Visit this site periodically to learn about new ways of celebrating the life and work of Fr. Jerry Fagin, S.J. You will have an opportunity to experience his memorial service, view videos of him, read his writings, and find out about the publication date of his new book from Loyola Press. You can contribute here to the Fr. Jerry Fagin Memorial Scholarship Fund and see videos and other resources here.
Jerry was born in Dallas, Texas on April 19, 1938. He graduated from Jesuit High School in Dallas in 1956 and entered the Society of Jesus at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, La., that same year, pronouncing first vows on August 15, 1958, and remaining in Grand Coteau for his Juniorate (1958-60). He continued studies at Spring Hill College, receiving a Master of Arts in philosophy in 1963, and returned to Jesuit High in Dallas for regency from 1963-66. He then studied at Regis College in Canada where he received a Master of Divinity in 1969, as well as a Master of Theology and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology in 1970. Following priestly ordination on June 7, 1969, at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Dallas, Jerry received a doctorate in theology from St. Michael’s College in Toronto.
Most of Jerry’s apostolic career was centered at Loyola University in New Orleans, where he began teaching theology in 1973. From 1978-89, he was associate professor of religious studies and was the chair of the Department of Religious Studies from 1981-84. He served as rector of the Loyola Jesuit community from 1984-89, and returned to teaching at Loyola as an associate professor of religious studies from 1991-95. From 1996 until May 2012, he was associate professor of theology in the Loyola Institute for Ministry. His publications include The Holy Spirit (2002), co-authored with J. Patout Burns, and Putting on the Heart of Christ (Loyola Press, 2010), as well as several articles and published lectures. His new book, tentatively titled God's Dream for You, will be published posthumously by Loyola Press. Fagin was also at work on a major book on spirituality for ministers at the time of his death.
Jerry also served the New Orleans Province as superior of collegians from 1974-75, and socius to the novice master at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau from 1976-78. He also held the position of director of studies for the province from 1976-81 and was provincial from 1989-90.
Jerry's impact on his friends and colleagues at the Institute for Ministry is inestimable. His wisdom, work ethic, and steady presence will be greatly missed.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph M. and Stella Frain Fagin, both from East St. Louis, Ill., his brother, James J. Fagin, and his sister, Joyce F. Bryant. He is survived by many nephews, nieces and dear friends.
“Jerry was a man who not only knew the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, but who also truly lived them in his work, his decision-making and in his life. He was a wonderful person to spend time with. He was insightful and humorous and had a wide array of interests. He truly believed that a person can find God in all things.”
— Loyola President Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D.
“I find it sadly appropriate that this great man passed away at this time of year when we celebrate the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Jerry's last book before his death, Putting on the Heart of Christ, shows us how the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius relate to contemporary virtue ethics, inviting us to a virtuous life. May the example of Jerry's virtuous life help us who survive his passing truly grow in the virtues of putting on the heart of Christ.”
— Edward “Ted” Arroyo, S.J., rector of the Jesuit community in Mobile, Ala., and a long-time friend and colleague of Jerry’s
“Father Fagin was a wise, kind and inspiring guide for the Loyola University community and his Jesuit brothers, steeping us all in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and steering us in ancient and contemporary ways of following Christ. He will be dearly missed by so many whose lives he touched.”
— Fred Kammer, S.J., director of Loyola’s Jesuit Social Research Institute
"Jerry was beloved because of his gentle insistence on God's unconditional love and for his quiet and Irish sense of humor. He also loved to speak of gratitude - because of God's gift to us of our lives and creation, what other response can we offer to God than lives and words of gratitude? Jerry always ended conversations about difficult and vexing matters with a word of hope. He would say, 'Courage.'”
— Thomas Ryan, Ph.D., director of Loyola’s Institute for Ministry
Visitation was held on Tuesday, June 19, at Holy Name of Jesus Church in New Orleans, followed by a vigil service. A Funeral Mass was celebrated on Wednesday, June 20, and the interment followed the Mass at the Jesuit Cemetery in Grand Coteau, La.
The Loyola Institute for Ministry worked with Fagin to establish a scholarship in his name. Gifts can be made at https://spark.loyno.edu/fr.-fagin-scholarship-donation-page. Please designate your gift to the Fr. Fagin Memorial Scholarship. Letters of sympathy may be sent to his nephew:
Mr. Ken Bryant
14900 Lasater #218
Dallas, TX 75253