Large Congregation Pays Respect to Fr. Raymond Fitzgerald, S.J.

Posted September 29, 2016 / Last updated October 4, 2016

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A congregation largely of former students and their families happily assembled to pray for and remember their teacher and mentor.

A congregation largely of former students and their families happily assembled to pray for and remember their teacher and mentor.

Alumni, faculty, and students joined family members of Fr. Raymond Fitzgerald, S.J., to celebrate Mass in remembrance of the beloved priest and teacher on Tuesday night, Sept. 27 in the Chapel of the North American Martyrs. Fr. Anthony McGinn, S.J., presided at the Mass with a corp of concelebrating priests. At the end of the Mass, Fr. McGinn encouraged the congregation to be consoled by the Lord’s promise of the resurrection of the body, by which all Christians hope in the precious gift of eternal life.

Fr. Richard Hermes, S.J., long-time friend and colleague of Fr. Fitzgerald, proclaimed the Gospel and delivered the homily at the Mass. In addition to stories of Fr. Fitzgerald’s many interactions with the Jesuit community, he said,  “We have all heard the expression based on scripture that Christians are to live as if in the world but not of it. Fr. Fitzgerald was an exceptional model of this. His presence, his lively and varied interests, his wide-ranging knowledge in so many areas all testify to a man who is very much in the world, and very much enjoyed and appreciated the goodness and variety of creation. And yet as much as Father took sheer delight in God’s creation, precisely because he belonged to God, he was really never of the world. He approached all created things sub specie aeternitatis, under the aspect of eternity.”

Watch the Video of the Homily by Fr. Richard Hermes, S.J.

Within the congregation a strong showing came from Fr. Fitzgerald’s former students and their families, many of whose lives were unexpectedly changed by their interaction at Jesuit with this humble and soft-spoken mentor. Alumni and friends of Jesuit had an opportunity to console and connect with one another in the vestibule of the chapel after Mass. The memorial Mass was offered in addition to the funeral Mass and burial hosted by the Jesuits Central and Southern Province at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Grand Coteau, LA on Saturday, Sept. 24.

View the Photo Gallery of the Funeral Mass for Fr. Fitzgerald in Grand Coteau

Following the Mass, the congregation processed to the burial site adjacent to the church in Grand Coteau.

Following the funeral Mass in Grand Coteau, the congregation processed to the burial site in the Jesuit cemetery adjacent to the church.

View the Full Video and Press Library of Fr. Fitzgerald, S.J.