Jesuit Father Martin J. Bredeck

Jesuit Father Martin J. Bredeck, 79, died Dec. 3, in St. Louis. He was a Jesuit for 61 years.

Marty, as he was known, was born Nov. 5, 1933, one of three sons of Dr. Joseph and Catherine Bredeck. He entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Mo., on Aug. 8, 1951.

Marty completed a Licentiate in Philosophy and earned a Master of Arts degree in Latin and Greek at St. Louis University. After teaching classical languages at St. Louis University High School from 1958 – 1961, he completed theology studies at St. Mary’s College in Kansas and was ordained to the priesthood June 16, 1964.

He entered tertianship, the preparation for final vows as a Jesuit, at St. Beuno’s College in Wales. After professing his final vows, Father Bredeck began working towards his Doctorate in Religion and Religious Education at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. While working on his dissertation, the young priest taught Theology at St. Joseph College in Philadelphia.

After completing his doctorate, Father Bredeck taught for two years at Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles. In 1978, he joined the Theology and Religious Studies Faculty at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, where he taught for the next 33 years.

In 1988, Father Bredeck published Imperfect Apostles: The Commonweal and the American Catholic Laity, 1924-1976, a book based on his doctoral dissertation. He remained interested in American Catholic history throughout his long career as an educator.

Father Bredeck took a sabbatical in the mid 1990s to explore Midwestern Jesuit history. His students enjoyed his dry sense of humor and considered him a fair but demanding teacher. Rockhurst University awarded him professor emeritus status in 2011.

He later returned to St. Louis where he died. He is survived by his brother Henry, nieces and nephews. Memorials may be made to the Dr. Joseph F. Bredeck Scholarship Fund of Rockhurst University, 1100 Rockhurst Road, Kansas City, Mo., 64110.


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November 24, 2020
The Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph