May 21, 2021 – Fr. Michael Sehler, SJ, was born on Dec. 12, 1942, in Washington, D.C. As he was growing up, his parents, Harold and Mary (Donnelly) Sehler, moved to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, then to Stuyvesant Town, Manhattan, and finally to Chattanooga, Tn. It was from his time in Tennessee that he had vivid memories of segregation. Returning to Washington, Fr. Sehler’s father encouraged him to take the entrance exam for Gonzaga High School. It was there that Fr. Sehler became acquainted with the Society of Jesus.
Upon graduation from Gonzaga in 1960, Michael entered the Society of Jesus at the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, Pa. After two years as a novice he pronounced his vows as a Jesuit. He remained two more years there doing collegiate studies. The next two years were spent at Loyola Seminary in Shrub Oak, N.Y., where he received a B.A. in classics. Finally in 1966 Fr. Sehler moved to Fordham University where he completed his master’s degree studies in classics.
Fr. Sehler taught Latin and Greek at Georgetown Prep in North Bethesda, Md. (1967-70), and then went to Woodstock College in New York. There he studied theology and received an M.Div. in 1973. It was on June second of that year that Fr. Sehler was ordained to the priesthood in Baltimore, Md. After yet another year of study he received an MA in English at New York University.
Very early Fr. Sehler began what would be a long career teaching high school students. While teaching at Georgetown Prep during regency (1967-70), he taught Robert Kennedy, Jr. and Michael McCarthy, son of Senator Eugene McCarthy. He taught English and Spanish at Xavier High School in Manhattan (1972-83) and then, after a sabbatical year in Madrid, Spain, he taught English and Spanish at Fordham Prep in the Bronx (1984-95). After another sabbatical year at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Massachusetts and Farm Street in London, Fr. Sehler came back to New York to teach English and Modern Languages at Loyola School in Manhattan (1996-2020).
In addition to his teaching, Fr. Sehler has also been involved in Parish work for many years at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church in Point Lookout, N.Y.
In 2020, Fr. Sehler moved to Murray-Weigel Hall to retire, but he continued to serve the faithful in Long Beach. However, in April of 2021, cancer made it impossible for him to remain at the parish, so he returned to Murray-Weigel. It was there that he died shortly thereafter on May 20. He leaves behind many wonderful friends – students, alumni, parishioners, friends, Jesuits and family. May he now rest from his labors in the presence of his Lord.