Rev. John W. Lange, SJ, was born in Paterson, NJ, on August 2, 1926. He graduated from St. John’s High School and entered the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, Pa. in 1948. He received his Bachelor’s in Philosophy from Bellarmine College in NY, a Bachelor of Sacred Theology and a master’s in theology from Woodstock College in Maryland and a master’s in education/psychology from The University of Scranton. He was ordained a priest on June 18, 1961.
Following ordination, and after serving for a year at the St. Ignatius Rectory in Baltimore as the assistant director of the Jesuit Seminary Guild, Fr. Lange served as a minister for two years at The University of Scranton before moving to Washington, D.C. where he was assigned for five years as superior and treasurer of the Leonard Neal House Jesuit community. He then taught religion for three years at Georgetown Prep.
In 1974, Fr. Lange returned to The University of Scranton for what would become a four-decade tenure. He would serve in several key roles, including as a counselor, chaplain for the evening school, pastoral minister, even as a university archivist. A scholarship at the University is named in his honor. A lover of the beach, Fr. Lange would spend each summer serving the parishioners at what is now the Notre Dame de la Mer Parish in Wildwood, NJ. For nearly 40 years between Memorial Day and Labor Day, this Catholic Church by the sea enjoyed Masses celebrated by Fr. Lange.
In 2015, Fr. Lange retired from active ministry and moved to the Colombiere Jesuit community in Baltimore, praying for the Church and the Society of Jesus. He died on April 17, 2020 at the age of 93.