Monday, February 9, 2009

Teacher, Pastor, and Missionary Robert Flynn, S. J.

Fr. Robert Flynn, S.J., passed away on February 7, 2009, at the ripe age of 88. Fr. Flynn arrived in Japan in 1952 and has distinguished himself as an educator and missionary. He's widely known in Japan as the author of a series of English Language Textbooks, still used in more than 100 schools, having been reprinted more than 40 times! After his successful career as a language teacher in Jesuit high schools, he took up the challenging job of being a pastor at Tsuwano, where Otome Toge is. While at Tsuwano, he wrote a little pamphlet describing the travails of the Martyrs of the Meiji Era (originally entitled No Greater Love: The Story of the Martyrs at The Pass of the Virgin). He retired from active ministries a few years ago and lived at Loyola House, the Jesuit Home for Seniors, in Kamishakujii, Tokyo.

Fr. Flynn was an extraordinarily sociable, friendly, and simple person whom everyone around him liked. He had a great gift for dealing with youngsters and many admire his textbooks for the way in which they grasped the interests of students. Although not professionally trained as a linguist, he was a born language teacher who impressed a large number of English teachers in Japan.

(Photos are from Fr. Flynn's Autobiography)

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