Updated Nov. 17, 2021– Father W. Peter Bayhi, SJ, died Nov. 10, 2021, in St. Louis. He was 87 years old, a Jesuit for 68 years and a priest for 55 years.
He will be remembered in a Mass of the Resurrection at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, in Jesuit Hall in St. Louis. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery. The Mass will be livestreamed on YouTube.com. Search for “Bayhi Funeral Mass.”
Father Bayhi was born in New Orleans on Aug. 9, 1934. He is predeceased by his father, Henry Peter Bayhi, his mother, Sophia Marie Carriere Bayhi and his brother, Henry Joseph Bayhi. He is survived by his sister, Norma Duffy and his niece, Susan Duffy-Diaz, as well as his brothers in the Society of Jesus.
He entered the Jesuit novitiate at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, La., on July 30, 1953, and pronounced first vows on July 31, 1955. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 7, 1966, at Holy Name of Jesus Church in New Orleans. He pronounced final vows as a Jesuit on Sept. 7, 1973.
In 1955, Fr. Bayhi was sent to Spring Hill College, in Mobile, Ala., where he studied education and philosophy. He then began a long career in secondary education, beginning at Jesuit High School in Dallas. He taught there 1960-63 and then left for St. Mary’s College in St. Marys, Kansas, for his theology studies.
Following his priestly ordination, Fr. Bayhi was assigned to his alma mater, Jesuit High School in New Orleans, where he taught Latin and coached debate from 1968-72. He then returned to Jesuit Dallas, where he taught Latin until 1981.
For one year, Fr. Bayhi served as associate pastor at St. Joseph’s Church in Houston, and then returned to teaching, this time at Fordham Prep in Bronx, N.Y., from 1982-84. His final three years of high school ministry were at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago.
Father Bayhi then began direct spiritual ministry. After completing clinical pastoral education, he served as a chaplain and engaged in pastoral care at Saint Louis University Hospital in St. Louis.
Next came several assignments at parishes: Holy Name of Jesus in New Orleans (1994-97) and St. Rita Church in Dallas (1997-99), both as associate pastor.
Father Bayhi’s final area of active ministry was as a spiritual and retreat director. He directed retreats and provided spiritual direction at Jesuit Spirituality Center in Grand Coteau for several years before preaching retreats at Manresa Retreat House in Convent, La.
He began a ministry of prayer in 2009.
A Mass of the Resurrection is being planned.
We remember with gratitude all that God has done through Fr. Bayhi’s life of service to God and God’s people.
Memorial gifts may be made to the USA Central and Southern Province of the Society of Jesus at 4511 West Pine Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108 or through this website.