William Meissner.jpgI haven’t seen him in nearly 7 years, but I was very sad to hear of the death of Jesuit Father William W. Meissner, 79, the other day. A New York Province Jesuit priest who was trained as a psychiatrist at Harvard, Bill was a great man in my mind with lots of quirks, probably too many to speak of. Bill was the sort of man who didn’t suffer fools gladly; he was one of those Jesuits who worked very hard and play well but didn’t do pastoral work. His life as a priest is was dedicated to the ministry of research and teaching. All the same, I loved being on vacation with Bill and I remember fondly our many serious conversations. When I studied in Boston in the early 1990s he gave a series of lectures on the psychology of Saint Ignatius of Loyola which I attended and found incomprehensible; the lectures eventually became a book, Ignatius of Loyola: The Psychology of a Saint, you may have seen it. I have to admit that psychoanalyzing a dead saint is a bit weird –with or without a couch– but fascinating nonetheless because we got a glimpse into the heart and mind of terrific saint.

Here’s one of Bill’s obit.
May Bill Meissner’s memory be eternal.