Jesuit Father James J. Fischer died on April 11, 2014, at Murray-Weigel Hall, Bronx, N.Y. at age 91. He was born on Dec. 23, 1923 in Jersey City, N.J., the son of John and Rose (Murray) Fischer. He was a Jesuit for 71 years and a priest for 59 years.
He attended St. Michael’s High School in , and after freshman year at St. Peter’s College, he entered the Society of Jesus at St. Andrew-on-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. on July 30, 1942. Following his novitiate and first vows, and two years of college studies, he proceeded west to study philosophy at West Baden College, West Baden Springs, Ind.
As part of his Jesuit training he then taught Mathematics at St. Peter’s College from 1949-51 and one year at ,. In preparation for the priesthood he studied theology at , from 1952-56. He received the S.T.B (Bachelor of Sacred Theology) and S.T.L (Licentiate in Sacred Theology) degrees from that institution in 1956. He was ordained with his class by Cardinal Spellman at theon June 18, 1955. Following his final year of Jesuit formation, Tertianship, at St. Robert’s Hall, Pomfret Center, Conn., he taught mathematics to Jesuit seminarians at Loyola Seminary, Shrub Oak, N.Y. from 1957-65. He then began to undertake a series of administrative positions, beginning as Rector at the novitiate in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. which was in the process of being closed. He served as President of the high school and Rector of the Jesuit Community at St. Peter’s Prep from 1967-68, and again from 1973-79. In between those two assignments he assisted the Provincial of the as Vice-Provincial for Social and Pastoral Ministry.
Following one year as an Associate Director of Campus Ministry at Fordham University (1979-80) he began a distinguished career as President first of Regis High School, N.Y.(1980-92). This remains the longest tenure of all presidents at Regis. Without a break, he then became President of McQuaid Jesuit High School, Rochester, N.Y. (1992-2003), and served there also as the longest serving President of that institution. Among his achievements, he introduced the 7th grade, oversaw the building of the Fine Arts Building, and greatly increased the endowment. He continued his dedication to Jesuit education by serving as Chancellor at McQuaid and Moderator of the Parents’ Association. He was admitted into the Athletic Hall of Fame there, not for his prowess on the courts, but as “The Most Faithful Fan.”
In 2012 because of failing health, he was assigned to pray for the Church and the Society at the Jesuit infirmary, Murray-Weigel Hall, Bronx, N.Y. in 2012. He is survived by nephews and nieces including his nephew Robert Fischer of Clifton, N.J.