Jesuit Brother Alphonse (Al) McAndrew, SJ died peacefully on May 18, 2014 at Ajax-Pickering Hospital in Ontario. He was 82 years of age and a Jesuit for 59 years.
Brother McAndrew was born on February 28, 1932 in Toronto, ON and was raised in nearby Hamilton, ON, by his parents Henry McAndrew and Marie McNeil. His father perished at the landing at Dieppe in 1942.
Br. McAndrew entered the Society of Jesus on December 7, 1955 in Guelph, ON. He had studied at the F.R. Close Technical Institute in Hamilton and continued gaining skills in boiler maintenance, carpentry, machines and many other specialized skills. After some initial Jesuit training, he worked for Regis College in Toronto and St. Paul’s High School in Winnipeg, caring for the maintenance of the buildings.
In 1972, he moved to Lusaka, Zambia and initially studied language for one year. There he worked at St. Ignatius Parish and Charles Lwanga College. From time to time, Br. McAndrew would take a study leave to improve his catechetical and educational skills.
In 1978, he went to the Eldoret Community in Kenya for a year community development study. His contributions were many and included pastoral and religious work. He went to the Chisekesi Community in 1984 and stayed for four years. In 1989, he went to the Mukasa Minor Seminary in Choma and served at Canisius High School in Lusaka. Later he worked at the Parish of the Holy Spirit, Katondwe Mission for a number of years. Following this he served at the Chikuni Mission.
After many years overseas, in 2008 Br. McAndrew returned to Canada and lived in Toronto working with inner-city refugees and migrants. In 2010, he worked in Thunder Bay, ON at the apostolate to Native Peoples and was the temporal administrator in Armstrong and Gull Bay. In 2012, he moved to Pickering due to some health challenges.
Br. McAndrew was a much loved and well-respected Jesuit. He was physically very able throughout his life and into his eighties. He was very generous and happy contributing to the proclamation of the Gospel both in Africa and in Canada.