Rev. Fr. Edward Bourke, SJ (1895-1985)

3rd Parish Priest: 1966-1969
Asst. Parish Priest: 1969-1978
He was called home to be with the Lord in 1985

“If nor for Fr. Bourke’s obstinacy...there would be no St. Francis Xavier Church of Xavier Hall” said Fr. Murphy

When Fr. Bourke became Parish Priest in 1966, Fr. Bourke was already 70 years old. Yet, every week he brought communion to the elderly and the infirm in their homes. This round took nearly two hours by car and at one point meant climbing to the sixth floor of a block offlats that had no lift, in order to visit a blind lady.

Until he was 83 Fr Bourke continued this apostolate and was never questioned about his driving licence. His preaching was of the vigorous kind and was more appreciated by the parent and grandparents than by the youth of the parish. In his seventies he had to resurrect the musical talent he had 60 years earlier, when he played the piano. On many occasions he had to play the organ at church weddings. To the satisfaction of all, he gave a competent rendering of ‘Here Comes the Bride’ and of the Wedding March.

At the centre of Fr. Bourke’s life was a very simple faith – in Jesus, in the Church, in the Eucharist, in the Society of Jesus, and through all these, in service to others.

[Source: Church of St. Francis Xavier - 50th Golden Jubilee Anniversary Book]