Here I hope to recount the salient details of how God has thus far touched and directed my Jesuit life. Its early stages were for the most part quiet, as I was being molded after the pattern laid down by St. Ignatius of Loyola in his Constitutions and Spiritual Exercises. The results of this formation first appeared during my years of regency at Baghdad College in Iraq. Perhaps it was the lack of ordinary American human support and opportunities for personal enrichment that sensitized me to God’s grace working in my life, enabling me to become a successful teacher and a contented member of my Jesuit community.
The second half of my life, the years after ordination to the priesthood, brought unexpected changes into my life as a Jesuit. No sooner had I completed my doctoral studies in patristics and returned to Iraq than I and all my Jesuit companions were summarily expelled from the country. I spent the next four years serving as superior of the young Jesuits studying at Boston College. As the number of collegians dwindled from 63 to 15 in four years, I decided to seek a teaching position in the Department of Theology at Saint Louis University, seeing that there were no openings for one of my scholarly background in New England.
After many years of teaching here, I retired a few years ago. I soon had to undergo major heart surgery. Since then, though hampered by failing eyesight, I have been preparing a major work on Theodore of Mopsuestia, about whom I have already written several books and articles examining his teaching, which was quite influential in the Church of that time and came up for discussion in some of the early ecumenical councils. I feel confident that the Lord will allow me to bring to completion this work before he summons me into his presence on my last day.