Remembering Fr. Francis X. Moan, SJ, beloved teacher, minister, and advocate for refugees

Rev. Francis X. Moan, SJ, was born in Baltimore, Md., on February 19, 1927. He graduated from Loyola Blakefield high school and entered the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, Pa. in 1945. He attended Spring Hill College in Alabama where he received his degree in English. He also received a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from Woodstock College in Maryland and later a Doctorate in Education from Columbia Teacher’s College in New York. He was ordained a priest on June 23, 1957.

Following ordination, Fr. Moan began teaching Latin, Greek and religion at St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia, where he would remain for ten years. He also served as superior of the Ferdinand Farmer House his final two years there.

After completing his Doctorate in Education in 1971, Fr. Moan became Headmaster at his alma mater, Loyola Blakefield in Baltimore. He served for three years before becoming Assistant Dean for a year at Saint Joseph’s University and then Headmaster at Xavier High School in Cincinnati for another three years.

Following a brief assignment at Holy Trinity Church in Washington, D.C. as Parochial Vicar and director of religious education, while also contributing as an editor for the National Jesuit News, Fr. Moan became Chaplain for the Georgetown University Law School. In 1983, still in Washington, he began a four-year tenure as the coordinator of the American Refugee Project. He also started serving as the superior of the Jesuit community on K Street, remaining in that role for six years.

In the 90’s, Fr. Moan continued his advocacy work for refugees, serving as the director of “Refugee Voices” at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C. Then, in 1998, he moved to Holy Name Church in Camden, NJ, where he served in administrative and pastoral ministries for seven years.

Fr. Moan retired from active ministry in 2005, moving to the Colombiere Jesuit community in Baltimore and then to Manresa Hall in Philadelphia in 2016, praying for the Church and the Society of Jesus. A former student of his from St. Joseph’s Prep recently visited to reminisce about his Latin and Greek classes more than fifty years ago. Fr. Moan commented that, “I hope I was doing God’s will when I was teaching you boys.”

Fr. Francis X. Moan, SJ, died on April 17, 2020 at the age of 93.

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.

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.