McGroarty, William K.Died
Jesuit Father William K. McGroarty, 93, died Nov. 26, 2012, at St. Claude La Colombiere Residence in Baltimore. A Jesuit for 66 years and a priest for 57 years, Fr. McGroarty ministered at three universities, led retreats and counseled alcoholics.
William K. McGroarty, son of Bernard McGroarty and Anne Marie Kelly, was born on June 3, 1919, in Norristown, Pa. Following graduation from Glenolden High in Glenolden, Pa., he pursued a year of study at St. Charles Pre-Seminary College in Baltimore.
During World War II, Fr. McGroarty served in the Corps of Engineers in the U.S Army for three years. His service took him through Normandy, northern France, the Battle of the Bulge and central Germany.
He entered the Society of Jesus on February 1, 1946, at the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues, Wernersville, Pa., where he pronounced his first vows on February 2, 1948, and pursued college studies in the humanities. He was then sent to study philosophy from 1948 to 1951 at Woodstock College in Maryland where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1950, Licentiate in Philosophy in 1951 and a Master of Arts degree in 1952.
As a Jesuit scholastic, Fr. McGroarty taught sophomores at Gonzaga High School, in Washington, D.C., from 1951 to 1952 before being sent to study theology at Woodstock College in Maryland beginning in 1952.
He was ordained a priest June 19, 1955, and received a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree in 1956.
Fr. McGroarty began his priestly ministry at Wheeling Jesuit University as dean of students in 1957, serving there until 1970. He officiated in games of the American Amateur Hockey League during his tenure there.
His next assignments took him to Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., as minister of the Jesuit Community and house treasurer from 1970 to 1980 and then to the novitiate as minister of the Jesuit Community from 1980 to 1988. In both of these assignments, he was especially noted for his concern for the health and well-being of community members and his great knowledge and competent management of temporalities.
During this period, Fr. McGroarty also attended the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, where he received a Certificate in Alcoholic Counseling in 1974. Fr. McGroarty spent 29 years serving the spiritual needs of recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. He served Al-Anon groups as well.
In residence at Loyola University Maryland, Fr. McGroarty served as assistant province treasurer in care of Jesuit properties in southern Maryland and retreat director from 1988 to 2003. Remaining at Loyola University, he continued to engage in retreat ministry, spiritual direction and counseling especially to alcoholics until 2011, when transferred to the Colombiere Jesuit Community where he served as a pastoral minister until his death.