Rev Fr Joachim Tan Kah Chye was a humble priest. A rather private person, he had a small number of close friends. He was a man of few words and of great integrity. He was unassuming and kind, and his degree of sanctity shone throughout every aspect of his life.
After serving for 48 years as a priest, he retired and continued to stay at the Church of the Holy Rosary, Kuala Lumpur as their priest-in-residence (Jan 2022 - April 2022). However, due to his deteriorating health, he moved into St Francis Xavier Home for the Elderly in Kuala Lumpur and was under the care of the Little Sisters of the Poor, until his demise. He was called home at the age of seventy-seven on Saturday, 22 October 2022 and his funeral mass was held on Tuesday, 25 October 2022 at the Church of the Holy Rosary, Kuala Lumpur – the parish in which he last ministered and retired.
I personally didn’t know him too well, but we were cordial and always greeted each other whenever we met at our monthly recollections. He usually kept a low profile and was a man of silence, most of the time. He cracked subtle jokes and often replied in a few words.
He was a knowledgeable and well-read man, and he had a very good command of the English language. I remember having the opportunity to listen to one of his homilies, and although I found it quite difficult to follow and grasp at that time, I asked him to share what he had written. I found it to be well-composed with a theological and scriptural understanding of the Eucharist. I respected and appreciated the depth of his homily and the meticulous way in which he presented it.
Fr Joachim ministered at St Thomas Church, Kuantan from 1991-1998. When I asked a few Parishioners about him, many concurred with me that he was indeed a man of reverence and a man of a few words. He was well-respected amongst the community, and he was dedicated, visiting the homebound and elderly, as well as paying close attention to the needs of the children and youth in our Parish.
He spent his time in front of the Blessed Sacrament and was always on hand to listen to confessions, and to the needs of the community. He was known for his power of healing, and he was good at pranic healing(natural spiritual healing techniques without touching) and exorcism as well.
Fr Joachim was admired not only for his faithfulness to his vocation, but also for his dedication to prayer and his commitment to the community. He gave his life to the Church, and he will always be remembered as a loving priest and spiritual father.
May God the Almighty reward Fr Joachim for the love that he has outpoured throughout his life. He will be missed, but we take comfort in knowing that we will meet again someday. Till then, we pray for his soul to rest in peace. May the Lord grant him fellowship with all the saints in heaven, and everlasting union with Jesus and the beloved Blessed Virgin Mary.