Lipps, Louis J.Died
Jesuit Father Louis J. Lipps died on Jan. 11, 2013, at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, Mich. He was born on July 5, 1921, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and entered the Society of Jesus on Sept. 1, 1939, at Milford, Ohio. He was ordained on June 18, 1952, and took final vows on Feb. 2, 1957.
Fr. Lipps graduated from St. Xavier High School and entered the Society in 1939. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin and a master’s degree in Philosophy from Loyola University Chicago. He also earned an S.T.L. from West Baden College. During regency he taught math at St. Ignatius High School in Chicago (1946-1949). He taught philosophy at Xavier University (1954-1957). After these years of teaching, Fr. Lipps spent most of the rest of his Jesuit life caring for the spiritual lives of those he encountered. He was the Novice Master for Brothers at Milford (1957-1959) and Colombiere College (1959-1962). He was minister at St. Xavier High School (1962-1963) and Milford (1963-1965).
Fr. Lipps was the director of the Loyola Youth Retreat House in Milford (1965-1971), where he influenced many high schools students as he led them in their first experiences of an Ignatian retreat. After his ministry at Milford, where he also oversaw the building of a new youth retreat house, he went to Rome where he was a chaplain and taught Philosophy at Loyola University Rome Center (1971-1972). He worked in campus ministry and taught theology at Xavier University (1972-1974). He returned to Milford (1974-1976) to his love of giving retreats and offering spiritual direction to youth, adults, many religious and diocesan priests. He was asked to move to Chicago and help priests and religious with spiritual renewal at Ignatius House in Chicago (1978-1979). Always available to go where he was sent, Fr. Lipps packed up after a year and served as minister and the assistant to the Novice Master for experiments at Loyola House Novitiate in Berkley, Mich. (1979-1981).
An assignment for which he was most noted and appreciated was the nearly 20 years of itinerant spiritual direction and retreats he happily provided for religious women in Appalachia (1981-2000). When the Claver Community and Ministry was started in Cincinnati, he spent ten years as a significant spiritual father and presence for an impoverished African-American neighborhood in Cincinnati (2000-2010). Fr. Lipps moved to Colombiere Center in 2011. For decades, many children of all ages would think they had seen Santa Claus when Fr. Lipps passed by. He didn’t dissuade them. They found in him a gentle, caring and effective Jesuit who desired to bring Jesus to others by any means, even his beard.