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OBITUARY | Fr. Donald W. Reck, SJ

A memorial Mass will be celebrated for Jesuit Father Donald W. Reck at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 11, at the Jesuit Hall Community Chapel in St. Louis. Father Reck, 83, died Feb. 23 in St. Louis after a long illness. He was a Jesuit for 64 years and a priest for 51 years.

Born in St. Louis, he graduated from St. Louis University High School in 1951. He spent a year at St. Louis University before entering the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant in 1952.

He studied philosophy at St. Louis University, earning a bachelor's degree in 1958, a master's degree in 1959 and licentiate in 1959. He studied theology at St. Mary's College in St. Marys, Kan., earning a licentiate in sacred theology in 1967.

He was ordained in 1965 at St. Mary's. He pronounced final vows in 1975 at St. Francis Xavier College Church in St. Louis. In 1972, he earned doctorate in sacred theology (dogma/systematic theology) at the University of Münster with the well-known Jesuit theologian Father Karl Rahner as his director, with a thesis on the theology of secularization.

In 1972, he was asked to administered a two-year experimental program in pastoral education at SLU. Over the next few years, he became co-director of a summer program of pastoral renewal for diocesan clergy and director of the master of divinity program. He was also involved in planning and occasional teaching for the University's Corporate Ministry Program.

From 1976-88, he served as co-director of the Institute of Religious Formation, where he oversaw the ongoing formation of priests and men and women religious. He then served in campus ministry for St. Louis University until 1997. During this time, he also was superior of his Jesuit community, 1988-1991.

He moved to St. Louis University's Madrid campus in 1997, serving as campus minister and teaching theology. In 2008, he joined the Ignatian Spirituality Program in Denver. This allowed him to continue his commitment to the formation of Jesuit colleagues and partners. In 2010, he returned to St. Louis because of increasing health concerns.

He is survived by a sister, Sister Carleen Reck, SSND, of St. Louis. Father Reck donated his body to St. Louis University School of Medicine. 

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