Jesuit Father Francis E. Skechus died suddenly on June 15, 2016 in Philadelphia. Jesuit Father Francis E. Skechus was born in Pittston, Pennsylvania on August 1, 1941. He graduated from Pittston High School and entered the Society of Jesus at the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, Pennsylvania in 1963 following graduation from the University of Scranton. He received a Master’s in Chemistry from there as well and a Master of Divinity from Woodstock College in New York. He was ordained a priest on June 7, 1975 and went on to receive a degree in Nursing from St. Louis University.
As a scholastic, Fr. Skechus taught Latin at Jesuit High School in El Paso and English and Chemistry at Colegio San Mateo in Chile. Following ordination, he became the Executive Director of Centro Loyola in Philadelphia, focusing on the teaching and mentoring of Puerto Rican youth. In 1980, Fr. Skechus was appointed Pastoral Minister of Old St. Joseph’s Church in Philadelphia, serving the parish for seven years. In 1983, he also began teaching at St. Joseph’s Prep for what would become a nearly 30-year tenure teaching Chemistry, Biology, Spanish and German. For much of this time, he also worked part-time as a nurse at Temple University Hospital.
In 2012, Fr. Skechus returned to his alma mater, the University of Scranton, as a pastoral minister. He died suddenly in Philadelphia on June 15, 2016 at the age of 74.