Jan. 5, 2021 – Fr. John F. Curran, SJ was born in New York City on Oct. 15, 1929, and baptized at St. Ignatius Church in Manhattan. His parents were John and Florence (Moriarty) Curran. Immediately after graduation from Xavier High School in 1946, Fr. Curran entered the Jesuits at St. Andrew-on-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
In 1950, Fr. Curran went to Woodstock College in Maryland to begin his philosophical studies, and then in 1952 moved with many of his classmates to Bellarmine College in Plattsburgh, N.Y., to complete his philosophy studies.
His first journey to the Pacific was in 1953, to Chuuk in the Caroline Islands, where he taught freshman Latin and English and served as the dean of discipline at Xavier High School.
Returning to the United States in 1956, Fr. Curran began studying theology at Woodstock College in Maryland. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 20, 1959, by Francis Cardinal Spellman at Fordham University Church.
In 1960, having completed his theological studies, Fr. Curran went to Münster in Germany for his tertianship year. He then spent two years at the Gregorian University in Rome studying Church History and Canon Law.
In 1963, Fr. Curran returned to the Caroline Islands, to Pohnpei, where he pursued language studies for one year before becoming a pastoral minister in the local parish. He returned to Chuuk in 1967, and for the next six years was superior, dean of students, and teacher of English and religion at Xavier High School.
He returned to Pohnpei in 1973, for two years to serve as superior of the mission and to do pastoral work. From 1975 to 1978, Fr. Curran lived in Manila in the Philippines, where for two years he served as executive secretary for the East Asian Jesuit Education Conference and then for one year as president pro-tem for the East Asian Assistancy Conference of Major Superiors.
Fr. Curran returned to the Caroline Islands in 1978 to be superior of the Jesuit Community in Chuuk. In 1980, he returned to Pohnpei, where he was superior of the community, judicial vicar, then vicar general and chancellor of the Diocese of the Caroline Islands. He remained there until 1995, save for the years when he was director of St. Ignatius Residence in Guam (1986-87) and on sabbatical (1987-88).
In 1995, Fr. Curran moved back to Xavier High School in Chuuk as Superior of the community, while continuing to serve as Vicar General and Chancellor of the Diocese. Except for the three years he served as Coordinator of Church in Pohnpei (2001-04), Fr. Curran remained in Chuuk until 2011. It was then that for health reasons he moved to Murray-Weigel.
Dementia claimed Fr. Curran’s memory, but never his personality. He remained a happy, prayerful and inspiring Jesuit. Fr. Curran fully lived the Suscipe of St. Ignatius.