Fr. M. Joseph Casey, SJ
Fr. M. Joseph Casey
Joe had three great loves in his life: Jesus (and the Society of Jesus), teaching French, and playing bridge. His jovial attitude, wide smile, and care for others helped him to make friends easily.
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Fr. M. Joseph Casey, SJ

Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. M. Joseph Casey, S.J., who died at 11:17 p.m. (EST) on March 8, 2019, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Michigan. He was 82 years old. May he rest in peace.

Joe was born on July 6, 1936, in Evanston, Illinois. He entered the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus on August 8, 1954, at Milford, Ohio. He was ordained on June 8, 1967, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Aurora, Illinois, and took final vows on September 1, 1973, at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis. 

Before entering the Society, Joe graduated from Loyola Academy in Chicago (1954). As a Jesuit, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin (1959) from Loyola University Chicago. By taking summer courses, he earned a master’s degree in French from Case Western University in Cleveland (1967). He earned a master’s degree in theology from Loyola University Chicago (1973). He also earned a licentiate degree in sacred theology (1972) from Bellarmine School of Theology in North Aurora. 

During regency, Joe taught French and Latin and was chaplain of the Sodality at St. Ignatius High School in Chicago (1961-1964). After ordination, Joe spent twenty years at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis where he: taught French (1968-1982), was director of religious activities (1968-1982), rector of the Jesuit community (1977-1983), and president (1982-1987). After a well-earned sabbatical, Joe moved to Chicago where he taught French at St. Ignatius College Prep (1988-1996). 

In 1997, Joe stopped teaching and focused on caring for Jesuits at Colombiere Center as the assistant superior (1997-1999) and then superior (1999-2005). He then spent ten years in Cincinnati as the associate pastor of St. Xavier Church, before being missioned back to Colombiere to care for his health.

Joe had three great loves in his life: Jesus (and the Society of Jesus), teaching French, and playing bridge. His jovial attitude, wide smile, and care for others helped him to make friends easily. His dedication and attention to others helped him to maintain great friendships throughout his life—especially with the Jesuits he played bridge with as often as possible, Bob Welsh, Jim Von Tobel, Ted Ross, and Ed Pigott. Joe was networking long before it became fashionable.

Throughout his life, Joe had a positive influence on many people—both the young and the old. During the twenty-two years he taught French, Joe helped many students transition into mature young adults. While superior of Colombiere Center, Joe cared well for the Jesuits in the community and helped them to deal with the difficulties of aging and preparing for their impending deaths. As associate pastor at St. Xavier, Joe accompanied countless people in both the joyful and difficult times of their lives especially through the celebration of the sacraments. Even as his health declined, Joe was able to affect the Jesuits and staff at Colombiere Center with his gracious and joyful attitude. Throughout his life, Joe was diligent in writing cards, letters, and prayer requests for his friends (and even people he did not know).


Monday, March 11, 2019
3:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Prayer Service 7:00 p.m. 
Colombiere Center
9075 Big Lake Road
Clarkston, MI 48346-1015   

Mass of Christian Burial

Tuesday, March 12, 2019
10:45 a.m.
Colombiere Center
9075 Big Lake Road
Clarkston, MI 48346-1015 

Burial Service

Immediately following the funeral 

In Memoriam
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March 12, 201910:30 AM
Fr. Casey, I will never forget my first french class With you--the first year girls arrived at Brebeuf! Your kindness, humor and commitment to God and educating had a profound effect on many. Enjoy your splendor with Him in heaven! Regine Marie Zimmer, Brebeuf '79 – Regine Marie Zimmer Gordon

March 10, 202011:22 AM
Fr. Casey traveled to CT to marry my husband and me 27 years ago. He taught my husband French at Brebeuf while he was in high school. He also visited us in Florida and blessed our home while he was there visiting his mother. We visited him at the Colombiere Center when one of our kids had a tennis tournament in MI. He always kept in touch and it was such a pleasure spending time with him. He was an extremely caring individual. God blessed us putting Fr. Casey in our lives. – Amy Berdusco

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Manresa Jesuit Retreat House, located north of Detroit in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., offers retreatants a respite from the city on its 37–acre campus with almost 50,000 trees.