Aug. 9 2021 – Br. John J. Campbell, SJ was born in the Bronx, N.Y., in the parish of St. Augustine Church to John and Catherine (Lee) Campbell on July 21, 1929. He attended Cardinal Hayes High School, graduating in 1947. He then went to St. John’s University at night where he earned a B.A. in Business Administration, while working days at Merrill Lynch. He graduated in 1954.
Br. Campbell immediately entered postulancy for the Jesuit Brothers at St. Andrew-on-Hudson in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. In January of the following year, (1955) John completed his postulancy and entered the Jesuit Brother’s Novitiate. He pronounced his first vows on January 6, 1957.
He began his career as a Jesuit Brother in the sacristy and in the wine cellar of St. Andrews (1957 – 1959). He then moved to St. Ignatius Loyola Jesuit Community on 83rd Street in Manhattan. There he began a 49-year career working in the Jesuit Seminary and Mission Bureau (JSMB). He served as assistant director, treasurer, and assistant office manager. In 2001, when JSMB became the development office of the New York Province, Br. Campbell served as assistant treasurer for the province until 2008.
Br. Campbell was a dedicated Jesuit brother, faithful to his family, whom he visited regularly and faithful to the Society of Jesus, which he served so faithfully, quietly and joyfully.
He loved popular music, especially Italian crooners: Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Vic Damone. He also loved Englebert Humperdinck. Br. Campbell was a fan of the New York Yankees, the Giants, and the Knicks. Also, he was a jogger, running six miles, five days a week. He even ran in the New York City Marathon.
Br. Campbell gave tremendous unsung service to our missionaries. He kept financial accounts for them and seemed able to work miracles in countries where communications were slow. He could get money to foreign countries – third world countries – overnight. Br. Campbell also had a knack for putting aside whatever he was doing, no matter how intricate, whenever a person came to his office. His full attention was on the visitor and his or her needs.
In 2008, Br. Campbell became assistant to the minister of the St. Ignatius Loyola Community where he had been living for the past 49 years. In 2011, because of failing health, Br. Campbell moved to the Province Health facility at Murray-Weigel Hall in the Bronx. His prayer for the Church and the Society of Jesus was as faithful as his work for the same Society.
He died on Wed., August 4, 2021, at the age of 92. May Br. Campbell now rest from his labors in the arms of the Savior whom he served.