Fr. Paul V. Mankowski
Fr. Paul V. Mankowski
Paul was deeply loved and respected by the community of scholars involved in the Lumen Christi Institute, and his death will leave a huge void.
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Fr. Paul V. Mankowski

September 3, 2020 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Paul V. Mankowski, SJ, who died on September 3, 2020 in Evanston, Illinois. He was 66 years old. May he rest in peace. Father Mankowski died due to a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured brain aneurysm.

Paul was born on November 15, 1953 in South Bend, Indiana.  Before entering, he earned an Classics and Philosophy from the University of Chicago.  Paul entered the Society of Jesus on September 5, 1976, at Berkley, Michigan.  He was ordained on June 13, 1987, and he professed final vows on December 12, 2012, in the Chapel of Ignatius House on the campus of Loyola University Chicago. 

Paul earned a M.A. in classics from Oxford University (1983).  He earned a Master of Divinity and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Weston Jesuit School of Theology (1987).  Paul earned a Ph.D. in Comparative Semitic Philology from Harvard University (1997).

During regency, Paul studied at Oxford University (1979-1983) before teaching at Xavier University (1983-1984).  After doctoral studies, Paul was a professor of Old Testament languages at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, Italy (1994-2009).  He returned to the states, made Tertianship, and taught at Graham School of General Studies at the University of Chicago (2010-2011).  Paul spent a year as acting pastor of Sacred Heart Church English Language Parish in Amman, Jordan before, in 2012, becoming a Scholar-in-Residence at Lumen Christi Institute, University of Chicago.

Paul loved his college years at the University of Chicago where he deeply appreciated the "great books" classical approach to education.  During some of those years, Paul worked in the nearby steel mills to help support himself.  As a hobby, Paul also enjoyed boxing when he was in studies, including as a Jesuit.  (One friend recounted an anecdote recalling a time when Paul came to class in theology with a cut on his face and, with his characteristic self-effacing wit, Paul said that it happened by accident when he was shaving.)  In the Society, Paul did the Literae humaniores ("Mods and Greats") program at Oxford the aim of which was for students to develop their ability to read fluently in Latin (especially the Aeneid of Virgil) and Greek (concentrating on the Iliad and the Odyssey), as well as Greek and Roman history, other classical literature and philosophy.  These early years laid the foundation for Paul's lifelong devotion to learning, reading widely in theology, biblical studies, philosophy and political thought.  Paul was always knowledgeable about contemporary events in church, politics and culture, and ready to offer his perspective when engaged on these subjects, always rooted in his devotion to tradition and orthodoxy.  He was very devoted to his family and cherished Sunday dinners frequently at the home of one his sisters who was married to a college friend of Paul's.  Paul was deeply devoted to the Mass and the sacraments.  He was generous with his supply work to Calvert House, the Newman Center at the University of Chicago, various parishes, as well as for communities of women religious around the world. 

Paul's years in Rome at Pontifical Biblical Institute found him teaching ancient biblical languages to eager students from around the world.  At the same time, he regularly read widely in contemporary theology and was sought after by many important church leaders to offer his advice and perspective.  Paul had firm opinions about things such as the most recent translations of the lectionary and Roman Missal which he regarded as improvements. From time to time, Paul would offer book reviews and articles to the noted review, "First Things."    

The past eight years when Paul was missioned to the Lumen Christi Institute, located amidst the University of Chicago, was a homecoming for Paul.  His prodigious and wide-ranging intellect found a home there.  Paul taught widely appreciated non-credit courses to undergraduates on a wide range of subjects in theology and the classics.  Through Lumen Christi, Paul also offered regular "Great Books" seminars in the "classics" to accomplished professional men and women.  For those going through RCIA at nearby Calvert House, Paul would offer supplementary sessions for those eager to deepen their knowledge of the faith.  (With his customary understatement and tongue-in-cheek humor, Paul would describe these sessions as offering "vitamins" to the catechumens!)  Paul was deeply loved and respected by the community of scholars involved in the Lumen Christi Institute and his death will leave a huge void. 

In Jesuit community, Paul was a quiet, but kind and caring presence for his brothers, and was known for his quick wit and sense of humor.  You could set your watch by his morning walks and prayer time.  When men in formation would live at Woodlawn, Paul would offer to celebrate Mass for them.  When needed, Paul would cook, clean, and care for the sick.  Paul would not call attention to himself when he did these quiet acts of service.  For all his tremendous intellectual and linguistic gifts, Paul wore them all lightly and was, deep down, a humble man who never forgot where he came from and to whom he belonged and whom he loved.  While Paul had his theological, philosophical and political differences with many of his Jesuit brothers and, at times, superiors, Paul's deep love of the church, the Society of Jesus and his Jesuit vocation was the bedrock of his life, convinced that fidelity to this vocation was his way to salvation.   

