In Memoriam
"Throughout his life, Tom continually cultivated his union with God and was greatly admired for his life of prayer."
In Memoriam: Fr. Thomas C. Widner, SJ

August 14, 2018 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Father Thomas "Tom" C. Widner, SJ, who was called to eternal life on August 13, 2018. Tom died at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis. He was seventy-six years old, a Jesuit for almost thirty-three years, and a priest for forty-nine years.  

Born in Beech Grove, Ind. on April 27, 1942, Tom attended Latin High School (then a pre-seminary boys' high school) and Father Thomas Scecina Memorial High School in Indianapolis, where he is fondly remembered by his classmates. He graduated from Marian College in 1964 with a bachelor's degree in English. He did seminary studies at St. Mary's College in Kentucky (1964-1965) and Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, Mo. (1965-1969) before being ordained on May 24, 1969, for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. He also earned master's degree in English from the University of Notre Dame (1969).

After ordination, Tom spent fifteen years working in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. He taught English at Latin High School (Indianapolis) and was an associate pastor at Our Lady of the Greenwood (1969-1972) before becoming the co-pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church (1972-1975). From 1975-1984, he was the editor-in-chief of The Criterion, the Archdiocesan newspaper, while he was in residence at St. Susanna Church (1975-1977), in residence at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church (1977-1979), priest in residence at St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church (1979-1984), associate pastor of St. Barnabas Catholic Church, and administrator of Holy Trinity Parish in Edinburgh, Ind. (1984-1985).

On August 31, 1985, Tom entered the Society at Loyola House in Berkeley, Mich. After first vows, Tom was an assistant editor and writer for America Magazine (1987-1991). He was the associate director of the Spiritual Renewal Center in Hammond, Ind. (1991-1992) before taking on the duties of editor-in-chief of The New World (the Archdiocese of Chicago Newspaper). From 1995-1997, Tom was a publications assistant at Company Magazine while director of the Chicago Province Communication Office.  He spent two years in retreat ministry and as a staff member at Jesuit Spiritual Center at Milford before moving to Washington, D.C. and working as the Secretary for Communications at the USA Jesuit Conference (1999-2004) in addition to being the superior of Leonard Neale House (2001-2004).  

Tom moved back to Indianapolis in 2004 where he was the Vice President for Mission and Identity at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School and rector of the Jesuit Community (2004-2010). In 2010, he became the director of spiritual formation at Bishop Bruté Seminary where he worked until his death.

Throughout his life, Tom continually cultivated his union with God and was greatly admired for his life of prayer. This union with God made Tom a wonderful spiritual director, a great pastor, and an attentive superior. Tom's great love for the Society of Jesus was seen especially in his role as director of mission and identity at Brebeuf. While director, he established a program to train lay people to be directors of the Spiritual Exercises. This program, and the directors it formed allowed many faculty members to make the nineteenth annotation of the Exercises. For the past eight years, Tom brought his love of God and his understanding of Ignatian Spirituality and discernment to seminarians in his role as spiritual director at Simon Bruté College Seminary. This is a gift the seminarians — and the Church in Indiana — will not forget.

As a Jesuit, Tom maintained close relationships with archdiocesan priests, both socially and in prayer groups. While at Brebeuf, he was a link between the community and the archdiocesan priests - especially for the much-anticipated annual party for the priests of the archdiocese at the Brebeuf Community.

Visitation

Sunday, August 19, 2018 
4:00 - 7:00 p.m. 
St. Andrew Church 
4052 E. 38th Street 
Indianapolis, IN 46218 

Mass of Christian Burial

Monday, August 20, 2018 
10:00 a.m. 
St. Andrew Church

A reception will follow the Mass in St. Andrew's parish hall.

Burial

Monday, August 20, 2018 
Calvary Cemetery 
435 W Troy Ave. 
Indianapolis, IN 46225





Recent News

August 21, 2018 — Pope Francis has responded to new reports of clerical sexual abuse and the ecclesial cover-up of abuse. In an impassioned letter addressed to the whole People of God, he calls on the Church to be close to victims in solidarity, and to join in acts of prayer and fasting in penance for such "atrocities".

October 19, 2018 — On Oct. 20, the Catholic Church will beatify Jesuit Father Tiburcio Arnaiz Muñoz in Málaga, Spain, where he is recognized as “apostle of the city.”

October 17, 2018 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Thomas "Tom" S. McShane, SJ, who was called to eternal life on October 16, 2018. He was eighty-nine years old, a Jesuit for seventy-one years, and a priest for fifty-eight years.

What can all happen while sharing a meal together? For Christ, it was when he gave of himself at the Last Supper; for me, it is where I realized I needed to give of myself and enter the Jesuits as well as experienced unity among diversity.

October 15, 2018 — After six months of construction work, the relocation and restoration of Our Lady of Peace Chapel on Xavier’s campus is complete.

October 14, 2018 — Today, Pope Francis canonized a pope and a martyr: Pope John Paul VI and Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, El Salvador.

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