Coll, Jerome B.Died
Fr. Jerome Bartholomew Coll died of cancer Feb. 15, 2012. A Jesuit for 65 years and a priest for 52, he was 83. Fr. Coll had been president of Georgetown Preparatory School, a college professor and administrator and, in the mid 1970s, deputy director of the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration. A Mass of Christian burial was offered Monday, Feb. 20, at St. Matthias Church in Bala Cynwyd, Pa.
The son of Mary Mulligan and John Coll, he was born in Pittsburgh, July 28, 1928. His older brother Fr. John Coll, SJ, entered the Society two years before him. His younger brother William Coll, spent five years as a Maryknoll missionary before leaving to take care of their ill father.
After graduation from Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Fr. Coll entered the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, Pa., July 30, 1946 and pronounced his first vows July 31, 1948
After studies at the novitiate, he earned a licentiate in philosophy from West Baden College in Indiana in 1953, a licentiate in sacred theology from Weston College in Weston, Mass., in 1960 and then a masters from Oxford University in English literature in 1966.
Fr. Coll was ordained a priest June 13, 1959, at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology.
Fr. Coll spent most of his priestly life on college campuses, including Saint Joseph’s University where he was an English teacher from 1964 to 1966 and as dean from 1966 to 1970 and at Regis College in Denver where he was assistant to the president from 1970 to 1974. While he was at Regis, he was named deputy director of the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration,and moved to Washington, D.C., in 1975 to complete this assignment.
Twice he served in a Jesuit high school. Before ordination, Fr. Coll’s first assignment was at Gonzaga College High School in Washington D.C., when he taught sophomores. Then from 1979 to 1989, he was president of Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, Md.
Following a sabbatical at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, Calif., and Oxford University, he returned to Saint Joseph’s University in 1990. He was director of national alumni giving until 1996 and then assistant director of planned giving from 1996 until 2010. Due to failing health, he moved to Manresa Hall, Merion Station, Pa., where he prayed for the Church and the Society until his death.