Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


the Inland Register

(From the February 19, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)

Father Tom Healy SJ

Jesuit Father Tom Healy died Jan. 8 at the Jesuit Infirmary, Spokane. He was 86.

A vigil service was held Jan. 16 in the Jesuit House Chapel on the Gonzaga University campus. The funeral Mass was celebrated the next morning at St. Aloysius Church, Spokane, with interment following immediately at Mt. St. Michaelís Cemetery.

Thomas Francis Healy was born in Butte, Mont., on March 31, 1928, to Francis D. and Margaret Ann (Nolan) Healy. Upon graduation from Gonzaga High School in 1946 Tom entered the Army and served in Japan as a pharmacy aide. His interest in medicine led to a Bachelor of Science degree from Gonzaga University in 1951 and one year at Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago. His interest in medicine was trumped by the call to Religious life and priesthood. He entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Sheridan, Ore., in August 1953 and followed the regular course of studies and training before ordination to the priesthood on June 12, 1965, in Spokane.

Showing great skill in high school teaching and administration, Father Healy was assigned to Jesuit High School, Portland, Ore., for six years (1966-72) and then to Seattle Preparatory for 20 years. In this latter posting he and other Jesuits and lay colleagues created and implemented the Matteo Ricci Program, an innovative and accelerated high school and college program for advanced students.

He transferred to Missoula, Mont., and immersed himself in the parish world at St. Francis Xavier Church. He served as the superior of the Jesuit Community and as a parish priest; one of the key programs he started was the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life (SEEL), a nine month program of prayer and reflection calling people into a deeper relationship with God and pushing them to share their lives and gifts to further Godís kingdom. This program continues today and is run by lay colleagues of the Jesuits.

A dedicated high school administrator and parish priest, Father Healy drew people toward God by his clear convictions, infectious smile, and joy of life. Whether in an academic setting, church liturgy, or a potluck dinner, one knew that he was both a man of God and a man for others, especially those in need of kindness and hope.

He is survived by his brother Con (Virginia) Healy, and his sister Margie Healy, and his brother Jesuits of the Oregon Province.

Contributions in honor of Father Healy may be sent to: The Senior Fund, c/o The Oregon Province Society of Jesus (P.O. Box 86010, Portland, OR 97286), or Hospice of Spokane (P.O. Box 2215, Spokane, WA 99210).

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