own large family of sisters and brothers and cousins and relations ... He always managed things well, did complicated jobs unobtrusively and efficiently; and it took some planning and effort to route his journey so that he could greet his two brothers and their families in Canada, and his sister Mary with her family in England. When he landed in Dublin, clearly exhausted and ill, he said happily: ‘I made it’ ... He had come half way. around the world to say his goodbyes. That done, he did not hang on to life but died quickly, his eyes still on the future and the wider world.”

Naylor, Harold, 1931-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/821
  • Person
  • 03 November 1931-04 October 2018

Born: 03 November 1931, Damascus, Syria
Entered: 07 September 1951, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 15 May 1965, Saint Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Final Vows: 03 January 1971, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 04 October 2018, Kwong Wah Hospital, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 January 1971; HK to CHN : 1992

by 1961 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language
by 1962 at Bellarmine, Baguio City Philippines (ExOr) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
The four members of the Diocesan Ecumenical Commission; Theresa Kung, Father Stephen Tam, Sister Laura Watt and myself, had the opportunity to make a follow up visit to the Studium Biblicum run by the Hong Kong Bible Society on June 12. We had already been able to look at the books of bible stories, which are presented in beautifully printed and strikingly attractive cartoons, but on this occasion, the topic under discussion revolved around what type of cooperation the Studium Biblicum could offer to the commission in terms of enhancing ecumenical relations in the diocese.

Father Placid Wong Kwok-wah spoke of the decades it took the staff at the Studium Biblicum to translate the scriptures into Chinese and the endless hours that went into producing the first, one-volume Catholic Chinese Bible, which was published in 1968. On the wall of the conference room, portraits of seven Franciscans, who had laboured over the production of that historic publication and now have been called to their eternal reward, are hung. Father Placid is the last of the team still alive.

However, he noted that a translation of the bible is never finished and requires constant updates, as in the past decades, there have been changes in both the written and spoken language.

“People just write and speak differently from what they did 50 years ago,” he told the visiting ecumenical commission. He explained the ins and outs of the extensive revision necessary to update the four gospels, as well as the Old Testament, which he described as long and meticulous work, probably taking at least 10 years.

Periodic checking is also necessary and suggested updates are sent to Catholic scholars in Taiwan and more recently in southern China for comment. Material is also sent to the Orthodox authorities for double checking on the accuracy in the translation.

However, even with limited resources in both personnel and computing, efforts still continue to make the Chinese translations faithful to the original texts, as well as comprehensible and acceptable to modern readers. Father Wong also had high praise for the quality of downloading of texts onto MP3, which he described as being common today and acceptable.

For me it was a worthwhile day out, as the last time I was there was to visit Father Theobald Deiderick in 1979!
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 27 June 2010

Wah Yan mourns the death of teacher par excellence

A Jesuit educator par excellence and one of the most endearing figures of the Jesuit Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Father Harold Cosmatos Naylor passed away on October. 4. As a dedicated educator, he has inspired generations of students at the Wah Yan College with his innovative teaching methods.

According to Father Stephen Chow Sau-yan, head of the Chinese Province of the Society of Jesus in Hong Kong, Father Naylor will be remembered for his commitment to ecological education and Christian Ecumenism. “His creative pedagogy was way ahead of his time. Father Naylor was very committed to a simple lifestyle, caring for the poor, protecting the environment, and fostering Christian ecumenical dialogue,” said Father Chow.

Father Naylor was born in Damascus, Syria on 3 November 1931 and was baptised in the Anglican Church in Jerusalem. After the elementary education in Jerusalem his parents moved to Dublin in 1942. After becoming a Catholic at the age of 18, in 1951 he entered the Society of Jesus in Ireland.

Father Naylor came to Hong Kong in 1960 and studied Cantonese while staying in Cheung Chau for two years. He then moved to the Philippines for his Theology studies at Bellarmine College, Baguio and returned to Hong Kong in 1965 and was ordained a priest on May 15 at St. Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College by Bishop Laurence Bianchi, late Bishop of Hong Kong.

Father Naylor had his illustrious career as an educator and a champion of green movement at the Wah Yan College from 1967 to 2016. In the meantime, in 1968, he co-founded Hong Kong’s first conservation group, together with Lindsay Ride, former vice chancellor the University of Hong Kong, and vice-president of Chung Chi College Robert Rayne. During this period, he also served as a promoter and member of Diocesan Ecumenical Commission, and a chaplain at Kwong Wah Hospital.

His Autobiography, No Regrets ends with these words:

What then could be my last word? It is of gratitude to the students whom I have taught, thanks to the teachers who have put up with me, and indebtedness to Hong Kong, which has given me such a wonderful life.

I have lived in the same room in Wah Yan College for forty years. My fellow Jesuits have been supportive and friendly. I have enjoyed living in the greenery and good air in ten acres of King’s Park. No wonder I have no regrets, but only happiness and joy in my heart.

Then I have to add all those I have known as a priest outside the school, and they are in the hundreds. And all this happens in my adopted home of Hong Kong, so thanks to Hong Kong and all its people who have harboured me and made my life so happy.

A Funeral Mass for Father Naylor was celebrated on October 11 by Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-Cheung, Bishop of Hong Kong at St. Ignatius Chapel, where Father Naylor was ordained a priest 53 years ago.

He had donated his remains to Hong Kong University (HKU) for medical studies. HKU received his remains on October 12.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 14 October 2018

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/harold-naylor-sj-a-wonderful-life-in-hong-kong/

Harold Naylor SJ: A “wonderful life” in Hong Kong
Fr Harold Naylor SJ died peacefully in Hong Kong on 4 October, 2018 at the age of 87. He is the third Irish Jesuit missionary to have passed away this year. His funeral takes place at Saint Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College secondary school in Hong Kong on 11 October, 2018.

Background
Fr Naylor was not born in Ireland; it was his adopted homeland and, he said, “the only place I ever felt welcome and wanted”. He spent the first 19 years of his life in the Middle East, in cities including Damascus, Cairo, and Jerusalem, and attended boarding school in Beirut. He felt out of place in these places, because of his unusual heritage. His mother was from a Greek family who lived in Egypt and his father was an Englishman who arrived in the country as a dispatch rider for the army at the start of World War I. His parents married in 1929. They lived a happy life in the Middle East, but things changed in 1948 when his father died. His mother became engaged to an Irish man who was in the Palestinian police, and when the Jewish state of Israel came into being he brought the family to his homeland, Ireland.

Joining the Society of Jesus
Fr Naylor attended Trinity College Dublin as a medical student but he knew that he wanted a spiritual life, and left after a year. In January 1950 he knocked at the door of the Jesuit Superior at St Francis Xavier’s Church, Dublin and this interview was the first step to join the Jesuits. He was accepted and so began his journey with the Society of Jesus. The Irish Jesuits planned to send many men to develop Jesuit service in what was then known as Northern Rhodesia – Zambia – to expand missionary work. Fr Naylor was excited to become a missionary, but felt that his lifelong delicate constitution prevented him being of best service in the harsh environment of Africa. He was asked to become a missionary to China, and the thought of following Jesuits Francis Xavier and Matteo Ricci gave him great joy.
In an interview with Maurice O’Keeffe from Irish Life and Lore, Fr Naylor stated: “So, after a year in college my mother took me away”. “I can see where your heart is. Go ahead,” she said. “And I became a Jesuit... It took me two years to make the decision”. He also spoke about his early days in the Society: “When I joined the Jesuits, I didn’t feel Irish. I’m an Englishman... I was the only foreigner in the Jesuit house.” He commented that many of the Jesuits were pro-nationalist who only spoke in Irish. However, when he got the call later to go to Hong Kong, he was told it was better to be English.

Wah Yan College, Kowloon
He first travelled to Hong Kong in 1960 to begin his mission, and spent an interim four years (1962 – 1967) in the Philippines to better prepare him for his work in China. He recalls these years as among the happiest of his life. He took a post in the Jesuit-run Wah Yan College in Kowloon in 1967, and remained there for more than forty years. Fr Naylor was a year-three English and Biology teacher, but his commitment to the students of the college was in more than just teaching.
In 1968 he took over from fellow Irish Jesuit Fr Joseph Mallin SJ (who died earlier this year) as the Director of the Wah Yan Poor Boys’ Club and was delighted to have the opportunity to help young boys who had no opportunity of schooling. The club members were living in huts or on rooftops. Some of them were apprentices. He attributed the idea behind the club as coming from Belvedere College, where he had studied in Dublin. There was a Newsboys Club for young boys who sold newspapers and were not able to go to school. The club became, after several years, the Wah Yan Childrens’ Club and Fr Naylor remained as Director from 1968 to 1994.
Speaking with The Shield about teaching ethics at Wah Yan College, Fr Naylor noted: “A teacher is to help a person to grow and develop”. It’s not only biological growth. It’s also emotional growth; it’s intellectual growth; it’s imagination growth; and it’s moral growth.
In the South China Morning Post, Civic Party chairman Alan Leong Kah-kit, who studied at Wah Yan College from 1971 to 1978, said Father Naylor was an unconventional teacher who conducted a lot of field trips even in the 1970s. “He was well liked by his students and I am sure he will be remembered as an enlightening mentor to many,” Leong said. The long list of Naylor’s pupils at the college includes Leong, lawmaker James To Kun-sun, Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu and Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung.

Conservancy and ecology
In 1968 Fr Naylor received a letter from Chung Chi College, Hong Kong inviting him to join its prestigious Conservancy Association. Botany and ecology were lifelong interests of his and after joining the association he began the Secondary School Conservancy Clubs and studied Ecology at the University of Hong Kong.
His involvement in ecology attracted the attention of the South China Morning Post and he wrote a column on environmental matters for over two years. Environmental news was a hot topic in the 1970s, and Fr Naylor went on to become a delegate representing Hong Kong at the United Nations Conference on The Human Environment, in Stockholm, June 1972. He had a commitment to what is now known as sustainable living and enjoyed living a simple life. Wah Yan College Kowloon is an ideal of sustainable living and is unusual in having vast areas of greenery in low-density building, where parts of Hong Kong have the highest residential population per square kilometre in the world.
Reflection on his life
In a 2007 interview, Fr Naylor reflected on his decades in Hong Kong and concluded that his life there had been a happy and fulfilling one.
“What then could be my last word? It is of gratitude to the students whom I have taught, thanks to the teachers who have put up with me, and indebtedness to Hong Kong, which has given me such a wonderful life. I have lived in the same room in Wah Yan College for forty years. My fellow Jesuits have been supportive and friendly. I have enjoyed living in the greenery and good air in ten acres of King’s Park. No wonder I have no regrets, but only happiness and joy in my heart. Then I have to add all those I have known as a priest outside the school, and they are in the hundreds. And all this happens in my adopted home of Hong Kong, so thanks to Hong Kong and all its people who have harboured me and made my life so happy.”

◆ 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 at school with Ciarán Kane in Belvedere College Dublin, but joined the Society two years after him. He joined after four years of deliberation.

After First Vows he was sent to University College Dublin where he graduated BSc in Natural History, Geology, Botany and Zoology, intending that this would be helpful in understanding the relationship between Christianity and Science.
After this he was sent to study Philosophy for three years, and he was encouraged to consider the issues of handing the faith to non-believers.
He was sent to teach Science at Mungret College SJ Limerick for Regency.
1960 In August he was in Hong Kong and spent two years at Cheung Chau with a private tutor learning Cantonese.
1962-1966 He was in the Philippines at Bellarmine College, Baguio, along with 65 other Jesuits destined for work in China. The College was mandarin speaking, and so he had chosen to go there deliberately with mainland China in mind. By 1964 there were 15 Jesuits who had learned Vietnamese and knew no Chinese, and the young Chinese were gravitating towards Taiwan
1966-1967 He made Tertianship in Dublin
1967 He was back in Hong Kong teaching at Wah Yan College Kowloon, and encouraged to also work with Alumni. He engaged in ecumenical work and was active in the environmental movement. he also spent the weekends on priestly ministries.
1981 He was offered a sabbatical at the age of 50, but he declined it as he was convinced of the value of teaching and wanted to keep his work commitments.
1991 He retired from the salary scale, but he opted to keep teaching, seeing it as the vehicle for his Jesuit life.

Note from Séamus Doris Entry
He was good friends with Harry Naylor, Joe Mallin and Dan Fitzpatrick.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1966

Our Past

Father Harry Naylor SJ

Fr Harry Naylor SJ was ordained by the Bishop of Hong Kong in the chapel of Wah Yan, Kowloon, on 15th May, 1965. He said his first Mass in the chapel of the Hong Kong College.

Fr Naylor was born in Damascus in 1931, of a Greek mother and an Irish father, He finished his secondary education in Dublin, to which his family returned after the war. He then studied medicine, but after two years entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1951. He did a science degree in University College, Dublin, and after a year's teaching in Mungret went to Hong Kong in 1960.
Greetings and all best wishes to Fr Harry from his friends at Mungret.

O'Brien, Henry, 1907-1976, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/312
  • Person
  • 23 May 1907-07 March 1976

Born: 23 May 1907, Rathmines, Dublin
Entered: 20 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 08 September 1942, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 07 March 1976, St Francis Xavier Church, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Brother of John (Jack) O'Brien - LEFT 18 June 1935

by 1929 at Eegenhoven, Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1932 fifth wave Hong Kong Missioners - Regency
by 1939 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1960 at St Francis Xavier, Phoenix AZ (CAL) working

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Harry O’Brien, S.J.
R.I.P.

Prefect of Studies at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, before and after World War II and at St. Louis Gonzaga, Macau, during the war, died at Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A., on 7 March 1976, aged 68.

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Leeson St :
We were very glad to have several members of the Hong Kong mission with us for some time: Frs. P. Joy, T. Fitzgerald, and H. O'Brien, while Fr. George Byrne has joined us as one of the community.

Irish Province News 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 51st Year No 3 1976

Obituary :

Fr Harry O’Brien (1924-1976)

