Excerpts of the farewell speech given by Fr. Farrington Ryan, the delegate for Sudan delegation the funeral of Fr. Lee
Dearest John Lee Tae Seok,
As we bid FAREWELL to you we too say THANK YOU.
When you reached Tonj for the first time you discovered yourself, the desires and delights of your heart were seen in your great love for Sudan and its people. That was your family for the past 10 years of your priestly ministry. You combined so well in your single ministry – a Priest after the heart of Jesus, the Doctor, a teacher, a Father to so many who had no families and a friend. You attracted so many young people with your joy and zest for life and brought them the love of Jesus. There was nothing impossible; you made all things possible.
And today Tonj mission stands to witness to such a missionary tenacity. You loved the poor and you knew no boundaries to reach out to ask help for them. The big project of hospital and Secondary School for the Poor will always stand to proclaim your love and care for them. Your last words in the hospital were:
“I will not be able to realize my dreams for Tonj, but please carry them forward.”
Loving John, your dream will continue in the hearts and minds of so many youngsters. The youth and Children of Tonj will live to tell the coming generations that they had a friend and father who made many things possible for them. Today after a few hours Tonj will be flocked by so many Christians young and old to say Good Bye to you in their own way. Their sadness will be expressed by their drums, their dances and their songs.
But what is more consoling to us is that you will live on, reign in our hearts.
John, look down upon us, implore the Good Lord to give us peace in the Sudan and many more may come to love Jesus the way you taught them to. Your music will be played today by Tonj band, of course without the Band Master.
Thank you John for being a brother and friend to us, the Salesian Family.
We will miss you. Everything in Tonj will remind us of you.
God loves you John and continue to remember us from your heavenly abode. You will enjoy the company of Jesus and Mary Help of Christians and of course our Father Don Bosco. Good Bye and Adios Amigo. . .
Spoken from the heart by a brother priest.