Wah Yan College (Kowloon)

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Wah Yan College (Kowloon)

BT Kowloon

Wah Yan College (Kowloon)

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Wah Yan College (Kowloon)

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Wah Yan College (Kowloon)

44 Name results for Wah Yan College (Kowloon)

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Aerts, Hendrick, 1919-1953, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/868
  • Person
  • 04 November 1919-26 September 1982

Born: 04 November 1919, Wijchmaal, Limburg, Belgium
Entered: 23 September 1937, Drongen, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 14 May 1950
Final vows: 02 February 1953
Died: 26 September 1982, St Francis Xavier, Lavender Bay, North Sydney, Australia - Belgicae Superiors Province (BEL S)

by 1952 came to Rathfarnham (HIB) making Tertianship
by 1959 came to Wah Yan Kowloon, Hong Kong (HIB) working 1958-1963

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
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, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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.

Butler, Richard, 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

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.

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

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

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

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

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Society of Jesus diaconate ordination

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two to be ordained to the priesthood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chan, Albert, 1915-2005, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 25 January 1915, Pacasmayo, Peru
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.

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

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.

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

Cunningham, Patrick J, 1924-1972, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/108
  • Person
  • 30 March 1924-15 June 1972

Born: 30 March 1924, Dublin
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, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 15 June 1972, Fujen Catholic University, Dalat, Vietnam (Kingsmead Hall, Singapore) - Hong Kong Vice-Province (Died in air crash)

Part of Kingsmead Hall community, Singapore at time of his death. Died in air crash

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966
by 1952 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 :
His early education was at Belvedere College SJ, Dublin. he had a keen interest in things that moved : cars, ships, trains and planes, but above all he was interested in helping people.

His strength was his pastoral work, and particularly teaching catechistics, which he taught at the Swiss School, the Australian Army School and the International School.
He was a founder of the Road Safety Association in Hong Kong.
He also worked in Singapore where he focused on drug addiction.

he died in 1972 when the plane he was in blew up over South Vietnam.

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.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 47th Year No 2 1972

The tragic news of Fr Patrick Cunningham's death, together with 80 others, in the air-smash in Vietnam, reached us in the middle of June, first surmised, then confirmed. We hope to have further information later.
We offer sympathy to Fr Cunningham's brother, Frank, on the calamity.
Fr P. Cunningham's remains, after various delays, were conveyed to Dublin - Gardiner Street - 20th July. There was an Obsequial Mass concelebrated by Fr Provincial and twelve other participants on Friday 21st. R.I.P.

Irish Province News 47th Year No 4 1972

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Cunningham SJ (1924-1972)

A brief notice of the tragic death of Fr Cunningham in the middle of June and of his obsequies in Gardiner Street on July 20th was contained in the last issue of the Province News Editor.]
When we think of Fr Paddy Cunningham (PJ or Pat as his contemporaries knew him) we think of mechanical things and movement. We think of cars and aeroplanes, of launches and ships and of a man who was ever on the move. We think of a man ready at a moment's notice to address any audience on any topic what ever and in any part of the world. He would then return home and either delight or annoy his community with endless chatter about the people Pat had met and the things Pat had done. I once saw him rather obviously choose a place at recreation beside the late Fr Tommy Ryan and I heard Fr Ryan's opening remark : “Well, I suppose you're going to tell me about all your works and pomps!” Pat could be pompous at times especially when wearing one of those unnecessary uniforms he loved so well.
Never a scholar, he was a man, nonetheless, whose interests were limitless and he carried in his head an astonishing amount of factual information about all kinds of unlikely persons, places and things. He used to chuckle over a comment made by a superior who once told him that he would make an excellent railway porter with information about timetables, ticket prices and train stops at his finger-tips. But you could not be sure of the information at Pat's finger-tips. He never could say, “I don't know” or “I'll check that for you”. To any question he always made an immediate and definite reply and he would be right a surprising eighty per cent or so of the time. The trouble was you never knew which twenty per cent was not correct so you always had to verify Pat's statements.
On 7th September 1942 twenty three novices entered Emo, five of them from Belvedere and Patrick Joseph Cunningham was one of these. It was not long till he made his presence felt especially at Socius' Conferences where we looked forward to his shared reflections, observations and suggestions which were never dull and often sensational. Once he suggested that a novice should be appointed to collect the skin from on top of the hot milk - enough could be collected each morning, Pat assured us, to make a plastic egg-cup. That was Fr Brendan Brennan's first year as Socius and he never quite knew how to manage Brother Cunningham.
In Rathfarnham Pat was more at home ... not because it gave him an opportunity for study but because Dublin was the place where Pat was born and he knew Dublin street by street. Indeed if one believed him he knew everyone who lived in every street - at least everyone who mattered. He claimed connections at managerial level with many commercial firms and not only scholastics but fathers, too, were taken in by this. More than one man entered Dublin firms on Pat's recommendation hoping to get special terms by using his name only to discover that nobody in the firm knew a Patrick Cunningham. Tullabeg meant back to the country and Pat was essentially a city man and his three years there might have been trying ones for him were it not for the building of the swimming pool in which he was deeply involved. He also claimed a multitude of relations in the neighbourhood.
Then came his appointment to Hong Kong and his influence with people really blossomed. No one would rate him an expert at the Chinese language and yet he could somehow establish contact with Chinese people in almost any dialect. But he did not confine his apostolate to Chinese people. He had a universal love for mankind and a desire to help wherever help was needed. A characteristic he revealed in Emo was a generosity with his time and a readiness to go to the assistance of anybody and this characteristic he never lost. He was a man for others. He loved people and served them. Thus, as well as the boys in our schools, the groups he worked for or with in Hong Kong included Chinese hostesses from Cathay Pacific Airways, British Airforce personnel, Rotary Clubs, Road Safety Associations, to say nothing of the seamen of varied nationalities that he dealt with in his work for the Apostleship of the Sea.
The pattern in Singapore was the same as the following paragraphs from Father Liam Egan testify :
“In a little less than two years in Singapore Pat had won an astonishing number of friends and admirers. ... Pastoral work, and in particular, catechetical work proved to be his forte. To those of us who knew him well his success with children and especially with teenagers both boys and girls and of all nationalities was incredible.
He taught catechism in two convent schools, in the Swiss school, the Australian Army School, the International School and the children loved him. Not only did he teach them but he established an extraordinary rapport with them. He organised a weekly evening session in Kingsmead Hall for the “tough” teenagers of the American School and the International School. They attended in ever increasing numbers: they brought their friends : some of them brought their parents. They became enthusiastic about their religion, possibly for the first time in years”.
And then came the fatal air-disaster of 15th June and with it the end of life for Pat at the age of 48. He loved to be alive and he loved to be on the move and for one who was liable to turn up almost anywhere at almost any time it is hard to believe that he won't turn up again. An enquiry into the cause of the crash established that it was caused by a bomb placed on the plane in Bangkok and which exploded over Vietnam. The exceptionally large crowds that turned out for requiem Masses offered for him at Singapore and Hong Kong bear testimony to the love and esteem that so many had for him. He will be remembered by many for a long time. May he rest in peace.

Deignan, Alfred J, 1927-2018, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 25 March 1927, Mullagh, County Cavan
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.

Doris, Séamus, 1918-1988, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 27 July 1918, Belfast, County Antrim
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

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, Aberdeed, Hong Kong
Professed: 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

Egan, Liam, 1925-1994, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/656
  • Person
  • 13 June 1913-07 April 1994

Born: 13 June 1925, Dublin
Entered: 01 February 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, Kingsmead Hall, Singapore
Died: 07 April 1994, Kingsmead Hall, Singapore - Indonesian Province - Malaysia (MAS)

by 1951 at Hong Kong - Regency
Vice Provincial Hong Kong Vice Province : 02 April 1978
Transcribed HIB to HK 03 December 1966; HK to IDO (MAS) : 1991

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
A brother of Canice Egan - RIP 1999

He was educated at Belvedere College SJ before he entered the Society at Emo in n1942, 10 years after his brother Canice.

He came to Hong Kong in 1950 where he studied Cantonese for two years and then did a year of teaching at Wah Yan Kowloon. He was known there as a popular teacher of English and History.
He then went back to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology, was Ordained there and then made Tertianship.
In 1958 he returned to Cheung Chau, and a year later was sent to Singapore., teaching English at the Teachers Training College and then at Nanyang University.
In 1978 He was appointed Vice-Provincial of Hong Kong, which included Malaysia and Singapore.

He thought that it was imperative that his successor as Vice-Provincial be a Chinese Jesuit. He waited until Fr Robert NG Chi-fun finished his studies in Rome, and then he handed over the leadership of the Hong Kong Vice-Province to him (1985). He then went back to Singapore aged 60 and died suddenly from a heart attack aged 68.

He was known as the man with his pipe, listening and wisely advising. he was welcomed and trusted. he was careful in advising Catholics in terms of controversial teaching on contraception and abortion.

He was also a man who built people up and made them reasonable and peaceful, His carefully reasoned arguments and wise decisions on actions were done with his Irish background and a deep respect for local culture and ways

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 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.

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

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

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.

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”!

