Father Skillingstad successfully occupied leadership positions in dramatically different cultural settings, such as Seoul, Rome, Nairobi, and Spokane.
Jesuit Fr. M. Delmar Skillingstad died on November 12, 2013, at St. Camillus in Wauwatosa, Wis. He was 87 years old, a Jesuit for 63 years, and a priest for 53 years.
Born in St. Paul, Minn., on October 11, 1926, Fr. Skillingstad attended grade school and high school in St. Cloud, Minn., before serving in the military for several years. From 1947 to 1950 he studied at Saint John’s University in Minnesota and Marquette University in Milwaukee before entering the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Mo. on August 8, 1950. He had the usual Jesuit course of studies at St. Stanislaus, Saint Louis University, and St. Mary’s College. Destined early on for missionary work in Korea, Fr. Skillingstad had one year of Korean language study before theology while he was also teaching at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee. He was ordained a priest on June 16, 1960, made tertianship in Hiroshima, Japan, and professed his final vows in Seoul, Korea, on February 2, 1977.
Father Skillingstad was assigned to Korea from 1961 to 1983. He served as treasurer and, for eight years, as president of Sogang University in Seoul. Next, Fr. Skillingstad moved to Rome, where for 10 years he served as socius to the delegate for Roman Houses and director of the Gregorian Consortium. After a year on the staff of Jesuit Refugee Service in Nairobi, Kenya, he returned to the United States in 1995 as an administrator at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., where he served until he moved to St. Camillus in January 2013.
Father Skillingstad successfully occupied leadership positions in dramatically different cultural settings, such as Seoul, Rome, Nairobi, and Spokane. Near to the end of his life, he continued to preside at Korean language liturgies in Spokane.
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