Remembering Fr. Joseph Fitzmyer, SJ, professor of Biblical studies, sacred scripture and Semitic languages

Rev. 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.

Recent News

It has been five years since Jorge Mario Bergoglio appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica — the first Jesuit pope, the first pope to hail from the Americas, and the first to take the name “Francis.”

We invite you to join us in praying the Novena of Grace of Saint Francis Xavier with daily reflections by Fr. Francis Xavier Moan, SJ.

Fr. Francis G. McManamin, SJ, beloved professor and chaplain at Loyola University Maryland, has died at 93.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Richmond expressed their love and thanks to their pastor, Fr. Shay Auerbach, SJ, who has served the parish community for ten years.

Several athletes competing in the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, have ties to Jesuit colleges and universities.

During Lent, voices from the Ignatian network challenge us to let go—of fear, of unknowing, of oppressive systems—to restore and repair our world.

Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14, marks the beginning of Lent, and the Ignatian family has a wide array of resources to help guide you through the next 40 days.

view all news

Search news


JESUITS Magazine: Fall/Winter 2017

JESUITS Magazine: Summer 2017

"Jesuits" Magazine: Spring 2017

Loyola Retreat House
Situated on a bluff overlooking the Potomac River, Loyola Retreat House is located 35 miles south of Washington, D.C., in southern Maryland.