The Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits, was founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola in 1534. Since its beginnings in 1855, SI has been a Jesuit school, teaching Ignatian values to the Bay Area's youth. (The above photo was taken in 1905 during the 50-year anniversary of the founding of SI and shows Jesuits who taught both at SI and at Santa Clara College.)
Today, Jesuit priests, scholastics (men who are in formation to become priests) and brothers continue to serve our students, parents, faculty and alumni. Jesuits serve as administrators, as teachers and as ministers, celebrating Masses, leading retreats and attending to the spiritual needs of the SI family.
Currently, the following men are members of the SI Jesuit Communtiy. Asterisks indicate they reside in McGucken Hall but work elsewhere.
Also, each November we celebrate All Souls Day. If you would like the Jesuit Community to keep your loved one in your prayers, you may use this form to do so.
Brother Douglas Draper, S.J., serves as minister of the SI Jesuit Community, as moderator of the Fathers' Club and as proctor for the school. The story, below, was published in Genesis Magazine upon his retirement as the longest-serving dean of students among all Jesuit high schools in the U.S.
Few would argue that Br. Douglas Draper, S.J., has served as a San Francisco icon of discipline since he first began as SI’s dean of students in 1969.
Few know that he had his start in the field of discipline sitting on the other side of the desk. As a student at St. Joseph’s High School in Alameda, he was caught smoking in an adjacent park by the school’s dean, a brother in the Marianist order.
“He called me into his office and told me to phone my mother and tell her where I was,” said Br. Draper. “When I began my job at SI, I borrowed that line and use it to this day. I still remember the expression on my mother’s face when she walked into that office. She dealt with me at home.”
After 42 years at SI, 39 spent as dean of students (the longest reign of any Jesuit high school dean in the country), Br. Douglas Draper retired in June to standing ovations, tribute dinners and praise from alumni, even the ones he sent to detention or suspended over his long career.
“I see these alumni at reunions,” said Br. Draper. “They will come up to me to thank me for suspending them. I hear this all the time. All kids need guidelines and regulations. I try to be consistent and to follow the rules. Kids will always be kids. They will test limits — that’s how God made them. But I wouldn’t change this job for anything else in the world. I feel lucky that SI allowed me to stay for so long. The truth is, when you make a friend with a student, you have a friend for life.”
In May, San Francisco Examiner columnist, SH alumnus and SI dad Ken Garcia wrote a tribute to Brother, noting that “he would appear magically at gatherings, trying to keep exuberant teenagers from getting into the kind of trouble at which exuberant teenagers excel. How big a legend is Brother Draper? Well, he once busted up one of my high school parties — and I didn’t even go to SI.”
Though Br. Draper is a San Francisco native — born Oct. 24, 1937, to James (a banker) and Margaret (a nurse) — he moved halfway through grammar school at St. Monica’s to the East Bay when his father was transferred. At St. Joseph’s High School in Alameda, he served as a cheerleader and came to admire the brothers who taught there.
“They seemed to radiate happiness and joy,” said Br. Draper. “I was drawn to their way of living and thinking.”
At UC Berkeley, he studied English but left after his junior year to enter the Society of Jesus. “I had huge classes and never saw my teachers. I just wasn’t happy there. I wanted to serve people and knew the Jesuits through two of the McIntosh brothers, who were family friends. We respected them greatly, and they helped me discern my vocation.”
He entered the Society of Jesus at Los Gatos on Oct. 12, 1960, and pronounced his first vow April 14, 1963. Then, in 1966, he told the provincial that he hoped to work as a librarian. One by one, his fellow brothers received their assignments, but not Br. Draper.
“I was sitting at Sam’s Grill with my friends and joked that I would be the only one left behind. I didn’t realize it, but the provincial was sitting in the next booth. The next day he assigned me to SI to assist Leo Hyde who, at the time, was assistant principal in charge of discipline.
Leo Hyde proved to be an effective mentor to Br. Draper. One day Br. Draper asked Leo what to do about a student from a powerful family who habitually parked in an area reserved for faculty. “I asked him if I should talk to the boy, and he said no. Then he handed me a bag of sand and told me to pour it into his gas tank. He never parked there again.”
In 1969, Br. Draper received a call from the Provincial’s residence, which at the time was on Lyon Street in San Francisco. “He called me at 10:30 a.m. and told me to be in his office in half an hour. I was wearing a cassock, so I borrowed Fr. McFadden’s long overcoat and took a streetcar and a bus to get to his residence in time. He told me that he was pleased with my work and that he was going to name me as dean of students. As he ushered me out, he said that we should have dinner at Sam’s some time.”
