Obituary: Fr Gerard Keane, SJ, called to the Lord
Fr Gerard Keane, SJ (1926-2018)
Fr Gerard Keane, SJ, of the Society of Jesus passed away yesterday on 27 November 2018 at Assisi Hospice, Singapore. He was 92. Fr Keane was the last of the Irish Jesuits who served in the Region of Malaysia-Singapore.
He was born in Limerick, Ireland on 2 November 1926. Fr Keane once observed about his calling: “I thought that if what Christ is all about is true, then it [the priesthood] is the only thing worth doing.” He joined the Jesuits in Ireland at 17 years old, and took his first vows in 1946. In 1952, Fr Keane was sent to Hong Kong where he learned Cantonese and did his regency teaching in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He returned to Ireland for his theological studies in 1955 and was ordained a priest on 31 July 1958.
When the Church of St Ignatius (Singapore) was established in 1961, Fr Keane was an assistant parish priest and the spiritual director for the parish’s first praesidium of the Legion of Mary. For many years, Fr Keane scripted the parish’s annual Christmas play and occasionally played the part of one of the Three Kings. He ran a small Bible group that met weekly.
From 1969 to 1972, Fr Keane was editor of the Malaysian Catholic News. For more than 10 years from the late 1960s, Fr Keane also did 45-minute broadcasts at 6.00PM on Radio Singapore on the Catholic faith. From 1984 to 1992, he did chaplaincy work with Catholic Junior College (CJC) and was director of CJC’s hostel.
In the Jesuit community, Fr Keane was the local superior of the Kingsmead Hall Jesuit Community (1976 –1983, 1994 –2001), and on the parish team (1976 – 1983, 1994 – 2002). He was also a member of the Centre of Ignatian Spirituality and Counselling in Singapore and served as its Director from 1999 to 2002. In 2001, he lost his voice to cancer.
Fr Keane retired from active service in the parish in 2002 but continued to write for the weekly parish bulletin up to a few months before his passing.
The Church of St Ignatius celebrated Fr Keane’s Golden Jubilee of Priesthood in 2008. He was much loved and will be remembered for his wonderful gift of friendship.
Fr Keane’s body was received at 3.30PM today. His wake will be held at St Ignatius Hall, 8 Victoria Park Road, Singapore 266492.
Wake prayers will be said tonight (28 November) and tomorrow night (29 November) at 8.00PM. The cortege leaves St Ignatius Hall at 2.30PM on 30 November 2018 for the Funeral Mass.
His Grace Archbishop William Goh will preside and preach at the Funeral Mass for Fr Keane.
Details of Funeral
Date: 30 November 2018 (Fri)
Venue: Church of St Ignatius, 120 King's Road,
Cremation will follow after at Mandai Crematorium Hall 3 at 5.15PM.
We invite you to pray for him in your Masses and prayers.