Remembering Fr Bill German

Fr William German SJ, 1925 – 2017

CJI honours the memory of Fr William German SJ, who died at the age of 92 on 4 July 2017. “Fr Bill,” as he was called, was a member of the Society of Jesus for 73 years and for many years was also a missionary and a faithful friend of CJI.

Fr Bill German SJ

Fr Bill German SJ

Bill German was born in Toronto on 1 September 1925. He went to school at De La Salle and then Regiopolis. In July 1943, he entered the Jesuit novitiate in Guelph, Ontario. Following three years of philosophy in Montreal, he went in 1950 to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to teach. His missionary life was just beginning.

After three years in Ethiopia, Fr Bill was sent abroad again, this time to Darjeeling, India. He began by completing his theological studies at St Mary’s College in Kurseong, Darjeeeling. After ordination in 1956, he served as a teacher, headmaster, chaplain, retreat director and pastor. Altogether, Fr Bill lived and worked in India for more than 30 years. Darjeeling was always in his heart.

Fr Bill returned to Canada in 1985. He served as associate pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Toronto for 29 years, and latterly was living at Rene Goupil House in Pickering, Ontario, where he died on 4 July.

Among many other students, Fr Bill taught the current Jesuit Provincial of Darjeeling Province, Fr Kinley Tshering SJ, who remembers him as “a joyful man, always beaming and caring.” Indeed, Fr Bill is well remembered by those who knew him as a deeply compassionate and joyful person, an eloquent speaker, a good listener, and someone who radiated God’s love.

Rest in peace, Fr Bill.