Jesuit Father Jarrel D. “Patricio” Wade passed away on August 28, 2014, in El Progreso, Yoro, Honduras, where he lived and worked for nearly half a century. He was 81 years of age, had been a Jesuit for 62 years and a priest for 48 years.
Father Wade was born Nov. 19, 1932, in Duncan, Oklahoma, and entered the Society of Jesus 20 years later in August 1952 at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Missouri. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1958 and both a master’s degree in Latin and a licentiate in philosophy in 1959, all three from Saint Louis University.
His only assignment in the U.S. was as assistant principal and Latin teacher at Kapaun High School in Wichita, Kansas, from 1959 to 1962.
From 1967 until this year, he lived and worked in the state of Yoro, Honduras, which was originally a mission of the Missouri Province and then became part of the Central American Province of the Society of Jesus.
Fr. Wade served as superior of the Honduras Mission in the 1970s and Episcopal Vicar in Yoro. As superior he was a leading force in extending the work of the Jesuits into the Department of Colón and in founding numerous communication and social apostolates such as Radio Progreso and educational works such as Instituto Técnico Loyola and Instituto San José. He later served as pastor at El Negrito, Yoro, Honduras.
He traveled all over Honduras and the department of Yoro in particular, going by car, by mule and if necessary on foot. He was the founder of Centro de Capitacion la Fragua, which has formed thousands of farmworkers and hundreds of catechists in the area of Progreso.
He was ordained in 1965 in Mexico City and completed his final stage of spiritual formation as a Jesuit, tertianship, in Argentina. He made final vows in 1976 in El Progreso.
In the homily he delivered at Fr. Wade’s funeral, Fr. Valentin Menendez spoke of Fr. Wade’s generosity and open-heartedness, “His heart was as big as he was.” Above all, he is remembered as “always focused on his priestly vocation, and above all the simple people for whom he worked and fought, and with whom he always wanted to live his life and die.”
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.