The text for Patrick J. Howell, S.J.'s memorial below is a slightly edited version of a memoriam notice that was sent out to the Gonzaga University community.
The CTSA remembers its member, Rev. Patrick J. Howell, S.J., who died Thursday, November 28, 2019, at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Washington. Pat, who re-joined Gonzaga University in the Office of Mission and Ministry this past August, learned that he had lung cancer not long after moving to Spokane, and, even as he was facing the physical and emotional challenges of his illness, was insistent upon keeping this quiet and focusing instead on the work of intellectual engagement, mission formation, and pastoral ministry. Even in that short time, Pat contributed significantly to the life of the university, developing several formation programs for faculty and staff. Just two weeks ago he delivered a well-attended lecture on the theological and pastoral vision of Pope Francis.
A native of North Dakota and one of nine children, Pat graduated from Gonzaga University in 1961 before entering the Society of Jesus. In the 1960’s he served as Academic Vice Principal (and subsequently, Principal) at Jesuit High in Portland and, among many other assignments was Principal at Gonzaga Prep during the early 1980’s. After earning a doctorate in Pastoral Theology, he took up a fulltime faculty position in the Department of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University in 1986, where he was based until this fall (2019). Across time, Pat served in a number of administrative and academic positions at Seattle U, including as the inaugural Dean of the School of Theology and Ministry, Vice President for Mission and Ministry, and Distinguished Professor of Pastoral Theology. He wrote many articles and book chapters and gave many presentations throughout the country on pastoral theology, sacramental theology, the theology of Vatican II, Pope Francis, and contemporary Catholicism, and the integration of spirituality and psychology. He was the author of three books, including Great Risks had to be Taken: The Jesuit Response to the Second Vatican Council, 1958-2018, published this year. In 2013, Pat was a member of the team of translators who translated Antonio Spadaro’s groundbreaking interview with Pope Francis, A Big Heart Open to God, from Italian into English for America magazine, where he was serving as an editor during a sabbatical. Pat was for many years involved with Conversations magazine and served as chair of the National Seminar in Jesuit Higher Education.
Eternal rest grant unto Patrick, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May Patrick's soul and all the souls of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.