Fr. Simeon C. Reyes, S.J. was born on 11 February 1930 in Pasay, then of Rizal province. He attended grade school at Malate Catholic School (1940-41) and high school at Ateneo de Manila, first at Padre Faura St., Ermita, then in Guipit St., Sampaloc where he graduated in 1948. Afterwards, he joined the Jesuits on 30 May 1948 emtering Sacred Heart Novitiate in Novaliches, where he also had his juniorate (1950-52). Some of his novitiate batch mates were Frs. Emeterio Barcelon, Andres Bolinas, Eladio Borja, Francisco Claver, Carmelo Gosioco, Renato Jimenez, Alfredo Parpan, and Nicomedes Yatco. Fr. Sy studied his A.B. and M.A. in Philosophy at Berchmans College, which was then located in Lahug, Cebu City (1952-55). Regency was first at Ateneo de Zamboanga (1955-57) where he taught English, Latin, and Religion; he then moved to Ateneo de San Pablo (1958) where he was moderator of the Sodality, the St. John Berchmans Society, ACIL, and Intramurals. For Theology Sy was in Woodstock College, Maryland (1958-62). Ordination to the priesthood was by Most Rev. Joseph M. Pernicone, D.D., Auxiliary Bishop of New York, at the Fordham University Chapel on 17 June 1961. Tertianship followed Theology at Our Lady of Martyrs Shrine, Auriesville, New York (1962-63) under Fr. Francis E. Keenan, S.J.
Fr. Sy’s first assignment as a priest was to Ateneo de Zamboanga. Except for a brief stint at Our Lady of Peace Parish in Margosatubig (1969-70), he was in school and community at AdZ from 1965 until 1985. Different assignments were given to him: teacher of Theology and Religion, moderator of the Berchmans Society, confessor and counselor of students, subminister and minister of the community, house consultor, prefect of health, assistant director of the PJAA, building superintendent, treasurer and physical plant administrator. In Zamboanga, he was also known as an ardent promoter of Life in the Spirit seminars. His next major assignment was at Ateneo de Naga where he served twice: first, in 1985-88 teaching Theology; second, from 1993 until 2002 handling various works: director of campus ministry, house consultor, teacher of Theology, and guidance counselor. Fr. Sy also had a stint as director of the Culion Sanitarium Chaplaincy (1988-92), did pastoral ministry based in Xavier House, Sta. Ana (1992-93) and worked in the Philippine General Hospital chaplaincy in 2000-01.
In 2002, he was assigned to the Jesuit Residence of Ateneo de Manila University, continuing pastoral ministry until 2013. Fr. Sy finally retired to the JR Infirmary and then transferred to the Jesuit Health and Wellness Center last year. It was there that he succumbed to pneumonia after a long bout with diabetes and failing memory. He died at 2:55 a.m. on 12 July 2017.
(Amado T. Tumbali, S.J., Asst. Province Archivist)