Hurley, James, 1926-2020, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/861
  • Person
  • 01 October 1926-13 April 2020

Born: 01 October 1926, Ardmore, County Waterford
Entered: 11 November 1944, Emo
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1962, St. Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College Kowloon
Died: 13 April 2020, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of the Milltown Park community at the time of death

Younger brother of Michael - RIP 2011

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1952 at Hong Kong - Regency studying language
by 1954 at Way Yan, Kowloon, Hong Kong - Regency
by 1960 at Cheung Chau Hong Kong - studying and teaching
by 1972 at Manila, Philippines (PHI) Studying
by 1973 at Wah Yan, Kowloon (HK) Novice Master
by 2014 at Milltown, Dublin (HIB) Pastoral work

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Today, Sri Lankan-born Basil Fernando plies his legal trade in exile from the offices of the Hong Kong-based human rights watchdog, the Asian Human Rights Commission, in bustling Mong Kok. Chatting with the Sunday Examiner he reminisced about what he terms his “conversion,’’ which is manifest in his long dedication to the difficult and frustrating grind of fighting for human rights among some of the most abused people in the world.

In a time when few giants walk upon the earth, Fernando points to Jesuit Father James Hurley as one who towered head and shoulders above others who influenced his determination to spend his life working for the dignity of people. “I first met Father Hurley in 1969,’’ he said matter-of-factly, “when I was a university student and came as a delegate from my homeland (Sri Lanka) to a conference organised by Pax Romana in Hong Kong.”

Fernando explains it was a time when the excitement of Vatican II still electrified the air and Church reform was an integral part of the discussion. “I suppose we had some radical views,” he noted, “and we were often heavily criticised at home.”

But Fernando says that something solidified inside him when he came into contact with Father Hurley at that conference. “I found that whenever I opened my mouth in front of Father Hurley and the representatives from Hong Kong, I received an immediate, sympathetic and encouraging response,” he recounted.

“This left a lasting impression on me,” he reminisced, “for me this was the first time in my life I had experienced a climate that encouraged freedom of expression and respect for the opinions of individuals, and especially young people.”

Fernando recounted that the meeting selected me as one of the two young people to represent Asia at the first ever Asia-wide bishops’ conference, which was attended by Pope Paul VI and held in Manila the following year. Father Hurley accompanied me and Peter Wong to the meeting, which came at a volatile time in the life of The Philippines.

He noted, “There were fears martial law was going to be declared and we met students in the streets who were highly critical of the Church.”

Fernando related how he saw a demonstration of students holding placards and chanting, “Viva il papa (Long live the pope) and down with Santos” (the archbishop of Manila). He said there were discussions on “how we were going to respond and a short resolution entitled, The Bishops of Asia, was drafted as we thought the bishops had spoken well on the meeting floor, but feared their words may be drowned if not translated into action to identify with the poor.”

Fernando told of how the statement was read out in the inaugural broadcast of Radio Veritas, on the day it was opened and blessed by the pope. “We distributed pamphlets while it was being broadcast,” he explained, “and had the privilege of giving one to the pope. We were picked up by Reuters and made the worldwide news as well.” He remembers with a chuckle that “we were the centre of attention and full of the enthusiasm of youth.”

Fernando said what he really learned to appreciate in Father Hurley was that “he did not obstruct, push orthodoxy or try to warn us. He knew we were speaking our convictions and, as chaplain, encouraged us. I think he himself was touched by the reform of the times.”

Fernando said he kept contact with the Irish priest and he came to Sri Lanka during the middle of what was a difficult and repressive time. “There were insurrections in which 10,000 young people were killed,” he said. “As a young lawyer I had to leave my country in 1989 and I came to Hong Kong. I did not write to Father Hurley, I just came, and we have been close friends since, even during the time I was away in Cambodia.”

The barrister said, “Father Hurley kept encouraging me in my human rights work, encouraging and participating.”

Fernando said that when a Jesuit priest was in trouble in India they all went to bat for him, as we did during the time when the Sri Lankan Father Tissa Balasuriya was excommunicated, until his reinstatement. “Father Hurley never condemned,” he said, “he simply encouraged us to follow our convictions.”

Fernando said that the Church still has a long way to go in the implementation of Vatican II, but his youth was a time that inspired real conversion and brought people to a faith that is described by the theologian, Father Hans Küng, as something that many people did not come to understand, but did create a new generation, which will not easily give up in the face of pressure.

Fernando said that “we learned to go beyond the formal into the substance. We learned from the Anglican Bishop (John A.T.) Robinson, who said ‘to live our relationships as if there is no God,’ in other words, ‘play responsibility in a serious way’.”

He said that the Second Vatican Council brought about a tremendous internal conversion. “I was converted, even at my age and in spite of my limitations. I respect Father Hurley,” he went on, “as someone who understands. One of my mentors was a Dutch priest, Father Henk Schram, he came to Sri Lanka as a worker-priest. He was known to Father Hurley (who was a worker-priest in Hong Kong). He introduced us to the theology long before Vatican II happened.”

Fernando said that many people have stood with him as he has learned to live a life of defiance, defiance of what is corrupt, and he has always been supported by Father Hurley, in his eyes, a giant walking on the earth.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 14 October 2007

Priest of the young and the worker calls it a day

Father James Hurley sj has decided to call it a day in Hong Kong. Just 62 years after he took his first steps on the island soil he took a plane back to his native Ireland at the end of October on a one-way ticket.

However, he did not leave with his presence unacknowledged, as his memory lives on in the hearts of those who were young when he was part of the Pax Romana Chapter in the late 1960s, as well as in his fellow workers at a clothing factory where he stood at the table cutting cloth each day, and the members of the Apostleship of Prayer, of which he was chaplain for many years.

Father Hurley has decided to call it a day in Hong Kong and return to his native Ireland, where he believes that he can still contribute to people’s lives, but at a slower pace and in a more sedate manner, befitting his age.

He left Hong Kong for Mill Town, the Jesuit house of study and prayer, where he hopes he can serve out his days as a spiritual director to working people.

As a man who cut the cloth in Hong Kong factories he is well equipped to guide those who work for their living, as Basil Fernando, the former director of the Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong, says, “He introduced that theology long before even Vatican II happened.”

Fernando recalls that he first met Father Hurley when he came to Hong Kong as a young representative of the Sri Lankan Church in 1969 as part of Pax Romana.

He describes him as a breath of fresh air. Coming from a strictly authoritarian Church in Colombo, Fernando says that Father Hurley surprised him.

“He did not obstruct, push orthodoxy or try to warn us. He knew we were speaking our convictions and, as chaplain, encouraged us,” he recalls.

Speaking to the Sunday Examiner in 2007, Fernando said, “I suppose we had some radical views and we were often heavily criticised at home, but I found that whenever I opened my mouth in front of Father Hurley, I received an immediate, sympathetic and encouraging response.”

Fernando reminisced, “This left a lasting impression on me. For me, this was the first time in my life I had experienced a climate that encouraged freedom of expression and respect for the opinions of individuals, and especially young people.”

Fernando regards Father Hurley as a giant among men, but today the once strident figure moves more slowly and is seeking a life style more in keeping with his ageing body.

As a man dedicated to justice, Father Hurley was also a long time member and past president of the Asian Centre for the Progress of Peoples. He spent his life fighting for what he regarded as the basic rights that should be attributed to each and every individual.

Father Hurley says that he leaves Hong Kong with no regrets and hopes he will find a fulfilling role to play in his native Ireland.

As the prayers of many hearts go with him and the best wishes of many people to whom he brought hope and courage in their lives are with him as well, the Sunday Examiner wishes Father Hurley ad multos annos.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 23 November 2014

Final farewell to Father James Hurley SJ

Jesuit Missionary Father James Hurley, who served the Church in Hong Kong for over five decades, died on 13 April 2020, at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin, Ireland. He was 93-years- old.

Father Hurley was born in Ireland on 1 October 1926. He was ordained to the priesthood on 31 July 1958 in Dublin and professed final vows on 2 February 1962 at St. Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Father Hurley first came to Hong Kong as a scholastic in 1950 and lived in Cheung Chau doing his language studies.

After his ordination in Ireland, he returned to Hong Kong and worked in Chu Hai post-secondary college in Kowloon till 1969. He also became chaplain to the Hong Kong Federation of Post Secondary Students and became closely associated with the student movement in Hong Kong.

He was appointed the Master of the Novices for three years and later lived as a “Worker Priest” during which time he worked as an ordinary labourer in a garment factory for four to five months.

In 1978 he began his parish ministry in Christ the Worker Parish, Ngau Tau Kok, and served the parish till 1989. For the next four years he initiated an experimental parish for Basic Christian Communities in St. Vincent’s Parish in Wong Tai Sin. Later he also served in Star of the Sea Parish, Chai Wan from 1995 to 1998 before moving to the Jesuit Parish of St. Ignatius Church at Wah Yan College.

As his health deteriorated, he left Hong Kong for Ireland in 2014 (Sunday Examiner, 23 November 2014).
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 19 April 2020

Father James Hurley - A gem of a man

Jesuit Father James Hurley, a great man and a humanist, passed away on April 13. I had the privilege of associating with Father Hurley since 1970. He impressed me as a man who was very deeply concerned with individuals as well as on the great social issues of his time.

As a human being, he had the enormous capacity to listen to others, including people who were much younger than him.

I first met him when he was the students’ chaplain for university students at an organisation known as Pax Romana. I attended this meeting as a representative of the Catholic Students’ Federation of Sri Lanka. This meeting left an indelible mark in my memory.

