La Salle Brother Gregory Thomas Lim is seen here in Singapore on Jan. 12. The prominent educator died on Jan. 18 at the age of 96. (Photo: La Salle Brothers)
The Catholic Church and fellow confreres are mourning the death of Brother Gregory Thomas Lim, a renowned missionary from the La Salle Brothers congregation who spent most of his life as an educator in Singapore and a host of other Asian countries.
He died in Singapore on Jan. 18 aged 96. The cause of his death was not revealed.
He was a La Salle brother for 77 years and up until his death was the eldest La Salle confrere in Singapore.
Singapore Archdiocese issued a statement on Jan. 19 expressing its sadness over Brother Lim’s death and requesting the faithful to pray for him during Masses and prayers.
His funeral service will be held at the chapel at the La Salle-run St. Patrick’s School in the city state on Jan. 21 ahead of his cremation at the Mandai Crematorium.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, only family members and La Salle brothers are allowed to attend the funeral.
The La Salle Brothers in Singapore said they were praying for Brother Lim’s eternal rest.
Brother Lim was born on Feb. 3, 1924, in a large family with four brothers and four sisters. Three of his sisters also joined religious congregations.
He joined the La Salle Brothers at the age of 16 and attended St Joseph’s College in Penang, Malaysia.
As an educator, he served in various Asian countries and territories including Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan and Papua New Guinea.
In Singapore, he was a teacher at three renowned La Salle institutions — St. Michael’s School (1955-60), St. Joseph’s Institution (1970-71, 1981-90) and St. Patrick’s School (1981-90).
He retired in 1996.
In an interview in 2019, Brother Lim said he had defied challenges in life to remain committed to his vocation.
"My life as a brother has not been smooth sailing. There were days of pain and sorrow when I was tempted to leave the brotherhood," he told Catholic News. “It was by prayer and faith that I persevered in my journey."
The La Salle Brothers are a prominent Catholic religious order renowned for their education mission across the globe. It was founded by French priest John Baptist de La Salle in 1680 and has been in Singapore since 1852.
In Singapore, La Salle Brothers run four primary schools, two secondary schools and two special institutions — the La Salle College of the Arts and La Salle Center, which develops, coordinates and provides formation, training and enrichment programs.