Br. Draper didn’t feel well suited to his new role. As a novice, he weighed all of 105 pounds, and the master of novices told him to drink port wine with an egg in it before dinner to stimulate his appetite. By the time he began as dean, he had only gained five pounds, and standing at five feet, six inches, he felt a bit intimidated when faced with taller and tougher students at the all-boys school.
“I came slowly to the job. At the Stanyan Street campus, I was afraid of them to some extent. They tested me from time to time, smoking across the street at Red’s Market. But I also remember the tremendous school spirit they showed, walking from the school to Kezar for football games.
Br. Draper had a chance to take part in one of those processions, but not to Kezar. The start of the 1969–70 academic year marked the school’s move from Stanyan Street to the Sunset District. After the Mass of the Holy Spirit at St. Ignatius Church (with the statue of St. Ignatius pointing west), the entire student body, led by Br. Draper, marched to the new school.
Brother established his authority quickly by following the good advice he received from his predecessor. “Leo was a great inspiration. He told me to be my own man and not to imitate him. I prayed hard over how to do this. I grew to understand that my job was to be consistent as I taught students how to study, how to discern right from wrong and how to engender good values such as self-discipline. But boys will be boys and sometimes get in trouble or be late for school. I always tried to listen to what they had to say and let them off if they had a good excuse. However, I could not tolerate lying.”
When Brother had little proof but still suspected a student of an infraction, he would have the boy come into his office, sit down, and say, “I know what you did, but I don’t know why you did it.” Most of the time, the gambit paid off.
Over the years, Brother grew famous for other sayings, and “wrong place, wrong time” became his trademark phrase, even making it onto souvenir shirts this year for the Bruce-Mahoney football game.
Br. Draper is also known for his sense of humor when it comes to catching rule-breakers. For the 1973 prom, dozens of students rented a penthouse room at a hotel on Sutter Street. As they continued celebrating there with their dates, Br. Draper received a call alerting him to the situation. He and Fr. Gene Growney, S.J. ’60, drove to the hotel and finally convinced the manager to give them permission to raid the party. “Just as he gave us permission, we heard that the students called for room service. A waiter in a green jacket wheeled his cart out, and I borrowed his jacket,” recalled Br. Draper. Then he and Fr. Growney took the elevator to the penthouse, knocked on the door and announced that room service had arrived. “When the door opened, I burst through and saw everyone dive for cover. I opened the door to the bathroom and found a young man, fully clothed, sitting on the toilet with his date on his lap. I told him if he sat there too long, he would get hemorrhoids.”
The next year, after the last final exams for the Class of 1974, the seniors brought a keg to the top of Strawberry Hill in Golden Gate Park. “Fr. McFadden heard about it and told me to do my job.” He and Fr. Capitolo, walked up the hill, found the boys and poured out the keg. Br. Draper then realized that, in his cassock, he was unable to walk down the hill. One of the students, John Stiegeler ’74 (who teaches history and coaches soccer at SI) hoisted Br. Draper on his back and carried him down.
Brother also recalls senior pranks, such as the greased pig released on the third floor of the school. “I called the school’s cook to capture it, which he did. I don’t know what happened to it after that!”
Other students disassembled a Volkswagen Beetle and reassembled it in the stairway on the first floor. “I had to call the fire department to get it out.”
After the school went coed, students tried to organize a second senior sneak. “I found the class at Speedway Meadows in Golden Gate Park at 8:40 a.m. I told them that if they came to school by 9:20, they would only receive five days of detention. Those who didn’t make it back in time would be suspended. Everyone made it back in time, and I sat with them in the Commons for each of those five days. The pay phone kept ringing, but I never moved a muscle. They sat, wall-to-wall, feet flat on the floor until they served their time.”
Brother also helped students in times of tragedy. When two students died in a car crash in 1993, he attended both funerals and, at 5 p.m., received a call from Holy Cross Cemetery that 200 of their classmates would not leave the gravesides. Exhausted, he drove to Colma struggling with what he would say to them. “When I arrived, I told them that their faith should not be shallow. Without an afterlife, the deaths of these boys would be in vain. I asked the students to remember the good they accomplished in their lives.”
