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Goodbye to Bill

bill_johnston_01Fr Bill Johnston, who has died in Tokyo, had a good send-off, reflecting the remarkable impact of this diffident Belfast-born Jesuit. It included a message from President Mary McAleese: ‘I’m so sorry to hear of Father Johnston’s death, though glad for him that his suffering is over and he has reached life’s best destination. May he be enjoying a heavenly welcome.’ The Archbishop of Tokyo (whom Bill had baptised) led the funeral Mass in St Ignatius’ Church, accompanied by the Irish Ambassador, some thirty priests and Archbishop Pittau SJ. The Irish Times plans an obituary. All friends are welcome to a Month’ s Mind Mass in Milltown Park at noon on Friday, 12 November. The photo of Bill reproduced here was taken in 1988.