More information about Paul's work at Lumen Christi Institute can be found at the Lumen Christi Institute

Wake and Mass of Christian Burial
Tuesday, 8 September, 11:30am
St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church
5472 South Kimbark Avenue
Chicago, IL 60615

  • 9:30am Visitation
  • 11:30am Funeral Mass (Private)
    • Jesuits who plan to attend, including to concelebrate, please contact Glen Chun by Monday, 7 September, at
    • "Other inquiries regarding the funeral Mass should be directed to the Lumen Christi Institute

Video of the Funeral Mass 
On Facebook

Or, click here view it from the Midwest Jesuits site.


Woodlawn Jesuits
c/o Patrick Fairbanks, S.J.
1025 West Taylor Street
Chicago, IL 60607-4226

Mankowski Family
c/o Joan Mankowski, MD
11975 W. Ida Dr.
Littleton, CO 80127

Memorial fund
In Paul's memory, "The Fr. Paul V. Mankowski, S.J., Memorial Fund for Jesuit Scholarship at Lumen Christi" has been established.

In Memoriam
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Jesuits Fall Winter 2019

September 03, 20204:05 PM
RIP Fr Paul, what a genuinely lovely man, he took so much time to show us around Rome in 2003. My husband, Paul and I loved our time spent with him in Rome and as a returning visiting priest in Bannockburn, Scotland – Lynn Tortolano

September 03, 20204:06 PM
Father Paul V. Mankowski was a true priest, intellectual and man of truth. I first met him during my freshman year at Loyola Academy. We later reconnected at Lumen Christi. History will prove that Father Mankowski was correct. Deo gratias – William J. O'Connell

September 03, 20204:12 PM
Father Paul was a great man. Every time I spoke with him I learned more about my faith and myself. Thanks for everything, Fr. Paul ! – Rubén Rodríguez

September 03, 20205:41 PM
Fr. Paul was truly an interesting and memorable priest. Very knowledgeable and humble as the obituary states. His dry sense of humor helped to bring across so many salient points. May he enjoy the reward due to such a faithful and good man. – Sr Clare StephenClare, fsp

September 03, 20205:47 PM
Eternal Memory! – Elias

September 03, 20207:17 PM
Eternal rest grant into them O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them. Through the Glory of God, may all the holy souls, rest in peace. Amén. ?? – Jaquelin

September 03, 202010:03 PM
Laus Deo! Giving thanks for having him and seeing the example he was. Rest in peace, Fr. Paul. – Ramon Miranda

September 03, 202010:04 PM
Rest in Christ's peace, Father Paul. Thank you for your courageous witness to the truth, and for your guidance and friendship in Chicago. "Well done, my good and faithful servant. Come, share your Master's joy." – Michael Bradley

September 04, 202012:22 AM
I am deeply saddened by the passing away of Fr Paul Mankowski. I will always remember his kindness, gentleness, and caring for souls, for whoever needed help. He offered all he could without reservation for the Love of God, the Catholic Church and his brethren. He will be greatly missed. May his soul Rest In Peace! – Xue Miao

September 04, 202012:54 AM
I have never known a finer man – Tony Abbott

September 04, 20201:44 AM
Rest in The Peace of Our Lord and His Blessed Mother Fr Paul. We in Bannockburn Scotland will always remember you for your gentle loving kindness especially to the sick and housebound who you prayed for and regularly kept in touch with....May God now reward you for Your example of a life so Well lived.?? – Patrick Mullane

September 04, 20208:26 AM
Fr. Paul was a favorite speaker in the St. Catherine Laboure Speaker Series. We are beneficiaries of his enthusiasm for the spiritual formation of laypeople.We are grateful witnesses of his tender love for the Lord and his protective love for the Lord's Church. He is an example of laudable courage and fidelity in the face of opposition. And he is a man in whom gravitas and lightheartedness are in happy communion. Fr. Paul, pray for us! – Karen Winterburn

September 04, 20209:36 AM
I haven't seen Paul since high school (I don't think) but he was the nicest, kindest and smartest kid in school. Also very athletic and popular. I am shocked at the news of his passing. I know many, many people will miss him very much. God Bless. – Beth Carmichael Bullard

September 04, 202010:12 AM
Words cannot express the sense of loss when learning of Paul’s passing. To the entire Mankowski family, especially Mark, Ellen, Joan and Mary; my heartfelt condolences for your loss. Paul was always bigger than life. I will always smile when I think of him. – Kevin Brennan

