Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


the Inland Register

(From the Sept. 30, 2010 edition of the Inland Register)

Father William Mark O’Malley SJ

Jesuit Father William Mark O’Malley died Sept. 6 in the Jesuit Infirmary at Gon-zaga University in Spokane. He was 84 years old and had been a priest for 48 years.

The vigil service was prayed Sept. 10. The funeral Mass was celebrated Sept. 11. Both were held in the Jesuit House Chapel at GU. Inurnment followed the funeral Mass, at Mt. St. Michael’s Cemetery.

He was born Jan. 30, 1926, in Vancouver, B.C.

The third child of 12, Bill was sent in 1943 by his recently widowed mother to board at Gonzaga High School. It was at Gonzaga that Bill would discover his vocation to the priesthood, though it would have to wait a few years. He saw action in World War II as a U.S. Army Paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne, then attended Gonzaga University for two years prior to entering the Society of Jesus in 1949.

As part of his Jesuit training he taught at Gonzaga Prep from 1956-1959, and was ordained a priest in 1962 at St. Aloysius Church, Spokane.

The majority of his priestly career was occupied with parish work in Montana, Idaho, and Oregon. He was also active in Marriage Encounter through the retreat center in Portland for several years.

A naturally gifted athlete and avid golfer, Father O’Malley was sidelined for the past 10 years by two disabling strokes. This decade of suffering was not wasted; his tenacity and grace left visitors and staff uplifted whenever they met and spoke with him and enabled them to see God’s love in their own difficult circumstances.

Along with his Jesuit family, he is survived by one brother, Kevin (Vancouver, B.C., and five sisters: Ellen Riley, Geraldine Waters, Maureen O’Brien, and Sharon Williams, all of Vancouver, B.C., and Patricia Steiger of Mt. Vernon, Wash. He was preceded in death by four brothers (Earl, Michael, Barry and Tim) and one sister (Mary). Their father, Earl Thomas O’Malley, died in 1942; their mother, Patricia Whalen O’Malley, passed away in 1994.

Memorials may be made to the Senior Fund, Oregon Province Society of Jesus, or to Hospice of Spokane.

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