What attracted me most was the tolerance with which students were received and the space that was made available to them to discuss and debate all kinds of very controversial issues.

At the time, the more burning issues amongst the Catholic students were related to the developments of the Second Vatican Council.

Father Hurley had a very ardent interest in the developments within the Church during this time. He had been associated with progressive theologians from Asia over a long period. He was aware of the controversies that were taking place all around Asia on the issues relating to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.

At this pan-Asian conference in 1970, one of the main debates was related to a theme that was very familiar at the time: institutionless Christianity. Several theologians had written about this issue and the critique of institutional limitations to the spread of the message of the gospel was quite a common theme everywhere.

The conference encouraged the students to share their views and Father Hurley, in particular, followed these discussions after the meetings at the dinners.

Once Father Hurley knew somebody, he knew how to sustain a friendship over the years. A short time after this meeting, he was going for a vacation in Ireland and he stopped in Sri Lanka to meet me. He spent a few days there and talked to many people. Going out of his way to keep that sort of close connection was, I think, the way he thought of his duties as a priest.

At the time, he had the idea of being a worker-priest, which meant working at a factory just like any other worker. He wanted to know the life of the workers and the circumstances under which they lived, their difficulties as well as the richer side of them as human beings.

Sometime later he carried out this wish and spent a year or more working in a factory. Later, he would narrate some of his experiences in a very moving manner.

In 1989, 1 had to leave Sri Lanka and I chose to come to Hong Kong, mainly because I knew I had two friends there, Father Hurley and John Clancey, who I also got to know at the students’ meeting mentioned above.

By the time I arrived in Hong Kong, Father Hurley had already left for Ireland for his sabbatical year. However, as soon as he arrived back, he contacted me and, ever since, we had a long friendship.

I used to address him as Father Hurley and then he told me, “Just call me James.” That was his way. There was no trace of clericalism in him. You could discuss anything with him, including things that were happening in countries he had never been to.

For example, he had a keen interest in what happened to Cambodia under the Pol Pot regime, which followed the massive bombing of the country by the United States. He listened to the story of millions of deaths, inquiring a great deal about the details of the results of these times and how far things had improved (or not).

Naturally, one of the conversations we returned to many times was the situation in Sri Lanka itself. He already knew a lot about Sri Lanka because he had friends like, for example, Father Tissa Balasuriya OMI, who was the Asian chaplain for Catholic students. He also knew some bishops, particularly a priest, Father Michael Rodrigo, who was assassinated by the military while he was trying to protect young people in a remote rural area.

I have heard a lot from him about the Irish struggles for freedom. When he came to speak about the killings of some of the fighters whom he knew personally, there were occasions on which he became very emotional, and at least on one occasion, he cried. That was when I one day recorded an interview with him on the issue of the Irish people’s struggles against colonialism.

As he was narrating this story, he began to mention many names of people who he had known, admired and loved very deeply. At this point, he became emotionally very involved, and started to cry. That was the deep love with which he remembered his country, and also the real depth of his feelings about freedom. He was a person who was very committed to struggles for freedom wherever it happened.

One time, after he returned from Ireland after a holiday, he mentioned the use of rubber bullets by the Irish police. He was given one of those bullets by someone. He kept it to remember the kind of problems people are faced with. During his trips to Ireland, he visited people who were involved in these struggles, some of whom had gone to jail for a long time over these matters.

He had a deep love for Hong Kong and the struggle of the students happening at that time. He knew most of these students and told stories about them with affection and admiration.

He was a deeply spiritual man. He associated with the people and often said the rosary; with them when they came to discuss some of their problems with him. I particularly remember one instance when the mother of a convicted prisoner used to visit him on Sundays after the Mass. Father Hurley used to visit this man in the prison often and went out of his way to help the children to have their education despite of the fact that their father was in prison. He always spoke with a deep sense of affection for the prisoner, with that spirit of forgiveness that also made it possible for people to appreciate the good side of people even if they were convicted of crimes.

We used to meet often for lunch or dinner. During these times, he had the capacity to tell many stories, sometimes very humorous ones. He once talked about a Protestant in Ireland who used to be very virulent in his attacks against the Catholics. When this man was dying, he called a Catholic priest to come and admit “him to the Catholic faith. The priest arrived and, just out of curiosity, asked the man why, after being io strongly against them, why he wanted to become a Catholic at the moment of his death. The man replied, “Well, when I die, it will be one of them that died and not one of us.”

When recalling Father Hurley, one remembers that one was meeting at the same time a deeply human person with an enormously deep spirituality and a commitment to his religious beliefs, who was able to bring these into a relationship in the context of the modem world.

Most of the time, he was dressed in trousers and a shirt, and behaved like other people. This way, he befriended people without making them feel that the relationship was one that involved any kind of hierarchy.

He was a democrat to the core and a person who was committed to human rights absolutely.

He reminded me of a definition that a Dutch priest gave of priesthood: a priest is a person who gives gratuitously. Father Hurley certainly was such a priest.

Legacies such as that of Father Hurley will not be erased.
Basil Fernando
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 26 April 2020

Memorial Mass for celebrated for Father James Hurley

The Justice and Peace Commission organised a memorial Mass on April 20 for Jesuit Father James Hurley, its former ecclesiastical advisor, who passed away on April 13 in Ireland, at the age of 93 (Sunday Examiner, April 19). He was confirmed to have contracted the Covid-19 coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

The Mass, which was streamed live online, was concelebrated by Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun and Father Carlos Cheung Sam-yui.

The service began with a sharing from Martin Lee Chu-ming, former legal advisor of the commission. The lawyer and former democratic legislator spoke about incidents mentioned in Father Hurley’s book, Option for the Deprived, written in 2008.

Lee recounted the Irish missionary’s 50 years in Hong Kong since he first arrived in 1952 by boat-a journey which took 30 days. He said he was impressed by Father Hurley’s commitment to social justice, evidenced by the time he spent working in a factory to experience the life of the poor, as well as setting up Amnesty International in Hong Kong.

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.

In 1969, Father Hurley come to prominence for defending five students who were expelled by Chu Hai College for openly criticising the post-secondary school, where he had been a lecturer for eight years.

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.

A recorded message from humans right lawyer, John Clancey, a close friend of Father Hurley, was then played. Clancey recalled meeting the Jesuit priest in 1969 and since then they met every month for yum cha at different restaurants to talk about their work. He recalled that for several months in 1975, they met in hawker stalls near factories and had a good time with the labourers with whom Father Hurley worked.

He compared Father Hurley to; a saint and a prophet, as he had reflected the love of God to people and helped them to understand the principles of justice and peace. Clancey said Father Hurley often asked about people in Hong Kong after he had returned to Ireland.

He said that if Father Hurley were alive, he would tell him about the arrest of Lee, Albert Ho Chun- yan as well as a number of former pan-democrat legislators for their roles in alleged unlawful protests last year.

In his homily, Cardinal Zen said the memorial Mass should not be a sad occasion as Father Hurley had returned to heaven at Easter and this reminds us of our hope in eternal life.

The cardinal said that as the homily of a memorial Mass should focus on God instead of the life of the departed, he wanted to remind people of Father Hurley’s motto. “I imagine that Father Hurley would smilingly say a simple line... follow Jesus Christ, be a person with kindness and humility so that you can have a peaceful heart,” he said.

Cardinal Zen also expressed his sadness that the Covid-19 corona-virus had not stopped political suppression in Hong Kong.

He thanked God for sending the people of the city an example in the person of Father Hurley who showed how to seek justice and stand with the poor.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 3 May 2020

Jesuit Community offers Mass in memory of Father Hurley

A requiem Mass for Father James Hurley was organised by the Jesuit Community at St. Ignatius Chapel on June 8 and attended by around two hundred people.

Father Hurley passed away on April 13 in Ireland at the age of 93. He was confirmed to have contracted the Covid-19 coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

Father Stephen Chow Sau-yan, Jesuit provincial of the China province, celebrated the memorial Mass. Father Chow said that while Father Hurley pursued social justice, he showed love for everyone and did not bear any hatred, which is one of the reasons why he touched the hearts of many people.

A woman, named Liu, said that she had known the priest since the 1980s when he served at Christ the Worker parish, Ngau Tau Kok. She remembered him as kind, leading a simple life to save money for the church and dedicated to fighting for the rights of parishioners.

Another former parishioner of Christ the Worker parish, Cheng, said Father Hurley treated parishioners with love as he would remember their names and pray for them.

Earlier, on April 20, the Justice and Peace Commission webcast a memorial Mass for Father Hurley, celebrated by Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun to mourn its former spiritual advisor (Sunday Examiner, May 3). The Jesuit community waited for the resumption of public Masses to ensure the participation of the friends and associates, whom Father Hurley loved.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 21 June 2020

◆ Option for the Deprived, by James Hurley SJ, Centre for Catholic Studies CUHK 2008.
https://archives.catholic.org.hk/In%20Memoriam/Clergy-Brother/J-Hurley.pdf

Note from Derek Reid Entry
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. Father Hurley gave examples of the help that had been given to himself and others.He was not only a great headmaster, he was also a great priest, said Father Hurley.“We shall never forget him,” said Father Hurley in conclusion.

