Fr. Jonas' words of gratitude speak for all the men at St. Camillus Jesuit Community. "We're very grateful. It’s wonderful that we’re coming home to be with each other. We’re of one heart and mind here and they take good care of us."
A Jesuit's Journey: Fr. Larry Jonas, SJ
Born: March 5, 1921
Died: June 5, 2015
July 26, 2012 - Fr. Jonas was born in
Stevens Point, Wis., and after serving in World War II, he attended Marquette
University on the GI Bill and graduated in 1949 with a degree in
accounting. After entering the Jesuits that year, he was ordained in
Over the years Fr. Jonas has taught at Creighton
Prep and Marquette
University High School and served in school administration at Holy Rosary Mission
and Creighton University.
He served as a retreat director for more than 15 years. and since1986, he has been involved in pastoral ministry. For the last 12 years, he has been at Gesu Church in Milwaukee, where he is known as the
“Minister of Presence” due to his enthusiasm for meeting and greeting his
He recently joined other World War II veterans on a Stars and Stripes Honor Flight to Washington DC for a guided tour of the WWII
monuments. The experience provided a wonderful insight for him of what
Heaven must be like. (See
“My Idea of Heaven”)
“My Idea of Heaven” Fr.
Jonas shared the following reflection of his Honor Flight trip experience.
"It felt like
family. I figure that’s what heaven is like – everybody is of one mind
and heart. We felt the togetherness even though we (the veterans) didn’t
serve together. And the people at the airports just amazed us. They
were really grateful for our service, and showed it in the way they were
cheering. The unity, friendship,
family spirit – the joyous welcome and happy homecoming – that’s my idea of
August 21, 2018 – As we reckon with the Grand Jury report on sexual abuse by priests in Pennsylvania and the failures of bishops to protect the children entrusted to their care, our hearts and prayers—first and foremost—are with the victim-survivors.
January 17, 2019 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Eugene F. Merz, SJ, who was called to eternal life on January 16, 2019, around 5:30 a.m. Gene died at Zilber Hospice in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was eighty-seven years old, a Jesuit for seventy years, and a priest for fifty-seven years.
January 16, 2019 — It was a homecoming fifty years in the making. In 2016, Fr. Casey Bukala, SJ, moved to the Colombiere Center near Detroit, where elder Jesuits live in community, receive the healthcare they need, and pray for the Church and the Society. It was not Fr. Bukala’s first time at Colombiere, however.
January 9, 2019 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. John “Jack” R. Crocker, SJ, who died on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Michigan. He was 88 years old. May he rest in peace.