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Remembering Fr. John O’Malley, S.J.

On Sunday, September 11, Fr. John O’Malley, S.J. was called home to the Lord.

O’Malley was a leading Jesuit scholar and historian who shaped the fields of Catholic Church history and Jesuit studies.

His funeral will take place this Saturday at Holy Trinity Church in Washington, D.C. and his burial will follow at the Georgetown Cemetery.

O’Malley was a good friend of the Xavier Jesuit community and President Jack Raslowsky.

“I first met John soon after the publication of The First Jesuits in 1993,” reflected Raslowsky. “He was hosting a discussion of the book for a group of Jesuits at Weston and he graciously invited me to join them. There was one expectation of those attending. You must have read the book. I was a late invitation and my first read of The First Jesuits was a sprint to ensure that I wouldn't make too big a fool of myself if I had to open my mouth. I kept my mouth shut and disaster was averted.”

“As was so often true of the time I spent with him over the years, I just wanted to listen to John. The kindness, the clarity of thought, the connections he so easily made, the depth of his wisdom and experience—it was simply a joy to be with John.”

O’Malley was known for his kindness and his generous sharing of his own time and insight with his friends and colleagues in secondary education.

Many of Xavier’s faculty and staff knew O’Malley as a mentor, teacher, and friend.

Religion teacher Rev. Jim Hederman, S.J. and Director of Admissions Steve Noga studied under O'Malley at Weston Jesuit School of Theology. Faculty and staff have met O’Malley through the years at province convocations and various conferences. 

The First Jesuits and his other works have even been part of Xavier’s summer reading curriculum and various formation programs spanning the years. Click here to read one of O’Malley’s works on how the first Jesuits became involved in education.

Recently, Rev. James Martin, S.J. penned a reflection on O’Malley for America Magazine. Click here to read Martin’s reflection.

Georgetown University also published a piece on O’Malley’s life and legacy. Click here to read the full story.