Jesuit Father John F. Schroder died Jan. 25, 2014, in Grand Coteau, La. He was 95 years old, a Jesuit for 72 years and a priest for 60 years. He was a native of Atlanta and his family donated the home and land that established Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center. His active ministry across the South and in Belize continued until he was nearly 85.
Fr. Schroder was born on Jan. 11, 1919, the son of William and Suzanne Spalding Schroder. He graduated from Georgetown Preparatory School in Washington, D.C., in 1936 and from the University of Notre Dame in 1940.
He entered the Jesuits on Aug. 15, 1941, and studied at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. He taught at Jesuit schools in Montreal, Canada, and Tampa, Fla., before completing theology studies at St. Mary’s College in Kansas. He was ordained a priest on June 17, 1953. Much of Fr. Schroder’s priestly ministry was to preach the good news of the Gospel. From 1955 to 1974 he was a member of the Jesuit “Mission Band,” offering parish missions throughout the South.
In 1957, Suzanne Schroder donated the family home and property to the Jesuits, which became the original Ignatius Retreat House. Fr. Schroder was superior of Ignatius House from 1976 to 1980 when he was missioned to Belize. He served at St. Francis Mission in Corozal Town from 1981 to 2003, and his ministry extended to some 20 surrounding villages. In 2003, Fr. Schroder moved to Jesuit Hall in St. Louis, then to Ignatius Residence in New Orleans. He moved to Grand Coteau in May 2013.
His parents, three brothers and one sister are deceased. Fr. Schroder is survived by two sisters-in-law, Van Schroder and Frances Schroder, both of Atlanta, and by nephews and nieces.
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.