April 3, 2018: Mourning the Passing of Fr. Hauser

April 3, 2018: Mourning the Passing of Fr. Hauser

Creighton University President, the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, SJ

It is with a heavy heart that I share the sad news that longtime Creighton University Jesuit the Rev. Richard Hauser, SJ, passed away today, at the age of 80.

Fr. Hauser became a Creighton professor in the Department of Theology after earning his doctorate in religion and religious education in 1973 from the Catholic University of America.

From his earliest days on campus as a theology instructor in 1972, Fr. Hauser proved to be a source of spiritual inspiration to Creighton students. His inauguration of the candlelight Mass and his directorship of Creighton’s programs in theology, ministry, and Christian spirituality were in keeping with what he always felt was his fundamental calling: to help all people recognize God’s presence in their lives.

A great example of apostolic zeal, Fr. Hauser was a true source of encouragement to me as a younger Jesuit, during my time as a student in Creighton’s Jesuit Humanities Program in 1996 and as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Philosophy from 2000 to 2003.

Born June 22, 1937, in Milwaukee, Fr. Hauser entered the Society of Jesus in 1955 and professed his first vows in 1957. He graduated from Saint Louis University in 1961 and spent the next years as a teacher of English and religion at Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, followed by a year earning a master’s degree in history at SLU, then another year teaching at the St. Francis Mission in South Dakota. He was ordained a priest June 4, 1968.

In 1990, Fr. Hauser founded Creighton’s master’s degree programs in ministry and theology, serving as the program director until 2002. He also served as director of the master’s degree program in Christian spirituality since 1993, and as rector of the Creighton Jesuit community between 2001 and 2007.

He was the author of three books – In His Spirit: A Guide to Today’s Spirituality (1982), Moving in the Spirit: Becoming a Contemplative in Action (1986), and Finding God in Troubled Times (1994) – and wrote articles, book chapters, and book reviews in dozens of scholarly journals and periodicals.

Through his constant work through and with the Society of Jesus and his ardent advocacy of Creighton, Fr. Hauser was always looking for opportunities to bring the University’s mission to the fore in the hiring process and to collaborate with lay faculty and staff to promote Creighton’s Jesuit character.

To so many alumni, friends, and colleagues, Fr. Hauser was the face of the Creighton Jesuits, ever-present in classrooms, conference rooms, Creighton events, and his long-standing candlelight Mass. We will greatly miss his warmth, passion, determination, and wonderful sense of humor.

Information on a funeral Mass will be forthcoming, and memorials are requested to the Richard J. Hauser, SJ, Scholarship Fund. More information will be shared as it becomes available on a Fr. Hauser remembrance page at creighton.edu/Hauser.  

In Christ,

Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