For his service to SI and the greater community, Pope John Paul II honored Br. Draper in a ceremony at St. Mary’s Cathedral along with 50 other Bay Area priests, religious and lay people as part of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 celebration. Br. Draper received the Pro Eclesia et Pontifice papal honor (for individuals who have served the Church and the Pope with distinction) along with four alumni — Frank Heffernan ’48, Robert McCullough ’48, Michael D. Nevin ’61 and Dr. Collin Poy Quock ’57 — and former regent H. Welton Flynn ’71 at St. Mary’s Cathedral on September 17, 2000.
“I was certainly humbled by this honor,” said Br. Draper, “but I wasn’t really struck by the significance of it until SI’s Mass of the Holy Spirit when the student body gave me a standing ovation.”
When he heard that he was to receive the honor, Br. Draper asked himself, “Why me, Lord? My life is very ordinary. I sow seeds of discipline for the young men and women at our school. But I imagine that that’s the point of the award — to honor people who do ordinary things that really do matter.” Br. Draper accepted the award “in the name of the many students, parents and faculty members, both lay and Jesuit, who have touched my life so deeply during my time at SI.”
At the ceremony, presided over by Archbishop William Levada, the recipients sat together. “There I was,” said Br. Draper, “near Welton Flynn, the former SI Fathers’ Club President. I realized all the good he and all the other honorees had done for the Church, especially those who work with high school students. The seeds we sow will come to fruition in later years.” In addition to a cape and medallion, which Fr. Walsh asked him to wear at the May Baccalaureate Mass, Br. Draper received a scroll, which he hung in his office.
Two years ago, Brother was honored again when the Student Activities Center was named for him. This year, the Ignatian Guild dedicated its fashion show to him, and the Fathers’ Club created a scholarship in his name and raised $80,000 for it at the auction. Last June, the Alumni Association paid him tribute at the all-alumni reunion, highlighted by a video documentary prepared by Sean Lawhon ’88.
Next year, Brother will take a sabbatical, living at St. Agnes Church in San Francisco for six months to work with parishioners. When he returns, he will continue in his role as minister of the Jesuit community, assisting the rector in the day-to-day business matters affecting the residents of McGucken Hall. He will also continue in his role as Fathers’ Club Moderator.
He won’t lose touch with the students, however, as he has volunteered to proctor classes for teachers away on retreat. Like generations of students before them, they will most likely stand when Br. Draper enters the room and proclaim in one voice, “Good morning Br. Draper.”
“I’m looking forward to being in the classroom,” said Brother. “I’ll get a chance to see my funny kids and look out for them. I’ve always prided myself on being an omnipresent dean, so rest assured; I’ll be around next year and for years to come.”
Fr. Robert Ballecer, S.J., lives at SI while working as a producer and host with a Petaluma network called This Week in Tech TV. He is also the founder of the technology blog TechStop.net.
A Hayward native, he graduated from Bellarmine College Preparatory in 1992 and attended SCU, where he studied engineering and theatre and worked at a homeless shelter and a center for disadvantaged children before entering the Society of Jesus in 1994. He went on to earn his bachelor’s in philosophy at Loyola University in Chicago and his master’s in divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley.
He has taught at Loyola High School in Los Angeles and served at a parish in San Jose and the Holy Spirit Newman Center in Honolulu.
Ordained in 2007, he most recently has served as director of the Office of National Vocation Promotion for the Jesuit Conference in Washington, DC, between 2008 and 2013.
Fr. Ronald Clemo, S.J., attended Mission High School and USF before entering the Jesuits in 1954. He taught at SI between 1961 and 1964, in 1968 and between 1969 and 1970. He worked at Bellarmine between 1970 and 2010 as assistant principal for student affairs, sophomore class counselor, college guidance counselor and U.S. history teacher. He is currently chaplain for St. Elizabeth's High School in Oakland.
