Cleary, Francis X.Died
Fr. Francis X. Cleary, SJ, died on December 8, 2010, at the Fusz Pavilion in St. Louis, Missouri. He was 81 years old and a Jesuit for 60 years. Born in St. Louis on September 12, 1929, he entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Missouri, on August 8, 1950, and was ordained on June 11, 1963, at St. Mary’s College in Kansas.
After ordination and tertianship, Fr. Cleary completed a Licentiate in Sacred Theology at Saint Louis University and a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. He later completed his Doctorate in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian Institute in Rome. Fr. Cleary taught Sacred Scripture at the School of Divinity at Saint Louis University from 1969 to 1976. When the School of Divinity closed, he joined the Department of Theological Studies and continued teaching for another 26 years. A generation of students at Saint Louis University benefited from his thorough and demanding classes.
Fr. Cleary regularly engaged in pastoral ministry throughout his life. He often did weekend supply, most notably at St. Joseph parish in Clayton, Missouri, and St. Clare of Assisi parish in Ellisville, Missouri. He was known and appreciated as a gifted preacher. From 1980 to 2005 he was a columnist for the St. Louis Review, providing weekly reflections on the Sunday scripture readings. In 2002, Fr. Cleary retired from teaching and joined the Fusz Pavilion community where he continued writing and praying for the Society of Jesus.