Jesuit Father Walter L. Watson died May 29, 2013, in Denver. He was 77 years old and a Jesuit for nearly 54 years. Fr. Watson was born in Chillicothe, Mo., on Jan. 10, 1936. He completed his bachelor’s in history at Rockhurst University in 1959 and entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Mo., the same year. He completed a master’s in European history at Saint Louis University in 1965. After teaching history and religion at Kapaun High School in Wichita, Kan., and St. Louis University High School, Fr. Watson studied theology at St. Louis University. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 30, 1970, at St. Peter’s Church in Kansas City, Mo.
Fr. Watson taught history and theology at Regis Jesuit High School in Denver from 1970 to 1979. After a brief time serving in administration at Fusz Memorial, a Jesuit house of studies in St. Louis, Fr. Watson began working as an associate pastor at a variety of parishes in Denver and Missouri. Among others, Fr. Watson served at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Fort Collins, Colo., Notre Dame in Denver, St. Elizabeth in El Dorado Springs, Mo., and Holy Family in Security, Colo.
From 1989 to 2005 Fr. Watson served at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Arvada, Colo., and from 2007 until his death he was Parochial Vicar of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Wheat Ridge, Colo. Fr. Watson maintained close connections with his fellow Jesuits. Though not living in the house, he was a member of the Xavier Jesuit Community and visited regularly.
Fr. Watson is survived by his brothers, William P. Watson and James L. Watson.
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.