Fr. Tom Bannantine, SJ
by Dr. James Mello
Fr. Tom Bannantine, SJ served as
the residence hall chaplain when I was the residence director of Gallagher Hall
at Creighton University. Fr. Tom baptized our daughter Abigail who was born in
Omaha and we hold him responsible for the special connection she feels to
Creighton to this day!
One summer I got the idea of leading a student trip to visit
County Stadium in Milwaukee and Tiger Stadium in Detroit before those both
closed. The trip involved an overnight bus trip to and from the games. A
lifelong baseball and Cardinals fan, Fr. Tom never thought twice about serving
as our "chaplain on the go" for the trip. The next year we took bus
trip to his beloved St. Louis to see the Cardinals and also saw a basketball game
in Dallas and a baseball game in Arlington over the weekend. Again, riding and
sleeping on the bus. A couple of years later, I had an extra ticket for the
Notre Dame-Air Force football game in South Bend. Knowing Fr. Tom had always
wanted to see a Notre Dame game, I called him up and he made the 8 hour drive
to South Bend without hesitation. It was a pleasure for my wife Denise and I to
host him in our home. So happy to have had our journeys cross paths with Fr.
Fr. Richard Sherburne, SJ
by Dr. Anne-Marie Fjeld
Good Memories of Fr. Richard Sherburne. I attended Seattle University as an undergraduate in the 1980's. I had left the church as a teen, so taking Yoga Sutra seemed to be a desirable option for me to fulfill my "religion" requirement to graduate from SU.
On the first day of class, "Dick" introduced himself as both a priest and a student of Buddha, which both floored me and gained my respect! He shared his intellect, down-to-earth nature, sense of compassion, as well as his open-mindedness and love of nature in which he saw God. So here I thought I was going to being taking a yoga class, but instead learned so much more about the intellectual foundations of another faith tradition, methods of deep contemplation and "being" with God. I also remember at the time he was spending his weekends and vacations on Vancouver Island hand-building a monastery, one stone at a time, on the public Canadian Forest land. (Does anyone know if it still exists and where exactly it is/was located on the Island?)
Dick was the most approachable and kind priest I've known in my 45 years - a bit of a rebel, and in such, he was a fantastic ambassador of balance and acceptance for us lapsed Catholics. In the short time I knew him, this seemed to be his quiet ministry.
I have thought of him several times over the years, and just found out here & now on your website that he has passed on. I must say am happy to see that the new Pope Francis, another Jesuit, embodies this ecumenical tradition and loving spirit as well. Blessings, and my condolences to your Community on the loss of your brother, Dick.
Fr. Richard A. McGarrity, SJ Tribute Story
by Trimelda McDaniels
Fr. Richard A. McGarrity heard my first confession when I converted to the Roman Catholic Church. I had carefully put together my Examination of Conscience so I would be ready for the Sacrament. But due to the intense spiritual nature of the encounter and God knows what else, I ended up bursting into tears and sobbing incoherently for 45 minutes. Instead of throwing me out as a hysterical female nut, Father McGarrity waited me out with Kleenex and after I was cried out he said, "Well, you are definitely sorry for your sins." I nodded mutely. "Then I absolve you of your sins," he said, finishing the prayer with the rest of the prayers and the Sign of the Cross. "But Father, I didn't confess anything." He smiled and said,"Your tears said enough." And that was that. I will never forget his rock solid faith, decency and compassion at that moment. What a priest and what a man of God!
Fr. John P. Daly, SJ Tribute Stories
by Peter Chung
I am so saddened by the news that my dearest Father John P Daly,SJ left this world for our Father. Father Daly was my College President when I was a junior and Senior at Sogang University. I am a first graduate from Sogang in 1964. Fr. Daly's impact on my life can not be measured by sense of words!!! He was one of few insturmental SJ priests (including late Fr. Norbert J. Tracy and Killoren) who impacted me immensely intellectually and spiritually. Yes, I have been in contact with Fr. Daly ever since I left Korea in 1965. May God bless Fr. Daly and SJ !
by Mrs. Robert Miller
I was having trouble committing to Catholism and Fr. Daly heard about it. One day he called me and asked if I would like to 'try him'. He had never done this, but maybe between the two of us we could get it done. Bob and I went over to the Rectory at Creighton every Monday night for my evening with John. He was wonderful, his insight brought me to a deeper, richer place than I ever imagined.His shining example blessed Bob and I. I became a Catholic on a cold December night at St. Johns at Creighton. There was homeless man who came to the side altar to receive and to finish the wine. I was happy that that man joined us. Three months later we were married by Fr.Daly and Fr. Tom Swift S.J. in a beautiful Mass. Tom was my husband's brother in law. It was very special, Bob and I loved both men very much. Over the years Fr. John always communicated with us, I missed his card this year, The Lord needed him. He left us all with hearts full of memories and our faith stronger for having been touched by him.
