In Memoriam: Midwest Jesuits - Summer 2018

We give thanks for the following Jesuits who have gone home to God.

Fr. George R. Menke, SJ

August 31, 1942 –  June 15, 2018

“George was able to use his diverse talents to help Brebeuf by working on the school’s databases, in the school’s business office, driving school buses, and volunteering for school athletic events. George truly was devoted to Brebeuf and its students and will be missed by the entire school community.”

Spanish teacher at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago; administrative assistant to the president, teacher of Spanish and social justice, special assistant to the development director, assistant in campus ministry, and special assistant to the principal at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis.

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Fr. Michael G. Morrison, SJ

March 9, 1937 – May 24, 2018

“Mike was a respected administrator and a familiar figure to thousands of Creighton students who remember him occupying his favorite bench on campus. He served on numerous boards and was a province consultor for many years. In his 19 years as president of Creighton, he made a tremendous impact on the school and the community. All his life he was a voracious reader.”

History professor at Marquette University; history professor, academic vice president, and president at Creighton University; pastoral minister at Oshkosh Jesuit Retreat House.

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Fr. Robert J. Ochs, SJ

January 22, 1930 – May 4, 2018

“Bob published two books: The Death in Every Now (1969) and God is More Present Than You Think (1970). Bob studied the Enneagram system of personality and is significantly credited with bringing it to Catholics in the USA—first to the Midwest Jesuits, and then to students at Berkeley.”

Teacher at University of Detroit Jesuit High School; professor of theology at the Jesuit School of Theology in Chicago; spirituality teacher in Berkeley, Calif., adjunct professor of theology at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley; writer and researcher.

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Fr. Francis P. Chamberlain, SJ

March 15, 1937 –  April 29, 2018

“Frank was involved in efforts to help those affected by the “Shining Path” in the 1980s and 1990s. He was instrumental in founding the Matteo Ricci House which is a place where the 26 groups (who came to the capital city to avoid the war) meet once a week to get the reparations they justly need for having to leave everything they had to save their families from the killing. He was beloved in Peru by Jesuits, the poor he served with great love and dedication, and the professionals he accompanied and inspired.”

Pastoral work in Ilo, El Agustino, and Ayacucho, Peru.

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Fr. James E. Chambers, SJ

April 17, 1924 –  April 3, 2018

“In the community Jim was never without a smile or a joke. He also loved to bring guests for dinner, sometimes forgetting, of course, to tell the cook. Jim also loved to ride his bike totally oblivious, of course, to traffic. Jim remained a valued member of the community and was greatly missed when he moved to Colombiere, where he was equally cherished by his brothers there.”

English teacher and assistant principal at St. Xavier High School in Kathmandu, Nepal; associate pastor at Saint Ignatius Church in Chicago; chaplain at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Lexington, Ky.; associate pastor at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Indianapolis; chaplain at Cook County Hospital in Chicago.

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Fr. Robert L. Bireley, SJ

July 26, 1933 –  March 14, 2018

“Bob was a faithful Jesuit whose life was grounded in his prayerful love of the Lord; he lived the vows with great integrity; he integrated well the intellectual apostolate of the Church through his scholarship, research, and teaching, alongside his love of the priesthood, celebration of the sacraments, and preaching. Bob enjoyed and invested in community life. He loved a lively discussion around the dinner table and, while strong in his opinions, was always eager to listen to those of others as well.”

History professor at Loyola University Chicago; history teacher at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland.

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Fr. Robert H. Schmidt, SJ: A Jesuit Contemplative Remembered
By Sr. Benedicta A. Pinto, AC

Ever joyful and happy, loving and lovable, full of life and enthusiasm, humble and hard-working, Father Bob Schmidt, SJ, was deeply spiritual and human. He was a genuine, religious man and a perfect blend of deep spirituality and humanness. He was a true Jesuit contemplative.

The secret of Fr. Bob’s continuous joy, zeal, and kindness lies in this: Conversation with God in prayer leads one to total transformation in God through love. Affability, gratitude, discretion, gentleness, and other social qualities were the fruit of his life of prayer.

Fr. Bob was a person always positive with a “never say die” attitude. The funeral brochure – “The Servant Priest has Returned to the Master,” really fit him well.

Read the rest of the reflection and remembrances of Patna Jesuits at

Return to the Jesuits Magazine Summer 2018 Magazine Index

Recent News

August 21, 2018 — Pope Francis has responded to new reports of clerical sexual abuse and the ecclesial cover-up of abuse. In an impassioned letter addressed to the whole People of God, he calls on the Church to be close to victims in solidarity, and to join in acts of prayer and fasting in penance for such "atrocities".

September 12, 2018 — Loyola High School is celebrating its 25th anniversary educating “men for others” in Detroit.

September 10, 2018 — Today, U.S. News & World Report released its annual rankings of the best U.S. colleges, and all six Midwest Jesuit universities were featured prominently on the list.

September 4, 2018 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Father Robert J. Welsh, SJ, who died at 9:15 a.m. (EDT) on Thursday, August 30, 2018, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Mich. He was 82 years old. May he rest in peace.

August 29, 2018 — For most of his life, Fr. Kevin Embach, SJ, had two desires: to practice medicine and to serve God.

August 27, 2018 — Twenty-six Jesuit novices in Canada and the United States, including seven men from the Midwest Jesuits, professed first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience this month.

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