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John Stacer, SJ

60 Years a Priest
Pastoral Minister in Grand Coteau, Louisiana

Father John Stacer, SJ, taught philosophy to countless university students and celebrated countless Masses. This year marks his 60th anniversary as a priest.

The St. Louis native graduated from Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas and entered the Society of Jesus later that year. After completing his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, he began teaching at Jesuit High School in New Orleans in 1957. He taught for one year at Loyola University New Orleans before going to Tulane University for graduate studies. During this time, he continued teaching philosophy at both Loyola and Tulane.

He taught philosophy at Spring Hill College (1968–1972 and 1973-76, 1977-78), Loyola University New Orleans (1972-73 and 1978-94) and the Arrupe College network in Nigeria and Zimbabwe (1992 – 2018).

During these ministries, he also served as the consultor to the vice-provincial at Spring Hill College and the dean of the philosophate at Arrupe College in Zimbabwe.

He began a ministry of prayer in 2018.

Father Stacer received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in philosophy from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. He earned his philosophy doctorate from Tulane University in New Orleans and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from St. Albert College in Louvain, Belgium.

Father Stacer’s Reflection on 60 Years as a Priest

After God for my vocation, I thank first my family. They showed strong faith and love.

At age 18, the faculty at Jesuit Dallas shared their life with me, inspiring me to join them. I entered the novitiate at Grand Coteau, Louisiana, studied philosophy for three years at Spring Hill College and taught Regency at Jesuit High School in New Orleans.

Studying in Mobile, I became interested in North American philosophy and hoped to study it more and teach it. Mobile’s faculty and superiors encouraged this and approved of it. It was decided I should study theology in Europe, so I spent four years in Colegio San Charles in Louvain, Belgium.

After returning home, superiors chose Tulane University in New Orleans for my doctoral studies in North American philosophy. Philosopher Gabriel Marcel suggested I write something on the widening of regional philosophy, having studied with empirical philosophers William James and idealist Josiah Royce. While working on my doctorate at Tulane, I finished the first part my Jesuit studies.

Intelligent and enthusiastic students blessed the second part of my life. At the age of 36 I had the rare privilege of being assigned to Zimbabwe where I taught in Jesuit School of Philosophy in Harare for the next 39 years.