Father Timothy Francis (Timothy) Doody, SJ

Born: 26 December 1913, Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland
Entered: 07 September 1931, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois, Ireland
Ordained: 19 May 1945, Zi-Ka-Wei, Shanghai, China
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 02 March 1989, Hong Kong

Father Doody arrived in Hong Kong in 1939 as a scholastic for regency. After two years of language study, he joined the staff of Wah Yan College in the autumn of 1941. In December of that year, war came to Hong Kong. He was appointed a Billeting Officer. He had a faculty for discovering Catholics in the most unlikely places and he rarely returned from one of the billeting trips without having a new address for a priest to visit. By 1942, he went to Shanghai for his theological studies. After his ordination, he continued to be a staff at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong.

In the late 1950s Father Doody was assigned for a time to Singapore to help Father Patrick Joy in building St Ignatius’ Church. In what may be described as typically Doodyish fashion, he integrated donation-giving into the devotional life of the parish. Father Doody was a godsend; his good-naturedness and fluency in Cantonese endeared him to the parishioners. He was known for his charm and ability to make friends quickly with strangers.

Besides being successful in raising funds for the church building, this also strengthened parish life. It was so effective materially that the church was paid for before construction ceased – perhaps a unique achievement. He proved to be a brilliant fundraiser, thanks to his good-naturedness and fluent Cantonese which endeared him to many parishioners.

By 1960 he was back in Hong Kong for various ministries until his death in 1989.

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

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