by Todd Morrissey SJ
Irish Distributor: Messenger Publications
Jesuits in Hong Kong, South China and Beyond: Irish Jesuit mission – its development 1926-2006: Irish Jesuits have long been associated with delivering the word of God in China. Their story is the focus of this book.
A wealth of colourful anecdotes adorns the recently published book by Todd Morrissey SJ on the first 80 years of the Irish Jesuit mission to China. The 800-page book was financed and promoted by the Past Students Association of the Wah Yan colleges in Hong Kong and Kowloon. After its launch in China it sold an astonishing 900 copies in just nine days .
According to the author, “The Irish Jesuits were invited by the Bishop of Hong Kong and some of them were reluctant to go because at that time it wasaBritish colony and many of them had grown up in Ireland at the time of the struggle to get the British of Ireland.
However, the result was that any of the Jesuits” who did not know the language were sent to China immediately. Soon after; they started to lecture, set up a magazine called the Rock and ran a regional seminary. It was essentially organised by the Bishops of China and it sent young priests back into China to spread the good news.
In 1932 the Jesuits were invited to run the successful Wah Yan colleges in Hong Kong and Kowloon and according to Morrissey, “Fr. Thomas F. Ryan was one of the first Jesuits to go into China and he immediately fell in love with the people and the culture”.
Their stories needed to be told and they are faithfully and entertainingly recorded in this book.