by Patrick OConnell
Fr.Daly was a prefect at Campion during my sophmore year. He was soft spoken and easy to approach. Many times his "duty" was to be in the Campion Hall lounge during our break periods and because of his demeanor, some people spent a lot of time trying to play tricks on him such as setting his newspaper on fire when he was engrossed.He had a great attitude andlaughed these things off. He was a good man and I enjoyed knowing him.
by Jeffrey Hermsen
I knew Father Daly briefly when he was my spiritual director at a retreat at Oshkosh in 2008. He was down to earth and had a good sense of humor. He was delighted to learn that I had been teaching for several years on an Indian reservation and that I had taught English in China. Father Daly was a good person to have as a spiritual director during an retreat. May he rest in peace.
Fr. Richard A. Tomasek, SJ
by Sarah Louise Griffith
Fr. Richard 'Dickie' Tomasek SJ convalidated my marriage to my hubby Kenny Foley in 2007. I felt very blessed to have him perform an entire mass for the occasion, not just a ceremony. What a priviledge it was for me to receive Our Lord in His most holy sacrament of the Eucharist from Fr. Dickie for the first time in six months! God blessed us by creating him. Our entire family has been granted 3 priests, so far. Fr. Dickie paved the way for us to Him on earth. Now he is waiting for us, singing w/ the saints, with Him. My children are glad to know there is another saint in heaven with which to chat.
Br. John Szczesniak, SJ
by Deacon Gary Bednar
In 1949 I wanted to be an alter boy at Gesu Church in Milwaukee and so I was able to meet a truly holy man who lived in he presence of the Lord. His name was Brother John Szczesniak. Brother John taught the alter boys their Latin prayers and how to serve at the alter. It was obvious that Brother John felt it was a blessing to serve God and the people He sends us. His attitude toward service was something to emulate. His example led me to enlist in the Air Force, then serve as police officer for thirty years, and eventually serve as Deacon. As I look back Brother John was a role model whose actions spoke louder than words.
Fr. John Scott, SJ
by John P. (Pat) Coughlin, Campion Class of ‘57
I don’t know if you remember me, but I was a junior in your Physics class at Campion High School in 1956. I graduated from Campion in 1957. You have corresponded with my mother who lived in Sioux Falls, S.D. and I remember you and another priest stopping one summer day at our house in Sioux Falls. I can remember as I was sure surprised. My daughter, Rose, who farms with husband near Conale, S.D. told me I could contact you at this address. Anyway, Father, I just wanted to thank you and let you and anybody you wish to share this with how grateful I am, first to God, then to you and all the Jesuits from Campion for helping instill in me a great love for Christ and His Church. I was fortunate to marry a convert who gained a degree in Theology, who gave us seven kids, two in Heaven, and five on the ground. And she is also responsible for bringing many people back to the faith. Anyway, Father, I’ve worked at a lot of different things, including an insurance adjuster, school teacher, orchard manager, horse-shoer and of course have no money to show for it, I’m kind of busted up physically, but I think I’m successful because I’m happy. God has given me many gifts and you and my Jesuit teachers are among them. I pray for you, and God love you.
Fr. Jack Rainaldo, SJ
by Bruce A. Labno
Sometimes it takes awhile to say "thank you" for being the instrument of the Holy Spirit.
Nearly 10 years ago Fr. Rainaldo was the retreat director at my first Ignatian retreat at the Jesuit Retreat House, Demontreville in Minnesota. I had no contacts with the Jesuits prior to that retreat, but due to his ministry, the beauty of Demontreville...oh and I guess...being disposed to the will of God...I have been back 10 more times. My wife has even made 3 Ignatian women's retreats. And he helped get things started. I also have been accepted into a lay program known as Ignatian Associates sponsored by the Wisconsin Province.
All this is my way of saying "thank you" for his ministry. His story about his liver transplant and the meaning of generosity and appreciation stick with me today as a sign of gifts given. I can only pray to be generous with and appreciative of God's gifts for me.
