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

April 2, 2020 — Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, shared reflections with the global Ignatian family in light of COVID-19.

March 24, 2020 — Today marks the 40th anniversary of the assassination and martyrdom of St. Oscar Romero, renowned archbishop of San Salvador and outspoken advocate for justice during El Salvador’s civil war.

March 18, 2020 - As the world continues to make sense of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have collected some resources that you can use during this tumultuous time.

March 16, 2020 — A brief meditation to calm anxious nerves amid a global pandemic.

The Maryland Province Jesuits have endorsed a new Cristo Rey Catholic high school in the Research Triangle area of Raleigh, NC.

March 6, 2020 — In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, women reflect on their work with the global Society of Jesus and what it means, as a woman, to work in a Jesuit institution.

March 2, 2020 — Based out of a humble home on Al-Razi Street in Amman, Jordan, the Jesuits have been changing lives for nearly 40 years.

view all news

Search news


JESUITS Magazine: Winter 2020

JESUITS Magazine: Spring/Summer 2019

JESUITS Magazine: Fall/Winter 2018

Ignatius House Retreat Center
For more than 50 years, the Ignatius House Retreat Center has been open to individuals of all faiths seeking a closer relationship with God.