This afternoon (December 27, 2013), Fr. Gerard Barry, S. J., the founder of Sophia Junior College in Hadano and former Rector of S. J. House, passed away quietly away from his friends and family, in a hospital. One of the most liked Jesuits around Sophia, he had been working as an assistant to the Parish Priest of St. Ignatius Church, Yotsuya, until about two months ago, when he took seriously ill and retired from active ministries. He was initially hospitalized for about a week, getting treatment for leukemia, but then returned to S. J. House to be with the Jesuit Community. Unfortunately, his sickness worsened, and he opted to move to Loyola House, the Jesuit Community for the retired persons, in Kamishakujii, Tokyo. Within a short time, however, he had to be moved to a hospital for exclusive care, and it was there that he passed away this afternoon.
Jerry at the funeral Mass for Fr. Jack Nissel, S.J.Fr. Barry had an impressive appearance, close to six feet tall and strikingly handsome. As he was athletic, taking care to cycle, swim, or walk, he had a well-built body without any excess fat or protruding belly. With his own honest humor, he used to say that when he was young, people called him ‘Charlton Heston,’ after the Hollywood actor. Until the age of 65, he used to bicycle to or from Hadano at least one way, once a week. Never seriously ill, he was afflicted about 20 years ago by a malicious form of skin disease on his head, which resulted in the removal of a fifth of his scalp. Although he went through a hard time getting adjusted to his new ‘partly scalped’ head, he continued his regular work, teaching at Sophia University (Department of the English Language and Studies) until the age of 70 and then for some years as a secretary and/or translator for the Japanese Bishops, and then finally as an Assistant Pastor at St. Ignatius Church.
A smiling Jerry on his 80th Birthday, with Fr. D. Doyle & Archbishop Pittau
Fr. Barry was born on October 2 [Mahatma Gandhi's Birthday!], 1927, and entered the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus on August 14, 1950. Ordained a Priest on March 18, 1963, he took his final vows as a Jesuit on February 2, 19 65. He arrived in Japan as a Missionary in 1956, serving mostly at Sophia-related institutions.
Because of the year-end and new-year holidays, the funeral arrangements have been made as follows:
Date: January 10, 2014
Place: St. Ignatius Church, Yotsuya, Tokyo
Stations nearby: JR Chuo Line, JR Sobu Line, Namboku Subway Line, & Marunouchi Subway Line.
[to be continued]