Walter Farrell, a giant in the Society of Jesus, passes away at age 96
Jesuit Father Walter Farrell, 96, died on Friday, July 13, 2012 at the Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Mich. Born on June 7, 1916 in Cleveland, Ohio, Father Farrell entered the Society of Jesus on August 7, 1934, was ordained in 1947 and took final vows in August of 1951. Among his many appointments, Father Farrell taught rational psychology (i.e. metaphysics) at the University of Detroit (1952-53) and West Baden College (1953-65).
Throughout his life, Father Farrell also directed the Spiritual Exercises and shared his considerable knowledge and understanding of the history, Institute, and workings of the Society of Jesus with others. He was entrusted with bestowing Ignatian Spirituality as Director of the Spiritual Exercises Center at Colombiere Center (1973-80), serving on the Archdiocese of Detroit Continuing Formation Team (1979-81), President of Jesuit Retreat & Renewal Ministries (1980-81), Director of the Romero Center (1981-83), National Ecclesial Assistant for Christian Life Communities (1991-96), and as Acting Director of Manresa Jesuit Retreat House (2007-08).
Father Farrell offered direction, guidance, and leadership to members of the Society of Jesus as Rector of West Baden (1958-65), Consultor to the Detroit Provincial (1962-65), Provincial of the Detroit Province (1965-71), Detroit Province Delegate to General Congregations 31 (1966) and 32 (1974-75), Secretary for Formation at the USA Jesuit Conference (1971-76), Tertian director (1976-78 and 1990-96), President of the USA Jesuit Conference (1984-90), Treasurer of the Detroit Province (1996-2007) and Consultant to the Provincial on Ignatian Values in Ministry (1996-2011).
“Father Farrell was a giant in the Society of Jesus. He offered care, instruction, and guidance both inside and outside the Society,” said Jesuit Father Timothy Kesicki, provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus. “Many people around the world experienced Father Farrell’s wisdom, influence, and wry sense of humor. He will be greatly missed.”
Father Farrell’s funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, July 19, 2012 at the Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Mich.