Rev. Edwin J. Sanders, SJ, was born in Philadelphia on October 29, 1928. He attended St. Joseph’s Prep and entered the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, Pa., in 1946. He received his B.A. in the Classics, a master’s in teaching and a Doctorate in Philosophy from Bellarmine College in Pittsburgh, as well as a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from Woodstock College in Maryland. He was ordained a priest on June 21, 1959.
Fr. Sanders taught French and Religion at Loyola Blakefield in Baltimore through much of the 60’s. In 1967, he became pastor at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Pittsburgh, and in 1972 took over as director of Pittsburgh’s East End Cooperative for six years, an organization that continues to serve the poor.
Fr. Sanders spent a year in the late 70’s serving his former Novitiate in Wernersville as a pastoral minister. He then served St. Mary’s Church in Lancaster, Pa., as a pastoral minister for two years and a counselor at the Lancaster Seminary. He continued teaching and counseling at the seminary through 1986, while also serving as assistant director of the Trinity Spiritual Center outside Harrisburg. He then became chaplain at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Lancaster for five years.
In 1992, Fr. Sanders returned to the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville. It closed the following year to relocate to Syracuse, but he stayed with the Jesuits there, serving as pastoral minister and in Ecumenical ministry for almost 25 years. In 2017, he moved to Manresa Hall in Philadelphia to pray for the Church and the Society of Jesus. He died on October 13, 2021, at the age of 92. He was preceded in death by his brother, Fr. Joseph Sanders, SJ, also a Jesuit priest.