Oct. 10, 2023 – Fr. John J. Begley, SJ, was born in New Haven, Conn., on January 14, 1931. He entered the Society of Jesus on July 30, 1949, at the Shadowbrook novitiate in Lenox, Mass. After his time in the novitiate, he went on to study philosophy at Weston College. He received his bachelor’s degree from Weston in 1955. The following year he received both his master’s in philosophy as well as his licentiate in philosophy.
In 1956, he spent three years teaching at Boston College High School. After his time teaching, he returned to Weston College for his theology studies. On June 16, 1962, he was ordained to the priesthood. In 1963 he received his licentiate in Sacred Theology and in 1966 he received his doctorate in Sacred Theology. In 1966, he pronounced his final vows in the Society. This was also the year that he returned to teaching and spent three years at Saint Mary’s Hall in Chestnut Hill, Mass., as a theology teacher. From 1969 to 1971 he finished his own theology education at the Cambridge Center for Social Studies in Cambridge, Mass. From 1971 until 1973, he taught theology at Boston College.
In 1973, Fr. Begley served as the retreat director at Gonzaga Eastern Point Retreat House, in Gloucester, Mass. After two years in this role, he left to work at the University of Scranton as a theology teacher. In 1978, after three years at Scranton, Fr. Begley took a year-long sabbatical. He would eventually return to Scranton in 1985 until the end of his active ministry.
After his sabbatical, Fr. Begley served as the dean of the Jesuit School of Theology in Chicago from 1979 to 1981. In 1981, he was assigned at what was then the New England Jesuit Province office as the assistant to vice provincial for formation and the associate director of international and pastoral apostolates. From 1982 to 1984 he served as the socius to the provincial. In 1984 he spent a year at Boston College once again teaching theology.
In 1985, he returned to University of Scranton where he taught theology until 2011. He was also a rector at the Jesuit community from 1987 to 1991. From 2011 until 2023 he stepped back from teaching and worked in pastoral ministry.
In 2023, he moved to Campion Center where he spent his days praying for the Church and the Society. He died on October 9, 2023, following complications related to COVID-19.