Rest in Peace Alan McKell

December 14, 2023

A reflection on Alan's career and contribution from two Jesuits

"Alan McKell made a special contribution to the Society’s educational work not only in Britain, but further afield as well. His regular visits to Lithuania are mentioned below, and he had as well long-lasting links to the organisation of Jesuit alumni across Europe."
Alan McKell
"After a teaching career in Glasgow, at St Aloysius College, Alan came to work for the British Province of the Society of Jesus. At this time, the Society worldwide was recognising that the Jesuit schools of the future would depend on lay staffing and leadership, and Alan was himself a leader in the early days of programs of in-service training for the staffs, especially the leadership teams, of Jesuit schools. The programs were developed from the then recently published Characteristics of Jesuit Education.
From the 1990s and into this century, Alan’s work was built on, and greatly expanded by, Alan Harrison, Michael Edwards, Adrian Porter, and now Dr John Stoer, the current Delegate for Education for the British Province. Meanwhile, Alan himself moved to work at the Glasgow-based Craighead Institute of Life and Faith. Under the direction of Sr Christine Anderson FCJ, the Institute offered Ignatian spirituality as a guide and support for individuals, groups, organisations and congregations concerned with social justice and committed to bring about a more humane world – helping its participants to ‘grow in faith, live in hope, and serve in love’.
At the Craighead Institute, Alan’s most particular contribution was in liaising with the Jesuits in Lithuania and introducing the Institute’s aims and methods to groups in that country, especially in Kaunas. This was a valuable contribution at a time when Lithuania was still discovering ways of living and working in community in the freedom that came in the 1990s. I remember the first post-Soviet head teacher at the Society's school in Kaunas, Gintaras Vitkus, describing how he had inherited a school staff of whom some had been longing for the day when the Society could return." - Fr Kevin Fox SJ

"Yesterday I  prayed for Alan during the Eucharist. He was such a kind man, his gentleness and attentiveness always impressed me, as well as his dedication to the teaching vocation. His mission together with the Eagle Aids was so crucial for us at that time. I will keep Alan and his family in my prayers." - Fr Gintaras Viktus SJ

Photo of Alan McKell courtesy of The Craighead Institute of Life and Faith

Banner photo by David Tomaseti on Unsplash

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