Early Education at Mount Mellary Abbey, Cappoquin, Co Waterford

1946-1949 Rathfarnham - Studying at UCD
1949-1952 Tullabeg - Studying Theology Philosophy
1952-1954 Faber Community, Hong Kong - Studying Cantonese
1954-1955 Wah Yan Kowloon - Regency : Teaching Religion, English and History; Assistant Prefect; Editor of “The Shield”
1959-1960 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1960-1961 Xavier House, Hong Kong - Studying Cantonese; Teacher; Novitiate Spiritual Father
1961-1962 Wah Yan Kowloon - Spiritual Father; Teaching English and Spiritual Father in “Chu Hai College”, Hong Kong
1964 Chaplain at Chinese University Hong Kong; Chaplain to Hong Kong Federation of Catholic Students; Chaplain to Catholic students at Hong Kong Technical College
1965 Chaplain at Black and Grantham Training Colleges
1966 Chaplain at Baptist College, Kowloon; Director of College Club at McPherson Playground
1966 Transcribed to Chinese Province [CHN] (03/12/1966)
1972 Working in Adam Schall Residence, Chinese University Hong Kong
1972-1973 Manila, Philippines - Studying Pastoral Theology at East Asian Pastoral Institute
1973-2014 Wah Yan, Kowloon - Novice Master
1977 Working in Social Apostolate
1978 Consultor; Parish work & Chaplain to YCW at Christ the Worker Chapel, Kowloon
1983 Parish Priest
1992 Parish Team St Vincent’s; Council of Priests; Ecclesiastical Councelor of Justice and Peace Commission; Consultor at Ricci Hall
1996 Assistant Pastor of St Ignatius Church
2000 Chaplain of St Camillus Society
2002 Consultant to the Delegate for Hong Kong
2005 Apostleship of Prayer Director for Hong Kong; School Chaplain
2009 Assistant Rector St Ignatius Church
2013 Retreat Apostolate
2015-2020 Milltown Park - Pastoral Ministry

◆ Jesuits in Ireland https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-james-hurley-an-exceptional-jesuit/

Fr James Hurley – ‘an exceptional Jesuit’
Fr James (Jimmy) Hurley SJ died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Ranelagh, Dublin, on Easter Monday, April 13, 2020. He was 93 years old.
Due to government guidelines regarding public gatherings, a private funeral service took place on 15 April followed by burial in Ardmore Round Tower Cemetery, County Waterford. You can watch a video of the ceremony here.
It was attended by a small number of his family and Tom Casey SJ of the Milltown Park community who represented all Jesuits. Messages of condolence were sent from Hong Kong where Fr James spent over 50 years as a missionary involved with education and pastoral work. Watch a photo-story tribute to him here made by his friends in Hong Kong. Also read a tribute by the Asian Human Rights Commission ».
Born in Ardmore, County Waterford in 1926, James was educated by the Cistercians at Mount Mellary Abbey and entered the Jesuits at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois, in 1944. He was influenced by his brother Michael (sometimes called the ‘father of Irish ecumenism’) who entered the Jesuits before him. After studying at UCD and Tullabeg, James went to Hong Kong in 1952 to study Cantonese and to do his regency as a secondary school teacher. He studied theology and philosophy at Milltown Park in Dublin, and after ordination and tertianship he returned to Hong Kong in 1960.
James took on many different roles during his years as a Jesuit missionary. He was a secondary school teacher, a spiritual father, a university chaplain, a novice master, a parish priest and spiritual director. He came back to Ireland in 2015 where he engaged in pastoral ministry at Milltown Park, Dublin.
Fr James was much loved wherever he went, and after his return to Dublin he had a steady flow of visitors both from Ardmore and from Hong Kong.
Messages of condolence were sent by the Chinese Jesuit Provincial and Cardinal of Hong Kong, expressing their deep appreciation for the missionary work of Fr James and acknowledging the impact of his legacy on the people of Hong Kong. The messages were read out at the graveside by Irish Jesuit Fr Tom Casey on Wednesday 15 April.
In his letter, Fr Stephen Chow SJ, Chinese Provincial, said: “Jimmy was an exceptional Jesuit who had given so many years of his life to Hong Kong. He was always energetic, curious, daring, caring, and active. Many of us have been awakened by his passion for social justice. And he is dearly remembered for that”.
He continued: “Many have left words and prayers on my Facebook page after I posted the announcement this afternoon. Cardinal Tong of Hong Kong also sent me a condolence message this evening. This has never happened before with Jesuits who had gone before him, and some of them were famous and well- loved priests.”
Cardinal Tong wrote the following: “On behalf of the Diocese, I would like to offer my condolences and sympathy on the death of our dear Fr Jimmy Hurley. Jimmy had served the Diocese in different ministries for many years with much love and dedication to every ministry he was assigned to.
He served as Spiritual Director of the Justice and Peace Commission, Chaplain to students of some universities in Hong Kong, Pastor of St Vincent Church in Wong Tai Sin, Christ the Worker Mass Centre in Ngau Tau Kok, Star of the Sea in Chaiwan, and St Ignatius Chapel in Waterloo Road.
He was a very capable man. He spoke very good Cantonese and was able to reach out to the different sectors of people in Hong Kong. He was well-loved and appreciated by everyone. He was a good example for the priests in our Diocese”.
Both Fr Chow and Cardinal Tong prayed: “May Fr Jimmy now rest in the eternal embrace of our Risen Lord whom he has vowed to follow”.
The Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission of Hong Kong has also created a cartoon image depicting Fr James going to his eternal reward.

Fr Todd Morrissey SJ, historian and author of the book Jesuits in Hong Kong, paid the following tribute to Fr James, his fellow community member in Milltown Park.
“When I visited Hong Kong in 2006 to research the history of the Irish Jesuits there, Jimmy was still full of zeal as a parish priest working directly with the Chinese people. He was very popular, always willing to help people out and was noted for his good sermons and his fluency in Cantonese.
When he came to live in Milltown Park, there were constant visitors from the Chinese. These included young Chinese people who have great respect for the elderly and their wisdom. There were many dinners with our Chinese visitors, several days a week over three years.”
According to Fr Morrissey, even during his last two years at Cherryfield Lodge, Jimmy was always a man who listened to people, interested individually in what they were doing, and very friendly and encouraging. “He was always in good humour and cheerful no matter what complaint. He was a very pleasant man to live with and to know.”
Fr James is deeply missed by his family, his wide circle of friends and his Jesuit communities in Hong Kong and Dublin. He is buried alongside his parents. A memorial Mass in celebration of Fr James’ life will take place at a later date.
Ar dheis De go raibh a hanam dilis.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/358-irish-men-behind-the-missions-fr-james-hurley-s

IRISH MEN BEHIND THE MISSIONS: FR. JAMES HURLEY SJ
Fifty years in Hong Kong: an Irish Jesuit’s tale.
Fr. James Hurley SJ reached the grand old age of 90 this month! Jimmy, as he is affectionately called, has a lifetime of 72 years of service as a missionary with the Society of Jesus. Across the decades, he has met and befriended remarkable men, been inspired by their dynamism and sense of mission and entered wholeheartedly and courageously into the lives of people living in poverty in Hong Kong. He went into the Jesuit organisation on the Feast of St Stanisclaus, November 13th 1944, his ordination taking place on the Feast of St Ignatius July 31st 1958.
Here he shares some of the stories of his mission with humour, grace and insight with the Irish Jesuit Missions.
James was the youngest child born into a family of two boys and two girls at Ardmore, County Waterford in 1926. As a child he spent a lot of time in Church activities and enjoyed assisting at Mass. He was influenced by his brother Fr. Michael Hurley SJ who was a theologian, widely known as the 'father of Irish ecumenism' for his promotion of Christian unity. James studied in Mount Melleray from 1939 – 1944 and at the time, Mellary had a thriving farm producing an abundance of food. But when Foot and Mouth disease struck in 1941, the students were not allowed home for the Easter vacation. They organised a protest demanding “We want a vac!”
And so James, from his youth, prepared for a life of student protest, mobilisation and critical engagement that was to continue for most of his lifetime.

