Remembering Fr. John Langan, SJ, beloved professor at Georgetown University

Rev. John Patrick Langan, SJ, was born in Hartford, CT, on August 10, 1940. He graduated from University of Detroit Jesuit High School, and after declining a National Merit scholarship, entered the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, Pa. in 1957. He did juniorate studies at Colombiere College in Clarkston, MI, and philosophy at West Baden College in Indiana, while also pursuing a master's degree in classics from Loyola University Chicago. He studied theology at Woodstock College in Maryland and later went on to attain a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Michigan. He was ordained a priest on June 10, 1972.

Following ordination, Fr. Langan joined the staff of the newly formed Woodstock Theological Center in Maryland, and from 1981 to 1986 taught philosophy first at Georgetown University and then at Yale Divinity School. He then served two years as acting director and superior of the Woodstock Theological Center. During this time, he also did work for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, drafting the statement against capital punishment and contributing to "The Challenge of Peace" and "Economic Justice for All."

In 1987, Fr. Langan began what would become a nearly 30-year tenure at Georgetown University, as a professor of philosophy and Christian ethics and later as the Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Professor of Catholic Social Thought. He also taught philosophy for two years at Loyola University Chicago and was rector of the Georgetown Jesuit Community for five years.

Fr. Langan served as chair of the board for Georgetown University Press, Theological Studies, Inc.; and the Center of Concern. He was also a member of the boards of several health care systems and hospitals: Bon Secours Health System in Maryland, Catholic Health Service of Long Island, and Georgetown University Hospital.

In 2017, Fr. Langan moved to the Colombiere Jesuit Community in Baltimore where he continued to write and pray for the Church and the Society of Jesus. He died on March 20, 2020 at the age of 79.  

Recent News

Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, Fifth Bishop of Youngstown, OH, dies at 71.

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 13, 2020 - Fr. Daniel Lahart, SJ, president of Regis High School recently asked one of the school’s alumni, Dr. Anthony Fauci, class of ’58, to record a video for the Jesuit graduates of 2020.

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.

Fr. Dennis E. McNally, SJ, beloved painter and professor of fine arts at Saint Joseph’s University, dies at 76.

May 5, 2020 - Let us pray that deacons, faithful in their service to the Word and the poor, may be an invigorating symbol for the entire Church.

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