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In Memoriam

Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Michael R. Kolb, SJ, who died on March 8, 2023 at St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was 70 years old. May he rest in peace.

Mike is survived by his three brothers, John, Thomas, and William. Mike was born in Madison, Wisconsin on April 20, 1952 and entered the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus on August 19, 1971. He was ordained at the Church of the Gesu in Milwaukee on June 17, 1982 and pronounced final vows at Marquette University High School on October 13, 1991.

While in the Society, Mike earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Saint Louis University (1976). He earned a master’s of divinity degree (1982) and a master’s degree in theology (1983) from Weston School of Theology. He also completed a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (1992) before earning a doctorate in anthropology (with a focus on Indigenous Religions) from Assam Don Bosco University in Guwahati, India (2014). His research centered on how traditional groups come to relate to modern society. In particular, he focused on how the college-educated Dimasa (a traditional community in northeast India) youths relate to religious heritage and other aspects of traditional culture.

During regency, Mike taught English at Sogang University in Seoul, Korea (1976-1979). After ordination, he taught theology at Marquette University High School (1983-1989) before graduate studies in counseling at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Mike returned to MUHS where he was dean of students (1992-1994) and a counselor and teacher of drama (1994-2007). Since 2007, in addition to earning his doctorate, Mike engaged in research and various writing projects.

Mike was fascinated by other cultures: before he entered the Society, he spent summers volunteering at St. Francis Indian Mission on the Rosebud Reservation; during regency he taught in Korea; and he spent many years studying and conducting research in the Kohima Region of northeast India. Mike was both bright and creative. He was an excellent writer and used his skills well — especially when writing about other cultures or his travel experiences. In celebration of the Kohima Jesuits’ Golden Jubilee, Mike authored the book “Praying with Jesuit Saints and Blessed”, which was published by the Kohima Region. The book was republished by the Midwest Province for the Ignatian Year in 2022.