Dear Members of the University Community,
Today, we lost one of our beloved faculty members, Paul Crowley, S.J., Santa Clara Jesuit Community Professor in Religious Studies, after his long battle with cancer. We join with the Jesuit community in mourning Paul’s loss and pray for consolation for all of us who loved and cared for him.
Since 1989, Paul served the Santa Clara University community with generosity, gentleness, and a profound holiness that grounded his teaching, scholarship and vocation. Over his years at Santa Clara, he held the titles of professor of religious studies, department chair, and member of numerous committees and planning initiatives that would guide the University’s understanding of its Jesuit Catholic mission in the world.
Paul’s contributions to the Church and all people of faith as a renowned and gifted theologian are expansive. Paul taught theology in the Religious Studies Department, Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries and at the Jesuit School of Theology. His teaching also brought him to Stanford University and the Weston School of Theology, now the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, as a visiting professor. He was a prolific writer with numerous award-winning publications, with books on Karl Rahner, Robert McAfee Brown, pluralism in the Church, and faith and suffering. Paul was very active in his profession, having served as editor-in-chief of the prestigious journal of the Society of Jesus, Theological Studies, and as a member of its board. He also held appointments on the boards of the Catholic Theological Society of America, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, and Jesuit School of Theology.
Paul held an inclusive view of faith that reflected an Ignatian ministry of hospitality. As one of his colleagues reflected, “It is very easy to describe Paul and his life as a priest, professor, and friend. This word is simply this: Paul is a holy man. What a gift his holiness is to all of us!”
On a personal note, I am a better Jesuit, priest, theologian, and person because of Paul. By his writing and example, he always reminded me that before everything else, we are human, and it is in the human -- in our beauty and brokenness -- that we meet the divine.
We all have been so very blessed with Paul as priest, professor and friend. After such a generous life spent for others, we are confident he now rests in the peace of God, whom he spent his life leading others to.
May God grant him eternal rest with the communion of saints!
Notes of condolence may be sent to the Jesuit Community:
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
Kevin F. O'Brien, S.J.