In Memoriam: Fr. David H. Gau, SJ
Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. David H. Gau, SJ, who died on February 9, 2024 in Wauwautosa, Wisconsin. He was 93 years old. May he rest in peace. Dave is survived by his brother, James, and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his siblings: Paul Gau, Martina Winckler, and Rose Nickel. Dave was born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, on November 8, 1930. He attended Marquette University for one year before entering the Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus on August 17, 1949 at St. Stanislaus Jesuit novitiate in Florissant, Missouri. He became a member of the Wisconsin Province when it was created in 1955. He was ordained a priest on June 12, 1962 at the Church of the Gesu in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and pronounced final vows on August 15, 1965 at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While in the Society, Dave earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy (1955) and a master's degree in history (1959) from St. Louis University. He also earned a bachelor's degree in Sacred Theology from St. Mary's College in St. Mary, Kansas (1964). During his first year of regency, Dave taught Latin and math at St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota (1956-1957). His second year of Regency was at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, Nebraska, where he taught history and speech (1957-1958). After ordination, Dave taught Latin and French at Marquette University High School (MUHS) for nineteen years (1964-1983). While at MUHS, Dave was also rector (1972-1975) and minister (1977-1982) of the MUHS Jesuit community. In 1983, Dave returned to South Dakota to minister to Native Americans. He was the associate director of the Mother Butler Center in Rapid City (1983-1984), the associate director of the Sioux Spiritual Center in Plainview (1984-1988), and the associate pastor of St. Francis Mission (1989-2001). Dave then ministered for ten years as the associate pastor of St. Margaret's Church in Riverton, Wyoming, before being missioned [in 2011] to St. Camillus Jesuit Community to pray for the Church and the Society. Dave was a quiet, steady, and practical man, He was an excellent teacher, a good pastor, and a good companion in community. He touched the lives of many, many people. He lived simply and worked easily with the poor. He was gentle with others. In the fall, Dave spoke to Fr. Chris Manahan, SJ, about how he learned the art of conversation and listening from his years on the Native American reservations and, not one to get to know people quickly, often found it difficult to establish close relationships as his contemporaries passed. Fr. Doug Leonhardt, SJ, has this to say about Dave: Dave Gau was the superior of the Marquette High community when I went there as principal, two years after ordination. He was a man of few words but when he spoke, they were always words of compassion, care, interest in an individual, never about himself. I will always be grateful for his encouragement and support of me as a community member and administrator. But what stood out more for me was his tender care of two of the men in the community who suffered from mental illness which debilitated them at times. He made sure they had the best care and he always showed them kindness and encouragement in their life and in their ministry. He was a true and true Jesuit whose heart was filled with kindness and pastoral love. This made his ministry in Wyoming so effective among the Native Americans. It was a privilege to be with him in community at St. Camillus. Dave was aways low maintenance but high performance in his love of God and his brothers. Fr. George Winzenburg, SJ, has these memories of Dave: Dave was kind, thoughtful, and intelligent. He was an avid reader, an adventurous traveler, and a lifelong learner who gave his mind and heart to everyone he served. He enjoyed stimulating conversations about literature, classical music, theology, religion, and current events. He listened well and was an astute observer. He regularly attended organ concerts and symphonies. He used a walker and walked outside every day for an hour, unless there was ice on the sidewalk or bitter temperatures. He wanted to keep his legs strong. He loved teaching French at Marquette University High School (MUHS) and often spoke of his two sabbatical years in France: 1968-1969 at College St. Joseph, Bordeaux, and 1976-1977 at College Ste. Genevieve, Versailles. In 1983, he left MUHS after teaching for 19 years. He said, “I should leave the boys before they leave me.” After some years in Rapid City and Plainview, South Dakota, he moved to St. Francis Mission to do parish ministry. He gained many insights about himself and the human condition by his pastoral ministry with the Lakota. He was a popular associate pastor at St. Margaret's Church in Wyoming. He kept in touch with friends by letters and phone calls. A diocesan priest and a rancher visited Dave in Milwaukee and they went fishing on Lake Michigan. After moving to St. Camillus in 2011, Dave celebrated mass in a nursing home for ten years.
