Fr. James V. Veltrie died March 15, 2015 in St. Louis after 62 years as a Jesuit. He was 80 and had been a priest for 49 years.
The Denver native entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Mo., in August 1952.
He had a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and letters and a master’s degree in speech, both from Saint Louis University.
As a young Jesuit in formation, he taught at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Mo., and studied theology at St. Mary’s (Kan.) College. He was ordained in June 1965 and pronounced his final vows in September 1978.
He taught communication arts and counseled students at Rockhurst from 1967 to ’79 and taught at Cardinal Ritter High School in St. Louis the following year.
He worked with Jesuits in formation for many years while doing campus ministry at SLU’s law school and serving as vocation director for the Missouri Province.
He was superior of scholastics from 1987 to 1990, returned to campus ministry and later served as assistant to the director of undergraduate admissions.
He was known for his kindness and gentleness, careful and compassionate listening, and effective preaching. His positive influence on younger Jesuits won him important roles in Jesuit formation, including as spiritual director and superior of scholastics.
In all of his work, he showed great prayerfulness, sensitivity, and deep commitment to those on the margins.
His sister-in-law, Jeanette Veltrie, and four nieces and nephews survive him.
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.