Remembering Jesuit Father José M. Vilaplana

Obituary by Fr. Ray Schroth, SJ

Nov. 27, 2017 - Fr. Jose Vilaplana, SJ, was born in Catalonia and grew up in Spain without religion, before converting and joining the Jesuits in Barcelona; in 1982 he came to the United States.

He served briefly at St. Peter’s Church in Yonkers, N.Y., then moved to St. Bernard’s Parish in White Plains, where he served as associate pastor from 1984 until 2006, when he moved to Loyola Hall, the Jesuit residence on the Fordham University campus in the Bronx. From then on, he continued pastoral ministry.

According to a parishioner at St. Bernard’s Church, Fr. Vilaplana was both a fine pastor and spiritual director. He baptized her nieces and nephews and performed the weddings of her brother and sister. Under his spiritual direction she decided to become a nun and returned to Spain to enter a congregation, and he supporter her when she left the convent and returned to New York. His homilies were well prepared and some wished to record them, but he did not allow his homilies nor the words of consecration to be recorded on film.

One of his most successful parish activities was his weekly prayer group, which attracted 30 members. It was charismatic in style and those who attended became conscious of the presence of the Holy Spirit during their discussions of Scripture.

When his health began to fail he moved to Murray-Weigel Hall, adjacent to the Fordham campus. In his room, no pictures hung from the walls, but two large portraits of Jesus were propped up on his desk, one a profile of a head crowned with thorns, the other featuring Jesus’ heart, encircled with thorns, shining through his white shirt. Apparently his spiritual life was expressed in Spanish as well, since his several Bibles and breviary were all in Spanish, while one scriptural reference volume was in English. 


Tuesday, November 28, 2017
3:00-5:00 & 7:00-8:30 PM (Prayer Service at 7:00 PM)
Murray-Weigel Hall Chapel
515 East Fordham Road
Bronx, NY  10458                          

MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL:                   

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
11:30 AM                             
Murray-Weigel Hall Chapel
515 East Fordham Road
Bronx, NY  10458


Jesuit Cemetery, Auriesville, NY

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