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Founding member of hospice service organization in Hong Kong dies at 97

Jesuit Father John C. Russell, the former warden of Ricci Hall at the University of Hong Kong, passed away on September 22 at St. Paul’s Hospital. He was 97.

The students and alumni of Ricci Hall offer their deepest condolences to Father Russell’s family, friends, and associates.

Father Russell was born on August 24, 1926, in Dublin, Ireland, and aspired to serve God as a Jesuit from childhood.

He was ordained as a priest in 1957 and graduated with a doctorate in ecclesiastical law from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, in 1962.

He would go on to accomplish many feats in his time as one of the few ecclesiastical experts in the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong and former Chief Justice of the Diocese.

He was one of the founding members of the hospice service organization Shan Ning Society, as well as a consultant for the Hong Kong Catholic Marriage Advisory Association.

From 1978 to 1990, Father Russell served as the warden of Ricci Hall. He practiced what he preached, serving as an unparalleled mentor and exemplar to those around him.

His words of kindness and wisdom inspired and touched every person under his tutelage.

His unabated enthusiasm for promoting Catholic educational concepts, as well as his unequalled dedication to educational and social service, culminated in the outstanding contributions he has made and the legacy he has left that we shall always cherish and never forget.

Even in death, Father Russell is a paragon of virtue for the world, across both Eastern and Western cultural communities. His fervor and devotion to God and Hong Kong are laudable.

His way of life and his sense of purpose and drive have survived through us, those who would emulate him and walk in his footsteps. Once again, we mourn his passing and shall forever retain our memory of him through our actions and continued service.


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