Jesuit Father Francis V. Ferrier died on January 31, 2015, in New Orleans after 66 years as a Jesuit and 53 years as a priest. He was 84. A native of New Orleans, he spent his Jesuit career as a teacher and chaplain.
Fr. Ferrier studied at Loyola University New Orleans for a year before entering the Society of Jesus on July 1, 1948, at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, Louisiana.
As a young Jesuit, he studied humanities in Grand Coteau and philosophy at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, and taught at Jesuit High New Orleans and Spring Hill College. He was ordained in 1961 and received a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology from St. Mary’s (Kan.) College in 1962.
He taught at Jesuit high schools in New Orleans, Tampa and Houston and at Spring Hill College and was registrar at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston for 12 years.
In 1979, he became a chaplain, working at hospitals in Galveston, Houston and Waco, Texas; and Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana, and for the Knights of Columbus and various nursing homes in Baton Rouge. He believed his own health problems over the years had helped him empathize with patients and their families.
Simultaneously, he served as a chaplain for couples in Marriage Encounter and Retrouvaille.
His difficulty with Latin studies in high school nearly stopped him from pursuing the priesthood. At the time, mastery of Latin was required. The idea of becoming a priest came back to him while he was studying at Loyola University, and he realized that the priesthood was God’s desire for him. He would later be asked teach Latin at Strake.
He is survived by a brother, four sisters and various nieces and nephews.