A longtime pastor of St. John’s Church at Creighton University, the Rev. John Lynch, S.J., died April 14 at St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa, Wis. He was 78.
Fr. Lynch served as chaplain at what is now Creighton University Medical Center from 1997 to 2002. He was pastor of St. John’s from 1972 to 1985 and from 1995 to 1996. Over the years, he also worked as a teacher and administrator at Creighton, including serving as associate director of development. He also taught English and speech at Creighton Preparatory High School in Omaha from 1961-1963.
Fr. Lynch was born in Sioux City, Iowa, and received a Licentiate of Sacred Theology, a master’s degree in education, and a doctorate in philosophy from Saint Louis University. He attended St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Mo., after entering into the Society of Jesus in 1954. He was ordained at St. John’s Church in 1966.
The Rev. Bert Thelen, S.J., current pastor at St. John’s, said, “When I came here, he was the first person I wanted to talk to because he was such a gifted and gentle and pastoral person, and he was very helpful to me about being a pastor on a university campus.”
Fr. Thelen added, “He will be missed by a lot of people because he had a real gift of caring for people, really listening to them and hearing what their real needs are.”
One of those who admired Fr. Lynch is the Rev. Val J. Peter, HON’92, executive director emeritus of Boys Town, who was a theology professor at Creighton from 1971 to 1984.
“Fr. Lynch was a role model for me of what a Jesuit vocation is all about,” Fr. Peter said. “I saw him as a person who was on a mission that was greater than himself. He was a happy Jesuit priest and I admired him greatly.”