Harry O’Brien had the misfortune of spending most of his life too far away from those who knew him best. He went to Hong Kong as a scholastic, was not very successful at learning Chinese, but held posts which for a scholastic of those days were of high importance. He was prefect of studies, gamesmaster, editor of a monthly called The Rock, and in whatever spare time he had he gave instruction. Many of those he instructed are today well known Catholics in Hong Kong.
This work was really too much for him, and going back to Ireland for theology, he acknowledged that he was very tired. He was ordained in Dublin, and did his tertianship in St Beuno’s in north Wales. Even at that time, he was in pain from the incipient arthritis which was later to cripple him - and open the door to a new life in a new land,
After tertianship, Harry returned to Hong Kong, and was again appointed prefect of studies at our big day-school in Hong Kong, Wah Yan College. (This is the name given by the founder of the school, a Catholic layman, who chose part of the name of his native village and part of his own Chinese name for the school, which he later handed over to Ours.) This time Harry worked for about three years in Wah Yan.
Then came the Pacific war and the Japanese attack on Hong Kong, 8th December, 1941. During the fortnight's siege of the colony, the Jesuits who were then in Hong Kong helped to find food and shelter for the thousands of homeless who crossed from the mainland of Kowloon at the approach of the Japanese army. This was dangerous work, because the island of Hong Kong was shelled from about eight in the morning until light failed. The nights were mostly quiet. On one occasion Harry had to bring families from the dangerous houses at sea-level facing the harbour and the Japanese guns, to the quieter, safer heights of the Peak, a fashionable district about 1800 feet above the sea, and at the time considered a “good” address. He risked his life, because the road to the Peak was a carpet of bursting shells. When the British surrendered, on Christmas day, 1941, English, Americans, and those whom the Japanese called “enemy aliens” were imprisoned until the end of the war.
The city emptied. Chinese returned to their villages, Portuguese, Indians, Irish and a few Chinese took refuge in Macau, the small Portuguese enclave on the China coast about forty miles west of Hong Kong. The Portuguese organised centres for the refugees from Hong Kong: large houses, a few small hotels and some Vacant government offices. In these centres the refugees found shelter, a minimum of food-mostly rice. But there was no school, and these young people from Hong Kong had nothing to do all day but roam the streets, and at night, sit at the doors and look at the moon.
The Portuguese governor of Macau and the British consul first got the idea of a school for the refugees, and they approached Fr Paddy Joy, then Superior of the Mission. The Portuguese government agreed to give a house, books, and a small salary to the staff. Harry was made prefect of studies and superior of the Jesuit community of five. He called the school Gonzaga College, or Luís Gonzaga College, as it is still known by its past pupils. Scholarly by nature and discipline, Harry directed this school through the turmoil of the war years, with an authority which inspired respect, and a kindness which made him loved. During these years in Macau, Gonzaga College had in all about 200 students. Of this number, eight are now doctors, seven are professors in American and Canadian universities: one is a lecturer in marine biology in the University of Hawaii, and three are architects: which is not a bad record for any school.
But these three years of war broke Harry - physically. He returned to Hong Kong again as prefect of studies in Wah Yan College. He was in constant pain, and arthritis was crippling him. But none knew of his pain - except his “doctor”, as he used to call the chiropractor whom he visited daily. He wasn't getting better, so the Superior of the Mission, Fr Tom Ryan, did the big thing and the wise thing. He sent him to the famous Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The doctors there said that Harry could not return to Hong Kong or to the humid Irish climate. Fr Ryan arranged for him to go to the dry, desert climate of Arizona, and there in the small oasis of Phoenix, Harry worked for twenty six years.
In Phoenįx, Arizona, the Jesuits of the California Province have a large day-school (Brophy), much like Belvedere. Harry taught there for a while. But it was in the parish church of St Francis Xavier that he did the work by which he will be remembered. He had that rare and precious gift of putting everyone at their ease. Maybe this was due to his obvious holiness, or to his kindness, or to his sense of humour, or to a combination of all three. Whatever it was, the people of Phoenix - a shrewd and candid cross-section of America-loved and respected him. They showed this when he died. But they also showed it in a very practical way when he celebrated his golden jubilee in the Society two years ago, in 1974. The parishioners gave him a cheque for US $14,000. Part of this was used to remodel the kitchen of the presbytery, and on the wall is a brass plate which reads: “On the occasion of the 50th year in the Society of Jesus of Father Henry ‘Harry’ O'Brien, this room was remodelled”.
He got on equally well with the community. He was spiritual father, an authority on canon law and marriage cases, and a wise and kind confessor. After the evening visit to the blessed Sacrament, he would slip into the confessional near the domestic chapel.
He was never prominent in conversation, and whether right or wrong in his opinion, he was too clear-headed to be unjust. He spoke seldom, but when he did speak, he was worth listening to. He had a quiet, well-honed wit. But it wasn't barbed: it never hurt.
The stained-glass windows in the church of St Francis Xavier, Phoenix, were designed by Harry. Few of his contemporaries - in Ireland anyhow - knew that he was an artist of quality, with a nice feeling for colour and proportion, and more than an amateur knowledge of technique, especially of oil-painting. One of his portraits of a former superior of the parish - hangs in the community library. But he never took painting seriously. He told this writer that he didn't know enough about painting to be really good, and know too much to be really bad. For him, it was a supremely relaxing hobby, and nothing more.
Harry never returned to Hong Kong. He was invited, but he felt that he had not the strength for the journey, or the courage to face anew so much that was old. He was in poor health for months, and last September, 1975, cancer of one lung was discovered. The treatment - deep-ray therapy - was painful and unavailing. Harry died on 7th March, 1976.
Fifty priests from the diocese concelebrated the requiem Mass. Bishop McCarthy was represented by his vicar-general, and him self came later to pay his respects. Harry rested for a day in the church to which he had given his best years, the coffin bathed in the desert light from the windows which he designed. He was a holy priest, a loyal Jesuit, and a good friend. May he rest in peace.

Another Jesuit writes of Harry as follows:
When I arrived in Phoenix in December 1959 Harry O’Brien was already a living legend. His white hair and his frail figure gave him the appearance of a much older man, especially to the children of the parish, all of whom knew him well.
Harry had only been ten years in Phoenix then, but that was a long time, a lot longer than most other people. He had come to an area that was open country. Brophy College Prep, the Jesuit High School, was out in the fields north of town. Its beautiful mission chapel was the parish church. The parish priests lived in a converted garage, cooled in the 100 degree summer heat by an electric fan. They served a parish with no northern boundary.
Yet such was the population explosion in Phoenix in those days that during Harry's first decade in Arizona, St Francis Xavier parish built a new million-dollar church, a parochial school with 1,000 pupils, a girls' high school with 500 girls, a convent and a rectory with accommodation for a dozen priests. The whole surrounding area for miles and miles became one of the best residential areas in Arizona.
Because so many of the people were newcomers, and because Fr O’Brien had preceded most of them, and because he looked venerable, he was revered as the old parish priest who was there longer than anyone could remember.
Harry deserved the reverence. He was a true spiritual father to the parish, constantly absorbed in every aspect of parish life. He was the earnest preacher and the patient listener, especially in the confessional. He visited the school every day walking from class to class asking a few questions and answering the many that were put to him. He organised and taught an enquiry class for adults, that ran a course of twenty weeks or so and was immediately followed by another. He handled most of the cases for the marriage tribunal, always a tedious and time-consuming chore. And he visited the old folks and the sick in their homes. A lot of his “spare” time was spent in the parlour.
This list of tasks may seem routine. But in St Francis Xavier parish they were not routine. Harry did them all, and for the most part alone. The list is probably not complete, but hopefully it portrays the picture of an indefatigable man, a man consumed with zeal for the interests of God and of his people.
Since he touched so many lives so intimately, it is not surprising that his death, although not totally unexpected, was followed by outpourings of sorrow and even of disbelief. It is a beautiful tribute to this great priest that grown men were not ashamed to weep openly as the church of St Francis Xavier was filled to capacity on two successive evenings, for the rosary and for the Mass of the Resurrection.

At the requiem Mass for Harry O’Brien, it was Fr John E Hopkins (Calif.), who has completed fourteen years in Phoenix, who delivered the homily. He mentioned the constant arthritic pain from which Harry suffered, and went on:
“In his 68 years Fr. O'Brien spent over 34 as a priest, 26 of those years with us. In 1974 when he celebrated his 50 years in the Order, he asked me to preach a sermon at the Brophy chapel on the priesthood, because it meant so much to him. We can recall, those of us who heard him preach, the razor-like sharpness of his mind, the clarity of his ideas and his scholarly approach to the subject at hand. His interest in the Church was whetted by the decrees of Vatican II, and he was an avid reader and promoter of all the new ideas which came from the Council, to make the faith more meaningful to the people of the Church he loved
Like Xavier, who taught little children the truths of the faith and baptised countless people, Fr Harry taught the children in our parochial school for many years, and this work was his joy. His work of teaching was not limited to youngsters but like Xavier he taught adults as well in our religious Inquiry Forum, and like Xavier baptised countless adults”.

There is much about Fr Harry's China days in Fr Thomas F Ryan’s book “Jesuits under fire”.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1976

Obituary

Father Henry O’Brien SJ (1924)

Fr Henry O'Brien died in Phoenix Arizona this year. Fr Albert Cooney SJ, who was with Fr Harry during the Japanese attack on Hong Kong in 1941, and also in Arizona, has this to say:

“Harry was worshipped in our church of St Francis Xavier in Phoenix, and 100 priests and the vicar general concelebrated the requiem mass”.

The following sermon was preached by Fr. John Hopkins SJ :

“True doctrine was in his mouth, and no dishonesty was found upon his lips; He walked with me in integrity and uprightness, and turned many away from evil. For the lips of the priest are to keep knowledge, and instruction is to be sought from his mouth, because he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts”. Malachy 2:6-7

Reverend Fathers, dear sisters, relatives and friends of Father Henry O'Brien:

We recall in a Jesuit Church each year at this time, some aspects of the life of St Francis Xavier because this is the time of the Novena of Grace. How frequently we are reminded of St Ignatius asking Xavier “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?”

I am sure, that, my friend and your friend, Harry, heard these words many times in his youth and decided to enter the Society of Jesus and become a priest in order to serve God. We, who have known him here in Phoenix, have come to appreciate the spirit that was instilled into him in his early years. I am quite certain that his mother's sister, who is also his Godmother, and with us here tonight, will remember these moments in his early life.

We know and believe that a priesthood filled with years of assistance to others in instruction, in kindness in the confessional, in caring for the sick and the dying, in baptizing, marrying and counselling people, is the ideal of every priest, but a priesthood filled with these things and also with constant arthritic pain is not what would be considered an ideal life, yet, we who knew him, knew that this was his lot . . , something he accepted from the hand of God for the good of souls.

The love for the Society of Jesus as part of the universal Church should be the love that inspires all Jesuit priests. Like Xavier who thirsted for souls, so should we, and this is the love that sent Father O'Brien around the world in search of souls.

He entered the Society in Ireland, made his philosophy studies in Louvain, France, taught as a young scholastic in Hong Kong, studied theology in Milltown Park, Ireland ... tertianship in Wales, then back to Hong Kong for priestly work as a teacher, headmaster and prisoner of the Japanese until he came to us here at St. Francis Xavier Church as a gentle, kind, considerate, prayerful model of priestly life.

As Xavier travelled for many years, so did he always with the Ignatian idea of what more can I do for God? As Xavier went from the Indies to Japan and desired to go to China, so did he travel along almost the same route, but instead of Japan, he landed in Hong Kong.

In his 68 years Father O'Brien spend over 34 as a priest, 26 of these years with us. When he celebrated his 50 years in the Order in 1974 he asked me to preach a sermon at the Brophy Chapel on the priesthood, because it meant so much to him. We can recall, those of us who heard him preach, the razor-like sharpness of his mind, the clarity of his ideas and the scholarly approach to the subject at hand. His interest in the Church was whetted by the decrees of Vatican II and he was an avid reader and promoter of all the new ideas which came from the Council to make the faith more meaningful to the people of the Church he loved.

Like Xavier who taught little children the truths of the faith and baptized countless people, Father Harry taught the children in our parochial school for many years, and this work was his joy. His work of teaching was not limited to youngsters but like Xavier he taught adults as well in our religious Inquiry Forum, and like Xavier baptized countless adults.

St Francis Xavier wrote to Ignatius with news of his progress and eagerly awaited news from Europe. He was a missionary, who had left home, but he was very happy with news from home.
When Xavier was alive there was no such thing as radio or TV sets such as we have now, so it was by letter that he was kept aware of what was going on in the Society. Father O'Brien kept up to date on news from home by radio, TV and newspapers ... because even though he was an American citizen, part of his interest was still in Ireland, and the politics of that country, the Northern Ireland conflict, and the way his country was treated by the English nation. He also had a loving concern for his brother and sister and their families in Dublin. They will miss him as we will here.

The people of the world who do not know God may spend themselves in seeking temporal goods which death snatches away from them. We know that the privilege of the priest is that his labor and the goods he gathers by this labor lasts for all eternity. The hundred-fold and everlasting were promised to the apostles and their successors. The fruit of the labors of a priest is entirely spiritual and lasts for all eternity.

We know that the fruits of the labor of Xavier lasted through 200 years of persecution in Japan. The faith he inspired in the lives of the people was handed down from generation to generation. It is still there. The love of Christ was kept alive. The work of the missionary is recorded in heaven.

We here at St Francis Xavier Parish will remember Xavier's love for souls each time we enter the Church ... and we will also be reminded of the artistic talent of Father O'Brien when we look at the stained glass windows designed by him. We, who knew him well, know what enjoyment he received from his work as an artist, as well as a priest.

As long as this Church stands his talent will be recognized ... and when the years take their toll of this building, the faith that inspired the people who were touched by his generosity and kindness will last as did the faith of Xavier's converts.

To paraphrase St. Paul: “Father O'Brien you are a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech”

May you rest in peace!

O'Dwyer, Kevin, 1912-1987, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/329
  • Person
  • 27 August 1912-23 January 1987

Born: 27 August 1912, Dublin
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 06 January 1945, Sydney, Australia
Final Vows: 15 August 1948, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 23 January 1987, Mount Alvernia Hospital, Singapore - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

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

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966

Early education at O’Connell’s School, Dublin

by 1939 at Loyola Hong Kong - studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Kevin O’Dwyer
R.I.P.

Father Kevin O'Dwyer, SJ., formerly of Hong Kong, died in Singapore on Friday, 23 January 1987, aged 74.
Father O'Dwyer was born in Ireland in 1912 and joined the Jesuits in 1930. He came to Hong Kong as a scholastic in 1938, studied theology in Australia 1941-1944 and was ordained priest there. After further studies in North America on social work, he returned to Hong Kong where he worked chiefly in organising cooperative marketing. In 1959 he went to Singapore where he served in St. Ignatius Church till his death. His health was failing in his later years, but he worked to the very end.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 6 February 1987

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Note from Tommy Byrne Entry
During his term as Provincial (1947-1963) he sent many Jesuits to Hong Kong, and then in 1951 he started the Irish Jesuit Mission to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). He also saw the needs in Singapore and Malaysia and sent Jesuits to work there - like Kevin O’Dwyer, who built St Ignatius Church in Singapore; Patrick McGovern who built St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, and also Liam Egan, Gerard (Geoffrey?) Murphy and Tom Fitzgerald.

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

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

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

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

Irish Province News 62nd Year No 2 1987

Obituary

Fr Kevin O'Dwyer (1912-1930-1987) (Macau-Hong Kong)

27th August 1912: born in Dublin. Schooled at Dominican Convent, Eccles Street; Holy Faith Convent, Glasnevin; O'Connell (CB) Schools, North Richmond Street.
3rd September 1930: entered SJ. 1930-32 Emo, noviciate. 1932-35 Rathfarnham, juniorate. BSc in mathematics and mathematical physics. 1935-38 Tullabeg, philosophy.
1938-41 Hong Kong: 1938-40 Taai Lam Chung language school, learning Cantonese; 1940-41 Wah Yan HK (2 Robinson road), form-master of 2B, and teaching mathematics to matriculation class.
1941-5 Australia: '41 (for four months, while awaiting the start of the Australian academic year) Xavier College Kew, Melbourne, teaching; 42-5 (four years) Pymble, Sydney, theology. 6th January 1945: ordained a priest.
1946-47 Ireland: 1946 (January-June) Mungret, teaching; 1946-47 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1947-48 Tour of inspection of co-operative organisations, in order to learn their method and success: in Ireland, Britain, Scandinavia, Low Countries, France; Antigonish (Nova Scotia), where he spent two months as guest of SFX university extension department; then to about twenty cities, four in Canada and the rest in USA.
1948-54 (Feb.), 1955-'9 Hong Kong: 1948-49 Regional seminary, Aberdeen (HK), improving his Cantonese and writing a report on co-operatives; 1949-52 (Feb.) Ricci Hall, minister. While there he acted as organising adviser in the setting-up of the rural service division of the HK government's vegetable marketing organisation. This was the foundation for the co-operative development in Hong Kong (his own words). In November 1949 he went on a lecture-tour of the Philippines, representing Mons. L. G. Ligutti, Vatican observer to the United Nations agency.
FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation), He spent three weeks visiting most of the main centres of the islands and lecturing on the advantages of co operative organisation, 'the presence of a priest being considered essential for the proper selling of the idea to the people'. 1952 (Feb.)-54 (Feb.) Faber House (of writers), Braga Circuit, Kowloon, minister. During this period he became a member of the vegetable marketing advisory board, chaplain to the HK defence force and committee member of the HK housing society. (1954 (Feb.)-55 Singapore. 1955 (for a short time) Ricci Hall, then, 1955-59, Wah Yan HK, port chaplain (Apostleship of the Sea), bursar, 1954 (Feb.)-55, 1959 (Nov.)-1987 Singapore: 1954 (Feb.)-55, helping Fr Paddy Joy to equip the newly-built hostel for student teachers (Kingsmead Hall). Bursar (of the house (1960-87), of the parish (1961-87), and of the new “Dependent Region' of Malaysia-Singapore” (1985-87). “Builder” of the church of St Ignatius, its first administrator (1961-66) and its first parish priest (1966-74). Minister (1960-63, 1978-87). Warden of Kingsmead Hall (1967-72), then Warden's assistant (1972-86). 23rd January 1987: died.

The Australian province's Fortnightly report (15th April) quotes a letter from a Sr Elizabeth Curran: "I was in Singapore (a stop-over on my return trip to Adelaide) and I saw the beauty of death on the face of Fr Kevin O'Dwyer, SJ, I was with the FMM Community to sing Vespers near Fr Kevin. The Asians made carpets of flowers round the coffin for their beloved parish priest. Resurrection ‘was in the atmosphere’ ... there was deep peace everywhere ... By request of Fr Kevin, the Chinese New Year decorations and banners were still in the church: it was a triumphant celebration”.

