Ralph H. Talkin
Fr. Ralph H. Talkin, SJ
Ralph was known for his great enthusiasm and determination. Students and faculty knew of his great love of Jesus and his devotion to Ignatian spirituality.
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Ralph H. Talkin

Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Ralph H. Talkin, SJ, who died on Monday, October 10, 2016, at Mercy Health - St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, Ohio. He was traveling from Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Mich., to St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati for a reunion, when he fell and broke his hip while getting out of the car in Toledo. He was taken to the hospital and died before hip surgery could occur.  He was 90 years old, a Jesuit for 72 years, and a priest for 59 years. May he rest in peace.

Ralph was born on August 13, 1926, in Chicago. After graduating from Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill., in 1944, he entered the Society on June 10, 1944. He was ordained a priest on June 19, 1957, at West Baden College in West Baden, Ind., made tertianship in Salamanca, Spain, and professed final vows on August 15, 1961, at Loyola University Chicago.

Ralph spent most of his life teaching theology and working as a chaplain. He was known for his great enthusiasm and determination. Students and faculty knew of Ralph's great love of Jesus and his devotion to Ignatian spirituality. He taught about Jesus, Christianity, and the Catholic Church. As a dorm chaplain at Loyola University Chicago, he encouraged young men and women to seek out and encounter Christ's love — especially through the Spiritual Exercises. In the 1960s, Ralph and Fr. Donald Hayes, SJ, were primarily responsible for the development of a spiritual program on Loyola's Lake Shore Campus.  As an army chaplain, Ralph found grace helping to guide young men who were confused and without values toward faith in Jesus.

Ralph earned a bachelor's degree in Latin (1949) and a master's degree in English (1955) from Loyola University Chicago. His master's thesis was titled "The Effect of Nature and Imagination upon Wordsworth as Seen in The Prelude."  He earned licentiate degrees in philosophy (1951) and sacred theology (1958) from West Baden College. Finally, after encountering many challenges along the way, Ralph earned a doctorate of sacred theology (1960) from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. 

During his regency, Ralph taught Latin and English at St. Xavier High School (1951-1954). After finishing his doctorate, he began teaching theology at Loyola University Chicago.  Ralph taught there for almost 30 years (1961-1969 and 1976-1997). He spent two years as a visiting instructor of theology at Saint Louis University's program in Madrid, Spain (1991-1993). In addition to teaching, Ralph spent a great deal of his time as a chaplain. In the early 1970s, he was a U.S. Army Chaplain stationed at Fort Knox, Ky. (1969-1976), in addition to being deployed in Korea. While teaching at Loyola, he was also a part-time chaplain at Presence Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston, Ill. 

After leaving Loyola University Chicago, Ralph became pastor of St. Louis Catholic Church in Glenrock, Wyo. (1997-2006). He then was chaplain to the Little Sisters of the Poor in Denver, Colo. (2006-2010). Although he moved to Colombiere Center in 2010 to care for his health, he continued to spend his summers working at St. Louis Catholic Church in Wyoming.    

Thursday, October 13, 2016 
4 - 7 p.m. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016 
7 p.m. 
Colombiere Center 
9075 Big Lake Rd. 
Clarkston, MI 48346-1015

Friday, October 14, 2016 
10:45 a.m. 
Colombiere Center 
9075 Big Lake Rd. 
Clarkston, MI 48346

In Memoriam
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November 29, 20161:54 PM
Father Ralph was an awesome priest and teacher. I had him as a student at Loyola U Chicago (class of 1980). I took his course on the New Testament. His love for the students and his desire to share and teach the Gospel was beyond compare- one of the finest teachers I ever had. RIP Fr. Ralph. Robert McCarthy PhD, JD BS Loyola U Chicago – Robert McCarthy

November 29, 201611:07 PM
Dear and beloved teacher and life long counselor. I am 72 now and I've known you for 54 years - you were always in my prayers and heart - I will miss your presence on earth. I will remember you at Mass always. Rest in the loving arms of our Lord. – Lorrie Blythe

August 15, 20178:37 PM
We miss you, Father Ralph. – Finch Fam

November 10, 20184:12 AM
His classes at Loyola were full of energy What a great inspiration he was And what a kind person as well- a passing comment when i was his student about my mother being in the hospital sparked an unsolicited visit to her by Fr. Talkin. He led me to know what kind of person i wanted to be in this world. God Bless – Eugene Z Levin DDS

March 17, 20197:21 AM
You were a very special friend and had a profound influence on my life. RIP – Anonymous

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