September 04, 202010:42 AM
Fr. Paul was such a brilliant man. I was so very lucky to be a participant in one of his book discussion groups. I absolutely treasure all the many insights that Fr. Paul provided. I am so grateful for how he generously so much knowledge, history, and perspective. I hadn't had such a powerful lecturer since my University of Chicago college days. – Hilary Till

September 04, 20207:36 PM
Please accept our sincerely sympathy on the loss of Fr. Paul – John & Molly Haben Family

September 04, 202011:14 PM
My condolences to the sisters and family of Fr. Paul V. Mankowski, SJ. What a pleasure to read his biography. Not just to learn that his intellect came to full fruition, but that he also had a deep commitment and care for those around him. I mourn his loss. – Jayne Holsinger

September 04, 202011:44 PM
The australian confraternity of catholic clergy is sad to learn of the death of fr paul. We thank god for his friendship, priesthood, intelligence, wit and fine mind. Our sympathy to his jesuit family. May he rejoice in the beatific vision! – Fr gregory pritchard

September 05, 20202:35 AM
I was shocked and saddened by Paul’s death. He was one of the finest teachers we had at the John Paul Institute for Marriage and the Family, in Melbourne Australia, where he was a visiting professor of Scripture. Many of his former students and academic colleagues here in Australia remember him with great affection and praise his contribution to their own education. He taught Scripture as a believer and helped other believers explore its treasures. His combination of wry humour, straight-talking orthodoxy, breadth of learning and sheer intelligence impressed all who encountered him. He will be sorely missed all around the world. My condolences to the Society and to Paul’s family. – Archbishop Anthony Fisher O.P.

September 05, 202012:02 PM
We are so saddened at the sudden death of Fr. Paul. He was a highschool friend and will always be remembered for his sincerity; humor and brilliant mind. With deepest sympathy, Rick and Mary – Richard and Mary Conner

September 05, 202012:28 PM
Fr Paul's homilys were a blessing and deeper than any others we heard. They brought us closer to our creator. When they nudged tears that surprised us we also felt closer to our faith. We appreciated being able to attend some of his lectures. His passing is a heavy loss for many of us. – eileen V gascon

September 05, 20201:38 PM
He was one of my dearest friends, and the closest I'll ever come to holy, on this side of the divide. – Karen Hall

September 05, 20207:24 PM
A brilliant intellect, an exemplary priest, a great soul, and a profoundly humble, wickedly witty, perspicacious, kind, and generous disposition combined in Fr. Mankowski, whose friend I am forever humbled and grateful to have been able to be. It will be the work of my life to be worthy to get to meet him again in a Place his sly tour of which I can only imagine. May he already have heard his Lord’s salutation: “Well done, good and faithful servant: because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Requiem æternam dona ei Domine et lux perpetua luceat ei. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. – Bill Walsh

September 06, 20205:16 AM
My late Uncle Bart Kiely was also a jesuit and passed a few years ago unfortunately well before his time too. He and the late Paul knew each other in Rome. I am sure that they are at peace and having some fine theological discussions! – Anonymous

September 06, 202012:35 PM
Ed and I have been blessed to know and love Fr. Paul for over thirty years. His wisdom, which he lovingly shared, has formed our lives. Everything he brilliantly taught us witnessed the Truth of Christ and the Church Christ founded. We consider it fitting to call Fr. Paul a "Doctor of the Church" – Alice and Ed Grayson