Irish Province News 62nd Year No 3 1987

Obituary

Fr Kevin O’Dwyer (1912-1930-1987) (Macau-Hong Kong)

Memories of earlier days
Kevin entered the novitiate one year after me and I was, in fact, his angelus. Nevertheless, even though he was with me in Rathfarnham and later in Tullabeg, Hong Kong and the Australian theologate at Pymble, it is not easy to recall, after all these years, any particular incident, whether humorous or exciting in which he might have been involved, except very pleasant memories of a good Jesuit and an entertaining companion with a ready laugh and a fine sense of humour.
In Tullabeg, he was a keen tennis player and reached the high level of skill which earned him a place in Arthur Little's exclusive tennis team, a great honour not easily achieved.
Kevin was also very keen on music, so much so that when Hilary Lawton formed the Tullabeg orchestra, Kevin painstakingly taught himself the violin so that he would at least be able to make some small contribution to the second or third strings.
He arrived in Hong Kong in 1938 and was subsequently among the second group of Hong Kong scholastics to go to Canisius College in Sydney for theology.
During his period in the theologate, he found an outlet for his love of music. He organised an orchestra (no easy feat in wartime) with literally no instruments to begin with except a piano, an old trombone and a couple of violins. This did not daunt him, however. Somehow or other, he managed, with the help of an army chaplain, to obtain a contract to make (or rather assemble) sets of plastic rosaries which were sold, mostly, to the army.
With the small income from this and probably some other donations he gradually acquired two drums, a clarinet, a flute, a cello (which someone had learnt to play), more violins, one viola and probably some instruments I can now no longer remember. Soon there was an orchestra of about eight or more players and the community was successfully entertained to pieces like Tancredi, Hebrides March, Rosamund Ballet and the Second Movement of Haydn's Surprise Symphony.
On his return to Hong Kong as a priest in 1947, Kevin was able to make a lasting contribution to the life of the farmers in the New Territories, Tommy Ryan, then Mission Superior, sent him to the Cody Institute attached to St Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where he made a close study of co-operative societies.
On his return to Hong Kong, he was instrumental, together with Mr (now Sir) Jack Cater, in forming the first vegetable co-operatives to be established in Hong Kong. These co-operatives and the vegetable co-operative markets have been operating successfully in Hong Kong for more than 30 years and have saved many a farmer from the greed of the middle-man.
Some people gave Kevin the nickname 'Barbdwyer.' This could give a wrong impression to those who did not know him. Kevin loved the cut and thrust of good repartee. It did not matter what the subject was, he watched with glee to see how his opponent would extricate himself, or, with a chortle, concede defeat.
John Collins

Vivacious to the end
My earliest recollections of Kevin go back to noviceship days in Emo. He was delivering one of those short practice sermons on the theme of the Epiphany. Being mere schoolboys, the theological significance of the feast was somewhat beyond us, and in those days our familiarity with Scripture was that of the aver age Catholic closer to Vatican I than Vatican II. What impressed Kevin about the Magi was that at the end of a long, tiresome journey, they were still on talking terms with each other!
In this reflection on the Wise Men, Kevin was being quite realistic. He was a great talker and, at the end of a long trek in Tullabeg days while still smartly stepping out a military pace with three other stalwarts, he would keep the conversation moving until they reached home.
For almost two years before his death, Kevin was receiving blood transfusions to make up for the haemoglobin deficiency in his system. Despite this marrow failure, he remained vivacious to the end. At first, the transfusions fasted several months but later had to be repeated at shorter intervals until finally his energy dissipated after a few weeks.
Though with his community he spoke in a light-hearted manner about his illness, he did recommend in glowing terms the article in the December 1986 issue of The Furrow by Fr Peter Lemass, 'The call to live.'
Like Fr Lemass, Kevin had many people supporting and encouraging him in his struggle to survive. When an appeal for blood donations was made from the pulpit over a year ago the response was overwhelming. On that occasion no blood type was indicated. Last December, when another appeal was made this time for “B” type blood, several parishioners apologised for being unable to donate according to the specific type. It turned out that type “B” is quite rare in Singapore. One of the last to donate blood was a girl Legionary from the University of Singapore. Kevin was spiritual director to one of the six praesidia on the campus.
Despite the rare type of blood he needed, Kevin was never denied blood when it was required. About a week before his death, he was given a transfusion of six pints and when they did not raise his haemoglobin count sufficiently, he was given two more pints before being allowed home.
On Wednesday, January 21, at 3 am, suffering from high fever and body pains, he phoned doctor and ambulance and was taken to the intensive care unit of Mount Alvernia Hospital, in the care of the FMDM Sisters. Only Tom O'Neill was disturbed by the commotion and finding a taxi cruising at that unearthly hour followed the ambulance to discover what was amiss. What had been feared from the beginning of the illness had happened. He was stricken with a virus infection and was unable to combat it. I had the privilege of anointing him and giving him Communion that afternoon. On Friday, about 11.30 am, his brea thing became difficult and he died with out further suffering.
Despite my recommendation that all watching and praying close down at 11.00 pm, while Kevin's body was lying in the parish hall, his friends would have none of it. For three nights, they organised relays of watchers, while some remained through the night. There were several phone calls from people who said he had officiated at their marriage twenty or so years previously and had baptised their children.
John Wood

Respect, yes - but affection?
To those who knew Kevin O'Dwyer only as an efficient Minister, a meticulous Econome, a competent teacher and, at times, a quite sharp-tongued critic, the depth of mourning displayed at his passing would have come as a surprise.
He died rather suddenly at the end, just before noon on Friday, 23 January, The body was embalmed and brought that same evening to the Parish Hall. At 9.00 pm there was a concelebrated Mass in the Hall at which about three hundred people were present. How the word had got around so fast is still a mystery.
Over the weekend the parishioners took it in turns to watch by the body, day and night. Each evening at 9.00 Mass was said. On Monday morning Archbishop Gregory Yong concelebrated the funeral Mass together with over 70 priests before a full congregation. Although it was an ordinary working day, three busloads of parishioners, as well as several private cars, went to the cemetery.
All this was a tribute to a man who many would have thought incapable of inspiring such affection. Respect, yes - but affection? The answer seems to be that Kevin did not wear his heart on his sleeve, but, over the years, a great number of people came to realise that, while he might sometimes seem severe on the outside, he was, on the inside, not only a big-hearted man but a tender hearted one.
To say that Kevin O'Dwyer could not accept fools gladly would be misleading: it depended on the sort of fools. With those who were simply impractical or woolly-headed, he could be quite gentle. His sharp tongue was reserved for those who engaged in bombast, boasting or loud-mouthed proclamations of their opinions. Towards these he could be scathing.
But with the poor, even the 'under serving poor', Kevin was not only sympathetic but helpful in a practical way.
Twenty-five years ago, as soon as the Church of St Ignatius was built, he started the St Vincent de Paul Society and remained their Spiritual Director until his death.
Towards the sick his devotion knew no bounds. For years he brought Holy Communion to the sick in their homes every week and even when he himself was ailing, he continued to visit sick parishioners in various hospitals until the doctor insisted that he must confine himself to one hospital each day.
For almost two years Kevin was living on borrowed blood and therefore as he well knew, on borrowed time. Yet, although he could speak fluently on many subjects, he rarely spoke of this, He just went on working, in a restricted fashion as he grew weaker, until the end. Three days before he died, he was still busy at the accounts.
On one occasion he had confided that he did not want to end up a burden to the community. He didn't. He died quickly and quietly, without a fuss. Kevin always disliked making a fuss.
Liam Egan

Where only the best was good enough
I used to think that procurators generally were mean with money. Living with Kevin cured me of that. I do not consider myself stingy but he was far ahead of me in generosity.
Many a time I asked him for alms for a deserving case. “How much?” he would say and then suggest an amount far more than I had in mind. The same was true on occasions when, as a community, we discussed making a donation to some current charity or other. There was no single time when Kevin's proposed figure was not far above my own.
But a “bum” (a specifically “Kevinensian” term) got short shrift. For the uninitiated, a “bum” was/is someone “on the make”, a fraud, a faker of hard-luck tales, a taker who never gives. The direct opposite, in other words, of Kevin's own blunt honesty and self-giving. On one famous occasion, the (locally-born) priest secretary of one of our inter-parish meetings faithfully recorded the term in his minutes but confessed he had to consult a dictionary as he had thought the word had only one meaning,
Two things were always calculated to rile Kevin: if you asked a silly question, you got more, far more, than a silly answer! And if you happened to turn up even a little late for a public Mass or stupidly forgot some parish matter you were supposed to attend to, it was best to keep out of his path for a while until he had simmered down a bit.
The parishioners deserved only our best and always. They knew that, too. His service of them was complete dedication. That was why they loved him; and unceasingly asked for and after him during his illness; and why they poured in to pay their respects and shed their tears when the news spread, like a prairie fire, that God had taken him home.
A parishioner whose opinion I greatly value asked if we priests could do more to influence the parishioners. “Let them see the priests praying”, she said, “We know you pray but let them see you at it”. It so happened that only Kevin and I were in residence at the time and I saw at once that this was a gentle admonition to myself.
My preparation for Mass and thanksgiving were done in private, in my room or the sacristy, but Kevin was long on his knees daily in church before and after his Mass. He was a prayerful priest. Go to his room any day about 5 pm and you would find him saying his rosary.
In the final months, when his activities were necessarily curbed, he spent long periods, not with his beloved music or engaged in reading, but in the domestic chapel, next to my room. I saw him there, to quote a Milltown professor, whom my contemporaries will instantly identity, with my own two eyes'. For that example, as for so much else, I am
very grateful.
Des Reid

O'Neill, Thomas Aidan, 1924-2009, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/724
  • Person
  • 30 January 1924-30 July 2009

Born: 30 January 1924, Dungarvan, County Waterford
Entered: 06 September 1941, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1958, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 30 July 2009, Kingsmead Hall, Singapore - Indonesia Province -Malaysia (MAS)

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1950 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1958 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-tom-oneill-sj/

Fr Tom O’Neill SJ
Fr Tom O’Neill (centre in photo), who died on 30 July, had spent all his priestly life in the Far East, including ten years in Hong Kong and Manila, and the last forty in Singapore. He was a fine musician, and had specialised in matters liturgical, both in editing and teaching (at the Pastoral Institute, Manila), and then in the pastoral work of the Jesuit parish in Singapore. A correspondent in Hong Kong gathered the reactions to his death of men whom Tom had taught in the 1960s in Wah Yan. They remembered him vividly, and as one of them put it: “That seems to be the way with some Jesuit fathers. They do not realise the full impact of their influence on us.”

We will remember him as our church choir master when we were in P. 6, when my voice changed from soprano to alto. I can still sing many of the hymns, and several voice parts of the Ave Verum, Languen tibus, O Lord I am not worthy, When all moral flesh keeps silence, and of course, Christmas carols and Easter songs. We had special practices for Christmas eves, Holy Saturdays and Easter Sundays, where I had the adrenalin flows, and special treats of tea, cake and sandwich. But my best treat was when the Vienna Choir came to town in 1962 or 1963. They were looking for a special hall for rehearsal, and they picked the hall of Wah Yan Kowloon. As church choir members, Fr. O’Neill invited us to listen to the rehearsal. To this day, I still seem to hear German soprano Elizabeth Schwarzkopf crescendo to the high notes of Voices of Spring that still echo in the auditorium whenever I walked into the hall in my recent visits. Fr. O’Neill became my F2D form-master (1957-1958) during the latter part of the academic year. He was then very young and very energetic. (See attached photos.) He was extremely well-liked by all of our classmates. I remember we invited him on our class picnics and he always went with us. And he was a very fast walker, a lot faster than I. After Form 5, I lost touch with Fr. O’Neill. It was some time after 2002 when I was lucky to get hold of his phone number and home address in Singapore. I phoned him one day and talked to him for almost half an hour. He was very kind-hearted and was concerned about my health and constant muscle pain. He was a great encouragement to me. During the last few years, I always sent him Christmas greeting cards on behalf of the 61 grads. He always sent Christmas cards in return to all of us.I remember Fr O’Neill as a kind and gentle man, universally well-liked and respected. I will always be sensitive of my debt to him and to all my other teachers at WYK, and I hope that they will in some way sense that their efforts and dedication were not entirely in vain. I had great fond memories of Father O’Neill who was my F4B Class-master. He went out to picnic with us a few times. He appreciated my class-work efforts. He was always so gentle, dedicated teacher and priest, handsome, educated, patient, and a great tenor. I wished to have known him better. I’m sure God is with him always. I am sure all of us will miss Fr. O’Neill. Despite his short tenure at WYK, he was especially dear to our class of 1962, having served as the form master of Form 4A (1960-1961). I had planned on a reunion in Singapore so we could see both Fr. Tseng and Fr. O’Neill again. Now that’s not going to happen. Fr. O’Neill was my form-master at 2D. His manner was exceptionally gentle and calm. There was such a peaceful feeling whenever he was around. He was such a inspiring gentleman! I can remember him so well as it was only yesterday! I am sure he has lived a contented and happy life!

Ah, yes. Fr O’Neill was my form master in F. 2D. I believe at that time he just arrived at WYK. I always remember him more than a classroom teacher. He was a musician who played well on the piano. Besides, his mannerism stands out vividly on my mind. He had an air of dignity around him which inspired me a lot. I was struck by his extraordinarily handsome appearance which was matched only by his gentleness. I thought some George Montgomery had decided to join the priesthood. Fr O’Neill was one of the kindest men that I had ever known, although he was frank enough to turn me away from the junior choir on the first practice session, as he told me straight in the face that I could not sing; and he was correct, for I have been told the same thing umpteen times by persons who know me well. My friend Dolly told us that once she offered to buy Fr O’Neill a pair of shoes because she could tell that they were no longer in good condition. He said, “No need. Father Woods is dying and when he dies, I’ll have his shoes.” He was a happy man. One good thing is that he worked until the last moment and went to join the chorus of heaven quietly and comfortably. God must have rewarded him with a peaceful delivery to the other world. You know, the word ‘delivery’ always puts me into deep thought. When we came to this world, we were ‘delivered’ by a doctor or a midwife. When we leave, in what way will God ‘deliver’ us? Has it got anything to do with what we have done? In Fr O’Neill’s case, it was Thursday and he was seen all right in the morning. He was supposed to appear in the place of gathering to rehearse a church wedding to be held on Saturday. He was not there. Nobody suspected anything as they thought he must be tired and resting in his room (silly of them because Fr O’Neill never missed any rehearsal). Dinner came and he was still missing, so they went to his room in the priests’ quarters. There they found him leaving us to join the kingdom of God.

◆ 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 in Hong Kong 1957-1968 and promoted local Liturgy there.
He lived at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen and then went to Manila for liturgy studies.
He then went to Singapore for almost 40 years.

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

O'Rourke, Patrick, 1924-2003, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/692
  • Person
  • 22 May 1924-17 December 2003

Born: 22 May 1924, Kildimo, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1982, Hong Kong
Died: 17 December 2003, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong

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

by 1951 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Patrick O’Rourke, SJ
R.I.P.

Father Patrick O’Rourke, SJ died rather suddenly but peacefully on 17 December 2003, aged 79 years.

He died, appropriately, in Wah Yan College Hong Kong, where he had lived and taught for 45 years, and in the college chapel, of which he was the prefect in recent years.

In many ways a quiet-spoken man of simple tastes, but coming from a farming background in his native Ireland, he was also shrewd and somewhat skeptical by nature, not suffering fools gladly. He lived very simply, his room was left almost bare.

He possessed a well-developed sense of humour and enjoyed having a good laugh and also causing a good laugh.

A keen sportsman in earlier days, he enjoyed football, playing left-wing and, like many of his students, was a keen fan of Manchester United and latterly played a useful game of tennis in the school yard.

In his 45 years of teaching in Wah Yan College, he certainly taught hundreds, perhaps thousands of boys, in successive generations.

Many of his students returned to their mother school for his funeral Mass on 21 December 2003, presided over by Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun SDB and Bishop John Tong Hon and followed by burial in the Catholic cemetery in Happy Valley.

Just as his patron, St. Patrick, was called by God from being a shepherd boy to bring the Gospel of Christ to the pagan Irish in the 5th century AD, his 20th century namesake, a farmer’s son from Limerick, was also called to devote his long life to offering a sound education and the same Gospel to the Chinese youth of this sophisticated city with its age-old culture and yearnings for the infinite.

May God richly reward this latter day “Mr. Chips” and bring him quickly to Heaven, if he is not already there.

May Father Patrick O’Rourke have many Hong Kong Jesuit successors to continue the Wah Yan tradition into the future. May his gentle soul rest in the peace of Christ!
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 11 January 2004

◆ 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 1952 to study Cantonese at Cheung Chau. He then returned to Ireland for Theology

1958-1989 He returned to Hong Kong to teach English and religious Knowledge at Wah Yan College Hong Kong and lived there for over 40 years. During this time he also helped with pastoral work on weekends with Sunday Masses, and he was Chaplain to the Hong Kong Volunteers for 20 years.

