J. Francis Stroud, S.J., executive director of the De Mello Spirituality Center at Fordham University, died on June 28 at Our Lady of Mercy Hospital in the Bronx. He was 78.
Father Stroud was born on Oct. 14, 1929 in Brooklyn, N.Y., and entered the Society of Jesus on Sept. 7, 1948 at St. Andrew on Hudson, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
He worked in the Office of Campus Ministry at Fordham for many years. Previously, he taught at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles for nine years, where he applied the spiritual principles of Anthony de Mello, S.J., in his courses to enhance students’ experiences of film and television.
George McCauley, S.J., a classmate of Fr. Stroud, recalls that Father Stroud embraced DeMello’s spirituality in part because he thought it could throw light on Ignatian spirituality as it was traditionally presented. “DeMello was, after all, a Jesuit,” said Father McCauley. “It certainly drew an audience.”
Gloria Messemer, Father Stroud’s long-time assistant at the DeMello Spirituality Center, attests that correspondence and phone calls to the Center all seemed to begin with, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
Father Stroud is the author of Praying Naked: The Spirituality of Anthony de Mello (Random House, 2005). He helped de Mello with his lectures, seminars and books, and dedicated himself to keeping de Mello’s teachings alive.
Arrangements for Father Stroud are as follows:
WAKE: Tues., July 1
Bronx, N.Y. 10458-9993
3 to 5 p.m.
7 to 9 p.m.
MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL:
Wed., July 2
Fordham University Church
Bronx, N.Y. 10458
BURIAL: Jesuit Cemetery
Notes of condolence may be sent to Father Stroud’s brother:
Mr. J. Edward Stroud
420 Spangle Drive
N. Babylon, N.Y. 11703