FR. GERALD A. DRINANE, S. J. (82/64)
Died in Kurji Holy Family Hospital, Patna, on 20th February 2014.
|BIO – DATA:
Entered the Society of Jesus: 24.07.1949
Final Vows: 15.08.1966
Director, Apostolic School, Bettiah 1964-65
English Teacher, Juniorate, XTTI, Patna 1965-77
Rector, K. R. High School, Bettiah 1977-80
Vice-Principal, St. Xavier’s, Patna 1980-83
Rector, St. Michael’s, Patna 1983-89
Staff, Staff, Ravi Bharati, Patna 1989-91
Socius to the Provincial 1991-02
Secretary in the Province Curia 2002-12
Praying for the Society and Church (XTTI) 2012
Editor of PATNA JESUIT: 1985-2013
Author of: WE BAND OF BROTHERS -
41 Sketches of Patna Jesuits (Vol.3); 2004
and innumerable vocational promotion materials
If ever you wanted to encounter uncontaminated child-like innocence and gentleness in a grownup person, you just had to meet Fr. Jerry. Growth in age or the importance of the many positions of authority which he held or the burden of these offices (all of which he fulfilled with utmost dedication) did not corrupt his innocence – he remained the same simple, gentle and charming person that he was from the early years of his life till the day he breathed his last. The twinkle in his eyes always reflected that innocence. He was a man who enjoyed aplenty the innocent pleasures of life, be it butter, ice cream, chocolates, cigarettes or games such as hand ball, bridge – be it – foursome, cut throat or honeymoon.
Gerald A. Drinane joined the Society of Jesus in Milford, Oh, USA and came to India during his Philosophy studies (1954-55; he began in West Baden and completed it in Shembaganur). He did his regency in Khrist Raja, Bettiah. He studied theology in Kurseong and was ordained in Pro-Cathedral, Bankipore, Patna. His tertianship was in Sitagarh and he pronounced his final vows in XTTI.
Fr. Jerry was very unassuming and hard working. He was an efficient English teacher, gentle administrator, prolific writer, meticulous editor, an able office manager / organizer, melodious singer and an accomplished photographer. He could be at his desk for hours, continually for days and months and yet would show no signs of weariness. He charmed many young men to the Society, directly by his vocation promotion contacts and indirectly through the vocation promotion materials he produced. No Province programme would take place without photographs taken by Fr. Jerry. He was a trusted friend and a gentle guide. The source of his energy was clear – his intimate union with God in Jesus Christ. He was regular with his breviary, meditation, daily Eucharist, evening prayers and annual retreat. He was actively present in all the spiritual exercises of the community. He loved and cherished the company of his fellow Jesuits. He was indeed a dedicated priest-servant of God. In his death the Province and the Society of Jesus has lost an exemplary Jesuit.
In the later part of his life Fr. Jerry did have many physical ailments - diabetic, prostate, heart condition that necessitated a pace maker and lung congestion; but he never complained about any of these. They were all attended to at the initiative of others. On 1st and 3rd Feb ‘14 he fell from his chair in his room (in XTTI); he didn’t want to go to the hospital and felt comfortable on a wheel chair. When the pain persisted, Dr. Haq visited him and recommended X-ray. Hence, he was admitted on 18th Feb and the X-ray showed fracture at the neck of his left femur (hip bone). Further treatment was planned. However on 20 Feb morning while the routine sponge bath was in progress, he had severe chest congestion and all attempts to clear it were unsuccessful. At 8.10 am he breathed his last while Sr. Anne Irene, MMS, said prayers for him accompanied by the nurses and XTTI staff attendant.
May Jesus whom Fr. Jerry served with so much love and devotion all his life, welcome him into eternal glory. Thank you Fr. Jerry for your quiet exemplary life.
(All members of Patna Province should offer one Mass for the repose of his soul and members of XTTI community two Masses)
Funeral Eucharist at 3.30 pm on 21st Feb ‘14 in XTTI chapel, followed by burial in XTTI cemetery.