He was known for his humour and was very popular with his fellow Jesuits.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005

Obituary

Fr Patrick (Paddy) O’Rourke (1924-2003)

May 22nd 1924: Born in Kildimo, Co. Limerick
Early education at Kildimo National School and Sacred Heart College, The Crescent, Co. Limerick
Sept. 7th 1942: Entered the Society at Emo
1944 - 1947: Studied Arts UCD
1947 - 1950: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1950 - 1952: Hong Kong - Language School
1952 - 1953: Wah Yan College - Regency
1953 - 1957: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
July 31st 1956: Ordained at Milltown Park
1958 - 1959: Tertianship at Rathfamham
1959 - 2003: Wah Yan , Hong Kong - Prefect of the church, Spiritual Director (SJ), Treasurer, Teacher.
Feb. 2nd 1982: Final Vows in Hong Kong
Dec.17th 2003: Died in Hong Kong.

Fr Paddy O'Rourke died in the chapel in his community at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. His death was completely unexpected. The cause of his death is believed to have been a heart attack. He had been in fair health right to the end. Another member of the community spoke to him on the phone an hour before he died.

Homily preached by Fr. Seán Coghlan on December 21st at a Vigil Mass, the night before his funeral:

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, instead of speaking about Advent or the fast approaching feast of Christmas I want to share with you some thoughts about Fr. Paddy O'Rourke who died last Wednesday in this chapel and who will be buried from here tomorrow.

Wah Yan College moved from Robinson Road to this site on Mount Parrish in 1955. Fr. O'Rourke took up residence here in August or September 1958 and has lived here ever since. Before his ordination in Ireland he taught for one year in Robinson Road after two years of Cantonese studies in Battery Path. 48 years of Fr. O'Rourke's nearly 80 years of life were spent in Hong Kong, 46 of them in Wah Yan.

He will be remembered by generations of Wah Yan students. Many of you will remember him too. For the last few years of his life his health made it impossible for him to go out for Mass on Sundays. Instead, he looked after this chapel with great care. He was always standing down there at the back of the chapel or hearing Confessions and then he would come up to the altar to help the celebrant distribute Holy Communion.

Fr. O'Rourke taught for most of his life, and even after his retirement he assisted the teachers and students in a wide variety of extra curricular activities. He was Minister of the community for many years. That is, he looked after the material needs of his fellow Jesuits.

He knew where every pipe in the building was. He did the jobs that needed to be done. He was that essential person in a religious community who can be relied on to be around, keeping an eye on things.

Fr. O'Rourke was chaplain to the Hong Kong Regiment (”The Volunteers”). Until quite recently he would offer Sunday Mass and preach in St. Margaret's and St. Jude's Parishes and Christ the King Chapel. Fr. O'Rourke was a good footballer in his younger days and played tennis on Sunday afternoons on the court beside the chapel, just a few yards away from where we are now. His partners were Mr. Frank Yung, Mr. Anthony Ip and Fr. Derek Reid.

He was a simple man but shrewd and somewhat skeptical by nature. He did not get wildly enthusiastic about new ideas but was absolutely reliable in all his commitments. He lived very simply. His room was almost bare. It will be very easy to clean up. Some Jesuit rooms take much time and energy to clean up after the occupant has left us for the Lord. Remember Fr. O' Rourke was 45 years in the some room!

Fr. Deignan was speaking to Fr. O'Rourke's nephew on the phone last Thursday. His nephew said too that he was a very simple man. He was quite content to stay around the old home, wandering about the farm and cycling on the bicycle which is still there. Fr. O'Rourke was very interested in local history. On holidays in Ireland he would visit the local parish churches and look up the publicly available marriage and baptismal registers. He would go to the local government offices and study the title deeds to the local farms and properties. These records stretched back many years.

On one occasion I asked him to look up some details about my family. When I asked him about his findings he said with a twinkle in his eyes. “If I were you I wouldn't look too deeply into the matter, some of the dates are a bit difficult to reconcile”. Fr. O'Rourke was very humorous and enjoyed having a good laugh and causing a good laugh.

Fr. O'Rourke lived in the country. His home was nine or ten miles from the nearest town where there was a Jesuit school, He cycled to school and back home in all kinds of weather. That was hard at times.

When Fr. O' Rourke was in school, Ireland was going through difficult years. It had recently become independent. The economy, nationally and internationally, was bad. Farmers in particular faced difficult problems. But Ireland was a Catholic country. It had a tremendous missionary tradition. Young women and young men like Fr. O' Rourke became priests and nuns and went to bring God's light to many different parts of the would. Fr. O' Rourke was one of those who, despite very difficult economic conditions, received a good education. He was available for God's work.

Now life is very different in Ireland. The economy is booming. But Ireland has not adapted well to prosperity. There is a crisis in the religious life of the people. The number of practicing Catholics has dropped drastically. Vocations to the priesthood and religious life have diminished correspondingly. It has to be said, too, that the Church has not coped well with the crisis. It is a very different scene from the one Fr. O' Rourke was familiar with. I would ask you to pray that God will recall his people to a richer and more mature faith.

I think that Ireland is at one with the rest of the Western world in a certain tiredness and sickness. It seems to lack creativity and imagination in finding spiritual and humane answers to the challenges of a new world.

If one reads the financial and business pages of our newspapers and journals one finds that the experts are divided as to whether India or China will be the great economic force of the world in the not too distant future. Are the countries of the East emerging as the power houses of the world?

Prosperity and a spiritual outlook on life do not always go hand in hand. However, a general awakening and growth in one area of life may be accompanied by a growth in other areas. There is a hunger for spiritual meaning in many Eastern countries. Religious novitiates in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, India and Korea have many candidates. In China there are many young men and women preparing for the priesthood and religious life.

Lay Christians are active and confident. Recently I met a young Hong Kong woman who has already spent seven years with a Catholic refugee service in South East Asia. She is now preparing to commit herself for life to the work. She is one among many lay people from Hong Kong and other parts of Asia who are “on mission” to the world. In God's loving plan the Western world brought his light to the world for many centuries. Could it not now be the tum of the Eastern world to bring spiritual values to a world which thirsts for meaning?

Fr. O'Rourke came from a farming community, fields stretching down to the River Shannon, the hills of Clare rising from the fields on the other side of the river. Now it may be the time for a young man or woman from the green fields of Korea or from one of the immense bustling cities of China to bring God's light to those who long for it.

-oOo-

Homily preached at the Requiem Mass for Fr. O'Rourke by Fr. Robert Ng Chi-fan:

My dear Wah Yan friends,

We have gathered here today to celebrate a Requiem Mass for Fr. Paddy O'Rourke who died last Wednesday. For most of you he was either a teacher, a colleague or a good friend.... Hong Kong people appreciate stability greatly. Fr. O' Rourke was a very stable person indeed! He believed that things shouldn't be changed if they were good, so he stayed in Wah Yan for 45 years and never left it. He lived in the same room for those 45 years and every morning had his breakfast at 6:45. Then he started his day's work. His main responsibility was teaching, especially teaching English. He had his own special way of teaching. For the first few minutes of each class he asked his students to repeat again and again words which could be easily mispelt. Then he would ask them to memorize some proverbs. Fr, O'Rourke was the teacher who helped me most to improve my English. If a student couldn't answer his questions he would poke him with his finger until the right answer came. But he didn't confine himself to helping the students in class. He trained them to take part in English debates and verse-speaking competitions. He continued to do so almost to the very end of his life. Shortly before he died he acted as judge in one of the competitions. It can truly be said that he worked humbly and simply until his death.

Many people can be good teachers but, as a Jesuit and priest, Fr. O'Rourke came to Hong Kong from Ireland to fulfil a further mission. He wanted people to know God. He liked teaching English but he liked teaching religion even more. He gave religious instruction and was spiritual director of a Catholic society. He was very happy when a student was baptized. His apostolate extended beyond the school. He was chaplain to the locally enlisted Hong Kong Regiment (”The Volunteers”) On Sundays he went for many years to St Margaret's Parish and Christ the King Chapel to offer Mass.

As a Jesuit and missionary he was a traditional type. He followed the rules carefully. He was obedient. He led a simple life and was generous in sharing with others. When I was a student I used to see poor people coming up to Wah Yan every Saturday to look for help. It was always Fr. O'Rourke who came downstairs to talk to them and give them some money. For many years he was the Minister of the Jesuit community and as Minister was very willing to share with those in need. In St. Mathew's Gospel Jesus speaks of the criteria for judgment on the Last Day. The criteria are almost exclusively concerned with helping those who need our help. Fr, O'Rourke will get high marks in this area.

Those who know Fr, O'Rourke were well aware of how much he liked football. He played football when he was young. In the 60's, the "Fathers' team" always beat the students' team. A few of the Fathers played for the Hong Kong Football Club. Fr. O'Rourke played on the left wing and the students found it very hard to block his very accurate centering of the ball. When football was mentioned, one could see a big smile on his face. Friends know that the Fathers liked football so they generously installed Cable TV for them. This gave Fr, O'Rourke the entertainment he loved. His favourite team was Manchester United, probably because there were always Irish players on the Manchester United team. The reason why I mention his love of football is to show that Fr. O'Rourke was not a rather remote, distant priest and missionary. On the contrary, he mixed with ordinary people and shared their likes and interests. He insisted, however that entertainment should be healthy. This reflects his character. He was an upright man, but a humorous one too.

Since Fr. O'Rourke loved games and sporting activities it would be appropriate and the truth to quote of him St. Paul's words. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith, Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing”. (2 Tim 4:7 & 8)

When Jesuits die, they wish to go to the Lord quickly. They envy those who manage not to delay on their way to Him! Fr. Corbally died while eating his breakfast, Fr. Doody while offering Mass. Last year Fr. McLoughlin died in his sleep. The Lord was merciful to Fr. O'Rourke. At noon on Wednesday 17th Fr. O' Rourke arranged with a colleague to have some Masses offered. Before 5:00 p.m. he died while praying in the chapel.

We chose to have Fr. O'Rourke's Requiem Mass in the school chapel because it has a special meaning for him and for us. He served Wah Yan for 45 years. This is the chapel he loved and looked after. Here he offered numerous Masses. Here he prayed for the students. I am sure he will be happy to say “good bye” to the teachers and students in this place. He must be happy to have two Bishops and many priests offering Mass for him, his student to preach about him, and so many teachers and students, past and present, to pray for him.

Those who spoke to him recently must feel a little sad at his passing. But for a Jesuit to die in the bosom of the Lord is a consoling thing. Let us unite in praying for him who offered his life to God by his work of education among the students of Wah Van. May he hear the words of to-days Gospel being addressed to him by Our Lord himself. “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Mt. 11:28)

Reid, Derek, 1921-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/693
  • Person
  • 01 March 1921-30 November 1992

Born: 01 March 1921, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1962, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 30 November 1992, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Sinensis province (CHN)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1953 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Derek Reid S.J.
(1927-1992)
R.I.P.

As reported in our last issue and also in the daily press, Father Derek Reid SJ died in mysterious circumstances at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, on 29 November 1992.

Cardinal Wu was the chief concelebrant at a Requiem Mass attended by a packed church in Causeway Bay on 5 December and burial followed immediately afterwards at Happy Valley.

Father Derek Reid was born in Dublin, Ireland, on 1 March 1927. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in Emo, Ireland, on 7 September 1944, and went through what was then the normal course of formation for Irish Jesuits.

After two years of novitiate, he studied for a B.A. degree at University College, Dublin, a constituent college of the National University of Ireland. This was followed by three years’ study of philosophy in St. Stanislaus College, situated in the Irish midlands.

Father Reid came to Hong Kong in 1952. His first two years were spent in the study of Cantonese. For the first year he stayed at the MEP House, 1 Battery Path. This building was later used for law courts and now houses part of the Government Information Services. In the second year, he transferred to the newly-acquired Xavier House in Cheung Chau.

From 1954-55, Father Reid, still a scholastic, spent one year teaching at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, then situated in Robinson Road.

He returned to Ireland in 1955 for four years of theology at Milltown Park, in Dublin, At the end of the third year he was ordained priest on 31 July 1958. Theological studies were followed by a final year of spiritual formation in Rathfarnham Castle, also in Dublin.

In 1960 Father Reid returned to Hong Kong where he was to spend the rest of his life and went back to teaching in Wah Yan Hong Kong. The college had in the meantime moved to its present site in Wanchai. During those first years he is listed as teaching religion, history and English Language. He was also the spiritual director of the boys and in charge of the night school (since discontinued).

In 1966, he became principal and supervisor of Wah Yan College in Waterloo Road, Kowloon. He held this post for 12 years and was largely instrumental in maintaining the high standards for the which the school is known.

In 1978 he returned to Wah Yan Hong Kong as a teacher in the ranks but in 1983 he was appointed principal and supervisor of the college.

In 1985, he stepped down as principal but continued part-time teaching. In 1989 he became superior of the Wah Yan Hong Kong Jesuit community, a post he held until this year, when Father John Russell assumed the post.

During the Requiem Mass on 5 December, Father James Hurley SJ, assistant pastor at St Vincent’s Parish, Wongtaisin, and a contemporary of Father Reid, gave the homily in Chinese.

Father Hurley pointed out that Father Reid was a man of all-round and exceptional ability. This was recognised soon after he joined the Jesuits and, even before his ordination as a priest, he had been given many responsibilities. After his return to Hong Kong his great qualities were even more clearly seen.

Whatever work was entrusted to him, he took seriously, worked hard at it, did it competently, undeterred by difficulties, and never gave up until it was completed.

He had a deep sense of responsibility and people naturally had great confidence in him, He was always very ready to help people and Father Hurley gave examples of the help that had been given to himself and others.

Father Reid made an outstanding contribution to the education of young people in Hong Kong and one that was greatly appreciated. He not only encouraged students to study hard, he urged them to take part in a wide range of extracurricular activities, to broaden their outlook, and show their concern for people and for society.

He had great confidence in young people, and while some urged him to act with greater caution, he proceeded to give great freedom to the students of Wah Yan Kowloon in organizing and building up a Students’ Association, something which they did very successfully.

In a pastoral letter in 1989 Cardinal John Baptist Wu urged Catholic school authorities to raise the level of education in democracy in schools. Father Reid had already anticipated the Cardinal’s recommendations more than a decade previously.

Father Reid had many interests. For example, he was a very good football player and, in his later years, he regularly played tennis. Indeed, he had played a game on the day of his death.

Besides his educational work Father Reid did a good deal of pastoral work both in school and in the many churches where he regularly said Mass, preached and administered the sacraments. He was not only a great headmaster, he was also a great priest, said Father Hurley.

Father Reid was highly respected by those who had dealings with him, He had very many friends. All of them, Jesuits, co-workers, students, Catholics and non-Catholics, will miss him greatly. “We shall never forget him,” said Father Hurley in conclusion.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 18 December 1992

◆ 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 1927. He first came to Hong Kong as a Regent in 1953, and then returned as a Priest in 1960. He was a modest man of simple tastes and ordinary interests, who worked hard and go along well as a gentleman.

He was a highly respected Principal from 1967 until his untimely death in 192. He was open yet cautious and inspired great confidence in others. Many past students of Wah Yan feel they owe him much.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 72 : Easter 1993

Respected teacher and Educational Administrator : Fr Derek Reid

Harold Naylor

Now six weeks after his death, the “Agatha Christie: mystery of it all remains. A few hypotheses from the accompanying letter have been interpolated into this account (penned on 28th December, 1992) after the paragraph that ends, There is still no police report of the cause of death.

Referring to the 29th November, the Chinese Province News says, “He was last seen at around 8.00 pm on Sunday evening. On his table was found the missal opened at the read ings for the Mass for the morning of the 30th”.

To say that many felt the grief of loss for the example of a Confucian gentleman would be an understatement. The large numbers at the HK Funeral Parlour on the night of 4th Dec., and the great funeral Requiem Mass in the Chapel of Christ the King (where he often said the English Sunday Mass), St. Paul's Convent, Causeway Bay, showed not only the respect of priests (over a hundred concelebrating) and Religious, but also the few hundred past students who made up the majority of mourners at the 10 am Requiem Mass on Saturday December 6th. At the interment later, which Cardinal Wu officiated at, there was an unusual crowd of people who felt they had lost a good friend.

