Rev. Kiss Gábor, SJ was born in 1924 in Békésszentandrás (located southeast of Szolnok, along the Hármas-Kőrös River). He began his studies with the Jesuits in Hungary, but was forced to leave the country on account of the anti-religious stance of the Communist government. He finished his studies in Italy and in the Netherlands, and was ordained in Maastricht in 1955. Following a year in Ireland, he was sent to Canada, and served in Toronto, Courtland and Hamilton.
In 1974, Fr. Kiss was named Pastor of Szt. Margit Church in Yonkers, NY, a very active Hungarian community at the time. They had their own newspaper, soccer team and Hungarian school, and Fr. Kiss became Scout Master of the Yonkers Scout troop named for Gérecz Attila, one of the poets of the Hungarian Revolution who was killed by Russian troops in 1956.
The highlight of Fr. Kiss’ service in Yonkers was the visit of Cardinal Mindszenty József in 1974. He remained Pastor at Szt. Margit until 1993, when he was once again posted to Courtland, Canada. Due to poor health, he moved into the Szent Erzsébet Retirement Home in Hamilton, Canada in 1999, a complex that had been founded by a Hungarian nun (see the January 2011 issue of Magyar News Online). He passed away in an old folks’ home in Pickering, Canada, in his 95th year.
May he rest in peace!