May 3, 2023 – Father James M. Short, SJ, died Saturday, April 29, 2023, in Florissant, Mo. He was 98 years old, a Jesuit for 74 years and a priest for 61 years.
In a final act of generosity, Fr. Short donated his body to science. His Memorial Mass will be at St. Ignatius Hall at Garden Villas North in Florissant, on Saturday, May 6 at 10:30 a.m., with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.
The funeral Mass will be live streamed on YouTube. Search for “Memorial Mass for Fr. Jim Short, SJ.”
Jim Short was born in Columbus, Ohio, on March 22, 1925, to James M. and Erma Gottman Short, who preceded him death. His siblings Joan, William, Richard, Laurence and John also predeceased him. He is survived by his brother Charles (Jeanne) and his sister Joyce Short, as well as by nieces and nephews.
After serving in the U.S. Army Air Force from June 1943 through December 1945, he began studies at Saint Louis University in 1946. He entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) on Aug. 15, 1948, and pronounced first vows on Aug. 22, 1950. He was ordained to the priesthood at St. Mary’s College in Kansas on June 15, 1961.
Father Short began his apostolic service at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Mo., where he taught mathematics before moving to Kapaun High School in Wichita, Kan., again teaching math and physics, 1956-58.
Following the completion of a Licentiate in Canon Law from the Gregorian University in Rome, Fr. Short was missioned to Belize as chancellor of the diocese, a service he performed from 1965 to 1971. In 1971, he was appointed regional superior of the Jesuits’ Belize Mission and president of St. John’s College in Belize City. After six years, he returned to work as the diocesan chancellor and as a missionary, 1977-79.
His time in Belize was interrupted by a two-year assignment as a floor superior of the Jesuit community at Fusz Memorial in St. Louis, 1979-81, but he returned to Belize as pastor in Dangriga, 1981-89. After a sabbatical, 1989-90, he returned to Belize to serve as pastor of St. Martin de Porres in Belize City and director of the retreat center (1990-2000), associate pastor of St. Peter Claver Parish in Punta Gorda, 2000-2001, and finally, back at St. Martin’s as director of Trinidad Farms and in-country coordinator for the Jesuit Volunteers, 2001-2005.
Father Short’s many years of dedicated ministry in Belize came to an end when he was assigned to Jesuit Hall in St. Louis for sabbatical and medical leave 2005-07. In 2007, he began six years of residence at the Bellarmine House of Studies as the resident “wisdom figure” for the scholastics and young brothers. In 2013, he returned to Jesuit Hall where he served in pastoral ministry until declining health interfered. He moved to St. Ignatius Hall with the Jesuit community in January.
Father Short loved people and gave his full attention to the person in front of him. Countless parishioners, retreatants and fellow Jesuits came to know a merciful and compassionate God through Jim Short.
Father Jim Short earned a bachelor’s degree, a licentiate in philosophy and a master’s degree in education and philosophy, all from Saint Louis University. He earned a licentiate in sacred theology at St. Mary’s College.
We remember with gratitude all that God has done through his 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.