During his 50 years in the Society of Jesus, Father Simon J. “Si” Hendry, SJ, has worked in nearly every kind of ministry, including secondary education, higher education, spiritual and social justice ministries and administration. Currently serving as the director of the Catholic Studies Program and a teacher of religious studies and philosophy at the University of Detroit Mercy in Detroit, he celebrates his 50th year as a Jesuit.
A native of Manasquan, N.J., he grew up in Dunedin, Fla., and attended Jesuit High School in Tampa. He entered the former New Orleans Province in 1968 at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, La., and made first vows two years later. He was ordained a priest June 11, 1977.
He taught and coached at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston, Texas, 1971-74 and again 1982-85, when he also served as acting rector. He also served as a teacher, coach and director of community service at Jesuit High School School, Tampa, Fla., 1978-82. He directed the Jesuit Volunteer Corps South in Houston, Texas, 1985-91. At Loyola University, New Orleans, he worked as director of the Jesuit Center, 2002-06. He served as superior of the Jesuit Community at the University of Detroit Mercy, 2010-16, in addition to teaching during that time.
Father Hendry earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Spring Hill College, Mobile, Ala. After studying physical chemistry at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., and philosophy at Loyola University, New Orleans, La., he received an M.Div. in theology from the Jesuit School of Theology, Chicago, Ill. In 2002, he completed a doctorate in theology and sociology at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, Calif.
He says the ministries he has most enjoyed, such as working with Jesuit Volunteers and teaching students, are those that put him in touch with people at crucial times in their lives as they struggle to make sense out of new experiences, new consciousness and new ideas. His major interest, among many, is the integration of spiritual and social justice.