CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Farewell to longtime Maryknoll missionary

HONG KONG (SE): The Mary-knoll Fathers and Brothers in Hong Kong announced the death of their brother, Father John Geitner, who passed away on 20 February 2018. He was 90-year-old and was approaching the 65th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.
Father Geitner was born on 31 October 1927 in New York City, the United States of America (US). He was ordained to the priesthood at Maryknoll, New York, on 13 June 1953 and then earned both a Bachelor of Science then a Masters degree in Biology. 
He worked at Maryknoll seminaries in the US until 1960 when he was assigned to the Maryknoll missions in then-Formosa (Hong Kong and Taiwan). He initially taught at the Maryknoll Fathers School in Kowloon, also serving as assistant parish priest in Kowloon while studying and perfecting his skills in the Cantonese language.
He went back to the US to teach biology in Maryknoll College, in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, from 1966 to 1970, before returning to Hong Kong, where he was the principal and later supervisor of Kwun Tong Maryknoll College and St. Edward’s School in Lam Tin, and also served as assistant parish priest at St. Edward’s parish.
From 1970 to 1982 he served a three-year term as chairperson of the Catholic Education Council and of the Hong Kong Religious Schools Board, and oversaw the transfer of the Maryknoll schools under his supervision to the administration of the Hong Kong Diocese. 
From 1983 to 1989 he worked as an associate director of the Maryknoll Justice and Peace Office, and was also the Maryknoll representative to the non-government organisations of the Department of Public Information at the United Nations.
Father Geitner returned to Hong Kong in 1989 and was assistant parish priest at St. Patrick’s Church, Wong Tau Hom. 
From 1995 to 2011 he was supervisor and chaplain at Maryknoll Fathers School and was assistant parish priest of St. Francis of Assisi Church, Shamshuipo, where he remained in residence until his death.
A vigil Mass is scheduled for Friday, March 2 at 8.00pm.
John Cardinal Tong will celebrate the funeral Mass, scheduled for Saturday, March 3, at 10.00am, also at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Shamshuipo, Kowloon. 
Interment will be at St. Raphael’s Cemetery, Cheung Sha Wan, immediately after the Mass. 

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