It was 1952. Four years had been spent in Milltown for study and pastoral work in preparation for the Far Eastern missionary life to come. At last, it was time to set sail by boat for Hong Kong! The long voyage took about 30 days and James was grateful for the companionship of a priest and three fellow seminarians on board.
Ten years passed in Hong Kong before James began working with students as the acting Head of Foreign Languages Department at a post-secondary College. He also became Chaplain to the Hong Kong Federation of Post Secondary Students from 1965 to 1972. Students at that time were against colonialism and many forms of injustice and were concerned with, for example, the colonial status of Hong Kong and the fact that Chinese wasn’t a recognised official language. Two of them wrote an article 'From Hope to Despair', an all-round and penetrating analysis of the College that was not well received by the authorities. Twelve students were subsequently expelled — one of whom was a Buddhist monk — and thus began the student movement in Hong Kong with which James was closely associated.
It was an era of student mobilisation and protest: similar movements were gathering momentum on the US campuses regarding the attainment of civil rights and the ending of the Vietnam War.
James, Jack and the Bishop
Jack Clancy, a close friend and Maryknoll missionary, was very involved with the anti-Vietnam War movement and was not in favour with Bishop Francis Hsu who had been born in Shanghai and was then Bishop of Hong Kong. When James’ name was mentioned in the public press in relation to the student movement, the Bishop was quite angry and requested a meeting with him. James recalls his trepidation at that very formal meeting with Bishop Hsu and others while he explained himself and his actions. He was exonerated and the two men became very good friends despite the dramatic beginning to their relationship.
But there remained misunderstanding between Jack and the Bishop. James helped to build a relationship between them by asking the students if they would like Jack Clancy as their Chaplin. The vote was a resounding YES! Armed with that mandate, James went to the Bishop and brought both men together. Jack was appointed Chaplin.
It was the early 1970s and James felt that the time was ripe for a European priest to pass the reins on to a Chinese priest. Three seminarians were encouraged to become involved with the student movement and one, Stephen Tam, was selected. Then the Bishop put Jack Clancy and another in place to assist Stephen – who meanwhile had become a priest – in covering James’ former workload.
James’ and Jack’s relationship continues and to this day, they are very close friends. Jack is now married and a very prominent lawyer practising in Hong Kong. Unfortunately and much to his great sorrow, James sheds a quiet tear as he recalls Bishop Hsu’s untimely death as a result of a heart attack suffered in his 50’s.
On Sabbatical in the Philippines
“Speak out, speak strongly, criticise while remaining loyal!”, was a message that resounded for James while on Sabbatical at the East Asia Pastoral Institute in Manila in 1972. Bishop Cisco Claver gave a course there in September of that year: it was the beginning of Martial Law in the Philippines.
James remembers Cisco as being very casual, he played basketball with the students to win. He was an utterly fearless, exceptionally dynamic man with a sharp, penetrating intellect with whom James became well acquainted. While spending Christmas at Cisco’s residence and office, he would often drive with the Bishop in his jeep through the mountains. He laughs when he recalls the occasion they visited a convent while the Bishop stayed at the wheel: “Bring your driver in for a cuppa tea”, said the Reverend Mother!
Ed Delatorre (Edicio de Latore) an SVD priest, was politically active in Manila and on the run at the time while James was there. He took the opportunity to hear Ed speak at a meeting held in secrecy (Ed still lives in Manila although contact with him has been lost).
When Martial Law was declared by Marcos, it was discussed by the Filipino Bishops who used to meet bi-annually. Should they issue a statement? The laity was waiting for guidance...the clergy were for and against. Some Jesuits were close to Marcos while others like John Doherty — a sociologist and a Jesuit at the time — were highly critical of Martial Law and it was he who wrote its first analysis. It was 1975 before it was issued as a statement.
But in 1972, the Bishops decided to say nothing. “We bishops have no conscience“, Cisco subsequently declared.
The inspiration of remarkable men
Bishop Perez left a deep impression on James when he announced: ‘You students are the prophets of the 20th Century!”. He compared them to Amos in the Old Testament. Amos was called by God to preach social justice and was rusticated i.e. sent to live in the remote countryside. It was an enlightening moment for James! He was inspired to write a paper on the concept of 'prophecy' and intends to expand on his ideas in his retirement. 'Prophecy' in today’s Church carries great meaning for him.
James recalls Fr Dan Berrigan SJ, a social activist and now in his 90s, who suffered the same fate i.e. rustication, in the US. But eventually Dan was fully accepted and loved by all.
Pope Francis is tending towards the same social activism, James adds, although in the past was not obviously political when based in Bueno Aires, Argentina. Michael Campbell Johnson, an elderly Jesuit in the UK, was in charge of the Social Apostolate based in Rome at the time. Seemingly, he was sent to Francis (then Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio SJ) to hold discussions with him. Long conversations ensued but Michael deemed them 'inconclusive'. Bergoglio then travelled to Europe to research his doctorate and spent a short time in Milltown Park, Dublin. On his return to Argentina, he was 'rusticated' to Cordoba. He led a simple life there, supporting the priests working in the slums and when he came back to Bueno Aires in 1998 as Archbishop, he was a different man.
An unanswered question often comes into James’ thoughts. One day he was in conversation with a priest based in Japan who had been a staff member in the Vatican financial department. A just, living wage was being strongly recommended at the time by the Church and when James enquired as to how the Vatican was implementing it amongst lay staff, there was silence. The priest replied that concessions, such as petrol allowances, were given to staff. James hesitatingly concludes that the Vatican was not practising what it preached on the issue. However, he is of the opinion that the Vatican would benefit from opening up and prays for Pope Francis' efforts in trying to bring change about.
Blessed Franz Jägerstätter the Austrian has also been a lifelong inspirational figure. He was a conscientious objector who refused to take up arms during World War 2 and was subsequently executed as a result. He was later declared a martyr and beatified by the Church.
James recalls another inspirational man, the Very Rev. Pedro Arrupe SJ, and the story Pedro would tell about assisting at Mass when he was Father General of the Society of Jesus. Pedro liked to pray in the small simple rooms of St Ignatius and one day, a visiting American Jesuit prepared to say Mass there for his group of American visitors. The sacristan was absent so Pedro performed the duties required. One of the group remarked afterwards to Pedro: “That Mass was a bit strange, but valid.” When he realised to whom he was speaking, he shot off!
On the factory floor
After the Sabbatical and not wishing to take up a full time position, the Hong Kong students wanted James to become Asian Chaplin to the Secretariat of Pax Romano, which he did. In addition, he was invited to become Master of Novices in Hong Kong. Although it was quite a change, he accepted but eventually when the student number dropped, it was time once again to take another direction.
James quotes Canon John Hayes (founder of Muntir na Tíre in 1937), who was told by his ordaining Bishop on the occasion of his ordination, that he would: “Prefer to see you drunk with your people rather than sober without them”. James has tried to be with his people experiencing their realities throughout his ministry. And so it was that he became a factory worker in Hong Kong.
It was a clothes factory where James cut cloth endlessly for four mind-numbing months. It wasn’t easy getting a job there, as a foreigner. Although offered a supervisory role, he refused wanting to experience life as an ordinary worker. He prayed daily for social justice and read Karl Marx’ Communist Manifesto, sitting on the factory floor. Although read previously, the difference of his understanding from the factory floor was immense. He carries a great respect for Marx and treasures pictures taken at his graveside.
James laughs when he recalls the first time he meet the owner of the factory where he was employed. They recognised each other immediately. He was a graduate of a Hong Kong Jesuit college! They were both fixed to the floor. Here was the priest talking to the student who was the boss talking to the worker! Who was to make the first move... suddenly, a voice called out to the boss: “You’re wanted on the phone”. Thank God! James breathed a sigh of relief.
He spent four months in two different factories and although he got used to it, standing continuously was hard. Having said that, conditions were better then; hours were nine to five and there was no overtime. James got to know his co-workers well and often had discussions with them. Two young workers would remind him; “You’re a priest; you are free to come and go”.
Life with the Sisters and Brothers of Charity
While working at the factory, James lived with the Missionary Sisters and Brothers of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa. They were a cheerful group of young men, one of whom was an Australian, Brother Andrew, and a former Jesuit. Andrew, who later became General of the Brothers, also worked there and shared a room with him, sleeping on the floor, living in poverty and depending on charity. James recalls the evening when there was nothing to eat for dinner but tea and bread. Then there was a knock on the door. Two big chickens were handed in! The community dined in style the following evening.
James went on a 'Discernment' retreat in a Silesian retreat house. It afforded him a period of reflective time based on St. Ignatius’ observations of one’s feelings: to understand God’s will for us in our lives. He recalled the advice of the famous Fr. Tommy Ryan SJ given to him as a seminarian, “Stay in touch with poor people”. Three parishes in almost 30 years
James went on to serve in his new parish of Christ the Worker for 11 years, being Parish Priest for eight of them. It was a very happy, active period in James’ life. He began a Faith and Justice group and a Labour group amongst the communities in the parish. He was a founding member of the Hong Kong Amnesty International group there, informal at first and then having sought government approval, on a formal basis. The founder of Amnesty, Peter Benenson, became a friend and colleague. Amnesty is thriving in Hong Kong, as it is all around the world, to this day.
It is usual for a Jesuit to spend five to 10 years in one place before relocating. A Sabbatical taken in Dublin was followed by over a decade at St. Vincent’s Parish in a poor area of Hong Kong. It was the happiest period in James life. There a basic Christian community and Legion of Mary movement was flourishing. He worked towards collaboration with the Lutheran and Anglican communities, with the pastors sometimes giving homilies at each other’s churches. Nearby was the famous temple of Wong Tai Sin where thousands would gather regularly, especially for the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Interfaith relationships were built up and a new one with the neighbouring Buddhist monks was in the making, when James was requested to move to the Star of the Sea Parish. He was very regretful to leave at this point as so much progress was being made.
There were two other Jesuits along with James at the new parish. It was before the Hong Kong changeover of 1997 and no one knew what to expect. The transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to China — referred to as "the Handover" internationally or "the Return" in China — took place on 1st July 1997 and marked the end of British rule in Hong Kong. Having spent over five years there, he returned to the Jesuit Parish of St. Ignatius Church at Wah Yan College.
Leaps of faith: Johnny’s and A Wong’s stories
It was common knowledge that James was in touch with families that were in financial need. Friends and colleagues often donated money to be used where required.
One day a woman called to ask for help for her son Johnny. He was the eldest of a family of five and on remand in prison for shooting another man; his brother awaited trial in another courtroom for rape and robbery. Johnny was found guilty of Triad membership and manslaughter. He received a sentence of 15 years and was freed after 12, during which time James visited him regularly and was very impressed by his intelligence. Thus began a long friendship that is still enjoyed by both.
Later on Fr. James married Johnny to Jovita and the couple went on to parent a son and daughter, now both young adults. Johnny's children’s educational expenses being very large, James contacted a wealthy friend who then supported the son’s second and third level education. He has done very well in his exams and has a choice between Oxford and Cambridge Universities for the 2015 academic year. Johnny’s daughter got top marks in her University Finals and her intention is to work with prisoners. Another of James’ friends, who is a graduate of the Jesuit school in Hong Kong and a well- known lawyer practising there, is also highly supportive of the family.
Johnny himself works as a lorry driver and takes care of his widowed father. His prison record goes against him unfortunately when he applies for a job, and he has been unable to progress in a career.
And then there was A Wong. He worked as a cook in the school where James lived. He was a gambler and although he borrowed from the teaching staff, no one reported him. He owed a great deal of money to the Triad and was constantly under pressure from them. His wife had divorced him, for legal reasons. He lost his job and was at rock bottom when he attempted suicide.
But James had faith in A Wong and knew him well. He helped the man to pay his debts and stop gambling. A Wong rebuilt his life and although they remain legally divorced, is still with his wife.
Homeward bound
In 2012, James travelled to Ireland thinking it would be his last time to visit his homeland. However, upon returning to Hong Kong, his health began to fail and when he was offered the chance to live permanently in Ireland, he decided to return. That was in October 2014 and he is now, he says, adjusting himself to a new life situation. Living a quiet life in Dublin is very different from the bustling, thronged streets of Hong Kong with its seven and a half million people!
James is looking for an appropriate apostolate to continue his life of Jesuit service in the country of his birth. He would like to direct “retreats in daily life” as he has done over the last two years. This is a month long program of daily prayer, reflection and spiritual direction that is conducted in the course of a person’s ordinary responsibilities. It has become the most common way of making a retreat based on the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius.
He would like to become involved with Amnesty International Ireland and continue the human rights activities that have characterised James’s lived experience and lifelong ministry in the service of people living in poverty.
Compiled by Irish Jesuit Missions Communications from a series of interviews with Fr James, 3rd March 2015. Updated 17th October 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 1952 and learned Cantonese and then taught for a year at Wah Yan College Kowloon.

