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Rev. Edward J. McMahon, SJ

Deceased: 2014-07-16


ICTE Fall: 1990

Jesuit Father Edward J. McMahon died on July 16, 2014, at Murray-Weigel Hall in the Bronx, New York. Aged 84, he was born in Bergenfield, New Jersey, of Arthur and Lillian (Smith) McMahon on Nov. 19, 1929. A Jesuit for 66 years, after completing his secondary school at Xavier High School in New York City, he entered the Society of Jesus on Sept. 7, 1947, at the Jesuit novitiate of St. Andrew-on-Hudson in Poughkeepsie, New York.

He professed his first vows there two years later and then continued his college studies in the juniorate from 1949-51. He studied philosophy at West Baden College in Indiana (1951-54) and then returned to Xavier High School where as a seminarian he taught Latin and English from 1954-57.

For the study of theology in preparation for priesthood he moved south to Woodstock College in Woodstock, Maryland (1957-61). He was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Spellman at the Fordham University Church on June 18, 1960, and thus served as a priest for 54 years.

His final year of Jesuit formation, tertianship, was at Port Townsend in Washington, 1961-62. His first assignment was to be assistant director of the Jesuit Seminary and Mission Bureau in New York (1962-65). His service to the missions led him to volunteer and then travel to the newly established mission in Nigeria. From 1965-67 he served as chaplain at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, Nigeria. The civil war there forced his return to the U.S. From 1967-70 he directed retreats at Gonzaga Retreat House in Monroe, New York.

In 1970 he began a long career, 21 years of service, as a chaplain in the United States Navy, retiring in 1990 as Commander and Chaplain in the United States Navy of Seal Team One.

He returned to retreat ministry in 1991 based at Auriesville, New York. In 1993 he was assigned to the Jesuit community at Xavier High School in New York. He was the director of the Catholic Medical Mission Board (1994-95) and then engaged in pastoral ministry, including part-time chaplain to veterans at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in New York City. Always eager to be of service, he then served as chaplain to the New York Yankees baseball team for eleven years, celebrating Mass for team members and staff (and an occasional umpire) before Sunday games at Yankee Stadium. He remarked that it was “a great treat to work with the Yankees,” and described them as “a great bunch of guys.” In April 2013, due to declining health, he was assigned to the Jesuit infirmary, Murray-Weigel Hall, where he passed away.