I first met Derek as my examiner for the De Universa in Tullabeg in 1959. He was discreet and retiring, as he always was. In August 1960 we travelled from Naples to Hong Kong, in company with a fellow scholastic Brendan James, and priests returning: James Hurley, Peadar Brady, Gerry Keane. The talk among us was that Derek would be Principal of Wah Yan College. In fact he was an ordinary teacher of English and European History, until six years later when he became Principal in Kowloon Wah Yan. In his twelve years as Principal, he earned the deep respect of the teachers for his gentle manner, which never confronted anyone, but rather gave each a feeling that he had good plans for many years ahead.

The senior students found him very supportive. Under him the new Students Association became the most prominent in the whole of Hong Kong, It was at the time of cultural revolution in China, and of strong student movements. He gave the students much autonomy and support, and they in return gave not only full cooperation but made the school known as the freest and most democratic in Hong Kong. He not only wrote good testimonial let ters for students leaving the school, but continued to take a per sonal interest in them in later years.

A good footballer until the early seventies, he took a keen inter est in school sports. This gave him an added contact with stu dents. By about 1975, he had an operation for varicose veins in his leg and so gave up football. He took up tennis. In fact, the very afternoon he died he was playing a spot of tennis with Paddy O'Rourke and two lay teachers, as was his Sunday afternoon custom.

Leaving Kowloon as Principal, he went to Hong Kong Wah Yan as an ordinary teacher, He preferred this, and had started there in 1954. Being a teacher did not prevent him being an advisor to many educators outside. He had been chairman of the Grants School Council (72-74) and earned the respect of many heads of schools. He was conservative in an intelligent way, and also very human, but in a very retiring way. He was a man of regular habits and settled tastes. He liked a game of bridge. He used to keep up contact with Donny Reynolds, after he left the Society in '76 by playing bridge with him once a month or so. Donny went to his reward and Derek was at his funeral - about four weeks before his own. In fact, Derek was playing bridge with his brother Desmond, along with Joseph Garland and Robert Ng, two nights before he died.

I appreciated Derek for fully supporting the Education Department request to take in two extra classes to enable the policy of compulsory free education for all to the age of fifteen, which was introduced in 1972 after the Governor, MacLehose's, speech. As a teacher under him, he gave me all the freedoms took, and supported my strange methods and deep involvement outside the school in ecumenical and social movements. I think most of the other teachers felt that they had a friend in the shy and cool man, who kept much to his office, and yet knew every thing that was going on.

Now six weeks after his death, the “Agatha Christie” mystery of it all remains. On the morning of Monday 30th November, the Canteen staff knocked loudly at the room of Seán Coghlan (Principal) at 6.15. There was panic, and mutters of the body of Joe Mallin in a rubbish container in the school canteen. John Russell (Rector) had also been stirred. Fortunately, Joe Mallin was seen on the stairs, and the three went to the canteen. The police were already there and nothing could be touched. They saw the body of an old grey haired caucasian in a 1.3m oil barrel which was used for refuse. The head was bowed. He was not recognised! Seán had a quick breakfast foreseeing difficulties with the students already arriving. The Vice-Principal came. Soon the boys came looking for Fr. Reid, who was to say the 7.45 Boys Mass. There was a search made for him, and when his room was entered, there was every evidence that he had not used it at night. Gradually the tragedy dawned. That body in the canteen, with shoes neatly by the barrel and glasses neatly on the table, was Derek's! The Police report was of no marks of violence on the body. The detective in charge later said, that he had taken the barrel away and tried to get into it, but failed. There is still no police report of the cause of death.

He certainly did not commit suicide, and there could be no one who could have anything against him. there is not only grief in his community, but also fear. It is not know how he died. It is a mystery, We await a police report on cause of death... If it says by suffocation - then could it be robbers? But there is nothing to steal! There are reports of the canteen having been burgled of money from the soft drinks dispensing machine in the past, about £30 or $40 which only teenagers might be interested in - But how did Derek get there? There is talk of Derek missing his tennis cap and going down to the canteen, next to the tennis court - Two tennis caps were found in his tennis bag in is room! Could he have recognised some boys, did something go terribly wrong? - I dread to hear the end for the sake of stupid boys. Was it some mad man? - But could he do it alone? and why bring the body there? It is a mystery, which had better be forgotten. Let us remember this good man.

Several days after, I met Francis Chen, one of his close friends. They liked each other's company and watched the golf champi onships every year. Francis had met him in very strange circumstances. A few weeks after Derek came here as Principal, the eldest son, then a senior student in the school, was found hanging in the bathroom at home. The mother had a Master's degree in counselling from Cornell Uni, N.Y. Francis found in Derek a sympathy and understanding which made them friends evermore. Then Mabel Chou is another, whom he baptised when her son was a senior student here. It could be said that she saved his life seven years ago, when she visited him in hospital with her husband, a cardiac specialist. Derek's medication was changed and he survived as a frail man with Parkinson's disease. He retired as Principal of HK Wah Yan in 1988. He became Rector in 1989 but resigned for health reasons in July 1992. A holiday in Ireland brought him back with more vigour and absence of shaking of the hand and head. I met him on the feast of Christ the King, when he brought his brother Des (Singapore) from the airport, Des was to preach at his funeral three weeks later!

Regularly saying English Sunday Mass in a parish or Wah Yan, he was a good religious Jesuit, calm and regular. May we remember him as a respected teacher and gentleman. And may his gentle prayers help his past students and friends to be more like him!

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, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
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 forcefulness 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.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1937

The Past

We print a little of a long letter from that most sadly and dearly remembered of all Belvederian figures, Fr Tommy Ryan SJ. He is, we imagine, one of the ten busiest men in the world, his friends the Holy Father and Mussolini included, yet (oh admirable example) he finds time to write to the Editor. His vivid style, the interest of his news, our own interest in everything he does would justify the long extract if justification were needed.

Wah Yan College,
Hong Kong
January 11, 1938

When I was looking through the pages your name as Editor of the “Belvedereian” caught my eye and it reminded me of an intention formed last summer to tell the holder of that honour something of the Belvederians I met in this part of the world when on my last wanderings not that I had much to say but just something to put on the paper to wrap around their photographs. I began to realise that if I did not do it now I might never do it. I have just three-quarters of an hour at my disposal--so here goes.

Exhibit No 1 is a photo taken a few stories higher than the spot where I am now sitting, that is, on the roof of Wah Yan College. The three smiling faces are well known to Belvederians. Fr Paddy O'Connor, the man behind the American Far East, and Nanky Poo the Second, who made China known and loved to many before he set foot on it, was paying us a flying visit on his way to or from Manila and the Eucharistic. Congress when I snapped him with Fr Donnelly and Terry Sheridan.

A few months after this photo was taken I trekked to Shanghai, and I was only in a few hours in the quiet of a house that a month later had a shell through it, and was trying to feel as cool as I could in a temperature of 99.7 when Fr Paddy O'Connor burst into the room. It was sheer accident that he happened to be in Shanghai. His tour of China was officially at an end when he took a missionary's place for a few days and picked up some tropical disease over-night. This landed him in hospital for a spell, so he missed travelling in the same boat as Terry Sheridan back to Europe. We spent part of a day together, and he piloted me round Shanghai with all the aplomb of one who had spent two months answering the questions of American pilgrims to the Eucharistic Congress at Manila. Together we went among other places, to one of the charitable institutions that was soon to be blown off the map by Japanese shells and its founder, Lo Pa Hong, the Vincent de Paul of China, murdered.

With Fr O'Connor, on that night when I met him in Sharighai, was another to whom I needed no introduction. The last time I had seen him was on an occasion which with great self-restraint I never mentioned till now. It was in Phoenix Park, where a tiny rug emblazoned with the inscription “Ivor” covered his small body in a perambulator; Now he is Fr Ivor McGrath, one of three brothers in the Columban Missionary Society, and a member of one of the greatest of Belvederian clans. I needed no introduction to him, for his resemblance to his eldest, and sorely lamented, brother Garret is most striking. I do not know how many McGraths and Fitzpatricks and Moores and others of the same clan were actually in Belvedere, but I can recall ten, and Ivor is the tenth.

I saw more of Ivor the Tenth a few days later when we sailed up the Yangtze. He was entering on his career as a missionary in China, after some time spent in learning the language in Shanghai, and I was going to give a couple of retreats to some of his companions, and the rumbling of war was just above us in the north. In Nanking, where we stopped on the way, he undertook to pilot me to the Jesuit house where he had been once before. He told me it might not be easy to find for it was a very ordinary house on a very ordinary street, though it had the foundation stone of a better house somewhere in the back garden, but after driving up and down both sides of that street a few times he located it. Then we continued up the Yangtze.

On that trip Ivor was doing something much more important than introducing strange Jesuits to one another; he was bringing a watch-dog to another Belvederian, Fr Fergus Murphy, the Rector of the seminary in an unspellable place in Hupeh. The dog was not reacting favourably to the climate and the conditions during a five day trip on a river boat, and he needed frequent applications of some kind of medicine that Ivor purchased in Nanking or Wuhu or some other town on the way. I went with him to the top of the boat on one of his visits to the dog and took his photo up there. When it was taken Ivor protested “Why did you not wait until a junk came by ?!” Then, hey presto! a junk appeared and I took the two together. But it is had passed and no other hove in sight when I handed the camera to a companion to take the two of us together.

A few days ago (that is, a few days after New Year) it was mentioned in the paper that all foreigners were recommended to leave Kiukiang and Kuling, two places in the Kiangsi province in the direction of the new Government seat at Hankow. It was to these two places that I was bound. Kiukiang was on the river, Kuling on the hill above it. As I was the only one getting off at Kiukiang and my stock of. Southern Chinese was useless here, I was told that some one of the Columban Father's would meet me and pilot me on the rest of the way. Boats are uncertain things on the Chinese rivers. The Yangtze was in flood at this time, and it was a day and a half after the scheduled time when we reached Kiukiang a few hours after nightfalls. It was pitch dark. Usually when a boat touches a wharf in China there is a swarm of coolies up the sides on to the deck in an instant, and it takes a very slick foreigner to get on board until order of some sort has been restored, but on this occasion our boat can hardly have touched the dock when I saw a spare figure striding down the deck, and in spite of the darkness I saw enough of the face under the huge pith helmet to recognise Fr Joe Hogan. Good old Joe! I remember him as the one who long ago in Second Junior could make excuses for home exercises undone in such tones of genuine penitence as would melt any master's heart (until he had learned that the same penitence would be needed quite as much on the morning after the next football match).

The ascent to Kuling is on sedan chairs carried by strong men of the hills, - and it was ten o'clock at night when Fr Joe piloted me to the place where the chairs were to be had. But they weren't to be had and, rather than turn back, we started : on a midnight walk, that would take us till about three in the morning. But my guide's resources were not exhausted, and in spite of the fact that those who managed these things said there were no chairs to be had, chairs were found. The carriers were not in good humour at that time of night, and a quarrel between them made the hills resound with language which Joe assured me was far from parliamentary. But when he intervened his voice dominated, and he told them that he was in much too great a hurry to be able to give them time to have a fight, and that they had better go on. They went on meekly enough, and we reached our destination about an hour after midnight.

It was a fortnight or so before I met any more of the Belvederian missionaries. I had been away from Kuling and when I got back there again two others had arrived: Frs Fergus Murphy and Aidan McGrath. Just as in my memory I associated Joe Hogan with most sincere regrets for not having done an English composition when he was in Junior Grade, so I connected Fergus Murphy in my memory with long-ago days in 1st Prep, and Aidan McGrath with the base of a Rugby scrum. Now Fergus is Rector of a seminary, a Doctor of Canon Law, and the possessor of a neat Captain Cuttle beard, but many years fell away when I met him, and his sunny outlook on life seemed so little changed that it was with some difficulty that I could think of him as being beaten unconscious by bandits and the hero of other missionary adventures of which his companions told me.

That is the way about all those missionaries, it is from their companions that you learn their experiences. I think that I should have been for years with Joe Hogan before I ever discovered that anything extraordinary ever happened to him, yet the others assured me that “a book could be written about him”. I forget how many times he fell into the hands of bandits, but each time he managed to get away. Om at least one occasion he calmly bluffed his way out of their hands. On another occasion he escaped by making his horse swim a stream while he gallantly held on to its tail and was pulled across with an umbrella tucked safely under his arm. When he goes home, if the Mission Society in Belvedere can get him to tell something about his years in China it will have the most exciting hour in its history. But I do not know if he will ever go home. He should have gone long ago for a year's rest, but he always finds an excuse for not leaving his people. I visited his parish in Han-yang afterwards and he is written all over it.

Aidan McGrath is one of the most fluent Chinese speakers among the Irish missionaries in China, but the gift of tongues did not come to him overnight, he learned the language in the hardest of schools-amidst the need of ministering to people dying of hunger and pestilence. He arrived in the blackest year of the Hanyang mission, there was not time for study or preparation, every man was wanted to save and encourage and baptise. Aidan went into the thick of it, and his elder brother, Ronan, at home was envying him. Even looking back on those days there is no glamour of adventure for those who went through it, but Aidan at any rate emerged a vigorous missionary, resourceful and untiring and ready for anything,

The Belvederians are a good sample of what Irish missionaries are in China their old school may well be proud of them.

It was when I had met all those whom I knew as boys in Belvedere that another of the Columban Fathers told me that he too had a brief connection with Belvedere - Fr Shackleton, who spent half a year there when ill-health and the pogrom kept him from his native Belfast. Those who knew him will be glad to hear his name, and perhaps they will have a chance of seeing the Bulletin which he produces to tell the world something of the Hanyang Mission.

Now my three quarters of an hour is at an end."

The Editor feels that he owes his readers an apology for those missing pictures. Sent and mislaid, they were recovered too late for publication. How fortunate that Fr Ryan's pen is more vivid than any photo.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1939

The Past

Fr T F Ryan SJ, who is so well known to several generations of Belvederians, and whose extraordinary zeal and charity the Dublin poor know so well, had already risen to a key position in the Refuge Council, and late in the evening of Friday, November 25th, he came to my room to ask for half a dozen boys on the morrow, to help in opening a new refugee camp at Fanling. I promised him straight away, not merely half a dozen, but as many as he wished, and offered to go myself, if I could be of service. The offer was gladly accepted, and thus began one of the most interesting and touching experiences of my life.

Previous to the capture of Canton, very large supplies of arms, ammunition and other war material had been pouring into China through Hong Kong; in such quantities, indeed, that the Chinese Government had had special sidings constructed along the Kowloon-Canton railway in British territory, where waggons could be loaded and left during the day time, to be sent up to Canton by night. There were, therefore, these now-unused sidings, and large numbers of covered goods-waggons in the New Territories; and somebody hit on the bright idea of using these waggons to house refugees. Forty large waggons had been placed along a siding close to Fanling station; and this was the refuge camp which the Wah Yan boys and I had been invited to get under way. Later, two other similar camps were opened, and for most of the month of December, as I shall relate, I and my handful of schoolboys had full charge of all three camps, with a housing capacity of over three thousand people.

When we arrived at Fanling on that first hectic morning, we found the roads literally black with people: men and women carrying poultry or pigs, or even children, on poles slung across their shoulders, little children laden with bundles of clothes or bedding. There was a constant, endless stream of these unfortunates, fleeing from the terror beyond the border. Along one straight piece of road, we counted over 100 persons within a few hundred yards; and this took no account at all of the many larger or smaller groups, where people had stopped to rest for a while on their weary journey.

At the camp, however, all was still and empty - for we quickly discovered that the poor people did not trust the railway waggons, and would not come to them! When we told them that this was a new refugee camp, they just shook their heads silently, and jogged along further. They thought the whole thing was a “plant”, and that our plan was to get them into the waggons, and then send them back into China. So the boys scattered along the roads to talk to the poor people, and induce them to come in.

Meanwhile, the side of the track was rapidly being turned from virgin soil into a semblance of a kitchen. Holes were dug, rice-pans placed over them, fires lit under the pans, and very soon smoke and steam were rising from the midday meal. The refugees began to drift in, but very slowly; for one group that stayed and took shelter with us, there must have been ten that passed on. Actually, however, about 350 refugees were given a meal as soon as the first boiling of rice and fish and vegetables was ready.

After the meal was over, there was time for a few words with some of our unhappy guests. One man had not eaten for three or four days, and was hardly able to walk with the aid of a stick; and when he returned painfully to his waggon after taking his rice, he discovered that his only blanket had been stolen! Another poor woman with three grand little sons had had her husband killed and her house burned, and had fallen in one fell afternoon from comfort to beggary and a future without hope, Later, however, many groups came in with stories, of houses burned and near relatives killed.

So commenced our month with the refugees.