September 06, 20202:47 PM
Thanks be to God for Fr. Paul V. Mankowski, SJ, a holy priest devoted to Jesus Christ and His Church, and a brilliant scholar and philologist, especially in regard to the Church, the Bible, Biblical languages and the Sacraments. He was a true brother priest and friend in Christ, and is deeply missed by many in the Church already, for the selfless love of Christ shined forth in his words and deeds as he proclaimed the Gospel, the Truth, with charity and clarity, all for the greater glory of God (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam). He was truly a companion of Jesus, a son of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, as he lived the Jesuit vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and obedience with regard to mission, a role model for all priests. Personally, God blessed me with a friendship with Fr. Paul for nearly 20 years, a friendship in Christ of infinite value. I first met him when his good friend, Bishop Robert C. Morlino (then-bishop of the Diocese of Helena, MT) had asked him in the Summer of 2001 to help me out and visit for two weeks in my first assignment as a pastor at Saint William Catholic Parish in Shelby, MT, that included a mission of Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Sunburst, MT, and a prison chaplaincy. Since then, wherever I was assigned, he visited my parish each Summer to make his private annual one-week retreat and/or give a retreat for the parish, in Montana and, after my transfer, in the Diocese of Madison, WI. Between academic semesters, Fr. Paul often sought ways to serve the Church by visiting dioceses, parishes and religious communities of sisters and nuns, in order to offer Mass, hear Confessions and give retreats, and once in a while enjoy some fishing! With tears of sorrow and gratitude, I miss him acutely and profoundly as I thank God for his witness as a priest, living the virtues of faith, hope and love, using the great gifts and talents God gave him in intellect, scholarship, wit, wisdom, satire and joy, and for his friendship. Let us keep his sisters and brother and all his family and friends and the Society of Jesus in our prayers, for God’s strength, courage, peace and loving consolation for all. Eternal rest grant unto Fr. Paul, O Lord. And let perpetual Light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. Mary, Mother of priests, pray for him. Saint Joseph, pray for him. Saint Paul and Saint Vincent, pray for him. Saint Ignatius of Loyola, pray for him. Saint Teresa of Calcutta, pray for him. All holy men and women, pray for him. Without question, Fr. Paul would want us to pray for him, as he knew well that Jesus Christ, His Church, Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition instruct us to pray for and with those who have died. As I offer Masses for Fr. Paul, I pray that God will bring him into the fullness of Heaven, with all of His angels and saints, where we, by the grace and mercy of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, will meet again in life eternal before the Face of God, in eternal love, peace and joy. Amen. – Fr. William Vernon

September 07, 20206:44 PM
My condolences go to Fr. Paul's family, friends, and confreres. He was a humble priest and scholar, a good friend and teacher, and also a true gentleman. We had been meeting for spiritual direction for the past 5 years. During that time I was blessed with the opportunity to come to know him in a deeply spiritual way, though not as fully as many of his friends and family knew him. Through this relationship I have a sense of what his lifelong purpose was as a Jesuit (perhaps even more clearly than he himself knew) and I am fairly certain that he reached his perfection in the Mind of God this summer. He life was complete. St. Peter welcomes him through the Pearly Gate! It is indeed our sadness that he will no longer be around to continue to enrich us. Nevertheless we should continue to admire, honor and celebrate the legacy of friends, students, and writing that he left with us. – Sandra Ham

September 07, 20208:42 PM
Paul was my friend. We boxed as teammates for 3 years at Harvard. I boxed with him almost a year before I learned he was a Jesuit. He broke one of my ribs once, and I gave him a black eye a year later. When I was commissioned a Marine officer on the USS Constitution in Boston Harbor I asked him to pin on one of my bars. He was real, down to earth and he loved being a priest. We were arrested together in a protest on pro life grounds. He wrote conservative Catholic essays under pseudonyms that perhaps cut against the progressive tide of the majority of his Jesuit peers. I recall our conversations in the Jesuit residence over some pasta, olive oil, and garlic that he cooked. He was studying texts of the first human language translated into eight tongues. Once at the start of boxing he quoted a Oxford teammate, “Macbeth hath murdered sleep” uttered at predawn chilly workouts. He is the finest Jesuit and friend I have known. He inspires my Jesuit vocation to be a teacher at Jesuit schools with what is left of my life. I regret that I did not spend more time with him when he was with us. I will remember him each time I set foot on a Jesuit school for the rest of my life. He was my best teacher and coach because he hit the hardest, athletically, morally, and spiritually. Ad majorem dei gloriam. – Janar Wasito

September 07, 202010:29 PM
He was a kind and generous priest who heard confessions and said Mass for us every Saturday morning. His homilies taught me a great deal. We miss him very much. We need more priests like him! – Dave Cattapan

September 08, 20205:00 AM
I knew Paul in high school and swam the same event with him on the swimming team. I recall Paul's stunning intellect and great sense of humor. When I heard of his great success in the Catholic church, I longed to sit down with him and discuss spiritual matters but now will never get that chance. Rest in peace my friend. My condolences to the family and especially to my friend, Paul's brother, Mark, who I occasionally walk with at the Mishawaka river walk. – MICHAEL POWELL

September 08, 20201:23 PM
My deepest condolences go out to the Mankoski family-Mark, Joann, Ellen and Mary. Paul said mass for my parents when each one died. He taught me so much, as he did others. – Kurt Nemes

September 11, 20208:23 PM
Fr. Paul was there for me at a most difficult time in my life when I had to stand up for my beliefs. He shared many words of wisdom including,"On your deathbed what would you wish you had said and what would you wish you had not said?" He was truly an example and an inspiration of living his faith. He will be missed. – Anonymous

Sioux Spiritual Center
The Sioux Spiritual Center, nestled amid the hills of western South Dakota, is the heart of the Diocese of Rapid City’s efforts to develop native clergy and leadership on the reservations.