Father Thomas J. Malone, MM

Born: May 25, 1904
Ordained: January 27, 1929
Died: January 2, 1981

Father Thomas J. Malone (Special Society Unit – Taiwan) died on January 2, 1981, in the Veterans Hospital in Taipei.

Born in New York City on May 25, 1904, Tom was the first of four children born to Michael Malone and Mary Ann McCovey. When he was four years old his family went to Ireland with the hope of improving the health of his mother. There he spent two years in the Public School of County Monaghan. Father Tom wrote “I also had the good fortune to make my First Communion on that blessed isle.” Returning to New York, he attended St. Raymond’s Parochial School in the Bronx. Under the direction of a Christian Brother, Bro. John, Tom passed four years at Cathedral College in New York, after which he entered St. John’s College, Fordham University, in 1921. During his last two years in college his interest centered in the foreign missions, and in the life of St. Francis of Assisi. He settled in his heart his vocation to the missions while working for the summer at Lake George: “for in the stillness of evening and with the brilliance of the stars, by the water sanctified by the saintly Father Jogues, God doesn’t seem far away.”

Father Tom entered Maryknoll in September, 1925, and proceeded to ordination on January 27, 1929. Over the years Father achieved a B.A. from Fordham University, S.T.B. and M.A. from Catholic University, and M.S. from Loyola University, Chicago.

Few within Maryknoll have a history which reflects such a broad devotion and fidelity to overseas mission and to Society service. From 1929 until his death, Tom served in the following areas: in Education as student, professor and Director; in Social Communications as Editor and Business Manager; in Formation as retreat master, spiritual director and Rector; in Administration as a special assistant to Father General and as a member of the General Council; in the missions as Local Superior, Society Superior, and – most of all – as grass-roots missioner. He wrote: “I find in the life of a missioner the fulfillment of all my desires.”

Throughout his life, Father Tom not only was the effective missioner, par excellence, but also the Maryknoller who, perhaps more than any other, both by the variety of his positions and by his humble, generous spirituality, became a model for other Maryknollers. The most often heard critique of Father Torn was, and is, that he never spoke ill of anyone. Throughout his writings, there is often mention of Ubi caritas – “Where charity and love are, there is God. The love of Christ has gathered us together. Let us rejoice in Him and be glad. Let us fear and love the living God; and let us love one another with a sincere heart.”

The funeral service took place in South Miaoli, Taiwan, on January 6 and the burial was at W. Mountain Cemetery, there. A Mass of the Resurrection was held at Maryknoll on the 6th with Principal Celebrant Bishop John W. Comber, Homilist Bishop Edward McGurkin, and the biography by Fr. Thomas Walsh.

Bishop Frederick Donaghy mentioned that the day before Father Tom’s death they were together, and that Tom was in fine spirits and apparent good health. Father died as he had lived – an affair of the heart, considerate, generous and hard-working to the end. “Where charity and love are, there is God.”