Let me say at once that the boys were wonderful. I knew their fine spirit, of course, and that I could rely on them to do their very best; but I never dreamed that I should discover amongst them such quiet zeal, competence and efficiency, Not many days had passed, indeed, before I found that I could safely entrust the entire running of the camp to them; and as a consequence, most of my own time was spent in running around on lorries, making sure that they got all the necessary supplies, of food, clothes, blankets, which they needed.

Problems of all kinds arose, at one time or another, and called for qualities of calmness and quick decision. On one occasion, a baby was born, without medical attendance of any kind, in one of the waggons; one or two men died; there was a fight between some of the refugees and the cook's helpers; three adults were knocked down by the trains and killed - one woman, indeed, was killed only a few yards from me, and I lifted her dead body off the track myself! There were thefts, too, and quite a few of the minor little squabbles which are likely to occur when many persons, who are very poor, are cooped up together. But the boys handled all these emergencies with the deftness of skilled organisers; and when they left the camps at the end of the month to return to school, they had won the genuine affection of their charges. The children surrounded them on that last evening, crying, and begging them to remain.

We started schools for the children before we left the camps; all Chinese have a great love of learning, and once the suggestion of a school was made, we had about two hundred students straight away. All the teachers were volunteer workers, and it was amazing how quickly the children learned from them discipline, good manners, and singing. There was a most amusing scene one afternoon, when we got word that the Governor, Sir Geoffrey Northcote, was coming out to visit the camps. The teachers had taught the children how to stand to attention to receive him; and for most of the afternoon before his visit, I spent my time walking up and down between two lines of erect little figures, playing the part of the Governor, and taking the salute!

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1970

Obituary

Father Thomas Ryan SJ : An Appreciation

Father Thomas Francis Ryan SJ, of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong died on Thursday, 4th February, aged 82.

In such an obituary introduction it is usual to give between the name and announcement of death a word or two summarizing the character and career of the deceased. It. would, however, be impossible to summarize the character and career of Father Ryan in a word or two. He was priest, administrator, author, educator, counsellor, essayist, journalist, broadcaster, agriculturalist, inventor, controversialist, art and music critic, social worker - the list is long already, yet those who knew Father Ryan best will complain that it has left out what was most characteristic. Like Dryden's Zimri he was “a man so various that he seemed to be not one but all mankind's epitome”; but no one could have thrown at him Dryden's sneer! “everything in turns but nothing long”. Father Ryan was always master of his many gifts and of all that had come to him through broad training and wide experience. He used that mastery with startling energy for the Glory of God.

He was born in Cork, Ireland on 30th December, 1889. Having received his secondary education at Presentation College Cork, he joined the Society of Jesus in 1907. In his noviciate, the first two years of Jesuit training, he endured one annoyance that foreshadows much of his life. The novices were expected to sleep the hours or so that young men normally need. All his life he slept for only three or four hours at night and spent the rest of the twenty-four hours working with unflagging energy. The extra hours of rest in the noviciate were to him a time of [inerm] boredom. He never again subjected himself to this torture!

After his noviceship he went through the usual Jesuit course of studies, interrupted by six years of secondary teaching in Belvedere College, Dublin. He did his university studies in the National University of Ireland. After the conferring of his MA, the Dean of Philosophy approached him with a suggestion that he should take up a lectureship in aesthetics that the Dean wished to found. This flattering offer was one of the few things that ever succeeded in disconcerting Father Ryan. Deep as his aesthetic interests were he shuddered at the thought of restricting himself to aesthetics - He even sacrificed his membership of a string quartet-and this was a very real sacrifice - because he found it too time-consuming.

Having completed his Jesuit training and been ordained priest (1922), he was appointed editor, first of the Madonna and later of the Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart. With his editorship he combined intense social work, to which he was driven by a fierce intolerance of social injustice and human misery. This work brought him into touch with many of the city courts and for five years, on the invitation of the magistrates, he sat on the bench of the bench of the Dublin Juvenile. Though he was never in the least soft or sentimental, the young offenders and their parents knew that he would understand why an erring youth had gone wrong. If he thought a case was being mishandled, he made his mind known with, at times, appalling energy and clarity, Even when he thought punishment was deserved, he did not banish the delinquent from his sympathies or lose respect for the delinquent's human dignity. Before leaving Ireland in 1933, Father Ryan had to visit every gaol in Ireland. He had friends in all of them. Much as he was accomplishing on his own, Father Ryan had no ambition to be a lone worker. His editorial office was in Belvedere College, Dublin, and though he was not on the staff of the school he interested the boys, past and present, in social work and was largely responsible for the foundation of the Belvedere Newsboys' Club and the Belvedere Housing Society. His work with this latter society brought to his notice similar work that was then being done on Tyneside by an Anglican clergyman, the Rev R A Hall, with whom (as Bishop Hall) he was to work on housing in Hong Kong in later decades.

In 1933, Father Ryan left Ireland for Hong Kong. The send off he received from tenement dwellers, newsboys, young people who had got into trouble and above all the parents of such young people, is still, after 35 years, part of the folklore of Dublin.

On arrival in East Asia, Father Ryan went to Shui Hing, Kwangtung, to try to learn Cantonese, but with very little success. As a young man he had learned several European languages and spoke them well. From Shui Hing he went to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, to teach and to edit a monthly magazine, The Rock, vigorous attacks on social injustice and his equally vigorous defence of the Nationalist side in the Spanish Civil War made The Rock a centre of lively controversy: his journalism was like a hail of bullets : facts and judgments were projected at the reader with all the force of intensely held conviction.

Teaching and editing would have overfilled the time of most men, but, as was said above, Father Ryan slept very little and worked all the rest of the day. He was not long in Hong Kong before he became a regular broadcaster on art, music and literature and he was for many years a music critic for the South China Morning Post,

His failure to learn Cantonese had cut him off almost entirely from direct social work, so he redoubled his activity as a committee man and organizer. There was much to be done. Laisez faire was still the unquestioned social philosophy of Hong Kong. There was no Social Welfare Department in those days and there were few voluntary social agencies. Father Ryan and Bishop Hall were among the few who were struggling to bring to life a social conscience in the community at large.

When Canton fell to the Japanese in 1938, Bishop Hall and Father Ryan were among those who had some idea of what had to be done to provide food and shelter for the many thousands of refugees who poured over the border. Government had no organization in those days for dealing with such problems. A War Relief Committee was set up and for a considerable time Father Ryan was Chairman. He had to be ready to hear during dinner that so many thousand refugees had arrived unannounced. He was ready. Railway coaches, unwanted on account of the cutting off of railway traffic provided temporary shelter and well organized services provided food.

In The Rock he made no effort to conceal his opinion of the Japanese attack on China, When the Japanese attacked Hong Kong, he worked in a hospital for a few days and then was asked by the Government to take over rice distribution. After the surrender it was clear that the editor of The Rock would not be persona grata to the occupying power. He made his way to China before the new administration had settled down and after a period with the Maryknoll Fathers in Kweilin, went to Chungking, wiere he continued his welfare work and his radio broadcasting
Since Father Ryan had little love of reminiscence, comparatively little is known here about his activities in China -- a few interesting stories about unusual events but no general picture of his relief work.

Evidence of the value of that work was provided in a startling way after his return to Hong Kong in 1945. There was then a grave shortage of trained administrators there, so the Colonial Secretary, who had been with him in Chunking, asked Father Ryan to take over the Department of Botany and Forestry and to help in setting up a Department of Agriculture. This was almost unprecedented work for a priest; but the organization of Hong Kong had been shattered and the task set before Father Ryan was not one of bureaucratic administration but of helping huge numbers of people in a time of desperate need, He accepted.

Father Ryan, city-born and city-bred, knew nothing about botany or forestry or agriculture; but he did know how to get reliable information and advice and he did know how to get things done. He welded his co-workers into a team and was soon busy introducing New South Wales methods of raising seedlings, planning roadside plantations, experimenting with tung-oil plantations, and looking for boars to raise the level of pig breeding.

Having found that middlemen were exploiting the New Territories vegetable growers he went into action and founded the Wholesale Vegetable Marketing Organization in 1940. The middle men put up a vigorous, at times a vicious, fight; but the new organization triumphed.

Regular administrators became available in 1947, so Father Ryan laid down his departmental responsibilities - only to find himself burdened with new ones, as Regional Superior of the Jesuits in Hong Kong. Almost at once he set about providing more suitable buildings for Wan Yah College. The accomplishment of this plan was delayed till after his period of office, but the impetus was his.

All his life, Father Ryan has been an initiator. As Superior he welcomed initiative in his fellow Jesuits, encouraging and stimulating anyone who had new ideas or new ways of dealing with old problems. From many administrators in Church and State “It's never been done before” is a reason or an excuse for inaction. For Father Ryan it was a challenge to action: “It should be tried now”.

Once again he turned to social action, in a more helpful atmosphere than he had known in pre-war Hong Kong. In conjunction with Bishop Hall and other go-ahead members of the community he helped to found the Hong Kong Housing Society, which has now the proud record of 100,000 people in 16,000 flats in 12 estates. He was also a founder member of the Hong Kong Council of Social Services, 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 of several other committees. And no one ever accused him of being a silent member of any committee.

Even when bearing the burdens of authority, Father Ryan, continued his work as broadcaster and writer on the arts, and returned to teaching English to the top form in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. Every now and then he published a book - “China Through Catholic Eyes”, “Jesuits Under Fire”, “The Story of a Hundred Years” (a history of the PIME missionaries in Hong Kong), “A Catholic Guide to Hong Kong”, “Jesuits in China”. He also edited “Archaeological Finds on Lamma Island”, the collected papers of the late Father D Finn SJ.

When he reached the age of 60, Father Ryan, characteristically, resigned from several committees, holding that the elderly should make way for their juniors. These resignations did not entail any serious cutting of his work. He maintained and increased his load of broadcasting and was constantly consulted on a very wide variety of subjects.

As he approached the seventies, severe heart trouble began at last to impose limits on his energies. He was reduced to doing only as much as an ordinary full-occupied man; by standard this was retirement. As the years passed his ailments grew more serious and he suffered great pain. He held on to his work as a teacher as long as was humanly possible, but gradually he found himself able to do l

Sheridan, Terence J, 1908-1970, Jesuit priest

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

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

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03 December 1966

Early education at Belvedere College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Requiem for Father Sheridan

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

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

The chief celebrant, Father Fergus Cronin, Provincial Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits and one of Father Sheridan’s oldest friends in Hong Kong, paid the following tribute.

I suppose all of us here are people who knew Father Terence Sheridan so it is not necessary for me to say who he was nor to mention many of the things he did.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong KongIrish Province News 46th Year No 2 1971

Obituary :

Fr Terry Sheridan SJ

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1970

Obituary

Father Terry Sheridan SJ :

It is impossible to do Fr. Sheridan justice within the limits of an obituary notice. He was so versatile, so energetic, so amusing and so zealous that to leave anything out is to mar the general portrait.

After a school career which was more noteworthy for prominence in sport than for progress in studies, he joined the Society and after his philosophy course set sail for Hong Kong in 1934. Though still a Scholastic, he was the outstanding personality on board the German liner, so much so that on his birthday the ship's band insisted on serenading him and the ship's company threw a huge party for all the passengers.

On his arrival in China, he was posted to the language school at Shiuhing. There he gained a fair command of Cantonese and learned to appreciate the Cantonese opera. For the secondary school pupils, struggling with their English texts he staged scenes from Shakespeare or from other English classics.

He returned to Ireland for theology and did not get back to Hong Kong till 1946. Once more he interested himself in the stage and initiated the foreign element in the colony into the meaning of the Chinese theatre. The former Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Alexander Granthan, was an enthusiastic supporter of Fr Terry.

The schoolmaster and producer had now to turn his hand to journalism. He launched two periodicals in 1952 and then in 1961 was assigned to Singapore to take over Malayasian Catholic News. While he was there he drew up for the Singapore defence forces their official Code of Conduct. After a short while he was sent to work for the overseas programme of the newly established Radio Veritas. He spent the rest of his life training priests and laymen to write and adapt audio-visual aids to the defence and spreading of the Church. .

His death came when least expected and alarming rumours were spread that he had met a violent end. This was not so. Fr Terry had died of heart disease, but his body was not discovered for a day. Hence the inevitable crop of lurid tales. We offer our sincere sympathy to his sister Maria.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1938

Mungret Mewn in South China

Father Terry Sheridan SJ

The last account of this mission to appear in the “Mungret Annual” was written by Father Joseph McCullough from the mission field itself. He, with Father Michael Saul, another Mungret man, was at that time in Canton, the capital of South China. His account of the Mungret men who were helping him was probably the last article that Father McCullough ever wrote. For the very time when it was published here June 1932, Father Saul was dying from cholera and Father McCullough was courageously attending to the needs of his friend. On June 21st, Father Saul died. On the evening of the funeral, Father McCullough himself went down with the awful sickness that was sweeping away hundreds at that time. He fought the disease out of his system, but on June 27th his heart gave way and he was laid beside Fr Saul in the little Catholic cemetery by the Pearl River. It was the end of the first gallant attempt of Irish Jesuits to help in the establishment of a Catholic school in Canton. Two old Mungret men gave their lives for that cause. They were the first of the Irish Jesuit mission to die in China.

The pioneer and founder of the mission was Father George Byrne. He landed in China in 1926, on the Feast of St. Francis Xavier. His first concern was to build a University Hostel where, in a Catholic atmosphere, Chinese Catholics might live while attending the Hong-Kong University. To-day Father Byrne is professing in the University and is known familiarly to the students, Catholic and pagans alike as “Grandfather”. That is a title of honour and affection in China.

The second work he was bold enough to undertake was the Regional Seminary for South China. Here the future priests for a region with a population of nearly fifty millions get their training right up to ordination. As native priests are one of the primary needs in China to-day, it can be seen how important the success of this work was and is. At present there are more than sixty Chinese students in the Seminary, where their spiritual needs are catered for by Father Dick Harris.

In 1933 the Irish Jesuits took over Wah Yan College, which is now, with over 900 boys on the rolls, one of the largest colleges in Hong-Kong. Here, almost from the beginning, Father Richard Gallagher has been in charge. If he was popular in Mungret as a teacher he is even more popular among the Chinese boys. They say of him that he is “hó hó sam”, which means that he has a very kind heart. And all who work with or under him know that this is true. At present he is the acting Superior of the Mission; an arduous task on top of his other responsibilities.

With him in Wah Yan, also from the beginning, is Father Eddie Bourke, who had been First Club Prefect in Mungret just before he went to China. He has been in charge of the boarders all the time and his influence over them has been so great that it is from among these boarders that we draw the greatest number of converts. One has entered the Jesuit Novitiate in Manila while another is going soon to the Regional Seminary to start his studies for the priesthood.

Besides those actually working in the front-line trenches, so to speak, there are others preparing themselves by the study of the language. And what a language! The Jesuits have a special school for its study about twenty miles from Hong Kong. Here Father Albert Cooney looks after the wants of those who are learning to write with a brush and to speak in lilting monosyllables. Father Ned Sullivan, his old school-mate, is with him there, striving to “Kong Tong wa”, which means simply, but not too simply, to speak Chinese. Mr Patrick Walsh has now reached such proficiency in the language that he is staying on there simply to perfect himself. Mr George McCaul, who was in Mungret a year after him, is still that time behind him in the study of the native tongue. Soon he, and all the others in the Language School, will be out teaching in Wah Yan, the Seminary or the University, or, be it whispered, in our new village mission. They will be replacing the Mungret men, and, of course others, who have gone before them.

Next September, Father T Fitzgerald, who edited the 1932 Jubilee “Mungret Annual”, and Mr John Carroll will be going out with six other Jesuits to swell the ranks and carry on the good work in South China. Mungret is prominent in the Irish Jesuit Mission to China as in so many other mission fields. May we ask that you will not forget that little Mission in South China, and that you will help to protect it, by your prayers, now that war and unrest threaten that kind Chinese people who must be won to Christ.

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
Final Vows: 02 February1966, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome, Italy
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.