Fr. Richard A. McGarrity, SJ
by Charles C. Mulcahy, President of the Milwaukee Tennis Classic
Father McGarrity was an avid tennis player throughout his life and enjoyed the Marquette men's and women's tennis matches at Helfaer. He was strong and robust. He was direct and personable. He was truly a "Man's man" as he handled all challenges in an admirable and effective manner.
Father McGarrity was a former chaplain of the Marquette men's tennis team. Father served as the Chair of the selection committee of what is now known as the Richard A. McGarrity - Milwaukee Public Schools MTC Scholarship. He took great interest in the selection process and was pleased with the character and accomplishments of the recipients.
I remember calling him about 3 years ago and indicating we wanted to name the scholarship after him. He replied: "What would you want to do that for?" I explained our appreciation and admiration of him and all that he had done for the selection committee as well as multiple other things he had done with his life. He said: "I guess that will be ok". He enjoyed this decision as the scholarships meant a great deal to him. I thank the MTC board again for approving the McGarrity Scholarship.
We will carry on the McGarrity Scholarship in his memory. I was very pleased that when Jack Hill became Chair of the Committee when Father stepped down due to his illness, we were able to set up a luncheon with Father, Jack, Andy Fleming and myself at the Jesuit Residence. Jack and Andy had the opportunity to meet him and discuss our scholarship plans for the future. That was a very pleasant day.
For many years, Father McGarrity served as Vice-President Administration at Marquette. Among other things, the Haggerty Art Museum was his responsibility. He took great interest in the Haggerty and was a strong supporter. He attended the events and added a wonderful Jesuit presence.
Father McGarrity was a great friend, leader, personality, competitor, humorist and a wonderful role model for all of us.
Fr. William H. McEvoy, SJ
by Tom Ackerman
I attended and graduated from Marquette's Engineering School in 1960. I have always been grateful for the Jesuit influence on my life although I really did not fully appreciate it until I matured a bit. Fathers Rueve and Hochhaus taught Ethics, Theology, and Apologetics at the Engineering School and they had a profound impact on me. Father Hochhaus was an ex-army chaplain and he was an eye-opener to a kid from the country who had studied under Notre Dame Sisters for eight years and then gone to a public high school.
Father Bill McEvoy had the most far reaching impact on my life however. He was the Regent at the Dental School and a Chaplain/Advisor at Monitor Hall where I stayed my Freshman year. The Dental School was right next to the Engineering School and Father Mac would say Mass in a lecture hall every morning. He also had a little chapel in a converted boiler room in the basement where he would say a Mass at noon on First Fridays and during Lent. He also heard confessions down there. It was an experience to have him throw one cassocked arm around you and the other over a steam pipe and create a virtual confessional. He gave me an appreciation for the Blessed Sacrament that continues to this day.
Fr. William H. McEvoy, SJ
by Clem Massey, MU '59
During my junior year I converted to Catholicism and was conditionally baptized by Father Mac. He was a great influence in my conversion.
My first and subsequent confessions were all face to face with Father Mac in his office on the streets. When he placed is arm around you and gave you penance, you knew you had been forgiven for your sins. After graduating and living outside the Marquette community, I experienced my first confessional booth and didn't quite know how to proceed as I was used to Father Mac asking the questions. It was a new experience.
I have many fond memories of Father as he took on a special role with the Marquette athletes. He is one of many Jesuits who have influenced my life in a positive way.
I believe I was one of a few non-Catholic members of the 1955 Marquette basketball team. I went to Mass with my Catholic teammates and took the required six semester hours of theology for non-Catholics from Father McEvoy.
Fr. William H. McEvoy, SJ
by Neil Hamilton, MU '54 and '57
I was a freshman at Marquette in 1950 and got there from Ohio on a football scholarship. I was assigned to Monitor hall where Fr. Mac was the resident priest. My father died when I was 15. Going to college in Milwaukee from small town Ohio was a whole new world for me. Fr. Mac took me under his wing and was like a Father to me. Whenever he saw me he would ask: "And when was your last Confession". His door was always open. Even at 9:30 in the evening I could knock on his door and hear him say in his booming voice: "Come in". He would be lying on his bed and he would hear my confession. Not only did he hear Confessions in his room but he also heard them walking down Wisconsin Avenue. He would wrap his arm around you and listen as you walked along. He also wanted to know when was the last time you received Communion and would remind you of first Fridays whenever he saw you.
On one occasion in his religion class he was explaining Extreme Unction and the annointing of the body parts which were the occasion of sin. After mentioning the usual eyes, ears, mouth, feet and hands, he stopped. A GI in the class raised his hand and said: "Hey Father, I think you forgot some!" He only laughed right along with the class.
