In Memoriam

Father Edward J. Thylstrup, SJ (Chinese name Zhuong Qinglian), formerly a member of the California Province who served as pastor in Jesuit churches and administrator and counselor in Jesuit schools in the China Province, died in the Jesuit Infirmary in Taipei, Taiwan, on August 22, 2022. He was 88 years old and a Jesuit for 70 years.

Edward Joseph Thylstrup was born in San Francisco on February 27, 1934, the son of John Thylstrup and Frances Zgraggen Thylstrup. After graduating from St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, he entered the California Province novitiate in Los Gatos, California, in August 1952. He completed philosophy studies in Spokane, Washington, and taught algebra and Greek at Loyola High School of Los Angeles (1959-1962). He applied to go to Taiwan as a missionary and began two years of study of Mandarin Chinese in Hsinchu before starting theology studies at Bellarmine College in Baguio, Philippines (1964-1967).

He was ordained a priest in Taipei, Taiwan, on April 30, 1967. Another year of theological studies and a year reviewing Mandarin followed and Fr. Thylstrup began his parish ministry at Holy Rosary Church in Niupu, Taiwan (1969-1978), interrupted by a year in the tertianship program in Melbourne, Australia (1972-1973). He pronounced his final vows as a Jesuit February 2, 1974, and became an official member of the China Province.

Assignments as a pastor in other Jesuit parishes in Taiwan followed, as did work as a counselor and administrator in Jesuit schools. During sabbaticals, Fr. Thylstrup returned to the U.S. to visit family and Jesuit communities. He spent several years as an administrator in the Jesuit Community of the University of San Francisco and at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, as well as engaging in pastoral ministry at St. Ignatius and St. Agnes parishes in San Francisco.

Returning to Asia in 2001, Fr. Thylstrup worked with candidates for the Jesuit novitiate in Manila for two years and as English editor of television scripts at the Jesuit-run Kuangchi Programming Service in Taipei. These language programs for children were broadcast by satellite all over East Asia. He also found time to edit the province newsletter. In 2021, he moved to the St. Joseph Province Infirmary in Taipei. His funeral Mass will be celebrated September 3 at Sacred Heart Church at Tien Center in Taipei.

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