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

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

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005

Obituary

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

Remembering Joe Tai SJ

Harry Naylor

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

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

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

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

Tarpey, James, 1924-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/617
  • Person
  • 05 May 1924-21 March 2001

Born: 05 May 1924, Kilkelly, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 21 March 2001, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to HIB : 1976

by 1952 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1980 at Richmond Fellowship London (BRI) studying

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 108 : Special Edition 2001

Obituary

Fr James (Jim) Tarpey (1924-2001)

5th May 1924: Born in Kilkelly, Co. Mayo
Early Education at Mungret College
7th Sept 1942: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1944: First Vows at Emo
1944 - 1948: Rathfarnham - studying Arts at UCD
1948 - 1951: Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1951 - 1954: Hong Kong- 2 years language School / 1 year Wah Yan College
1954 - 1958: Milltown Park - studying Theology
31st July 1957: Ordained at Milltown
1958 - 1959: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1959 - 1969: Hong Kong (Wah Yan, Queen's Road; Wah Yan, Waterloo Road; Cheung Chau) - various capacities: Rector, Minister Prefect of the Church, Teaching English
2nd Feb. 1960: Final Vows in Hong Kong
1969 - 1973: Tullabeg - 1 year Mission staff, 3 years Retreat House staff
1973 - 1976: Rathfarnham - Retreat House staff
1976 - 1978: Betagh House, 9 Temple Villas - Superior
1978 - 1979: Rathfarnham - Director Spiritual Exercises
1979 - 1980: London - Studying practical psychology
1980 - 1981: Rathfarnham - Director Spiritual Exercises
1981 - 1984: Tullabeg - Director Spiritual Exercises
1984 - 1986: Manresa - Director Spiritual Exercises
1986 - 1988: Milltown Park - Director Spiritual Exercises; Lay Retreat Association
1988 - 1991: Arrupe, Ballymun - Parish Curate
1991 - 1996: Manresa - Director Spiritual Exercises
1996 - 1997: Milltown Park - Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Director Spiritual Exercises
1997 - 1998: Sandford Lodge - Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Director Spiritual Exercises
1998 - 2001: Milltown Park - Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Director Spiritual Exercises
21st March 2001: Died in Dublin

Some ten years ago, Jim was very seriously ill with a heart condition. He made a remarkable recovery and continued to live a very energetic life, giving retreats and novenas, besides his main job as Co-ordinator of Cherryfield Lodge. He was greatly appreciated for his apostolates, as retreat-giver and homilist. The suddenness of his passing took us all by surprise, since only the day before he died he had said the prayers at the removal of the remains of Fr. Tony Baggot. He was attending a meeting when he collapsed. He was taken to the Mater Hospital, having had a massive heart attack, from which he passed away.

Noel Barber writes....

Jim Tarpey died suddenly at an AA meeting on Wednesday, March 21st. The sudden death left his family and Jesuit community stunned, but it must have been a delightful surprise for Jim. One moment he was attending a meeting on a dank cold March day and then in a blink of an eyelid he was facing the Lord he loved so well and served so faithfully.

He was born 77 years ago in Kilkelly, Co Mayo, He was one of 8 children. All but his sister, Sr. Simeon, survive him. He was educated at Mungret College, Limerick where he performed weil in studies and games. He excelled at rugby and won a Munster Senior School's Rugby medal. On leaving school he entered the Society and followed the usual course of studies, After seven years the possibility of going on the missions arose. He opted for Zambia, then known as Northern Rhodesia, but was sent to Hong Kong, where he spent two years learning the language and one year teaching in a secondary school. He returned to Ireland in 1954 to study theology and was ordained in 1957 at Milltown Park.

During the years as a student his colleagues appreciated his wisdom, balance, good humour and good judgement. His piety was unobtrusive and dutiful. On the side, he acquired a formidable reputation as quite an outstanding Bridge player. He returned to Hong Kong in 1959 for 10 years. It was there that he developed his talent as a preacher.

On coming back to Ireland in 1969 he devoted the rest of his life to pastoral ministry of all shades and types with an interlude of two years when he was Superior of a Scholasticate. He was an outstanding preacher to priests, nuns, laity, to the young and the old. Father Donal Neary tells that Jim was in constant demand to return to wherever he gave the Novena of Grace. One could multiply such accounts in all sorts of areas.

He was greatly beloved by patients and staff in Cherryfield Lodge, similarly in the Royal Hospital, Donnybrook, where he spent an afternoon every week, having heard that the hospital required volunteers to visit patients. He had a large apostolate within the AA. He travelled the length and breadth of the country giving retreats and missions. He had exceptional gifts as a confessor and spiritual director, as many can testify, not least his Jesuit brothers.

The ingredients that made him so successful in pastoral ministry were many. The card player was dealt a good hand. And like the good Bridge player he was, he exploited that hand to the full, capitalising on his long suits and maximising his short ones. He was a fine speaker and a gifted storyteller. He was amiable, unpretentious, and simple, of sound judgement and eminent common sense. He had the precious ability to learn from experience and convey what he learned to others.

He might well be embarrassed to hear himself described as a theologian. He was, however, a very good one. His theology was not speculative or philosophical. He thought about the Christian message in stories, created or drawn from experience, and he conveyed the message in the same way, simply, concretely and vividly. He was in good company in communicating the message in this way. He shared this style of communication with people we know as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These were important elements in his make-up.

But above all he was a man of prayer. He loved prayer: to love prayer is to love the one to whom one prays and with whom one journeys. One would find him regularly in the early hours of the morning in the little community oratory.

As a card player, he could maximise his short suit, so too in life. He discovered painfully that he suffered from alcoholism. In some ways that was the defining experience in his life. He battled the sickness, at times with little success, but ultimately conquered it. His own family, his Jesuit brothers and his friends are all proud of the way he accepted the sickness, spoke about it, overcame it, and helped so generously so many who suffered in the same way. That illness impressed on him a sense of his own fragility and from that sense so many of his qualities came. It gave him an enormous capacity to help others, to feel for them in their weakness and to accept them as he accepted himself.

Through his sickness he became humble in the true sense of the term. It did not blind him to his strengths, nor did he use it to protest that he was not up to this, that or the other. In fact he was always ready to take on whatever he was asked to do and to volunteer for any pastoral work, quietly confident that he could do successfully whatever he was called to do.

In his account of the last Supper, St. John leaves out the institution of the Eucharist, and where the other evangelists recount that scene, John puts in the washing of the feet. This is, of course, John's commentary on the Eucharist. And, Tarpey like, the evangelist makes his point in a story. He is saying that the Eucharist is pointless unless it leads us to serve others in humble tasks. Someone has said that the sign of a good Christian community would be if after lining up for communion, the congregation then lined up to serve others. Jim Tarpey was always in line, ready to serve others.

Taylor, Donal, 1923-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/725
  • Person
  • 06 November 1923-10 October 2006

Born: 06 November 1923, Portumna, County Galway
Entered: 06 September 1941, Emo
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 09 January 1982, Hong Kong
Died: 10 October 2006, Wahroonga, NSW, Australia - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of the Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney Australia community at the time of death.

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

by 1950 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was a Jesuit for 65 years, joining the Society in Ireland and coming first to Hong Kong in 1957.

His life in Hong Kong was divided into two phases, firstly working at the retreat House in Cheung Chau for seven years, and then as an English teacher for 25 years at Wah Yan College Kowloon. he published many textbooks on English teaching, composition, writing and colloquial English. He showed great interest in drama and stage production for stage plays, and he was very influential in the Hong Kong Speech Festivals. During his teaching years at Wah Yan College Kowloon, he was active every Sunday in parishes as well as leading Catholic students at Wah Yan to develop in Catholic leadership.

He decided to work in Australia as a pastoral priest when he left Wah Yan Kowloon in 1983 as he reached the retiring age of 60. he continued his missionary work in Australia, being actively involved in the parish at Lavender Bay in Sydney and also at Neutral Bay. he also had outreach work with prostitutes' and drug addicts.

His personal life was simple and ordinary. It was said with a smile, that he was very Irish (with a Galway accent), loyal to his country and its customs, always asserting that he was “not British”! He admired the balance and beauty of Chinese culture and its skills in resolving conflicts, and he made every effort to adapt to Chinese ways.

He wrote a Sonnet about himself :
When I am dead think only this of me,
He was a man, take him for all in all,
Awkward and shy, timid in company
Who never thought of himself as ten feet tall.
Dry wit and puckish slant on life he saved
For those foibles lingered o’er his trail
Oft saw the funny side of fold and misbehaved
In what he said, sometimes beyond the pale.
Of years a scorned and chalk-facing in Hong Kong
The classroom’s daily grind long his chore.
Retired in Austral shores, time seemed for long,
had no regrets, his home for evermore.
At the end of the day let this be said
Tough his sins were as scarlet, what he wrote was red.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Donal Taylor, one of five children, desired to become a priest from an early age, and after an earlier education at the Cistercian College, Roscrea, he entered the Society of Jesus at Emo Park, Ireland, 6 September 1941. He graduated in 1946 with a BA from University College, Dublin. Three years of philosophy studies followed at St Stanislaus' College, Tullabeg. He was assigned to the Hong Kong Mission for regency, 1949-52, during which he learned Chinese for two years and taught in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, for a year. In 1950 the communists detained him and two other Jesuit scholastics for two weeks after they accidentally entered Chinese territory from Macau, and were suspected of being spies as they had a camera. He returned to Ireland for theology 1952-56, and tertianship at Rathfarnham before returning to Hong Kong.
He started his teaching career at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, 1957-58, but believing that he needed to improve his Chinese he went back to Xavier House, Cheung Chou, where he not only studied Chinese, but was also given charge of the Retreat House as director and minister. During this time he established a successful parish network of retreat promoters.
Taylor's next assignment for nearly twenty years was teaching in Wah Yan College, Kowloon, from 1963, where he was also spiritual father to the junior boys. During this time he had two short breaks, 1967-68, studying “Teaching of English as a Second Language”, and, 1980-81, studying pastoral ministry.
He was a good teacher, serious in class, demanding attention and a high commitment from himself and his students. This often led to frustration and impatience. As spiritual father he
arranged an exhibition on Jesuits and their vocation for the Diocesan Vocation Exhibition organised by the Serra Club. He obtained material from all over the world, with the result that the Jesuit exhibition was the largest and most attractive.
Taylor loved teaching and his students won prizes each year for recitation, poetry reading and drama in the Hong Kong Schools Speech Festival. He produced “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, and directed “Pygmalion”, which was well acclaimed. To help his students he produced a series of books called “Living English” for the middle school years. He read widely, loved music and was an interesting companion in conversation. He was good at the Chinese language that made him welcome in Chinese company and especially with past students whom he had taught.
He suffered one setback in 1978 when he found it difficult to keep his balance when walking. He underwent an operation in America for inner ear balance malfunction, but afterward had to learn to walk again. As a result of this, and because he had grown tried of teaching, his heart not being in it, he thought it best to change his career, and went to England for a course in pastoral ministry before applying to the Australian province to work in a parish. He was aged 60. During his time in Hong Kong he was experienced as a faithful and committed Jesuit who served others with great generosity and responsibility.
He arrived in Australia and the Lavender Bay parish in November 1983, and found the contrast with his former life startling. No bells or order of time, his time was largely his own. He soon found that he received better feedback in the parish than in the school, and he enjoyed celebrating the sacraments other than the Mass. He had only celebrated two weddings during his time in Hong Kong, and now he had many more, learning that instruction of adults was different from children. People enjoyed his liturgies, and he prepared his Sunday homily with great care believing that it insulted people to preach without preparation. He tried to make his Mass as devotional and sacred as possible. He drew inner strength and fulfilment from his engagement with the people he met, admiring their faith, unselfishness, holiness and forbearance. A special ministry he undertook was to write to priests in prison convicted of sexual abuse. He believed that they needed to be befriended.
Taylor moved to the parish of St Canice's, Elizabeth Bay, 1990-96, as superior, and then St Joseph's, Neutral Bay, 1997-2001, and finally St Mary's, North Sydney, 2002-06.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007

Obituary

Fr Donal Taylor (1923-2006) : China Province

26th November 1923: Born at Portumna, Co. Galway.
6th September 1941: Entered the Society at Emo Park.
8th September 1943: First Vows at Emo
1943 - 1946: Rathfarnham - Studies Arts at UCD.
1946 - 1949: Tullabeg - studied philosophy.
1949 - 1951: Chinese Language Studies in Hong Kong.
1951 - 1952: Regency, teaching in Wah Yan, Hong Kong.
1952 - 1956: Milltown Park – studied theology
28th July, 1955: Ordained at Milltown Park
1956 - 1957: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1957 - 1958: Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - teaching.
1958 - 1962: Cheung Chau, H.K., Language Studies, Retreats.
1962 - 1978: Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - teaching
1979 - 1980: Teaching at Wah Yan College, Kowloon.
1980 - 1981: Studies in London, England
1981 - 1983: Teaching in Wah Yan College, Kowloon
1984 - 2006: Australia - Parish ministry
1984 - 1989: St. Francis Xavier's, Lavender Bay, Sydney.
1990 - 1996: St. Canice's, Elizabeth Bay, Sydney.
1997 - 2001: St. Joseph's Neutral Bay, Sydney
2002 - 2006: St. Mary's, North Sydney
September 2006: Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney
October 10th, 2006: Died at Wahroonga, New South Wales

Homily preached October 16", 2006 by Richard Leonard, S.J. at Requiem Mass, St Mary's Church, North Sydney.

For those of us who knew and loved Fr Donal Taylor, it comes as no surprise to discover that he planned his funeral. Donal liked good order, especially good liturgical order, and he was very clear about what he DIDN'T want.

Donal always thought the post-mortem double-guessing about readings, hymns and ministers was to be avoided. Preparing this liturgy was one of the ways he wrestled with his own mortality, and one of the ways he wanted to care for us. Some months ago he asked me to preach. My riding instructions were clear: “Eulogize me, don't canonize me”.

The readings he chose revolve around two themes: love and empathy. In the First Letter of John we are reminded that our love of each other is a response to God's initiative in loving us first. The Gospel, like our processional hymn, applies this idea still more clearly. Jesus tells us that the only law worth worrying about is the law of love, from which should flow at home-ness, joy, friendship and a passion for inission - to go out and bear the fruit of what we have been privileged to receive from Christ. And I know that Donal liked the Letter to the Hebrews not just because it focuses on Christ as priest, but because of the nature of the priesthood described therein: empathetic, tested, hospitable and sacrificial. And in the midst of hearing these words, Donal asks us, who grieve his passing, to sing WITH him, “Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord”.

Donal's life fell into three uneven chapters, each of them bestowing on him a rich legacy. For most of the first thirty years he was in Ireland. Donal's fierce loyalty for those he loved, his wicked and self-deprecating humour, the tendency to see the world as black or white, his deep love of literature and music, and his culinary palate for meat and potatoes, never left him.

Apart from the gentle lilt of his Galway accent, Donal's Irishness came into its own during the Australian republican debate. He was all for it. When I suggested that he should become an Australian citizen so he could vote in the referendum, he told me that he would first have to swear allegiance to the Queen. By whatever title the House of Windsor went in this country, the monarchy was British, and he was Irish, and that was that until an Australian was elected President.

For over twenty years Donal lived and worked in Hong Kong. It was a demanding mission, and apart from the obvious ways in which he was a foreigner, he never settled as easily nor as well as he had hoped. Still, he loved his students, and appreciated the way some of them stayed in contact with him over the years. He admired the balance and beauty of the best of Chinese culture, and also thought that the saving of face was a generous way to resolve conflict. When I visited him last week in hospital, it was no surprise to see that he been listening to a book in Mandarin.

Then, in 1984, he came to Australia. Moving out of teaching into pastoral ministry, for the next 18 years Donal was on “bay watch”, ministering at Lavender Bay, Elizabeth Bay and Neutral Bay, until coming here to North Sydney in 2002.

I first met Donal when, as a novice, I was sent to Lavender Bay. He seemed crotchety to me, and I was far too confident. So it was with mutual trepidation that we came together again at the end of 1992 at St Canice's.

I was a lot little less sure of myself at Kings Cross, and I noticed that Donal had changed too. With Elizabeth Clarke as the pastoral associate and in community with Frank Brennan and Peter Hosking for all of his time there, Donal was more vulnerable. He could be a difficult man to get to know, but, boy, was it worth it!

I was the luckiest pastoral assistant in Sydney because Donal never said “No” to any of my ideas. He would simply say, “I'd be slow on that one”. One Friday before Trinity Sunday I told Donal that I was going to preach that while Father, Son and Holy Spirit were privileged names for God, they did not exhaust the possibilities, and that God could helpfully be styled as our mother. Doubling-over in the chair he said, “I'd be slow on that one”.

At the Vigil Mass, Con, the most famous homeless person in Kings Cross, was in the front pew. During my advocacy for the maternity of God, Con jumped up and expressed what was probably a majority position in the church, “God's not our mother, Mary's our mother, God's our father”. Turning to Donal, he said, “Father Donal, this young bloke hasn't got a clue”. And marched out of the church. I looked at Donal, and then the congregation and said, “In the Name of the Father...” and sat down. And as I did Donal turned to his unteachable deacon and laughed, “I told you to be slow on that one”. Later, over dinner, he told me to give the same homily at the other Masses, “Because, while it's not my cup of tea, there are people who need to hear that Father is not the only name for God”. What a pastor! What a friend!

