In Memoriam: Midwest Jesuits - Spring 2019

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

Fr. Timothy J. Shepard, SJ
January 27, 1946 to January 25, 2019

“Tim’s wry sense of humor—often accompanied by a slight smile—caught many people off guard, thus allowing his wise sayings and thoughts to be more easily accepted. He was a dedicated priest with innate pastoral sensibilities and tendencies.”  

English and social studies teacher and spiritual director for parents and alumni at Walsh Jesuit High School; librarian at Loyola University New Orleans; rector of the Saint Ignatius High School Jesuit Community in Cleveland; pastoral assistant, formation director, and socius for the former Detroit Province.

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Fr. Francis A. Prokes, SJ
February 3, 1923 to January 22, 2019

“Frank was a gifted Jesuit, a leader in his field. He is perhaps less well-known to many Jesuits because he worked for so many years with other religious congregations. He will, however, be remembered by the many, many people he helped over the years.”

Teacher at Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota; minister at Creighton University in Omaha; associate pastor at the Church of the Gesu in Milwaukee; professor of architecture at the University of Detroit (Mercy).

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Fr. Eugene F. Merz, SJ
April 19, 1931 to January 16, 2019

“Gene’s ministry touched the minds, hearts, and spirits of priests, religious, and lay women and men throughout the world with Ignatian spirituality through retreats and his writings.”

Theology teacher at Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin; director of pastoral renewal for the Archdiocese of Des Moines; director of the Emmaus Center Jesuit Community; associate director of the Marquette University Center for Ignatian Spirituality; director of pastoral, retreat, and Native American ministries for the former Wisconsin Province.

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Fr. John R. Crocker, SJ
April 3, 1930 to January 8, 2019

“Jack’s gracious way of engaging people allowed him to reconcile differences and develop a working solution to most problems with a school or department in a most skillful manner and even in a foreign language.”

History and speech teacher at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland; assistant professor of medicine, associate professor of psychology, and director of the Speech Pathology Center at the Loyola University Chicago Medical Center; consultant for international education at the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

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Fr. Thomas H. Radloff, SJ
February 11, 1930 to December 15, 2018

“Tom was a wonderful high school teacher who loved engaging students both inside and outside of the classroom. He preferred talking with the students and allowing them to come to their own conclusions rather than giving the “correct” answer. He also was an excellent and well-sought student counselor, marriage counselor, and spiritual director.”

Latin, religion, and English teacher, student counselor, campus minister, and president at University of Detroit Jesuit High School; retreat director at Jesuit Retreat Center in Cleveland; director of spiritual formation at the North American College in Rome; superior of the St. John’s Jesuit High School Jesuit Community.  

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Fr. John E. Dister, SJ
March 18, 1931 to December 12, 2018

 “Some may say that Jack was irascible and gruff. Au contraire mon fraire! He had a heart of gold and loved to engage others in friendly, though committed, debate. He had a deep pastoral sense, strong commitment to social justice, and a special love for the poor.”

Latin and speech teacher at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati; professor of philosophy and assistant to the president for university mission at John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio; religious studies teacher at Case Western Reserve; professor of philosophy at University of Detroit (Mercy).

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Fr. Robert K. McIntosh, SJ
July 11, 1940 to November 24, 2018

“Bob was a true missionary—always willing to go where needed and do what was necessary to help bring about the Kingdom of God! He was a very highly esteemed member of the Korean Province and will be sincerely mourned by his province.”

Campus minister and professor of general education English at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea; director of formation for the Korea Region; socius to the regional superior/provincial; superior of Arrupe Apostolic Jesuit Community in Seoul; province archivist and tertian instructor.

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Fr. Matthew E. Creighton, SJ
February 8, 1927 to November 23, 2018

 “Matt was always a gracious man with a smile on his face. He had a deep love of Christ and was very serious about his faith. He loved movies and shared his love and knowledge of movies with others.”

Greek and Latin teacher at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago; Greek and Latin teacher, associate dean of the graduate school, assistant vice president for development, and executive assistant chancellor at Loyola University Chicago; president of Creighton University.

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Fr. John H. Kleinhenz, SJ
July 16, 1921 to November 22, 2018

“Jack was an excellent math teacher and, after finishing his formal teaching career, continued tutoring students. He seemed to know everyone in his hometown of Cleveland.”

Latin, math, and theology teacher at University of Detroit High School; math teacher and assistant principal at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland; math teacher at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis.

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Fr. Philip C. Rule, SJ
February 4, 1931 to November 14, 2018

“Phil was an excellent scholar, fine teacher, and a good community man. He loved teaching at the University of Detroit (where he taught young Jesuits) and later at Holy Cross.”

English and Greek teacher at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati; literary editor of America magazine; English professor at the University of Detroit; English professor and professor emeritus at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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Fr. George W. Traub, SJ
January 30, 1936 to October 27, 2018

“George was a faithful and caring friend, a compassionate listener. He cared passionately for his ministries, especially his work in mission and identity at Xavier University.”

Latin, Greek, and English teacher at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois; English and theology teacher, coordinator, director, and executive director of Ignatian Programs at Xavier University; provincial assistant for formation and continuing education programs for the former Chicago Province.

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Fr. Robert E. Brodzeller, SJ
June 6, 1930 to October 24, 2018

“Bob was a pastor in any setting in which he found himself. He ministered well to people in need in both hospitals and parishes. He also ministered well to the Jesuits with whom he lived.”

Ministry at Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota; French teacher at Campion High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin; retreat director at Emmaus in Des Moines; hospital chaplain and parish priest.

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Fr. Victor-Luke Odhiambo, SJ

The Midwest Jesuits mourn the loss of Kenyan Jesuit Fr. Victor-Luke Odhiambo, 62, who was murdered on Nov. 15, 2018, when unknown assailants attacked the Daniel Comboni Jesuit Residence in Cueibet, South Sudan.

Father Odhiambo was known as a talented teacher and administrator and a dedicated Jesuit priest. At the time of his death, Fr. Odhiambo was the principal of Mazzolari Teachers College in Cueibet. He had worked in South Sudan for approximately 10 years.

“Father Victor-Luke Odhiambo leaves a name, not only in South Sudan as the first Jesuit to die at the service of its people, but in the whole of Eastern Africa as a teacher of thousands of students in the Starehe Boys Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, and in Loyola High School in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania,” said Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus. “He was a very courageous man, intelligent, caring, creative administrator, and, above all, a believer in the value of education. He was not afraid of venturing into the unknown, even into the most dangerous of places once he was convinced it was the Lord’s mission.”

Father Odhiambo was born on January 20, 1956, entered the Society of Jesus on July 4, 1978, and was ordained a priest on August 22, 1987. He pronounced his final vows in the Society on May 30, 1993. He was a friend to many Jesuits in the Midwest Province through the relationship between the Midwest Jesuits and the Eastern Africa Province. May he rest in peace.

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Return to the Jesuits Magazine Spring 2019 Magazine Index

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