Jesuit Father John F. Snyder died on Sept. 13, 2014, at the Fusz Pavilion infirmary of the St. Louis University Jesuit Community. He was 96 years old, a Jesuit for 73 years, and a priest for 59 years. Fr. Snyder was a member of the Wisconsin Province but did many years of ministry, including his last years, in what is now the USA Central and Southern Province.
Born in Marshall, Minnesota, on Aug. 12, 1918, Fr. Snyder attended grade school and high school in Marshall and graduated from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1940. After a year at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, he entered the Society at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Missouri, on Aug. 16, 1941. Fr. Snyder had the usual Jesuit course of studies at St. Stanislaus, Mt. St. Michaels in Spokane, Washington, and St. Mary’s College. He was ordained on June 16, 1955, made tertianship in Decatur, Illinois, and pronounced his final vows on Aug. 15, 1957.
Fr. Snyder’s years as a Jesuit were full of good ministry in many places. As a young priest he studied sociology at Columbia University and taught sociology at Marquette University from 1961 to 1966. For one year he was Director of Public Relations at Marquette. For two years he served as the Wisconsin Province Director of Formation. He was Rector/President of Creighton Prep from 1970 to 1972. For the next 10 years Fr. Snyder was on the staff of the White House in St. Louis; he loved this ministry and continued to give retreats for the rest of his life. From 1983 to 1996 Fr. Snyder served in various capacities on the Gregorian Foundation, fundraising for the Gregorian University in Rome but based in New York or St. Louis. From 1996 until his death Fr. Snyder was a member of the St. Louis University Jesuit Community, engaged in various pastoral ministries as long as his health permitted.
Fr. Snyder was preceded in death by his parents John P. Snyder and Mary Callaghan Snyder, his stepmother, Helen Callaghan Snyder, his sister, Helen M. Coryn and brother-in-law Anthony E. Coryn.
Memorial gifts may be made to the USA Central and Southern Province of the Society of Jesus at 4511 West Pine Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108 or through this website.