By Emilie Ng
TOOWONG’S Catholic church pews couldn’t contain the hundreds who gathered to pay tribute to “energetic” Jesuit Father Gregory Jordan last week.
Brisbane’s Jesuit community welcomed Fr Jordan’s extended biological family and his spiritual children for the moving funeral Mass on July 30 at St Ignatius Church, Toowong.
Assistant to the provincial of the Jesuits in Australia Father Robin Koning concelebrated the Mass with priests from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Lismore, including Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge and Lismore Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett.
The funeral was also live-streamed and extra seating arranged in the church hall.
Fr Jordan had been the chaplain to the St Gregory’s Latin Mass Community for the past 12 years, and the community had gathered for Mass at Toowong for the past few months.
On July 19, Fr Jordan collapsed while celebrating Mass at St Ignatius Church and was taken to Wesley Hospital where he died of a stroke.
Fr Jordan’s nephew Terry Jordan delivered a touching eulogy, describing his “Uncle Greg” as a “major inspiration” to his family and friends.
“Greg had the power to magnetically attract people to him, through his personality, his virtues, his humility, patience, except when driving, his deep Catholic faith, and his genuine knowledge and love of people,” Mr Jordan said.
When he asked his uncle why he had picked the Jesuits, Mr Jordan said he “replied without hesitation, ‘Why would you choose second best?’”.
“And that’s so typical of Greg, a firm belief in everything that he’s done.
“He had no idea he had just insulted all the other priests who weren’t Jesuits.”
Fr Jordan’s role as rector to two Sydney Jesuit schools and two Catholic university colleges revealed his role as “shaper of future leaders”.
“His role was to change the future by educating the present and in this he excelled,” Mr Jordan said.
Brisbane’s Jesuit community superior Fr John Reilly knew Fr Jordan in the first and last 10 years of his Jesuit life.
In his homily, Fr Reilly said his priestly brother “died in the way he lived, serving people” in the Eucharist.
Fr Reilly said Fr Jordan “was a delight” in the Jesuit community.
“We enjoyed Greg very much,” he said.
“He had a phenomenal memory for people he had met, and their relationships, and their relationships, and their relationships.
“He was full of energy, full of zeal, full of creative things he wanted to do for people to keep them conserved within the Church.”
St Gregory’s Latin Mass Community offered a Requiem Mass for their chaplain on August 1.
Catholic parishes across Australia also offered a Mass to pray for the repose of Fr Jordan.