The passing of a holy, many-talented Jesuit - Fr Victor Ian Falconer SJ

The passing of a holy, many-talented Jesuit - Fr Victor Ian Falconer SJ

Michael O'Callaghan

Fr Victor Ian Falconer SJ died peacefully at Nazareth House, Camberwell, Victoria, on 9 December 2004. He was in his 89th year and had been a Jesuit for 71 years. He had been a regular contributor to AD2000 almost since its inception.

Born in 1916 in Penang, Straits Settlements (now Malaysia), he entered the Jesuits in 1934 and was ordained a priest in 1949. He studied at Heythorp College and Campion Hall, Oxford, and later gained a Master's Degree from Oxford University.

He then taught for 15 years at the University of Rhodesia-Zimbabwe and was Catholic chaplain. He subsequently obtained degrees in Philosophy and Theology from the Gregorian University.

While teaching in Salisbury (now Harare), he was asked to audition as a radio broadcaster, which he undertook for six years, later adding television and dramatic and musical involvement to his apostolate.

In 1982 he was invited to Australia, tutoring at St Thomas More College, Perth, for six years where he was also involved with the Perth Undergraduate Chorale Society. The following three years, he was chaplain to the St Joseph's Convent of Mercy, Geelong.

Shortly after arriving in Melbourne, Fr Falconer became chaplain to the Latin Rite Community at St Anne's, Kew.

The eulogy at Fr Falconer's Requiem Mass was delivered by Fr Tom Lake-Smith SJ, who referred to a quote from the late Superior-General of the Jesuits, Fr Pedro Arrupe: "Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what gets you out of bed in the morning, what you will do in the evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, what you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything."

Fr Lake-Smith said that in many ways this faithfully mirrored the life of Fr Falconer, a priest who found God in all things.

One could not visit Fr Falconer, particularly in his last days, without an awareness of his sense of peace. Ever the gentleman, lecturer, writer, servant of God and his Church, he is remembered with affection and gratitude by his Jesuit community, colleagues, relatives and many friends, both here in Australia and abroad.

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