March 10, 2022 – Fr. Frederick G. McLeod, SJ, was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, on Feb. 22, 1932, and baptized at St. Peter’s Church on March 21. He was the oldest and last surviving of six siblings; he remained very close to them and their families throughout his life. He entered the New England Province of the Society at Shadowbrook in Lenox, Massachusetts, on July 30, 1949, and pronounced First Vows there on July 31, 1951. He earned a B.A. in philosophy and classics from Boston College in 1955 and an M.A. in the same disciplines in 1956. He received his PhD in theology from the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome in 1973.
For regency, Fr. McLeod was sent to Baghdad College in Iraq 1956-59. He returned to the U.S. for theology and was ordained to the priesthood at Weston College in Weston, Massachusetts, on June 16, 1962. He did tertianship at St. Robert’s Hall in Pomfret, Connecticut, 1963-64 and pronounced Final Vows on Aug. 15, 1966, at Farm Street in London.
As a young priest, Fr. McLeod returned to Baghdad, but was soon forced out along with the other foreign-born Jesuits. He then served as the rector of the Jesuit Collegian Community from its beginnings at Weston through its move to Boston to its disbanding after just a few years (1969-73). In 1973 Fr. McLeod came to Saint Louis University as a professor of theological studies, a mission which he carried out until 2006, more than 30 years. From 2006 until the present, Fr. McLeod was a writer of theology.
Fr. McLeod enjoyed teaching, but he relished writing even more. He eagerly anticipated his occasional sabbaticals, both for the time and space they provided him for writing, and for the opportunities they gave him to reconnect with his New England roots, and especially his family. Even as his health, and especially his eyesight, weakened, Fr. McLeod continued doggedly to write a bit each day—despite the frustration of regularly getting lost in the maze of giant letters on his screen. Ever a Bostonian, he had imagined that he would return to the East Coast once he finished his final book, but that was not to be.
Fr. McLeod was called to eternal life on March 7, 2022, at the Fusz Pavilion of Jesuit Hall in St. Louis, Missouri. He was 90 years old, a Jesuit for 72 years and a priest for almost 60 years.
A Mass Celebrating the Life of Fr. Frederick G. McLeod, SJ, will be held on Tues., March 15, 2022 at 4:30 pm CDT Jesuit Hall, Saint Louis, Missouri. Click here to view the livestream at that time.