Rev. MALONE, Thomas
* Birth in New York, USA: [25 May 1904]
Father Thomas J. Malone, MM
Father Thomas Malone, former Regional Superior of the Maryknoll Fathers in South East Asia, with residence in Hong Kong, was very well known here and had numberless friends among the people of Hong Kong. He died on 2 January 1981, in the Veterans Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan. While vesting for early morning Mass he was stricken with a heart attack. He was rushed from his mission in Miaoli to Taipei where he revived the medical services of the foremost heart specialist in Taiwan. Just after 6pm he passed away peacefully. Before death he kept repeating “I was all prepared for that Mass.”
Father Malone entered Maryknoll in 1925 after completing college at Fordham University in New York City and held the B.A. degree from Fordham; the S.T.B. and M.A. from Catholic University in Washington D.C., and a M.S. from Loyola University in Chicago.
From his Ordination in 1929 he served in the following areas: In Education, as professor and Director; in Social Communications, as Editor and Business Manager; in Formation, as retreat master, spiritual director and Rector: in Administration, as special assistant to the Superior General and a member of Maryknoll’s General Council; in the missions, as Local Superior, Society Superior, and most of all, as a grassroots missioner. He wrote:” I find in the life of a missioner the fulfilment of all my desires.”
He was buried on 6 January in the West Mountain Cemetery, Miaoli, Taiwan. Bishop Donaghy was principal celebrant, Father J.B. Chan giving the homily. Bishop Peter Tu gave the final absolutions, and Bishop Lucas Liu led the prayers at the cemetery.
Father Malone’s final years as Regional Superior in South East Asia were truly hectic ones due to the Communist take-over of China, and the subsequent expulsion of all foreign religious. The vast majority of those expelled came to Hong Kong by way of the Lo Wu railroad station. These bewildered people, usually transferred from goals at a moment’s notice, were shipped off to Hong Kong without advanced warning, many of them very ill. Fortunately Father Poletti, the pastor of Fanling Parish, was always notified by the border police of these arrivals and rushed to meet them, assuring them of a warm welcome by Hong Kong, and offering them his own limited accommodation until they could be moved to their own communities. To solve this problem Father Malone together with Father Paul Duchesne, then Director of Catholic Relief Services, and other religious living in Hong Kong organized a welcoming committee at the border to greet new arrivals and make them comfortable in their new and strange surroundings. Among them were more than one hundred Maryknoll priests and Sisters. Father Malone opened the Maryknoll House in Stanley to those priests whose communities had no house in Hong Kong until they set off for their own homelands.
Throughout his life
Father Malone not only was the effective missioner par excellence, but
also the Maryknoller who, perhaps more than any other, both by the variety of
his positions and by his humble, generous spiritually, became the model for
other Maryknollers. The most often heard critique of him was that he never spoke
ill of anyone. In his writings there is often mention of the phrase “Ubi
Caritas” - where charity and love are, there is Christ. Let us rejoice that he
is now with his Divine Exemplar!
30 January 1981
◆ Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers in Hong Kong 1920-2010, Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, 2011.
◆ 美國天主教傳教會與香港, 何心平著, 香港中文大學天主教研宄中心, 2011.