Jesuit Father Francis X. Pistorius died July 13, 2016.He was 75 years old.
Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, on April 6, 1941, to Merlin C. and Helen Doyle Pistorius, Fr. Pistorius was one of six children. Following graduation from St. John’s High School (later renamed Jesuit High) in Shreveport, Fr. Pistorius entered the Society of Jesus on July 30, 1959, at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau. After his first vows in 1961, he studied humanities at St. Charles College and philosophy at Spring Hill College in Mobile. He earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education (1965).
He taught at Jesuit High in Shreveport and Jesuit High in Tampa before going to Canada to study theology at Regis College in Willowdale, Ontario. During summers, he earned master’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin (1971) and a Master of Sacred Theology from Regis College in Denver (1973). He was ordained June 9, 1972, at St. John Berchmans Church in Shreveport. He pronounced his final vows on August 15, 1978, at St. Rita Church in Dallas.
Fr. Pistorius’ first assignment after completing his theology studies was as assistant novice director at the Jesuit novitiate in Grand Coteau, assisting in the training of first and second-year Jesuits. This proved a foreshadowing of his life of service; he went on to devote more than 28 years of his active apostolic life to internal ministry to Jesuits. After serving briefly at St. Rita’s parish in Dallas (1976-77) and at the Jesuit Spirituality Center in Grand Coteau, in 1979 he was missioned to Jesuit College Preparatory in Dallas as counselor, teacher and chaplain; he was named rector of the community in 1980.
In 1985 he became rector at the Strake Jesuit community in Houston, where he served until 1987, when he was named director of novices for the former New Orleans Province, a position he held until 1995. Beginning in 1981 until the end of his term as novice director, Fr. Pistorius was one of the consultors to the province’s formation assistant.
He served as pastor and superior at St. Ignatius Loyola Parish in Spring, Texas, 1996-2006, then associate pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish in New Orleans until 2010, at which time poor health dictated his move to Our Lady of Wisdom.
Fr. Pistorius died at Our Lady of Wisdom Healthcare Center in New Orleans.
He is survived by two brothers, Paul C. Pistorius of Shreveport and Fred E. Pistorius of Marlton, New Jersey, and a sister, Mary Helen Childers of Shreveport.