1941 Born January 10th, Alameda, California
1961 Entered the California Province Jesuit Novitiate on September 7th
1972 Ordained Roman Catholic Priest, June 10th
1954-1958 Bellarmine College Preparatory, San Jose, California
1958 - 1961 Undergraduate Studies in Civil Engineering at the University
of Santa Clara, Santa Clara, California
B.A. - 1966 Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy
Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington
M.A. - 1967 Master’s Degree in Philosophy
Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington
M.A. - 1972 Master’s Degree in Theology
Th.D. - 1975 Doctorate in Theology
University of Regensburg, West Germany
Subject: The Ecclesiology of Hans Urs von Balthasar
Thesis Director: Joseph Ratzinger
TEACHING AND ADMINISTRATIVE EXPERIENCE
1966 - 1967 Taught Philosophy at Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington
1967 - 1969 Taught Philosophy at University of Santa Clara, California
Co-founder and Director of Project 50
1974 - 1998 Taught Systematic and Spiritual Theology,
University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California
1976 Founder and Director, Saint Ignatius Institute, University of San Francisco, 1978 Founder and Editor, Ignatius Press
1991 Publisher, The Catholic World Report
1995 Publisher, Homiletic & Pastoral Review
Co-Founder, Adoremus: Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy
2002 Founder and President, Campion College of San Francisco
2002-2004 Chancellor, Ave Maria University
2004-2007 Provost, Ave Maria University
2007-2009 Theologian in Residence, Ave Maria University
Brother Joseph Frias, S.J., works in Adult Spirituality and Community Service at SI and he teaches sophomore religious studies; he recently received a master’s in divinity from Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. While in Boston, he also volunteered at a men’s prison
A San Francisco native, Brother Frias attended St. Cecilia’s School, SHC and SFSU, where he studied liberal arts and Spanish, and he worked at his family’s vineyard before entering the Society of Jesus in 2002. Since then, he has taught religion and Spanish at Verbum Dei High School, worked in the Sojourn Chaplaincy Program at San Francisco General Hospital.
Fr. Charles Gagan, S.J. ’55, former pastor of St. Ignatius Church adjacent to the USF campus, lives at SI and works at Mission Dolores Academy assisting that school with its development efforts.
He attended Star of the Sea School and entered the Jesuits after graduating from SI. He was ordained in 1968 after receiving degrees from Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount and SCU in philosophy, education and theology.
He worked at SI as a teacher between 1962 and 1965 and then as assistant principal for academics between 1969 and 1971.
Other assignments took him to Loyola High School in Los Angeles, where he served as assistant principal and principal; USF, where he served as minister; and Loyola Marymount University, where he was vice president for development.
Fr. Ed Harris, S.J. ’63, serves as the superior of SI’s Jesuit community and assists with SI’s Campus Ministry Program. Born in Portland, Ore., he moved to San Francisco and entered the Society of Jesus after graduating from SI. He was ordained in 1975 after receiving master’s degrees in divinity and Modern European History.
He served as president of SI between 2014 and 2016. He also served as a high school teacher, swimming coach, counselor, campus minister, assistant principal, principal and president (the latter two positions at Jesuit High School in Sacramento). He worked as a college counselor at SI between 1985 and 1988.
He also served as the provincial assistant for secondary and pre-secondary education for the California Province of the Society of Jesus (2008 to 2013) as well as a director of the Sacred Heart Nativity Schools in San Jose, Cristo Rey High School in Sacramento and Xavier College Preparatory in Palm Desert. He has also served as a trustee for Loyola High School in Los Angeles and Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix.
A gifted retreat director, he has also led 30-day and 8-day retreats as well as 19th Annotation retreats, and he has celebrated Masses on a regular basis at parishes in Sacramento and San Jose.
Br. Arthur Lee, SJ, has worked at SI for more than 30 years. A favorite among students, he coaches tennis, manages the bookstore, and meets with members of his CLC.
Many years ago, as a convert to Catholicism, Br. Lee had a profound religious experienced that shaped his life and led him to join the Society of Jesus.
Below is his story.
by Br. Arthur Lee, SJ
My beginning was a desperate search for some kind of meaning in my life. I had no idea what I was looking for or how I should proceed. My desperate search ended just where it started — at USF where I had been working as a cook. Our Merciful Lord helped me to end my search through His apostles in the Church and in the Society of Jesus — the Society that I have come to admire and to love.
After my conversion, but before entering the Jesuits, I experienced a drastic change from the materialistic world to one of poverty and detachment. I had almost become the rich man in the Gospel who “kept all the commandments of God but could not part with all he possessed to follow Our Lord." Yet I did follow Jesus.
