Jesuit priest Thomas Stegman S.J death : Information has it that Jesuit priest Thomas Stegman, S.J has passed on at 60 on Holy Saturday morning after several months of battling with cancer.
Fr. James Martin, SJ, a Jesuit priest, in a post on facebook, disclosed the passing on of Father Thomas Stegman, S.J, Jesuit priest, New Testament scholar and former Dean of the Boston College School of Technology and Ministry.
In a Facebook statement on Saturday evening, Martin disclosed Thomas Stegman died on Holy Saturday morning at Campion Center, the Jesuit infirmary in Weston, Mass. Martin also stated that Tom as popularly known died of cancer at 60. “He had been suffering from cancer for many months” Martins wrote. “He was 60” he also added.
Stegman resigned last year January as the Dean of STM over glioblastoma, according to a University release. However, he has since then “continued to be active in the school and in the academy”. Martin wrote.
While alive, Martin described Tom as being popularly known for his ethics and affability. “I don’t know anyone who did not love or admire Tom, one of the kindness and most generous Jesuit I’ve ever known. He was the kind of Jesuit the mention of whose name always brought an affectionate smile to peoples face” Martin wrote.
Dear friends: By now many of you have heard of the death of Thomas Stegman, SJ, the Jesuit priest, New Testament scholar and former Dean of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. Tom died this morning at Campion Center, the Jesuit infirmary in Weston, Mass. He had been suffering from cancer for many months, and in January of last year stepped down as dean of STM, though he continued to be active in the school and in the academy. He was 60.
I don’t know anyone who did not love and admire Tom, one of the kindness and most generous Jesuits I’ve ever known. He was the kind of Jesuit the mention of whose name always brought an affectionate smile to people’s faces. He was a beloved dean, a beloved professor, a beloved priest, a beloved Jesuit and just a beloved person. He was also a superb scholar, whose career focused on the writings of St. Paul. More about that aspect of his life here: https://www.bc.edu/…/ministry/stm-dean-to-step-down.html
All who knew him see great meaning in his death on Holy Saturday, just hours away from the great feast of Easter, which he will now celebrate with the Lord. Michael Boughton, SJ, the Rector of the Faber Jesuit Community as Boston College said today: “Tonight at the Easter Vigil the Church reminds us that we are remembering the night in which our Lord Jesus Christ passed over from death to life. May we all be filled with the sure and certain hope that Tom will now share Christ’s triumph over death, and live with him forever in God.”
There will be many tributes to Tom by people who knew him better than I did, but let me just say two things about my Jesuit brother and friend, one public and one private.
First, the public aspect was the way that that he dealt with his cancer: with great courage, dignity and grit. Tom continued to serve as dean as he went through the treatments and only resigned from that post when it was impossible to continue. I know that everyone deals with illness in different ways, and not all of us can endure illness and continue to work, but Tom’s perseverance was very edifying for me. Just a few months ago, in fact, I asked if he would be willing to write for our Outreach LGBTQ website. I knew that Tom was sick but also knew (from him) that he wanted to stay active while he was living at Campion Center. He answered immediately, and sent along passage from a commentary on St. Paul that he had written and updated. Like everything else he wrote, it is a model of clarity and compassion: https://outreach.faith/…/thomas-stegman-s-j-reading…/
Second, the more private remembrance: Tom was tremendously kind to me over the years. When I was writing my book on Jesus, Tom was one of the first people I turned to for scholarly help and advice, because I knew that he would be not only attentive to the scholarship about the Historical Jesus, but also faithful in reviewing any writing on the Christ of Faith. Tom was nothing if not a faithful Jesuit.
I will always remember his comments about one Gospel passage, which, thanks to his words, have made me associate this passage with him. I never read it without thinking of him.
At one point Tom was commenting on the words that Jesus says to the First Disciples in the Gospel of Mark: “Deute opisō mou kai poiēsō hymas genesthai halieis anthrōpōn.” These famous words are often translated as “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of people.” In my manuscript I had focused on the fact Jesus was calling “people,” not just “men,” as it is sometimes translated.
In a long note to me, Tom focused on something else, and pointed out something beautiful about the word “poiēsō.”
“As you know,” Tom said, “poiēsō” means “to make,” but it also conveys the idea of something new being created. He explained that this was also where we get the word “poem” and “poetry” from. And, he said, we are meant to think of Jesus really “making” something new here: disciples. Jesus is creating something, much like the Father creates in Genesis.
I found that so beautiful. But what I also found beautiful was Tom’s gentle use of “as you know.” Tom was a top-notch scholar who knew his Greek and, as the saying goes, had forgotten more about the New Testament than I would never know. In this, he was very much like our mentor Daniel J. Harrington, SJ. (Many saw his coming to STM as following in the footsteps of Dan, and he was a worthy successor.)
That “as you know” as classic Tom. Of course I knew no such thing. But this was Tom’s style: never to make you feel dumb or ignorant, but rather help you enter into the world of the New Testament which he loved so much.
As Tom pointed out, Jesus “made” the four fishermen whom he encountered by the Sea of Galilee into his disciples. Jesus also “made” Tom into a great scholar, a great teacher and a great Jesuit priest. And this morning at Campion Center he “made” Tom into what he was originally made for: someone who now enjoys eternal life with the One he studied, served and loved.
May he rest in peace
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