This past May, after 67 years of teaching, 29 books, eight best book awards, 150 journal articles, 20 honorary doctorates, two historic General Congregations, and three lifetime achievement awards, Midwest Jesuit Fr. John O’Malley taught his final history class at Georgetown University. Although he did not have his students physically present, they all wished him well from their virtual classroom. Father O’Malley was a professor in the theology department at Georgetown and also served as president of the Renaissance Society of America and Catholic Historical Society.
Father O’Malley is considered a giant among Jesuit scholars and intellectuals, and he is also known for being a kind and humble Jesuit priest. Father O’Malley entered the former Chicago Province in 1946 when he was 18 years old. He taught his first history class over six decades ago at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago. Many young Jesuits have cited Fr. O’Malley’s writing as one of the ways they were introduced to the Society of Jesus. Currently, Fr. O’Malley is missioned to pray for the Church and the Society, and he continues to research and write for publications such as America.