Father Edward Bourke, SJ

Born: 02 January 1895, Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, Ireland
Entered: 07 September 1912, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly, Ireland
Ordained: 08 December 1926, Convent of Mercy, Waterford City, Ireland
Final vows: 22 April 1977, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Died: 29 April 1985, Xavier Hall, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Father Bourke came to Hong Kong as a young Jesuit priest in 1930 and worked there 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. As an Irish citizen he was not interned, but he had endless difficulties to meet. 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, in 1957, he moved to Singapore as acting superior at Kingsmead Hall as Father Patrick Joy was away recuperating from illness. When Father Joy did not return to Singapore, Father Bourke’s acting post became permanent.

Father Bourke devoted himself to pastoral and apostolic work at St Ignatius Church. Other than that, he gave numerous retreats in Singapore and across the causeway. He was always a man of many friends.

In Singapore and Malaysia over the next thirty years, he devoted himself mainly to pastoral and apostolic work, even in advanced old age. [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 the Church and Society of Jesus] For his last few months he was feeble in body, but his mind retained all its clarity. Father Bourke died in Kuala Lumpur on 29 April 1985 at the age of 90.
At SFX Petaling Jaya, he was the 3rd Parish Priest: 1966-1969; Asst. Parish Priest: 1969-1978

Book: 50 years of the parish of the Church of St Ignatius, 2012

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