It is with regret that we inform you of the death on the 14th day of March, 2022, in St.James’ Hospital, Dublin, aged 90, of
Father Christopher (Christy) Fox
Mill Hill Missionary
May he rest in peace
Christy, as we knew him in Mill Hill, was born on the 8th of April, 1931 in the town of Streamstown in Westmeath, Ireland. He was Baptised in his local parish a few days after birth on the 12th of April, 1931. His family was made up of nine children; 4 brothers and 4 sisters. His father was Michael Fox, a farmer, and his mother’s maiden name was Mulvany.
Christy attended his local primary school. Then, feelings the stirrings of a vocation to the missionary priesthood, his secondary education took place in Freshford from 1944 to 1949. Having successfully completed this part of his education, he was promoted to study Philosophy in Roosendaal, Holland (1949-1951). For his Theological education he progressed to Saint Joseph’s College, Mill Hill, London (1951-1955). As his preparatory education came to an end, he took the Perpetual Oath to God in our Missionary Society on the 5th of May, 1954 in the chapel of the college. Just over a year later, on the 10th of July, 1955, he was ordained a Mill Hill Priest at the hands of Cardinal Griffin in our college chapel at Mill Hill.
The first appointment Christy received from our Superior General was to join the teaching staff in Freshford, Ireland. There he continued his education too, becoming qualified as a teacher of Science. While teaching, he found time to promote vocations to our Society. In 1961, to Christy’s delight, he was appointed to work in Tororo, Uganda. He had one year of pastoral work there before being seconded onto the staff of St. Pius X Seminary at Nagongera. By 1967, he was back in his native Ireland working as Vocation Director, based in Dartry, Dublin. In 1972, Christy was promoted to National Director of Vocations in Ireland by the Irish hierarchy. This appointment was renewed twice! He longed to return to East Africa. So, in 1981 he was again appointed to Tororo Diocese, Uganda. In 1988 he was elected a Chapter Delegate. In 1987 he became the first Society Representative for Uganda. He was re-elected to that post in 1990. In 1994, he was elected again to represent Uganda at our General Chapter. Christy was instrumental in establishing the Philosophical Centre (PCJ) in Jinja. After a short “Home Leave” Christy was appointed onto the staff of the Faith and Mission Renewal Programme at Navan, Ireland. He had a brief return to Uganda in 1995, where he assisted with Renewal Courses. By October 1996 he left Uganda to work as Rector in Courtfield, the ancestral home of our founder. In 2003 Christy was appointed to work in the Irish Region, initially as Rector at Kilkenny and editor of the Saint Joseph’s Advocate magazine. While doing all these tasks he found time to do some Organising/Promotion work in Ireland too. Towards the end of 2008 Christy entered into an active retirement in Saint Joseph’s House, Orwell Park, Dartry, Dublin. Never one to rest too long, he continued to study aspects of Ignatian Spirituality, Counselling and Spiritual Direction, gifts that he freely and generously shared with his fellow clergy, religious and laity at home and abroad.
Christy’s height and bulk towered over most people. Yet he was a gentle but direct person, believing that challenge, when expressed in the right way, was an opportunity for growth. As one can see from the tribute picture above, Christy enjoyed life and made a wonderful friend to all. Latterly in his life, he was affected by cancer, which inevitably slowed him down. May he hear the words of the Lord, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the Kingdom prepared for you.” (Matt 25:34). Christy’s funeral will be held on Friday the 18th of March at 11.00.am in Saint Joseph’s Parish church in Terenure DO6CX23, followed by burial at Bohernabreena Cemetery. The Mass will be live streamed on the following link: https://www.stjosephsterenure.com/live-mass/