Frank M. Oppenheim
Fr. Frank M. Oppenheim, SJ
Frank will be remembered by many as a man with an inquisitive mind and a contagious smile—a gentleman and a scholar, and a wonderful Jesuit priest, in the very best way.
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Frank M. Oppenheim

Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Frank M. Oppenheim, SJ, who died on April 3, 2020, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Michigan. He was 94 years old. May he rest in peace.

Frank was born on May 18, 1925 in Coldwater, Ohio. He entered the Society of Jesus on September 1, 1942, at Milford, Ohio. He was ordained on June 15, 1955, at West Baden College in southern Indiana, and took final vows on February 2, 1960. Frank earned a bachelor's degree in classics from Loyola University Chicago, licentiate degrees in philosophy and theology from West Baden College, a master's degree in philosophy from Loyola University Chicago, and a doctorate in philosophy from St. Louis University. Frank was one of the leading experts, if not the leading expert, on the philosophy and writings of Josiah Royce.

During his Philosophy studies, Frank taught French to novices at Milford Novitiate (1948-1952). During regency, Frank taught Latin at St. Ignatius High School in Chicago (1949-1950) and at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland (1950-1952). In 1961, Frank was missioned to Xavier University, where he spent most of his Jesuit life. He was an associate professor (1961-1979) and professor (1979-2009) of philosophy. In addition to his teaching duties, Frank was on various committees and did much research and writing. He was a consultant to the Cincinnati Archdiocese Ecumenical Commission during the 1969-1970 academic year. Frank was director of the Kenya Sociological Survey, a retreat director, and a substitute teacher in St. Paul's Seminary in Wau, Sudan (1976-1977). After leaving Xavier University in 2008, Frank researched about Josiah Royce at the Harvard University archives (2008-2009). In 2009 he moved to Colombiere Center where he continued to do research and write about Josiah Royce's writings, was editor of a critical edition of Josiah Royce's book "The Problem of Christianity," and was coordinator of the Colombiere Jesuits' oral history program.

Frank was a devoted Jesuit who deeply loved Christ. He was a scholar who loved to "seek the truth". He would ask questions, research, and write in his quest to find—and share—the Truth. Through his words and writings, he advocated a "philosophy of loyalty". In his later years, Frank had many health issues and was close to death many times. Throughout his life, even while dealing with the debilitating affects of his illnesses, he was peace-filled, jovial, and considerate. He will be remembered by many as a man with an inquisitive mind and a contagious smile—a gentleman and a scholar, and a wonderful Jesuit priest, in the very best way.


Monday, April 13, 2020
4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Prayer Service 7:00 p.m.
Colombiere Center
9075 Big Lake Road
Clarkston, MI 48346-1015


Tuesday, April 14, 2020
10:45 a.m.
Colombiere Center
Clarkston, MI 48346-1015

In Memoriam
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April 13, 202011:39 AM
My prayers to Frank's family, and his brothers in the Society. An inveterate scholar and wonderful soul, with whom I held many pleasant conversations in the lobby of Hinkle Hall at Xavier University for many years. May his soul rest in the peace of Christ, from where he may intercede for us with our Lord. – Daniel Otero

April 13, 20201:25 PM
I remember my relative, Fr Bob Dressman, introducing my sister and I to him. He had that special gleam in his eyes. I felt blessed to have seen him on a couple short visits from N Ky. Ellen – Ellen Foltz Collett

April 21, 20209:14 AM
When our visits would come to a close, Father would give me a blessing, and ask for my prayers. I would ask for his. Eternal rest Father Oppenheim. – Dan Marotta

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