Wednesday, February 3, 2010

pics from the Memorial Mass

The Memorial Mass for
Fr. John Deeney, SJ

The Chapel of Saint Joseph / Michael J. Smith , SJ Memorial

concelebrated by George Bur, SJ, Vincent Genovesi, SJ, Joseph Lacey, SJ, Terrance Toland, SJ, and James Moore, SJ.

Music by Fr. Deeney's family: Tommy Curtis, Tommy Curtis, Mae Roney, Joan Marie Curtis, and Julie Caramanico.

Tommy Curtis and Mae Roney / Fr. Deeney's sister Nancy with daughters Nancy, and Mary Gill.

Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary / Terrance Tolan, SJ a Prep classmate of Fr. Deeney, with Theresa Roney and the sisters of John Guidera, SJ.

Niece Jen Angelucci with nephew John Roney / Recessional hymn

Brothers Gerry and Ed Deeney

Communion / two Missionaries of Charity from Chester, PA.

Nieces Nancy Caramanico and Theresa Roney

Gerry Deeney gives the eulogy / some great pics

Two John Gills with George Bur, SJ

Two former Jamshedpur men: homilist Joe Lacey, SJ now at St. Alphonsus in Woodstock, with Joe Currie, SJ, now head of campus ministry at Fordham.

The Guidera sisters / Beth McCarthy and daughters

From the blog of George Bur, SJ -- The Spirit blows where it will...

This procession of mourners is viewing the body of Rev. John J. Deeney, S.J., a Philadelphian and Prep grad ('45) who ministered in the state of Jharkhand, India for over 50 years. He was buried in mid January at a school and church in Chaibasa, part of the native area of the Ho tribal people. Fr. Deeney was the first to work on a Ho-English dictionary. Over 2000 people attended his funeral Mass celebrated with 120 priests.

The lad leaning over the casket may be anointing Father Deeney with oils as is the Ho custom at funerals.

I was able to be present at a Memorial Mass in Philadelphia that was celebrated on January 30 for about 100 family members and friends, most from the Philadelphia area.

We had no marigolds but we did have flowers and we did present a small bag of rice at the offertory procession as is the Ho custom.

See John's obit article in the Philadelphia Inquirer (with a photograph)

From the blog of Joe Kozera, SJ -- The City and the World...

On another note, I ask you to join me in praying for the repose of the soul of Jesuit Father John Deeney, a Philadelphia native who recently died in his sixtieth year as a missionary in India. Though I never met Father Deeney, I've had the opportunity in the last few months to get to know a bit about him from conversations with other Jesuits here at SJU. Having joined the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus in 1939 at the age of 18, in January 1950 John Deeney was sent to India to join what was then known as the Jamshedpur Mission. Together with a number of other Maryland Province Jesuits, Father Deeney became a founding member of the Jamshedpur Province of the Society and devoted the rest of his life to serving the people of northeastern India. Much of Father Deeney's life in India was spent ministering to members of a tribal group known as the Ho. In the tradition of earlier Jesuit missionaries, Father Deeney helped his flock preserve their language and culture by composing a Ho-English dictionary and grammar, translating the scriptures and the liturgy into the local language, and producing a number of ethnographic works on the common life and traditions of the Ho people.

If you would like to learn more about Father John Deeney, I suggest that you read these reflections by his friend Tom Brzozowski, an Ignaciophile and dedicated Hawk who blogs under the moniker "44." Tom's blog also has a moving report on Father Deeney's funeral, including photos sent by an Indian Jesuit. Finally, Tom also posts an appeal for funds to support a cause close to Father Deeney's heart: the construction of a new school building at St. Paul Miki Church in the Ho tribal region. As I join many others in praying for the repose of the soul of Father John Deeney, I pray also that the example of his life may inspire others to give of themselves in generous service. AMDG.

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