In Memoriam: Fr. Daniel P. Liderbach, SJ
Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Daniel P. Liderbach, SJ, who died on February 1, 2024 at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Michigan. He was 82 years old. May he rest in peace. Dan is survived by his siblings: John, Brian, Mark, Mary, Kathleen Reese, Sharon Davidson, and Susan Mejia. Dan was born on March 17, 1941 in Cleveland, Ohio. Before entering the Society, he graduated from Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio. He entered the Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus on September 1, 1958 at the Jesuit novitiate in Milford, Ohio. He was ordained a priest on June 2, 1973 at St. Patrick's Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and pronounced final vows on December 8, 1978 at Rodman Hall, the Jesuit Community of John Carroll University. While in the Society, Dan earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy (1954) and a licentiate in philosophy (1965) from Loyola University Chicago. He earned a master's degree in theology (1973) and a doctorate degree in systematic theology (1979) from the University of St. Michael in Toronto, Ontario. The title of his dissertation was: "The Theology of Suffering of Martin Luther in Modern Translation: A comparative study in the roots of the theology of suffering of Dietrich Bonhoeffer." In 1983, Dan earned a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Regis College in Toronto, Ontario. During regency, Dan taught math at St. John's Jesuit High School & Academy in Toledo, Ohio (1965-1968). Early in his Jesuit life, Dan had surgery to remove a brain tumor. This experience helped to form his worldview and influence his scholarly research topics. After doctoral studies, he worked for one year at the University of Detroit before teaching religious studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, for five years (1978-1983). Dan then spent 23 years teaching religious studies at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York (1983-2006). After ministering at Holy Family Parish in Parma, Ohio, Dan was missioned to Colombiere Center in 2008 to write, perform pastoral ministry, and pray for the Church and the Society. Dan was a devoted Jesuit, priest, teacher, and scholar. He had an inquisitive and open mind which helped him to consider issues and situations from different points of view. This mindset, coupled with his deep love of Christ, helped Dan to effectively write and teach about issues such as suffering, early and modern-day Christianity, and the role of grace (in our lives and in the world). He authored eight books and many articles. In addition to being a scholar, he was a gifted musician who loved to sing and play the classical guitar. Fr. Ryan Duns, SJ, had this to say about Dan: Dan Liderbach may have been the oddest and quirkiest teacher I have ever had. Some of my friends from Canisius College still imitate the way he would announce, in the middle of a lecture, a “footnote” and physically step to the side to make a new point. As an instructor, he expected students to engage the theological tradition and to find ways to advance it. For Dan, theology was not an exercise of looking in the rearview mirror but, rather, a vocation to think about how the rich resources of theology could be drawn into dialogue with contemporary culture. Dan directed my senior thesis—“The Rhythm of the Eucharist”—and helped me to get it published. From that point onward, he treated me as a colleague and a friend. I can say there are two [of his traits] I try to embrace. First, he was an incredibly diligent worker who was committed to theological reflection. Even if you didn’t agree with him, he welcomed dialogue and debate. Second, Dan was no stranger to suffering. He knew well the limits of human flesh. Yet his vulnerability with others empowered them to be vulnerable; his humanity, in effect, allowed the humanity of others to emerge. He was a sacrament of real presence who allowed others to be really present. I am grateful to Dan for making me unafraid of the Mystery’s abyssal depth and my hope now is that he is in the loving presence of the Mystery he served so well during his life.
