Fr. Edmundo Rodriguez, SJ
Former Provincial Fr. Edmundo Rodriguez, SJ, has Died

Father Edmundo Rodriguez, SJ, died Oct. 28, in Opelousas, La. He was 82 years old, a Jesuit for 64 years and a priest for 51 years.

A man of compassion and action, his Jesuit brothers will celebrate his life in a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31 in the St. Charles College Chapel in Grand Coteau, La. A visitation will be held immediately beforehand at 10:00 a.m. on Oct. 31 in the same chapel. Burial will be in the Jesuit Cemetery at St. Charles College, following the funeral Mass. 

He was born in El Paso, Texas, on Feb. 18, 135, to Edmundo Rodriguez and Ignacia Escajeda Rodriguez, who predeceased him. He is survived by his sisters, Sr. Elisa Rodriguez, Susana Marquez, Aurora Powell, Rebecca Ballon and Gloria Rodriguez and his brothers, Guillermo Rodriguez and Jaime Rodriguez.

After graduating from Bowie High School in El Paso, he entered the Society of Jesus on Aug. 14, 1953, at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 7, 1966, at Holy Name of Jesus Church in New Orleans and pronounced final vows in El Paso on New Year's Day 1978.

After his ordination in 1966, he served at Our Lady’s Youth Center in El Paso in its ministry with the poor. He helped start a program to support local high school graduates enrolled in college. Finding that street children from Juarez were sleeping in the dumpster behind the Center and on the roof of the parish rectory, he began working with other religious leaders to find ways to get food and shelter for them. Daily, he walked the streets, visited people in the tenements and said Masses there. 

When he was re-assigned to Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in San Antonio in 1968, this early experience influenced his approach to ministry: attentiveness to local needs, direct contact with people, and action to help meet thoseneeds. He served at Our Lady of Guadalupe for 12 years (1968-80) as pastoral associate, administrator, pastor and Jesuit superior. He helped to establish PADRES (Padres Asociados para Derechos Religiosos Educationales y Sociales), the Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC), and C.O.P.S. (Communities Organized for Public Service).

In 1980, he moved to New Orleans as pastoral assistant to the provincial. In this role, he was instrumental in bringing men from the New Orleans Province to work in the Province of Paraguay. 

He became provincial of the New Orleans Province in 1983. As provincial, he participated in the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 33, which elected Peter-Hans Kolvenbach as superior general. Later, following his term as provincial, he was asked to accompany Fr. General Kolvenbach to El Salvador when the General traveled there following the murders of six Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter.

He served for three years as academic dean at Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving, Texas, before becoming superior and director of the Jesuit Spirituality Center in Grand Coteau (1993-1999). While there, he also began working with the National Catholic Council on Hispanic Ministry, a leadership program for young Hispanic Catholic leaders from dioceses around the USA.

After a year at St. Rita Parish in Dallas, he was named pastor and Jesuit superior at Immaculate Conception Parish in Albuquerque, N.M. (2000-2008). 

He then served as a retreat and spiritual director at Montserrat Retreat House in Lake Dallas, Texas (2009-2015). He provided direction in Spanish and, with his pastoral experience, provided understanding support to the local clergy.

He was missioned to the St. Alphonsus Rodriguez Pavilion in Grand Coteau in 2015. He continued helping with retreats and other endeavors until this past summer when a fall required him to move to a rehabilitation center.

In all he did, he was much beloved for his warmth, kindness, keen intelligence and sense of humor. He always had a joke, often corny, and frequently enlivened meetings with his guitar and humorous songs.

He earned a B.A. in education and master's degree in philosophy from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. He did graduate studies in Romance Languages at the University of Texas at Austin. He studied theology at St. Mary’s College in St. Marys, Kansas, earning the S.T.L. (1967). Prior to his ordination, he taught for one year at Jesuit High in Tampa, FL (1960-61) and two years at Jesuit High in New Orleans. 

profile of Fr. Rodriguez will appear in the upcoming issue of Jesuits magazine.

If you would like to make a gift in honor of Fr. Rodriguez, you can do so on this website. If you prefer to make your gift by check, please make it payable to Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province and mail to: Advancement Office; 4511 West Pine Blvd; Saint Louis, MO 63108-2191. Our phone number is (800) 325-9924.

Recent News

Dec. 11, 2018 - This Wednesday, Dec. 12, the Jesuit community at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in San Antonio, will formally depart in a "Despedida" celebration in Brother Gus Hall following the 6:30 p.m. Mass.

November 30, 2018 — This Advent season, we ask Jesus to light the dark. We pray for that light to inflame us with brighter faith, hope and love.

The Jesuits of the USA Central and Southern Province invite young men to learn more about life as a companion of Jesus Christ in the Society of Jesus.

Nov. 19, 2018 - It was an historic moment for Loyola University New Orleans on Saturday, Nov. 16, when Tania Tetlow, JD, was formally inaugurated as the university's first lay president.

We invite you to use this litany of gratitude this Thanksgiving.

November 15, 2018 — Kenyan Jesuit Father Victor-Luke Odhiambo, 62, was murdered on Nov. 15 when unknown assailants attacked the Daniel Comboni Jesuit Residence in Cueibet, South Sudan, where he resided.

Nov. 16, 2018 - The Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province has retained an outside organization to review all personnel files of Jesuits going back to 1955 in preparation of publicly releasing the names of all Jesuits and former Jesuits of the province who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors.

view all news

Search news


White House Jesuit Retreat Center
The White House Jesuit Retreat Center is located on a beautiful 80-acre campus on the bluffs of the Mississippi River in St. Louis.