April 24, 2023 – Father Walter T. Sidney SJ, died Thursday, April 20, 2023, in St. Louis. He was 75 years old, a Jesuit for 56 years and a priest for 44 years.
After a lifetime of service to Jesuit high schools, he will be remembered in a Mass of Christian Burial in the chapel at De Smet Jesuit High School on Saturday, April 29 at 10:30 a.m., with a visitation in the same location beginning at 9:30 a.m. A reception will follow. Burial will be in the Jesuit plot in Calvary Cemetery on Monday, May 1, 2023, at 9:00 a.m.
The funeral Mass will be live streamed at https://www.desmet.org/dsn.
Wally Sidney was born in St. Louis on Dec. 9, 1947, to Walter and Mary Jane Marshall Sidney, who preceded him in death. He is survived by his brother David (Mary) Sidney and his sister Jane (Jim) Normile, as well as by nieces and nephews.
Following his graduation from St. Louis University High School, he entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Mo., on Sept. 1, 1966. He pronounced first vows on Sept. 2, 1968, and was ordained a priest at St. Francis Xavier College Church on June 17, 1978. He pronounced his final vows on Jan. 14, 1987, at St. John’s College in Belize City, Belize.
Father Sidney began his long career in secondary education at De Smet Jesuit in 1973. He taught English and history and was an assistant prefect. Following his ordination in 1978, he spent his first year as a priest at Ministry Training Services in Denver, and then returned to De Smet, where he was a teacher, counselor and director of pastoral programs from 1979 to 1984. He was sent to St. John’s College in Belize in similar roles, 1985-87. From 1987 to 1989, he served as rector and teacher at St. Louis University High School, then returned to St. John’s in Belize as superior and teacher, 1989-95.
At this point he left the classroom behind, but continued in high school ministry as president, first at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colo., 1995 to 2006, and then at De Smet Jesuit, from 2006 to 2015.
In the fall of 2015, he moved to Dallas to be rector of the Dallas Jesuit Community. Along with being superior, he taught class and worked with the Ignatian Identity team. He was in Dallas until 2021, when he was once again called upon to serve as rector, this time at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, La.
Wherever he was, his kindness and good cheer endeared him to the people with whom he lived and worked. He was respected for his quiet leadership, and he will be missed.
Father Sidney earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in European History and American History, both from Saint Louis University. He studied theology at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, earning an M.Div. in 1978.
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.