In Memoriam
"Throughout his life, Tom continually cultivated his union with God and was greatly admired for his life of prayer."
In Memoriam: Fr. Thomas C. Widner, SJ

August 14, 2018 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Father Thomas "Tom" C. Widner, SJ, who was called to eternal life on August 13, 2018. Tom died at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis. He was seventy-six years old, a Jesuit for almost thirty-three years, and a priest for forty-nine years.  

Born in Beech Grove, Ind. on April 27, 1942, Tom attended Latin High School (then a pre-seminary boys' high school) and Father Thomas Scecina Memorial High School in Indianapolis, where he is fondly remembered by his classmates. He graduated from Marian College in 1964 with a bachelor's degree in English. He did seminary studies at St. Mary's College in Kentucky (1964-1965) and Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, Mo. (1965-1969) before being ordained on May 24, 1969, for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. He also earned master's degree in English from the University of Notre Dame (1969).

After ordination, Tom spent fifteen years working in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. He taught English at Latin High School (Indianapolis) and was an associate pastor at Our Lady of the Greenwood (1969-1972) before becoming the co-pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church (1972-1975). From 1975-1984, he was the editor-in-chief of The Criterion, the Archdiocesan newspaper, while he was in residence at St. Susanna Church (1975-1977), in residence at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church (1977-1979), priest in residence at St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church (1979-1984), associate pastor of St. Barnabas Catholic Church, and administrator of Holy Trinity Parish in Edinburgh, Ind. (1984-1985).

On August 31, 1985, Tom entered the Society at Loyola House in Berkeley, Mich. After first vows, Tom was an assistant editor and writer for America Magazine (1987-1991). He was the associate director of the Spiritual Renewal Center in Hammond, Ind. (1991-1992) before taking on the duties of editor-in-chief of The New World (the Archdiocese of Chicago Newspaper). From 1995-1997, Tom was a publications assistant at Company Magazine while director of the Chicago Province Communication Office.  He spent two years in retreat ministry and as a staff member at Jesuit Spiritual Center at Milford before moving to Washington, D.C. and working as the Secretary for Communications at the USA Jesuit Conference (1999-2004) in addition to being the superior of Leonard Neale House (2001-2004).  

Tom moved back to Indianapolis in 2004 where he was the Vice President for Mission and Identity at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School and rector of the Jesuit Community (2004-2010). In 2010, he became the director of spiritual formation at Bishop Bruté Seminary where he worked until his death.

Throughout his life, Tom continually cultivated his union with God and was greatly admired for his life of prayer. This union with God made Tom a wonderful spiritual director, a great pastor, and an attentive superior. Tom's great love for the Society of Jesus was seen especially in his role as director of mission and identity at Brebeuf. While director, he established a program to train lay people to be directors of the Spiritual Exercises. This program, and the directors it formed allowed many faculty members to make the nineteenth annotation of the Exercises. For the past eight years, Tom brought his love of God and his understanding of Ignatian Spirituality and discernment to seminarians in his role as spiritual director at Simon Bruté College Seminary. This is a gift the seminarians — and the Church in Indiana — will not forget.

As a Jesuit, Tom maintained close relationships with archdiocesan priests, both socially and in prayer groups. While at Brebeuf, he was a link between the community and the archdiocesan priests - especially for the much-anticipated annual party for the priests of the archdiocese at the Brebeuf Community.

Visitation

Sunday, August 19, 2018 
4:00 - 7:00 p.m. 
St. Andrew Church 
4052 E. 38th Street 
Indianapolis, IN 46218 

Mass of Christian Burial

Monday, August 20, 2018 
10:00 a.m. 
St. Andrew Church

A reception will follow the Mass in St. Andrew's parish hall.

Burial

Monday, August 20, 2018 
Calvary Cemetery 
435 W Troy Ave. 
Indianapolis, IN 46225





Recent News

May 14, 2019 — Arrupe College celebrates the success of its first graduating class completing their bachelor’s degrees.

May 6, 2019 - When I was in the third grade at a Catholic primary school in suburban Maryland, I happened upon a book about St. Isaac Jogues, the 17th century Jesuit missionary, getting flogged, flayed, and having his fingers chewed off on a mission to “New France.” At the time I couldn’t for the life of me understand why someone would choose to go through such an ordeal! Fast forward twenty-some years later, and I am a Jesuit brother living with Jesuits from India, Ecuador, Tanzania, and Wisconsin.

May 6, 2019 — The author found an unexpected encounter with grace when he attended Mass celebrated by Fr. Larry Gillick, SJ.

May 1, 2019 — Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, recently gave a speech about the collaboration between Jesuits with the laity.

April 29, 2019 — Ask someone who's benefited from a Jesuit education or ministry about the Jesuits’ contributions, and you’ll hear answers like “Jesuits form men and women for others,” “they help people discern God’s presence in their lives,” and "they serve God by caring for and seeking justice for people on the margins.” But we don’t always give thought to how the Jesuits themselves benefit from being in the Society.

April 23, 2019 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Theodore J. Hottinger, SJ, who died on April 22, 2019 at St. Camillus, in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was 87 years old. May he rest in peace.

April 21, 2019 — We turned to Twitter and challenged people to tell the story the resurrection of Jesus in exactly six words — no more. Boil the central truth of our faith down to its essence. What’s most important?

view all news

Search news

Publications

Jesuits Spring 2019

Jesuits Fall/Winter 2018

Jesuits Summer 2018



Jesuit Retreat House on Lake Winnebago
Located 80 miles north of Milwaukee, the Jesuit Retreat House on Lake Winnebago welcomes men and women of all faiths to its silent preached and directed retreats.