Fr. Pistorius, Jesuit pastor and chaplain, dies at 75

 

Jesuit Father Francis X. Pistorius, a former novice director, counselor, teacher and chaplain, died July 13 at Our Lady of Wisdom Healthcare Center in New Orleans. He was 75 years old and had served as a Jesuit for 56 years and as a priest for 44 years.

A native of Shreveport, Father Pistorius was one of six children born to Merlin C. and Helen Doyle Pistorius.

Following graduation from Jesuit High in Shreveport, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1959 at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau. He studied humanities at St. Charles College and philosophy at Spring Hill College in Mobile and earned a bachelor of arts in secondary education in 1965.

He taught at Jesuit High in Shreveport and Jesuit High in Tampa before going to Canada to study theology at Regis College in Willowdale, Ontario. He earned a master’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin and a master of sacred theology from Regis College in Denver. He was ordained June 9, 1972, at St. John Berchmans Church in Shreveport. He pronounced his final vows on Aug. 15, 1978, at St. Rita Church in Dallas.

He served as assistant novice director at the Jesuit novitiate in Grand Coteau, assisting in the training of first- and second-year Jesuits. He went on to devote more than 28 years of his active apostolic life to internal ministry to Jesuits.

In 1979, he was missioned to Jesuit College Preparatory in Dallas as counselor, teacher and chaplain. In 1985, he became rector at the Strake Jesuit community in Houston, where he served until 1987, when he was named director of novices for the former New Orleans Province, a position he held until 1995.

He served as pastor and superior at St. Ignatius Loyola Parish in Spring, Texas, from 1996-2006 and was associate pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in New Orleans until 2010, at which time poor health dictated his move to Our Lady of Wisdom.

A Funeral Mass was celebrated July 16 at Our Lady of Wisdom Healthcare Center. Burial was at the Jesuit Cemetery at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Ann Joan Wheat, and a brother, Joseph Pistorius. He is survived by two brothers, Paul C. Pistorius of Shreveport and Fred E. Pistorius of Marlton, New Jersey, and a sister, Mary Helen Childers of Shreveport.

Memorial gifts may be made to the USA Central and Southern Province of the Society of Jesus at 4511 West Pine Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108 or online at http://jesuitscentralsouthern.org.

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