You could see my love for God and my dependence on Him most noticeably in my daily life. I love to pray early in the morning. In fact, I was always anxious to say my rosary and attend daily Mass. I did not know how to meditate, however. Yet I found joy in anything to do with my new Catholic faith. So when I heard that I could join a group of men to make my retreat at El Retiro, I was delighted at being invited to join them. The silent retreat was just perfect for me. The retreat master, Fr. Bradstreet, offered daily points for meditation for the three-day experience. I listened clearly to his homilies and paid close attention to something written long ago:
Anyone who truly and conscientiously searches for God will surely find Him. It sometimes happens that God will visit a faithful servant here on earth with His tangible Grace as a reward and sign that He is well pleased with him. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, the heart of this happy man is flooded by a stream of rapturous ecstasy. For a few moments the soul feels as if drowned in a sea of indescribable euphoria. That is a small example of what awaits man's soul in the Kingdom of Eternal Light.
— Blessed Rupert Mayer, SJ
On the second day at 4 p.m., I was walking toward the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima deep in prayer. Halfway toward the shrine, something strange happened to me. I was ignorant, a novice in spiritual matters, not expecting anything extraordinary and content with what I already had. His love and mercy was enough for me. I felt something wonderful, and I did not know what to call it. I felt something leaving me, though not physically. It was more like a soul or spirit leaving the body to meet something above.
I saw brightness and felt tremendous peace, and all I wanted was to be with it for eternity. I was dead to the world, so to speak. I was lost in time and unaware of my surroundings. I was in ecstasy. How long it lasted I have no recollection. I did not know what I was with. Was it a hallucination or illusion of some spectra? Many years have passed in my search for words to explain this phenomena. With God's help, I was fortunate to come across this passage by Karl Rahner, SJ, in Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits. The article really touched me.
Abandon ourselves entirely into His Hands, and let ourselves be formed by His Grace. One cannot " find it" so as to claim it triumphantly as one's possession. One can only look for it by forgetting oneself. One can only find it by seeking God and giving oneself to Him in the love which forgets self, without returning to oneself. When we let ourselves go and no longer belong to ourselves, when everything moves away from us, as if into an infinite distance, then we begin to live in the world of God Himself.
— Fr. Karl Rahner, SJ
You look but you do not see. You listen but you do not hear. You read but you do not understand. But the grace of God through prayer will make it all possible for you. Amen.
Here is a biography of Brother written by Fr. Sauer:
Tennis coach. Bookstore manager. Printer. CLC leader. If you were at S.I. anytime since the mid-1970s, chances are you had your life enriched by Brother Artie Lee, S.J. It is also possible that because of the quiet way in which he goes about his work, you may not have recognized the contributions Brother Lee has made to our school community. I thought it was about time for a retrospective look at his long years of generous service to St. Ignatius College Preparatory.
Brother Lee took a more circuitous route to his career at S.I. than many of us. Born in Singapore 1926, Artie was one of seven children of a Buddhist family. Lee Thiam Teck, as he was known then, was relatively poor, and the American “Land of Opportunity” called to him in 1954. Working in the kitchen at U.S.F. and taking philosophy classes at night, he met Brother William Ferrill, S.J., who helped give Brother Lee’s life some much-sought-after direction. Brother Ferrill’s parents became Artie’s godparents, and Artie took William’s name as his confirmation name. Inspiration from Br. Ferrill, classes in Catholicism, and help from U.S.F. Fathers Jim Menard and Eugene Zimmers eventually led him to the Jesuit Novitiate in 1966. “A Jesuit Father asked me, ‘Do you know what you’re getting into?’ ” remembers Artie. It seems he did.
The one most profound experience in Brother Lee’s life happened on retreat at El Retiro. Though he is somewhat reluctant to share what was an intense and private experience, he also is eager for younger generations to know the possibility of such experiences, and quotes Blessed Rupert Mayer, S.J., “Anyone who is truly and conscientiously searching for God will surely find Him…. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, the heart of this happy man is flooded by a stream of rapturous ecstasy. For a few moments the soul feels as if drowned in a sea of indescribable euphoria. That is a small example of what awaits man’s soul in the Kingdom of Eternal Light.” Brother Lee’s own account of his experience can be found in the inset.
After that life-changing event, the ten years of formation and work at the Novitiate were some of his happiest. When told he was needed at S.I., “I was in tears. I couldn’t bear it because I love that place so much.”
But in the spirit of servanthood that would come to characterize much of his life, he came to S.I. in 1976 to learn off-set printing. Slowly and quietly, Brother Lee came to find needs and fill them. He became an assistant tennis coach in 1984, staying on until last year. His fellow coach, Art Cecchin ‘6[?], says, “Artie mends the nets with fishing line. Nets that were supposed to last three years lasted twelve instead. He washed the courts, strings the kids’ racquets. We won’t give him up!” If you drop by the courts on a weekend, you’re likely to see him playing with friends or helping out.
