Remembering Fr. Joseph Fitzmyer, SJ, professor of Biblical studies, sacred scripture and Semitic languages
Joseph A. Fitzmyer, SJ, was born in Philadelphia, Pa. on November 4, 1920. He
graduated from St. Joseph’s High School in Philadelphia and entered the Society
of Jesus at the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, Pa. in 1938. He
received both his Bachelor’s and master’s degrees from West Baden College in
Indiana, which was an affiliate of Loyola University Chicago. He went on to earn
his Ph.D. in Semitic Languages from Johns Hopkins University and his Licentiate
of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. He was
ordained to the priesthood on August 15, 1951.
As a Jesuit scholastic, Fr. Fitzmyer taught German
at Gonzaga High School in Washington, DC. He spent a year in 1957 co-editing
the Qumran scrolls at the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem. He
then taught New Testament and Biblical Greek for nine years at Woodstock
College in Maryland. After a brief visiting professorship at Yale Divinity
School, he spent two years as a professor of Semitic Languages at the
University of Chicago.
In 1971, Fr. Fitzmyer became a professor of
Theology at Fordham University while also serving for six years as the editor
of the Journal of Biblical Literature in Washington, DC. He was a professor of
New Testament Studies for two years at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in
Cambridge, Ma. before serving as a professor of Biblical Studies at Catholic
University until 1986 when he left for two years to teach Theology at Boston
College. He returned to Catholic University in 1989 as a professor emeritus of
Biblical Studies where he remained for the next 22 years.
In 2011, Fr. Fitzmyer moved to Manresa Hall
in Philadelpia, praying for the Church and the Society of Jesus. He died on December
24, 2016 at the age of 96.
Join Fr. Jim Martin, SJ, on Sun., Aug. 2 at 4 p.m., for a live, interactive discussion as he shares the Ignatian way of making decisions and the surprising closeness to God it brings, which is needed now more than ever.
June 1, 2020 — “As a black man living in America, the video of George Floyd’s suffocation cues unhealed experiences with police in this country and makes me less optimistic that change between the Black community and the police will soon change."
May 27, 2020 - Now more than ever, we invoke God to wipe away the darkness of anxiety, allowing us to be guided by the light of Christ and to trust in God’s promise of new life. Over the last few months, our Jesuit provinces have been in a place we don’t often find ourselves, a place that saw our schools closed, parishes empty, and the halls of our retreat centers giving new meaning to the word “silent.”
May 12, 2020 - Susan Baber has been named the Associate Provincial Assistant for Secondary Education for the new USA East Jesuit Province. The new province will come into being on July 31, Susan will assume this new role in August.