A funeral Mass was celebrated for Jesuit Father John D. Arnold Nov. 23 at St. Francis Xavier College Church in St. Louis. Father Arnold died Nov. 15 in St. Louis. He was 80 years old, a Jesuit for 60 years and a priest for 47 years.
A native St. Louisan, Father Arnold spent his entire active ministry in St. Louis. He was principal, president and rector at De Smet Jesuit High School and served the former Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus as treasurer.
Father Arnold attended St. Thomas Aquinas and Holy Family Grade Schools and then St. Louis University High School, where he graduated in 1958. He attended Saint Louis University for two years and then entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant in 1960. He pronounced first vows two years later. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1973 at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. He pronounced final vows in 1981 at De Smet.
He began his association with De Smet Jesuit in 1967, teaching English and then serving as assistant principal. After completing his theology studies, he returned to De Smet as a priest and served as principal from 1974-77. He was then moved to Fusz Memorial, where he was a floor superior for Jesuit scholastics and also taught religion at St. Louis University High School for a year.
After earning a master’s in business administration at the University of Chicago in 1980, he returned to St. Louis to serve as assistant treasurer and revisor for apostolates in the former Missouri Province Offices. In 1988, he was appointed province treasurer.
In 1992, he served at De Smet Jesuit as rector and teacher of mathematics. He was named president of the school in 1998 and served in that role until 2006. From 2006-18, Father Arnold served in the province office as an assistant to the treasurer. During that time, he also served as either acting superior (2011-13) or superior (2013-17) of Ignatius House community.
Failing eyesight made necessary his retirement and move to Jesuit Hall in May 2018.
Father Arnold also earned a bachelor’s degree in humanities, a master’s degree in educational administration and a master of divinity degree from Saint Louis University.
Survivors include his brothers, William Arnold and Mark Arnold. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery.