Henry T. Chamberlain
Fr. Henry T. Chamberlain, SJ
Hank cared for everyone he encountered. He was a consummate gentleman. His jovial nature helped to impress on people that they mattered to him.
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Henry T. Chamberlain

Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Henry T. "Hank" Chamberlain, SJ, who died on Thursday, January 12, 2017, at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, Mich. He was 86 years old, a Jesuit for 68 years, and a priest for 55 years. May he rest in peace.

Henry was born on April 14, 1930, in Chicago. After graduating from Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill., in 1948, he entered the Society of Jesus on August 19, 1948. He was ordained a priest on June 11, 1961, at West Baden College in West Baden, Ind., and professed his final vows on February 2, 1978, in Detroit. Henry's brother, Frank, joined the Society in 1955 and later transcribed to the Peru Province.

Known to some as "Hank the Bank," Henry spent his Jesuit life caring for the monies and assets of the Society. Although he usually viewed the world through a financial lens, Hank cared for everyone he encountered. He was a consummate gentleman. His jovial nature and loquaciousness helped to impress on people that they mattered to him. He loved to be of service to others and would go out of his way to be of assistance. Hank also loved to explain — or teach — whenever he could. When asked a question, he would give a complete explanation, noting every possible solution or answer. He was available to be missioned wherever the need was greatest: the Chicago Province, the Detroit Province, the Missouri Province, or the Jesuit Curia in Rome. People were surprised by Hank's filing system (piles on his desk), but they were even more surprised that he knew exactly where to find anything when someone asked for it.

Hank earned a bachelor's degree in Latin from Loyola University Chicago in 1953 and licentiates in philosophy (1955) and sacred theology (1962) from West Baden College. He also earned a Masters of Business Administration (with a specialty in accounting) from the University of Michigan (1964). This degree included an accounting internship at Deloitte Haskins & Sells in Boston.

During his regency, Hank taught math and coached swimming at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School (195558).  After his studies, he was treasurer and dealt with financial issues in various provinces, apostolates, and communities. He was the assistant Chicago Province treasurer (196567) before becoming the treasurer at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago (196775). During the 197576 academic year, he was a financial consultant based at Seattle University. He then served as the assistant Missouri Province treasurer (197677). When the Detroit Province treasurer died suddenly, Hank took the role in January 1978.  He served in this position until he was called to Rome in 1992 to be the assistant treasurer general of the Society of Jesus. In 2004, Hank became treasurer of the Jesuit Curia community.  

After a well-deserved sabbatical (200708), Hank shifted his energies from finance to retreats. He directed retreats at the Jesuit Spiritual Center at Milford in Ohio (200810) and at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. (201016).  

Throughout his Jesuit life, Hank was also a revisor (a reviewer or internal auditor) of the financial administration of Jesuit houses in the Chicago Province (196571 and 200810), the Missouri Province (197677), the Detroit Province (197892), the international houses in Rome (200407), and the Chicago-Detroit Province (201116).

Sunday, January 15, 2017 
4–9 p.m.
Manresa Jesuit Retreat House
1390 Quarton Road
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

 January 16, 2017
–10:45 a.m.
Colombiere Center
9075 Big Lake Road
Clarkston, MI 48346


Monday, January 16, 2017
10:45 a.m.
Colombiere Center
9075 Big Lake Road
Clarkston, MI 48346

In Memoriam
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July 31, 20206:39 AM
Fr. Henry was my first spiritual director after we met at the Retreat Centre in Milford, Ohio. He helped me discern a vocation in priesthood, and even though God had different plans for me - married for 10 years now and blessed with 3 kids - I absolutely appreciate all the direction he provided, and admire his willingness to offer direction when I didn’t even have any idea that I could avail it! My sincere prayers for Fr. Henry and for his near and dear ones. May the love and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all! – Jeeth Xavier Kinatingal

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