Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
the Inland Register
(From the Jan. 14, 2010 edition of the Inland Register)
Jesuit Father Thomas Zeyen, 86, died Dec. 29 in Spokane.
The vigil was Jan. 1, and the funeral Mass was celebrated the next morning, both at Jesuit House Chapel. Burial followed the funeral, at Mt. St. Michael.
Thomas Zeyen was born on June 2, 1923, in Spokane. He entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Sheridan, Ore., in 1943 and took first vows on July 3 of that year. He studied theology at the University of Louvain, Belgium, and Alma College in Los Gatos, Calif. He was ordained a priest on June 19, 1954 at St. Aloysius Church in Spokane. He made final vows in the Society of Jesus on Aug. 15, 1958.
Father Zeyen was an accomplished linguist, able to speak French, Spanish, German and Arabic, and taught languages at Seattle Preparatory School and Jesuit High School in Portland. In 1976 he was moved to Cairo, Egypt where he taught English at the College de la Sainte Familie for nine years before being transferred to Rome, where he worked as a librarian for the Collegio San Roberto Bellermino. He remained in Rome until 2007 when, because of failing health, he returned to Spokane.
Father Zeyen is survived by his brother, Carlos, a priest with the Missionaries of the Holy Family in San Antonio, Texas, as well as his nieces Mary Martha Zeyen and Barbara Zielenski, and his cousin, Dr. M. Mark Zeyen IHM.