Fr Geoff King, SJ, 8/6/1943 – 7/5/2015
Fr Geoff King SJ, who died on Thursday 6 May, was a great friend of Jesuit Social Services, having served on our Board (1998-2007) and Committees. As a Canon Lawyer he was always a source of reliable and compassionate advice on issues of moral theology and on the place of Church sponsored organisations in the public square. As a lawyer he always tried to open possibilities rather than close them, and kept before his eyes the people who would be affected by the advice he gave. His advice was treasured by religious congregations and by individuals facing complex challenges.
As a friend he was constant, interested and good-humoured, with a sometimes indulgent, sometimes irascible response to the nonsense that sometimes pervades all institutions. As a pastor and teacher he was engaging and warmly human.
When he entered the Jesuits as a seventeen year old from Sydney, he was interested in horse racing, and could already knew by heart the winners of all the Melbourne Cups. He showed the same judiciousness and sureness of memory later in his occasional forays the races, when he betted only on horses he was sure would win.Almost invariably they did.
When diagnosed with the motor neurone disease that eventually led to his death, he showed great acceptance and set about living as fully as possible within the limitations his illness imposed on him. These constraints grew steadily more stringent, but he welcomed visitors warmly until his last days.