Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Francis T. Gignac, SJ, who died on June 4, 2014, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Mich, from congestive heart and renal failure. He was 81 years old.
Father Gignac was born on February 2, 1933, in Detroit. He entered the Society of Jesus on September 8, 1950, in Milford, Ohio. He was ordained a priest on June 14, 1967, at Colombiere College in Clarkston, Mich., and professed final vows on April 22, 1979, in Washington, D.C. Father Gignac graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 1950, before entering the Society. As a Jesuit, Fr. Gignac earned a bachelor's degree in Latin (1955), a master's degree in classics (1957), and a licentiate degree in philosophy (1957) from West Baden College (via Loyola University Chicago). He earned a doctorate in Greek and philology from Oxford University in Oxford, United Kingdom (1964). Father Gignac earned a master's degree in theology from Loyola University Chicago (1968) and an S.T.L. from Bellarmine School of Theology in North Aurora, Ill. (1968).
During his regency, Fr. Gignac taught Latin and Greek at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland (1957-1958). He was professor of Biblical Theology at Fordham University (1968-1974). In 1974, Fr. Gignac became a professor of Biblical Greek and Biblical Studies at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. From 1981 to 2003, he was the chairman of the Biblical Studies Department. Father Gignac was at Catholic University until he moved to Colombiere Center in 2013.
Outside of the classroom, Fr. Gignac did Sunday supply work at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Laurel, Md., for almost 40 years and ran marathons. He completed 25 Marine Corps marathons, ran the Boston Marathon four times, and finished the Cherry Blossom 10-mile race in D.C. for 30 years.
Memorial gifts may be made to The Jesuits, 2050 N. Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 60614.
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