John V. White
Fr. John V. White, SJ
Jack had a deep love of Christ and the Society of Jesus. He was a good listener and was able to put people at ease — they felt welcomed and appreciated in Jack's presence.
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John V. White

Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. John V. White, SJ, who died on October 12, 2019, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Michigan. He was 90 years old. May he rest in peace.

Jack was born on September 23, 1929 in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. He entered the Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus on September 4, 1956 at Milford, Ohio. Jack was ordained on June 17, 1965 at Colombiere Center and pronounced final vows on December 7, 1975 at the University of Detroit High School.

Before entering the Society, Jack graduated from St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland (1947) and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration (Accounting and Management) from John Carroll University (1951). After graduating from John Carroll, Jack served in the army for two years. He attended radar school at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas (1951-1952) and was assigned to the Headquarters Battery 77th Anti Aircraft Artillery Battalion at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, California (1953). After his honorable discharge from the army, Jack was a cost account supervisor at Brush Electronics in Cleveland (1953-1955) before he took a position with Archor Motor Freight Inc. in Detroit as an accountant and office manager (1955-1956).

While in the Society, Jack earned a Master's Degree in Religious Studies from St. Mary's University of Minnesota in Winona, Minnesota (1974).

During regency, Jack taught math at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland (1961-1962). After ordination, he was a student counselor and taught math and religion at St. John's Jesuit High School in Toledo (1966-1974; he made tertianship during the 1972-1973 academic year.). In 1974, Jack experienced the desire to direct individuals in the Spiritual Exercises and spent a year directing retreats at Colombiere Center. After becoming a very proficient retreat director, Jack spent a year as a student counselor at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School (1975-1976) before spending ten years as a campus minister in John Carroll University's Campus Ministry department (1976-1986; he was director of the department from 1980-1986).

The provincial decided that Jack's personality and counseling skills would help him to be a great Detroit Province Vocation Director. Jack spent six years (1986-1992) helping men to discern their vocations and, if appropriate, apply to the Society of Jesus. When he completed his time as vocations director, Jack spent a year as the Detroit Provincial Assistant for Pastoral Ministry.

In 1993, Jack was appointed pastor of Gesu Parish in University Heights, Ohio. He had to start his pastorate early due to the sudden death of his predecessor, Fr. Bob McAuley. During his seven years as pastor, Jack raised funds for and directed a major building program entitled "Building the Future in Faith." This was the first major capital campaign in over thirty years and included the relocation of the Sisters of Notre Dame into a house purchased on the corner of Meadowbrook and Glendon, remodeling the former convent to become the new Educational Center, the building of a new Family Center which included a gym, classroom space, and a chapel adjacent to the church.

In 2000, Jack returned to his high school alma mater as a faculty/staff and parent chaplain. Using his pastoral presence and spiritual direction gifts, Jack spent eight years helping men and women to encounter Christ (and God's love) in their lives. Jack also was the rector of the St. Ignatius Jesuit Community (2003-2007).

Jack was missioned to Walsh Jesuit High School (2008-2015) where he worked on the Mission and Identity team and was director for one year (2008-2009). In 2015, Jack was missioned to Colombiere Center to perform community service and to care for his health.

Jack had a deep love of Christ and the Society of Jesus. He was a good listener and was able to put people at ease — they felt welcomed and appreciated in Jack's presence. Jack was a devoted friend. He had a good sense of humor and would often laugh at himself and his experiences. He was deeply rooted in Ignatian Spirituality and wanted others to have the experience of encountering Jesus through the Spiritual Exercises. He was generous with his time and talents. All of these qualities helped to make Jack a great spiritual director, pastor, and superior/rector.

Jack started (and ran) the Spirituality Program for Adults at Walsh Jesuit High School. This 8-week group retreat based in the Spiritual Exercises offers faculty/staff members and parents/alumni the opportunity to gather weekly for Mass, a talk, and a discussion among the group. Jack touched the lives of countless people through his homilies, his retreat talks, and his spiritual direction.

Jack was a life-long fan of the Cleveland Indians and Browns. Finally, Jack had a great love of the outdoors: trips to Omena (Michigan), camping in Canada and Michigan's Upper Peninsula, biking, canoeing, hiking, and cross-country skiing. He loved seeing the fall colors in northern Michigan and the cherry blossoms. He delighted in watching bodies of water (especially the ocean when possible) and loved to pray while walking the beach.


Sunday, October 20, 2019
4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Prayer Service 7:00 p.m.
Colombiere Center
9075 Big Lake Road
Clarkston, MI 48346-1015


Monday, October 21, 2019
10:45 a.m.
Colombiere Center
9075 Big Lake Road
Clarkston, MI 48346-1015

In Memoriam
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October 15, 20194:26 PM
Fr. Jack White is and will always remain an immeasurable, treasured gift and irreplaceable friend for my wife Jan and me. We had the sacred privilege of working with Fr. White in the SPA Program at Ignatius from 2000-2008. He was the perfect foil AND balance to his co-laborer, Fr. Jim Lewis, in that amazing ministry that was and is SPA (Spirituality Program for Adults). Those two were quite the "Odd Couple" (for those who remember that movie and TV show) but the chemistry in that "Whitey-Lewis"relationship worked beautifully and for those of us who were lucky enough to see it and experience it up close, we were deeply blessed. We can still hear the laughter and guffaws of "our group" at the St. Louis Spirituality Conferences, gathered at the end of the day in Fr. Lewis' room, where he and Fr. Jack bantered back and forth as we all engaged in an adult beverage or two. The Holy Spirit was very present as these two men, changed and saved lives with their different styles. Thank you, Fr. Jack, for being such an amazing Jesuit and a man's man at the same time-- so gracious, so humble, so Christ-like to all who encountered you. While we miss you terribly we join all who love you in rejoicing that you are now in the presence of the Lord Jesus. – Jeffrey Leitch

October 15, 20195:12 PM
A classmate at Ignatius a fellow priest a friend R.I.P. – Fr. Dave Baugh

October 16, 20191:29 PM
When I was visiting my brother, Fr. George Lane, S.J., and my friend, Fr. Raymond Baumhart, S.J.,at Colombiere, Fr. White was always nice and friendly and I always felt welcomed by him. I could tell that he was a very good Jesuit and he was fun to be around. God bless him! May he rest in peace with the Lord forever! – Marty Lane

October 16, 20199:11 PM
With gratitude for knowing Fr. White, Mary Day – Mary Elizabeth Day

October 16, 201911:33 PM
I LOVED HIM !!!! MILAN BENDER JR. – Milan Bender Jr.

October 17, 20196:28 AM
So very sad to hear of Fr. White’s passing. I have many fond memories of him from his time at John Carroll University and Gesu! He was a kind and gentle soul who had a great impact on all of the lives he touched over the years...mine was one. Blessings to his family at this time, I will be remembering all of you in my prayers! – Kathleen Berry

October 20, 20196:31 PM
Jack was part of a group serving in the US Army during the Korean War. We all trained in the usual basic and advanced basic prior to shipping out to the war zone. Our group of about 10 however, were assigned to the radar school for technical training and various assignments for installation protection including the Hanford nuclear facility. . Following our eventual discharge the group of about 10 met for reunions. Since the reunions occurred during the weekend, Jack would say mass whether in a hotel or some ones home. We all enjoyed the times and related funny stories about events that happened during our service time. Some of the stories were actually true. Jack watched our families grow and we watched his many duties and accomplishments within the Jesuit community and his parish and school communities. He will be sorely missed at our next reunion as our small band of brothers is growing smaller with each passing year. – Joseph Cermak

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