Fr. Charles Kavanagh, S.J. (1914-2001)
Former Professor of Classics at Loyola Marymount University
Charles J. Kavanagh was born in Portland, Oregon, on April 1, 1914. His family later moved to California and Charlie graduated from Loyola High School, Los Angeles, in 1931. He entered the Society of Jesus at the Sacred Heart Novitiate, Los Gatos, that same year. Following the usual course of studies, he was ordained in San Francisco on June 17, 1944. He made his solemn profession August 15, 1948.
Charlie's ministry was devoted to teaching the classics. As a regent, 1938-1941, he returned to his alma mater, Loyola High School, and taught Latin, Greek, geometry and religion. After tertianship and an M.A. in Latin from Michigan, he resumed his teaching of Latin at Loyola High in 1947. A year later he was assigned to teach Latin in the juniorate at Los Gatos, a post he held until 1956. For the period 1951-1956 he also served as dean of the juniorate program.
In 1956 he returned to Los Angeles, this time to Loyola University, where he taught Latin for a period of 36 years. When Latin dropped in popularity, he devised a special course, "Bio-Scientific Terminology," in which he taught the practical elements of Latin to pre-med students. In 1992 he became professor emeritus, and in his later years he served as house librarian and sacristan. Failing health brought him to Regis Infirmary, Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, where he prayed for the Church and the Society until his death.
Charlie was a quiet person, remembered for his graciousness and kindness. He was very generous in taking supply calls, confessions and other pastoral ministries. In his later years he showed a remarkable patience in the face of his infirmities. He was also a devotee of country music and loved to play his classic 1938 Martin guitar. (written by Dan Peterson, SJ)
Fr. Kavanagh died in Los Gatos, CA, on January 25, 2001, at the age of 86, a Jesuit for 69 years, and a priest for 56 years.