Rev. SHERIDAN, Terence SJ

* Birth in Ireland (愛爾蘭): [16 September 1908]
* Enter Novitiate: [30 September 1927]
* Ordination in Ireland: [31 July 1940]
* Arrival in Hong Kong: [1934]
* Death in Manila (馬尼拉): [11 December 1970]

# Information according to “Jesuits in Hong Kong, South China and Beyond”
/ Pictorial memories of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926 to 2016

Death of Father T. Sheridan

Father Terence Sheridan, S.J., died in Manila on 11 December 1970, aged 61.

Father Sheridan was born in Ireland in 1908. He first came to Hong Kong as a Jesuit scholastic in 1934. He studied Chinese, taught in Wah Yan College, wrote one book and many articles, and returned to Ireland in 1937 for theological studies and ordination.

He came back to Hong Kong after the war and was stationed here until 1960, boldly combining his duties as senior English master in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, with apostolic and pastoral work and energetic participation in the cultural life of the community. Almost immediately after the war he started a series of annual Chinese operas in English - a daring and successful venture into Anglo-Chinese cultural relations. He also produced many plays for the Stage Club, including a long remembered ‘Othello’ From 1952 to 1954 he edited Outlook - a lively cultural review - so lively indeed that it once brought him before the Supreme Court in a contempt of court case that won him many new admirers.

In 1960 he went to Singapore as editor of the Malaysian Catholic News. In 1964 he joined the Pastoral Institute in Manila to work on the use of modern communications media in Catechetics and in general radio and TV.

He died suddenly at his table, when busily at work editing a film record of the Pope’s visit. He would probably have chosen such a death if the choice had been his.

These dull details seem totally inadequate in a notice on Father Terry. They point to the intellectual gifts and the energy and initiative that he had in abundance; they give no idea of the friendliness and the astonishing ever-fresh charm that brightened every group that he joined, whether he joined for a few moments or for a span of yeas. Very fittingly, his death came in Gaudete week, Joy Week.
18 December


 Requiem for Father Sheridan

Friends of the late Father Terence Sheridan, S.J., filled the chapel of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, on 18 December for a Requiem Mass concelebrated by about twenty of Father Sheridan’s fellow-Jesuits.

Few people will be so sorely missed as Father Sheridan. Nevertheless there was no appearance of gloom in the congregation before or after Mass. They had gathered to pray for the repose of the soul of a man who spent his life spreading happiness and high spirits in the strength of the Holy Spirit. Many of those present stated explicitly that mourning would be out of place on such an occasion.

The chief celebrant, Father Fergus Cronin, Provincial Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits and one of Father Sheridan’s oldest friends in Hong Kong, paid the following tribute.

I suppose all of us here are people who knew Father Terence Sheridan so it is not necessary for me to say who he was nor to mention many of the things he did.

Indeed it would be difficult to do this for he did so many things, and all of them with some distinction.

He was first of all a priest and a Jesuit. He prized his priesthood and his membership of the Society of Jesus above everything else.

He came to Hong Kong and the East because he was sent here by his superiors to be a living witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

He came to this part of the world joyfully, eagerly, and he did not preach so much in words as by living his faith and by letting what he was come through all that he did.

He taught. I suppose he would have thought of himself for many years as primarily a schoolmaster, but his interests went beyond the classroom to the playing fields for he was a sport master and a good athlete himself, to the production of plays. Many who were boys in Wah Yan when he was a teacher would think of him as an inspired producer.

But he was more of a writer than a teacher and, as in teaching, his writing overflowed into action. He wrote and produced plays, Chinese operas in English, religious plays such as his play for the Marian Year 1954, spectaculars such as the pageant he produced in the Racecourse (on another occasion) and good drama in English such as so many Shakespearean plays and The Lady is not for Burning for the Hong Kong Stage Club.

He was a good writer – first of all an editor – and he founded outlook, Tsing Nin Man Yau, Eastern Messenger. He wrote for all sorts of periodicals. He wrote books. He wrote the text of his Chinese operas in English. If he had been only a writer he would have quite a creditable amount of good writing, as much as many whose sole work was writing.

He was a critic of events. His pungent writing in Outlook pointed out many of our local weaknesses. The same was true in his writings in the Malaysian Catholic News. After he left here and went to Singapore he became interested in film criticism, in making people critical of what they saw on the screen or on the stage.

He was all these things and so much more. I thing you will agree with me that he was the most alive person you have known. Wherever he went he had people laughing. He was able to spread most of his ideas by making people laugh while they read them or listened to them. He had also a genius for friendship and comradeship. In any company he was the centre of laughter, of discussion, of song. Frequently he burst into song. I suppose he took at least one shower a day and he never took a shower without singing.

It is hard to think of one who was as alive as now being dead. In the words of one of the songs from Gilbert and Sullivan, which he loved so well: “Is life a boon, then so it must befall that death whenever it calls, must call too soon?” But do not think of him as not being alive. He is in peace and happiness we trust, and we are here to pray God to bring him to the eternal happiness of heaven. It seems a strange thing to ask that God might give him eternal rest if by rest we mean inactivity, but if we mean that he is a valiant soldier of Jesus Christ who has returned from battle and is now with his Master enjoying himself, relaxing after the years of struggle on earth, then we are closer to the reality. In Irish, “Ar deas De go raibh a anim.” May his soul be on the right hand of God.”
25 December 1970



隸 屬 本 港 耶 穌 會 的 譚 壽 文 神 父 , 於 一 九 七 0 年 十 二 月 十 一 日 , 因 心 臟 病 突 發 , 於 馬 尼 拉 東 亞 牧 民 研 究 院 逝 世 。 譚 神 父 在 本 港 工 作 達 二 十 多 年 , 主 要 在 大 眾 傳 播 工 具 上 , 尤 其 是 在 戲 劇 工 作 上 造 詣 甚 深 。 十 多 年 前 轟 動 一 時 的 英 語 粤 劇 「楊 貴 妃」 , 乃 譚 神 父 首 創 者 。

按 神 父 於 一 九 0 八 年 出 生 於 愛 爾 蘭 , 一 九 二 七 年 進 耶 穌 會 , 一 九 三 四 年 被 派 來 港 工 作 , 於 一 九 四 0 年 晉 鐸 , 在 港 任 教 師 及 編 輯 之 職 , 公 餘 即 領 導 青 年 在 戲 劇 上 工 作 , 一 九 六 一 年 被 派 往 新 加 坡 , 一 九 六 六 年 往 馬 尼 拉 東 亞 牧 民 研 究 院 任 教 。 譚 神 父 正 在 編 製 教 宗 訪 問 馬 尼 拉 的 紀 錄 電 影 , 而 在 工 作 中 身 亡 者 。
1970 年 12 月 18 日

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先賢錄--香港天主教神職及男女修會會士 (1841-2016), 天主教香港教區檔案處, 2016.
一九二六年至二零一六年在香港的耶穌會會士影像回憶, 紀歷有限公司, 2016.