He learned to cut his Jesuit brothers’ hair, handle UPS and mail, and visited residents of St. Anne’s home. When the school became co-ed, he started “Brotherly” CLC, in which he encouraged students to rise above what they currently were, and to get involved with service. He hopes he impressed upon them that “when you form good habits, they become a part of you and you don’t have to think about it.” One good habit his CLC members took on is staying in touch. After more than ten years, several of them still get together a couple of times a year for dinner!
My own acquaintance with Artie came through his bookstore responsibilities. In 1992, I became his after-school assistant, selling texts. It was immediately clear that he has gifts of organization and dedication. Do you remember getting a handwritten credit memo for the books you returned? Did you ever stop to think about the number of credit memos he must have written, each of them representing several books he evaluated? I estimate he handled two or three thousand books each summer, working day and night for weeks so that families could get a partial refund on their book investment. Those piles of books looked overwhelming to me, but here is Artie’s perspective: “If you look at it as piles and piles of books, you’d never start. When I used to supervise novices, they would have to pull large fields of weeds. But if you saw it as a field of weeds, you’d never start. So I’d say to them, ‘Let’s just do this square here.’ ” Organization and dedication.
In recent years, the Jesuit Provincial has wanted Artie to relax more and work less. So his bookstore duties have ended. But now he goes to St. Anne’s home every day, to help feed residents at mealtime, and always to offer a smile and friendship. And you’ll still see him on the tennis courts and helping sort the large daily S.I. mail delivery. Such is “retirement” for Brother Arthur Lee, S.J. His daily life continues to be inspired by the writings of Karl Rahner, S.J., regarding God’s grace: “One can only look for it by forgetting oneself. One can only find it by seeking God and giving oneself to Him in love which forgets self and without returning to oneself. When we let ourselves go and no longer belong to ourselves, when everything moves away from us as if into an infinite distance, then we begin to live in the world of God Himself.”
Fr. Sharp entered the Society of Jesus September 7, 1958, and spent the next four years in his initial Jesuit formation at the Jesuit Novitiate in Sheridan, OR. From 1962-1965, he was assigned to study philosophy at Mount St. Michael’s School of Philosophy (of Gonzaga University) in Spokane, WA. During the years of 1965-1968, he served as a scholastic in regency at Seattle Preparatory School, Seattle, WA. From 1968-1971, he studied Theology at Regis College (of the University of Toronto) in Toronto, Canada. Following his ordination, he was sent to doctoral studies at the Leopold-Franzens-Universität-Innsbruck, in Innsbruck, Austria. Having completed his doctorate in Old Testament Studies, he began teaching at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, in 1975 and remained there until 1993. In the fall of 1993, he was missioned to the University of San Francisco where he taught until 1999. From 1999 until 2009, he taught in the School of Pastoral Leadership of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and at St Patrick’s Seminary and University, Menlo Park, CA. He has now been assigned to SICP and works as a Pastoral Minister and Classroom Proctor.
Fr. Stiegeler was born in San Francisco October 28, 1943, on the feast of St. Jude, patron of hopeless cases.
He attended St. Monica’s School from 1950 to 1957 before matriculating to SI, where he graduated with the Class of 1961. After graduating from USF, he served in the U.S. Army Rangers from 1965 to 1970. After leaving the service he entered the Society of Jesus in 1970, making the transition, as he notes, from being a captain in the Army to a private in the Jesuits.
He studied at both LMU and Gonzaga and then taught English and coached soccer and freshman football as a scholastic at SI from 1973 to 1975.
He continued his studies at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley and was ordained on April Fool’s Day 1978. He then worked at Bellarmine in San Jose as a campus minister and coach. Between 1983 and 1985 he worked with homeless teens in Seattle and Native Americans along the Yukon in Alaska.
He continued studies in administration at Fordham University and then went to Loyola High School to serve as a religious studies teacher and coach between 1985 and 1987.
He worked as a principal at both Brophy in Phoenix (1987 to 1992) and at Jesuit High School in Sacramento (1992 to 1998), where he also taught. He spent a sabbatical year in Rome and Boston College before returning to SI in 1999 where he continues to teach religious studies to freshmen. He recently retired as the senior Catholic chaplain for the San Francisco 49ers.