After Ordination he returned to Hong Kong in 1960 and from 1961-1967 taught at Chu Hoi College.

He had great sympathy for the Cantonese people and their nationalistic feelings. He was a chaplain with the Catholic Tertiary students from 1965-1975, including Chung Chi College of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and he was also the Spiritual Director of the Hong Kong Federation of Catholic students.
From about 1977 he served in the parishes of Ngau Tau Tok, Wong Tai Sin and Chai Wan until 1997 when he retired to Wah Yan College Kowloon.

He was involved in SELA - the Jesuit inter-provincial grou focused on socio-economic life in Asia. In 1977 he went to a SELA meeting in Bangkok and was especially happy with the living arrangements there which involved living with the poor and marginalised. There he met with some Thai students and SELA made a commitment to setting up some Basic Christian Communities in Thailand, where members would live together and carry on with their normal lives. He became the Hong Kong SELA representative in 1979, succeeding Patrick McGovern. he was then involved in compiling a report on Faith and Ideology, and this 9.000 word report also covered the issue of nationalism in Hong Kong, Marxism and the Church’s response.

In Hong Kong he was also involved in some intensive group Retreats at Cheung Chau. The emphasis of these retreats was on spiritual development and social awareness.
1980 He was officially appointed by the Bishop as Chaplain to the Young Christian Workers movement.

He was loved by his students as he was so approachable.

Joy, Patrick, 1892-1970, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/53
  • Person
  • 12 November 1892-19 February 1970

Born: 12 November 1892, Killorglin, County Kerry
Entered: 07 September 1910, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1928
Died: 19 February 1970, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong Mission : 09 October 1941

Middle brother of John C - RIP 1950, Francis - RIP 1977

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Studied for BA at UCD

by 1915 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1927 at At Vienna, Austria (ASR) making Tertianship
by 1928 second batch Hong Kong Missioners
Mission Superior Hong Kong 09/10/1941
by 1954 came to Singapore (HIB) working - 1st group in Singapore A Aizier, A Bérubé, A Joliet (CAMP) & J Kearney (ORE)

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Joy

Father Patrick Joy, from 1927 to 1951, one of the best known Jesuits in Hong Kong, died in Dublin of 20 February 1970, aged 77.

Father Joy was born in 1892. He entered the Jesuit novitiate there in 1910, following an elder brother and to be followed by a younger brother. He was ordained priest in 1926, and after a period of socio-economic studies in Vienna, came to Hong Kong in 1927.

In his early years here he edited The Rock, took part in the long-remembered 1929 lecture-course that ended a bitter anti-Catholic and anti-Christian campaign here, and did general priestly work.

When the Regional Seminary for South China was opened in 1931 in what is now Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Father Joy was appointed Professor of Moral Theology and held that post till he left Hong Kong in 1951, with the exception of the years when he was Regional Superior of Jesuits in Hong Kong.

He was appointed Regional Superior in the summer of 1941. His wide-ranging mind and his courageous spirit seemed to promise a large expansion of Jesuit activity in Hong Kong. Instead, within a few months, he was restricted to the agonising duties that weighed on all who had to bear responsibility in the days of the Japanese occupation. As an Irishman he escaped the ordinary internment, but he was arrested individually in 1945. The end of the war found him in prison, very doubtful about the future of his neck.

For two years after the war he supervised the restarting of activities that had been interrupted by hostilities and the occupation. He encouraged or initiated various kinds of work demanded by the needs of reconstruction; but there were so many repairs to be done so many men to be restored to full health and vigour, that there was little opportunity for him to give himself to the large-scale planning that his character seemed to demand. In 1947 he returned to the teaching of moral theology in Aberdeen. By now he was very widely known as a wide, warmhearted and widely informed counsellor in difficulties of every kind Constant appeals for advice made very heavy demands on his time and energy, but he delighted in meeting these demands. His surname was an appropriate one: he had zest and took joy in all that he did.

In 1951 he was appointed to lead the little band of Jesuits that branching out from Hong Kong to work in Singapore and what was then called Malaya. Usually a younger man is chosen for such a task, but Father Joy at 59 retained the initiative and the courageous exuberance of youth. The opportunity that had been denied to him in Hong Kong by the war was granted to him now though on a smaller scale. The work being done by Jesuits in Singapore and Malaysia still bears the stamp set upon it by Father Joy.

In 1959 he was recalled to Ireland to teach Moral Theology in the Jesuit scholasticate in Dublin. This was not retirement. At the age of 67, he brought a fresh breeze into the lecture room. His years of teaching in Aberdeen, Hong Kong. Had made him a seasoned professor of moral theology and his varied life had given him a breadth of experience that few professors could rival. He had moreover one special advantage. Throughout almost all his time in Hong Kong he had shared with Father A. Granelli, P.I.M.E., the labours of the very busy Diocesan Tribunal. This had given him an insight into the workings of Church law and the vicissitude of marriage such as he could never have gained from study. In Dublin he soon became what he had been in Hong Kong and Singapore, a man to be consulted by anyone who had a problem that no one else seemed able to solve.

In his last years he contracted leukaemia. It was arrested for a time, but in 1968 he had to give up lecturing, though he remained a universal consultor as long as any energy lasted. His life slowly ebbed away and he died on Saturday, 21 February.

Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul will be celebrated in the chapel of Wah Yan College, Kowloon, at 6pm on Monday 2 March.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 27 February 1970

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was one of the second group of Jesuits to arrive on the Hong Kong Mission in 1927. He soon worked on the “Rock” which forst appeared as a Jesuit publication in 1928. He presented some updated statistics -the population of Hong Kong at that time was estimated at a little over 900,000, of whom 16,000 were Europeans, and the Catholic population - mostly Portuguese - was about 10,000.
He soon took up work at the seminary in Aberdeen for 16 years before heading to Singapore in 1951. At the Seminary he was Professor of Moral Theology. During the years of the Japanese occupation, he carried on with a small group of men at the old Wah Yan. He was also appointed a sort of honorary Irish Consul, to look after the interedts of about 70 Irish nationals there.
In late May 1943, along with Fr Gerry Casey he was arrested by the Japanese and interned at Stanley unti August 7.
With his lecturing, writing and public debating in the pre war years he became a public figure in Hong Kong. He was already closely associated with Catholic life in the colony in many ways, and was a personal friend and advisor to Mgr Valtorta who was running the diocese.
According to Fr Caey “The dominant feature in Paddy Joy’s character was his solicitude, primarily for the conversion of pagans Though he couldn’t speak Chinese well, he pointed out one prisoner to me that he thought could be instructed and baptised, and I found he was right...... he had an observant eye and a keen mind. In public debate about moral matters such as birth control, he was quick and effective,”
According to Fr Thomas Ryan, Fr Joy’s outstanding qualities were “devotion to his task and solid common sense........ He probably was the Irish Province’s greatest gift to the Hong Kong Mission.”
According to Father Patrick Grogan “....... in Moral Theology and Canon Law, and especially in making the right approach t the right authorities, there was no one to equal him. I think he was at his best as our Mission Superior during the siege of Hong Kong”
According to Fr Patrick McGovern “Fr Joy was a great man..... his virtue was that although he was an intellectual heavyweight, he stepped so lightly through this morass of problems that no toe was trod on. On the contrary, wounds and hurts, both personal and canonical were bound up so deftly that the cured patients not only improved relations with one another, but in the process of being helped gave their universal and unstinting respect to the man who did the helping. He became the focus of a vast diversity, and from all sides won confidence, respect and affection”.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941
General :
Fr. John R. MacMahon, Rector of Milltown Park since August. 1938. was appointed Provincial by Very Rev. Fr. General on 8th September. The best wishes and fervent prayers of the Province are tendered to him on his elevation to his new post of responsibility.
The best thanks of the Province follow the outgoing Provincial Fr Kieran, whose fidelity to duty, understanding ways and kindly charity during the many wears in which he guided the destinies of our Province will long be remembered with gratitude and appreciation. A special feature of his humanity was the quite remarkable devotion and charity which he ever showed to our sick.
We wish him many years of fruitful work for God’s glory and much happiness in his new post as Director of the Retreat, House Rathfarnham Castle.
Fr. Patrick Joy was appointed Vice-Superior of the Hong Kong Mission on 29th July.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

