Daly, John P.Died
Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of our brother Fr. John P. Daly, S.J., who was called to eternal life on December 28, 2011. John died at St. Camillus, in Wauwatosa, WI. He was eighty-eight years old, a Jesuit for sixty-eight years, and a priest for fifty-five years.
Born in Anamosa, Iowa on July 20, 1923, John enrolled for two years in Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa, after graduating from high school in Anamosa. He entered the Society at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Missouri, on September 1, 1943. John had the usual Jesuit course of studies at St. Stanislaus, St. Louis University, and St. Mary’s College. He did regency at Campion High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. He was ordained at St. Mary’s on June 18, 1956, and completed tertianship in Decatur before earning a doctorate in English at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He pronounced final vows as a Jesuit in 1961.
For most of the next fifty years, the ministry of this Iowa farm boy was focused on Asia. John was assigned immediately after graduate studies in 1961 to teach English at Sogang College in Seoul, Korea, at the time a struggling young institution under the auspices of the Wisconsin Province of the Society. Years later, Sogang College would become the prestigious Sogang University and the Korean Mission of the Wisconsin Province would become a full-fledged province in its own right. Fr. John Daly had a lot to do with both these developments. John served as president of Sogang from 1963 to 1975 and as superior of the Jesuits assigned there from 1963 to 1973. Along with a large number of other dedicated pioneers, John worked day and night to understand Korean culture, to learn to communicate in a new language, to help establish the Society of Jesus in a new land, and to launch a new kind of educational institution in Korea. John returned to the United States in 1975 but in a sense never left Asia. He served as Director of the Jesuit Mission Service in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1977-1979. He returned to Sogang as a professor of English and library director from 1979 to 1981. After a year on the staff of the United States Jesuit Conference and four years as academic vice president of Creighton University, in 1986 John began twenty-four years of Asian-centered ministry, first at the University of San Francisco and then at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, promoting and coordinating research and exchange programs with Korean and Chinese institutions. Declining health led to his assignment to the St. Camillus Jesuit Community in 2010, although almost to the end John also helped out in the Wisconsin Province advancement office.
John was a Jesuit who was comfortable in a world Church and a world-wide Society of Jesus. He had a gift for planning and administration in a cross-cultural milieu. He was able to dream dreams and get others to share and support those dreams. He realized early on the central importance of Asia and dialog with Asian cultures for both the Church and the Society. He was a good priest and a warm human being who made friends easily and was loyal to those friends over many years. He was best when he had a briefcase, as he used to say in his Irish way. Physical decline and old age were not easy for him. But in the end John was ready when the Lord called him.