Jesuit Father William R. Stoeger died March 24, 2014, in Regis Infirmary at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, Calif. He was 70 years old and a Jesuit for 52 years. Born in Torrance, California, on Oct. 5, 1943, Fr. Stoeger entered the Society of Jesus at Sacred Heart Novitiate in Los Gatos on September 7, 1961. He was ordained at St. Lawrence Church in Redondo Beach on June 16, 1972, by Cardinal Timothy Manning and pronounced final vows in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 2, 1979.
Fr. Stoeger was a staff scientist for the Vatican Observatory Research Group in Tucson, Ariz., specializing in theoretical cosmology, high-energy astrophysics and interdisciplinary studies relating to science, philosophy and theology. The eight volumes of the Vatican Observatory and the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences series on “God’s Action in the World” attest to this broad-based work.
Fr. Stoeger’s studies took him to Spring Hill College, in Mobile, Ala., UCLA and Cambridge University, where, working with Stephen Hawking and colleagues, he received his Ph.D. in astrophysics. After postdoctoral work in gravitational physics at the University of Maryland, Fr. Stoeger joined the staff of the Vatican Observatory. Based primarily in Tucson, Fr. Stoeger also served as adjunct associate professor at the University of Arizona.
Fr. Stoeger is survived by his brother, Fr. Jack Stoeger of Los Angeles, and a sister, Rosemary Bruscino, of Carrollton, Texas.