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Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. James J. Gladstone, SJ, who died at St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa, Wis., on August 4, 2015. He was 80 years old, a Jesuit for 61 years, and a priest for 49 years.
Jim was born in Oak Park, Ill., on September 22, 1934. He attended grade school in Momence, Ill., Chicago, and Oak Park, Ill. He then attended Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wis., before entering the Society at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Mo., on August 8, 1953. Jim’s early course of studies was at St. Stanislaus and Saint Louis University. He completed his theology studies at Alma College in Los Gatos, Calif., and was ordained a priest on June 8, 1966. He made tertianship in Los Gatos and pronounced his final vows on August 28, 1971.
During his regency, Jim taught Latin at Creighton Prep in Omaha, Neb. Following ordination, Jim spent most of his life in ministry internal to the Society. He was involved in the formation of Jesuits at various levels: as a minister and assistant rector at the Jesuit novitiate, assistant tertian director, and director of formation. Jim spent many years on the Province staff in a number of roles. He worked as socius to the provincial, vocation director, director of the Jesuit Seminary Guild, assistant for secondary education, assistant for pastoral ministry, and assistant for personnel.
Jim also served as a generous and competent minister at the Weston, Creighton University, and Marquette University Jesuit communities. He served as acting superior at multiple communities and was superior of the Jesuit Retreat House in Oshkosh, Wis., the Marquette University High School Jesuit Community, and the St. Camillus Jesuit Community. Jim’s wisdom and well-roundedness in Jesuit spirituality also served him and others well in assignments as the director of the Jesuit Retreat House in Oshkosh, Wis. (1980-1983), and as the director of the Creighton University Retreat Center in Griswold, Iowa (1994-1997). His many assignments are a testament to his great availability, talent to serve in a variety of capacities, and humility to take on difficult roles.
He will be remembered for the tremendous care he showed his fellow Jesuits, especially as a minister, superior, and member of the Province staff. He was a friend to many, and when he challenged others, he did so out of love. His dry humor and entertaining stories brought smiles, and his ability to recite poetry from memory warmed hearts.