July 8, 2021 – Fr. Edward P. Salmon, SJ, was born on April 14th, 1937, in Jersey City, one of the five children of Edward and Margaret (Burr) Salmon. He attended Saint Peter’s Prep, the Jesuit high school in Jersey City. Upon graduation in 1954 he entered the novitiate of the New York Province, Saint Andrew’s, at Poughkeepsie, N.Y. A year later the novitiate moved to Plattsburgh, N.Y., where the province had opened a second novitiate-juniorate in anticipation of the creation of a Buffalo Province. Fr. Salmon pronounced first vows and continued juniorate studies there.
The remainder of his Jesuit formation was spent in the Philippines, which had been part of the New York Province since 1920—philosophy studies at the Ateneo de Naga, a provincial capital south of Manila (1958-1961); regency teaching at the Ateneo de Manilla (1961-1964); and theology studies at the Ateneo in Manila (1964-1967). In the ordinary course of studies, he would have been ordained a priest in 1967, but a few months short of ordination he made the decision to leave the Society and return to lay life.
Fr. Salmon spent the next 12 years working in human resources and labor issues for Allied Maintenance, a New York-based company that provided management and maintenance services for commercial properties.
In 1980, he applied for re-admission to the Society and entered the New York Province novitiate, now at Syracuse, N.Y. In view of his previous studies as a Jesuit, he quickly moved through a telescoped post-novitiate formation spending a year in philosophy studies at Fordham University (1982-1983), then going directly to theology studies at Weston, in Cambridge, Mass. He was ordained in the Fordham University chapel in 1985.
Fr. Salmon’s priestly ministry for the rest of his life as a Jesuit illustrates two apparently dissimilar but in fact closely related aspects of his personality and his pastoral gifts. On the one hand he developed a reputation as a skilled spiritual director, student and faculty chaplain, retreat director, and interpreter of Ignatian identity—at Xavier High School in Manhattan (1986-1987), the retreat house on Staten Island (1991-1994), the retreat house at Manhasset (1995-1996), the Ciszek Hall scholasticate in the Bronx (1996-2002), Regis High School in Manhattan, and at several retreat houses in the U.S. and Canada.
On the other hand, his administrative skills led to leadership responsibility at two of the province high schools—as president of St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City (1987-1990) and at McQuaid Jesuit School in Rochester, N.Y. (2002-2019). At McQuaid, over a period of 17 years (interrupted by a stint as superior of the America House Jesuit Community in Manhattan, 2007-2014), he was superior, faculty chaplain, president, and chancellor. As president he enlarged the middle school, added much-needed classroom space, and renovated the school’s aging cafeteria into a state-of-the-art dining facility. When he ended his term as president the school chapel was rededicated and renamed in his honor.
In November of 2019, increasing heart problems led to his moving to the province health facility at Campion Center, in Weston, Mass. While preparing to direct the retreat of a Jesuit friend in a few days’ time, he died, suddenly but peacefully, late in the evening of July 5th, 2021.