Fr John Guieny and Fr Gerry Keane in Singapore
Easter is a time for rejoicing in the good work God is doing and wants to do through us all. Through each one of you and by your spiritual and material support we are able to support our men and women on the frontiers of poverty.
The Irish in Cambodia
It is a great joy to witness lay missionaries and lay volunteers, men and women, collaborating in Jesuit works and it is always a blessing to visit our missionaries and works in the field. I had the pleasure of visiting our Companions in Cambodia, Hong Kong and Singapore in February 2017.
Fr Ashley Evans SJ, our sole missionary in Cambodia, has done trojan work in setting up the Xavier Jesuit school—the first Jesuit school in Indo-China. He, with Irish teacher volunteers, local staff and newly arrived Presentation Sisters, have created new educational opportunities , especially for girls, in the rural villages of North West Cambodia.
In the fragility of their old age, Hong Kong
In Hong Kong profound gratitude amongst the alumni of our colleges and other works is always openly expressed to our elderly Irish missionaires and they delight in having them still amongst them, in the fragility of their old age.
We have six living members and many are active in their older years—John Russell, Alfred Deignan, Seán Coghlan, Harry Naylor, Seán Ó'Cearbhalláin—their ages stretch from 80 to almost 104 years of age and our oldest missionary Fr Joe Mallin SJ, continues to be hale and hearty.
He is part of the band of 106 Irish missionaries who have gone to Hong Kong since 1926. Their work in education, spirituality and spiritual formation, and social justice has had a lasting impact. The great impact of our missionaries has been to nourish local vocations to develop and continue the work of the Church in these countries.
Fr Harry Naylor and Fr John Guiney in Hong Kong
Fr Gerry Keane SJ in Singapore
Fr Gerry Keane SJ from Limerick is our sole surving missioary in Singapore, and amidst his health challenges he continues from his wheelchair to be a witness of Irish Jesuit missionary availability and generosity in Signapore and Malaysia.
I wish you a very happy Easter Season and let us keep each other in our prayers.
John K Guiney SJ
Author: Fr John K Guiney SJ, Irish Jesuit Missions, April 2017
Please read more about the Irish Jesuit Missions’ works in our Spring Newsletter. Jesuit missionaries and lay collaborators are working for peace, reconciliation and sustainable development. Our work contributes towards the attainment of human rights and the Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals 2030.