Fr. Raul Navarro, S.J., died suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, June 23, 2015, in Cusco, Peru of a heart attack. He was 55 years old, a Jesuit for 12 years and a priest for two years.
Fr. Navarro had been in Lima, Peru, to coordinate an exchange program between the Jesuit University in Peru and Rockhurst University, where he was assistant dean of the College of Health and Human Services. He stayed to do his annual retreat in Cusco and also to learn about the region.
The Jesuits in Peru reported that Fr. Navarro had felt poorly and was taken to a doctor, who detected problems related to a past episode of pulmonary edema.
His condition deteriorated rapidly.
Funeral services are still being arranged.
Fr. Navarro was born in Mexico City and moved with his family to Louisiana as a boy. He earned multiple degrees from Loyola University-New Orleans, two while he worked there. He entered the Society of Jesus later in life and was ordained in 2013 after earning degrees at Loyola University Chicago and the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University.
He taught at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory Academy and helped establish a Cristo Rey school in Houston, and was active in campus ministry in higher education.
“Fr. Navarro was a wonderful example of everything for the greater glory of God, whether that was celebrating Mass or chatting with students, faculty or staff in the dean’s office of the College of Health and Human Services,” Fr. William Oulvey, S.J., the rector of the Jesuit community at Rockhurst, said. “He had an infectious enthusiasm and always looked for ways to help those around him become the best they could be.”
Last year, he was named to the assistant dean post at Rockhurst. He also directed the school’s study abroad programs and was serving as chaplain.
The Ignatian Spirituality Program of Denver offers Ignatian group retreats, individual spiritual direction, the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, and trains spiritual directors and guides of the Spiritual Exercises.