Brother Patrick Flannigan, SJ, entered into God’s peace January 3 at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, Calif. He was 76. A quiet, effective, and warm man and servant of God, Br. Flannigan exuded a deep joy to others in his dedicated work as a helper, guide, counselor, and manager of financial/temporal matters. His charming smile and quick wit brought a spirit of playfulness and ease to people when situations might be tense or troubled.
Born in Tacoma on January 1, 1941, to Pius M. and Vivian W. (Elmore) Flannigan, Patrick Michael Flannigan was an only child. He grew up in Tacoma and graduated from Bellarmine Preparatory in 1959 and Seattle University in 1963. He entered the Jesuit Novitiate (Sheridan, Ore.) in March 1964 and professed First Vows in March 1966; his final vows as a Jesuit brother were made in 1977.
Assigned to Seattle University in 1967, Br. Flannigan was highly regarded by students and faculty for his quiet, efficient, and friendly manner. No task was too small or large, no request for help was turned away. His three years there made a valuable impression on several students who have become leaders in their field of work and communities.
In 1970 Br. Flannigan moved south to Portland and Jesuit High School where he served for 20 years as a counselor, treasurer, and guide to many young men at the all male school. There he earned the nickname “Black Flag.” Dressed in his black religious garb, he silently moved through the hallways and had a great “radar” for mischief brewing among the young men at Jesuit High. He was always fair and firm with those caught in mischief; his humor and willingness to help all in need was apparent.
In 1990 Br. Flannigan moved to his hometown of Tacoma and entered the world of parish ministry while also caring for his invalid mother. For 15 years he served as a parish visitor for the homebound of St. Rita’s Church while living at and assisting the Jesuit Community at Bellarmine Preparatory. His wry wit and contagious smile would light up any room and defuse any tensions, and his devoted care for his mother for several years was a shining example.
Br. Flannigan moved to Portland in 2006 to assist the Columbiere Jesuit Community; however, it became apparent that he was showing signs of early dementia and so relocated to the Jesuit assisted-living center in Spokane three years later. The progression of this disease necessitated his moved to the infirmary soon afterward. Br. Flannigan transferred to the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos with the other Oregon Province Jesuits in the spring of 2015. Although his smile was often evident he slowly withdrew into himself and could not communicate with others except with small facial and body gestures.
Br. Flannigan was preceded in death by his father and mother. He is survived by distant relatives, many dear friends, and his brother Jesuits.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated January 12, 10:00 a.m., in the Jesuit House Chapel at Gonzaga University. Burial will follow at Mt. St. Michaels Cemetery in Spokane. Donations in honor of Br. Flannigan may be sent to the Senior Fund, Oregon Province, Society of Jesus, P.O. Box 86010, Portland, OR 97286. Gifts may also be made at www.jesuitswest.org/OREdonations on our secure donation site.