Father Donald Louis Gelpi, S.J.
died: Friday, May 6, 2011
Father Donald Louis Gelpi, S.J., a member of the New Orleans Province, died on Friday, May 6, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri, following a long illness. All services will be in St. Louis. Wake services will be held on Monday, May 9, at St. Francis Xavier College Church followed by the Funeral Mass that evening. Burial will be on Tuesday, May 10 at Calvary Cemetery.
Fr. Gelpi was a graduate of St. Louis University, St. Mary’s College (Kans.), and Fordham University, where he received his Ph.D. His dissertation focused on Ralph Waldo Emerson’s notion of religious experience. He taught at Loyola University before joining the faculty of the Jesuit School of Theology in 1973, where he helped found and coordinate the Institute for Spirituality and Worship, a one-year theological renewal program.
Among Fr. Gelpi’s many accomplishments, he was a Luce Fellow at the Graduate Theological Union during the academic year 1993-1994, when he studied the problem of inculturation in Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. In 1999, he became Emeritus Professor but remained active in the JST community teaching and publishing until his departure in the summer of 2009.
He authored over 20 works including Life and Light: A Guide to the Theology of Karl Rahner; Functional Asceticism: A Guideline for American Religious; Discerning the Spirit: Foundations and Futures of Religious Life; and Closer Walk: Confessions of a U.S. Jesuit Yat.