As we come to commend our dear brother into the arms of God, we will miss so many things: the limericks and the prose that marked our special days. He thus introduced the last verse he wrote:

“An attempt at a sonnet about myself that ends on a wobbly note”

When I am dead, think only this of me,
He was a man, take him for all in all,
Awkward and shy, timid in company,
Who never thought of self as ten feet tall.
Dry wit and puckish slant on life he saved
For those whose foibles lingered o'er his trail.
Oft saw the funny side of folk and misbehaved
In what he said, sometimes beyond the pale.
Of years a score and more chalk-facing in Hong Kong,
The classroom's daily grind for long his chore.
Retired to Austral shores, time seemed not long,
Had no regrets, his home for evermore.
At the end of the day let this be said
Though his sins were as scarlet, what he wrote was read.

We will also miss the elegant turn of phrase and sharp wit in the Province's Fortnightly Report; and the unfussy friendship, but constant encouragement and care, he lavished upon us. Like the Lord he so faithfully served, Donal was loving and empathetic.

Last Tuesday, on the vigil of the feast of St Canice, he heard the Lord speak into his ear, “Do not be afraid I am with you. I have called you by your name, you are mine. I have called you by your name. You are mine”. And with that Donal went rejoicing to the house of Lord. “Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen."

Donal's niece, Mairead, visited him at Easter, 2006. She and her husband, Fintan, came to pay their final respects to him on behalf of his Irish family. Richard extracted a promise from her that she would write something about her uncle. The following, read at the funeral, is taken from her tribute:

Donal was a gentle mannered child and from a young age always wanted to be a priest. well, maybe not always, he thought that he should be a bishop first and was known in the family and by his circle of friends as “the Bishop”, The Taylor's were renowned for the funerals of the family pets, of which there were a number. Donal would not attend these services unless he could be “The Bishop”. These occasions were always a great source of amusement for the neighbours - The Sisters of Mercy! Being a diplomatic individual, Donal would often try to break up a disagreement between his brothers but would invariably come out worse. This was the version that Donal himself would tell but his brother Brendan may tell a different story!! During the month of May Donal would have an altar with candles and it would be his pride and joy, until his older brother John would always blow out the candles and then the prayers were very quickly forgotten,

After 27 years of living and teaching in Hong Kong, Donal decided to retire from teaching and moved to Australia. When asked why he didn't move back to Ireland he simply stated that it was too cold. When his niece was getting married in March of 1996 Donal came home to officiate at the ceremony, but only after he gave his opinion that she should get married in August as it would be warmer!!!

Donal made regular trips to Ireland and England to see his family. He was chief celebrant at his brother John's funeral in 1996 and came home to christen his grandniece Alison in 2001. His most recent trip was in 2005 to celebrate the golden anniversary of his ordination which he celebrated in Milltown with a number of other priests that he had studied with.

Donal was a quiet gentle-spoken man with a good sense of humour and a very loyal friend and relative. He spoke openly about various matters of the church. When he was asked once about the subject of the marital debate for priests his opinion was that it really was not for him as he was very happy to reside at the parochial house but a number of women would not share the same kitchen!!!

Donal was a priest for 51 years, an extremely happy union. He had a very strong faith, which he had grown up with, and, although he never made Bishop, he had a much fulfilled life. He was as happy saying Mass in a crowded church as he was saying it in the dining room of his family home. He was a kind and gentle individual who remembered Birthdays and Christmas and when he came home to Ireland he was great at travelling around and seeing everyone. Donal was a gentle man. It was wonderful to see him at Easter, to see his churches, his home and the chalice that his parents gave him on his ordination. It is truly a beautiful piece with a little bit of Ireland engraved into it. He brought it with him wherever he was based and he told me that it would remain in this church.

He really loved this parish. And let me tell you, why wouldn't he, everyone was so kind to him. But the icing on the cake was that his brother Brendan lived close, although I'm not sure who was looking out for whom. When you remember Donal, remember him with a smile and his gentle voice. For us in Ireland, we will remember him as a brother, brother-in-law, uncle and grand-uncle. Donal is survived by his brother, Brendan, sisters Mary and Eleanor, sister-in-law Eilish, brother-in-law John, niece Mairead, nephew-in law Fintan, grand-niece Alison, and grand-nephews John and Karl.

Toner, Patrick, 1910-1983, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/419
  • Person
  • 17 September 1910-21 January 1983

Born: 17 September 1910, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 08 January 1944, Sydney, Australia
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 21 January 1983, Lisheen House, Rathcoole, County Dublin - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Part of the Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin community at the time of death.

Early education at Westland Row CBS Dublin, and Blackrock College, County Dublin

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966
by 1938 at Loyola, Hong Kong - studying
by 1941 at Pymble NSW, Australia - studying

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

Father Patrick Toner, SJ, former Rector of Wah Yan College, Kowloon, died in Ireland on 21 January 1983, aged 72.

Father Toner was born in Belfast on 3 September 1910. His family was driven out of Belfast by the “pogroms” of the early 1920s and settled in Dublin, but in many ways he himself remained a Belfast-man, tenacious of any opinion or course of action that he had taken up.

In 1930 he interrupted his university studies to enter the Irish Jesuit novitiate, and he adhered firmly throughout his life to the lessons he learned as a novice. His closet friends used say that he arrived in the novitiate with a slight Belfast accent, but as the years passed this accent became stronger and stronger - more tenacity!

He arrived in Hong Kong as a Jesuit scholastic in 1937. In addition to regulation language study and teaching, he did a considerable amount of work for the refugees who poured into Hong Kong after the fall of Canton to the Japanese in later 1938, even spending a short period in much-troubled Canton.

In 1940 he went to start his theological studies in Australia, and was ordained there in 1943. Having finished his theological studies, he returned to Ireland to do his last year of Jesuit training, and to visit his family, to whom he was deeply devoted.

He returned to Hong Kong in 1946 and took up teaching in the Wah Yan Branch College under the headmastership of Mr. Lim Hoy Lam in Nelson Street, Kowloon.

In 1947, Mr. Lim retired from the administration of the school and Father Toner became headmaster. In 1951 the school moved to its new premises in Waterloo Road, dropping “Branch” from its title and becoming Wah Yan College, Kowloon. Father Toner as Rector and headmaster directed the move, and the great expansion of the school and the formation of its new traditions.

In 1964, having completed his period of rectorship, he transferred to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, and taught there until 1976, taking charge also for some time of the Night School and of the Poor Boys Club.

This career of education, administration and pastoral work taught him much about meeting the problems that life presents, but it did not change his character. He arrived in the Jesuit novitiate 51 years ago as a cheerful, uncomplicated, deeply devoted young man. He died last month as a cheerful, uncomplicated, deeply devoted old man. May there be many like him!

As might have been expected, Father Toner did not take kindly to the changes that multiplied in the Church during and after Vatican Council II. This never caused any breach between him and those who eagerly followed new ways; it did lend a special flavour to his confabulation with those who thought like himself. He and his dear friend Father Carmel Orlando, PIME, came closer than ever together as they pondered in company the wisdom of The Wanderer and sighed energetically over the antics of extremists.

In 1976 Father Toner left for Ireland. Soon after his arrival his health began to decline. He retained his mental powers and his cheerful spirit unimpaired, but his bodily strength faded gradually, but inexorably under the strain of arteriosclerosis.

He suffered a stroke on 20 January and died early the following morning.

Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated this evening, 4 February, at 6 o’clock in the chapel of Wah Yan College, Kowloon.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 4 February 1983

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945

Frs. J. Collins, D. Lawler and P. Toner, of the Hong Kong Mission, who finished theology at Pymble last January, were able to leave for Ireland some time ago, and are expected in Dublin after Easter.

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

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

Irish Province News 58th Year No 2 1983

Obituary

Fr Patrick Toner (1910-1930-1983) (Macau-Hong Kong)

Fr Paddy Toner was born in Belfast, 7th September 1910. The family was forced to leave Belfast during the 1922 pogroms in Northern Ireland. The Toners were publicans. Paddy remembered those times and one incident in particular: One evening on returning from school, he entered their premises to find his father being held at gun-point. There were two men holding revolvers to his head, one each side. Paddy, twelve years old, dashed for the counter and flung a heavy bottle-opener at the raiders. The gunmen tried to get him, but his father managed to escape. This incident gave Paddy, the eldest of four boys, a special place in his father's affection. It also shows the stuff that Paddy Toner, most gentle and lovable of men, was made of.
As a boy at Blackrock College, when the late Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid was President, Paddy made known to his mother his intention to go for the priesthood. We can understand his father being upset and totally opposed to this idea. No, Paddy would never leave him. He discussed the matter with the President of the College and on his advice, on leaving College, Paddy went to UCD - This would enable him to come to a more mature decision. His father hoped he would change his mind.
In one way he did change his mind: having finished First Arts, he applied for admission to the Society of Jesus and went to St Mary's, Emo, to begin his noviciate in 1930. In floods of tears, his brother told me, his father said goodbye to him just saying: “If this is what you want, my boy, you must have it”.
There were fifty of us in the novice ship that year, and I would say that to a man we would all agree that Paddy Toner was the life and soul of this large novitiate during those two years in the wilderness. He was heart and soul in everything we did - works, walks, recreations and, above all, football. When Pat donned his “shooters”, as he called the boots, one might look about for a pair of shin-guards.
He gained a year in Rathfarnham by going into Second Arts. We were together again for two years in “The Bog” and again he was always the bright ray of sunshine in the “L-o-n-el-y Life” that was ours - to use Fr B Byrne's description of it.
Then came the big break: In 1937 Paddy with three others set out for the Hong Kong Mission. For Paddy and for his family this was a traumatic sacrifice, but to China he went and he never looked back. To add to this, World War II broke out, and in 1940, instead of returning to Milltown Park for theology and ordination, he found himself bound for Australia. In 1945 he returned for tertianship in Rathfarnham. By this time Paddy Toner was Hong Kong to the core. Nothing would have held him back from the Mission. His work in Hong Kong will find space in this issue of Province News. His heart was there and remained there even after his retirement in 1977 through ill-health to join our Community at Rathfarnham Castle.
His last six years were a great blessing for us and for his family, but for Paddy they were years of gradual decline and patient suffering. He did not like Rathfarnham. In his failing health, it was too much for him. The small dining room especially was a trial on account of the noise, particularly on occasions when there was an invasion of visitors and people raised their voices - “Ear-bashers” he called them. He spoke little, but when, with a chuckle, he did mutter those few words, audible only to those very close to him, he said more than all the rest with all their shouting. Both in writing and in speaking, he had a most remarkable gift of brevity and crystal clarity.
Fortunately, during this time, he was well enough to be able to divide his time between Rathfarnham and Blackrock where his sister Maud lived. His brother Joe would call for him on Sunday afternoon and deliver him back on Thursday afternoon.. The only attraction Rathfarnham had for him was that he could say Mass there four days of the week.
His final year was spent in hospital, first at Elm Park and then for nine months at Lisheen Nursing Home, Rathcoole. His death occurred on Friday, 21st January. To the last he was peaceful and genuinely most grateful for every kindness. The Matron and staff at Lisheen House really loved him. His funeral Mass at Gardiner street with so many priests concelebrating was a fitting tribute and a source of great consolation to his family.
Paddy hears again from his heavenly Father welcoming him into his true home, the same words which his father said as he gave him to God. “If this is what you want, my son, you must have it”.

When Pat went in 1934 to philosophy, the Ricci Mission Unit was flourishing in Tullabeg and filling bags with used stamps turned Pat's thoughts to Hong Kong. He had not thought earlier of going to China.
He arrived in Hong Kong just after one of the severest typhoons to hit the place. That was in September 1937. A new language school had been opened at Loyola, Taai Lam Chung, in the New Territories and there he started his two years of language study. At that time Canton was taken by the Japanese and Fr Pat spent about a week there at relief work, working with Fr Sandy Cairns, MM, who was afterwards killed by the Japanese. He also visited the refugee centres opened at Fanling to receive the many thousands who fled from occupied China. In 1939 Fr Toner went to Wah Yan. Hong Kong, where in addition to his duties as a teacher, he became an air raid warden. The outbreak of World War Il prevented his return to Ireland, so in 1940 he went to Australia for theology.
He reached Australia in September 1940 and taught until the Theologate opened in January 1941. After three years he was ordained by Archbishop Gilroy of Sydney and during his fourth year of theology he did some parish work and helped in Fr Dunlea's Boys' Town, In February 1945 he left Australia and after a three months' voyage, under war conditions, he arrived in Ireland which he had left nine years earlier. After four months helping in St Francis Xavier’s Church, Gardiner street, he went to tertianship in Rathfarnham under the old veteran of the Hong Kong Mission, Fr John Neary.
In August 1946 once more he went East. With seven others he embarked on an aircraft carrier, the “SS Patroller” and arrived in Hong Kong on 13th September to begin work in Wah Yan, Kowloon. On 31st July 1947 he became Superior of the College which at that time had 531 students.
Fr Pat’s tasks in Hong Kong besides teaching included being for a time Minister, Rector, Spiritual Father. After completing his time as Rector in Wah Yan, Kowloon, he was changed to Wah Yan, Hong Kong, where in addition to his work as a teacher he was for a time director of the Night School.
Fr Toner was changed from Kowloon Wah Yan to Hong Kong Wah Yan in 1964, where he taught until he returned to Ireland in June 1976.
Fr Toner was always a very exemplary religious, prayerful, charitable, ear nest and very hard-working. He was Superior of Wah Yan, Kowloon, first in Nelson Street and during these early years the small community lived in a private house, 151 Waterloo road, close under Lion Rock. When the new Wah Yan building was opened in 1951, Fr Toner was its first Rector and continued in this position until 1957. In 1964 he was transferred to Wah Yan, Hong Kong, where in addition to his duties as a teacher he took charge for a time of the Boys' Club from 1966 and of the Night School from 1968.

Turner, Seán, 1909-1971, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/468
  • Person
  • 17 May 1909-21 December 1971

Born: 17 May 1909, Dublin
Entered 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1945, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 21 December 1971, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Hong Kong Province (HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Early education at Belvedere College SJ

by 1936 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency
by 1958 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Turner
R.I.P.

Father John Turner, S.J., scholar and poet, died suddenly on Tuesday, 21 December 1971, at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, aged 62.

Father Turner first came to Hong Kong in 1935, already a ripe classical scholar. From the time of his arrival here he took the study of Chinese language and literature as his main task in life. Apart from two periods in Ireland, a couple of years as professor of English at Chung San University, Canton, and about a year in Taiwan, the last thirty-six years of his life were spent in Hong Kong. In recent years, bad health, crippling arthritis, and, most of all, ever-increasing immersion in Chinese studies cut him off from easy contact with the general public. Outside his own community, he was known chiefly to fellow poets and fellow Sinologues.

He will, nevertheless, be grievously missed by many who are neither Sinologues nor poets, including the editor of this paper.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 24 December 1971

Note from Alan Birmingham Entry
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.

Note from Joe Shields Entry
How he had assisted in sorting Father Turner’s manuscript on Tang Dynasty poetry

◆ 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 Joseph Howatson Entry
He came to Hong Kong as Regent with Seán Turner who was a different personality and whose whole world was words and ideas. Travelling with them was Fr Cooney who was bringing the Markee telescope

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 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 47th Year No 1 1972

Obituary :

Fr Seán Turner SJ (1909-1971)

We are largely indebted to Fr. Alan Birmingham for the following appreciation:
“Your only chance of being remembered in a hundred years is that you may be mentioned in a footnote of Seán Turner”. That remark was made some years ago by a perceptive European Jesuit to a startled Superior of what was then the Mission of Hong Kong.
When Father John Turner - “Seán” to everyone - died suddenly on 21 December he had achieved no fame outside a small circle of students of Chinese; but he left a vast disarray of paper. Many expect that it will be possible to extract from these disordered literary remains at least one volume that will be treasured a century from now. For about two decades he had been translating Chinese poetry into English poetry. Only a few of his translations have appeared in print, but many of his friends have read large numbers of them in manuscript. Those who could judge them only as English poetry have been uniformly enthusiastic about them as English poetry; but a Chinese savant has told me that to him they are remarkable chiefly on account of their wonderful accuracy as translations. Every character, he said, is translated with scrupulous fidelity; the Chinese original has never been sacrificed to the exigencies of English prosody.
Seán was born in Dublin on 17 May, 1909. My own memories of him go back to Belvedere in the mid-1920s. He was a couple o