In Memoriam: Fr. Donald R. Matthys, SJ
Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Donald R. Matthys, SJ, who died on January 30, 2024 at St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwautosa, Wisconsin. He was 87 years old. May he rest in peace. Don is survived by his brother, Robert, and his sister, Lorraine Marten. Don was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Before entering the Society, he studied at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota. He entered the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus on August 17, 1955 at the Jesuit novitiate in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He was ordained a priest on June 8, 1968 in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and pronounced final vows on December 8, 1983 at the Church of the Gesu in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While in the Society, Don earned a bachelor's degree from Spring Hill College (1962), a master's degree in physics (1964) from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (1964), and a licentiate degree in theology from Saint Louis University (1969). Don earned a doctorate in physics from Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri (1975). The title of his dissertation was: "An Experimental Approach to the Uncertainty Principle." During regency, Don taught Latin and math at Marquette University High School (1964-1965). After earning his doctorate, he was a professor of physics at Marquette University (1974-2013) before becoming a professor emeritus. In 2019, Don was missioned to St. Camillus Jesuit Community to pray for the Church and the Society. Don was a dedicated scientist, scholar, and professor. He was observant, curious, and always wanted to "figure out" how things work. He researched and published in the area of lasers (e.g., Optical Measurement Techniques for Remote Sensing of Displacements and Strains in Structural Elements) and holographic/fiber optic systems. He also was a leader in his field: he was chair of the Optical Methods Division and vice president of the Applied Optics Group of the Society for Experimental Mechanics. Don was a consultant to AT&T on deformations in microcircuit modules. He also was awarded summer faculty fellowships at NASA and received the Space Act Tech Brief Award from the NASA Inventions and Contributions Board. Fr. George Winzenburg, SJ, has these memories of Don: Don was quiet, thoughtful, kind, and extremely intelligent. His intellectual passion was mathematics, but he also excelled in the classics. He quoted lines from Latin and Greek literature that he learned in the juniorate. His graduate studies were in physics, and he taught courses at all levels at Marquette University, where he earned the rank of professor, and upon retirement was named professor emeritus. His specialty was optics. He collaborated with professors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and wrote computer programs for research projects. Altogether, he co-authored 35 articles. His hobbies were chess and Go, the abstract strategy board game developed in China that pits two players whose aim is to surround more territory than the opponent. He had a large heart for people in need. For many decades, he befriended a woman with multiple sclerosis and helped her almost every day. Don lived simply. He was a faithful Jesuit priest. He accepted his diminishment with equanimity and chose to enter hospice so he could enjoy the friendship of his companions and pass peacefully to the Lord.
In Memoriam: Fr. Hubert G. Boschert, SJ
Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of our brother, Fr. Hubert G. Boschert, SJ, who died on November 25, 2023 at St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwautosa, Wisconsin. He was 86 years old. May he rest in peace. Bert was born in Saint Charles, Missouri. He graduated from Saint Louis University High School before entering the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus on August 8, 1955 at Saint Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Missouri. He was ordained a priest on June 4, 1968 at Saint Louis Cathedral in Saint Louis, Missouri, and pronounced final vows on August 15, 1974 at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Mankato, Minnesota. While in the Society, Bert earned a number of degrees from Saint Louis University: a bachelor's degree in philosophy (1961), Licentiate Degrees in philosophy (1962) and Theology (1969), and a master's degree in theology (1969). During regency, Bert taught history and math at Red Cloud Indian School (1963-1965). After ordination, he returned to Red Cloud where he was the assistant prefect of studies (1969-1970) and principal (1970-1972). Beginning in 1972, Bert spent almost 50 years performing pastoral ministry. He began as the associate pastor of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Mankato, Minnesota (1972-1981), and then ministered for 27 years as a pastor at: Saint Gabriel Parish in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin (1981-1993; 2002-2008); Saint Stephen Parish in Bridgewater, South Dakota (1994-1996); the Church of Saint Joseph Parish in Owatonna, Minnesota (1996-1998); and Saint Edward Parish in Austin, Minneapolis (1998-2002). He was a senior associate pastor at Christ the King Parish in Omaha, Nebraska (2009-2010; 2013-2016). Bert also was the assistant to the rector (2010-2013) and performed pastoral ministry at Creighton University (2016-2019). In 2019, Bert was missioned to Saint Camillus Jesuit Community to care for his health. Bert was very close to his Jesuit classmates who entered at Florissant in 1955. He loved being a Jesuit and a priest. He spent most of his years of active ministry in parishes, thoroughly enjoying sacramental ministry and parish administration. Being approachable and easy to like, there was a simplicity about Bert that drew parishioners to him. He found immense joy in being a pastor. When Terry Brennan was minister of the Saint Camillus Jesuit Community, he and Bert played cribbage every evening after supper. They went to the living room in the guest area to play cards. Bert also enjoyed playing sheepshead, bridge, and hearts. Novice Jon Jue-Wong, nSJ, who did his hospital experiment at St. Camillus had this to say of him: "Bert's gentle, peaceable nature was such a blessing to be around." In the last two years of his life, Bert found it difficult to express himself. He also became physically weak. He stayed in his room and listened to classical music. The aides who cared for him appreciated his gentle demeanor. They admired his courage in diminishment.