Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

In Memoriam

Fr. András Eördögh died peacefully in the Lord on April 11, 2020 at René Goupil House, Pickering. He was in his 91st year and in the 72nd year of his Jesuit life.

András (Andrew) was born on 31 October, 1929, in Szeged, Hungary. His father, George, was an assistant in the textile industry and his mother, Ilona Schmidt, was an expert furrier, who worked at home besides educating the children. András completed four years of grade-school and four years of high school. In 1945, after the end of the war, he went to Budapest to study in the Technical Architectural Institute, graduating in 1947. As a young man, through participation in the Sacred Heart Crusaders and Guards, he felt a vocation to be a Jesuit. Thus, after graduation he worked half-day for a year at Manresa House, and another half a day he studied Latin in the Jesuit residence in Budapest, living in the basement.

Andrew entered the Society on 30 July, 1948. In 1950, the government confiscated Manresa so he went to Szeged, where the other novices gathered to continue their novitiate. On June 10th, however, the secret police took the novices to a concentration camp. Eventually he made it to Mezőkövesd, where the Jesuits from Pécs were already crowded together. Andrew then pronounced first vows and that year of 1950 he moved to the diocesan seminary of Szeged, where he studied theology with the other Jesuits for two years. However, in 1952 they were unable to continue their studies in the seminary. Between 1952 and 1956 he worked in the Agrarian University, as a technician and supervisor of architectural work. At the order of his superior, on November27th, 1956, with the Hungarian revolution in full swing, Andrew left Hungary for Vienna. Later he and other Jesuits arrived in Ireland to complete their theology. Andrew was ordained a priest on July 31st, 1959 in the chapel of the theologate at Milltown Park, Dublin.

In 1960 Andrew arrived at the Hungarian parish in Toronto and proceeded to Cleveland for tertianship. From 1961to 1963 he was assistant pastor in Toronto. Then he moved to St Ladislaus Parish in Courtland, Ontario, and for three years visited Hungarians on their farms. He distributed Hungarian bibles, hymn books and pictures of Our Lady of the Way. In 1965 he received Canadian citizenship and Father General gave him permission to go for five years to the Alaskan Mission. So, from 1966 to 1971 he ministered under the Jesuit Bishop of Fairbanks, Robert Whelan. During the first two years he visited many places by dogsled, skidoo, boat and plane.

Returning to Canada, Andrew was assistant priest at St. Elizabeth Parish in Toronto, visiting mostly hospitals. He became in 1973 pastor of St. Stephen Parish in Hamilton, where he built a large meeting-hall with his own hands, with the help of the parishioners. He pronounced final vows on December29th, 1976. In 1980 he flew to Lahore, Pakistan, to explore the possibility of building a hospice for the sick, but this enterprise was not successful. In 1981 he was made pastor of St. Ladislaus Parish where he also did construction work, beside his priestly ministry. In 1986 he had a sabbatical year helping in Vancouver. Then he returned to Hamilton and helped the indomitable Sr. Elizabeth establish the Hungarian Retirement Home. With his architectural knowledge he also helped in Toronto to set up the new parish centre. In 1987 he was appointed pastor of St. Stephen Parish in Chicago where he stayed until 1991. He also rebuilt their parish rectory.

In 1991 the Provincial missioned Andrew to return to Hungary, where he helped build the novitiate in Budapest. During those years he ministered generously in parishes and was spiritual director in various religious centres. He returned to Canada in 2008 and became chaplain at St. Elizabeth Home and also helped out with pastoral ministry in the region. Due to failing health in 2016 Andrew joined the three Hungarian Jesuits at René Goupil House in Pickering.

Slowly his physical and mental health declined until during the last week of his life he stopped eating everything except the Eucharist. Andrew received Holy Communion very devoutly and spent long periods of time in the chapel. Andrew was a very warm and friendly person who greeted everyone with a wave and a smile. The last years of his life were very solitary because he was very hard of hearing, and much of his English had slipped away. On Holy Saturday he attended the first part of the Easter Vigil, but too tired and weak for the second part, the nurses tried to feed him a little liquid nourishment in his room. No longer interested in food or drink, he showed his gratitude with a smile and a gentle kiss of the hand that was feeding him. Then he peacefully took his last breath. The doctor declared the cause of his death as a gastro-intestinal bleed possibly due to cancer. At the moment of his death, the rest of the Jesuit Community was in the chapel singing the Easter Gloria.

Due to the Covid 19 lockdowns, Fr. Andrew’s wake and funeral will be celebrated at a later date. As is the custom of the Hungarian Jesuits he has been cremated. His sacred remains will be interred next to other Hungarian Jesuits in Courtland, Ontario after the funeral.

Would you offer one Mass for the repose of his soul. Members of the René Goupil Jesuit Community are asked to offer two Masses.