By Fr. Alo Connaughton mssc
We had the privilege of welcoming “Fr. Thomas Y” to the office of the Irish Columban magazine, The Far East. Occasionally his name had cropped up in conversations of older Columbans who had worked in China. The casual observer could be forgiven for assuming that this lively, smiling 70-year-old had probably live a tranquil, uneventful life.
He was born into an old Catholic family in 1929. As a young boy in Nacheng, he had known some of the Columban missionaries and the local bishop, Patrick Cleary. He decided to study for the priesthood in Shanghai. His studies were interrupted by a 16-months jail sentenced for being a member of the Legion of Mary. On his release he continued his theological studies on his own and was ordained priest in 1957.