Fr. Mac will never be forgotten. I only wished that he would have been buried in Milwaukee with the rest of the Jesuits on the hill facing Marquette.
Fr. Robert Purcell, SJ
by Anne Houlihan
Father Bob taught me speech at Creighton University in 1966. I have since learned that the true lesson I learned, and have carried with me since, is self confidence. I at first avoided the required subject of speech. Upon entering Fr. Bob's class I learned the importance of mastering speech. I also learned the power that is presented in being able to share with others. Father also taught the enjoyment and humor that speech can present. I in turn adjusted my minor and taught high school speech. I further learned that speech is the opportunity for a student to share a life. I enjoyed my students. He taught me well.
Fr. James Kubicki, SJ
by Peggy Lidstad
Our first experience with the Society of Jesus was over 30 years ago when I met Novice Jim Kubicki while he was studying in St. Paul. From the beginning, when he invited me and our three young children to Mass at the Novitiate on Finn Street, he has witnessed Christ to our family without fail. Fortunately, the kids behaved at that liturgy.
Over time, Fr. Jim became a trusted and well-loved family friend who stayed in touch through varied assignments and locations. We've shared great joys, such as spending time with his family and attending his Final Vow ceremony. There have been deep sorrows, too, including the loss of loved ones over the years. Always, Fr. Jim's focus was first on God and then, through his humility, honesty and subtle sense of humor, he was able to bring strength to every situation and represent the ideals of the Jesuits to us.
Because of Fr. Jim, we've connected with other Jesuits and their associates at work and in mission. Our lives have been enriched by their personalities, example and talents and both my husband, Dick, and I consider ourselves blessed by our history with the Society of Jesus.
"The Energizer Jesuit" - Fr. Bob Frommelt, SJ
by Elizabeth Johnson
I started working at the Wisconsin Province office in 1993 and shortly after became acquainted with Fr. Bob Frommelt, SJ. He was a youthful 88 year-old when I met this former director of the Jesuit Mission Service. Fr. Bob was a gentle human being, a devoted worker and a passionate advocate for peace and justice issues. For years he came to the office 4 days a week riding the bus up until the age of 92 when in the early morning hours of September 27 he passed away in his sleep or as one co-worker put it, "he quietly transitioned from this life into the next".
All who knew him were impressed by his dedication and unceasing desire to stay involved; that is what inspired the nickname "the energizer Jesuit" (similar to Energizer Batteries TV commercials featuring the energizer rabbit that keeps going and going and going). I will always remember his enthusiasm for his work, an ever-present smile and infectious laugh.
Fr. Ken Herian, SJ - An Exemplary Priest
by Patricia Kline
Fr. Ken Herian of Gesu lives his faith. He is soft spoken, kind and a good listener. Since the death of my son, he has called me every year on the anniversary date. I understand he calls other parishioners on special anniversaries such as weddings and baptisms perhaps making thousands of calls over the years. He is my guardian angel and certainly walks with God. We are blessed by our pastor and the other assistants at Gesu.
Fr. Leon Rausch, SJ - A Compassionate, Caring Priest
by Janet McCormick
Fr. Leon Rausch served St. Phillips parish at Rolling Ground, WI for six years and was a very frequent visitor to our homebound elderly. He had such compassion and kindness to these people. When he was retiring, he asked if I'd continue to administer to these dear ones and I said certainly. I made the rounds with him on a First Friday before he retired and I could see the love in their eyes and sadness on seeing him leave. It was a large void to fill, but many shared their appreciation of Fr. Rausch's visits and prayers. He certainly brought true faith and frequent reception of the Body of Christ to our elderly. Even today when we have sick parishioners, Fr. Rausch is the first one I call to help us pray for loved ones. Thank you Fr. Rausch for the faith you brought. God bless you for your love and kindess shown to so many people.
Campion High School - Fr. Ed Larkin, SJ and Fr. Bill Doran, SJ
by Tex Morgan
When I arrived at Campion in the Fall of 1962, Father Larkin and Father Doran were a "team". As Principal and Assistant Principal, they were "good cop, bad cop" and lay the foundation of my moral and spiritual life. I love them both.
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The Elements So Mixed in Him - Fr. Francis Deglman, SJ
by Robert T. Reilly, Director of Public Relations, Creighton University
(Article reprinted from The Jesuit Bulletin (Wisconsin Edition) Vol. 34, No. 5, Oct. 1955)
Shakespeare’s line on the deathly destination of the “good that men do” never had wide theological acceptance, and many more benevolent poets have shaken their stanzas at the old Bard. But then, Shakespeare never had the privilege of knowing Father Francis G. Deglman, SJ.
