In Memoriam
Requiescat in Pace: Fr. Bill Stoeger, S.J.

Father William R. Stoeger, SJ, astronomer at the Vatican Observatory, died March 24 in Regis Infirmary, Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, Calif., after a struggle with cancer. He was 70 years old and had been a member of the Society of Jesus for 52 years.

Bill was born in Torrance, Calif., May 10, 1943. He grew up in Redondo Beach and after graduation from Bishop Montgomery High School he entered the Society of Jesus at Los Gatos in 1961. His studies took him to Spring Hill College, UCLA, and Cambridge University, England, where, working with Stephen Hawking and colleagues, he received his Ph.D. in astrophysics. After postdoctoral work in gravitational physics at the University of Maryland, Bill joined the staff of the Vatican Observatory. Based primarily in Tucson, Ariz., Bill also served as adjunct associate professor at the University of Arizona.

Bill’s expertise was theoretical cosmology, high-energy astrophysics, and interdisciplinary studies relating science and religion. He investigated the physics of black holes, mathematical issues of theories of gravity, and the origin of the universe, among other issues.

He had the knack of explaining the theoretical concepts he was dealing with in laymen’s terms, often using hand drawn diagrams and spidery writing on transparencies. (In more recent times, his use of PowerPoint was greatly appreciated by his audiences.) He was a true scholar who had a gift and passion for talking with people about matters of faith and science. He had a wry and gentle humor, was always self-effacing but not afraid to speak the hard truth.

In addition to being a renowned scientist, Bill was a dedicated priest. After studies at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, he was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1972, along with his brother, Jack, a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He assisted at various parishes in the Tucson diocese and was sought after as a retreat presenter and spiritual director.

Bill is survived by his brother, Rev. Jack Stoeger, of Los Angeles, and a sister, Rosemary Bruscino, of Carrollton, Texas.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held March 28, 10:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, 300 College Avenue, Los Gatos, with burial immediately afterward at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery, 490 Lincoln Street, Santa Clara.

Donations in memory of Fr. Stoeger may be made to the California Province of the Society of Jesus mail to P.O. Box 68, Los Gatos, CA 95031 or by phone (408) 884-1632 or at www.jesuitscalifornia.org/donation. In addition, gifts in honor of Fr. Stoeger's life and work may be made to the Vatican Observatory Foundation online at www.vofoundation.org or call Katie Steinke at (805) 901-6591.





Recent News

October 9, 2018 - Father Robert Joseph Schlim, SJ, longtime teacher in Spokane schools, died at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, California, October 3, 2017. He was 90 years of age, 68 years a Jesuit, and 56 years a priest.

October 2, 2018 - A new video series narrated by Fr. Chris Calderón, SJ, explains each step of Jesuit formation: novitiate, studies, regency, theology and tertianship.

September 30, 2018 - Jesuit Scholastics studying Philosophy spend their first summer on service immersion programs. The rural villages of Alakanuk, Bethel and Newtok in western Alaska were the frontier destinations for Shane Liesegang, SJ, John Meyers, SJ, Jason McCreery, SJ, Raymond Parcon, SJ, and James Millikan, SJ. Their mission was to contribute their talents wherever needed.

September 17, 2018 - Ms. Kim Cavnar, Principal of St. Francis Xavier School, received Loyola University of Chicago’s 2018 Damen Award from the Institute of Pastoral Studies on Wednesday, September 12, 2018.

September 12, 2018 - Father Michael J. Mandala, SJ, emeritus president of Verbum Dei High School, Los Angeles, died September 9, 2018 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, California. He suffered from pancreatic cancer. He was 71 years of age and had been a member of the Jesuit Order for 54 years, 41 years a priest.

September 5, 2018 - Father John J. (“Hex”) Kindall, SJ, longtime high school teacher/principal and pastor in schools and parishes throughout the Pacific Northwest, died August 25, 2018 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, California. He was 91 years of age, a Jesuit for 74 years, and 61 years a priest.

September 2, 2018 - The Jesuits West Prayer for September centers on St. Peter Claver, SJ, whose feast day is September 9. From 1610 until his death in 1654, Peter Claver, ministered to the slaves brought from Africa to Cartagena, Colombia. Peter signed his name, “slave of the slaves forever.”

view all news

Search news

Publications

Mission Magazine - Spring 2018

Mission Magazine - Fall 2017

Mission Magazine - Fall 2016


Companions
Summer, 2018

Companions
Fall, 2017

Update
Summer, 2017


Loyola Institute for Spirituality
Loyola Institute for Spirituality (LIS), founded in 1997, is located in Orange, CA. LIS provides many programs and services for individuals, parishes, and dioceses throughout Southern California and beyond.