Jesuit Father Roland J. Teske died at St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, on May 18, 2015. He was 80 years old, a Jesuit for 62 years, and a priest for 49 years, a month shy of his golden jubilee. May he rest in peace.
Born in Milwaukee on October 29, 1934, Fr. Teske attended Mother of Good Counsel Grade School and Marquette University High School before entering the Society of Jesus at Florissant, Missouri, on August 8, 1952. He helped open the new novitiate in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and made vows there. He completed his Jesuit studies at St. Stanislaus, Saint Louis University and St. Mary’s College. Fr. Teske was ordained on June 8, 1965, and made tertianship in Drongen, Belgium. He pronounced his final vows on February 2, 1974.
As a regent, Fr. Teske taught at Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. After he completed doctoral studies in philosophy at the University of Toronto in 1974, he spent all his years of active ministry in higher education, becoming an established, much-published scholar in several areas of the history of philosophy. He began teaching at Marquette University in 1970 and directed the Honors Program in the late 1970s. He continued to teach and write there, even after he was named professor emeritus of philosophy almost 40 years later in 2008. In 2014, declining health led to his move to the St. Camillus Jesuit Community.
Fr. Teske was a multi-talented, extremely disciplined Jesuit who focused his ministry on becoming a productive teacher and scholar in the best Jesuit tradition. Although he did not find writing easy as a young scholar, he eventually published a prodigious amount of high-quality material, with special attention to Augustine and some medieval Augustinians. He related well to his students and was an active contributor to the life of the Marquette University Jesuit Community. He was a steady man and a good Jesuit.