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 Dec. 16, 2010 edition of the Inland Register)

Father Michael J. Taylor SJ

Jesuit Father Michael Taylor died Nov. 30 at the Jesuit infirmary in Spokane. He had been a priest for 56 of his 86 years.

The funeral Mass was celebrated Dec. 4 at the Jesuit House Chapel on the Gonzaga University campus. Burial followed at the Oregon Province Cemetery, Mt. St. Michaels, Spokane.

He was born in Tacoma on Jan. 5, 1924. After the family moved to Seattle Mike attended Catholic grade school there and graduated from Seattle Prep in 1941. He entered the Jesuit Novitiate in Sheridan, Ore., in July, 1941 and completed the normal course of studies for young Jesuits. On June 19, 1954, Mike was ordained a priest in Spokane.

He later earned a doctorate in sacred theology from Woodstock College, Maryland, in 1961, and post-doctoral work in Geneva, Switzerland, before embarking on a long career of teaching, writing, editing and publishing. Father Taylor did much of his priestly and educational at Seattle University, retiring as professor emeritus of theology in 1995. He continued his ministry as a writer until 2007 when declining health necessitated his move to the Jesuit assisted living center in Spokane.

He wrote and published influential works on the Gospel of John and the Epistles of St. Paul; edited and translated critical works of Scripture and theology from Europe for North American readers, taught many classes at Seattle University, and lived a life of quiet but effective academic ministry. His brother Jesuits and lay colleagues knew and appreciated the depth and breadth of his knowledge and abilities. Yet as the years progressed his mind and body were forced to accept their human limitations; Father Taylorís memory, understanding, and will decreased so that Christís love could increase. He spent Thanksgiving Day among his brother Jesuits in Spokane unable to speak or do more than smile and nod; Christ called him to the new kingdom five days later.

Contributions in honor of Father Michael Taylor, SJ, may be sent to The Senior Fund, c/o The Oregon Province Society of Jesus (P.O. Box 86010, Portland, OR 96286) or to Hospice of Spokane (P.O. Box 2215, Spokane, WA 99210).

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