In Memoriam
Some may say that Fr. Dister was irascible and gruff. Au contraire mon fraire! He had a heart of gold and loved to engage others in friendly, though committed, debate. He had a deep pastoral sense, strong commitment to social justice, and a special love for the poor.
In Memoriam: Fr. John "Jack" E. Dister, SJ

December 13, 2018 —  Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. John "Jack" E. Dister, SJ, who died on Wednesday, December 12, 2018, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Michigan. He was 87 years old. May he rest in peace. 

Fr. Dister was born on March 18, 1931, in Cleveland. He entered the Society of Jesus on July 24, 1949, at Milford Novitiate in Milford, Ohio. He was ordained on July 26, 1962, in Innsbruck, Austria. He took final vows on August 15, 1967, in London. 

Fr. Dister graduated from St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland before he entered the Society. While in the Society, he earned a bachelor's degree in Latin (1954) and a master's degree in philosophy (1959) from Loyola University Chicago. He earned licentiate degrees in philosophy (1956) from West Baden College in West Baden, Indiana, and in theology (1963) from Jesuitenkolleg in Innsbruck, Austria. Fr. Dister earned a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Bristol, United Kingdom (1969). During regency Fr. Dister taught Latin and speech at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati. 

After doctoral studies, Fr. Dister was a professor of philosophy at John Carroll University (1966-1971). After a short sabbatical in 1971, he spent five years teaching religious studies and working in campus ministry at Case Western Reserve (1972-1977) before teaching philosophy at the University of Detroit [Mercy]. Fr. Dister took a break from teaching in 1979 to become the superior of Colombiere Center. When he finished his term as superior—and a year-long sabbatical—Fr. Dister returned to John Carroll University where he taught, did admissions work, and was the assistant to the president for university mission (1985-1996). 

At the age of 65, Fr. Dister said goodbye to the teaching profession and began to explore other ministries. He worked in the Detroit Province office as the provincial assistant for pastoral and social ministry (1996-2005) and director of the Ignatian Lay Volunteer Corps (2000-2005). Fr. Dister then spent the next eight years doing retreat work at Loyola of the Lakes, Clinton, Ohio (2005-2006); St. Therese Retreat Center, Columbus (2006-2008); and Jesuit Retreat Center, Cleveland (2009-2013). In addition, he was also the assistant chaplain for the Cleveland Clinic (2009-2013). Fr. Dister moved to Colombiere Center in 2013, missioned to pray for the Church and the Society. 

Some may say that Fr. Dister was irascible and gruff. Au contraire mon fraire! He had a heart of gold and loved to engage others in friendly, though committed, debate. He had a deep pastoral sense, strong commitment to social justice, and a special love for the poor. Fr. Dister also had a huge love of the Society and all things Ignatian—as evidenced by the book he edited: A New Introduction to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Finally, Fr. Dister came from a family of jewelers and was a gifted clock and watch repairman. 

Wake 

Thursday, December 13, 2018 
3:00 - 7:00 p.m. 
Wake Service 
7:00 p.m. 
Colombiere Center 
9075 Big Lake Road 
Clarkston, MI 48346 

Funeral Mass 

Friday, December 14, 2018 
10:45 a.m. Colombiere Center 
9075 Big Lake Road 
Clarkston, MI 48346 

Burial Service

Immediately following the funeral





Recent News

June 5, 2019 —The Society of Jesus is proud to announce the ordination of 22 new priests in Canada, the U.S. and Haiti, including four from the Midwest Jesuits Province.

June 4, 2019 — All 85 graduates will be continuing on with higher education—and all are the first generation in their family to do so.

May 29, 2019 — Cristo Rey alum Cesar Muñoz ('07) has been named the founding principal for Cristo Rey Miami High School.

May 22, 2019 — If Jacob Zelinski's learned anything in his experiences with heartbreak, it’s that you can’t have it all, but you can have songs at sunset that remind you of your brother.

May 14, 2019 — Arrupe College celebrates the success of its first graduating class completing their bachelor’s degrees.

May 6, 2019 - When I was in the third grade at a Catholic primary school in suburban Maryland, I happened upon a book about St. Isaac Jogues, the 17th century Jesuit missionary, getting flogged, flayed, and having his fingers chewed off on a mission to “New France.” At the time I couldn’t for the life of me understand why someone would choose to go through such an ordeal! Fast forward twenty-some years later, and I am a Jesuit brother living with Jesuits from India, Ecuador, Tanzania, and Wisconsin.

May 6, 2019 — The author found an unexpected encounter with grace when he attended Mass celebrated by Fr. Larry Gillick, SJ.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Jesuits Spring 2019

Jesuits Fall/Winter 2018

Jesuits Summer 2018



Jesuit Retreat House of Cleveland
Nestled in the urban landscape of Parma, Ohio, the Jesuit Retreat House of Cleveland is “a place of peace in the forest.”