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

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

Irish Province News 45th Year No 2 1970

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Joy SJ (1892-1970)

Father P. Joy died after a prolonged illness borne with great fortitude, nonchalance, one might say, in the Mater Nursing Home, Dublin on Thursday, February 19th. His remains were conveyed to Gardiner St. where the obsequies, including concelebrated Mass were observed on Saturday, February 21st. Fr. F. Joy, to whom we offer sincerest sympathy on his brother's death, participated with Fr. Provincial, Fr. J. Brennan, Rector of Milltown (principal concelebrant) and several other members of the Milltown staff at the concelebration. The congregation of ours and others was very representative. Father Patrick Joy was born in Killorglin, Co. Kerry on November 12th, 1892. He entered the Society in Tullabeg from Clongowes on September 7th, 1910 - one of five novices; after pronouncing his vows on September 8th 1912 he joined the Juniorate (then in Milltown Park) and the following year was one of the 14 foundation members of the community at Rathfarnham whence he secured a B.A. degree in U.C.D. This was followed by three years in Stonyhurst where he was one of 14 Irish Philosophers. He taught in Clongowes from 1917 to 1922 when he proceeded to Milltown, where he was ordained in 1925. Tertianship followed in 1926 near Vienna in Austria where he acquired a knowledge of German. In October 1927 he sailed for Hong Kong with Fr. Daniel MacDonald and Fr. Richard Gallagher.
Fr. Joy was one of the second group of Irish Jesuits to arrive in the newly-founded Mission, on 27th October 1927. Within a week he was working on the Rock which first appeared as a Jesuit publication at the beginning of 1928, and writing letters home appealing for articles and books. He gave some just-published statistics : the population of Hong Kong at that time was estimated at a little over 900,000, of whom about 16,000 were Europeans; the Catholic population, mostly Portuguese, was about 10,000. Soon the seminary work for which he was destined took up more of his time, as Aberdeen began to take shape, first in negotiations and planning and then in building. For 16 years, until he went to Singapore in late 1951, Fr. Joy was on the Status as professor of Moral at the regional seminary. Those years didn't include the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during the war, at which time Fr. Joy held the difficult position of Superior of the Mission to which he'd been appointed in October 1941, two months before the war hit Hong Kong; he'd been Vice-superior since the previous July. He had to see to the safe dispersal into China and elsewhere of most of the mission personnel, keeping alive what work could be done in Hong Kong, carrying on with a small group of men at the old Wah Yan. He was also appointed an honorary Consul to look after the interests of about 70 Irish nationals in Hong Kong. At the end of May 1943, together with Fr. Gerry Casey, Fr. Joy was arrested by the Japanese authorities and interned until August 7th with many others in the basement of the Supreme Court. “Laetitia est in carcere” was how Fr. Tom Cooney circulated this news to the dispersi in China. With his lecturing, public debating and writing in the pre-war years, Fr. Paddy had become a public figure in Hong Kong; he was closely associated with Catholic life in the colony in many ways, and with the diocese under Mgr. Valtorta to whom he was a personal friend and adviser.
Sent to Singapore in 1951, he quickly became absorbed with the work of the Church there and in Malaya, again reaching prominence in Catholic life and activity. He pioneered single-handed the Malaysia-Singapore part of the present vice-province, leaving many friends and his heart there when he retired to Ireland and the Moral chair again at Milltown in November 1958. “I shall know the Malay Peninsula well before they put me under the sod”, he wrote in August 1953 just before the tenders for Kingsmead Hall. were in. “I have already been through it from end to end about 20 times”. When Kingsmead was completed and became a house of the Hong Kong Mission, Fr. Joy was appointed Superior there. His next objective was Kuala Lumpur, where he finally became established in 1957 during the long drawn out negotiations and difficulties concerning the proposed social centre in Petaling Jaya. But though Fr. Paddy had left Asia before the present church and hostel there had taken shape, he continued to take keen interest in Malaysia and its affairs, and in other problems of the continent during his final years in Ireland.
“On January 16th 1959 Fr. Joy took his first Moral Lecture in Milltown - he marked the date in his Milltown Calendar. I was a second year theologian in his class. For ten years, until he was 76, he worked as Prof. Mor.; he was loved by his students, by the whole community. We learnt from him; we admired him; we respected him; to us he was “Paddy Happy”. He taught through stories about himself. He never told us of his prison sufferings; he never mentioned the commendations of the C. in C. or the Governor in Hong Kong - which I discovered among his papers. His stories illustrated some point in moral, even if in later years they tended to miss the point at issue; they showed his zeal, his charity, his compassion; they were never expressions of vanity.
A crowded decade. Dozens of weekend retreats; tridua; 8 day retreats; Vice Rector between Bishop Corboy and Fr. Brendan Barry; Provincial Procurator to Rome; House and faculty consultor; innumerable clients, by phone, by letter, in the parlour; dozens of lectures, in England and Ireland, to Pax Romana, to medical societies, to legal groups, to mission groups, to Jesuits and to others. He joined a sub-committee of Gorta and helped it enormously. He encouraged the struggle for women's rights through friends in St. Joan's Alliance.
His transistor was on many times a day for the news BBC and SRE. This was a symbol of his up-to-dateness. Though he was 73 when Vatican II ended he made it all his own, carefully annotating his own copy of the documents, just as he did those of the 31st Congregation when he got them two years later, or with a 1966 basic article in Periodica on renewing moral theology. In hospital he learnt to appreciate the changes in the Mass and started practising the new rite.
He was 72 when I joined the staff in Milltown. You pick what you want to teach and I'll do the rest', he said. He did not expect me to have identical views, and he encouraged me to do my job my way. A selfless senior partner.
He respected everyone, believed in everyone-because of his faith in Christ the Redeemer. He already rests in peace.
J. HEALY

Appreciations
“The dominant feature in Fr. Paddy Joy's character was his solicitude - solicitude for the conversion of pagans; I remember in prison, though he couldn't speak Chinese well, he pointed out to me one prisoner that he thought could be instructed and baptised, and I found he was right. Again, solicitude about small matters, of security such as locking doors or keeping away from windows during an air-raid. Along with this, he had an observant eye and a keen mind, In public debate about moral matters such as birth control he was quick and effective:. (Fr. G. Casey.)
“Devotion to his task and solid common sense there were the outstanding qualities of Fr. Paddy Joy. A deceptive exterior concealed a sharp brain made more acute by years of experience as professor of moral theology and consultant on moral problems for the clergy of South China. It made him equally effective whether seeking a sympathetic solution for a tangled marriage problem or protesting against Japanese conquerors who had never heard of Irish citizenship. He was probably the Irish province's greatest gift to the young Hong Kong mission. The eagles are felled, caws and daws!” (Fr. T. Ryan.)
“I think Fr. Paddy was at his best as our Superior during the siege of Hong Kong. He had come across from Kowloon to be with the majority of his subjects and he lived at Wah Yan, Hong Kong. In the evenings some would come back with stories of hair raising experiences. The norm given by Fr. Joy was ‘Go anywhere and take any risk if it is for the good of souls. Otherwise keep under cover?’ (Fr. P. Grogan.)
“As the first Jesuit to live in Malaya proper (as distinct from Singapore), I came into territory which had been almost untouched by Jesuits from the time of Francis Xavier's immediate successors until after World War II. By far the most striking feature for a Jesuit to run into was the universal warmth of the relationship which already existed between us and the local clergy and religious. Everywhere without exception I was welcomed as a Jesuit for the same reason - Fr. Joy was a Jesuit, and Fr. Joy was a great man. He had established this extraordinary reputation in circumstances which were difficult and complicated. In a huge territory with only one Bishop and a sparse distribution of a small number of priests, the aftermath of war had naturally left a back log of work undone. There were marriage problems to be sorted out, there were tensions in several directions. Fr. Joy's virtue was that although he was an intellectual heavyweight he stepped so lightly through a morass of problems that no toe was trod on. On the contrary, wounds and hurts both personal and canonical were bound up so deftly that the cured patients not only improved relations with one another, but in the process of being helped gave their unstinted respect to the man who did the helping. He be came the focus of a vast diversity, and from all sides won confidence, respect and affection. (Fr. P. McGovern.)

