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In Memoriam

Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of, Fr. Francis E. Canfield, SJ, who died on May 6, 2023 at Colombiere Center Jesuit Community in Clarkston, Michigan. He was 87 years old. May he rest in peace.

Frank is preceded in death by his brother, Michael. He is survived by his sister, Mary (and her sons, David and Ryan), his sister-in-law, Gail (and her sons, Michael and Kevin), and many grand nieces and nephews.

Frank was born in Detroit, Michigan on February 1, 1936 and graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School (UDJHS&A) before entering the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus on September 1, 1954. [He became a member of the Detroit Province when it was created in 1955.] He was ordained at Colombiere Center in Clarkston on June 14, 1967 and pronounced final vows at UDJHS&A on August 15, 1976.

While in the Society, Frank earned a bachelor’s degree (1959) and a master’s degree (1964) in classics from Loyola University Chicago. He earned a licentiate degree in philosophy from West Baden College in West Baden Springs, Indiana (1961). Frank was missioned to studies in Canada and earned a Master’s of Theology and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Regis College (1968). After ordination, he earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario (1970).

During Regency, Frank taught Latin at UDJHS&A (1961-1964). After completing his studies in Canada, Frank returned to his alma mater where he ministered for two decades (1970-1989). He taught (psychology, Theology, and Latin), was a student counselor, and served as principal for one year (1975-1976). Frank then spent fifteen years as a student counselor and teacher at St. John’s Jesuit (SJJ) High School in Toledo, Ohio. In addition to caring for the students of SJJ, Frank provided cura personalis to the Jesuits while he as superior of the community (1996-2002). Frank then companioned students, faculty, and staff at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland for eight years as a chaplain before being missioned to Colombiere Center in 2014.

Frank was a devoted Jesuit and priest, known as a great listener. Throughout his life, Frank dealt with health issues, but these did not keep him from being present to others. He always had an easy smile and offered words of encouragement to everyone he encountered. Always desiring to help others, Frank found it hard to say “no” when asked to do something (like attending the baseball game of one of the students he counseled or celebrating a wedding ceremony for an alumus). He kept in contact with may alumni and their families. While at Colombiere Center, many of Frank’s friends would drive [sometimes] three or more hours on a weekend to visit with him. Of course, Frank was always gracious and hospitable to his guests.