Remembering Fr. Joseph Currie, SJ, a Missionary in India and Campus Minister at Several Universities

Rev. Joseph A. Currie, SJ, was born in Philadelphia, Pa. on August 20, 1936. He graduated from St. Joseph’s Prep High School and entered the Society of Jesus at the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, Pa. in 1955. After completing studies in Philosophy at Loyola Seminary in Shrub Oak, NY, he received his degree in History from Fordham University and then taught English at the Loyola School in Jamshedpur, India. He spent four years studying Theology at St. Mary’s College in Kurseong and was ordained a priest on March 19, 1968 in Jamshedpur.

Fr. Currie spent the first fifteen years of his priesthood remaining in India, first as director of the social welfare center at St. Joseph Church in Jamshedpur, then as both professor of pastoral theology and director of pastoral education at Vidyajyoti College of Theology in Delhi, and finally as director of pastoral education at De Nobili College in Pune. He was also tertian director for two years at Sacred Heart College in Shembaganur.

In 1985, Fr. Currie returned to the States and served for two years as campus minister at Georgetown University. He then served three years as the director of Manresa-on-Severn retreat house in Annapolis. In 1991, he moved to New Orleans and became director of campus ministry at Loyola University for six years. He then began a 13-year tenure at his alma mater, Fordham University, also as director of campus ministry. At both Loyola and Fordham, he worked with students on important issues of social justice. He was a very popular retreat director, spiritual director and celebrant of hundreds of weddings. Needless to say, he was much loved and highly respected. He was known for his tireless and generous work to help others, for being a good listener and for having a great sense of humor.

In 2010, Fr. Currie was appointed rector for the Jesuit community in Wernersville, Pa. where he remained for five years. He then served for a year as associate pastor for St. Alphonsus Rodriguez Church in Woodstock, Md. He was currently serving in the office of mission and identity at Chestnut Hill College in Chestnut Hill, Pa., when he died suddenly on March 3, 2017 at the age of 80.

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