James A. Sadowsky, S.J., FCRH ’46, a long time professor of philosophy at Fordham, died on Friday, Sept. 7, at Murray-Weigel Hall in the Bronx. He was 89.
Father Sadowsky, a native of Brooklyn, entered the St. Andrews-on-Hudson seminary a year after graduation, where he tutored other novices who were training to join the Society of Jesus. He earned a licentiate in philosophy from Woodstock College in 1951, and went on to teach logic, metaphysics and natural theology at LeMoyne College in Syracuse.
“Father Sadowsky has been a warm, steady presence at Fordham for almost four decades,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham.
“We will miss Jim as a gifted theologian and teacher, as a thoughtful friend, and as and a kindhearted brother.”
He was ordained in 1957 in Brussels, Belgium, where he had traveled three years earlier to earn his licentiate in theology. After a year teaching dogmatic theology at St. Joseph’s University in Beirut, he returned to Fordham in 1960, where he would spend 38 years teaching logic, theology and philosophy.
He served as co-president of the International Philosophy Quarterly, and in 1997, was named a visiting professor at Blackfriars College in Oxford. In 1998, he was elevated to Professor Emeritus at Fordham.
In 1980, at a ceremony honoring him with a Bene Merenti Award for 20 years of service, Father Sadowsky was lauded for his keen mind, sense of humor and warm friendship. His interest in logic, both classical and modern, led him to become of the first members of the philosophy department to become an expert in symbolic logic.
“In discussion he can probe, knock off balance, and punch holes in the spurious arguments as he brings challenging questions to the direction and defense of doctoral dissertations and to faculty and student colloquia and seminars,” read the Bene Merenti citation.
“Withal he never loses his sense of humor. If one stops by his office to ask: ‘Are you there, Jim?’, his reply will logically be: ‘No, I’m here.”