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

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, 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.

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.

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 T, 1920-1984, Jesuit priest

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

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1948 at Hong Kong - Regency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 59th Year No 4 1984

Obituary

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

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

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

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

Irish Province News 60th Year No 1 2 1985

Obituary

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 35 : Christmas 1984

Letter : Harold Naylor

Dear Editor,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours etc.,

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

Moran, John, 1905-1991, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/677
  • Person
  • 22 July 1905-30 April 1991

Born: 22 July 1905, Dublin City
Entered: 31 August 1923, Tullabeg
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1940, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 30 April 1991, Saint Teresa's Hospital, , Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Older Brother of Val Moran (ASL) - RIP 1988

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1929 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1932 fifth wave Hong Kong Missioners - Regency
by 1939 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father John Moran, S.J.
(1905-1991)
R.I.P.

Father John Moran S.J. died in St. Teresa’s Hospital on 30 April 1991 after a short illness.

Father Moran was born in Dublin, Ireland, on 22 July 1905 and educated by the Dominican Sisters and the Jesuits.

He entered the Jesuits in Ireland in 1923 and, after novitiate, university studies and philosophy, volunteered for the mission of the Irish Jesuits in Hong Kong.

He arrived in Hong Kong in the Autumn of 1931 and went to Shiu Hing, then a mission of the Portuguese Jesuits, to learn Cantonese.

The following year he was back in Hong Kong at the South China Regional Seminary in Aberdeen.

He returned to Ireland for his theological studies and was ordained priest there in 1939.

He was back in Hong Kong just before the outbreak of the Japanese war. At first he spent some time in the Aberdeen seminary and then for the rest of the war period moved to the French enclave of Kwong Chau Wan on the south coast. He remembered his years spent there as being some of the best of his life.

Recalled to Hong Kong at the end of war, he was chaplain in the Queen Mary Hospital and then went to Canton.

By the Autumn of 1949, all except four Jesuits withdrew from Canton. Father Moran taught for a while at a feeder school for Wah Yan College in Nelson Street, Kowloon. He then took over editorship of the Far East Messenger, a monthly magazine started by Father Terence Sheridan SJ. It ceased publication in 1953.

In 1952 Father Moran moved to the newly-built Wah Yan College on Waterloo Road. The room he moved into he was to occupy for the next 39 years until his death.

He joined the teaching staff and continued to teach long after his official retirement.

Father Moran is particularly remembered for his gentleness and kindness to all and for the hospitality he extended to visitors.

He spent many hours hearing confessions, being in his confessional at practically every Mass said in St. Ignatius Chapel.

His simplicity of life was legendary among his fellow-Jesuits.

A few years ago he suffered a stroke which severely impaired his memory. A few days before his death he was admitted to St. Teresa’s Hospital with breathing problems.

A funeral Mass, presided over by Cardinal Wu, was celebrated at Wah Yan Kowloon on 6 May.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 10 May 1991

◆ 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

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, nd 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”

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, 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.

O'Meara, John, 1898-1991, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/582
  • Person
  • 23 February 1898-14 November 1991

Born: 23 February 1898, Mallow, County Cork
Entered: 31 August 1915, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 August 1930, Leuven, Belgium
Professed: 08 December 1976
Died: 14 November 1991, St Joseph’s Home, Kowloon, Hong Kong

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

Eldest brother of Michael - RIP 1998; Tommy - RIP 1993

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966

by 1928 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1932 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1934 at Catholic Mission, Ngau-Pei-Lan, Shiuhing (Zhaoqing), Guandong, China (LUS) - language
by 1935 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
by 1943 at Campion Hall, Oxford, England (ANG) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father John O’Meara S.J.
R.I.P.

Father John O’Meara SJ, Hong Kong’s oldest priest, who did missionary work in Hong Kong and southern China for almost 60 years, died on 14 November 1991 after a brief illness.

Father O'Meara was born in Mallow, Ireland, on 23 February 1898, into a large family. He was educated by the Irish Christian Brothers and later by the Jesuits.

He join the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1915 and followed the usual course of studies of the time, which, in his case, included an honours degree in history at the National University of Ireland.

He did his philosophical studies in Dublin and went to Louvain in Belgium for theology. He was ordained priest in 1930.

Father O’Meara arrived in Hong Kong for the first time in September 1933 with four companions. Within three days of landing here he was told to proceed to Zhaoqing (Shiu Hing), the Portuguese Jesuit mission on the West River, to study Chinese.

In the following year he moved to the river island mission station of Tianshuisha (Tin Shui Sha), where he gained an intimate knowledge of working in a rural mission.

Later in 1934 he was recalled to Hong Kong and began an important period of his life at the then South China Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. He was first named Vice-Rector, a post he held until 1937 when he was appointed Rector.

In 1935 the seminarians from Fujian Province left Aberdeen when a new regional seminary was opened by the bishops of that region. Their loss was more than compensated for by a large influx of students from Guangdong and Guangxi, as the minor seminaries of those two provinces began to show the results of 10 years patient labour.

With the Japanese invasion of South China, travel to and from Hong Kong became difficult and from 1940 no new students came to Aberdeen.

With the Japanese attack on Hong Kong in December 1941, a very difficult period began for the seminary and for its Rector, Father O’Meara.

The building was shelled and bombed for three days during the siege of Hong Kong and so severe was the firing that the students and some refugees who had gathered there for shelter were forced to leave on Christmas morning. (Hong Kong surrendered on Christmas day).

During the succeeding three and a half years the seminary teaching staff, under Father O’Meara’s leadership, continued to train priests in spite of persistent visits from suspicious gendarmes.

The feeding of such a large community was a problem solved only by repeated interventions of Divine Providence.

For months there was no wheeled traffic other than military on the only road leading to the city. Food supplies had to be brought by hand, on battered bicycles.

In May 1945, Father O’Meara decided that the seminarians who had not finished their studies should go with their professors to neighbouring Macau, which, being Portuguese, was considered neutral.

The main reason was that it had become impossible to find food. Father O’Meara himself remained with an ex-seminarian and a servant to guard the seminary building from looters.

The war came to an end on 15 August 1945, and in November of that year Father O’Meara welcomed the first new students to arrive since 1940 and those in Macau were recalled.

In October 1947, Father O’Meara was relieved of the heavy burden he had carried for 12 years. He was sent to the newly-founded Jesuit mission in Guangzhou (Canton). There he taught at the Sacred Heart School and did missionary work in Dongshan (Tung Shan) as well as being director of the Legion of Mary in the diocese.

In 1953, four years after the establishment of the People’s Republic, he and the other Jesuits were forced to leave the country.

Back in Hong Kong, he taught at Wah Yan College, Kowloon, for five years until his appointment as Master of Novices in 1958 at the newly opened Jesuit novitiate at Xavier House in Cheung Chau.

He was extremely pleased to have been given such a responsible post in forming new Jesuits at the age of 60. He held the position for 10 years when, in 1968, he began a period of parish ministry.

He was first assigned to the Holy Rosary Parish in Kennedy Town and, four years later, transferred to Christ the Worker parish in Ngautaukok.

He was still vigorous in his 80s when he became chaplain to the St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged in Ngauchiwan. In the final years of his life, when he could no longer continue this ministry, he became himself one of the old folk in the home.

Father O’Meara had one final ambition, which he did not get to see - to live until the year 2000 and say he had touched three centuries.

The funeral Mass, presided over by Cardinal John Baptist Wu, Bishop of Hong Kong, and assisted by Archbishop Dominic Tang of Canton (Where Father O’Meara spent some of the happiest years of his life), was held at St. Ignatius Chapel, Kowloon, on 18 November at 11am.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 22 November 1991

◆ 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 22nd Year No 1 1947

Frs. Bourke and John O'Meara returned from Hong Kong on 25th November for a rest. 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.

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 force fulness and forthrightness and by the esteem and honour in which he was held; less inhibited outsiders spoke to him in a way no member of his community dared. Of course he had his foibles and pet hates; his extreme reticence and his ruthlessness in destroying most of his papers and writings have meant that much of the story of his life can never be told - from his occasional reminiscences, he clearly had a wealth of experiences and interests which would : have made a fascinating commentary on Dublin in the '20s, the recent history of Hong Kong and almost the whole history of the Society in this part of the world. Fr Tommy Ryan was undoubtedly one of the giants of this and of the Irish Province; his name and achievements deserve remembrance and gratitude beyond the circle of those who now miss his presence with us ... but his own preference was for obscurity, that he should not be a burden to anyone, and that younger people should break new ground, for the greater glory of God.
May he rest in peace.

Sullivan, Edmund, 1904-1980, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Father Edmund Sullivan S.J.

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

Mourning for Father Sullivan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

Gardiner Street

Fr. R. Kennedy supplied in the Church for some weeks before leaving for China on October 8th. Fr. Brian Kelly has been at work with us since September. He preached on Mission Sunday.

Fr. E. Sullivan stayed with us on two occasions since his arrival from Hong Kong.

Irish Province News 55th Year No 3 1980

Obituary

Fr Edmund Sullivan (1904-1922-1980)

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

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

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

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
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.