Jerome M. Hall, SJ
January 31, 1950 – March 11, 2009
January 31, 1950 – March 11, 2009
A Mass of Christian burial was offered for Jerome M. Hall, SJ, at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church on March 16. Fr. Hall, a noted liturgist, died after a brief illness at Georgetown University Hospital on March 11. A Jesuit for 42 years and a priest for 31 years, he was 59.
At the time of his death, Fr. Hall was on the faculty of Washington Theological Union as professor of theology and he also served on the formation faculty of Theological College, the Catholic University of America. In addition to his teaching, he had written and spoken extensively on liturgy.
“He certainly was very passionate about it,” said Fr. Daniel Ruff, SJ, pastor of Old St. Joseph’s Church, Philadelphia. “He loved the liturgy and he loved teaching and talking about it.”
Fr. James Conn, SJ, who entered the Society of Jesus at the same time as Fr. Hall, remembered him as “natively gifted intellectually and artistically.” Fr. Hall, he said, was a noted musician, both for voice and guitar and had sung in operas and directed musicals during his time at Georgetown University. He shared his gifts with young Jesuits preparing for ordination and conducted the choir for ordination, according to Fr. Ruff. “He was devoted to helping those soon to be ordained to learn their roles as presiders at liturgy,” Fr. Conn added.
Fr. Hall, son of James A. Hall and Marie J. Wassel, was born in Baltimore, Jan. 31, 1950. Following graduation from Mt. St. Joseph High School in Catonsville, Md., he entered the Society of Jesus Sept. 7, 1966.
Fr. Hall studied at Loyola Seminary in Shrub Oak, N.Y., and Fordham University, and later at Weston School of Theology and Georgetown University. He also earned a Master of Arts degree in music (voice) at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he later received a Ph.D. in liturgical and sacramental theology.
He is the author of We Have the Mind of Christ: The Holy Spirit and Liturgical Memory in the Thought of Edward Kilmartin, a Pueblo Book published by Liturgical Press, in 2001. The book came out of research for his doctoral dissertation when he met with Fr. Kilmartin, a Jesuit and expert on theology of the Eucharist.
Before ordination, as a Jesuit scholastic, Fr. Hall was assistant director of campus ministries at Georgetown University and a teacher at Gonzaga High School, Washington, D.C., from 1971 to 1972. Fr. Hall was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop William D. Borders of Baltimore, at the Loyola College Chapel June 4, 1977. He made his final profession in the Society of Jesus at Georgetown University Nov. 13, 1982.
Following ordination, he served as associate pastor at St. Ignatius Church in Baltimore, Md. where he also served from 1977 to 1979 as a chaplain at the Peabody Conservatory of Music and the Jesuit Arts Center. He was then assigned as a student chaplain from 1979 to 1989 at Georgetown University and from 1989 to 1990 was coordinator of campus ministries at LeMoyne College, Syracuse, N.Y.
After earning his doctorate he went to Rome in 1997 as professor of Liturgy and Liturgical Theology at the Gregorian University. He remained there until 2002 when he was appointed spiritual director and professor of theology at the Washington Theological Union. At the time of his death, Fr. Hall was also on the formation faculty of Theological College, Catholic University. In addition, he was a weekend assistant at St. Andrew by the Bay Church in Arnold, Md.
Tribute prepared by The Society of Jesus.