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In Memoriam

Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Eduardo J. Pinzón Umana, SJ, who died on September 6, 2023 at Comunidad Pedro Arrupe in Colombia. He was 92 years old. May he rest in peace. Eduardo is survived by his sisters, Elia and Lucia.

Eduardo was born in Bogotá, Colombia, on January 14, 1931. He entered the Colombia Province on January 19, 1946. He was ordained on December 3, 1960 and pronounced final vows on February 2, 1965 in Iglesia de San Ignacio in Bogotá, Colombia. 

While in the Society, Eduardo earned a bachelor’s degree in Classics (1951) and licentiate degrees in philosophy (1954) and sacred theology (1961) from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. He also earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Loyola University Chicago (1969).

During regency, Eduardo taught high school students at Colegio San Francisco Javier in Pasto, Colombia (1954-1956) and Colegio Berchmans in Cali, Colombia. After ordination, he taught (psychology, theology, philosophy, and English) and was director of psychological counseling at Colegio Mayor de San Bartolomé in Bogotá (1962-1967).

After earning his master’s in counseling psychology, Eduardo taught (pastoral theology and psychology) and was director of the group psychology department at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá (1970-1973). He also was a professor of psychology at the teachers’ college, Universidad Pedagógica Nacional, in Bogotá (1971-1973).

In 1973, Eduardo moved to the United States where he was director of Latin American Services at Edgewater Mental Health Center (1973-1974) and a school psychologist at Loyola Academy (1974-1981) before he was missioned to parish work in Chicago. He was the associate pastor at Saint Fidelis Parish (1982-1984) and St. Mary of the Lake Parish (1984-2000). He was the priest in residence at St. Bartholomew Parish (2000-2013). While in Chicago, Eduardo practiced individual and family psychotherapy.

In 2013, Eduardo was missioned to Colombiere Center to care for his health. In 2016, at the age of 85, Eduardo returned to Colombia where, in addition to caring for his health, he performed pastoral ministry and counseled individuals.

Eduardo had a pastor’s sensitivity and was attentive to the students, retreatants, counselees, and parishioners entrusted to his care in whatever ministry he labored, whether in the United States or in his Colombian homeland. He was sensitive to cultural differences and tried to listen to those he served with an understanding and compassionate heart. He was a man of prayer who celebrated the Eucharist with great devotion.

Father Brian Paulson, SJ, had these memories of Eduardo:

Eduardo had a great pastoral heart as both a priest and a counselor. Having lived and worked across cultures in different settings, Eduardo was sensitive to the needs of Spanish-speaking immigrants and enjoyed serving them. Eduardo also loved to read theology and spiritual reading in multiple languages – Spanish, English and French. For a “busman’s holiday,” Eduardo loved serving as a chaplain on cruise ships, especially if it helped him to escape a Chicago winter! He loved the brotherhood of the Society, even when community was not easy for him. When he needed health care, it was difficult for Eduardo to “settle down,” and he moved with his restless heart between senior Jesuit communities in the United States and Colombia. Finally, he surrendered to God’s will and made his final home in the Colombian province these past seven years.