The Creighton University Jesuit who died last February at the age of 74 had done more than his share of good, and his activities seemed fated for a lifetime at least as long as his own. The overflow crowds at the Funeral Mass and at the Student Mass on the same day, all wishing to pay this last homage to a man who had been their friend, spoke eloquently of a life that was more than ordinary. Greatly beloved and highly respected by students, faculty members, and graduates, Father Deglman left behind a lot of himself in the memory of friends both on the campus and far afield.
Everyone remembered Father Deglman as one who had the faculty of combining the material and the spiritual but with the dice always loaded in favor of the latter. Cribbage became a source of prayer, for the loser had to say for the winner the same number of “Hail Mary’s” as there were points of difference in their score.
A professor of English recalled Father Deglman’s visit to Hyde Park and the tomb of the late Franklin D. Roosevelt. After the crowd had departed, the little Jesuit knelt and said a brief prayer for the soul of the deceased. The uniformed guard stopped him on his way out and said, “You know, Father, I’ve been here since the place opened and you’re the first one I’ve seen kneel in prayer.”
An alumnus looked back over the years to his own arrival at Creighton as a hopelessly confused boy with $25 in his pocket and a desire to enter Medical School. He was told that a minimum of $75 was required before he could be admitted to University work. Scared and bewildered, the boy broke down and cried, then walked, weeping, down the long hall towards the exit. Through his tears he saw this small, dark figure who inquired about his trouble. The figure, which strongly resembled Father Deglman, heard the story and took the boy to his room. There he emptied the contents of two cigar boxes on the table. Nickels, dimes, pennies and other coins spilled onto the table top. “I’ve always said mission work begins at home,” remarked the boy’s benefactor as he counted out $50 in small change.
One should not leave the impression that he neglected the missions. Our stockroom clerk never passed Father in the corridor but what he caught the monotonous murmur of the same plea, “Boxes, boxes, boxes.” These boxes, loaded with clothes for the Jesuit missions, could be seen lining the walls of Father Deglman’s room and edging their way out into the cloister corridor. In 1934 he was awarded the Paladin Cross by Mission Crusade headquarters in Cincinnati for his outstanding work for the missions.
Other memories of Father Deglman are too numerous to mention. He can claim hundreds of converts. To many priests in the Archdiocese of Omaha he was their spiritual confessor. For the students at Creighton he was their Counselor, Sodality Moderator, Religion Teacher. Since 1915 he had been one of the most active retreat masters in the Missouri Province. For more than fifteen years he was a staff member of the Summer School of Catholic Action under the direction of the late Father Daniel A. Lord, SJ.
His numerous activities around the University have now been apportioned out to 14 different men, but there is one role the administration may find difficult to fill. Among other things, Father Deglman was the University’s safeguard against rain at Commencement time. His report that he prayed for good weather was enough to cause laymen and Jesuits alike to leave their umbrellas in the racks. Once Commencement was plagued by a strong windstorm, and the Rector queried Father Deglman on the efficacy of his pluvian prayer. “You never mentioned wind,” said the subordinate with confidence.
When he suffered his first coronary attack, he was in the midst of a non-Catholic retreat. While he lingered in the hospital, he continued to pursue his double life, dividing his time between prayer and his favorite Western stories. He had just finished one such sagebrush epic on Wednesday, February 9 when the attending nun suggested that he sleep. He expressed his willingness to comply after completion of a rosary. As the good sister pronounced the words of the first “Hail Mary” she heard a painless sigh from her patient, and Father Deglman was gone. There was no need to press into his lifeless hands the familiar beads for his rosary passed with him into eternity.
He left behind him not only his memory in the minds of his myriad friends but he left, too, his innermost self in the 27 years of editorial columns which were his weekly contributions to the student newspaper. Not once had he missed a deadline prior to his final illness. His last column contained the following passages:
“We were glad on January 1 that another year was granted us . . . to realize our ambitions and strengthen our hopes, and little perhaps did we give thought to the fact that we are not the possessors of time except for the present moment. The next moment already lies in the future and that future is in the hands of God alone. Life is such a precious thing that our deepest concern should be and usually is centered on its preservation and perfection. God in His goodness has made it reach away beyond the count of years. The human soul never dies. And God has ordained that the body will again be the companion of the soul from the day of resurrection through all eternity.”
Shakespeare himself might have envied the expression.
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