Father John G. Valenta

Father John G. Valenta, SJ

Father John G. Valenta, S.J. was called to eternal life on July 10, 2018 at the Fusz Pavilion in St. Louis, MO. He was 95 years old, a Jesuit for 68 years and a priest for 56 years.

Born in St. Louis, Mo. on Aug. 1, 1922, he attended St. John the Baptist grade school and St. Louis University High School, graduating in 1940. He attended Saint Louis University (1940-43; 1946-47), earning a B.S. in Mathematics (1944) and a B.S. in Chemistry (1947).

He served as a deck officer in the U.S. Navy (1943-46) during World War II, largely in the Pacific theater; after exiting the Navy, he worked in sales (1947-49) before entering the Society at St. Stanislaus Seminary, Florissant, Mo., on Aug. 8, 1949. After First Vows and Juniorate studies at Florissant, he studied philosophy at Saint Louis University (1952-55). In place of regency, he began graduate work in Chemistry at Saint Louis University. He was in residence from 1955 to 1959; however, he continued working on his dissertation during vacations and summers, completing his Ph.D. in 1962. He studied Theology at St. Mary’s College in St. Marys, Kan., earning the S.T.B. (1964). He was ordained on June 12, 1962 at St. Mary’s. His Tertianship was at Sankt Andrä in Kärnten, Austria (1963-64). He pronounced his final vows at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo. His last degree was an M.A. in Counseling and Guidance given by the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1988.

Jack was a gentle and kind man who spent over 30 years of his apostolic life at Rockhurst University. He taught chemistry for over 20 years (1964-86) and was Rector of the Jesuit community (1975-80). It is a sign of his flexibility and attentiveness to apostolic needs that, at an age when he might have considered retirement, he decided to undertake training as a counselor.

After a two-year program in counselling at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, he spent the next eight years employing those skills at Rockhurst (1988-96). In 1996 he came to St. Louis to serve as chaplain at the Fusz Pavilion and to do supply work in the area. This continued until 2011, when he received the mission of praying for the Church and Society. At the time of his death, he was the senior member of the Fusz Pavilion community.

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Wednesday
August 15, 2018
Newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph